I know a lot of people think the whole idea of making new year’s resolutions is a bunch of rubbish, and fair enough. Why do you need a fancy special Date to decide to idk eat more chocolate? (no-one says resolutions have to be healthy…you can resolve to do whatever you want. bwa ha ha.) Most poor resolutions probably get abandoned before they’ve barely begun, like mine always do. Just think of all those gym cards around the world, used twice, their future once so bright, and now languishing stuffed away in someone’s desk.
However, there is something a wee bit inspiring about the idea of a fresh start and the beginning of a fresh year. And for some reason I’ve decided that this is the year when I’m going to kick myself in the butt about all the things I’ve always *said* I’m going to do. Except it’s also my final year of uni. Dissertation. Haaaaaa life choices!
So I’ve made a lot more resolutions than usual this year, and since January’s more than half done already (cripes) now seems like a good time to list what they were, and track my progress so far! Oh, and it will also become sorrily apparent why I’ve … eventually …started this blog in the process. Ahhhhhh help. Also, because I’m tragic and need constant validation, I’ve listed them with the most successful at the top, and given them all RATINGS in the form of PIZZA ICONS. So if I have done well I will get more pizza slices. nom.
1. Get fit! (aka DAT BOOTY.)
Oooohhh the inevitable fitness resolution. Boring, I know. But I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world. Type 1 are those who are super sporty and love it. Type 2 are those who do zero exercise, and love it. Then there are people like me, who desperately want to be more like Type 1, but actually are like Type 2, plus guilty feelings. I know that I feel happier and more motivated when I exercise. It’s just… ya know. EFFORT.
My resolution is a bit more specific than just ‘get fit!’ *personal trainer gives thumbs up*. I want to exercise for at least half an hour three or four times a week. I want a perkier, toned bum. I want to build my body muscle on my arms and core, because my cardio is okay but I’m weak as Miller Lite.
So … now for the score.
AN ENTIRE PIZZA
This is definitely the resolution which I’ve kept to the best so far. I’ve been hitting my weekly targets and more — in fact, the past week, I went running/did a home fitness session nearly every day. This is a Big Thing for me. I’ve been amazed at how much more awake it’s made me feel about everything — but also sad, because I knew that, and somewhere over the last few months I’d forgotten. I’ve been keenly following Marischa (Fitness Type)’s 4 week booty bootcamp, and my god, my booty is dead. That Marischa woman is probably satan. However, satan has also had the grace to deliver me a butt which already feels more toned.
I have also written in my diary that I’m going to go to a 7:40am drop-in Body Pump session at the gym tomorrow. But I’ve never been to a gym before. I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen 7:40am before. I am excited but also terrified.
2. Learn Spanish!
It is one of my dreams to someday be able to speak a whole host of languages, and call myself a polyglot. So far, alongside English, I speak Mandarin fairly well thanks to my recent year abroad, have gone incredibly rusty on my (previously semi-fluent) German (I lived in Berlin as a kid), and have summarily forgotten the entire contents of my 6 solid years of French at school. Time to step it up.
I want to learn languages in order of utilitarian usefulness, and after English and Mandarin, Spanish is definitely near the top. It also seems easy enough (at least having just come off Chinese, haha) that I could learn alongside uni without feeling stressed.
My score so far:
MOST OF A PIZZA.
Why only nearly pizza?? I haven’t been hitting my 20XP daily Duolingo target, that’s why, and my longest streak so far is a meagre 3 days. *gulps* BUT in my defense Duolingo has deleted my daily credits twice, and I keep doing this thing where I come back in the evenings after nights out, remember to do Spanish, but then realise that Duolingo doesn’t count it for that day becAUSE IT’S ALREADY PAST MIDNIGHT. Noooo…
However, I have been practising new words, phrases, and baby level conjugation almost every day, and I’ve been learning how to sing Irreplaceable in Spanish on LanguageZen. Oh yeah.
3. Be a 90% vegan! (10% cheegan??!
Last semester I was cooking fully vegetarian, and was also experimenting with cutting out milk and eggs. Soya milk is pretty cheap in Tesco, turns out! However in some respects, if you’re vegetarian for environmental and/or animal rights reasons (as I am), as long as you eat milk products, you’re still supporting deforestation, methane emissions, and a certain level of animal misery to the exact same degree as if you hadn’t bothered at all. Also, I lapsed massively and stuffed my face with salami over the Christmas holidays. So I decided if I was really going to put my money where my mouth is, I need to go as vegan as possible.
I say possible, because, well, cheese.
And sometimes, just sometimes, you just got to have pepperoni pizza. Ommm nom nom nom.
This is why I am a weak human being who isn’t trying to be a proper vegan. In my ideal world, everyone would have a super low meat diet if they weren’t veggie, would buy free range, and would support small local farms which have higher animal quality of life, get screwed over by supermarkets, and probably need help more than ever now that Brexit has kissed the EU small farm subsidy good bye.
STILL NOT REALLY A WHOLE PIZZA
AArgh. Giving up cheese is just so hard. On the plus side, all the food which I’ve cooked at home has been vegan, whoo! (My boyfriend is amazing at frying tofu. This helps.)
On the down side, I have had a few more moments of weakness than I’d hoped since the first of January:
- Chips and cheese x 2
- Massive pepperoni pizza x 1
- Omelette x 1.
- Pot of tzatziki x 1.
- ‘Meaty Italian’ Subway x 1
- Verdict: TOO MANY COW TEARS.
Eeek, this sounds really bad, and not deserving of a mostly full pizza icon (even though it’s not a real pizza. Because i’m NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE THOSE). Takeaways are clearly my downfall. However, if I reckon that I’ve had a minimum of 60 meals from the 1st to the 20th of January, of which 58 had no meat, and 54 no dairy… I’m not so far off track for being a 90% Vegan, 10% Cheegan, and occasionally a plain old meat muncher.
On the other down side, I’ve also bought a bunch of snacky things without considering that they’re probably not vegan… such as chocolate and wotsits and unicorn bacon. Literally as I write this, I’m realising that all those cappuccinos I’ve been buying are made of cow tears as well. As for my precious stash of crunchy nut cornflakes and microwave butter popcorn, I haven’t actually been brave enough to check the back of the packets yet. Because I will cry.
Oh well. Trying not to buy random crap which secretly has like 2% milk in is going to be a massive pain the bum.
3. Spend more time in nature, especially with birds.
I love the outdoors. I love animals. I am especially fond of small garden birds. They’re just so… small and poofy! So why don’t I spend more time outside??? I don’t know??? What is wrong with me?
A WHOLE PIZZA
Luckily, because I’ve been running more, in green spaces, I’ve been easily getting my daily dose of sunlight and birdsong to go with it. I’ve also found a lady who has her garden hedges full of bird feeders, and I will interrupt my runs to creepily stand outside her door and watch the wee blue tits and finches and robins for aaaages.
4. Read more!
Ahhhh…. every reader and writer’s ultimate downfall. I didn’t even make my Goodreads resolution of 20 books last year and I came so close. I spend hours lurking on book blogs. In fact, I’m fairly confident I spend more time reading book reviews than reading actual books. I love fantasy and SF and want to read more popular releases. I harbour dreams of receiving ARCS some day (le gasp that’s why I started this blog). NONE of these things are going to happen if I don’t read more.
MOST OF A PIZZA!
So far I’ve been very spotty, I’m just too busy to realistically read for more than about 20 minutes a day. But even if I start to consistently do that, I can get through a novel every couple of weeks, which would be brilliant. On the plus side, I’ve ticked off my first book of the year already!
Unfortunately, however, we have now passed the point of resolutions with which I am having some success.
5. Write more! (Specifically, 300 words every day!)
Ah ha. Ahah ahahahah hah hahah hah hahahahaaaha. Ha.
This goal is so attainable, and yet so far I have utterly and abysmally flunked out. The less that is said the better. My current WIP is big and scary and 90k long and so so close to completion except I haven’t worked on it since last September and it sits on my memory stick like a fat evil baby, lurking. (It also happens to be a Finnick x Annie fanfiction. Yes, I fully admit to being tragic)
I have a chronic case of the ‘someday writer’. That is, one of the hordes of people who endlessly say they’re going to be a writer ‘someday’… and that someday never arrives. I mean, look, it’s taken me a full two weeks to put this blog into action. And I’m at uni for goodness sake. My schedule is not going to be this free again until the day I retire, so it’s not like I have an excuse.
Someday writers are not real writers. Writers are people who write. If you write regularly, you are a writer. If you don’t, you’re not. Simplicio. Consequentially…
NO PIZZAS. NOT EVEN A CRUMB.
6. Read a Chinese novel.
I read Harry Potter in Chinese when I was in Shanghai last year, and I now have a fairly short and (apparently) simple Chinese classic, 活着 (To Live). I have no excuse not to have started it except procrastination. I also have of all things, Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds. I picked it up randomly and recognised what book it was from the blurb, and couldn’t believe it. I’ve been wanting to read it in English for ages! Well, now I’ve got it in Chinese….hahha hahaa….
NO PIZZAS FOR YOU MADDY. WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT???
7. Get up early in the mornings.
You know how I said there were two types of people when it comes to exercise? Yeah. For waking up as well. Same problem.
I love mornings. Unfortunately, I love the night more, and since I’m not willing to swop my schedule to a 7pm – 11am day, I can’t have both.
Do you have any idea how hard this to get up at an early time when you only have four hours of seminars a week? Well, that’s what I’m hoping tomorrow’s 7:40am Body Pump might cure…
MORNING PEOPLE EVERYWHERE ARE ASHAMED OF YOU, MADDY!!
8. Go for more cycle rides.
I love cycling. When I’m home at my parents, I can get out into stunning countryside very quickly and get my nature fill. Shanghai is flat as a board, and exploring the vast urban jungle city there by bike is so much fun. However, in Edinburgh, being surrounded by the Firth on 2 sides and assorted suburbs on the others means it’s difficult to escape out into the countryside by bike. (Disclaimer: I’m not hardcore, so if it takes me more than a mile to escape the city, I lose patience fast). It’s also hilly AF here.
Time for me to embrace cycling through city suburbs more! There’s still so much I haven’t seen! New Town is stunning to visit! I’ve only been to Portobello once! I’ve barely seen Leith at all!
ONE PIZZA SLICE.
I took a bike ride through a new part of the city last week. Admittedly, it was to a doctor’s appointment…but still…
9. Maintain this blog!
Ah ahahaaa. My baby has had a rough start. I’m going to start posting twice a week; book reviews, book thoughts, writing thoughts… anything literary that’s in my head.
ONE PIZZA SLICE. BUT YOU BARELY DESERVE THAT, MADDY.
Aaaaand that’s it! This post has been quite a bit longer than I expected… but now I’ve told all my resolutions to the world, I’m honour bound to stick with them… right?
I’m also super interested to see what other peeps internet has resolved to do for 2017! Happy new year everyone. Love ya!