My 2019 New Years Resolutions (plus how I’ve done so far, one month in)

Better late than never… This seems to be the motto of my life right now! In true Emily style, I got so distracted with other work so far this year that my New Years Resolution post kept getting pushed back and back until we were already a month in. So I’ve decided to publish this post one month late, along with a look back on how I’ve done so far…

Take time away from my phone

New Years Resolutions

My first resolution this year is one I definitely didn’t think I’d be making, but after trialling it over Christmas and the New Year I quickly realised that it’s probably the most important one I’ll ever make.

Yes social media is a part of my job, but the endless hours I spend aimlessly flicking through my friends Instagram stories and scrolling through memes on my Facebook wall is not. The new iPhone ‘screen time’ monitor recently revealed to me that I spend up to 4 hours on my phone each day, picking the device up over 120 times… scary right!? And I can guarantee that most of this is not for paid work. So in 2019, I have made the decision to spend more time away from my phone outside of work time.

One Month In – How did I do?

Hmm, well I’ve certainly made a start. When I’m watching a film of an evening I try to put my phone on the other side of the room so I can’t keep picking it up, and when I’m out with friends I’ll try to put it in my pocket or bag rather than have it in my hands. There’s definitely a long way to go with this one, but fingers crossed it becomes more of a habit by the end of 2019.

Read a book a month

New Years Resolutions

Reading is always something I’ve enjoyed, and back when I used to spend up to 2 hours of my day commuting on the tube across London I would get through a book every week. However, since I started working mostly from home this year I’ve struggled to find as much time to read.

For Christmas I treated myself to a pile of new books which I can’t wait to read, and to convince myself to put down my phone or switch off Netflix in the evening in exchange for a book, I’m setting myself the achievable goal of reading a book a month (but I may even shorten this timeframe once I get back into the swing of things).

One Month In – How did I do?

I did it… I finished my January book! ‘Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe’ was such a beautiful and heart-warming read that it was all too easy to finish once I’d gotten into it. I must admit, most of this book was read during my time spent on flights over the past month, I do still need to work on picking up a book of an evening rather than binge-watching Friends over and over again.

Get better with replying to messages

New Years Resolutions

I will openly admit that despite the amount of time I spend on social media, I am the most useless person when it comes to owning a phone. I’ve reached the point that I have so many unopened WhatsApp messages, Instagram DM’s and group chats that when I open my phone I get too overwhelmed by it all and just end up scrolling down my Instagram feed once again instead.

My aim for 2019 is to become better at keeping up with social messages and replying straight away rather than leaving it and forgetting, leading to the embarrassing backlog which I ended 2018 with.

One Month In – How did I do?

Sorry guys, maybe this is just something that will never change! It’s been such a hectic month with work, travel and events, that I’m still as useless as ever being behind with messages. Well, there’s still 11 months left to improve this…

Get back to the gym

New Years Resolutions

Like almost everyone else on the planet, getting back to the gym and shredding a few pounds has to be one of my New Years Resolutions.

After losing almost a stone and starting to get much fitter last summer, I boarded the Crown Princess in September for a week-long Mediterranean cruise and managed to consume so much food that I successfully destroyed months worth of work in just 7 days (#noregrets). Shortly after this, the festive period (which we all know lasts for 2 whole months in London) ensured that I only went on to gain more weight and fail to make it anywhere near a gym for the rest of the year.

In 2019 my goal is to lose the extra cruise/Christmas weight which I gained in 2018, while also improving my general fitness and getting a more regular gym schedule when in the country.

One Month In – How did I do?

I have to admit, this is probably the one I’m most proud of to date. So far this month I’ve been heading to the gym for a workout and swim at least 2-3 times a week, as well hitting the occasional yoga class with my new Esquared Fitness app. Plus, 4 days of snow sports in the Austrian Alps certainly helped on the fitness front.

Get a better sleeping schedule

New Years Resolutions

Since going freelance, I’ve lost a lot of the routine in my life. Not that I entirely mind this – I’ve never been one for routine anyway. However, the one part of my life where I definitely do need to regain a sense of routine is my sleeping pattern.

Being a person who works better in the afternoon and evening than in the morning, I’ve all too often taken advantage of working for myself and stayed in bed until as late as 10-11am on weekdays. Then by the time it gets to the evening I’m not tired and end up staying awake later and later into the night. Thanks to this vicious cycle I managed to end 2018 with the nocturnal sleeping schedule of a student once again.

My goal for 2019 is to get my sleeping pattern back to that of a fully-functioning adult. Even if I don’t start working until slightly later in the day, I will use the morning to get other things done such as going to the gym or cooking a healthy breakfast.

One Month In – How did I do?

Between a busy schedule of travel and events in London, combined with motivation to get the gym on others mornings, my sleeping schedule is gradually getting back to that of a normal functioning adult. There have been a few nights where I’ve been up until the early hours, and the odd morning where I lay in, but all in all this resolution is going pretty well so far.

Cut down on drinking

New Years Resolutions

As I mentioned previously in my post about ‘looking after your mental health as a blogger’, so many of the launches, networking events, conferences, meetings etc in the industry we’re in involve free alcohol being thrust into your hand the moment you walk in the door. By the end of 2018 (particularly over the festive period), I was finding myself out drinking several times a week every week.

Starting with Dry January, my aim for 2019 is the cut down on the amount of unnecessary drinking I do. By this, I mean that I will still have a few drinks if I’m heading out at the weekend or if it’s a special occasion, but I will start being more selective of when I drink and learn to say no when attending midweek events.

One Month In – How did I do?

Okay, you caught me. I failed pretty epically on this one! Dry January lasted under 2 weeks before I headed out to Cologne and filled up on local Kölsch beer. After this, I swore I would come back to London and be good again, but some cool events including a night at Bunga Bunga and a lovely Galatines Day dinner persuaded me otherwise.

The one thing I am proud of in 2019 so far is that I’ve started to learn what I can and can’t drink without pushing my limits. I have realised that wine can tip me over the edge very quickly and result in the worst hangovers, and therefore I should only enjoy a glass or two over dinner. I also realised that there are quite a few beers that I do actually like and apparently I can handle them a lot better than other drinks (a strange one but we’ll go with it!).

Double my blog traffic

New Years Resolutions

Over the past few years I’ve set myself a series of smaller goals when it comes to this blog (which I’ll be doing again this year), however, I’ve never set myself a measurable goal for the entire year. Therefore, with more time to work on my own content, this year my aim is to at least double my monthly blog traffic by the end of 2019

Ways in which I plan to do this include:

  • Increasing site speed
  • Optimising old posts for SEO
  • Posting regular quality content
  • Scheduling more posts on Facebook and Twitter
  • Starting to use Pinterest more

One Month In – How did I do?

It’s quite hard to monitor this one in the space of a month. My January traffic was up on December, however (as is the case for many bloggers) my December traffic was a little lower than normal. I did do some backend work on my site during January and my site speed is definitely up. But with the large amount of client work I’ve had on so far this year, my own blog probably hasn’t had the TLC it deserves.