As much as I hate it when Christmas is over and we have to wait a whole year to enjoy these festivities again, I do enjoy January, it has a sense of refreshment about it; A time to start a fresh, set new goals and get motivated. Whether or not we stick to our new years resolutions, I think making the most out of this month sets us up for a good year and we can hopefully start as we mean to go on. I've done some serious thinking about what I want to achieve this year, so I thought post about them because not only does it make me a little more focused when things are written down, but hopefully some of my goals you'll be able to relate to as well. At the end I've also jotted down some of the things I'm looking forward too. Be warned this is a really long post, so grab a cuppa and some chocolate (if you're not on a health kick) and enjoy.
Getting my sparkle back; My blog name as you will have noticed has the word 'sparkle' in and this was purely because people would always describe me as a sparkly person, especially during my uni days which is when I started my blog. I chose my blog name because I wanted to write about the things I love and genuinely have a passion for being creative. Over the last year I lost sight of what blogging was all about and felt the pressure to write about certain things and have a regular posting schedule. Whilst these things work great for some people, they don't work for me. As soon as I put pressure on myself to blog, I suffer with a serious case of bloggers block and it takes all the enjoyment out of it. I started blogging for me and I want to continue to do so. This year I want to post whenever I feel like it and blog about whatever I want and inject the sparkle back into my personal space on the internet.
Getting to know you; I'm not the biggest blogger in terms of numbers, and thats ok for me its never about having that 'influencer' status. A lot of you who read my posts and comment are all regular readers. I want to spend this year getting to know you guys as you are the people who inspire me to continue blogging. Blogging is really hard work and in the past I'll hold my hands up and say I've not made any effort at all at checking out and commenting on everyone else's blogs. This needs to change, so expect to see a lot more comments from me coming your way.
How many tweets? I love Twitter, but really I don't use it to its full potential. I'm the kind of person who has never tweeted for the sake of it and if I've got nothing to say I won't bother posting anything. I also forget to post about exciting things that are happening in my day or share my opinions on certain things. I want to improve on this as Twitter allows everyone to get to know me a little bit better and see what I'm really like behind the scenes of my blog.
Instagram Goals; Instagram is something I hate just as much as I love. I love posting, editing and sharing my pictures, but I find it so frustrating, it seems impossible to grow on there and its really disheartening when people follow just to unfollow you within hours. I've even see a lot of bloggers do this over the years and I think its so wrong. I know its not about numbers, but I do want to see my count on there go up. If I could double my following on there by this time next year, I'd be more than happy. I work so hard on my Instagram so if you're not following be sure to take a look my user name is Sunshinesprkle.
#Snapchat; I love using snapchat, but its one of those platforms that I don't post on nearly as much as I should. I love playing around with the filters and taking silly pictures, but I need to start using it more for my blog. My following on there is shocking and most people that do follow me on there are my friends and are always left clueless about my blogging snaps. I think its a great platform to get to know everyone a little better, so I plan on snapping a lot more. Again if you want to follow me on there you can find me at Sunshinesprkle.
Can I really commit to YouTube? I'd like to think that I have it in me to be dedicated to my YouTube channel. If dipped and dabbed in it in the past and have a handful of videos on there (some which to my surprise have gone down really well). I never really appreciated just how much hard work goes into making and editing videos as it's so time consuming. I've really enjoyed the whole process whenever I have made a video, the time thing is just an issue for me. I've made a promise to myself that if I get my act together with a blog and when I'm at a stage where I'm finally happy with the running of it, I will attempt to be a dedicated YouTuber. It's on the cards, so maybe expect to see a little bit more of me towards the second half of the year.
Plan, plan and plan some more; I know I said at the beginning of this post that I just want to have fun with my blog and go with the flow, but I do need some organisation and structure put in place. I have so many ideas for posts and instead of writing them down, I keep them stored away in my brain somewhere and these ideas are so easily lost. I received the Zoella Lifestyle planner for Christmas and its not too structured and will work perfectly with my scatty organisation skills. Whenever I put pen to paper, it makes me feel a little more structured and I can see what I want to get done for certain days. I think this sort of style will just help me keep refreshed and keep me on track. I've never committed to anything like this, so we shall have to see how it goes.
Bye, bye baby weight; I'm getting there, but I still have a long way to go. I remember the days where I used to do a 30 minute ab routine five times a week, was toned and was in the best shape of my life. I look back at those pictures and look in the mirror now and I feel quite gross. I know a lot of you would look at me and think that I'm 'tiny' and thats because I generally have a really small frame and I have small bones (if thats even a thing). What you don't see is underneath the clothes and the bits of podge and flab that cling to my jeans. I'm not looking to get a mini six pack again like I did pre pregnancy, but I just want to feel better about myself and my body. I need to start thinking about the food I'm eating and I need to dedicate some time in the week for exercising, walking alone is not enough. I would love to try and cut down (I was going to use the word quit, but I'm not that serious) on chocolate and diet coke, they are my weaknesses and I think a life with less of them is going to make me feel better. I'm also going to get back on the shakes as they really do work wonders.
Career choices; I think this is the year where I really need to reevaluate myself and work out which direction I want to head in. Right now I'm in two minds about what to do, either I spend most of my time at home and be a stay at home mum or I go back into full time work, but in a job that pays more and offers a lot more prospects. Ultimately I do need to go back to work full time, but I'm just not sure which direction to head in. I would love to do something that revolves around social media and pr, but have no idea how I would go about getting into a job like it. I see a lot of bloggers taking this career path and I guess that our blogs are the perfect c.v to get such a role, so we will have to see. As much as I love staying at home and looking after Archie, I need to think about his future and ultimately we want to own our own home and we just cant to do that if I'm not working full time. The dream job of course would to be blogging full time, but hey my little blog is years of from making that happen lol.
Food for thought; I've never classed myself as being a whizz in the kitchen, but 2016 I really improved on my culinary skills and I actually surprised and impressed myself. My reason for this was when it came to weaning Archie, I wanted him to have really healthy and well balanced meals and for me the only way to do this, is cook from scratch and know exactly whats going into my food. This year I want to learn some new recipes. I tend to go in cycles with food, I find a new recipe, master it and tend to cook it at least once a week. It can get a little boring and I just want to be able to not have the struggle I have every morning of 'what shall I cook for dinner today'. I think I might buy a few recipe books this year, as I have to follow a recipe or I'm useless. I love Jamie Oliver he's my fave, so I think thats where I'll start.
Treasure my friends; I feel a little ashamed to by typing this, but recently I have become a bad friend. Last year was just so busy and I was so wrapped up in Archie and my own life that I didn't really take the time out for those friends who are really special and important in my life. I have two amazing best friends and whilst they totally understand that I've had a lot going on, I feel like I need to keep them close and make a lot more effort with them. It is hard being a mum and having friends who don't have babies as I feel that we are at different stages in our lives, but this is no excuse and I want to be there for the people I care about as much as they are there for me.
Archies 1st birthday; My little man reaches one in two months, my mind can literally not process this thought, like how is he nearly one already? Needless to say I am pretty excited about organising his first birthday. Its only going to be a small get together with close family and friends, but I want to make it really special and memorable. I've never really organised any events or parties before, this will be a first and I can't wait. Pinterest is going to be my number one source for inspiration, so expect to see a birthday board very soon.
A cheerful summer; Some of you may or may not know, that I'm a cheerleader! Trust me it just as cool as it sounds. I've been doing cheer for five years now and every year my squad get together around March time and start training once a week to take part in the London and Brighton prides in the summer. Cheerleading is something I love, think stunts (throwing people up in the air) dance routines and of course pom poms! I love cheerleading so much, not only is it great to have a hobby, but I love it just for the social side. Some of the girls on the squad are my best friends and we always make so many special memories each year, so I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.
Family holiday; With Archie being born last year, we didn't really get the chance to take a holiday and all our time was spent at home. This year we're not planning on going abroad, but we would like to go somewhere for a week or two in the UK. It will be our first little get away with Archie and I cant wait.
Little Archie moments; Last year with Archie was the best, but this year will bring us a whole load of new fun. This year I will see Archie come out of his baby stage and begin his toddler years. I can't wait to spend our weekends on exciting trips out. James and I have already started planning a few things, we want to take Archie to the zoo, sea life centre and take him places where he can really learn, explore and grow. As soon as he starts walking we will be able to do so much more with him and I can't wait for all the little special moments that this year will bring us.
I'm really sorry this post is super long, I just get carried away sometimes. If you made it to the end, well done lol. I think I have a pretty good plan set ahead for this year. I would love to know what your 2017 goals are, what your looking forward too and how your resolutions are going so far? Let me know in the comments.