2016 Goals Progress | August

I was scrolling through the calendar on my phone this morning and realised that tomorrow is the 1st of September. 'Shit' I thought, how can it be?

September is a conflicting month for me, I hate it. It's the month of the spider, they all flock inside to terrorise me for the winter. I return to work after having the summer off, that's always pretty grim. And I have to start monotonously counting down the weeks and days to the next half term. But I also love it. Halloween is coming. HALLOWEEN IS COMING. I can wear boots again, I love the autumn colours, it's nearly Christmas, I'm a Celebrity comes on soon. It is acceptable to start getting excited about these things once September springs.

Then a stark reminder suddenly interrupted my thoughts of which winter Yankee Candle scent I'm going to try this year; 'I haven't written my August progress post' a flicker of panic took over me for a second when I realised I missed the right month last time, too. So off I scurried and here I am.

I have missed blogging.

I've read through the two previous goals posts this year, here are some links if you're interested:  JanuaryApril... now let's see what the damage is this time.

1. Write at least 8 posts a month.

Last time I laughed at how much I was failing at this goal and amended it to '1 good quality post per week'. This time it's not even funny.

I have failed miserably at blogging throughout 2016. So I am amending it yet again to '1 good quality post per month until the end of the year.' That's four posts. Four posts, once a month. Surely I can do that?

2. Open a Help to Buy ISA.

Saving money is boring. Until you see it adding up.

The Help to Buy ISA is a brilliant way to save in my opinion because it is limited in the amount of money you can put in. Bear with me! You can put a maximum of £200 a month in your account and if you have to, you can take all of your money back out again no problem. But you can't put it back in.

When I tried saving with normal accounts I'd save a few hundred then one month I'd need a bit extra so I'd 'borrow' it from my savings. Would I ever return it? Would I heck. So it never worked for me. With this ISA, your money is available if you desperately need it but for me, there's always a reminder that next month I can't put £300 in to make up for the money I've 'borrowed'. So I leave it alone.

Guilt people. Guilt is helping me save money.

That's enough about finance.

3. Say 'yes' more.

I am achieving this goal. I'm never going to be a social butterfly, but I no longer hope that plans get cancelled so that I don't have to go. That's success!

4. Visit interesting places and collect souvenirs.

Ah! This goal. Back in January, I hoped that this year I would get to see lots of new places and I definitely have.

I've been to Poland, you can read about that trip here. I've been to Prague, Dublin, London, Brussels, Brugge and that's not the end, my friend's birthday is in October and she wants to do a weekend away and I'm hoping to go to the 'real' Christmas markets again. Last year we went to Stuttgart see here  this year I'm considering Vienna and Dresden.

A little postcard collection is coming along too. They're cheap and cheerful so I'm trying to buy one from each interesting place I visit!

5. Read More.

Not doing so well on this one. I decided to try this 2016 Reading Challenge and although I've ticked off a few, unless I start some serious reading soon I don't think I'll complete it.

I have thus far achieved 4 of the challenges:

A. A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. This would be An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley.

Bending the rules slightly here as it was actually recommended to me by an English teacher at the school I work at. I was invited to go and watch a stage production of the play at The Lowry on a school trip so I read the book first as I suck at following plays on stage.

B. A book published this year. That would be The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley.

A slow read, very gothic, reminded me of the books I had to read on my uni course.

C. A book you own but have never read. The Collaborator by Margaret Leroy.

Very enjoyable story set in Gurnsey during the 1940s, really loved this and I would definitely recommend it!

D. A book you have already read at least once. That would be a multitude of David Walliams books.

I love reading these with my low level students at work, so some of them such as Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie I have read many times. They are awesome children's books!

6. Scrapbook 2016.

This was the shadiest goal of the April post. I was mighty pissed off with myself for buying an Erin Condren planner, a laser printer, etsy stickers and a polaroid zip just to stop using them.

The Erin Condren Planner was ruining my life. I used it for about 5 weeks and it required so much attention I can't even explain. I felt like I had to take note of everything I did in a day, what I ate, what I watched, who I spoke to. Then I had to spend hours decorating it, spend a fortune on stickers and washi tape and it just became pretty diabolical. Thinking back now, I don't even like the layout of the planner, I think the boxes are ugly and it's a stupid way to set out a planner!

Let's leave the rant there.

I have however turned my frown upside down because I bought the most pretty, yet ordinary diary from a local shop to replace the planner. I originally used it just to put in appointments and the occasional interesting activity but it grew on me quick and I was soon decorating it, sticking in tickets and using it as a scrapbook which was my original idea.

You can see in the picture one of my favourite decorated pages which was when I went to London and Brussels. I have been making use of my Polaroid Zip which is an excellent gadget if you keep a diary. So despite the Erin Condren Fail I'm pleased that I have this little gem to scrapbook the year :)

7. Think about a plan.

My brain hurts with the amount of thought I've put into the path down which my life should go. So I'm just going to leave you with two words which keep appearing at the forefront of my mind: Property Development.


Since we haven't spoken in a few months here are a few life updates...

  • I have began to crochet. Learning new things keeps the brain healthy and I've always wanted to make pretty blankets. Here's one I finished just last night:

  • I am going to write some travelling posts to show you some of the adventures I've been on recently! 
  • I'm going to Chester Zoo tomorrow to see Boris the gorilla :D
  • Biffy Clyro have released a new album called Ellipsis and the tickets for their tour come on sale on Friday morning at 9am. Already got my alarm set.


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Thank you so much for reading! I read every single comment and reply to them all. If you have any other questions you can Tweet me @MystNeonLights :)