So, what are my plans for 2015? Make a list? Choose a word? Follow a pre-defined plan? It wasn't going to be any of these. Instead, I was going to be the epitome of aiming high and this year — the year in which I turn 30 — set myself, wait for it, one goal. Ah huh. Just the one. Which one?
Learn to drive.
Wait, you're nearly 30 and you can't drive?! Yes.
Let me explain. I resolved to learn when I was 17 but my dad convinced me otherwise. For reasons that are unclear. I can only assume he was nervous about me being on the road, or more specifically, being involved in an accident. So I put it off, thinking I could do it later. Plus, I was/am rarely one to go against my dad's advice. Also, my mom is unable to drive due to her epilepsy and I think this instilled in me the idea 'hey! I don't need a car to get around!'. This theory propagates if you look at the fact my sister doesn't drive and both my brothers now do. Then, living in Manchester for a decade where cycling is a very acceptable way to travel, especially as it's flat and the cycle lanes are well established, having a car just wasn't a requirement nor a desire. And as I got older, I suppose I became a little nervous of being a 'mature learner'; that is, being less fearless and potentially disliking being told what to do. All of this has resulted in no driving licence and relying on trains to visit friends and family, my dad picking me up from stations etc., and taxis in scenarios where a car would've been perfect. I mean, it's not all bad: public transport offers a wonderful opportunity to delve into a good book or podcast, browse your phone, or write an e-mail or blog post.
But this year, I'm going to do it. What really pushed me over the edge? When I mentioned it to my dad, his response was; Yes, I think you should. Wow. I wonder how long he'd been wondering when, or indeed if, I might actually get around to it?!
I'm already doing pretty well against this goal: I purchased a provisional driving licence last week and it arrived on Saturday which was probably altogether too exciting than it should be for a 29 year old. The whole process is completed online now and different arms of gov.uk manage to communicate with one another to use your passport photo and signature on your licence. Although I don't plan to start lessons until at least March, as I have other things to do and pay for in the interim, I shall conduct some driving school research. Speaking of which, does anyone have any experience with BSM? Or have local driving schools fared better for you?
So, I was pretty happy with just this one goal.
But then I started to feel like the schoolchild who brings a rubbish game to school on 'bring-you-own-games-to-school' day (usually coupled with being allowed to wear non-uniform, right? What a day of excitement and anxiety!) and everyone's looking at me like: 'That. That's what you brought?!'
All in my mind, of course. But it had the same resultant effect: me wanting to add more goals. It's not going to morph into a word to represent the whole year, a master plan, or even a 31 before 31 list but it is a little longer than one single, solitary goal which, let's face it, is fairly achievable anyway.
Let's see what else we've got.
DressmakingI've made pretty good progress with dressmaking over the last year and have high hopes for where it might take me next. Setting goals in this arena has little to do with it being a new year, only that it's a convenient time to list such things. There are a good number of basic dressmaking skills I'm fairly confident with, and have a decent number of garments under my belt. But there's loooooads more! Like what? Trousers, coats, jeans, sewing with leather and denim, all the hems. Lots! I'm toying with a few other ideas as well, including a Technique Checklist à la Fiona's at Diary of a Chainstitcher, which Tasia's Sewtionary would help a lot with. And even starting a sewing blog. It's tricky though: thinking of a name (all the good ones are taken!), creating and posting content in two places, having more than one social media account/presence, etc. I know a few that manage it well, e.g. Janet of Words That Can Only Be Your Own and The Hungry Vegan, (I'm sure there are other great examples too) but I'm still reluctant to take the plunge. Anyone have any words of wisdom?
ReadingFollowing on from last year, I've set myself another 2015 Reading Challenge on goodreads of 20 books. You can find me on goodreads here. I really enjoyed taking part in circle of pine trees' the year in books project in 2014 (you can see all my posts here) and she is running it again in 2015. However, I've opted not to post this year, but there are still plenty of bloggers I follow who are taking part so will pick books up that way. I'm still considering joining another book club but am yet to commit.
SpendingJust like the other goals, this probably isn't going to be a SMART target but I really want to be financially sensible in 2015. How I'm going to achieve that? I'm not entirely sure but plan to address it in some way. I've downloaded a spending app (Apple | Android) that allows you to track and report on how much you're spending and on what. At this point, I've not been through enough monthly cycles to infer a great deal and it hasn't really stopped me spending but hey, who knows. I mean, I've tried tracking my spending before but have lost interest. Maybe this time will be different. OK, I should probably think about this one a little more. Just having the intention to do something won't necessarily make it happen.
And that's your lot. All the 'ings. Nothing groundbreaking.
What have you lot got planned for 2015?