Despite the first 6 months of this year have been and gone, welcome to my oh-so-late summary of 2018 and setting my goals for the next. I’ve finally gotten round to publishing this post – better late than never and actually despite having pretty much 6-month hiatus from blogging and life in general due to the insane but awesome contract I landed myself – I’m actually doing alright.
As my awesomely insane and crazy hours’ contract draws to an end (4 weeks – eek – not that I’m counting) it’s certainly made me realise a few things;
a) I am NOT career driven, at all……in the slightest, and there are things I value a lot more than climbing up the corporate ladder.
b) Although I really enjoy teaching, I’m so not keen on the rest of the package that comes with working in an International Private school – the expectation that you
not so willingly sell your soul to the cause.
c) I value my freedom so so much and it’s my biggest bug bare over the past year was pretty much giving up ANYTHING that was important to me.
I wrote this list (along with the bulk of this post) at the end of December, my 2018 was petty awesome looking back on it.
In no particular order, here were my top 10 life experiences from 2018;
– Did an epic dive in UNESCO site of The Great Blue Hole in Belize
– Fed my temple-junkie addiction and visited the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala
– Did an epic road trip around southern Germany to visit some of the most stunning fairy tale castles in Europe.
– My dancing took me out to Thailand and the Pan Asian Champs where I taught, judged and performed in front of an international audience.
– I competed at and won 2 categories (Show dance and Jack n Jill) and got to the finals (Open) at the iconic Blackpool Tower Ballroom
– I finally launched my blog and made BackpackBecki a thing
– I’ve landed an awesome contract for work in the new year at an internationally recognised private school (note to self – I’m not cut out for a full-time career in a private school)
– Ventured into expanding my dance repertoire and started learning a new dance – West Coast Swing.
– I got myself a personal trainer and have tried to focus on regaining strength and stamina.
So sat drinking my G&T during a bit of precious catch-up time known as half-term, it’s time to rekindle this post that never made it to metaphorical print.
And what do I hope to achieve in (the remainder) of 2019
I’ve not put these in a rank order at all. I want to make headway towards all of them before the year is out.
So, here’s my 10 life goals or things I want to experience or achieve in 2019
To blitz WCS (that's West Coast Swing - for the non dancers)
I’m going to be ambitious and set myself a 2-year goal to be what’s classed as ‘advanced level’. I like a challenge.
At the start of the year, I attended an event called NYSF (New Year Swing Fling) and I was hooked. I’ve been dancing for over 20 years, dabbling with so many styles – basically, it’s my ‘thing’ I ‘do’ when I’m in the UK. I’ve ticked the boxes of having the pleasure of teaching, performing, competing and judging all over the world.
I’m always up for the challenge of learning something new. And WCS is it. So far my learning has been slow due to the contract I talked about at the start – it’s meant that I haven’t been able to attend as many workshops or events as I would have liked unless they fell in the school holidays, my progress has been S-L-O-O-O-O-W
On a positive, I have been to three big events – NYSF, Westie Bootcamp and The European WCS Champs as well as 2 all-dayer workshops which have happened to fall on a Sunday. I also have a string of events in the pipeline for later this year. I WILL nail this dance.
To grow my blog
With the new contract, it meant my blog had to be shelved, I didn’t have the time or the energy to dedicate to it.
With only 6 months of the year remaining, I have a lot to do. My main goal is getting traffic. I’d like to consistently hit 2000 views per month and posting regularly, I want to aim to 1 post a week – I might be setting that goal too low, but then I remind myself that I’m starting from zero right now and that I will be picking up another (not too insane) contract in a couple of months’ time, So I’m wanting my goal to be achievable. This year I’ve done diddly-squat, zilch on my blog, so I’m of the opinion that a small amount of progress is better than no progress.
Considering, I’ve done sweet FA on my blog it’s reassuring to know my DA stayed at 16 and that the majority of (my minimal) traffic is coming from web searches, so my SEO optimisation for content that I’ve already written must be alright. So I know I can do it, I just have to get a routine that works for me to achieve this.
To visit new countries
Ukraine, Canada, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Madagascar, pretty much everywhere in eastern Europe – there’s plenty to choose from.
I started this one already with a trip to Jordan and ticked off Petra back in April, as well as a quick break to Lisbon, I city that I was desperate to visit. So although pretty much everything in my life has been on hold right now, I made a promise to myself that I would use my nice long Easter Holiday from the school to get some travel in and that’s exactly what I did.
With the shitstorm that is Brexit still looking over the UK like a bad smell that won’t go away, I’ve decided to focus the remainder of this year’s travel destinations in Europe and leave the long haul destinations for another time, perhaps when the UK has gone really tits-up!
To learn a new language
Spanish is at the top of my list here, particularly with my sister’s wedding to her Spanish fiancé. It’s been on my to-do list for years, but I’ve been super lazy about it. It’s my own fault I don’t speak anything more than the basics. With the imminent extended Spanish soon-to-be family, I need to put learning Spanish as a priority.
Every time I travel, I feel like the typical ignorant British idiot, at school I didn’t particularly enjoy language lessons, I had to learn German?!?! I got a decent grade but remember nowt.
There is still a big chunk of Latin America I’ve not visited so it would be great to be able to converse with locals. I’m trying to make an effort; I just have the memory retention of a sieve. This will be a big challenge I need to focus on sooner rather than later.
To totally storm my workouts
My fitness seriously started to slip big time since starting my contract and I started to notice my fitness levels dwindle simultaneousley to my clothes getting tighter. Never a good combo! But a wake-up call to myself that I need to get back on top of my fitness game.
The past month I’ve been religiously doing between 3-5 session of fitness/ sport/ gym every week as well as cutting out lots of the food I’d been overindulging in – I also need to cut back on alcohol – says she sat here with a G&T in hand!
So with the longer evenings and warmer weather, which means I’m no longer in hibernation mode, I decided to get back on it. I’m giving myself 12 weeks of decent hard slog – no more excessive eating, cut back on the alcohol *gulp* and just get my lazy ass to the gym, to a class, out for a run – Just Do It as Mr Nike says. It’s do-able.
When I get round to weighing my fat little ass I’ll get a screenshot – I’m putting it off :/
To see a Hammer Head shark and the Whale Shark in the wild
I’ve wanted to see these bad boys for ages although I always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to see them. For this to happen within the next 6 months, I’ll need to do some research and make an effort to be there at the correct season.
I’m also keen to add more to my dive repertoire. I passed my 100th dive while I was in Jordan – no I didn’t stick with tradition and do it naked. I’d like to do my dive master one day, it’s just the time and money never seem to coincide. I need to look into how to do this in a more affordable way. Suggestions on a metaphorical postcard ladies n gents.
Which does lead nicelty onto my next point…
To find more efficient ways to keep funding my costly addictions
I’m not talking narcotics either. Forever the barfain hunter, I try to save money in any way shape and form. However – my three hobbies suck money from my bank account like there’s no tomorrow. Travel, Dancing and Diving.
This sometimes does make me want to re-evaluate my interests and take up cloud watching, grass collecting or underwear ironing – anything which doesn’t cost a small fortune to do. My bank balance would be a lot happier if I didn’t have my mullah-sucking hobbies. But they are addictive, and I’m passionate about them. I just have to succumb to the fact that I will always be skint because I spend everything on these three things.
I need to find some more novel ways of doing these more cheaply. Please, do keep sending in those metaphorical postcards.
To nail my new contract
So this has been the reason for the demise in any aspect of life outside of work (unless it’s been school holidays). I’ve really enjoyed some of my time working in an Internationally renowned private schoo. It’s certainly been an eye-opener and overall good experience. However, I think my own life goals and what I want to achieve doesn’t bode well with this type of work. Selling my soul for a job just isn’t me, I need the flexibility and work/life balance. This job, there is none.
But my time spent working this contract, I have totally blitzed it and I will look back overall at it being a positive experience but I need to work out the imbalance just to get some ‘me’ back into my life.
To remove the toxic people from my life
This is an ongoing thing which I started to think about a little bit more last year. A few life realisations have taught me who my real friends are and which ones are the fickle ones.
So this year I have actively been distancing myself from negative people, ones that use you, the fake ones. In doing so I’ve found myself new circles of friends and people who I hand out with.
To up my photography game
In particular learn how to use a DSLR camera – with confidence! – I love taking photos, and I travel with three cameras. My compact Panasonic Lumix TZ80, my GoPro Hero Silver and my oldie but goodie Samsung S7. I get some really fab shots from this and I often get complimented on the composition of my pictures. However, I want to supercharge these and nail how to use a DSLR – *faepalm* this sounds like anothe expensive interest!
I have a manual option on the compact, but I never really venture into using it as I don’t really have a clue what I’m doing, twiddle buttons and hope for the best! I get the theory in general but haven’t got a clue how to put this into practice and get some of the stunning shots I see go up online that DSLR users manage. That’s a new goal!
So there’s nothing too extreme or crazily-out-there stuff on my list, it’s all totally doable. And although I’ve been a hermit for the first half of the year, there is still plenty of time to nail my year goals on the list. Also reading back, I would find it super helpful if I had one of these elusive money trees – so if anyone’s got a spare one, please usher a few of it’s leaves in my direction. I’d be eternally greatful 😉
I’ll check back in on this in a couple of months’ time to remind myself what I hoped to achieve this year, and to give myself a kick-up the arse to keep on top of this list. So please do keep nagging me every few weeks to see how my 2019 to-do list of goals is going.
Let’s do this!!