12 Things I Want To Do In 2018

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve :) We spent it as we usually do: hosting a house party for our friends. It involved champagne, cheese, an excellent game called Hats Up, and Time Commanders. Really chilled-out and relaxed, and I absolutely loved it :)

2017 was a pretty good year for me (as those of you who read yesterday's post will know), and it's given me a great motivation to go on and make 2018 even better. I've got a lot of things

1: Finally, finally learn to drive
I had driving lessons at 17 but was absolutely terrified of being in control of a potentially lethal vehicle, so I never actually took my test (plus I moved to London where there is absolutely zero point in owning a car). However, due to a potential change in work circumstances which might make driving easier and quicker than public transport, I'm thinking it's now or never. I need to sort some financial things out first but once that's done I'm going to book some lessons and my theory test. I'm very nervous about it but also excited about the possible freedom it will bring. Wish me luck!

2: Make an item of clothing I can wear out of the house
After years of saying I'd start sewing, 2017 was the year I finally put needle through thread. I took a sewing course where I made a cushion and a couple of bags, plus I fixed a few hems and altered some collars on my own clothes. However, I still haven't managed to make something that I'd be willing to wear in public, so the goal is to make an item of clothing by the end of the year. I'm hoping to do a beginner's dressmaking course in the summer and am planning to make a few projects out of the Tilly and the Buttons book too. Hopefully this time next year when someone asks me what I'm wearing I'll be able to say 'thank you, I made it myself!'

3: Get back into regular blogging
I think I can safely say that 2017 was a crap year for the blog. Work was so busy for various reasons and then I was doing so much stuff for Entertainment Focus (more on that later) that unfortunately the blog completely fell by the wayside. So in a bid to get back on track, I'm going to try and blog more regularly in 2018. My plan is to start small, with two posts a week - I'm aiming for Wednesday and Sunday at the moment - and then reassess in six months to see if I can up it to three. I'm also planning on a redesign and maybe even a name change - watch this space...

4: Finish all the book series that I've started
One thing I did do pretty well at in 2017 was reading - I read a grand total of 61 books this year, and am hoping to continue with that in 2018. However, I have an awful lot of book series where I've read the first one and then not continued (because there are simply too many other books to read!), so this year I'd like to try and finish as many of those series as I can, starting with Phillipa Gregory's Plantagenet/Tudor novels.

5: Take better care of myself
Since we came back from Australia, I will fully admit that my diet and exercise have gone down the pan. I've pretty much given up running, my eating habits have been dreadful, and that's affected both my physical and mental health. So in a bid to get myself back on track I'm planning to drink more water, eat better (more fruit and vegetables, less processed rubbish) and get more exercise - whether that's parkrun, a YouTube workout at home or just a walk along the canal at lunchtime. The latter is potentially going to be difficult depending on what happens with my work situation, but I'm hoping that I can make it a good habit even if things change in that regard.

6: Go to an exhibition every month
One of the things I love most about living in London is the sheer variety of museums and galleries there are to go to. However, last year I neglected them a bit, so I'm aiming to visit at least one special exhibition a month in 2018 and actually justify getting my Art Pass (which I highly recommend if you go to museums a lot). First up is Scythians at the British Museum, but I also want to see the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican and the Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library before the end of January.

7: Get my first tattoo
I have been banging on about getting a tattoo for so long and now I've turned 30, I've decided this is going to be the year I finally bite the bullet. I've decided on the design and the artist, but just haven't got round to getting it done yet. It's country music-related (surprise surprise!) so I'd like to have it in time for C2C, but it'll probably be more like Country Music Week at this rate. Rest assured though that there will be a post and pictures!

8: Give back
At the risk of sounding trite, 2017 was the year that it felt like there was a groundswell in everyone being more socially and environmentally conscious. That's something I want to continue this year7
, whether it's through limiting how much plastic I use with reusable water bottles and coffee cups or supporting small businesses within my local community. I've already signed up to donate blood later this month (which I'm hoping to be able to do regularly again if all goes well) and am looking at volunteering opportunities as well. It feels like this is a real time to make a change and even if I can only do something small then at least it's better than nothing.

9: Travel more
Although I didn't do much travel last year - Australia and Portugal aside - I really loved it and am hungry to do more in 2018. Rather than doing any big trips though, Nick and I have decided that this will be our year of city breaks. Dublin, Paris, southern Spain (either Granada or Seville), Munich and Prague are all on our list - if you have tips for any of those, hit me up! I'm also working on a post about places I'd like to visit this year so look out for that on the blog soon too :)

10: Save up for Nashville next year
Following on from the previous goal, as we're not having a big holiday this year we're instead thinking about a big solo trip each in 2019 to go somewhere the other isn't mad keen on. No prizes for guessing where I picked - Nashville! I genuinely cannot wait to get over there and experience all the amazing music and history and food. But sadly, flights and accommodation and all the rest of it cost money, so my aim for this year is to cut back my spending and put all my spare income into savings for the trip. It's going to be difficult but having that amazing trip at the end will make it all worth it.

11: Sort the house out
We've been in our house for two and a half years now and I love it, but it does still need a little bit of work. So our plans for this year are to get new floors fitted downstairs - I'm hoping for a nice herringbone laminate in the hall and front room and black-and-white lino tiles in the kitchen - and change our spare room into a second living room/'man cave' for Nick. I'm actually really looking forward to it; I like a project and, in a slightly odd way, this feels like the last stage in really making the house our home. I can't wait to give you guys the tour when it's done!

12: Make a proper go of country music writing
So as those of you who follow me on Twitter will know, I've been writing country music reviews and interviews for Entertainment Focus for the last 18 months or so (along with other things like the Strictly Come Dancing recaps). And, although it feels cheesy to say it, I think I've found the thing that I love and want to do more of - it's what I wake up excited about every morning. I'm not quite sure I'm at the stage of jacking in my current job to do it full time, but I may be moving jobs in a few months to a role that would give me a much bigger opportunity to pursue it. I've also applied to a few more websites to do music writing - both country and in other genres - so fingers crossed that will help me build towards making the leap! It's scary and exciting and I genuinely can't wait to see what happens next.

So that's what I want to achieve in 2018! Here's hoping I'll reach those targets (or some of them, at least...

What do you want to do this year?


  1. This is such a good, varied list of properly achievable things! I also want to learn to drive this year - like you, I tried at 17 but my instructor made me cry haha. Need to get it sorted! All your trips away, and the big holiday to Nashville next year, sound amazing! I am so looking forward to reading how you get on with them. I went to Munich in August and it was beautiful, and I also love Paris. You'll have a blast!
    Good luck with all of these goals - I have a feeling you're going to smash them though!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    1. Thank you lovely! There'll definitely be details of the trips coming up on the blog :) We've been to Munich before but never for Oktoberfest so I'm very excited for that in particular. Good luck with learning to drive too!

  2. I'm getting another tattoo this year! My first one was tiny so this will be my first "proper" one. I love Nashville so much - I hope you get to go! x


    1. Ooh exciting! Good luck with your new tattoo :) How did you find getting your first one?

  3. Sounds like a brilliant list. All of my tattoos are music-related (and my first was a Ryan Adams one, which is ALMOST country music, or at least was then) so I'm really keen to see what you get!

    I put learning to drive on my 40 before 40 list, which gives me just over four years to get a move on. I sat my last (10th, I think) driving test on the day before my 30th birthday, and really thought that was going to be it, but it increasingly seems like it's not meant to be. Not saying that to put you off, rather that other older learners inspire me!

    Lis / last year's girl x

    1. Thanks lovely! It's going to be an arrow on the inside of my left foot (a reference to one of my favourite songs, Follow Your Arrow by Kacey Musgraves).

      And four years is still plenty of time to try and learn to drive! I'm fully expecting not to pass on the first go (it took my sister four tries before she passed) but the fact there are more of us older learners out there is definitely inspirational :)