2019 Challenges | Kaity Hall | A Belfast Arts, Culture and Lifestyle Blog
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2019 Challenges

13 Jan 2019 Challenges

It feels almost sacrilegious to not have a post dedicated to my 2019 goals yet. Can I even call myself a blogger without one?

My Bloglovin feed has just been so saturated with content on fresh starts, why you don’t need a fresh start, 2019 goals etc that I almost feel alienated from the blogging community for not joining the conversation in some way.

I really have a love-hate relationship with new year resolutions. On the one hand, I love the idea of a fresh start but there’s also an inherent cynicism within me that thinks resolutions are a load of a bollocks. I’m sure it’s the same for most people. I fight through my cynicism though and make sure that at the end of each year I pen down a few goals for the year ahead.

Its been a bit different this year. 2018 was the quickest year of my life and I feel like I achieved a lot both career-wise and in my own personal development – the two are kinda mutually exclusive. It’s all really a work in progress though and a lot of my goals I had going into 2018 have carried over into 2019.

So, rather than berating myself for not having achieved X, Y & Z I gave myself an end of year review, looking at the things I feel I did well and the things I feel I need to improve on to help achieve goals. Similar to a job review. I found this minimised my self-berating and helped me re-focus on the goals I still hold to my chest going into 2019.

Not giving myself my usual end of year self flagellation and an uninspiring, arm length list of vague and unreasonable goals, I let myself be a little bit more creative with new year resolutions, tying them in with my over-arching LIFE STRATEGY (Christ, when did I become such a pseudo-yuppie coming off with things like life strategy?)

So, for January I’ve challenged myself to –

Go Vegetarian

I’ve been wanting to eat healthier and get more veg into my diet for a while now but it has always just been a thought at the back of my mind that, in the rush of everyday life, I wasn’t finding the time to really plan and implement.

So, I used my Christmas break to peruse Pinterest for some recipes, meal plan and give this particular goal some actual structure beyond the desire to do it. It wasn’t enough to simply tell myself to eat more veg, I really needed to force myself to do it.

So, by committing myself to going Veggie for a month I have a challenge to overcome and hopefully by the end of it I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and most importantly, have perfected some new veggie recipes to eat going forward.

Do Dry January

This was a last minute decision the week of Christmas. I decided if I was going vegetarian why not do a complete detox by cutting out alcohol too.

I’ve been joking with friends and colleagues that I just really felt like punishing myself this January with no meat and alcohol but so far it hasn’t been awful. I’ve missed out on a couple of nights out so far but aside from not getting to see friends, it hasn’t bothered me. If there’s a month to stay in and save some money it’s January. I’ve also been using the opportunity to chip away at some creative projects.

Instagram-free January

I’ve talked before on here about doing a social media detox. That was incredibly helpful in becoming more cognisant about how much time I was spending on social media. It helped me become more mindful about social media use, recognising the times I was almost robotically scrolling through social media feeds.

Well, slowly I crept back into my old ways with a new excuse being that “I don’t spend that much time on social media anyway, so scrolling for a while is fine.” It was all adding up though and I was just wasting too much time aimlessly scrolling.

So, on New Years Day I deleted the Instagram app and I haven’t been on Instagram since. Instagram was the main culprit for me when it came to wasting time so I decided to only cut this social media channel out in January.

I won’t lie, I miss it and feel an extreme sense of FOMO.

52 weeks of films

My friends regularly accuse me of having seen “no films.” I mean, this is untrue, obviously. However, I can’t deny that there are significant gaps in my film viewing throughout the years.

I often hear irritating things like “Have you been living under a rock?” whenever I admit to someone that I haven’t seen X film. The thing is, I’ve watched a lot of films in particular genres – horror films and gangster films in particular. Delving so deeply into these genres has left gaps elsewhere however.

The past couple of months I’ve got into a routine of watching a film each weekend when possible. There’s no real chronology to it, I just pick whatever tickles my fancy. Cause I’m tired of listening to other people’s surprised guffaws when I tell them that no, I haven’t seen X film, I’m going a step further with my weekend hobby and committing to watching a film I haven’t seen every week in 2019.

“Movies I Missed” is going to be my new weekly feature on here, kind of like a weekly column on whatever I watched. There will be no chronology or pattern whatsoever. One week we could be in 1984 the next in 2012 and that’s just part of the fun OKAY.

I’ve found that some of the most engaging conversations I have with friends revolve around moments in films or tv shows. It’s also always interesting looking back on films through our 2019 lens. I hope that this new feature will rekindle your memories of a film you’ve already seen or help you fill in a gap in your film viewing.

Watching will be easy enough, getting a blog post up about it though? That’s gonna be another matter completely. It’s a big commitment to the ‘ol blog but one I’m willing to try. Look – who knows where this will go, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Preferably it won’t crash and burn. Just put your seatbelt on.

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