18 for 2018 – reflection
So as 2018 draws to a close, it’s that usual time of year where we reflect on the past year. What we’ve done, what we’ve achieved, what we wish we’d done. Life has been fairly crazy this last year, as it always seems to be, and I feel as though in terms of achieving these goals have been put on the back burner while I try to complete as many of my #101in1001 as possible. So if any of these have been successfully achieved, or anywhere near, then that is more luck than judgement. It will be interesting to see as to how I have got on.
Increase my follower numbers
As I mentioned in my original post for my 18 in 2018, I had some figures in mind that I wanted to reach in terms of my follower numbers for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can easily find my current follower numbers on my channels if you wanted to see them. Unfortunately I haven’t reached any of my targets. I was well on track half way through the year. I was doing a lot of work to try to increase these numbers….and then we found out we were expecting Baby #2, and I was far too tired to do anything!! I’m glad with the progress I’ve made though. Annoyingly I didn’t write down what my stats were at the start of the year, so I can’t compare as well! This is definitely a goal I’ll put for next years list (if I make one) though.
Be more organised with blogging
Compared to last year, I think I’ve mostly been a lot more organised. I have been running my Come Dine With… blog series every Friday since the end of January, which means that I tend to have posts scheduled several months in advance. I have also been writing up about each goal that I achieve for my #101in1001, which is actually one of my goals. I don’t always do them straight away, but when I do write them up, I tend to do several at a time, so have several weeks worth of content scheduled with those. Up until September I was also linking up with Living Arrows, every week, and then life got in the way, and it was difficult to pick it back up again. I think I’m going to look for some more linkies to link up with next year. I’ll try with Living Arrows again, and after Baby #2 is born, I’ll attempt to join in with a Siblings linky which is a monthly one, as well as the monthly Little Loves that I had started earlier in the year! I need to get planning again before the New Year starts!
Increase my DA to 30
Failed this one! At the beginning of February my DA dropped down to 24, from 27. I had worked so hard to get it up there, and really thought I’d manage 30 by the end of the year….but I just sat at 27 for months on end! Finally a month or so I went up to 28, and there I still sit! Next year I’d love to get up to 35. It’s a big ask, and I very much doubt I’ll achieve it, especially with a little one joining us, but here’s hoping. It at least gives me something to work towards. To be fair, I’d be happy to reach 30!
Be more active, and interactive, on Life As Mrs D’s social media
I go through such phases of doing this. I have big ideas, and they last a short while, and then as ever, life gets in the way. I think I need to be a bit more proactive on scheduling some things, and self promotion….then hopefully I might see my followers increasing too!
One week comment on every single blog post that links up with Living Arrows
Yay! I definitely succeeded on this one! I decided one week in June to attempt this. And all it took was setting aside one evening to read through all the posts linked up with Living Arrows that week, and comment, meaningfully, on them all.
Double the traffic for Life As Mrs D
At the point of writing I haven’t quite managed to double my traffic compared to 2017. Again, I started off well, and then the second half of the year….or even just last third of the year, where I haven’t been writing and promoting as much it has tailed off a bit. There has been a definite improvement though. I’d say the number of users, page views, and sessions (all very bloggy terms, so I apologise to non-bloggers reading this!) have increased by at least 50% I think.
Find some new blogger friends
I definitely chat to a lot more bloggers online that I did last year. This is one that I find quite difficult to do, as I don’t have great self-confidence, and so find it hard to strike up conversations and maintain those “relationships” over a period of time. My anxiety-ridden mind makes me believe that I just come across as stalkerish, or like a bit of a groupy! This is definitely a goal to continue working on though for 2019
Have one weekend free at home each month
Quite suprisingly, I think, we have actually managed to achieve this one! There have been months where we have had to block out a weekend purposely so that we had a weekend at home. And on the odd occasion that weekend has involved us doing something with friends, either going to the football, or a birthday party, or dinner round a friend’s house. But they are all things that do not take out a whole day, or weekend.
I think it is often definitely needed, as life can get so hectic, that we just need those weekends at home, either to recoup, or to do a few jobs around the house we’ve been meaning to do for ages!
Complete up to 35% on my 101 in 1001
With just over 2 weeks of the year left to go, I have completed about 32% of my #101in1001. And I think I could probably reach 35% if I set a little bit of time aside either on one of Isla’s nursery days, or in an evening or two. I know which ones I can easily tick off to achieve this goal though. It’s just a matter of pulling my finger out and doing them!
Put £200 into savings from matched betting
At the half way point of the year I had added £167.77 into our savings account from matched betting. But then stopped it, and haven’t done anymore since. I have however been doing paid work on my blog since April, and have paid for the deposit for Chris to go to Oberammergau in September 2020, which was £200. Most of the money I have made is in my own savings account, or used as “pocket money”. And actually as I write this, it is annoying me that it is only £32.23 that would make up that difference. Although money is pretty tight for us at the moment (a new cambelt and two new tyres on Chris’ car, and 4 new tyres on my car in the last few months has taken it’s toll on our finances!) it would actually annoy me more that I haven’t achieved this one for such a small amount! So there we go, this one is now achieved, as I’ve just transferred the money across!
Have more family days out
We have failed miserable at this. We, or at least I, have used our National Trust membership a fair bit, but that has now run out and we never got around to renewing it. But we haven’t really had many family days out. On the rare weekends that we are at home, we just end up going to the allotment, or doing bits in the garden or at home. We have had some lovely weekends with family and friends though
Read at least 5 books
Although I haven’t completed this one, I have done a lot better than I thought I would do. I have managed to read 4 books this year. It really doesn’t seem much, but as I’ve barely read anything since Isla was born, I think it’s quite an achievement for me. Reading often helps me fall asleep easier, so I should probably do more of it, but I think I tend to spend my evenings either doing bits of blogging (definitely at the start of the year when I was blogging more regularly) or catching up on TV that Chris refuses to watch. Often I just need that time to myself, where I don’t have a toddler constantly wanting my attention, or climbing on me.
So the books I’ve read this year have been
I have definitely read more than 5 kids books though, as we are now regularly getting books out of the library for Isla. Does anyone have any suggestions of good (easy to read) books for me to attempt next year?
Do something special for our 5 year wedding anniversary
Haha, you can tell that I still have a bit of baby brain. In my original post I’d said that on our last anniversary Isla was only 2 weeks old…well she wasn’t she was 1 year and 2 weeks old! I am totally claiming baby brain for as long as possible. I have it on good authority that it can last at least 30 years!
Anyway, this one is a big fail! We didn’t do anything for our anniversary, in fact, Chris didn’t even get a present, just a card. I’m not a big fan of buying big presents for anniversaries and Valentines Day etc. I see it as a bit of a waste, but it would have been nice to do something special to mark 5 years.
My Mum and Dad were over, and we did share a bottle of fizz, but as we were going to France very early the next morning we didn’t manage to do anything to celebrate really.
Meal plan for a whole month (and stick to it!)
We haven’t really done this. We meal plan every now and again. But often lose our list, or change what we’re having completely as we end up going out or whatever. But it definitely is helpful when we do meal plan. It means we tend to spend less on food shopping, as we don’t waste as much food, and we use up bits we have in the freezer, so it’s much quicker to cook dinner rather than having to cook from scratch every night.
Once a month have an afternoon just for me
I really am rubbish at this. I started off well at the beginning of the year, with cinema trips, afternoon bubble baths, just watching TV rather than running around like a mad man. But, I got out of the habit of making sure I did this, and blogging took over, or cleaning and sorting the house in preparation for selling the house, or running errands creeped in to my Isla-free afternoons.
Write more letters and thank you cards
This year I signed up for a pen pal scheme. I started out the year with quite a few people to write to, but they always tail off. I’m not much better myself though, I just never got around to replying to at least one of my pen pals. I may sign up again, and try again. I started off by sending out birthday cards etc, and various thank you cards and random letters, but again, it trailed off midway through the year.
Be more creative and crafty
Well I still haven’t started making the quilt I said I was going to, but I did make Isla a sleepbag which on the whole went OK….as long as you don’t look at a couple of bits too closely! I’ve done a few cross stitches, which I really enjoyed, and have asked for a few for Christmas too. Isla and I have been doing lots of painting, and drawing and sticking together if that counts!? She absolutely loves it. Chris gets really stressed doing things like that with Isla as it gets very messy, but I’ve just learnt to go with it. I also made my Grandad a Christmas card using buttons. He was the only one to get send a Christmas card this year, as we chose to donate money to Bowel Cancer UK in lieu of sending out Christmas cards instead. We did this via Chris’ London Marathon donation page (yes, the mad man is running the London Marathon just 9 days after my due date!!) if anyone would like to donate a few pennies!
Do 5 random acts of kindness
I did one RAOK at the beginning of the year when I was out shopping, but haven’t got around to doing anything else yet. So many RAOK usually require a bit of money being spent, so as money has been a bit tight this year it just didn’t happen.
So there is my reflection and review of my 18 for 2018. I think I did alright on the whole, especially as I completely forgot as to what I had on this list, and spent my time concentrating on my #101in1001 instead.
How did you get on with your goals for 2018? Any suggestions as to what I should aim towards in 2019?