- Our Whistle-stop Tour of New York City with Kids Part Two: Where We Stayed and Ate
- Our Whistle-stop Tour of New York City With Kids Part One: Getting There
- Our Family Trip to Berlin
- Packing Essentials for a Family Ski Holiday
- The Big (and Not So Big) Move
- The day Shawn Mendes taught my daughter an amazing life lesson
- 10 Things for kids to do in Costa Adeje, Tenerife
- The Croke Park Stadium Tour
- Tips for making the most of a day out at Tayto Park
- 10 Kids TV characters you will love to hate as a parent
16 Things I want to do in 2016: The final report
Way back at the start of the year I set myself 16 things to do in 2016. I won’t lie, it was a challenging list but it was designed to keep me focused on what I wanted to do. Of course these things never run smoothly. Life throws curve balls and I got a massive one with the death of my most amazing mother in May. It was a tough time, it still is, but I have a choice; be miserable for the rest of my life or appreciate that her death has shown me that life is short and we need to make every day count by doing what we want, at least as much as possible….who wants to do laundry but there is no getting away from that type of thing!
I reported in on my progress half way through the year and now I am here to wrap up. To give my final analysis on how on got on with each item on my to-do list.
1. Go skiing
This one was already ticked off the list in the half time analysis but I have taken it a step further and booked another ski holiday for 2017. The kids are thrilled to be going again and improving their newly acquired skiing skills. We are returning to France but this time to a different resort: Isola 2000. It is proving challenging organising it (thanks Owners Direct and Alpinresorts) but hopefully it will all be sorted and it will be roll on February 2017!
My baby girl started big school on 31st August. I was surprisingly less emotional than I thought I would have been with my baby going off to school but I guess when you have just been through the death of your mother starting your daughter in school is not so emotional. I knew she would be fine and maybe that helped. She has settled in so well, had a great 5th birthday party in October with a huge number of her new school friends and she loves every second of it. She seems to be doing well with the learning too. Well ticked off the to-do list.
3. Turn 40 gracefully
I turned 40 on the 28th October. You can read all about how graceful (or ungraceful!) it was here. Whatever the case it’s done. I’m 40. Another tick off the list.
4. Get a health M.O.T
In my half time analysis I gave a full update on all the checks and tests I under went and at that point all was well. Having had an abnormal smear and a LLETZ procedure I had a six month follow up and am awaiting the results. They didn’t think they would be in before Christmas so I am hoping 2017 will kick off with some good news health wise but for the moment I am happy to have completed my health M.O.T. Tick.
5. Eat more fruit via a daily smoothie
Still struggle with this one though I would say that 2016 has been an improvement for fruit consumption even if not exactly a daily smoothie. I’m even better at eating whole fruit. I’ll keep aiming for the elusive daily smoothie.
6. Drink less alcohol
While I did really well with this one at the start of the year I have slipped a bit. I haven’t been too hard on myself on this one since Mum died. I enjoyed my daily drinks in Lanzarote and continue to enjoy opening a bottle of my favourite prosecco or pouring a vodka and coke (diet 7-up if I’m feeling virtuous) each week. My health M.O.T showed my liver functioning perfectly but I will look again at my levels and make sure they are within the safe/healthy limits. I’m never going to commit to anymore than that!
7. Have a family day out every month
As reported in the half time report things were a little hectic and structured family days out lacking. This one is really something I would like to improve but it is so hard to find a slot of time with various GAA matches, basketball and other commitments. Must try harder on this one. At least we finished off the year with a great trip to do a Croke Park tour.
Another completed! We joined a swimming pool in September. It is about 20 mins drive from our house. We have been as a family a couple of times and I have been on my own when the kids are in school a couple of times too. I am really looking forward to getting into more of a routine with swimming and am going to try to go once a week or at least a couple of times a month. It is such great exercise and the kids love it.
9. Schedule walks and other exercise into my weekly schedule
I have enjoyed quite a few swims on my own since joining the swimming pool (see above) and with Zoe now in school there is a double school run (which I walk) put back into my routine meaning an extra amount of walking each week. I would like to take it further and actually schedule specific walks and just turn the music on and get out and about. Maybe once Spring has sprung and the weather a little better!
10. Blog every week
I have just completely given up on this. Did I even manage a blog post a month? I am writing 2016 off as not great in blog terms. That said I did set up a digital media business and launch the commercial side of the blog which, at the start of the year, wasn’t on the to-do list directly so it’s not all bad.
11. Forward plan
I have gotten much better at planning my weeks and my to-do lists. My bullet journal and a new calendar app on my phone are really helping me focus on what needs to be done and making sure I am always doing something that is on the to-do. I think next year I just need to work on prioritising those tasks. I have a tendency to focus on the ones I enjoy rather than the ones that need to get done. I can feel that in 2017 I will get there.
12. Do a professional organisation course
I didn’t get to sign up to a professional organiser course but I did sign up to Professional Organiser Alejandra Costello’s new programme SimpLESSity which is all about living a simplier life with less stuff. So all about decluttering which is exactly what I need to do in my house. I am currently working my way through the course material and have started a bit of clearing out. Bags of clothes have gone off to the recycling centre and we recently hired a skip to clear out loads of old broken stuff that was hanging around the side passage of our house and some stuff from our attic. Hopefully I can continue this in 2017 and get even more stuff out of the house.
Complete fail on this one. Thankfully the course is a lifetime access one. I’m feeling as though it may take my lifetime to finish it. I need to consider for 2017 whether or not I even want to complete it.
14. Go on a summer holiday
We had the most amazing holiday in Lanzarote in August 2016. It was well needed after the difficult first half to the year. Just sun, sea and sangria. Lots of relaxation and I certainly came home feeling re-charged.
15. De-clutter every room in the house by scheduling a room a month
With my new declutter programme I am hoping to be able to fully achieve this in 2017 as I did not get to finish every room or project I had hoped to. There has been lots started but I would love to see things finished in 2017.
16. Promote myself and my blogs more
I would have promoted myself more if there had been anything to promote! Hopefully 2017 will see lots more action both on Learner Mama and on my digital media business. Onwards and upwards!
I definitely feel ready to say good riddance to 2016 even though saying goodbye to it is also a little tough as it is the last year I got to be with my Mum. At the end of the day it was a testing year to put it very mildly and I am hoping that 2017 will be kinder for me and indeed all of mankind.
Thank you for sticking by me in 2016 and I wish you and yours the very best wishes for 2017.