My last post of 2017 mainly focused on what had happened in the year and ended with a couple of questions about what I’ll be doing in terms of self-improvement/self-love/self-care. I really enjoyed answering those questions and it felt good to write everything down. I feel like with writing those answers and publishing them on my blog for everyone to see, I must now be held accountable. 

This post will focus on my actual goals for 2018. I FaceTimed my cousin last night, and she really inspired me with her own goals for the year. She said that she feels like this year is going to be her year and I feel the same way. I can feel it in my bones (and not just because it’s cold)!

I recently tweeted a few things I’m looking to do this year, and I’m looking forward to taking steps to achieve these things:

✨ Speak things into existence
✨ Remove negativity in my life
✨ Get a jar and when something good happens, write it down and put it in
✨ Make a vision board
✨ Buy a new planner

I am a bit late in getting my planner for this year, but I finally ordered one after researching for about 2 hours for one that I think will help me with my journey. I found Trigg Life Mapper, which seems promising. 

“Each week you write down your goals – categorised into “self”, “work”, “passion”, “relationships”  – and the action you will take. You get a day-to-a-page format with space at the top to prioritise that day’s tasks, with bullet points for appointments underneath. On a Sunday, it asks you to reflect back on the week and note what you’re grateful for. There’s a six-month review in June then at the end of the year, you are encouraged to take stock of what you have achieved.” – Independent, 10 best 2018 planners

I feel like it echoes the Happiness Planner I have, but at half the price. Whilst I really enjoyed the Happiness Planner, I think it is time for me to try something new. I will most likely post my first impressions on Instagram, so keep an eye out on that. 

My goals for this year are probably similar to many others because they mostly include health, fitness, personal growth. The strides I took in 2017 definitely laid the foundations for helping me with my goals and I am super excited!

Finish my first draft

This is different to finishing my book because it is a long process to get to the final product. I want to at least have a first draft completed by the end of February, which I think is definitely possible. There’s also the fact that I have 50k+ words already written of my story, so that’s a nice little headstart. I’ve already made progress with writing up character backstories and timelines, and I plan to keep track of all this via a thread I started last year:

This is the first time in a long time I’ve been excited about one of my plots. I have (or had) this habit of starting stories and never getting around to finishing them. I know exactly how I want this story to end, so let’s see what happens!

Dress more like a grown up

I was having this conversation with Mutay last night, and this goal may sound a bit funny but honestly, it is something that needs to be done. Whenever I go to work I genuinely feel/look like one of the college kids that I see roaming around outside Sainsbury’s. I don’t much care for clothes, I’ll be honest, but I feel like I need to start dressing my age. Ready for my glow up, 2k18.

Somebody just needs to buy me a whole wardrobe, though.

Maintain relationships 

I have pretty strong relationships with the people in my life and I just want to keep that going, really. This means making time for people. I know this can be difficult with school or work or other social commitments, but if those people are important to you then you will make the time. 

I am hoping to get out a bit more this year and whether this will garner new, lasting connections, we’ll have to see, but it would be nice. There are so many interesting people in this world and I love hearing other people’s perspectives, as well.

Implement healthy habits

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. I started off really well with exercising and healthy eating last year and then I fell off the bandwagon several times, and then it got to October, I want to say, and bam. I was just straight sitting on the road going nowhere.

I stopped making my own healthy lunches and would either grab a meal deal from Sainsbury’s or bring in last night’s leftovers which usually consisted of a lot of rice. I haven’t been to the gym in months. I’ve only recently started drinking water diligently, again.

My skin has suffered because of my laziness, and it’s gotten to a point where I know that I need to do better. Not just because I want a hot bod but because if I don’t actually look after my body then my eczema flares up and it just makes life really hard. So, I’m writing it down now – I WILL MAKE BETTER HEALTH DECISIONS IN 2018.

Work on my portfolio

I have had chynnawebley.com for how many years now, and aside from posting a bit on there, I’ve largely left it abandoned. I want to revamp it, add new content, all sorts – I know I want this domain to be a portfolio, but I don’t know what direction I want it to take. Keep an eye out for updates!

Get into a strong blogging habit

Again, last year I started off really strong, had a bit of a wobble mid-year and then sort of got back on it towards the end. I definitely want to put more time and effort on my blog this year, as I do feel like it has been neglected a bit. Also, actually catch up on the blogosphere because I’m really behind on posts/comments. 

I have many goals I want to achieve this year including more travelling, but I feel like that one’s a given. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel like this is the year to achieve everything! I know I can achieve these goals if I put my mind to it, and as above, I’m going to be doing more speaking things into existence. 🗣️

We’re 7 days into the new year and I’ve already found my theme tune of 2018.

I didn’t have any preplanned posts lined up, but as I’ve made the effort to post every Sunday since the beginning of this year I felt it necessary to blog today! Here’s a rundown of everything that has happened so far, this year:

January

  • I took my mother for afternoon tea at the British Museum. Thanks to a Groupon voucher, we had a wonderful time and the deal even included Prosecco. My mother doesn’t really drink so I got to have hers as well, ha.
  • I finally took the plunge and started to promote my blog posts on Instagram. I know some have been doing this for ages, so this is obviously not a new concept, but I tend to keep my blog and Instagram separate. However, this year is about stepping out of my comfort zone ~ I’m loving the results, too!
  • I started properly using the Happiness Planner, which I blogged about here. It has been so helpful to me!
  • I discovered Sanrio’s new character, Aggretsuko, and absolutely fell in love with her because she is so relatable.

  • I applied to a couple of jobs, but to no avail. Don’t you hate it when you go for an interview and then don’t hear anything back at all? Not even to let you know you weren’t successful? Hmmm.
  • I went on the Emirates Air Line, which is always a joy and gives a lovely view of London. Also, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich gives an AMAZING view of London and you get to stand on the historic Meridian Line and see the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Thames Clipper is a river bus service on the River Thames (duh) that is also a lovely way to go around London.
  • Finally got to go to Hawksmoor with Mutay for our monthly dinner date. There was a BIG kerfuffle just trying to get a table. I arrived at the Knightsbridge branch first, but then was told that they were having problems in their kitchen so we had to be moved to the Seven Dials branch. After a trek by tube, I arrived and met up with Mutay only to be told our name wasn’t on the list despite having been told by the lady in Knightsbridge that she had called and said that we would be coming. Stress. We eventually found somewhere else to eat, but then as we were sitting down we got a call from Hawksmoor saying they had found Mutay’s name on the system, it was just spelt incorrectly. Sigh. So, we trekked allllllll the way back. Thankfully, the food at Hawksmoor was delicious and we did have a good evening in the end.

January in Photos

February

  • Started reading ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ by Sarah Knight and had my mind blown. She is also the author of ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck’, which I definitely want to invest in soon. I love that she described GYST as a anti-self-help self-help book because whilst she helps you get your sh*t together, it’s really down to you at the end of the day. Bonus points for the colouring page in the book.
  • Started focusing more on getting my manuscript written and made so much progress in terms of characters and plot. SUPER excited!
  • Went to OXO Tower with Mutay for our monthly dinner date and had some delicious food, amazing conversation and overall good vibes. I don’t know what I’d do without our monthly dinner dates!
  • Read Sula by Toni Morrison, which was recommended to me by Tara. Absolutely LOVED the book and I literally read it in a day. 
  • Went to Big Easy and ate waaaay too much food: popcorn fried shrimp, BBQ chicken, coleslaw, mac and cheese and cornbread muffin. I literally had to sleep as soon as I got back home. Mouthwatering.
  • Visited the Natural History Museum for the first time in YEARS. I think some parts were under refurbishment, but I still got to see the huge animatronic T-Rex and loads of other exhibits, which was fun. 
  • Went to Edinburgh, which you can read about here! Scottish accents 😍
  • Went to a bar called Tequila Mockingbird (geddit?) for a friend’s birthday and then another called The Toy Shop where they have a cocktail served in a lego mug. AMAZING. Such a fun night!
  • Pancake Day was on the 28th and OMG. I made American-style pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup drizzled all over it. It was so gorgeous and I documented the whole affair on my Instagram story. I also went to Flat Iron in the evening with friends where we were given free salted caramel ice cream with chocolate. #blessed

February in Photos

March

  • It’s only the 5th, so not much has happened yet but watch this space.
  • I have an exciting post coming up on the 26th for AnneMarie’s #WalangHiya project.
  • I am also taking steps to fundraise for my chosen charity, Alopecia UK ~ thanks to Tara’s post for inspiring me!
  • Looking forward to seeing the Inspector Calls in the theatre, eating at Roka (a Japanese restaurant) and seeing Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie at Southbank as part of WOW – Women of the World!

As a writer the one thing that I am most afraid of is plagiarism. Not that I will actively seek to do so, because that is totally wrong, but that I will unknowingly plagiarise someone’s work because it’s influenced me in such a way. In saying that, the amount of works out there that are similar is astonishing. Where is the line drawn, though?

For example, I read a book called Feed by M. T. Anderson. Feed is set in a world where about 73% of Americans are directly connected to a huge computer network via a device implanted in their brain called a ‘feed’. The feed allows them access to entertainment, to chat to each other, shop, even rewind their own memories. I mentioned this book in a conversation with Mutay the other day, and she noted how similar it is to an episode of Black Mirror, ‘The Entire History of You’, where people have a ‘grain’ implanted in them that records everything they see, hear or do. Whilst not entirely the same concept with the entertainment system, etc., I can definitely see the similarities. In saying that, I’m not out here trying to accuse Charlie Brooker of plagiarism.

I remember in Media Studies learning about simulacrum. I have always found the idea of simulacrum to be interesting because it is a representation or imitation of a person or thing – not necessarily plagiarism. I guess that is what is happening in today’s society. Most of the media being pumped out daily isn’t original, it’s just a recycled version of something else. Songs, films, tv shows, most of it really. 

Anyway, I’m not really sure what direction I wanted to take this post in and I feel like I’m rambling. I just really wanted to get shit off my chest because as I am currently working on my manuscript, I’m really trying not to let things stop me. So, despite these fears I know I should keep pushing on because this has always been a dream of mine – I shouldn’t let anything get in my way.

I’ve been working on a story since I went to China in 2011 and reading back on it now, I realise how influenced I was by ‘V for Vendetta’ because it was something I had watched before I started writing. I guess that’s where all of these fears stem from. I wouldn’t want a publisher to turn around and say to me, “What the fuck is this shit? You literally just copied the Wachowski Brothers!” I’m planning on redoing parts of my story, anyway, but it’s something that often crossed my mind when I was rereading it.

Nevertheless, 2017 is the year I overcome these fears. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since the dawn of time and it’s finally time to put my arse into gear. No-one is going to become an author for me, it’s something I have to achieve myself but I can do that with the support from others, too. To anyone having doubts about what they’re doing just think, “Is this what I want to do?” and if it is – keep at it. Be the you you truly want to be. ❤️

john

It has taken me slightly longer than usual to put this post up, as I have been extremely busy (dealing with rubbish companies and work related stuff), but here is my review of John Darryl Winston’s ‘IA: Initiate‘.

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Nancy recently did a ‘What’s In My Bag’ summer edition, and it looked like fun, so I thought I’d do one too!

whatbag

I usually change my bag once a year, and I’m more of a backpack girl than handbag. That’s because I tend to carry my life with me when I go out, though.

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