Sunday 1 January 2012

2012 Challenges

I've never made new year resolutions, I always think that you're setting yourself up for a fall making a promise on the first of January that will be too hard to keep. This year I've decided to set myself some challenges, nothing major, just little things which I think will add something to my life. What's the difference between a new year challenge and a new year resolution? I don't suppose there is a difference really, but I prefer the word challenge to resolution as I always think of giving something up when I think of resolution, giving up food to diet, giving up cigarettes, giving up alcohol, giving up chocolate etc. My challenges are things which I'm going to enjoy.

My first challenge is to have more fresh flowers in the house. I don't like to cut flowers from the garden to bring indoors, I prefer to see them outside, so for the past two years I've had a go at growing a cutting patch at the allotment, though it hasn't really worked. This year I'm going to give it another go, though I'll still buy flowers too. They don't have to cost a fortune. This little seasonal bunch cost me £3 from Tesco's, I love the colours. I bought a similar bunch just before Christmas and they're still going strong too, so I don't think £3 is too much to pay for something which is going to brighten the house up and make me smile each time I look at them, for over a week. I shall post a picture of what's gracing my vases from time to time.

When I was young I was never seen without my head in a book reading. I sadly got out of the habit of reading when I had the kids, there just wasn't enough time. Instead I read magazines which are much easier to dip in to when you've got a spare minute or two and just as easy to put down again. I'd like to read books more again, so my next challenge is to read at least one book each month. I'm going to start with The Illustrated Lark Rise To Candleford by Flora Thompson for January. If you remember, I found this in a charity shop for the princely sum of £1.99 a few months ago, and it's beautifully illustrated, I'm really going to enjoy reading this.

It's only recently that I've started knitting again, and only last year that I learnt how to crochet. I spent a lot of time last year knitting socks as Christmas presents, and crocheting squares for a granny square blanket. I've recently bought some knitting and crochet books with lots of project suggestions in, so this year, as well as finishing off the crochet granny square blanket and a pair of socks that I've still got on the go, I'd like to have a go at some other projects and aim to have at least one finished item each month.

It will be two years in March since I stopped smoking and since then my weight has gradually been increasing. I know this isn't good for me so at some point I'm going to start eating healthily. I've never dieted in my life, but I know from other people that once you stop a diet the weight goes back on. I think it will have to be more of a lifestyle change, eating smaller portions and eating things which are good for you. Treats will be allowed, but in moderation. I'm not starting this challenge right away as our fridge and cupboards are still bulging with food which we've bought for Christmas, and I've still got boxes of chocolates to eat which have been bought for me for Christmas, so I'll wait until everything has been consumed. I think this will be the hardest of my challenges and the one which I like the least.

Although I take Archie for a walk every day, we sometimes don't go very far. This year I want to increase the distance that I walk. Ideally I'd like to be able to measure the distance I'm walking but I don't really know how I would do that. As far as I can tell, a pedometer only measures how many steps you take. This challenge will fit in with the healthy eating and will hopefully help me to lose some weight. Mick bought me this Collins Short Walks In The Yorkshire Dales book for Christmas. I can't wait to do some of the walks mentioned in here.

Let's see if I can keep up with these challenges, they don't seem too hard and most of them will be fun.

We've taken our decorations down today, I hate to have them still up when Mick goes back to work and Daniel and Eleanor go back to school. Archie tried to help but ended up getting wound up in the tinsel. OK, I admit it, I put the tinsel round his neck so that I could take a cute photo for my blog.

Happy New Year, everyone.


  1. I love the idea of New Year Challenges! I hope that you really enjoy Lark Rise to Candleford. I took it to uni with me (back in the dark ages!) and read it once every term to keep my home-sickness for country living at bay. (I was an Oxfordshire lass marooned in central Birmingham) All the best for 2012. Jx

  2. I think your challenges are a great idea. Last year I had 'intentions' rather than resolutions, but I might even call them challenges this year! I agree that whatever you decide to do, it should be positive, rather than negative. I also think it's sensible to leave the healthy eating till after all the choccies are gone - we've still got a big box of Thorntons to go, and I'm not going to deprive myself of any just for the sake of a few more days. I am going to try and go for a walk every lunch time, once I get back to work, just to make up for it though!! Good luck with all your challenges anyway!!

  3. Much more sensible approach I reckon!
    Good luck with your weight loss when the time is right to start and well done for for giving up smoking a while ago, it's so ahrd to do.
    I think her husband bought you some great presents for Christmas, the book looks fab.
    As does Archie!
    Lisa x

  4. Like you I much prefer setting goals and challenges than "resolutions" - they seem much more attainable that way.

    Good luck with yours.

    Victoria xxx

  5. Hi Jo, got to keep checking up on you. Love to see what your up to next, your such a busy family. Thanks for your lovely comments, your a lovely friend.

    Hope you keep up to your challenges they sound like good ones.

    Love karen xx

  6. Happy New Year! I hope your new year challenges go well! They sound like a great idea and much more positive than resolutions! You'll have to keep us updated! xxx

  7. Fairplay to you. I just skip over that bit of the new year.

    Best Wishes for 2012

  8. Thank you for all your lovely comments.

    I'll certainly keep you all updated on how the challenges are going.

  9. Hmmmmmm I can not knit - should I learn (try AGAIN) or should I develop my sewing? Weight stuff? Yes - have issues too so must knock it on the head now the walking? Definitely with you there. Good Luck!
    Happy New Year
    Denise xxx

  10. I wish you well with your challenges, and I'm sure that you'll succeed with all of them. I love Archies's expression in the last picture! Flighty xx

  11. Thanks, Denise, I definitely need some luck, especially for losing weight. I really enjoy knitting and would advise to try again if you're enjoying learning, if not, develop your sewing skills. You've got to enjoy what you're doing.

    Thanks, Flighty. I think Archie is looking very bemused. "Oh no, they're dressing me up again".