How to make 2017 the best year of your life!


As you know, I am big into lists and planning and I’ve already shared my goals for 2017 – simple and realistic, you can read them here.

Today I wanted to go a step forward and show you the ten questions that I use to guide my thought process. These questions look back over the past year and then look ahead at the coming year and I really believe that sitting down and going through these methodically can help you set goals and focus yourself on what you want to achieve, whether this be something professionally or in your personal life.

I recommend writing these out – you could do a mind map or, if you are a BuJo fan even answer these in your bullet journal so you can look back and remind yourself throughout the year what it is you have set your sights on.

1. What did I accomplish in 2016?

2. What were my biggest disappointments during 2016?

3. What did I learn?

4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop doing this?

5. What are my personal values?

6. What roles do I play in life?

7. Which role is my major focus for the next year?

8. What are my goals for each role?

9. What are my top ten goals for the next year?

10. How can I make sure I achieve my top ten goals?

You can then use these responses and build your answers into a personal plan for 2016 – hopefully making it the best year of your life! Or at the very least, go some way to working towards this eventual goal!

The marketer in me wants to remind you to make these goals SMART. That is they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – your goals should motivate you and to be do this they really do need to be attainable. No point setting a goal to grow wings when that ain’t ever going to happen, but setting a goal to write 1,000 words per day? Totally doable if you set your mind to it.

Once you have set your goals – consider them carefully and then commit! Plan the steps that you need to take to achieve these goals and cross them off as you work through each individual one.

Express goals positively and always write them down – I once read that statistically you are far more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and that sounds like a good enough reason to put pen to paper.

Good luck in all your endeavours for 2017 – if you do set goals, let me know what they are and if you have any more questions about how to reflect on 2016 or how to set goals for 2017, I’m always happy to talk. Just leave me a comment or drop me an email!


2017 Goals


I’ve decided not to do a post looking back at the year that was 2016, mainly because on the whole it was a pretty unremarkable year. Not that I am complaining at all, stable is good, but I can’t say I feel like I massively achieved anything, they were no incredible highs or lows and nothing particular exciting happened.

It was a good year.

Saying that, I would like 2017 to have a bit more oomph but I really think that it is down to me find that oomph.  Life will change this year, my husband is starting a new job and my daughter will start secondary school. Both will have an impact on our daily lives.

I’ve decided this year not to make half-hearted resolutions but set some actual, tangible goals – more importantly, realistic goals. I’m never going to become a fitness addict after 37 years of lazing around so why pretend otherwise?

Without further ado, my goals for 2017.

Move More

I am so lazy, so very lazy. I hate exercise, always have but I am super unfit and as I approach 40 I am feeling it – and finding it harder to keep the weight off. I’ve already taken my first step on this goal and for me this will be a gradual build-up. I am taking a fitness class once a week (which is a big thing for me as I have a lot of anxiety around this) and also restarting the Couch25K programme. I tried this before and it was good but I didn’t put enough into it. My children have started wanting to take part in 5K races and I’d like to keep up with them.  Goal – At least 4 x 30-45 mins sessions per week.

Eat Less and/or Better

I need to eat better. I eat a lot of junk and I am a grazer. I also need to lose about two stone of weight this year and I would like to do this sensibly so don’t really want to crash diet but improve my diet over all to help make these changes. I’m not great at making sure I eat my fruit and veg quota so will try harder and hopefully this will also help me feel less lethargic. Goal – Lose two stone.

Read More

Always a goal but one I plan to achieve this year. I have about a million books on my Kindle, 2017 is the year I am going to make a dent in them! I’ve a real mix of books to get through and a massive yearning to read my favourite, Withering Heights, again. Goal – Read one book per week.

Learn Something New

I’m like a broken record on this one but I really do want to go learn something new. I have no idea yet what that new thing is but I will find it during 2017! Goal – Learn something new/gain a new skill.

And that is it.

Nothing groundbreaking but hopefully very achievable goals for the coming year and definitely something to focus my attentions on. I’d also like to get back into blogging more but I am not setting any goals there or making any promises as sometimes my life is just crazy busy or I just have no mental capacity left at the end of the working day! I will try harder though because I miss it when I don’t blog.

Are you making resolutions this year or setting goals? I’d love to hear about them.

Happy New Year everyone!


The Bucket List

Everyone has a bucket list these days, right? Well here is mine – the list of things that I’d like to do before I kick the bucket. 

It’s an ever-expanding and ever-so-slightly random list of things I would like to achieve, see, do, make and experience in my life. Some of the things on my bucket list should be easy, and it’s just a case of me getting myself motivated to get on with them and some will be slightly harder and even impossible, but shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars, or so they say.

1.   Have a book published
2.   Swim with a dolphin
3.   Learn to swim (ahem)
4.   Attend dance classes
5.   Own a pair of sequinned leggings (achieved January 2012)
6.   Read the entire Roald Dahl collection with my daughter
7.   Run a 5k race
6.   Go to a Greek island
7.   Witness the birth of a baby
8.   Go deep-sea fishing
9.   Learn conversational Spanish
10. Learn to play an instrument
11. Go on a cruise
12. See the Northern Lights
13. Visit the Everglades
14. Go to Pompeii
15. Visit Auschwitz
16. Go to Pearl Harbour
17. Grow roses in my garden successfully.
18. Learn to prune fruit trees, properly
19. Have a greenhouse (achieved March 2012)
20. Grow a giant pumpkin
21. Have afternoon tea at a posh venue
22. Own a vintage Fiat 500
23. Fly first class
24. Own some jewellery from Tiffany & Co
25. Buy a telescope and go star-gazing
26. See The Killers live (again) (achieved August 2012 & October2012) 
27. Shake hands with a major Royal Family member
28. Hold a monkey
29. Write a letter to my children now, to be opened on their 18th birthdays, just in case
30. Go to a Michelin star restaurant for dinner
31. Visit Disneyworld at Christmas
32. Have a fish pedicure
33. Cut my hair short
34. Go to a music festival (achieved August 2012)
35. See Phantom of the Opera(achieved August 2013)
36. Take the children camping (achieved June 2012)
37. Visit Hampton Court Palace 
38. Go to Alcatraz
39. Make a really big snowman
40. Make a gingerbread house
41. Have Christmas on the beach
42. Own a holiday home
43. Master the art of contact lenses
44. Eat a footlong sub from Subway
45. Own an iPad (achieved October 2012)
46. Go to a European F1 Grand Prix 
47. Buy a Fortnum & Mason picnic hamper 
48. Start a history degree
49. Take a creative writing course
50. Read all the Harry Potter books
51. Find the PERFECT red dress
52. Climb a mountain
53. Take my son on a steam train (achieved December 2012)
54. Go on a “Jack the Ripper” tour
55. See a meteor shower
56. Find something I am good at
57. Finally move my blog to self-hosted WordPress
58. Be a member of the audience on a top TV show
59. Create my own family history website
60. Turn all my vinyl into MP3 files (achieved October 2012)
61. Have dinner at the Grand Floridian at Disneyworld
62. Go to a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display
63. Stand on Chesil Beach with my children
64. Take the children crabbing at Walberswick (achieved May 2013)
65. Visit Bronte country
66. Go cockle-picking in Poole Harbour at sunset
67. Grow my own mistletoe
68. Stay in the hotel on Burgh Island
69. Take my children on a cliff railway
70. Successfully grow a watermelon
71. Meet up with an old friend
72. Buy a VW campervan (achieved April 2012)
73. Amend my will to leave a legacy to RNLI
74. Go to the south of France (achieved August 2013)
75. Make a hot water crust pastry pie
76. See a lamb being born
77. See Les Mis on stage (achieved November 2013)
78. Learn conversational Italian

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list, and it’s one I will be constantly adding to. I’ll also revisit it from time to time to update it with my progress.

Feel free to share your own bucket lists with me!

    Personal Goal: Set up my family history website

    I’ve been trying to set myself some goals and aims as you might know from my previous post. This one should be a relatively simple one but I am just not organised enough these days.
    Last October I embarked on a new hobby of tracing the family tree. I am currently doing both mine and the in-laws and I am finding it an extremely interesting hobby, if a little consuming! Whilst I have been doing research I have stumbled across many a website that people tracing their ancestors have created. These have been both interesting and informative and have inspired me to create my own.

    My site will hopefully hold information on my tree, the places my ancestors lived, background information of the surnames included in my tree and a few family photographs. Who knows, it may also be helpful to others tracing their trees.

    I am going to create my tree using iWeb on my new shiny MacBook Pro and just need to get myself motivated to do so. Sometimes I find tasks like this so daunting as I’m not sure where to start that I never do actually start them!

    love & kisses
    Mrs M x

    Personal Goal: Learn to Swim

    Yes, that is right, I have got to the grand old age of 28 without ever learning to swim. What is even more unbelievable is that I went to a primary school with its own swimming pool. I can’t explain why I have never learnt other than I have an inexplicable fear of water. I don’t mind being in water as long as my head isn’t under the water, water doesn’t go into my eyes and I can feel the bottom of the pool (or sea) with my feet. Once I go slightly out of my depth, I panic.

    Having children means that I am undoubtedly going to find myself in situations where I need to get in the water, for example when taking them to swimming or when we are on holiday. I do also have a morbid fear that they could fall into water and I would have to jump in and not being able to swim myself, we would all drown.

    I would also like to be able to enjoy water parks, jump off boats in the ocean to look at turtles and other little floaty things and just generally enjoy being on boats without thinking I am going to meet my maker.
    I have so far tried to be brave and was up until recently taking my toddler to swimming lessons but obviously that is easy as a) I am only chest deep in the water and b) there is no actual swimming involved on my part.
    So, will 2008 be the year I conquer this? I hope so.

    love & kisses
    Mrs M x