It’s a new year, and with a new year comes celebrations , a new look for the blog (what do you guys think?), and of course, resolutions. 2019 was a big one for me, and after making (and, for once, keeping) the toughest resolutions yet, I want to make 2020 even better. Looking back at the last ten years has been interesting. I’ve seen highs and lows, good decisions, bad decisions, lulls in which I did nothing to grow as a person, and more recently, a lot of soul-searching, risk-taking and pushing boundaries, which have ultimately led me to a happiness and peace I haven’t felt before. And I want to make 2020 even better. I want to look back in another decade and see hopes and goals realised. So I suppose I should really start off with some sort of new year’s resolution list. This year, I want to…

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1. Read. Not just blogs and newspapers, but actual books. I’ve always loved to lose myself in stories of wonderful imagination, but reading was kind of put on the backburner in 2019. This year, I may not have a book club to join, but I resolve to finish at least one book per month.

2. Learn to drive. My nan never learned to drive her whole life, and as much as I love her dearly, I don’t think this is the wisest example to follow. I must be the oldest twenty-four year old non-driver in the world! It’s been an ongoing resolution of mine for the past eight years, and I think it’s about time I stopped being so scared and got into the driver’s seat.

3. Work harder on becoming pain-free. I’m done with the zillions of appointments with as many different people I can find in an attempt to do something about my back pain. I’m going to pick a strategy and stick to it, instead of trying a load of things once and giving up after not seeing immediate results. I’ve been assigned a strengthening plan, which I will stick to daily, I’m going to live more healthily (eat better, drink more water, stop being afraid of exercise for fear of exacerbating the pain), and I’m going to use heat and positive distractions instead of pain killers and self-pity. And we’ll see about going for another round of injections.

4. Do even more to lose the anxiety. I feel like, with the help of Sweet, my friends, family and so many of you, I’ve come a long way from the person who used to be scared to even pick up the phone. I’m still a little nervous about being in the spotlight, but I’m at the point where if I prepare, take notes on what works and what doesn’t, breathe deeply and think positively, I can teach a small class once a week. In March, my term position is up, and there’s been talk of potentially moving into a new position – involving a lot more facilitation. It might be the hardest task yet – but it’s my goal to be able to teach more classes, be more at ease speaking in front of people, critisise myself less and be more comfortable in my own skin, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.

5. Learn to cook properly, and stop eating “conveniently”. Since moving out on my own six years ago, I’ve fallen into the trap of eating what’s cheap and what’s convenient. I don’t eat junk food, but my meals are carb-heavy, unvaried, and more often than not, involve microwaving something. A few weeks ago, I decided I was going to learn how to cook. And yesterday, I began the challenge!

I pulled Delia off the shelf and picked a couple of recipes I thought I could tackle. Creamed Chicken with Avocado, Baked Parsnips, and Sweet’s special roasted potatoes. Two hours and only one cut finger later, we had a success! I learned how (and why) to “blanche” vegetables before baking them, I learned how to make my own cream sauce to the perfect consistency, and I learned that I never want to have prepare parsnips ever again. They’re probably the most delicious vegetable in the world, and baked in butter were absolutely divine – but cutting the core out of something shaped like a carrot was slightly too frustrating. (Lucky for me, Sweet was on standby, and took care of them for me!)

The meal was lovely (although, looking back, I would’ve picked something with a bit more colour), hearty, and I felt an enormouse sense of accomplishment at having made something so delicious (and took half an afternoon!). I also felt enormous after eating something with so much cream and butter in it, which leads me to want to do something slightly healthier next time – but I think I’ve definitely found myself a new hobby for 2020.

What about you guys? Tell me about your resolutions for the new year! And of course, if you’d like the recipes, drop me a note and I’d be more than happy to send them your way. :)