As I write down my goals for 2020 whilst sipping a rather large glass of Malbec, I thought it would be good to share with you 3 small achievements of mine from 2019. I didn't think it was possible to do all 3 but boy did I have some determination at times, even when I was intoxicated, I still remembered what I set out to do for the year (I'm referring to achievement no. 3 by the way). They may seem like little goals to you but these were actually 3 of the hardest because I think they are 3 little things that can be easily undone. There were obviously bigger achievements, for example buying our house (best day of my life), completing the Great North Swim and actually managing to pass my SSI in Koh Tao of all places but I'm super proud of these 3 especially. Remember that whatever resolutions or goals you have made or decide to make this year, have a few small goals and remember that you can do it and you will do it, you just need a bit of determination.
1. I didn't buy a single plastic bag
2019 was the year when I truly realised how the human race was impacting the planet. The number of Instagram posts, Facebook posts, videos etc. I saw online about plastic pollution really did have an effect on me and I pledged at the beginning of the year to not buy a single plastic bag. I visited Thailand earlier in the year and for those who have travelled Asia but or some of the poorer parts on the continent, you will have probably noticed the amount of litter and the amount of plastic is used on a daily basis. I must admit, it was hard to avoid it in Thailand especially because you cannot drink the tap water out there and all the food you buy on the market stalls is wrapped in plastic and handed to you in a plastic bag. Back home though, here in England, I do remember my reusable shopping bags every single time I go shopping. It's easy for me because I live away from the major super markets, so it's always a planned trip over, whereas I can see how easily forgotten bags must be when you pop in for the odd bits. I've tried so hard to be less wasteful in a number of different ways and I still hope to make small changes this year. It's really difficult to be perfect but I thought that by setting myself this goal for the year, it would make it an easier achievement than setting several 'don't buy any plastic' goals.
I fished this out from the sea on Karon beach in Phuket. This wasn't the only thing I picked up that day. There were more than 10 plastic bottles that washed up on the shore in front of us. I will always do my bit for the sea life and clean up wherever I go.
2. I didn't have a single ounce of sugar in my tea
This is like a huge achievement for me. I love a sweet cuppa tea but when I started working in an office, drinking several cups of tea a day, I soon began to notice how much sugar I was actually drinking. Not only was I drinking it in my tea, I was also dunking biscuits in my tea too, so something had to give. January 1st 2019 I just stopped putting sugar in my tea and got used to it. I didn't wean myself off it, I simply just cut it out and I haven't looked back since. I must admit that I probably have upped my biscuit in take, so I'm going to try my absolute best to cut down this year. Although, I'm happy to give myself a treat every now and again just not every brew time!
3. I didn't smoke a single cigarette
Little bit of a confession.. (sorry Mum and Dad), I began smoking when I was about 15. It was something most of us used to do throughout our teenage years and it was easy to get hold of them when the local pub had a 'cigarette vending machine', with easy access through the back door. I remember when a pack of 20 Lambert and Butler would cost £6 and a few of us would share them for the week. Now, I don't even know how much they cost but I know that I certainly couldn't afford them and I certainly do not want to damage my health any more than I have done. I haven't smoked regularly for 6 years because I gave them up when I met Josh - he didn't like it at all. However, I started social smoking, having a fag with my friends after a drink, outside in the nice fresh (smoky) air but then I decided in 2019 that I wouldn't touch one at all. There were hard times, especially when I was offered them down at the local by friends I hadn't seen for some time but I restrained myself and I am so bloody proud of myself for doing so.
Jeez, that was a lengthy post for a Friday evening! I hope you managed to make it to the bottom! Anyway, after two glasses of wine and a delicious home made curry, I'm almost ready for bed. Speak soon and have a truly wonderful weekend. Lots of love, L.