Up-And-At-Em 2018

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Happy New Year everyone!

Today is my first day back in the office, I’m make up free after a reluctant start to the day, and severely missing my pyjamas. So you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve already ditched my new year mantra of ‘up and at’em’ but I’m still in that post-festive lull, and who said mantras had to kick in straight away anyway?

And while longing for my pyjamas might not exactly scream a go get them mentality, I am beginning to feel that New Year energy kick in (as my New Years Eve hangover, oh so very slowly, fades away).

2017 was a good steady year, but very little changed in my life. Things definitely progressed but in a slow quiet way - and while some years that’s the kind of progression you need, for a while now I’ve been feeling more like a passenger in my own life rather than the driver. And, much like with my actual driving lessons, I’m ready to get behind the wheel.

So this year my mantra is ‘up and at’em.’ And this is something I want to apply to the most every day of things, from getting up before the 87th snooze button, to pushing myself to do just one more thing on my to-do list. And while it might sound contradictory, I want to apply ‘up and at’em’ to my downtime and self-care too - rather than half-heartedly switching off, watching Netflix for hours on end, I want to do it properly.

That’s the general ethos around my mantra for the year, but here are the ways I plan on applying that mantra to specific areas of my life.


This year I want to focus on the projects and work that I truly love. No more saying yes to freelance opportunities just for the money, too much of the past year or so has been taken up fretting over work that I simply didn’t enjoy. I know when I’m not really into a project in my bones, I’m the type of person that has to be invested to really do my best. And while I’m yet to receive any complaints over the quality of my work from other people, I want to hold myself to my own high standards. 

I still haven’t quite decided on how much time I want to invest in making my own shows, and I feel like this is ok. When/if a project or an idea comes to me, that I’m truly excited about I know I’ll put the work in.

One thing I am ready for is the next step. Obviously, it’s hard to see how far you’ve come yourself, but this year, I’d like to achieve one thing, that really makes me feel I’ve taken a step up. I’m ready for a challenge, something that scares me and excites me in equal measures. I’m not sure what that is, but I know if I look for it, I’ll find it.

B L O G G I N G, W R I T I N G & C R E A T I V I T Y 

So towards the end of last year, I made the decision to continue writing on the internet without the pressure of calling myself a blogger. That meant ditching a schedule and a niche and most of all ditching the pressure of promoting this space. And on the whole I’m definitely still ok with that philosophy, however I do want to be writing more regularly. I miss having a reason to sit down and write, so even though I never want to be writing for the sake of writing, I think it’s a good idea to set myself the task of posting here at least once a week. I’ll never go back to a content calendar with specific titles, or themes that have to be posted on certain days, but I think putting aside one night a week to just write, whether that’s a blog post for here, or something personal just for me. I know that writing, as corny as this sounds, feeds my soul - it’s good for my mental health, and ought to be something that is part of my routine.

I also want to continue to find creative pursuits that aren’t related to my work! Doing creative things simply for the act of doing them rather than focusing on the end product is the best way for me to switch off. Last year I focused mainly on my Instagram and taking photos, and I want to continue this, but I also want to try my hand at other things as one-off activities. Again I’m not sure what but I’m going to be actively looking for them!


Sorting out my finances has been something on my to-do list for a good couple of years now. And while I’ve made small steps in the right direction, I’m yet to tick off a big goal. Whether that’s saving up for one specific thing, or chopping up my credit card once and for all. My financial health is ok, but it isn’t the adonis I would like it to be. One less Asos parcel a month won’t kill me, will it?


I’m leaving this goal relatively open, as I want to be flexible with taking opportunities that come my way, but one thing that I am absolutely setting myself as a goal for this year is to pass my driving test. I’ve been learning to drive (properly) for just under a year now, and I’ve taken it at the pace I needed to, dealing with my anxiety around it along the way. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and I’m now ready to face the pressure of a looming test date. Fingers crossed it will be in the first half of this year!

H E A L T H & H A P P I N E S S

Something I really let slip by the wayside in 2017 was a healthy lifestyle. While this came with many advantages, like accepting my own body for what it is, ignoring the scales, and enjoying the moments I’m in I do know that taking up regular exercise and putting a little bit more thought into what I’m eating Monday to Friday could only be beneficial. 

My general happiness level is pretty high, but this year I want to focus on doing the things that make me happy. Reading, writing, time away from a screen. When things are generally a-ok in life it’s easy to take happiness for granted, as a by product and forget that sometimes you need to actively work on it.


One thing I became really aware of in 2017 was the state of the world. Something I think most of us found hard to ignore given everything. It’s easy when times are dark to feel like you’re just one person and that making a difference is damn near impossible, but sometimes that’s just an excuse we hide behind. This year I want to become a more active and responsible citizen. I want to stand up for what I believe in when challenged. I don’t want to simply commentate anymore, I want to actually do. Even in the smallest of ways. Recycling, being kind, regularly watching the news. After all, it’s the small things you do everyday that really add up!

And I think that’s about it! I’ll probably keep coming back to this post throughout the year as my focus and priorities naturally change - that’s the main reason I opt for yearly mantras rather than goals or resolutions. It’s easy to feel like you’ve failed when you set yourself something concrete when in reality life just took you a different way. Sometimes we need concrete goals, like passing my driving test, but for me, and for what I want out of this year, I know I need to keep an open mind and be flexible.

How about you? Have you set yourself a focus for 2018 or do you have specific goals? x

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