Goals/Hopes For 2023

31 Jan 2023

 2023 goals

I know it’s not for everyone, but I love the refresh of a new year. It gives me the push to tackle life admin and to organise the house which always make me feel revitalised and like I’m vaguely in control of my life. I like having goals/mindsets for the year ahead because they propel me forward and give some structure in my busy mind. It stops me from spending life feeling overwhelmed, ignoring everything and scrolling through Instagram for three hours. Works for me, but absolutely does not have to work for you. This may seem a little late to be setting goals for a new year, but as I said in this post, I think January should be a gradual warm up to the year, allowing ourselves the time to slowly emerge from the Christmas cocoon and figure out what we want from the year ahead.    

So, 2023. When reflecting on recent years, two main thoughts come to mind. The first is that between a move to a new area, global pandemic, three lockdowns, pregnancy, childbirth, and the challenging, seismic shift that is the first year of parenting; it has been an intense 3+ years. The second is that in all of this – but in particular, the last 12 months – I have really neglected my physical and mental health. 

With that in mind, I want my focus for 2023 to be wellbeing and fun. And you know what they say about FUN people? They write lists… right? 

Here is what I’m hoping from this year: 

Write regularly (and a new project for you to join) 
In 2023, I want to nurture my love of writing again. My laptop and notebooks have been neglected for so long, there’s practically tumble weed drifting across them. When time is so limited, when my mental energy is being pulled in so many other directions; it would be so easy to let my love/need to write drift away. And I really, really don’t want to let that happen. I’m trying not to overthink it, trying to lean into the fun of it, trying to reclaim that feeling of writing when I was a child, without much thought of the finished product, just letting the words trip over themselves as they fall out. With that in mind, I’ve started a little project over on Substack should you wish to come join me. I’ve challenged myself to write a short story for every month of the year in 2023. I’ll have the month to write each one (and they will be set in that month) and then will publish at the end of the month. I’m hoping it will help me keep up a regular writing practice but without too much overthinking. There will also be titbits from the kitchen - love letters to food, cookbook recommendations, the adventures of an amateur baker – and other messy moments of life thrown in between; stuff that perhaps doesn’t fit here. If you’d like to join – you can sign up here. If it’s not for you, that’s cool too. This little online scrapbook will still be here. 

Read plenty
I have normally shied away from the trend of setting reading goals because I have been an avid reader since the moment I could read so a) never really felt the need and b) felt a little like it might suck the joy out it. However, like everything in my life right now, this much-loved hobby needs a kick-up-the-arse and some prioritisation, particularly as it is one of the best things I can do for my mental health. I want to read at least 40 books this year, although I have a very loose aim of trying to read one book a week.  I would also like to push myself to read a bit out of my comfort zone and stick, as much as possible, to supporting independent book shops (particularly my beloved local one!). 

Monthly dates
Quality time as a couple was neglected in 2022 so we have made a commitment to, as a minimum, schedule monthly date days/nights. It has been a dawning realisation that having a child means if you don’t physically put quality time in the diary and organise childcare, it ain’t gonna happen. 

Keep a daily journal
 A private one, as opposed to this online one. Nothing particularly detailed, or emotion-heavy; I just want to take five minutes to jot down what happens each day. It is so easy to forget the day-to-day moments (particularly when sleep deprived) and I don’t want to forget all the little memories of Alfie’s childhood. 

Keep baking
I don’t need a goal to bake more; if anything, some would argue I should bake less but we don’t listen to those people. Baking regularly will continue but I’d like to expand my skillset this year. It’s the year of the bread and the pastry. Top of my list are mastering sourdough, croissants and a really good focaccia.  

Have as much fun as possible
It is an elusive thing, really, to say you want to have more fun but I think what that looks like for me is: an acceptance to go with the flow as much as possible when hanging out with Alfie, saying yes but also accepting when to say no (and not feel guilty/anxious) because something does not work in our current phase of life, scheduling time as a couple, time with friends, time with family, leaning into silliness, seeking out new things and unashamedly prioritising (and asking) for time to do things that make my soul feel warm and content (see above).

Prioritise my health
This is not some unrealistic claim that I’m going to go on a diet or run a marathon (yeah right) or give up cake (again, yeah right), more just a hope that I can stop living on survival mode when it comes to my wellbeing. It has been a year of brutal sleep deprivation and I have found it extremely challenging. The 12-month milestone brought a certain amount of despair (it has been a year and we’re still in this) but also acceptance (we can’t put our entire lives on hold until this child sleeps for longer than a couple of hours). I want my mental health to be in a better place (see the majority of the above) and to feel physically stronger and fitter in this unfamiliar post-pregnancy body. I’m still navigating this new version of who I am in all senses, but it would be nice to claim back a bit of my pre-motherhood self. Also, since Alfie started nursery in December this household has seen coughs & colds, hand, foot & mouth, covid and conjunctivitis. We need to ARM ourselves against the barrage of germs fighting their way over our threshold. 

After the pandemic, pregnancy and maternity pay, the travel itch is desperate to be scratched. I’m also keen to figure out incorporating all our favourite things about travel into this new family life, as well as trying to keep our travel flight-free. We are currently in the beginning stages of planning a UK holiday in Somerset and a European road trip that involves seeing new cities and visiting our family in The Netherlands for the first time since pre-pandemic. 

Hope January has been calm and cosy for you dear reader; do let me know what you’re looking forward to about the year ahead. 


  1. Thanks for sharing, I hope that your achieve your goals for this year, good luck with it all :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures