Goals

I have various different goals that I like to work on. Some are goals that I work on most days, others are longer term goals that may take years to gradually achieve. I think it’s important to check in with ourselves about what we want out of life in the short term and the long term. I also find it exciting and rewarding to be working towards something. Below I have discussed some of the goals that I am working on, where my progress is up to and where I want to go with them in the future.

Running

I have loved running for about ten years now, but I have always been quite on and off in terms of consistency. Whether it be an illness forcing me to take a break and then struggling to get back on track, or other life commitments taking priority, I have found myself frustrated with the constant ‘starting again’ I felt I was doing and ultimate lack of progress I was making. I have always wanted to take part in running races. I completed a 5k ‘race for life’ some years ago and loved the experience of training, taking part and raising money for a good cause in the process. So I came up with some goals for myself: to take part in a 10k by the end of the year, a half marathon in 2023 and a full marathon in 2024. It feels a bit ambitious and daunting but I thought to myself – why not? I have nothing to lose and lots to gain – health, fitness, achievement and raising money for charity.

I have signed up to take part in a 10km race for Movember next month and I have been enjoying my training. I know I wouldn’t be pushing myself as hard if I didn’t have a tangible goal to be striving towards. When I signed up to the race, I was consistently running 5km, and so I decided to increase this by a km every week: running 6km 3x a week for the first week, 7km 3x a week for the second week, and so on until I am able to run 10km consistently. I am sure this is not the perfect training regime but honestly I started looking at some online, felt confused and decided to come up with my own simple – and hopefully manageable – plan. And so far it is going really well! I am currently on the week of running 8km and I feel so proud of myself every time I manage a new distance. The only downside is I have realised that my running shoes don’t fit properly and I am starting to get blisters. As soon as I have some money this is the first thing I will be investing in!

My recent running progress

Reading

Every year, I set myself a reading challenge of reading 52 books. I re-discovered my love for reading during the pandemic and have not looked back. Setting this challenge every year motivates me and inspires me.

Some of my favourite reads so far this year have been:

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Scary Smart by Mo Gawdat

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill – click here for my full book review

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

I am currently reading Misery by Stephen King – for my book club this month we are all reading a different book based upon the theme ‘Halloween’ – and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I am loving both of them.

Career change

The majority of readers of this post will probably not be aware that I am currently unemployed and going through a career change. It is a time which is both exciting and scary, with lots of potential opportunities and unknowns. I am working hard at finding my new role – from attending careers advice sessions, applying to roles through various different websites, and connecting with people who can support me in the process.

Writing

This time out of work that I have been having has allowed me to work on many interests and hobbies that I struggled to maintain when working full time as a social worker and completing an MSc. For example, this blog has been such a fun way to write and express myself over the past couple of months and I am grateful that I have got it up and running again.

In the background I am slowly working on another writing project that has always been a dream of mine. Watch this space!

Art

Another important hobby of mine is art and crafting – be it writing, painting, card making, candle making – you name it. I have started taking part in weekly painting sessions to increase my skills. Painting has been my favourite form of art over the past few years and I have been gradually improving through practice, YouTube and trial and error. I knew that I was lacking the key technical skills needed to be able to paint well and thus wanted to take lessons. I have only had my first lesson at the time of writing but I really enjoyed it. We are beginning to learn how to sketch in perspective which is something I have always struggled with and know will help immensely with my painting journey.

A recent painting I did following a Bob Ross tutorial

Doing things alone

A goal I have had for a while now is to gradually do more activities alone and be comfortable with this. I think this is freeing – never having to rely on someone else to be available to do something you want to do; learning to enjoy your own company. I have been enjoying this a lot. I have been out for dinner by myself – only to Yo Sushi so it was still quite relaxed – and been to the cinema by myself.

Last night I did something that felt a bit scary: I went to a gig by myself. I had bought tickets to see Aitch with my friend but she had to cancel due to being unwell. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to experience a gig alone. I got there early because I couldn’t find anything online about who would be supporting Aitch and I didn’t want to miss them just in case. Queueing was okay if a little boring. I felt a bit self-conscious in the queue but it was fine. Going in, I was surprised to be approached by two girls nearly straight away. One of them asked me if I was alone or meeting a friend. I told them it was just me and she commented that she couldn’t do that. She actually offered for me to spend the evening with them but I didn’t really want to so politely declined. The next hour or so was the most awkward part. A DJ was doing a set on stage but he was just playing club music. Most of the audience were teenagers so I actually felt a bit old which was a weird experience! Loads of younger girls, singing and dancing with their friends. I felt a bit weird just standing there by myself with my gin. Once Aitch was on, I was enjoying myself too much to care. I would have still preferred to have been there with a friend but I still really enjoyed the night. Being by myself didn’t stop me from singing and being in the moment.

Aitch 11.0.22

My ultimate goal is to take a trip away by myself. I think I would love this – not having to compromise on what I want to do or where I want to go, not worrying about whether the other person or other people is enjoying it.

I would love to hear from you guys if you have any goals you are working on – however big or small, common or unusual!

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9 Comments

  1. These are some really good goals and I hope that you meet them. In particular, I like the one about doing things alone, I find that it can help a lot with your confidence. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I have just had a look and a follow, your posts are great.

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      1. Thats great 🙂 – It would be good to stay in touch and share blogging experiences if you are up for that?

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      2. Yes I would love that!

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      3. Maybe via email?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My email is nirajshah2003@gmail.com btw if you want to get in touch 🙂

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  2. 9erick says:

    Love your painting first off. I paint like an 8 year old. Secondly, I go everywhere alone except restaurants and movie theaters. I’m even contemplating going to the zoo alone. I started going to the bar alone (even been to a few nightclubs ALONE) when I was about 23 or 24. It becomes so second nature you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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    1. Ahh thank you! Oh wow!! What was it like going to a club by yourself? I can recommend restaurants and cinemas alone you should definitely try it

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 9erick says:

    It’s kinda weird going to a club alone. You kinda have to stand up the whole time cause they usually don’t have stools at the bar and you don’t want to take up a table. Other than that it’s no big deal.

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