New Years’ Eve is my favourite night of the year.

I know that to some people it’s overrated or underwhelming, or just another night to get drunk. I know for others it’s a night to celebrate with their family and friends and have a bit of fun. Then there are those who use it as a time for reflection and for resolutions.

I really can’t explain why I love it so much. It may be wanky or even pretentious, but there’s something about the ceremony and ritual of the evening that makes me excited at all the potential. It’s magical and romantic and I’ll always look forward to it.

My NYE experience this year was perfect. Steve and I watched the cricket before getting dressed up and making our way into the Melbourne CBD. We had a drink at a bar outside Southern Cross, before heading back to the station to watch the fireworks that spanned the entire city. And of course, my favourite part: I got my midnight kiss amongst all the clamour (I truly am a hopeless romantic). The rest of the evening we bar-hopped through the city before heading back home on the train.

The only slight mishap is when we both fell asleep on said train and almost ended up at the end of the line, but that’s all part of the fun, right?

Now despite my absolute love of the holiday, I’m not normally one for New Years resolutions. When I lost weight, I didn’t start in the new year. I started in November 2013, ended up falling off the wagon, and then I started again in April 2014. The second time I managed to successfully stick to my goals. Long-term goals will always have false starts or moments where you fail; you can’t rely on a special date to give you motivation or you’ll fail once and then decide to wait out the whole year to try again.

This year, though, I do have some goals in mind.

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Goal #1: Lose weight

Okay, maybe hypocritical to what I just said, but it’s crept back up on me a little since moving interstate. The stress of getting over here in the first place, then finding a new job, then having a new job… and then Christmas caught up to me. I’ve put on about 5-6kg, so it’s time to nip it in the bud before it gets out of control.

I did my measurements this morning and took some photos. I aim to drop the weight by the end of February. This means I’ll have to start calorie counting on MyFitnessPal again, as well as up my gym routine from 2-3 sessions to 4-5 sessions a week. My biggest concern at the moment is what ratio of cardio:strength I should aim for. I’m torn between adding some HIIT at the end of my weights sessions or changing my routine to a 50:50 ratio.

I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Wish me luck.

Goal #2: Write more

I’ve recently been hit with inspiration on the theme for the memoir I’ve been wanting to write since forever. I’ve been planning it since 2012 when I finished Keele University, but over the holidays it has expanded and I’m looking forward to getting more of it in words, rather than simply ideas in my head. I’ve wrote an outline and I’ve drafted a few scenes; it’s only up from here! I don’t know what’s a realistic goal at the moment, though. Possibly commit to writing 750 words a day on it? It’s only going to be about 75k words so that means my first draft could be written within 100 days, which would give me the rest of the year to redraft. Hmm.

Goal #3: Finish my course

This one should kind of go without saying, but I’m putting it in here anyway because I need to make sure I do it. I have until May 2017 to complete my course. I can extend it for an additional six months, but I’d really rather not. Just do it, Cass. I’ve been loving what I am learning; I’m just lazy. I need to write out a study plan and schedule due dates for assignments and get them done.

Goal #4: Stop discrediting my skills

Do you know what successful people do? Take compliments well. I need to stop downplaying my work, in particular my writing. I always preface something I’ve shared with either, “Oh, I’m not that happy with it,” or “It’s just a first draft, it needs a lot of work,” etc. Bullshit. I’m sharing it because I’m proud of it. Otherwise it’s for work, and my boss hired me to write for a reason. Time to start showing more pride in what I do.

Goal #5: Budget

I’m a bit of a spendthrift when it comes to money. A bad habit I learned when I was fifteen. I had my first job and both my mum and best friend mocked me for saving my money and accused me of being tight. I felt embarrassed and ended up paying for lunch for everyone. I quickly got in the habit of spending all my cash because that way no one could make me feel guilty for having more money than them, and I wouldn’t have to buy everyone lunch all the time.

At 26 (almost 27), I really shouldn’t be able to blame this experience for my bad spending habits anymore. Quite frankly, if someone tried to mock me for having money in the bank nowadays, I’d quickly inform them how irresponsibly stupid their opinion was.

Steve and I wracked up a bit of debt moving interstate, so it’s time to buckle down and get that paid off. I’m doing pretty well, and even putting away pre-tax super contributions every fortnight, but it’s definitely time to stop buying a new dress just because there’s a sale on. If anything, our closet is way too small for that!

Goal #6: Network

I’m a sociable person; I get along with most people I meet and I make friends easily. Living in Melbourne has definitely made this a little more difficult as I work in a small office with one other person, so my current physical network of people has diminished significantly.

I’ve joined some groups on Facebook recently to get to know people with similar interests (some of these personal groups, some professional). I’ve been relatively active in them, but I need to sum up the courage to go to the actual events they organise. I’ve got all my friends in Adelaide to talk to on Facebook; it’s time to put myself out there in the flesh and get to know new people. Not only will this be good for my mental health (as I mentioned, I’m a people person), but it’s great for my career, too.

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There you have it. My first ever list of New Years’ Resolutions. Hopefully that magic and ritual I love so much from the New Years’ Eve will encourage me to be successful with them.

Do you make New Year resolutions? If so, what ones have you made this year?

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