January 2020: A Round Up

I wanted to briefly write about my January, because I know it feels to many of us as if it had 68392 days. It didn’t, and it’s over now.

So, are any of you proud of how your year started?

I saw endless posts about veganuary, dry January, no spending and so on… so, if you did something similar, did it work?

Out of my very long list of 2020 resolutions I am feeling quite content with how the year has started, and despite the numerous difficulties I can’t see it going downhill any time soon.

Key events in January 2020

  • I ‘lost’ my job.
  • We said goodbye to Sheffield
  • Jonas and I moved to Manchester
  • I applied for over 80 jobs, had 4 interviews and
  • Was offered 3 part time jobs (on the 29th!)
  • Jonas got a job the day after we moved to Manchester!
  • I’ve made new friends, and so has Jonas
  • I read 7 and a half books.

In terms of working on my resolutions I’m actually extremely proud of myself. I thought not having a job would take its toll and have a negative impact on me, but I powered through with a ‘positive mindset’.

Be a better teacher

For this resolution, so far, I have spent time improving my knowledge of English grammar and connecting with other EFL teachers to share ideas on how to present grammar effectively, both on and offline.

I have admitted when I’ve found something difficult, or been unable to teach something (very embarrassing) and sought advice from those more experienced than me.

I have also taught 12 hours of IELTS classes, more than I’ve taught in my previous 2.5 years of experience. So I’m pleased to say it’s been a very good start for that 2020 goal as I already have more in-depth knowledge of the exam structure and the study skills required to both teach and take the exam.

  • Be healthy
  • I have done some form of exercise every day, even if it’s just going for a walk. However I have been very lazy with my food. I’ve been eating dairy and gluten and I’ve even started drinking coffee again. It’s not helping my health because my skin is terrible, I’m constantly bloated and I do get stomach pains.
  • I am definitely going to work on this in February, especially as I go back to work.
  • Languages

    My aim for 2020 is to improve my Chinese, take the HSK4 exam, and also learn some Arabic and some Japanese. The good news is that I’ve spoken more Chinese this month than in the last 14 months altogether. I have made 3 Chinese friends and also attended a language exchange last week, where I made new friends (which ties in to two of my other resolutions: join a club, make new friends).

    Work full-time

    From next week I will have 3 part-time jobs, will should add up to around 24 hours worth of work. Although that’s not full time for most people, it’s quite a high number of hours for teaching EFL. I’ll also be looking for a Saturday job just to boost the income for a little while.


    My resolution was to blog twice a month and hit 7,000 blog views by the end of the year. So far I have blogged 7 times and already received 367 visitors (222% higher than December 2019). I’m hoping this will increase as I blog more about teaching, whereas so far I have been blogging about personal experiences such as resolutions, moving house and job hunting. I am pleased with how it’s all going so far, but welcome any suggestions for improvement or topics you’d like me to blog about.

    Calm down

    I’m not sure I’ve necessarily calmed down, but I was surprisingly positive throughout January, despite the numerous hiccups and expenses that came my way.

    I’m trying not to worry about things (money, work, people) and I’ve decided to let go of many grudges (4 so far!) which is quite impressive for me, if I do say so. Grudges are so unhealthy but I’m a stickler for not being a pushover if people don’t treat me nicely.

    I’m also working on my self care by being more honest, instead of scared. If I’m too tired to do something, I’ll say so. If I don’t want to go to a certain place, I’ll say so. If I can’t do something, I’ll say so. Last year I was terrified that if I wasn’t a ‘people pleaser’ I’d lose my job, friends or other opportunities.

    This year I’m going to be honest for myself and others. I’m done being a people pleaser because it actually got me nowhere last year. I will do my jobs to the best of my ability, take on extra roles if I can (but not where it compromises my health) and enjoy making new friends and experiencing new things. But I will not be a pushover.

    Read 40 books

    With 7 books under my belt in January, I’m off to a good start for the year and I’m hoping it continues. Although with 3 jobs I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have to read…

    I strongly recommend:
    The Catcus by Sarah Haywood
    Forget Me Not by A. M. Taylor
    The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

    How did you do with your resolutions in January? Did you break any straight away, like I did with my unhealthy eating?

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