Hello there and a happy new year to you all.
I can’t believe that we’re only 7 days in and the UK is back in a national lockdown, although it isn’t a ‘real’ lockdown as many shops are still allowed to open and the borders have not been closed. I’m not entirely sure what Boris thinks he’s doing, but in my opinion he hasn’t got a clue. I really feel for my teacher colleagues
and friends who were pushing for this announcement weeks ago and still had to go into school on Monday. I hope that from today we can all find a routine for the next 6 weeks before the next potential shift.
Stay safe, everyone, and make sure you’re looking after you as well as anyone else.
Okay, enough about our disastrous country. Let’s get down to New Year’s resolutions, right?
Last year, I set an incredible number of resolutions to try and achieve. I never thought I’d even scratch the surface but upon reflection of 2020, I’m quite proud of what I managed to accomplish. This year, I don’t want to go overboard, but I think I’m capable of achieving just as much this year (I hope I haven’t jinxed myself there!). So… here are my resolutions for 2021.
- Improve my quality of teaching and develop teaching knowledge further
This almost goes without saying as it’s my job. My career, even! I never want to become complacent with my teaching, and even though I’m starting to feel more confident in my abilities I know I still have so much to learn. As humans we never stop learning (or shouldn’t!) but I feel that this is even more true as a teacher.
I’d like to branch out (IELTS again, CPE) and explore some new textbooks, different games and try to ‘test’ my students in more effective ways. The majority of my students will be taking exams (B2-C2) this year and I want to ensure that I can help them to be as prepared as possible.
My plan is to keep on reading ELT theory books, find things I want to try out and then write and reflect on how I used them and whether or not they seemed effective. I will make a start on the DELTA reading list, but I know I won’t have the money to take the exams any time soon.
At the end of the day, I want my students to be happy and successful.
2. Keep up with my language studies
I am definitely going to carry on with my Chinese lessons, although I’m not sure I will be able to afford having a lesson every week until my own work picks up. I have over 20 books at home from my years of studying and if I’m determined enough I can study on my own throughout the week.
I have decided to give Spanish a go this year. Considering that all of my students, except for 1, are Spanish, I think this may be a good idea. I’ll be able to learn more about their typical errors, the false friends and hopefully just have fun whilst learning and teaching at the same time. My students often tell me Spanish words, and I never understand them.
Let’s see how this goes, but I’m starting with Duolingo Spanish.
3. Be healthier
Last year started off quite well, but as soon as I started working full time again I noticed that I was constantly hungry, always buying coffee and pastries before work and ate late in the evening. Usually, that was McDonalds, Burritos or Subway! I know that a side effect of so many medicines is either weight loss or weight gain, and over the years I have suffered both. This time, I’m sure that stopping the medicine I had been on for so long has brought on an insane appetite that I just hadn’t had for the previous years.
I couldn’t stop eating and I kept gaining weight by the bucket load. I tried to work out, tried to run, walk and lift weights. But ultimately, I ate too often and in such large quantities. My hair and skin have been awful and I feel so sluggish.
This year, I have to do better. I have to take care of my body.
My aims are to try and get back down to 55kg, to try to avoid all dairy products and stop drinking sugary drinks. Last year I had an obsession with Fanta for the first time ever!
4. Read 50 books
I just love reading. I don’t want to have weeks or months at a time where I do not read this year, so I’m going to try and make a habit of reading every night before bed – even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
This year I have finally started Henning Mankell’s Wallander series. After watching the series on Netflix, about 5 years ago, I absolutely loved it and decided to buy all of the books. It took me a long time and a lot of charity shop visits to complete my collection, but I’m glad I have finally done so!
5. Stop spending and save
I’m tired of being surrounded by so many unnecessary items now. I’m getting old, or just accepting that I don’t need hundreds of possessions to be happy. Despite many of my belongings being in storage right now, I still feel as though I have loads at my parents’ place. I want to stop buying things – plants, clothes, make up – and just live as simply as possible. Will it be possible? I’m not sure. But I do want to save as much money as possible over the next few years and hope that we will soon be able to buy a car and a home.
6. Work consistently but know when to take time off
I want to continue working full time, but this year I need to be kinder to myself. Yes, I want a car and a home, but none of that will be possible if I’m suffering from a mental breakdown. I’m hoping to have at least two full days off during the quieter months, but will work as much as I can during the high season so I can stash away some extra money. Whereas last year I worked 5, 6 and even 7 days a week, sometimes up to 12 hours a day. It was getting ridiculous!
I’m also hoping to find some more writing work, especially in ELT, and perhaps try something a little more creative – but everything requires money to invest and I’m trying not to touch my savings for now.
7. Stop stressing
I really do say this every year, but I still worry too much. Some years I worry less about certain things (my weight, books or food) but there’s always something. It’s exhausting and I would really like to be more relaxed about life, regardless of what is going on around me.
8. Blog goals
I said I wasn’t going to make any ‘blog’ resolutions this year, but I’ve changed my mind. This year, I’d like to be able to blog four times per month, every single month. No breaks, no ‘time off’ or excuses. I’m hoping to hit 10,000 blog views and I’m going to use my posts to help me improve my teaching skills and branch out of my comfort zone as well.
9. Travel again!
I’m sure this is on many lists this year, but I really, really want to be able to travel again. Mainly because I have a huge wedding to go to! If I can’t make it out of the country, I’d at least like to be able to visit a city or town I’ve not yet been to… but let’s see how we get on.
10. It’s a secret.
I couldn’t possibly stop at just 9 resolutions. The list looks odd with 9, so yes there is a 10th resolution, but unfortunately it’s personal and one I don’t want to share with the world right now. Check back in 11 months and see if I’ve made it or not 😉
And that’s it! There you have my 10 resolutions for 2021 and I’m feeling optimistic.
Have you made any resolutions? If you have, I’d love to know what they are!