Last year I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do with the boys throughout the year. It was mostly ideas for days out so we wouldn’t waste our weekends trying to decide what to do. I pinned the list to our family notice board in the kitchen and I’d scan through the list for ideas whenever we had an unexpected free day. There were 50 things on my list and I’m really proud to say we did nearly all of them!
I love a list anytime. I’m one of those people who needs a list to get anything done. I write lists for everything, even just an everyday to-do list with all the chores and activities I do every single day. If I don’t write a list I find myself pottering about aimlessly and I never get anything done, but when I have a list I morph into this super productive ninja who can whizz around and do all the things.
It works on an everyday level but also works on a big level and I love to list all my big ambitions, goals and ideas for the year.
Over Christmas, Sam and I shared a bottle of Prosecco and wrote a list of all the things we wanted to do in 2020. Sam doesn’t join me in my love for lists but once we got into it it was really fun.
#1. Buy a paddleboard and go paddleboarding
We spend a lot of our summer at the beach and I’d really love to get a paddleboard this summer. We have a caravan a short walk from Abersoch Beach on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales and it’s gorgeous. Early mornings are beautiful when the water is so still and it would also be lovely to go paddleboarding on a late summer evening as the sun sets.
I remember sitting on the beach last summer. I was 7 months pregnant and felt like a whale. The boys were building sandcastles nearby when these two gorgeous mums appeared over the sand dunes with their flock of athletic children and two paddleboards. They got out on the water and the mums paddled while the kids sat at the front and back or swam alongside them. They looked like they were having so much fun and I vowed to do that next summer!
^A gorgeous spot for paddleboarding in Abersoch
#2. Go swimming more
To coincide with the paddleboarding, I’d like to go swimming more. I’d like to swim for fitness but also swim for fun with the kids. The boys will also need to be strong, confident swimmers for the paddleboarding!
#3. Have more beach BBQs in the summer
We did this once last summer and it was the most magical evening. We promised ourselves we’d do it again but we didn’t!
We took a disposable BBQ, a packet of sausages and some hotdog rolls down to the beach and cooked our dinner on the sand as the sunset and the waves gently lapped up the beach.
Admittedly, we had a few sandy sausages and gritty bread but it was still so lovely.
We’re planning to buy a little BBQ we can carry down to the beach so we’re not always using disposable ones.
#4. Go camping at least once
Originally I’d said I wanted to go camping all the time, but Sam reined me in and reminded me that camping with three young children won’t be that easy! But I don’t care because camping is so much fun and I think the kids will love it.
^Camping with George when he was little
#5. Read more
I love reading but it’s not really just the reading I love. I love going to bed early, getting into fresh bed sheets, lighting a candle, drinking a cup of tea and relaxing in bed and reading a book. I want to do this more!
#6. Go to Disneyland Paris
Yey, here’s a biggy. Our big family holiday this year will be to Disneyland Paris!
#7. Go to Center Parcs
I’m 32 years old and I’m a British family travel blogger and I still haven’t been to Center Parcs! Come on Monica, sort it out.
^These two would love a trip to Center Parcs!
#8. Run a 10K
This is the only thing on the list I’m feeling a bit unsure about putting in writing. I love the feeling you have after a run. The endorphin high euphoria …. and the relief that you can go home and not do that again for a few days! I actually hate running but it’s such a convenient way to exercise when you have children.
#9. Make damson gin
We have a damson tree in our garden and we get thousands of damsons every year. And every year we say we’ll pick them and make something with them. And every year we let them fall to the grass while we watch the squirrels come and collect them and scurry away to their hidden homes.
I do like watching the squirrels come and get them, but do you know what I love more? Gin. I love gin much more.
So this year will finally be the year we do something with our damsons!
#10. Plant some flowers in the garden
And while we’re in the garden let’s make it pretty! We’ve been so focused on the house for the past few years that we’ve never really done anything with the garden so 2020 is the year I’d like to make it nice. I’m not going to go nuts because I don’t have a lot of time to maintain the garden and we go away a lot so I need to be able to leave it for a week or two without everything dying.
I know nothing about gardening so if you know of any fun gardening YouTubers or bloggers then please do let me know!
#11. Re-open The Blogger Course
Some of you may know I run a blogging e-course called The Blogger Course. I closed it last year to refresh it and during that time I became a bit disillusioned by blogging. I didn’t want to be another blogger with an e-course telling people how to create the dream life of a blogger. There are so many people giving such terrible advice and lots of people teaching people about blogging while actually making their living through e-courses, not through blogging.
Anyway. It took a good friend of mine telling me, ‘But you’re not one of those people so why does it matter!?’ to finally give me the motivation to re-open The Blogger Course!
#12. Finish our house
The house is so nearly done! After a year of building work it’s almost complete but there are some finishing off bits. The floor in the kitchen is still drying, which is why we haven’t been able to lay the kitchen tiles and finish off the woodwork and properly decorate. But it won’t be too long now!
^Our bedroom extension has created a beautiful space
#13. Take 5 glamping trips
We took 4 glamping trips last summer and I LOVED them. They are honestly my favourite memories from 2019 and I want more memories like these.
^I’d love to stay in a Hobbit House!
#14. Write 200 blog posts on The Travel Hack
In my last blog post about New Year’s resolutions and goals, I told you guys I wanted to increase my pageviews by 5 million. That would take me close to around 10 million yearly pageviews! And the best way to increase pageviews is to create awesome blog posts people want to read, so that’s what I need to do! I wrote 75 in 2019 and I plan to increase that to 200 for 2020.
#15. Make 50 mini videos
I’ve made a couple of mini videos so far this year but I’m setting myself the goal of 50 videos to make sure I keep making them throughout the year. I love doing them and a 1 minute video can bring back so many gorgeous memories.
I’ll be mostly posting them on IGTV if you’re interested in seeing them.
View this post on Instagram
#16. Become an organisation ninja
I’m actually getting pretty good at organising.
I was previously one of those scatty, disorganised, messy people who did not have their shit together AT ALL.
But since having three children and working and travelling I’ve HAD to become more organised or I’d never leave the house. I’ve read a lot, I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos, had a lot of trial and error and generally just got my shit together.
And some days I am this organised ninja who gets through the day like Super Mum and Super Blogger. It feels good! But some days I’m not organised at all and it all goes to shit so my aim is to be the organised ninja at least 80% of the time!
I’m going to be sharing more of my organisation hacks throughout the year!
#17. Ride my bike
Oh my goodness, is there anything better than riding a bike on a sunny day? With the wind in your hair and the sun on your face and this wonderful feeling like you’re flying!? I LOVE riding a bike.
I have an Urban Iki baby seat on the back of my bike so once Alba is big enough to go in that I’ll be off!
#18. Grow my hair
If you ever see me questioning whether or not I should cut my hair short, tell me NO!
I don’t know why I do it. Just as my hair gets to shoulder length I get this overwhelming urge to chop it off. Don’t let me do it again!
I’ve mostly had long hair all my life and long hair feels like me. I want it back.
#19. Plan for Christmas early
I was disorganised about Christmas in 2019. Being pregnant and then being unsure what kind of baby would be arriving into our lives in October made me hesitant to book much. There are lots of things I would have liked to do with the kids but I didn’t book them in time so I’m going to make sure I book them early this year!
You can go to Santa’s grotto at Chirk Castle so I’d really love to do that and I’d like to take them to see the lanterns at Chester Zoo again because that’s amazing.
#20. Hire a campervan
And finally, I’d like to hire a campervan and go on a mega family road trip in 2020.
You may remember that we toyed with the idea of buying a campervan last summer. I would still love one but, realistically, we wouldn’t use it enough to be worthwhile so we might as well just hire one. If we like it then we could hire one 2-3 times a year and it would still make financial sense over buying one.
And my final ‘goal’ of 2020 is to soak up all the newborn gorgeousness of Alba and the gorgeous little boy stage that George and Joseph are in. The three of them make me so happy and I just want to enjoy this lovely stage of life.