Any positive plans for 2018, anyone? Also booze...again!

I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions and almost never keep them. For 2017, I decided to come up with a few guidelines to try to live by instead and it has worked really well. I might have wobbled now and again, but overall I have at least shifted the balance for the better in all these areas of my life.

I'm having a very wobbly wobble at the moment - I haven't been back to the gym since I had my cold/virus (which is still rumbling on) and I've been really busy, drinking too much booze and eating everything I shouldn't. My bad behaviour was starting to get me down a bit, but looking back at my "guidelines" for the year, I can see that, in the larger scheme of things, I have done really well.

I thought I'd share my 2017 guidelines here....

* ******************************************************

LESS consumption

/MORE creation

LESS unhealthy food

/MORE activity

LESS stress-inducing clutter

/MORE peace-inducing organisation

LESS inside

/MORE outside

LESS non-exercise guilt

/MORE hula hooping!


Eating for health and happiness

Hula hooping

Another fun exercise

Everyday activity

Up and at ‘em by 8(:59)

Time outdoors (esp with daughter)

Regular small improvements to home environment

Prioritising time for creativity (esp dressmaking)

Better sleep


I spent AGES thinking about these and will say that they are very much tailored to me and my specific needs/interests, but what might work equally well for others is the less/more approach. I've found these really easy to keep in mind throughout the year and have found it helpful to have a positive (do this) as an alternative to the negative (don't do that) e.g. if I'm tempted to buy plastic tat for children's birthdays, I say, "Less consumption, more creation," to myself and (time allowing) make a present instead. It's easy to make these little choices day to day, but over the year they make a big change to your life. My "pursue" list maybe takes a bit more effort to fulfil, but I found it helped having these written down quite simply with the goal of pursuing rather than achieving. That way I don't have to feel bad if I'm not quite there yet with any of them, they are all works in progress, and I have made progress with every single one of them.

So, what of 2018? Well, I'm keeping all these guidelines for another year, but (despite what I said about liking not having a hard-and-fast rule to live by) am adding one much more traditional resolution - I am planning to give up alcohol for the whole of 2018. I did a couple of "sober" months this year and enjoyed time off from booze so much - I lost weight, felt great, got more done. But as soon as I allow myself alcohol again, all moderation flies out the window - I drink too much/too regularly and good habits start falling apart almost immediately. I think a whole year off the booze will be a positive experience for me. I thought my husband (who has stated before that he would not want to be married to a non-drinker) would be sad at the loss of his drinking buddy, but he actually thinks it's a great idea, having seen how much more I enjoyed life during my recent six-week dry spell and how much weight I lost - something I struggle with generally. My friends are very positive about it too, one or two of them are even thinking of joining me.

I think this time of year is kind of tricky for everyone, but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture has made me feel a good bit better about everything, including myself.

Do any of you have positive plans brewing for 2018? I would love to hear about them!

18 Replies

  • Best 'New Year new me' post I've seen in a long time! Out of all of this I think the hula hooping will be the best opportunity for some pictures for HU :D

  • Now, if we could post videos...

  • That would be amazing...let me pass that on to our digital team and they can speak to HU about it :)

  • Hi Laura,

    an inspiration thank you, I don't think I can hula hoop, used to like eating them but the new found me doesn't touch them now! Mind you i am not all quinoa and kale, I just enjoy in moderation.

    I am a tad nervous about Xmas and the season of filling till I pop, I will have a think about plans going forward and respond later

  • Love all the thought you put into your resolutions and your plans for 2018. Last New Year my husband and I planned to make more time for each other as he often travels with work and I work shifts so between that and a busy family life our joint resolution was a monthly date night .Starting to look back over the year we can count up the number of date nights we have managed on one hand. This includes one date at sitting in the closed hospital cafe and one snatched date in the hospital garden. Last Friday I went in and met my husband after work and enjoyed a lovely evening in Edinburgh enjoying the newly put up decorations and time together.

    Our resolution for 2018 - more date nights and none of them in a hospital.

    Happy hula hoping.


  • I think it's really hard to spend quality time with the people who are with you day to day - too easy to put off, thinking you can easily reschedule, then somehow that time never comes. I've had hospital dates before too, which are actually great if they happen to fall on a Friday because the Golden Jubilee hospital does THE BEST macaroni cheese and chips every single Friday. Sadly, my appointments always seem to fall on a Tuesday now :( Ha! (They probably heard how much macaroni I was consuming and changed the day for my own good.)

    Glad to hear you had a twinkly date night with the Christmas lights. This time of year has some lovely opportunities for nice cosy times together, great that you're making the most of it and not waiting until January 1st :)

  • Ok here goes,

    First I'm going to continue the CBT plus take up the offer of further assistance especially for my sleep pattern.

    I'm going to cook more, I enjoy it and it's relaxing. That includes making next year's Christmas pudding in January and feeding it every other week.

    Step up the exercise routine, need to use my bike I bought an indoor resistance machine it's not just to look at, maybe this will also help the sleep.

    I have almost given up chocolate, so that has to go fully. My secret binge is smarties I love them, but they don't do anything for my weight loss (12lbs and counting). Use a measure when I have a gin!! And eat more fruit

    Stop being such an arse to my wife. Should really be number one priority, so I guess I should make her my number one priority

    Actually plan what I am going to do post February when I intend to resign from work, my notice period will take me up to May, bit cheeky as work will be sponsors for my walk up Mulhacen end of April!! There are so many little jobs to do round the house and in the garden I will make a lovely list and tick them all off. After that, volunteer. Not sure what or where but there are numerous opportunities out there.

  • These all sound good - positive changes that are absolutely achievable. I'm loving the image of you taking care of your Christmas pudding throughout the year :) I have a workmate who keeps his own natural yoghurt culture, has had it on the go for 20 years or something. Kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies, but maybe you could pursue that alongside your pudding - they could keep each other company between feeds. Ha! Hope 2018 works out well for you, sounds like you've got a good plan in place.

  • Hi Laura

    This is a fabulous post. It's really got me thinking. 2018 for me is going to be a positive year. I've finally got some peace from being prodded and poked and operated on and my wonderful cardiologist has said he's happy with my treatment plan so I don't need to see him now for 6 months (amazin!) So now it's time to dust myself down and grab 2018 by the short and curlys. Your list has inspired me and I'm going to sit down and do something similar for myself.

    Thanks for posting it

    Steph x

  • That's my pleasure, Steph, glad you have found it useful. I'm seeing my consultant every six months nowadays as well and it's such a great feeling of freedom. Sure you'll come up with lots of good plans for 2018, be sure to share them when you do :)

  • Morning Laura

    I've just read your post and am inspired to get my finger out and change a few things for 2018

    I start rehab classes on Monday so although apprehensive I feel this is a start.

    I also have a list as long as your arm that I would like to achieve in the new year.

    The first one is definately lose weight.

    Good luck Laura I will think of you for inspiration xx

  • Good luck to you too, Christine. In 2016 and 2017, I've managed to lose weight...and put the weight back on again. Hoping that giving up alcohol for a long stretch will make it easier to lose weight and keep it off next year. So hard, isn't it? I'm happy to work together on it if you think that would help? Seems like lots of us on this forum are looking to lose weight, maybe we should set up a weekly weigh-in post or something?

    All the best for your rehab and for 2018 x

  • Hi Laura, great post! l too am going to make changes to my lifestyle and rid my brain of negative thoughts l know it is going to be a challenge!!! l am not taking any notice of peoples tactless comments like one friend who said the day after l finally came out of hospital after 92 days 6 hours and 10 minutes (yes l was counting) her words were " did they tell you how long you have got left?" which p***ed me off no end. So l googled it - BIG MISTAKE. l got conflicting time lines from 10 years to 25 years for my age so l opted for the 25 which would take me to 85 if the wine doesn`t kill me first, but in the back of my mind is the nagging doubt that my AVR and heart will completely explode in 10 years. My Husband and l are going to do the DRY JANUARY thing and put the money we save away for our holiday in September to Spain. l am also determined to raise my bum because it flattened in hospital (no one wants a soggy bottom) l have a exercise bike which l will use while listening and singing along to Meatloaf and Little Mix who l love equally. l am booked to have my teeth whitened at the end of January so l will look like a cross between Kim Kardashian and Simon Cowel. l am also getting on the back of my Husbands Kawasaki fast motorbike just like l used to. l keep telling myself to retrieve the positive spirit l had in hospital that helped me beat severe sepsis when many people did not expect me to live. l don`t`know if others feel the same but l feel its one step forward and two back with the F****ng depression and anxiety. l am sure when you look at your Daughter it will lift your spirits as it does with my two Sons and 3 Grandsons (Boyzone) . Try and post a video of you hula hooping, it is bound to go viral and give us all a boost. l forgot to mention that l have bought a mug for my hero Consultant who saved my life with two open heart operations in 5 weeks and l didn`t get to say goodbye to because it was his day off even though l left a thank you card, l have an appointment to see him in January. On the mug are these words CUTE ENOUGH TO STOP YOUR HEART then underneath SKILLED ENOUGH TO RESTART IT. l just hope he doesn`t think l am a stalker, l owe him everything. Do you think this gift is appropriate? The Nurses gave him a Mr Grumpy mug last Xmas which he found funny. Keep in touch honey and continue to motivate us all as you do so well! Love Sue xxx

  • I love this post and all the comment for 2018 ...i have no idea what I'm planning to do as yet as I'm new to this heart thing ...but I will try to be positive, say yes less yo other people and yes more to myself .and cut down on the booze I could do with losing the van tyre from around my waist do that's a plan to. But for now I'm going to take each day as it comes and look forward

    Maybe I do know what I'm going to do after all .love to all Jax x

  • Yep, sounds like you have a fair idea really :) I know many people are scathing of new year's resolutions, but I love this time of year and everyone's enthusiasm for self-improvement. And I'm very happy with my plans for the year, feels like I'm building on the progress I made in 2017. It's going to be a good year, I can feel it in my waters...though that could be the water tablet kicking in 😉

  • 😂 I don't know if I'm taking water tablets but I'm seeing a lot 😉x

  • That might be peeing 😂😂not seeing

  • 😂I just thought you meant seeing a lot of pee

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