2017 Goals: Expansion

I quite like the idea of having a theme, or one word, which sums up my New Year’s resolutions.  My word for 2016 was ‘consolidation’.   After what was, for me, a pretty shitty 2015 full of apocalyptic life changes, I wanted a year of no change.  I wanted a year of consolidation.

My resolutions were all about consolidating my new beginnings from 2015 and settling into my and Cygnet’s new life.  All in all, 2016 was a pretty good year and I can even say that I managed to abide by my 2016 resolutions.  Well, most of them anyway – I didn’t take a vitamin tablet every day, in fact I didn’t even manage a week.  I did go to the theatre more than once a month and Cygnet and I had some great times together.   I hope that 2017 will be more of the same in that regard.

This year, I’ve decided that my word, my theme, for the year is going to be expansion.  By ‘expansion’ I don’t mean that I am going to put on a load of weight, or move to a bigger flat, or get 1000 new friends on Facebook.  I mean that I am going to expand my horizons, read some more, learn to deal with things a little better, experiment, do stuff that I wouldn’t normally do, go to places I wouldn’t normally go to.  This isn’t about change, just growth.  This is about being myself – being the best version of myself more of the time.

In 2017 I am going to:

Do something new, or scary, or different every week

A high-flyer at work once said to me that to develop I needed to go to a meeting that scared me s******s and say at least three things in said meeting every single week.   This ‘high-flyer’ is likely to be running my company (which is a pretty big company) within the next couple of years and I do not have his career ambition.  There is something to be said though about putting ourselves out of our comfort zones.

I am therefore going to do something new, or scary, or different every single week in 2017.  Some of this comfort zone transgression may be at work –  it is going to have to be – I spend 40 hours a week there! I should be doing scary stuff outside of work too.

2017 GoalsScary stuff might mean doing something that I am not confident that I will succeed at.  I don’t want to be scared of failure, I want to learn from it. 

Scary stuff might mean plucking up the courage to go into the local bar on my own on a Friday night (you can read about my crisis of confidence here). 

I intend to go to places I’ve never been to before, see things I’ve never seen, experience things I’ve never experienced.  I intend to smell, taste, touch, see and hear new things. 

And, so that I remember and learn from these things, I am going to keep a list of what I’ve done.  Easy…or maybe not, but I am going to give it a go. 

Read a book a month

I used to read a lot. Now I manage about six pages a week, usually in the bath once Cygnet has gone to bed.  I miss it and I need to make time for more fiction.  One book a month feels as though it should be an achievable goal even for this time poor single, working mum.  I’ll let you know.

2017 Goals

Go to the theatre once a month

This is just me being self-indulgent. This was on my list of resolutions last year.  It is helpful to have a reminder to do things that you love, a ‘chore’ that you really want to do.  I saw some great stuff last year:  An Inspector Calls; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Wonder.land. 

I also saw some less than mediocre comedy and an eminently forgettable monologue which really did feel like a chore rather than a pleasure.  Sometimes you have to see the rubbish stuff to appreciate the good stuff.

Be more robust with my ex

My ex likes to get his own way.  I don’t deal with conflict well.  It makes me tense and stressed and I do everything that I can to avoid any form of conflict.  When it comes to my ex this usually means letting him have his own way.  My ex exploits my conciliatory position and demands more and more and more. 

He seems to know which buttons to press to get what he wants.  He argues aggressively and then cries.  It took me a while to recognise and write about the compliance and control in our relationship, but my ex is an emotional manipulator and I need to learn how best to cope with that.  I need to be more robust and businesslike with my ex.

Be more ‘zen’

2017 Goals

I am not entirely sure what this means or what I want ‘be more zen’ to mean.  I do know that I find dealing with my ex really stressful.  Over the course of 2016, I think I learned not to show it, but I tend to internalise that stress.

I feel the tension rising up my back like a tidal wave.  My breathing quickens.   Waves then crash relentlessly and forcefully against my back.  They surge and then circulate like a whirlpool between my shoulders.

I cannot control my ex, in fact I cannot even predict his actions, but I should be able to control how my mind and body react to him.

So, I’ve downloaded a the app Headspace, I’ve bought a yoga for stress release DVD.  I don’t yet know what will work, but there has to be something and in 2017 I intend to find my coping mechanism.  I’ll try anything twice, and if all else fails…

…I’ll just drink more wine. 

Happy New Year!

You Baby Me Mummy

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. January 4, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    Great post lovely and I love your word for 2017 and what it means for you. The trend for creating a word and feeling for our year is a positive one, it helps me to focus on what is important to me and my family. I think you’re right we can’t control how other people are, just our reaction to them. Thank you for linking up to #sharethejoy xo

    • thesingleswan
      January 4, 2017 / 10:19 pm

      Hi Lizzie,

      thank you. I am glad you like it. I’ll let you know how I get on. Pen x

  2. January 4, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    I love your word for the year – expansion is unusual and so expressive! It speaks to me of openness and getting out of our own way to live our dreams… here’s to an amazing 2017 lovely and by the way I’m a huge Headspace app fan – hope you find it helpful! X

    • thesingleswan
      January 4, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      Thank you. I’ll let you know how I get on with Headspace. Pen x

  3. January 5, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    Love this empowering post, thanks for the inspiration! I am definitely reading more and going to the theatre more this year too. Happy NY X

    • thesingleswan
      January 6, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Great! I look forward to hearing about what you see and read. HNY to you too. Pen x

  4. January 11, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    Happy new year a good luck with your goals, I love the doing scary stuff one as it makes me think of all those scary exciting things that I would like to do but somehow dont do now as ‘i’m far too busy’…. it’s such a cop out. Big brave steps are needed, thanks for the encouraging post!:)
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Mainy x

    • thesingleswan
      January 14, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Hi Mainy,

      thanks for your comment. I’ll let you know how the scary stuff goes. Happy New year to you too. Pen x

  5. January 17, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    Great word and really inspirational. Its all mind over matter. You can do it #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      January 17, 2017 / 8:42 pm

      thank you. Pen x

  6. January 19, 2017 / 9:59 pm

    Great goals, I really hope you achieve them. This year is going to be my year of doing not just saying. So far I have managed to do some things I refused to do last year and I’m hoping to keep this up. Instead of why do today when you can put off till tomorrow it’s going to e the complete opposite! Good luck with your ex too, I really hope you manage to find a good way of dealing with the relationship that works for you #kcacols
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…Home Bargains Cinema Light Box ReviewMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 21, 2017 / 12:17 am

      Doing and not just saying – I like that. Thanks for your comment. Loads of love Pen x

  7. January 20, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Some fab goals here! I too have a resolution to read at least one book per month. Like you I now struggle to find the time. I only managed one entire book in 2016! How are you getting along with it so far?
    I also like the sound of doing so thing which scares you. I live within my comfort zone, I definitely need to step out of it more often!
    Becky Clark recently posted…PANCAKES – The perfect Friday treatMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      January 21, 2017 / 12:14 am

      Hey, To be honest, I am not doing as well as I should be with the book a month thing. I have deliberately chosen a short book and I am less than half way through. I have a train journey tomorrow. Reading time I think. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

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