How to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever

How to Make 2018 Your (My) Best Year Ever | Realistic New Year's Resolutions and Goals

So this is it, my last blog post of 2017. It’s been a crazy year all in all, and I’ve learnt so much in just 12 short months.

Although I don’t “do” New Year’s Resolutions per se, I thought I’d list a few realistic resolutions – or should I say goals – that could make 2018 your (and my) best year ever. It’s all a case of learning from your mistakes and successes, and oh BOY did I make some mistakes this year! My biggest mistake was taking on far too much work – much more than one person could possibly handle – so that’s my number one priority this year.

I have to learn to say no more often, especially when it comes to job offers. Being freelance gives you that sense of worry, the constant Where is my next pay cheque going to come from feeling. It’s a feeling that’s hard to shake off when you’ve been in a situation where several people have disappeared off the face of the earth with your hard-earned money. I’m so glad I managed to turn things around in just over a year without having to give up the blog (but it came close!) – in the next year I need to organise my time much better and get my work-life balance right.

These goals can apply to anyone and everyone – I’ve used examples from my own life but I’m sure most people can recognise how these goals apply to them.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!


1. Do something you’ve been putting off for ages

Whether it’s filling in those holes where you moved a picture frame, taking those Spanish classes or putting your house on the market, make 2018 the year you finally get round to doing that really important thing you’ve been procrastinating about for too long. I’ve got lots of things planned, from booking the big holiday we couldn’t afford this year to moving house to setting up a new business we’ve talked about for ages (that’s a hell of a lot to take on, I know).

While it’s still the festive season take the time to write down all the things you want and NEED to do in 2018. Look at what’s realistically possible. Write a rough schedule of what needs doing and when and set aside time to do them – make concrete plans now.

As well as the moving house and other big stuff I must, must, MUST sort out things like a pension, life insurance and a will. It’s boring (probably why I’ve put it off) but oh-so-important. When you’re freelance these things go by the wayside a bit, and I’m grown up enough to now get these things sorted because I don’t have an employer to rely on for this stuff anymore.

No more procrastination…!


2. Don’t let people take advantage of you

I wrote about this very subject in October this year: Know your worth. I’m not just talking about money, I’m talking about knowing your worth in every aspect of life, from career to relationships to life in general. 2017 has been a very significant year for women with everything that’s happened in relation to the #MeToo movement and it’s paved the way for women to think so much more about their worth.

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So don’t let others take advantage of you.

Make sure you’re being paid the same as men in your workplace.

Don’t put up with bad behaviour from a partner, friend or family member.

Don’t let that estate agent take you for a ride (I’m sooo prepared for this one)… and so on, and so on.

Take back control in 2018.[tweetshare tweet=”Take back control in 2018: Know your worth. Don’t let others take advantage of you. Take a break. Look after your health. Put yourself first now and then so you can look after everyone else properly.” username=”notlamb”]


3. Take a break – or lots of small ones

Everyone deserves a holiday, so if you can plan a break away from work, from your home life, whatever it may be – just DO IT. Keith and I couldn’t afford a proper vacation away in the sun this year, but we had a quiet week down in Cornwall to do pretty much nothing… it was utter bliss. No plans, just each day spent waking up and deciding what to do right there and then. And sometimes we did nothing more than sit reading, watching movies and walking the dog – all day. I highly recommend just a weekend of that if you can manage it.

If we’re talking daily routines and taking lunch breaks, then I’m the worst culprit for this. As I work from home I can easily go through till 5pm and realise I’ve not moved away from my desk or had a break since breakfast time. Breaks from the screen and breaks from too much sitting are VITAL to your health.

Which leads me onto…


4. Don’t neglect your health

This one is SO important it really should be first on the list. As they always say, if you don’t have your health…?!

I know too many people who either put off having things checked out (hmm, see number 1 on the list) or battle on through when they really should either be taking it easy or getting someone to look at something. I’ve recently (finally!) had the answers to my two-year-old leg injury – it’s getting sorted at last (I’ll talk about it in next Friday’s #SaturdayShareLinkUp). I could have ignored it and accepted that’s how my leg would always be, but thank GOD I didn’t.

And if you’re still eating endless rounds of processed takeaways or consuming Diet Coke every day and you’re over the age of 20 then you really, REALLY should take responsibility for what you’re doing to your body.

You wouldn’t feed a baby or an animal that much sugar and fat, so start respecting your body… it’s the only one you’ve got!


5. Put yourself first now and then

I’m not saying you need to be all-out selfish here, I’m saying that your needs, wants and desires are just as important as the needs, wants and desires of your loved ones. If you’re not looking after number one (see point 4!) and doing things to aid your own well-being and happiness, it’s very difficult to make those you care about happy too. One of the EASIEST ways to make other people happy is to be an easygoing, likeable person to be around.

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Who doesn’t love being with happy people? It sure beats being with unhappy ones – so do what you can, as often as you can, to make your life easier, less stressful, and more fulfilled. You’ll find looking after everyone else then comes automatically as a result.


Now, go forth and make next year your best year EVER!




How to Make 2018 Your (My) Best Year Ever | Realistic New Year's Resolutions and Goals

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So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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Thank you for joining the #SaturdayShareLinkUp! Designed to allow you to share anything you like on ANY topic, it goes live every Friday at around 8pm UK time and will stay open for a week. You can share blog posts or Instagram posts, old posts or new posts, and link up as many as you like.


PLEASE be kind and leave a link somewhere on your post, and share your post using the hashtag #SaturdayShareLinkUp – if you tweet your link with the hashtag and tag me in @notlamb I’ll even retweet it to my followers for you 🙂

An InLinkz Link-up




Never Underestimate How Much You’re Worth

Why Sometimes You Need to Take a Chance in Life
– I Don’t Like Mondays, I Love Them! 5 Ways to Love Mondays

Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts, Fake It Until You Make It


  1. 31 December 2017 / 10:53 am

    I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the endless support you've shown me, not only this year but since we met. Catherine you have brought tears to my eyes on two occasions with the kindness you've shown me. Just recently your words in my Christmas card welled me up. The complete faith you have in my ability to succeed as a professional blogger & the total willingness to help me get there mean the absolute world to me. In me you have a devoted friend for life. No ocean can divide us, love you xxx

    • 1 January 2018 / 5:20 pm

      Oh bless you MT – don't, you'll make me cry!!!! It's never a problem helping people who need it or who deserve it, half the time it's just passing on something that I can't take advantage of which everyone can do, can't they? I don't know why people don't do it more often – having a friend for life is the best reward ever!!!!

      Happiest of New Years to you my lovely – can't wait to see what you get up to in NJ…!! love you too xoxo

  2. 31 December 2017 / 5:16 am

    Great goals. Thanks for hosting and I hope you and your family have a wonderful New Years. Blessings in 2018.

    • 1 January 2018 / 5:16 pm

      That's always the best we can do, Becky…! x

  3. 30 December 2017 / 5:18 pm

    You are very wise – great advice. I have one single goal for 2018: finish my PhD!! I am not even going to add any other goals to the list, anything else will be a bonus.

    • 1 January 2018 / 5:16 pm

      Oh wow now that IS major – best of luck!!! x

  4. 30 December 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I am so glad you found out what is wrong with your leg. Perhaps you can now start exercising again, like you want to so badly.

    • 30 December 2017 / 4:59 pm

      Keep your fingers crossed it sorts it once and for all, Greetje!! Details next week…

  5. 30 December 2017 / 3:36 pm

    My stepmom (the 60+ model on my blog) always says that the money you spend on your health is the best investment ever. Yet sometimes we put it off and don't prioritize it. Well, at least I do. So here's to a better 2018 with my health first!!
    Thanks for all of your fabulous post, Catherine!

    • 30 December 2017 / 4:58 pm

      And she's absolutely right, Jodie!! So many of my points are actually connected with health – life really does revolve around it (or at least it should)! x

  6. 30 December 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Sound advice Hun, thanks for sharing – here's to a wonderful, exciting New Year. Cheers. Jacqui

  7. 30 December 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Great post! I love to make goals for each new year am a firm believer in if you write it down you can make it happen! Happy New Year Catherine!

    • 30 December 2017 / 3:29 pm

      Yes I have to write things down too, Cheryl!! Happy new year my lovely x

  8. 30 December 2017 / 1:49 pm

    You're bang on about health. I have a history of getting really bad colds which turn to laryngitis. This February 2017 I went to a wedding where some of us did impromptu speeches. I sounded like a vocalist in a death metal band! I couldn't kick the sore throat which then became a lost voice. Then I worked as a Tefl teacher at summer school with that same bad voice. But I finally listened to my mum and got it checked out. Nodules on my vocal chords! After a few months of speech therapy they were persisting, and yesterday I had a quick and successful operation to sort it out. I should've listened to my mum and gone to the doctor much sooner.

    Meanwhile, the summer job treated its teachers and senior staff (of which I was one) appallingly. So I wouldn't be working for them again, politely but firmly. It does feel good to protect your boundaries because not everyone you meet will respect them – that's our job.

    The good news is I'll be blogging next year and hopefully have everything set up. I was too poorly and preoccupied this year, so decided to leave it till 2018 now I can do it properly. Exciting! I've learnt so much from bloggers I follow, including you. So glad you're still with us!

    Happy New Year Catherine and Keith x.

    • 30 December 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Oooops, typo!

      So I *told* them I wouldn't be working for them again. #terribleteacher

    • 30 December 2017 / 3:28 pm

      Emerald that's great about you starting your blog, I'm very excited for you!

      I'm really glad to hear your operation went well, I'm going to find myself in a similar situation in a couple of weeks… I can't say I'm not nervous, but I can't wait to hopefully have this leg problem sorted once and for all. More details next week – and thank you and HNY to you too! x

      P.S. Good for you re. jacking in the job 😀

  9. 30 December 2017 / 1:16 pm

    What a wonderful post to end the year and start the new one, thank you Catherine. Have the happiest of New Years.

  10. 30 December 2017 / 1:04 pm

    I will keep some of those thoughts in mind!
    Have a fabulous new years eve and a great start in 2018!

  11. 30 December 2017 / 1:00 pm

    Really nice post for reflection and looking forward! Happy New Year!

  12. 30 December 2017 / 12:08 pm

    Inspiring post Catherine, life does have a way of taking over and we have to stop and evaluate sometimes! Thank you for all the enjoyable features this year and here's to many more in 2018. Happy New Year to you and Keith. Pamela x

    • 30 December 2017 / 3:17 pm

      You're right it does, Pamela! Thank you and HNY to you too x

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