Well, hello everyone!
It’s a bit late to wish you a happy and healthy year but yet, I still wish you the very best!
I took a few days off during the Holidays and it felt amazing, even though I spent a good 4 days sick in bed right before New Year’s! Ever since coming back home, I spent quite a lot of time working on Natural Company, our healthy e-commerce but I also spent hours doing accounting for our different business and clients (my husband and I help small business owner manages everything, from HR to emails and daily tasks), so needless to say that I’ve been busy, which left little time for the blog or social media.
That being said, I still really enjoy blogging and filming videos, so I knew that I wanted to come back here as soon as I could. And to kick things off, I wanted to share my 20 goals for 2020! While I know that 20 goals sound insane, you’ll quickly see that some are pretty easy to accomplish while others are just keeping up with my current habits, so let’s dive into it!
1. Keep up with my workout routine
Last year, I decided to get back in shape and to make healthier choices daily (I talked about it here) and I ‘m happy to say that 5 months later, I’m still at it! I decided to get serious about working out again as I pretty much stopped completely after my endometriosis surgery in 2015 and it has been the best decision in a long time! We signed up for tennis lessons with Renaud, which means that we spend 1 hour each week sweating together on the court! Not only is it an amazing workout, but it’s also great to spend some quality time together and to see each other getting better and better each time. If we have some extra time, we sometimes book a court just for the two of us and we play together for a solid hour.
On top of that, I started running again. Back in the day, I use to go out for a run multiple times a week and while it’s by far the activity that I struggle with the most (my bpm always gets crazy high), it has been very therapeutic for me. I’m now halfway to running a 5K, which is a big deal for me as I was barely able to run for 3 minutes straight last summer. I downloaded this app which is great if you struggle as well as it creates a running plan to help you get to 5K in a matter of weeks. Sadly, I injured my left thigh last Fall so I had to take 6 weeks off, which means that I’ve fallen behind on my schedule, but it didn’t discourage me at all. I started running again this January and I’m just loving it, despite the rain and the wind! Finally, I’ve also made strength training a bigger priority as it was something that I used to overlook. I love to do arms and legs and while I still struggle with abs and planks, I’m determined to get there!
2. Try out new sports and workouts
On the same subject, I’ve been trying new activities and workout last year and it’s something that I’m determined to keep up with this year as well! I tried Soulcycle for the first time last December in London (spoiler alert: I LOVED it) but I also did barre for the first time (I managed to find a class near me so I’m heading there tomorrow!). This year, I tried Aqua Bike (imagine a spin class in a pool) for the first time last week and I loved it so much that I decided to sign up for a membership to go back each week! In 2020, I would like to try rock climbing, reformer pilates and find some cardio dance class that I like (let me know if you love any!)
3. Drink plenty of water
Now, this is a tough one for me! Growing up, I use to never drink water which means that it doesn’t come naturally to me. I know that it might sound crazy but I can easily go through a full day without drinking any glasses of water, which is just the worst! So for the last few years, I’ve been making a conscious effort to get better. Over the last few months, I’ve been especially good at drinking plenty of water with the help of a few things: I got a 1L reusable bottle that I use while working out (50cl was just too little for me), I added a water tracker app on my phone and I always keep a water bottle on my desk, in my car, and on my nightstand. All these small changes have let a big success as I now easily drink 2 to 3 L (if I’ve been working out) each day!
4. Set boundaries between my professional and personal lives
Starting a business with my husband has been a great decision for both of us. While I used to say ‘never get in business with friends or family’, I’ve also learned that not everything that I thought was true is. While I’ve learned to adjust to a major shift in my relationships with friends, I’ve thrived in my relationship with my husband even more since we started working together. I’ve discovered some new talents and qualities about him that I never got to see before and I am truly in awe of everything that we accomplish together. That being said, it’s time to get more serious about taking off our business partner hats more often. Since we work together, mainly from our home office, it’s pretty common for our weekends to blend with the week and for us to discuss business things while out on a date or even on vacation. This year, I want to make a conscious effort to stop work by 6 PM and to get our weekends entirely for us, and not dedicate time to emails or work. Of course, I know that sometimes urgent matters will keep us busy, but I want to find a better balance in general.
5. Spend more quality time with Renaud
On the same vein, I want to focus on spending more quality time together as a couple. When we moved in together, I quickly realized that although we were seeing each other more, we spent less quality time together. I know that it sounds confusing, but once you’re moving in with someone, it’s so easy to get lost in the swing of things and to only spend time together eating or watching TV. Playing tennis together has strengthened our bond, and I want to find more activities that allow us to spend more quality time together. So far, we’ve spent more time cooking together but we also love to spend time walking our dogs or just playing with them and it truly makes us stronger and happier.
6. Walk the dogs more
Last year was filled with so many emotions surrounding our pets. We adopted Chelsea in September 2018 but she quickly got unwell, and we were pretty much always at the vet. In early January 2019, she had a skin infection that required us to treat all 5 of our pets daily while we had to throw some unwashable pieces of furniture away and sterilize pretty much everything in our house. Thankfully, that came to an end in February and we got back to our daily lives for a few weeks.
Upon returning from Japan, we quickly noticed that something was wrong with her and it took us ages to figure out what was wrong. We visited the vet 3 times a week on average as she wasn’t eating, was losing weight rapidly and, worst of all, she appeared to be in pain quite a lot. She ended up staying at the hospital for a week as she had an intestinal block but her symptoms persisted afterward. We suspected a back issue or some digestive issues before we finally got her a brain scan that revealed water in her brain. We saw a neurologist that same week and got a diagnosis: Chelsea is epileptic. We directly put her on medication and everything went back to normal quickly.
Today, Chelsea is doing great. She gets her medications every single morning and only had 3 small episodes in nearly a year. She gained the weight back and a bit more which is great as she’s so small and she’s now healthy and happy, although she still has some throat issues that we need to investigate a bit further. Needless to say that 2019 was a rollercoaster year in terms of emotions but I’m so thankful that we managed to get her the help she needs and I am so grateful for all the amazing vets and specialists that we met along the way.
So, all of that to say that we didn’t walk both dogs a lot last year, so this year, we want to focus on it more. While we usually do short walks around our neighborhood with both dogs, we’ve decided to take Fendi, our cocker, on long walks by herself at the park or in the forest. At first, I didn’t want to walk Fendi alone but after months, we’ve realized that Chelsea doesn’t enjoy walks at all (it’s so weird, it’s my first dog ever that is reluctant to go on one!) and longer walks are simply impossible for her to keep up with as she’s so tiny. We did a test during the winter break and she was perfectly happy sleeping on the couch while we walked Fendi for a solid 30 minutes!
7. Read 52 books
This goal is the same as the one I had last year and it pushed me in a good way! I love reading but it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by everything else that we don’t make time for it. So this year, I want to listen to more audiobooks, especially when I’m cooking or driving but I also want to read more thrillers and horror books. As always, you can follow me on Goodreads for reading updates but I’ll also start sharing more on Youtube, social media and on here as well!
8. Walk more
When I lived in Paris, I use to walk everywhere. I hate the Parisian subway, so I would avoid it at all cost and I walked pretty much everywhere. But since moving back to Brussels, I’ve relied on my car a bit too much. So this year, I’m making a conscious effort to walk more and hit my 10,000 steps goals more often. A new organic food shop has opened near us so that’s great as I can do my groceries shopping on foot and I always walk to my workout classes or friend’s houses.
9. Bike more
I love to ride my bike, especially when I’m spending time in the countryside. So this year, I want to make a conscious effort to ride more during our time there but I also want to use my bike more when I’m home. I love using Jump bikes in the city but I also want to ride mine, a classic bicycle, more on sunny weekends.
10. Run 5K
As I told you, I picked up running again last year and my goal for this year is to be able to run 5K in one go. The program that I’m currently following alternates between walking and running to help you build stamina and, according to the app, I’m halfway there!
11. Fall back in love with my content
Last year, I managed to find some sort of balance between Natural Company and the blog, which means that I was able to work on more content than the previous year. That being said, I have so many post ideas in my mind but I never took the time to work on them so this year, I’m decided to create content that I love. I want to go back to sharing more about fashion and beauty but I also want to incorporate more content about books, healthy living and being an entrepreneur as well!
12. Visit new countries
As much as I love visiting London or Chicago, I would like to discover new countries this year. Ireland is high on my bucket list as well as Iceland, Lapland, and India. We also thinking of going on a safari in Africa, so this might be our big trip of the year! If you have any recommendations, please send them my way!
13. Try new things with my camera
Last year, I decided to splurge and get my dream camera. I’m always shooting content for the blog but I also shoot tons of photos for Natural Company and since I got this camera, I fell back in love with photography. We had so much fun playing around with it over the last few months and I finally got a great lens to go with it, which means that we have the best equipment to start trying out new things!
14. Start a gratitude journal
For Christmas, I got Renaud and I the five-minute journal. I’ve seen it around for years but I wasn’t interested until I started to read more about the benefits of keeping one. While I started doing it in my bullet journal, I wanted to take this to another level for both of us, so that’s why I’ve decided to get the journals. I hope that it will help us to feel even more grateful for all that we have and I think it will be a great way to reflect on the last few weeks as well once it’s completed.
14. Drink less alcohol
Renaud and I are currently doing our second round of the Whole 30, which means that we’re pretty much doing Dry January as we’re not drinking any alcohol in 30 days. We’re currently on day 8 and while we would have loved to have a glass of wine over dinner last Friday, we’re slowly realizing how alcohol influences our mood as well as our wellbeing. Now, we’re not planning on never drinking again but we want to focus on drinking only 2 days a week, and no more than 2 glasses. While we weren’t drinking too much before, I feel like alcohol is always part of certain aspects of our lives, like dinners, parties or events, while it doesn’t have to be!
15. Cook more at home
Last year, I cooked more than I ever did in my life! We made some big changes in our diets and it encouraged me to try new recipes and cook foods that I never cooked before. The most surprising thing for me was how much I enjoyed cooking from scratch! Before that, I always kept my cooking and baking fairly simple (think lasagna, risotto or cookies) but I went out and made soups, bread and even pasta from scratch! This year, I want to focus on learning some basics (I recently did my first mayo as well as almond milk) but I also want to try out new recipes and make sourdough bread!
16. Be adventurous in the kitchen
Well, the truth is that I am a creature of habit, and I don’t mind eating the same thing again and again. But while I could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I don’t think that would be the smartest choice! So this year, I want to try out new things, cook my way through an entire cookbook and try to make foods that I would usually buy pre-made (like dim sum or gyoza). I got a new cookbook for Christmas (this one) and I can’t wait to start cooking once we’re done with our Whole 30 and reintroduction phase!
17. Tidy our attic
We all know about Monica’s closet, but let me tell you about our attic. When we renovated our house, we transformed our 3rd floor into a proper room but we kept about 1/3 of the surface as a real attic. Over the years, I’ve slowly filled both of these rooms with… pretty much everything! From old school projects to photos, random decor and old magazines, the last 25 years of my life have found a spot there. It’s also the space that I designated for my craft closet but I have to admit it’s currently overflowing with clothes, shoes, and accessories that I no longer wear. Nowadays, whenever I go up there, I’m quickly overwhelmed by anxiety and I just don’t want to deal with it. The sad thing is that we installed a movie room up there, complete with a projector, two comfy couches, and our massive DVD collection but we’re not able to use it properly as I just kept on adding piles on top of piles. So this year, hopefully before Spring, I want to tackle everything. Donate what I no longer use, sell some great clothes on Vinted and organize what I want to keep. I hope that by the end I’ll be able to have an inspiring crafting space and a well-organized attic!
18. Create less waste
In 2019, I made a conscious effort to create less waste by switching over to reusable cotton pads, oriculi instead of Q-tips and cotton bags for my fruits and vegetables. This year, I want to take it even further and try to be more conscious of how much waste we’re creating daily. I try to buy in bulk instead of prepackaged foods (especially fruits, veg, rice or pasta) but I would love to cut down even more! If you have any good tips that have helped you create less waste, let me know!
19. Be more gentle with me
While I always try to take time for myself by running a bath, reading a good book or even working out, I’ve recently realized that I’m not always gentle with myself. I’m always criticizing things about my appearance or my personality, and I always belittle what I do. So my goal for 2020 is to show the same kind of compassion to me that I do to others. I want to stop being so hard on myself and instead focus on the positive. Also, I want to be more thankful for my body and what it can do instead of focusing on sore muscles or things that my body can’t do (yet)!
20. Stop being so damn perfectionist
Finally, and this is probably the hardest one for me, I want to stop being a perfectionist and, most importantly, stop getting in my way. If you’re a perfectionist like me, I’m sure that you know what I mean when I say that sometimes, I don’t do things just because I know that they won’t be perfect. It can happen in my professional life (I don’t want to even try to do this project since others are way better at it) but also in my personal life (I won’t bake a cake just in case it ends up not being as good as those on the Big British Bake Off). So this year, I’ll try, I’ll fail at some things but I’ll also succeed at others and I will learn along the way!
So, here we are, these are all my goals for 2020. Congrats if you made it this far, it was quite a ride! Feel free to share some of your goals or resolutions in the comments and let’s lift each other!