This time last year, I sat down and wrote out 12 goals; one for each month of the next year to inspire and motivate myself to both revisit old loves and explore new ones.  Little did I know, I was planning for 2020... the year, it turns out, we couldn't have planned for in our wildest dreams or nightmares.  Not one to be detered from a challenge however, I duly posted pictures of my goals around my little office and set off on my adventure!


You can't always predict how a year will turn out, but you can do your best to make the most out of it. 




So, this is me. Wild swimming. In November. In my bathers... 




Some of my goals were more about mental barriers including; Teach someone somethingTry wild swimmingEnter a competition. It didn't matter what competition I entered or what I helped someone learn to do, or even how long I lasted in the cold November water, which was about 5 minutes, as that's how long it took to discover the jelly fish... it was more about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and just having a go.


I learnt that I am braver than I think. I also learnt that jellyfish are a hard no


The rest of my goals were well and truly craft and learning based and although some of these were now virtual experiences, I loved every minute of them and think you might too... 



Grow my own food



Grow your own

Now, I am famously not green-fingered, but I challenged myself to grow a few things this year and more importantly eat them! You might have an allotment, a big garden, or a few pots on a window sill; it doesn't matter. From herbs to salad leaves to peas and potatos, this has become an ongoing challenge that I hope will grow and grow... sorry. Not sorry.

If you want somewhere to start, take a look at Kim Stoddart's The climate change garden book and our range of courses here. Oh and if anyone knows how to stop fennel growing everywhere then let me know...



Make my own skincare



Love the skin you're in

This is one I haven't achieved as yet, but I still have a few days left and it is definitely one I will still do, even if I haven't managed to cram it in to 2020.  Totally fed up with paying sky high prices for skin care and not feeling confident in the ingredients or methods of production, this challenge is one brought around from necessity.


As many people do I suffer from senstive skin and made my own goats milk soap which was a game changer. Since then I have been toying with the idea of making my own cleanser and moisteruriser too and then I found Boo Cottage Botanicals skincare workshop and I was sold! 


If you want to join me in any of their in-person class, take a look at what they have on offer here and our full range of Natural beauty & body product courses here


Paint something



Paint something

My next challenge was to pick those paintbrushes back up and paint something. I imagined a Brontë scene of painting en plein air in the wilds of the rugged heath with moody clouds and a billowing dress. What I actually did was sit on my living room floor painting Christmas cards whilst shouting at the dogs not to drink the water and eat the paints, but boy did I enjoy it.

Was it perfect? No. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Will I do it again? Yes! Just not as close to the dogs. 

I am now eyeing up our incredible looking painting courses which you can see here and found a stunning selection of online and in-person workshops held by TV artist Marilyn Allis. 



Finish that draft story



Finish that draft

As an avid reader and writer I have been chastising myself year on year for not having written that best selling novel yet. Turns out you need to finish the draft... who knew?! So I changed my approach and started online creative writing lessons with Deana Luchia and everything changed! I may not be a novellist yet, but my confidence, technique and patience has improved like never before... so watch this space! 


From inspiration to practice and some much needed real talk, writing lessons are for anyone who has or wants to pick up that pen. Take a look at what we have available here and if you're wondering what course to pick, I think I might just be in love with this one with Nottingham Trent University! 



Make my own clothes!



Make my own clothes

Last but not least, I challenged myself to make an item of clothing. I found patterns and looked online for advice and as the months rolled on I realised I lacked the confidence to go at it alone. Then I met Charlotte at Twin Made and when she told me that I would be able to make my own dungarees in one workshop I may have thought... yeah right! 


And yet, here I stand in all my happy smiley face glory in my own dungarees! 


If you fancy giving this a try, you can find the dungaree workshop here and more of our Clothes making courses here. 


So apart from two goals I soon realised I was highly unlikely to achieve; See somewhere new and Go to a small island... I think I did pretty well! So well in fact that, although this year has been dismal, when I look back, I realise I have still grown and achieved more than I thought possible.


If you want to share what you achieved this year, against all odds then we want to hear about it! 


If you enjoyed reading this have a browse of all of our recent lockdown articles >


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