Top 10 things I want to achieve in 2023

Mel smiling in the Dubai desert wearing pink and green sunglasses and a white t-shirt

Top 10 things I want to achieve in 2023

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2023! How are we all doing?! I don’t know about you but the lead up to 2023 seemed to gain traction as quickly as a snow ball let go from the top of Everest!

I found myself still thinking about the things I want to achieve in 2023 as the clock struck midnight – which is so unlike me!

No matter what kind of year I’ve had though, I always enjoy celebrating New Year for this one simple reason: everybody gets a second chance.

Whether that’s doing what they’ve longed to do or working towards becoming the person they want to be – a new year is a fresh start that everyone can get behind!

Last year I completely smashed specific goals like buying my first house and running my first marathon, but fell slightly short on some of my blogging and travel goals.

As a result of this – I decided to stop redirecting my attention into too many places and roll over my remaining goals from 2022. As well as add an additional few goals that would round off my 2023 perfectly!

I hope this post inspires you to think about what goals you’d like to set yourself this year and what plans you’re going to put in place to make 2023 a great year!

Notepad with 2023 goals written on it with hands holding a pen getting ready to write

Other personal posts you might like…

Goal 1: Health and wellness

1) Lose my lockdown weight

I started the review of my 2022 goals off strong with an immediate fail…weight loss! 😂

During the endless months of lockdown in 2020 sitting on my backside, I went from gaining the “Quarantine 15” to putting on over two stone.  

In 2020, I ate whatever got me through the long work days and months on end being stuck at home. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. But with bigger things to worry about, I just stopped taking care of myself.

But at the start of 2021 I decided it was time to change.

For me it was less about the number on the scale and more about dealing with what had led to the weight gain. This included: bad food choices, no exercise and poor work-life balance.

In 2021, I didn’t follow through with a complete overhaul. But I did make small changes that I knew would be more sustainable.

I started exercising more, going for long hikes in the countryside and eating less sugar and processed food. I also trained for a half marathon and gradually lost 10 pounds over the course of the year.

In 2022 I went further with my fitness by deciding to train for my first marathon (more on that below!). But as any distant runner will tell you, the greater the mileage the less weight you drop.

You eat to sustain your runs by storing up on carbs and your appetite is off the charts. Especially when you’re nearing the end of training and your runs are between 18 and 20 miles! Your focus is on staying physically strong and ensuring you can do the mileage. Not cutting back on food to drop weight.

After the marathon I took some time off to recover but unfortunately I went on to take liberties with that! I must of subconsciously decided that because I had run a marathon – that one time – that I had the right to give up on exercise for the rest of the year, because that’s what I ended up doing!

Gradually after the marathon, the progress that I made in 2021 was completely undone and now I’m back to square one.

I KNOW I have to make a change, because if not now, when? It only gets more difficult as you get older and as 35 is approaching, it’s time to finish this goal for myself.

I need to find the right balance in 2023 by cutting back on sugar and eating out and committing to a consistent exercise regime for tip-top physical and mental wellbeing.

Mel eating a pizza slice in a pizzeria in Brighton wearing a red chequered shirt

2) Run my fastest half marathon

In 2021 I set myself the goal of running a half marathon to help keep me accountable. I wanted to lose all my lockdown weight and get pre-pandemic fit again.

Well, I stuck to the training plan and came over the finish line at the Great North Run. Proud to have completed the world’s largest half marathon! I was on such a high after the Great North Run, I knew a marathon had to be next!

I’d already done three half marathons and if I didn’t do the marathon in 2022, then when? Plus, I’d already trained up to 12 miles for the Great North Run. I was already technically half way through marathon training as it was!

Well I’m pleased to say that in 2022 I ran my first marathon! You can read all about the highs and lows of the race on my Footsteps on the Globe Insta account but essentially I sustained an injury half way which grew worse and ended in me limping to the finish line the final six miles.

It was rough and the last thing I wanted to do afterwards was exercise!

With the marathon putting me off running (and exercise generally!) after months of training, plus the injury I sustained running such high mileage, I decided not to return to the marathon in 2023.

Instead, I want to set myself the goal of beating my fastest half marathon which is two and a half hours. I would have to run an average six and half minutes per km to achieve this (I’m currently running an eight minute km!) but I really want to beat my best time and be able to say: “In your face past me!”

Mel holding her Manchester marathon medal in front of the finish line

Goal 2: Blogging

3) Publish two new blog posts per week

Despite dropping down to four days a week in my current job, my extra “day off” quickly became filled with marathon training, errands and appointments.

I also seem to get a lot of calls that day because people know I’m off and “available to talk”!

But I want my Fridays to be non-negotiable and I have to set boundaries with myself and those around me to ensure it stays this way.

I will cut myself some slack though – it’s a real challenge to stay on top of a blog when you are the writer, photographer, SEO manager, social media manager, administrator and techy.

What I’ve learned in trying to achieve this goal last year is that one day a week is not enough time to write two blog posts, prep posts for multiple social media outlets and have time to take on freelance work.

But I’m determined to make a change in 2023.

I need to have a more consistent schedule and more time to blog in order to grow it to where I want it to be. But more on that later!

Home page screen shot of Footsteps on the Globe

4) Go to Traverse

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Traverse, it’s a UK travel blogging conference which is hosted by Traverse Events every year in a different European city.

I’ve now been back to Traverse every year since the end of lockdown and I absolutely love it! It’s like an annual pilgrimage that I take to catch up with old and new travel blogger friends, learn new skills and enjoy some time to myself solo travelling.

In 2022 I took classes in advanced SEO, sustainable productivity, affirmation building, authentic content writing and working with travel brands post-pandemic.

I also arrived a few days early so I could spend some time exploring the host city, Brno in the Czech Republic (which was fantastic!).

Going to conferences like Traverse are such a great way to invest in your skills, boost campaign opportunities and get re-inspired! It’s also a great excuse to switch off and party with your pals for a week! 😉

Mel and her blogger friends posing in a photo booth with props at Traverse's final night
(L-R) Emma from Emma and 3, Tanya from Glam Glitz Global, Lyndsey from Me, him, the dog and the baby and Jess from Journeys with Jessica

5) Grow my Instagram to 2,000 followers

Anyone who has Instagram in a blogging or business capacity knows how notoriously difficult is has become to grow on the platform.

Granted my lack of strategy, infrequent uploading and lack of commitment to my niche may have also affected this growth in the past! But I decided to give myself a break over the last year and try experimenting with different content ideas that were less curated and more fun.

One of the biggest issues with growing my Footsteps on the Globe Instagram account was that when I decided to focus on the niche of ‘vegan travel’ many of my existing followers weren’t interested so my engagement went down. Instagram would then respond accordingly and my content wouldn’t get shown to new audiences.

To counteract this I published general travel content that didn’t always fit within my niche but that my existing followers might like.

But I found it impossible to grow by posting such broad content for an audience that was even broader.

As a result of this, I decided to start a new Instagram account that was focussed solely on vegan travel. I followed vegan creators that inspired me and posted about vegan food and tips for travelling as a vegan – and you know what? People started to respond!

This early vegan travel reel about an interactive Alice in Wonderland vegan afternoon tea got 168 likes and over 8,000 views. Which is surprising when I literally had less than 100 followers at the time!

In 2023, I really want to focus more on my vegan travel Instagram account and incorporate it further into my blogging content plan.

If you’d like to help get me to that 2,000 follower goal, you can follow me here. 😉

Goal 3: Travel

6) Go to Finland

I have had Finland on my bucket list for-everrr! I was determined that 2022 was going to be the year that I made it happen…then I bought a house! 😂

Finland may be a roll over goal but I’m marking it as 2023’s “big” trip of the year. So if no other travel is able to happen – Finland will. I’m THAT determined!

I want stay in a glass igloo, go sledding, have an authentic sauna experience, go snow-shoeing and meet Father Christmas!

I’ve always wanted to visit Finland whilst it’s snowing too. Apparently it snows between November and March, with Lapland getting snow between October to April. So I think a pre-Christmas December break would be perfect!

Check out my post for romantic Christmas getaways for couples if you’d like more getaway ideas for December! 😉

Person watching the Northern lights in Lapland from a cute hut

7) Go to Vegan Campout

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Vegan Campout, it’s the UK’s biggest and best vegan festival. There’s talks, food, live music, activism workshops, yoga and afterparties – what more could a vegan gal want?

The festival itself has been going on for a few years now. However, I only became aware of it when I set up my vegan Instagram account. And I really, really want to go!

I thought it would be a great opportunity to make new vegan friends and meet other vegan creators too!

8) Go to Italy for the first time

With any goal I know it’s important to be specific. But I’m really not fussed where in Italy I go – I’m just dying to go!

My boyfriend first booked Venice as a surprise for our first anniversary but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.

We joked about saving it for our second anniversary (because of course we’d be going long before then right!). But what followed was another year of the UK being in and out of lockdowns and varying tiers. Urgh remember the tier system?

So in August 2022 (our third anniversary), we planned to finally make it to Venice. But ended up booking Paris instead! 😂

We had a terrific time though and even spent a few fun-filled days in Disneyland Paris too!

For 2023, I’m removing any specific occasion from the equation and saying: “I just want to go to Italy. Anywhere in Italy. For the first-time!”

I’ve hinted around to book Rome for my birthday next month – but we’ll see!

Girl with dark hair looking up at the colosseum in Rome

Goal 4: Work

9) Go down to a three-day work week

Remember earlier in this post when I said I needed more time to blog in order to grow it? Well friends, read on!

I currently work for a health charity with an absolutely lovely team of people – I’m very lucky! I absolutely love my job and feel very privileged to be able to say that.

But two years down the line I find myself at a cross roads as I’m unable to progress any further. I’m the head of all comms and campaigns – there’s nowhere to go from here!

I originally applied for my job on a part-time basis. However, the organisation required a digital marketeer to work four days a week (which was what the office hours were).

As the sole marketer developing and implementing campaign strategies, managing a website, scheduling social media and running a comms network of 50+ charities – the job needs someone full-time ideally if nothing is outsourced.

I thought working four days a week would give me more time to work on the blog and slowly grow it to a point where I could eventually drop down to part-time hours. Unfortunately this didn’t come to be.

So much has happened in the two years since I got the job. We were still in the back-end of lockdown, I moved three times, bought my first house, trained and ran a marathon, moved in with my boyfriend and began travelling again. All alongside trying to grow Footsteps on the Globe!

This year I’m determined to go down to working three days a week. I want to really focus on my business and passion project!

And who knows? If I’m not able to do this in my current job, maybe it’s time for me to spread my wings and try something new?

You never know, this time next year I could be blogging and freelancing full-time! Let’s just take a minute to manifest that now, shall we? 😌

In my original lockdown Footsteps on the Globe office

Goal 5: House

10) Start renovating my house

One of my main goals over the last three years was to max out my LISA to finally buy my first house.

In April 2022 I became the proud owner of my very first house! A little two bed terrace less than 10 minutes outside of central Manchester which is all miiiiine.

To date it’s one of my proudest achievements.

The place was going for a great price already but even though I managed to negotiate it down – the house needs a lot of work!

There is nothing in the house that made it unliveable such as rewiring or new kitchen/bathroom needed. But after years as a multi-let rental, the house is in dire need of some love. Every room needs to be decorated and all carpets replaced – just as a start!

Since my partner moved in, we’ve managed to finish decorating and furnishing the living room. In addition to almost finishing my travel-themed (of course) office downstairs.

But this year I want to tackle the worst room in the house – the master bedroom! It was a HOT mess when I moved in. With its peeling black wallpaper, ripped grubby carpet and suspicious-looking broken shower platform. Just awful.

So this year, the main priority in the house is to redecorate and recarpet the main bedroom. Whilst turning what we have coined, “the murder shower” into a spacey built-in wardrobe.

Picture of a bedroom with black wall paper and white walls
The state of the master bedroom when I moved in!

What goals do you want to achieve in 2023? 😊

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