With the odd non-life-changing exceptions, I might as well copy and paste last month’s “progress” report.  I haven’t ruled out changing my resolutions for next month, a half-year reassessment, but going by my, “Ooops, forgot I was supposed to be doing that” mindset with this, the odds are high I’ll forget.  But do note the perfectly timed 31st of the month post, the impressive timing of which I put down to the Bullet Journal obsession I started in May, a far bigger success story than this resolution list.

  1.  One new country.  Been there/done it three times.  Of course I haven’t over-achieved again!
  2. Website with clear purpose.  I got into the website, progress, and I actually wrote something for it, almost unprecedented progress.  Maybe this list is going to go better than I initially thought.
  3. Quit steno.  Yeah, right.  I did look at two job adverts and dismiss them out of hand, pre-empting the dismissal I would have had inflicted on me had I applied based on my questionably relevant experience.
  4. Lose 14lb.  Don’t be ridiculous, the struggle is in maintaining January levels.
  5. New 365 Instagram.  Done/doing travel and portrait posts, though I peaked earlier in the month while I was working abroad.
  6. Read 12 books.  I read one book, White Masks, by Elias Khoury, translated from Arabic and set in Lebanon.  I found its content quite consuming and the detail of a new kind of everyday life continuing during the civil war was disturbing.  Very atmospheric, thought-provoking book.  For my enjoyment, which equates to how happy it made me feel, only a 5/10, but for the quality of the writing and narrative, probably 8/10.  I have now started The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.
  7. Mobile on silent more.  Still doing well with this.
  8. Reduce amount of clothes.  I fear a few incoming that haven’t been matched with outgoing.  I will redress the balance in June.
  9. More picnics.  I was given a cool cool bag for my birthday and used it the next day for a picnic on the beach.  It may only have been one picnic, but that is “more”!
  10. More fish. Four fishy meals in the photos and I only took the photos because of the dishes’ spectacularness, ie I had more than four fish meals but I actually photographed four because they were such good meals, including a home made salt and pepper squid with fried bream.  Definitely more fish this month.  And, ahem, yes, there were two very fancy restaurants there, The Ivy and Cinnamon Club, both of which were birthday treats, I feel I should point out.
  11. Tax in May.  My accountant resurfaced, I have my paperwork back from last year and I am in the process of getting new Government Gateway access codes and passwords.  A suggestion of progress if I ignore the May element.
  12. Christmas shopping by November.  Pff.

Manama Gold Souq, Little IndiaBy re-reading last month’s post, I am shamed into acknowledging an increased lack of focus and a ten-day delay in posting.  All in all, there is, unsurprisingly, little progress to announce.  This list is seeming less and less productivity enhancing as the months go by.

  1.  One new country.  Turns out this is my most over-achieving goal as I went to a third new country in April, Bahrain.  I am very much enjoying this challenge for the year and I wonder if there will be a fourth new country this year?  Surely not!
  2. Website with clear purpose.  Ah, yes.  Complete and utter fail, down as far as not even looking at it.  Total fail.  Maybe May is website month … if I can remember how to get into it.  Again.
  3. Quit steno.  Oh dear, another clear fail.  I have at least spent a lot of time wishing I could think of a plausible plan B.   Surely that counts for something?!
  4. Lose 14lb.  A hat trick of failure.  I have had over two weeks of buffets and eating out in UAE and Bahrain, but my having sweated as much as I did has at least  meant, miraculously, I’m back to around January levels.  Could this count as a whisker of hope?
  5. New 365 Instagram.  As I’ve been travelling and spent time with friends, I have actually kept this up as planned, so a resounding “phew” in terms of a resolution tick amidst the crosses.
  6. Read 12 books.  I’m doing well, though I’d hoped to over-achieve more.  In April, I read two books and started a third.  I particularly enjoyed The Secret Diary of Hendrick Groen, aged 83 1/4.  It was an interesting and witty insight into old age and life in a (Dutch) nursing home.
  7. Mobile on silent more.  This is continuing to be my default setting, mobile on silent, though I fear I may be going through a phase of checking my phone a bit too frequently just in case I’ve missed anything.
  8. Reduce amount of clothes.  19 items of clothing were bagged and taken to charity.  Unfortunately, maybe 10 new items took their place … maybe 11 or 12.  The cull felt good.  I even managed to find some jeans, not that they resemble the pair I had in my mind.  They’ll do though.
  9. More picnics.  Somehow, this hasn’t happened, though I had an al fresco ice cream in Dubai, slightly marred and hastened by it being 40 degrees.  Surely that wasn’t the only sort-of-but-not-really-a-picnic?  I did order breakfast while sitting outside a cafe in Ajman, UAE, but I had to go inside to eat because I got too hot.  But, see, that wouldn’t have been a picnic either, more of an al fresco meal.  It’s different, isn’t it?  So, in summary: zero picnics.  Epic fail.
  10. More fish.  I peaked early, in January, with this one.  I had a delicious fried fish (fish unknown, in Bahrain), I’m sure there were some prawns at some point – yes, yes, I had some prawns in a salad, once – gah, no, that was on mother’s day with my mum.  In March.  Oh, please, how hard is it to eat fish “more”?!  Very poor.  This sets the bar at a realistic height for improvement in May.
  11. Tax in May.  Fairly disastrous lead-up to my deadline.  Weirdly, my accountant has disappeared and I don’t have a few things I need to start doing my own tax returns again.  I do have “sort receipts” on a To Do List though.  Genuinely, this is at least partly an impending failure due to some circumstances out of my control.
  12. Christmas shopping by November.  By far the most ridiculous goal of the year, which obviously means this is not even a consideration.  But, as with last month, I am stocking up on a few birthday presents.

et cetera