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Not making New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions

New Year Resolutions set you up to fail. They are mostly about giving up. Giving up smoking, drinking, sugar, biscuits, cake. All the things we like.

If you are not giving up something you may resolve to take up things you don’t do because actually you hate them. Like running, or yoga, or salsa. I spent £100 on trainers for running two years ago. Worn them five times. Twice last weekNew Year Resolutions are therefore a list of stop doing what you love and start doing what you hate. That is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Where is the fun in that?

Top of the list – lose weight

Come next week Weight Watchers and Slimming World groups will be heaving. These companies love New Year Resolutions as they make them the most money. First timers will not only sign up for membership but will buy all the ‘essential’ tools such as point counters, Eating Out Guides, weighing scales that calculate the ‘smartpoints’ in your food and even bloody tape measures. Because none of us have one of those at home.

Lose pounds

The one thing I can guarantee that you will lose by joining one of these clubs, is pounds. £’s. And, yes, if you have the discipline, the motivation and the drive you can and will lose lbs too. You can do this without joining the groups, of course you can. However the support of the groups can help – just remember that paying £’s will not help you lose lbs. You have to stick to the plan.





Say goodbye to diets

Eventually I threw every book out (donated to charity) and dumped all the gadgets. I am still overweight but have stayed the same for 10 plus years now with few exceptions. Lost a lot when I was travelling. I was more active and eating better quality food. Especially in Fiji and SE Asia where I ate lots of really healthy foods and drank hardly any alcohol. Definitely no wine. Swam every day in Fiji, walked miles in Melbourne, did lots of trekking up mountains on the road in Australia. When I was ill earlier this year I dropped 7 lbs in a week. Clearly the key to my weight loss is to live on a  Fijian island or be ill. I choose Fiji.

Addendum December 2017

Travel is definitely the best weight loss tool. 

Back to not making resolutions…

Ok, this turned out to be a tirade against the diet industry which is not what I started out to do. And while I said at the beginning that resolutions were either stopping what you love or starting what you hate and that is a recipe for failure, I realise that drinking too much booze, eating too much crap and smoking at all are generally not a good idea. What to do then? What, instead of resolutions we can choose to make plans to do things that give us joy. If our well being improves we may be in a better place to make better choices for our physical health too.

It comes down to this.

if you always do what you always did then you will always get what you always got

I plan to…

Do more. See more. Get a life.

I am in truth a bit of a couch potato. Going out is so much effort. Give me a cooking programme and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and I am happy. And missing out. Can you believe I never got to eat chicken wings at The Butchers Social? And now I can’t. Nor had Sunday Lunch at The High Field. See what I mean… I need to get out more.

Addendum December 2017

In December 2016 I got to eat chicken wings at the new Butchers Social as I discovered it had relocated to Henley in Arden. I didn’t like them. Earlier this year I got to eat Sunday Lunch at The Highfield. It was awesome. I have also had a Saturday lunch there too. 

Be a tourist in my own backyard

I have a great city less than a mile away from my home. Birmingham has some of the best places in the country to eat out at. See Full to the Brum if you don’t believe me. Michelin starred restaurants to pop up street markets and lots of indie food producers.

I bemoaned the fact that in Melbourne you can get a great brunch or a burger in every neighbourhood and there is nowhere in Birmingham. Turns out there is, not so many, which given the population of Birmingham is just wrong, but then again, you can’t get a decent curry in Melbourne.

Experience more culture and history

I have National Trust Membership that I hardly ever use. Indeed I have used it more in Australia than the UK in the past 5 years.

Birmingham has great theatres, concert halls (ELO already booked for June) and art galleries. Birmingham Museums Trust holds the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art anywhere in the world, numbering over 3000 paintings, drawings, prints and examples of decorative art and design. It also hosts The Staffordshire Hoard.

Enjoy green space

I will go for more walks. I can see Lightwoods Park can be from my bedroom window and Warley Woods is also nearby.Getting out into green space is nature’s Prozac, and if there is some sun, even better.

Move more

To be honest I just wish I were fitter. Fitter so I can climb mountains and walk around Uluru and not be so achy. And that is down to me. Wishing for it isn’t doing something about it. Wishing is a poor relation of dreaming, and to make either come true you need a plan.

I am beginning to like walk/jogging in the park (see green space above) and yoga. Possibly because I didn’t make some proclamation about what my resolutions will be for 2015 and didn’t start them on January 1.

Addendum December 2017

I am still fat. I have taken up yoga and pilates. The running not so much. 


I will write more. It is the one thing that I do that when I do it, time flies.

Make a house into a home

I will spend much of the year making this new small house an amazing, uncluttered home. A safe harbour when I need it. (And a pension).

Addendum December 2017

The house has now been transformed and is almost clutter free. It has been a tough journey transforming a Victorian Terrace into an open plan house. I am now thinking of selling it. 


In the UK and overseas. There is so much of the UK I have not seen, Scotland, Ireland and East Anglia. Australia in June/July/August and fit in Greece before or after that. I may even do the whole of the number 11 route at some point. Or not.

Addendum December 2017

In 2016 I had a week in Sorrento and Skiathos and went to Australia and New Zealand for four months. In 2017 I have had a week each in Rhodes, Cape Verde and Marrakech, plus a long weekend in Shropshire. Plans for Edinburgh and Mallorca were postponed. I have still not travelled on the 11 route. 

See Friends

I will spend more time with friends, especially those that have had a bad year. Getting back in touch with old school friends has been a highlight of the past couple of years and there are some friends I don’t see enough of.

See what happens

There are probably more things I will do. Who knows what life will bring. This time last year I hadn’t any idea what 2015 would bring. A house sit in Melbourne, a house move and major downsize, a revelation about clutter (took me 30 months to work that one out) and it is all documented on my blog.

Addendum December 2017

The first half of 2016 was spent travelling to Winchester a lot as the mother in law was ill. Hospital visits, finding a care home and then a funeral. It was a tough few months for the family. 

I have found this blog tremendous help – when I thought I was getting nowhere with the decluttering it  was a measure of just how far I have come.  I know I have helped others to get on the decluttering journey and that makes me happy. I know it has made me a better writer. It is also great therapy.

Am I still Travelling Coral? Well that has always been the plan and life, after all, is a journey. You have to decide what that journey looks like (see plans above)  make it happen yet notice when you need to go with the flow. And that  is why a travel blogger can write about decluttering and write about anything she bloody wants to write about.

And I can do what I want to do, and I intend to fly.






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