What Worked for Me in 2017 (and What Didn’t)

When I was a child, I used to write silly new year’s resolutions in my little diary and NEVER achieve them. “I’ll be less chatty in class”, “I’ll be a better daughter and friend”, “I won’t try to copy my girlfriends to be like them”, and so on.

It turned out that I’ve never been good at setting up big goals (not the little monthly ones), even with the guidance of workbooks and videos, I’m afraid that new year’s resolutions are not for me. For the past 2 years, I forced myself to fill out Susannah Conway and Lavendaire’s workbooks and I failed miserably. I was thinking about purchasing the last one again this year, just to motivate myself, but I already know that would be like wasting money. And it makes me feel so bad because they are such great tools!

I’d love to be THAT person, but I’m not and I must accept it.

My only big goal for 2018 is going to be: write my thesis. So I decided to ask myself only two simple questions, after reading Anne Bogel’s blog post:

  • What worked for me last year?
  • What didn’t?

This is easy, I can’t do it. 🙂

What Worked

1. Small bags. I’ve always been that person who carries with her all sort of things JUST IN CASE. My mom educated me this way and I must say it saved the day more than once, but I started putting in my bag way too much than just in case items over the years. I’ve never needed two different notebooks at the same time, for example, while a couple of post-its and a pen are more than enough since I usually use my phone for everything when I’m on the go. I downsized my bag this year and it’s been so refreshing! A bit scary at first, but I finally got used to it.

2. Investing in Pocket Casts. I never buy apps because I always feel guilty for spending money that way, but after struggling with 5-6 free podcast apps, I caved and I purchased Pocket Cast and I never regretted it. I already repaid it with all the hours I’ve spent using it!

3. Quitting Twitter. I didn’t actually delete my profile, but I logged out from it setting up notifications via email so I don’t have to check it out to see if someone mentioned me. I’m a bit sorry about that because Twitter used to be my favourite social media, but then they transformed it in a bad imitation of Facebook and I wasn’t able to keep up with the speed and, above all, the negativity.

4. Yoga with Adriene. I never did Yoga before, but that amazing channel helped me a lot during the last few months. I’m so grateful for Adriene and her way to teach, she’s such an amazing person!

5. Deleting my Goodreads Challenge. At the beginning of the year, I decided to set 1 as a symbolic number for my challenge because I didn’t want to feel the pressure of numbers and be tempted to read shorter books just to reach it. But then I decided to delete it and I’ve been surprised to see the banner of the stats at the beginning of the month, this proves you don’t need the challenge in order to see the stats, yay!

6. Trello. This little app does miracles for my organization, I use it mostly for my online projects but also to keep track of the books I still have to read.

7. Cheap backdrops. This year, I’ve been lucky enough to attend an Instagram workshop where I learned more about flat lays and how to use many beautiful backdrops. Unfortunately, the ones I’d like to get online are a bit expensive (plus shipping and maybe also customs) and I can afford them. Thankfully, I found a couple of rolls of sticky wallpaper at a local Chinese shop and I DIYed 2 backdrops, now I have a ton of sticky wallpaper that remains unused but it was so cheap that I don’t care! 😀

9. The Kindle app on my phone. This is pretty new, but at the beginning of the month, I caved and I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone and I managed to read an entire book there in 4 days during random free pockets of time. On a crowded bus, during my lunch break, while cooking dinner, in a queue, and so on. I always preferred to read on my Kindle but I will always keep a book downloaded on my phone from now on. It made things a lot easier and stopped me to mindlessly scroll through social media feeds!

What Didn’t Work

1. FOMO. The fear of missing out is still an issue for me, even after quitting Twitter. I find myself mindlessly scrolling my Instagram feed and having Stories too doesn’t help. This is something I really want to work on in 2018.

2. The Goodreads Challenge. As I mentioned before, tracking my readings this way gives me too much anxiety, so I decided I’m going to just list them in my notebook next year and count them only at the end of the year.

3. Mapping my domain on WordPress. I moved my blog to WordPress this past Summer and I decided to invest some money to map the domain, but it turned out that next year it will cost me a lot more to renew it, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to afford it.

4. Being too lazy for makeup. I have to admit that I neglected myself this past year, I was feeling a bit unmotivated due to a couple of health issues and I stopped wearing makeup, despite my love for it.

5. Planners. I started 2017 with a weekly pocket Moleskine (A6 slim), the one with the week on one page and notes on the other side and it turned out too small for my needs. So I changed it and I used a Muji planner (B5) with the same layout and, despite having more space to write, it didn’t work again. At this point, I’m afraid the issue was the layout, not the size. For 2018, I’ve got a Molang diary with a different layout and it will work better, hopefully!

6. Too many apps. I changed and tweaked my productivity system too much in 2017, my phone was cluttered with to-do list apps and this has to change. I’m still looking for the perfect one so, in the meantime, I decided to go back to analog for my tasks. Pen and paper for the win!



That’s a wrap. I hope 2017 has been a good one for you and I wish you Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018! Thank you for reading my blog and always supporting me.

Alice ❤

11 thoughts on “What Worked for Me in 2017 (and What Didn’t)

  1. 2017 seems like a great year for you! Congrats on switching to a smaller bag… I did that as well and it’s amazing! No more struggling with finding things in bag or just unnecessarily carrying heavy things! I also understand the anxiety of Goodreads too. I did 70 books this year but I think in 2018, I’d like to just track my books and not challenge myself to read a certain number of books.

  2. I love the review of what worked and what didn’t work. For myself instead of keeping a list of resolutions I have always kept a list of accomplishments for the year. But listing the things that didn’t work might also be helpful so I don’t repeat those mistakes.

    1. I never thought about keeping a list of accomplishments for the year, but it looks like something I would enjoy. Thank you for the inspiration, I’m glad you enjoyed my post!

  3. Yoga with Adriene is the best YouTube channel I have found for free yoga workouts. I know what you mean about having trouble finding the right organization for you. I’m going back to analog, but I also keep up with a lot of Google Apps. I love their simplicity, and how they can all be connected to my Google account. Keep is great for lists, and calendar is great for my schedule rather than using a planner that causes me stress and anxiety.
    It sounds like you’ve got a great handle on outlook for 2018. Good luck, and I can’t wait to keep up with you.

    1. I will keep using Google apps (Calendar, Keep, Drive, etc.) because they are so useful and I need reminders, but for day to day stuff I’ll try to stick with my paper planner.

      Thank you for stopping by, Sadie! 🙂

  4. I’m all about smaller bags, but I’m still not sure I’ve found the exact perfect one for me. Trying to find a balance.
    What exactly do you mean by mapping your domain? My husband is techy and maybe he could recommend something that would be more affordable for you in the next year.

    1. Thanks, Emily! Domain mapping means that the URL thegeekyburrow.com is attached to this blog and the .wordpress.com part doesn’t appear anymore. I’ve been working as a webmaster for a couple of years and this is actually the cheapest option out there (that’s why I didn’t choose a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org or Squarespace), but still, 35€ (+ 10€ for the domain) to pay is too much for me since I’m a full-time student and I’m afraid I’ll have to go back to a .wordpress.com URL 😦

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