Best Foot Forward

So, about a year ago, I wrote this blog post about my five-year-plan, which I made in January 2006.

Back then, I was a wreck. I had a new baby, no home, no friends, and a five figure bank balance – the only teeny problem was it had a minus in front of it.

Being a fan of plans and targets, I gave myself five years to turn things around. The ultimate goal was to create a secure, happy home for my daughter.

In practice, that meant finding a way to earn a decent living (journalism being more of a hobby for the independently wealthy these days), getting a new house, settling into a new town and the trifling matter of paying off 70k in debt.


Needless to say, we didn’t do it in five years but *touches wood* I think we might just have cracked it in six.

I celebrated by buying a new boiler.

I know. Dream Big, as Rosie tells us.

One of my friends likes to call me a monomaniac (this is a form of insanity where someone is pathologically pre-occupied with one thing) but I prefer to think of myself as ‘focused’. But admittedly, while I’ve been working on the five six year plan, I have let a lot of other things slide. Friends. Relationships. Health. Hair. Especially the hair.

I suspect my new five-year-plan ought to focus on some of those things. But what’s odd is coming at goals from a position of already being quite happy thanks is a lot harder than being in a position of, “Oh God, if I don’t fix this, we’re sunk.” 

So I’m still formulating. And thinking.

Thinking about where I’d like us to be in five years’ time. What my career will look like, where we’ll live, what my life outside work should look like. It’s a lot harder than the other stuff, to be sure. But providing we end up in a place where Flea and I are happy, and together, and having even half the fun we’re having now, it’ll all be good.

But in the meantime, I resolve to:

  • Be better at doing and sorting laundry so that I never again inadvertently pack Flea’s pants when visiting my parents for Christmas, thereby meaning I spend Christmas Day in a pair of age 6-7 Batman pants. Honestly, those lines on my skin took DAYS to fade.
  • Stop telling Flea that wearing odd socks is cool, and make the effort to pair up socks when I do the laundry (see above)
  • Stop telling Flea that lack of sleep could make Mummy’s hair fall out, so it’s essential I get a lie-in on weekends.
  • Make a concerted effort to brush my hair before going on the school run. This rule won’t apply on Mondays, naturally.
  • Remember where I put my work phone on December 23rd when I last looked at it.
  • Read more blogs.
  • Make sure the house is a bit cleaner and tidier in 2013. By which I mean I will hire a cleaner, obviously.

I think that’s enough to be going on with, don’t you?






Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 2nd January 2013 / 2:25 pm

    Just read last years post and smiled as I refuse point blank to make a bucket list, I know it’s going to happen some day but I really don’t like to think about it. Perhaps I’m just odd but then that means you are too which makes me feel so much better haha.
    beki recently posted..Hello SunshineMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:15 pm

      I don’t do bucket lists, but I think plans are good. I think if I can see I end the day a little closer than I started it, it makes harder days a little easier, if you see what I mean.

  2. 2nd January 2013 / 2:25 pm

    Oh and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing odd socks, I like to think of it as a fashion statement!
    beki recently posted..Hello SunshineMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:16 pm

      Quite right, but the school DOES frown on it, rather.

  3. 2nd January 2013 / 3:37 pm

    Agree with all of it apart from the pairing up your socks bit. Life is far too short to do that. And also, always leave a little leeway in your plans to account for the fact that you never quite know what is around the corner. And lack of sleep will make your hair fall out.
    Rosie Scribble recently posted..Hello WorldMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:16 pm

      I considered it carefully and I think not having a lie in is just TOO risky on the hair front.

  4. 2nd January 2013 / 4:34 pm

    I am totally with you on the laundry, and the odd socks thing. Although I read somewhere that it’s a scientifically proven fact that wearing odd socks means you’re happier in general! Probably *because* you don’t waste time pairing socks…?

    But this: “Stop telling Flea that lack of sleep could make Mummy’s hair fall out, so it’s essential I get a lie-in on weekends.”

    NO! Are you MAD??? Weekends are FOR lie ins! That is why they were invented!!! For you to sleep in!!!
    (this could be the whole my-kids-don’t-sleep thing and the are-you-mad-to-give-up-sleep thing combined though… *cough*)

    Also, Happy New Year! I fully intend to blog more.
    I promise.
    You can totally add me to your reader and I WILL blog more.
    In fact, if you tell me you’re reading my blog? I will totally blog more!!
    Marylin recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:16 pm

      You’re my favourite commenter of the day x

  5. 2nd January 2013 / 4:36 pm

    (that all made sense in my head, though I’m unsure if it does now I read it back! Sorry about that!)
    Marylin recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  6. Sonya Cisco
    2nd January 2013 / 4:38 pm

    Wow, I admire your planning abilities- I struggle with knowing what’s for dinner tonight!
    However- odd socks ARE cool. As is unbrushed hair. And the fact you can get into tiny pants is a thing to be proud of!
    Happy New Year to you and Flea x

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:17 pm

      The tiny pants thing ? Didn’t look or feel good, to be fair.

  7. 2nd January 2013 / 4:46 pm

    Never mind the laundry stuff – I’m fixated on the fact that you cleared a 70k debt in 6 years and all that you’ve achieved in that time. I am totally inspired and in awe. *Rushes off to make a 5 year plan*.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted..A Heavy New YearMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:17 pm

      One day I’ll write a post about it but I’m not quite brave enough yet – it was a tough road, I have to say and I’m not sure I have any smart tips, you just need to work really hard!

  8. 2nd January 2013 / 9:04 pm

    There are two writers in our house: me – and my 17 year old daughter (who’s going to be far better than her Dad…) We both wear odd socks. Are your brains improved by wearing matching socks? No. So, Flea – ignore your Mum. Odd socks are cool, and they’re for people who know what’s really important in life.

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:18 pm

      Not teachers, though. They hate odd socks. Conformist fools…

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:18 pm

      Best not. It’s good to save a goal for next year, right?

  9. 2nd January 2013 / 9:09 pm

    Clean laundry, matching socks and a clean house are all over-rated in my humble opinion. As is good hair. Can you tell I have non of the above. Better make myself a list…
    Molly @ Mother’s Always Right recently posted..So, that was ChristmasMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:18 pm

      I wouldn’t know if good hair is over-rated, never having experienced it…

  10. 2nd January 2013 / 9:15 pm

    you know I think I could adapt your same list – which would be fine, but the problem is I haven’t had the fantastic 5 year previous that you have as an excuse to the current state of hair!

    I wish you look in finding time for yourself in 2013 but if not just marvel in your fantastic ability to meet that 5.5 year plan!
    sarahmumof3 recently posted..Blogging Crossroads & New Year ResolutionsMy Profile

    • 2nd January 2013 / 9:19 pm

      I’m not sure I’d count the last six years as being fantastic or anything of the sort – just a lot of really hard work, and a good dose of luck. But they were fantastic in that we had a lot of fun, to be fair 🙂

  11. 2nd January 2013 / 10:18 pm

    Well done on your five/six year plan! And if you aren’t going to be using the lie-in excuse any longer then I shall pinch it for myself if you don’t mind.

  12. 2nd January 2013 / 11:02 pm

    It’s good to have a plan. It’s even better to achieve that plan, and I’m so pleased that you’ve got your plan cracked in only one year more than you initially wanted (heck, that’s much better delivery than most major IT projects!).

    I don’t agree with you on the odd socks thing though, like many of the other commenters. My late Father-in-Law worked for many years for a very traditional IT company. It was all blue suits and ties. He delighted in wearing odd socks, and did so every day of his working life. So I say odd socks are a great way of walking that fine line between conformance and rebellion. Something I would have thought you would have embraced, no?
    Ruth (geekmummy) recently posted..My Focus for 2013My Profile

  13. 3rd January 2013 / 3:24 pm

    Total respect to you Sally with your 5 year plan and all you have achieved. As for all the targets this year, the house ones I should adopt too but am sure I won’t. All the effort goes into the rental properties. The ones with Flea just made me laugh!

  14. purplemum
    3rd January 2013 / 9:01 pm

    I also love a plan but mine are never more impressive than work on filtering thoughts before speaking or try to buy milk without checking the label for three hours! So a plan that involves keeping a roof over your head and clearing substantial debt is blowing my mind. Basically that’s it just wanted to say well done cos your a hero.

  15. FeeHorne
    4th January 2013 / 10:28 pm

    Re the socks thing: My son’s primary school male teacher wears odd socks every day. He’s a real hit with the children, in no small part due to the socks thing!!! Just thought I’d share that.

    Great post. makes me realise how much more I could probably achieve with a bit (maybe a lot) more effort! Well done!!

  16. But why mummy why?
    5th January 2013 / 9:17 am

    Firstly, like Midlife Singlemum it took me a while to get past the clearing £70k bit (impressive much?!). When I got to this years plan I could relate, pairing socks? Bane of my life, totally hate it. Hence why I only have black socks, no need to pair them!

  17. 5th January 2013 / 7:27 pm

    If you can crack the laundry thing – you could make millions! It’s like the days of the week socks you get at Christmas – you only ever wear them on the right day when you first take them out of the packet!

  18. 6th January 2013 / 12:08 am

    I love that you chose to write a five year plan, there are so many things in the past few years I would probably have done differently (read better!) if I’d had a set of goals to refer to!
    Odd socks are great, I’ve convinced Princess they are too though she chooses to wear tights to school and only feel the odd socks love at home!
    circusmum recently posted..My Bucket List for 2013My Profile

  19. 6th January 2013 / 12:47 am

    Oh, that pile of never ending laundry and cleaning! I am just hatching a plan of employing child labour to supplement the current workforce (me and OH)… no money for a cleaner unfortunately, though maybe if I set a five year plan there might be at the end of it.
    There’s a lot of inspiration on organising the house and laundry to make it easier if you venture onto Pinterest. This is, as I have also found, an ideal distraction from seeing the ever growing heap of dirty clothes/ dishes/ dog hair in corners. 😉
    Monika recently posted..Forget New Year’s resolutions for dieting or getting fit!My Profile

  20. 6th January 2013 / 2:11 pm

    I wrote an epic mile-long reply to this and the internet ate it. Bugger. Basically it said leaving my ex was my five year plan (did it – tick) and that you should throw out all socks and start again. That’s my low-rent, crap-parenting piece of advice for 2013.
    Rachael (Tales from the Village) recently posted..not the usual end of year postMy Profile