2017 – Bring it on!

After an epic Christmas both back home and in Birmingham and with me about to embark on New Years celebrations between Norfolk and Bournemouth (for The Arsenal), it’s a great way to kick off 2017.

It’s increasingly hard to better the year gone these days but I hope I can manage it and I am starting to fill the new Sasco wall-chart already!

I am kicking off the year by heading to New York for a week to see 4 New York Islanders matches.  It’s still my favourite city in the world and I am always buzzing to go back, no doubt it’ll be snowing again at that time of the year but with there being 4 home games in a week it is too good an opportunity to miss.

One of my big goals for 2017 is to really ramp up my learning of the French language.  Having done the basic level sometime ago now I am enrolling onto the next level up and I intend to do 2 levels this year depending on where the next contract of mine will be.  I start the next level in March which I am buzzing about and hopefully will do one further one starting September.

Speaking of contracts, I really hope my existing contract runs its course up to June 2016 and then I need to decide if I make a drastic move or look for another contract in the UK.  Either way, I intend to embark on working on something new in September.  With all the travelling countries I often crave a relaxing holiday but then always put myself off and end up booking something more extravagant.  However, a few weeks ago I did manage to force myself to book a swanky 10 day holiday in Marrakech, Morocco which I am looking forward to.  Even though it is completely against my normal preference now for travel, it at least is a new country I can scratch off the world map.

On the subject of the world map, I have challenged myself to go to 5 new countries this year which is not many, but I already have two in the diary so I need to work three more in somehow.  I cannot say where the second country is as for some reason we are sworn to silence for Lee’s brothers stag do in June.  In addition to Kim’s stag, I also have Fuge’s to look forward to with the boys from home in March and Jason’s in February.

March is a big month, because in addition to Fuge’s stag I am also heading to Haye/Bellew fight where Lee and I have floor seats, and then there is the big big day!   My sister and Jason are getting married on March 10th and I cannot wait, it’s going to be a great day and hopefully the weather will hold as it’s a beach venue on the Sunny South West Wales coast 🙂  So far the wedding count is 3 for 2017, in addition to my sisters, I have Fuge and Sara’s and Kim/Amie’s all which should be epic occasions!

On the football front, 2017 will no doubt be full of away days for The Arsenal as usual and hopefully we can navigate Munich so that Munich away in February won’t be my last UCL away until September 2017 (if we quality… WE WILL).  I really hope 2017 will bring some silverware and I still have faith we can pull of the Premier League title this year even if Chelsea are looking pretty strong at the moment.

The huge fight of 2017 will undoubtedly be Joshua Vs Klitschko at Wembley and I am buzzing to go and see that with Lee in April, two massive boxing cards and Lee and I will be at both so they should be classic ‘I was there’ events.

I am determined to head to a PDC darts even in 2017 after not going to one in 2016, when we went to Dublin it was epic and I have given myself the target to make at least one PDC tournament this year.

For most of 2016 I’ve been having personal training which I have absolutely loved and after destroying my knee at West Ham Away, I am hoping the swelling goes down ready for me to start with my new PT at the beginning of January.  Hopefully will see great results, have already set different types of goals with him than my previous ones so I’m looking forward to getting started (with two knees fully functioning hopefully).

After going to Edinburgh and eating at my first Michelin Starred restaurant, I am determine to make it to three more this year, so that is on my list.  I always mean to go but always try to find the special occasions for them, at least now I have to go or I would have failed on this count!

For Christmas I had a book called something like 365 places to be around the world which details a place/experience for each day of the year, it’s a pretty dangerous book for me to have but I will be hunting through that book and planning some further trips.  I also had a cork world map to help my planning for my next bumper trip which I hope will be a 3 weeker in August after Kim and Amie’s wedding.

The only other goals I have set myself are to be credit card free by the end of 2017, I make it sound like I have a shed load, I really don’t but I’d like to have a clear balance on them by the end of 2017.  I also want a clear out of stuff here in Birmingham and things have stored up in the attic in my home in Wales.  So when the weather cranks up a bit I intend to get my best Del Boy on and get myself to a car boot sale to flog a lot of the stuff I am just keeping for the sake of it.  I am absolutely not a hoarder but equally I cannot be arsed with eBay and I certainly won’t give stuff away free 🙂

The above doesn’t sound very charitable, and on that front I want to do more than I did in 2016 despite continuing my donations to friends/family causes and helping out the homeless guys in and around the Jewellery Quarter Birmingham with the odd meal/spare change.  I want to try and do a volunteer project of some sorts in 2017 and try and vary the charitable acts a bit because it feels a bit auto-pilot and easy to just buy the same guys a sandwich or toss a coin into a cup now and again.

Given I failed miserably on the Home Improvements side in 2016, I actually don’t need to do anything on reflection so I have canned the idea for a custom wardrobe and shower for now.  I do need to continue souping up my automation though which is already pretty decent (I love the addition of the Hue Motion sensor for my bathroom).

The final goal I have is to do the 1 second everyday video for the entire year, I am not sure how this is going to go but I really do have to give it a go and it would be great to be able to share the video at the end of each year.

I hope everybody has a great 2017, and if you are thinking about doing something, stop thinking and start doing!