If you’re an avid reader of mine you would known that I set myself important travel and lifestyle goals at the beginning of this year – to achieve within this year!
It’s mad how quick 2019 has flown by so far gone by so far. It almost feels like I did this bucket list a few weeks ago not 6 months.
So how’s your boy Johnny got on with accomplishing his life goals? Lets take a pitstop and have a look shall we:
1. Travel to a country in Africa – Not Achieved
So your boy was meant to hit up Morocco this summer. The flights and accommodation were booked. Camel rides and quad biking were fully on the itinerary.
Unfortunately (and fortunately) I started training for a new job and the job I always wanted since graduating from Uni. Some of the most training seshs clashed with the pending holiday which was frustrating. I didn’t wanna risk playing catchup on my first time fitness instructor so had to put the brakes on Marrakech.
2. Take a selfie with a flight attendant – Achieved
Another one for the travel bucket list. got a cheeky selfie with a air steward or stewardess when en route to Prague
There were a few stewardness hiding out of frame cos they were quite shy, but male or female mission accomplished!
3. Visit Winter Wonderland – Not Achieved
How I haven’t ever been to Winter Wonderland I’ll never know.
But it’s definitely something I’ve got to put right. Keep an eye on my feed for something wonderful (okay dead pun!) in December.
4. Explore two other cities/towns in the UK – Achieved
I’m planning to move up to somewhere in North of the UK in the near future. Mainly because it is cheaper and friendlier up there. You know the saying: the further north you go the friendlier it is
So I’m using part of my wanderlust to do some location scouting my potential future home!
I had the pleasure of gracing the highlands when I ventured to Edinburgh for my February half term break from draining school kids :p It was bitterly cold and windy as it typically is up north. Three reasons to go Edinburgh? Haggis, Calton Hill and Harry Potter
Then a few months later I was in Manchester. I loved how Football mad the city is and is a bit more diverse than I expected Someone who moved to London from up North told me recently that Manchester is mini London. I defo could see it – but that’s not exactly what I want to be honest
Liverpool and Newcastle have been growing on me more and more. The more I hear about them the more excited I get when mentioned. Defo gonna pay some Geordies and Liverpoolians a sweet visit.
5. Attend a blogging convention – Achieved
We’ve got another goal crossed off the list guys!
I had the pleasure of attending my first ever blogging convention when I went BlogCon this spring. It was awesome seeing creatives from a lot of niches come together and strive for even more blogging excellence. You can read more about my experience here
P.S. There was the extra pleasure of finally meeting the great Olliviette from The CocoCreativ.
6. Drink alcohol and get tipsy on a flight – Not Achieved
This is a funny little dare I randomly came up for myself that I decided to turn into a goal.
For this one I feel like the right occasion/holiday hasn’t come yet. When it does then I definitely need to make sure the booze is duty-free too. Keep it all tax-free and as cheap as possible.
And oh the seats are due to be in a business/first class area of the plane too. Though I’m not sure if I’ll be sharing much graphical evidence as it won’t be so pleasant for my blog image 😂
7. Attend a Networking event outside of London – Not Achieved
It’s so difficult to do as London is pretty much the central hub of everything in the UK, including networking events.
Or maybe I just haven’t been doing enough digging 😕 Any events coming up guys feel free to plug them in the comments!
Ideally I’d love to kill two birds with one stone and go to a networking event as part of a trip abroad.
8. Officially become a qualified Personal Trainer – Not Achieved
Believe or not my long-term career goal has nothing to do with blogging or content creation. Nope! My dream career is to be a Personal Trainer and effectively be self-employed.
At the moment I haven’t signed up for any PT courses, mainly due to money and difficulty scheduling time off work to be honest. You’re talking about paying £1k minimum upfromt to enrol on a course. Even though I can pay in monthly installments I won’t be able to afford to travel as much as i want, and I’m not ready to postpone my wanderlust calls just yet (Oops sorry Debbie – dead pun!)
Good news is that I landed my first job as a fitness instructor. I’m very much realising my dream of training. I’m loving every minute of it and is exactly the break I needed from sports coaching. I’ve never been in a workplace where I’ve felt as natural and passionate as the gym. It’s literally a 2nd home to me.
I’m also aiming to do a few CPD courses to broaden my knowledge of training methods and my exercise portfolio. Ideally an Indoor cycling and a padwork course so I can take Spin and boxercise classes and Padwork to run boxercise classes. The thing is I don’t have to do it but I really WANT to because I love working out and keeping fit in different ways. Generally-speaking it’d look lit on my Fitness CV.
9. Start running my own fitness classes – Achieved (kind of?)
Well – technically I’ve been running my own fitness classes at work and loving every single minute of them. It feels empowering being able to push people to their physicsl limits in a funny, chessy and inclusive way. My favourite classes are Legs, Bums and Tums (LBT), Circuits and HIIT.
I see myself taking up an outdoor instructing gig in the near future. Setting up my own group exercise classes in parks independently or with an organisation like Rabble or Our Parks. Make sure I’m financially stable and can accommodate it into my schedule before fully committing to it.
10. Earn my first paycheck from blogging! – ACHIEVED!
Heading into 2019 I still thought the idea of being paid to write blog posts was something a bit far off from me.
Until one day a PR agency contacted me to write a sponsored post for them on films related to travelling. It was out of the blue and couldn’t believe it!
They gave me a deadline for the writeup to be submitted and worked towards it whilst questioning whether it was legit or not. Next thing I knew, a cheque was sent to my Paypal whilst I was in Edinburgh and I couldn’t help but grin 😁 Felt like I was the real deal in this blogging world!
Ever since then I’ve regularly been making use of hashtags on Twitter and Facebook blogging groups to search for any collaborations of that come my way. Paid, gifted or unpaid, the experience of working with brands is the one I value above everything else.
11. Reduce my body weight to 90kg by my very last gym session of 2019 – Achieved!
At the time of writing I weigh 81kg. Fair to say I smashed it with half the year to go! Shocked at how much progress I quickly made. I’ve never been leaner, fitter, stronger.
I’ve been combining my usual weight training with Les Mills HIIT-style group fitness classes 3/4 times per week. Anyone toning and wanting to get more lean and shredded or “cut” as gym heads would say? this is the best way to go about it. Trust me! Shoutout to Les Mills for pushing me and help getting me into the best shape of my life 👊🏾 I’m grateful 🙌🏾
And I have no shame in showing evidence via my progression pictures too:
Picture 1: November 2018 (98.9 kg)
Picture 2: March 2019
P.S.There’s a transformation in my facials and jawline worthy to be seen too 😂
12. Pass my driving test – ACHIEVED (AMEN!)
I say this emphatically! This was my no.1 goal if I had to pick one for 2019.
My practical was just under a month before my theory test certificate expired so there was a hella lot of pressure to make sure I turned my licence from green to pink! Knowing that I had failed on my first attempt months ago too.
When the examiner asked how I did after the exam I told him I thought I didn’t do enough. That was the truth! There were a few mistakes I made that I thought were costly. Nerves got the better of me once more. In my mind my 2nd resit was pending – until he said “John I’m pleased to say you have passed” AND I pumped both my fists into my torso in triumph and relief at the same time.
Whatsapp my friends and mum the big news en route home, gave my instructor a complimentary £25 as a thank you gift, showed my dad my certificate and he was delighted. Never seen my dad as happy for me as he was when he found out I passed, even graduation. Called my brothers. Huge weight off my shoulders. I felt like a phase of my life had finally been wrapped up.
13. Go Indoor Skydiving – Achieved…
The fresh blogging coins I earned from my first paid collaboration went into one experience I’ve always wanted to try: skydiving
I tied it in with my Manchester visit since there was an Indoor skydiving centre there. My expectations were astronomically high because skydiving is a spontaneous activity. I couldn’t wait to feel the adrenaline coursing through me and me to walk out of the wind tunnel wanting more of the same
But the end of it I left bitterly disappointed. The instructor wouldn’t take me further up because I struggled to master the technique whilst others did. I understood that it was a safety precaution but when others around you end up getting a more enriching experience than you it’s deflating.
Not to say I won’t take part in a skydiving experience again but when thinking of skydiving I won’t have the greatest to memories to fall back on.
14. Drink Scotch Whisky in Scotland – Achieved!
One thing that’s a must if you ever visit Scotland is to grab yourself a shiny glass of Scotch Whisky and sip in all those Scottish-native alcohol aromas and flavours.
I managed to do just that when I did the Scotch Whisky experience. Part of the experience was a free whisky tasting sessions where we tried whisky from different regions of Scogland. You can read up more on the whole experience here
15. Host a blogging chat over social media – Achieved!
Doing a blogging chat of my own was a motive that lingered in my mind at the back end of last year. I’d even plan ahead and prepare sets of 5-7 questions for specific topics. I was proper on it!
Fortunately that imagination turned into a reality a few days into 2019. I contacted Clem the admin manager for the Blogger Love Share Twitter (shoutout to her!) and she pencilled me in as host of on the first Sunday chat of the new year. I discussed mainly about It was an honour interacting with bloggers on topics we shared a common interests in.
16. Attend a Motorsport race – Not Achieved
I’m a massive petrol head, have been since my childhood. I really crave being at Motorsport races as much as I can. I’ve only been to one in my whole life and it was a Formula E race in London 4 years ago. That’s feeling like more and more of a distant memory as time goes on.
My dream would obviously be to go to an Formula 1 race, namely at Silverstone but tickets are ridiculously overpriced. A minimum of £500-£600 to attend just a practice session never mind the Grand Prix itself. It’s a shame as the atmosphere in the grandstands and on track is amazing
Cheaper alternatives I’m looking at are F1 races in Europe, like Spa or Monza which are considerably cheaper and just as historic and iconic as Silverstone. Maybe a World Endurance Championship (WEC) race where all the Le Mans-style cars compete in. I pray it’s part of a travel post one day!
17. Go on a Mercedes-Benz driving experience – Not Achieved
To add to that I’d love to grace the race track in a Mercedes as its my favourite car manufacturer.
My brother got me a Brands Hatch driving experience for my birthday a few years ago and my first experience in a race car has left me wanting!
I’ve tried looking for driving experiences and no trace of any experiences with a Mercedes sports or racing car which is quite odd as it is one of the biggest car brands in the world not to mention a brand succeeding at the pinnacle of Motorsport.
If I do somehow find one. Just one, then some belated birthday present this would be! Or maybe an early Christmas present. Anyone wanna treat me 😂
18. Attend a Comic/Film-con
This is a similar situation with attending a Motorsport race: where I’m crazy about comic-book and film-related stuff but haven’t been to enough fan events and experiences.
Honestly with me being focused on travelling, working my dream job and blogging as well, I’ve not allowed myself enough time to plan to go to one. Plus a lot of the big comic-cons that I really want to go to (minus probaly MCM comic con in Excel London) are not convenient.
19. Have three regular income streams by the end of 2019 – Currently achieved!
If you’re a content creator, or aspiring to be one, you all know the need for a side hustle or two is hella high to fund our various activities!
I discovered Curious Cat and Prolific, which are websites and apps that pay people to take part in online surveys and studies. Surveys are frequently available and the minimum withdrawal thresholds are quite low so pocket is easier and quicker to earn that other paid survey websites.
So my three streams of income at the moment:
1. My main part-time job as a fitnes instructor, which is more career-focused to fund essentials like gym memberships, food shopping, subscriptions, transport money, car insurance etc.
2. My 2nd part-time job as a sports coach in primary schools which is more of a side gig to put into my savings and travel fund
3. Survey and research apps (e.g Curious Cat, Prolific) for pocket money here or there or my savings.
You know the best thing is that 2019 is not over and I’m already satisfied with what I’ve accomplished! 5 months left to go and there’s plenty of things I want to do whether they’re listed and not listed.
I just thank God for blessing me with life and the opportunities to make the most of it. Also the friends and family who have supported me and cheered me on every bit of success and special moment I’ve had this year.
How’s your 2019 been so far? Have you achieved any of your goals currently? Feel free to share, and I shall sign off with a favourite quote of mine:
“Don’t dream of success, prepare for success” – Michael Jordan
Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures