Monday 22 May 2017

New Year Resolutions Review week #20: Phew, where's the pause button?

Sometimes I wish life had a pause button ! I seem to be running around like a headless chicken, but my to-do list isn't getting any shorter. We're into the final weeks of the school term so I'm doing my last assessments and assignments so every time I clear my backlog of marking, I get another load. I know the end is in sight but at the moment, I can't see the wood for the trees. Luckily, we have a four day weekend next week so I'll have time to catch up but this last week has been a non-stop whirlwind. I don't feel like I achieved much, but let's have a look. (You can tell what the week's been like as this is going out on Monday rather than the usual Saturday or Sunday !)

1. Get Fit(bitting) !
It wasn't just an impression that I was running around all week. I hit my 10k step target every day at work, with daily figures anywhere from 10-15,000 steps. This weekend, I only got 5271 on Saturday and 2900 on Sunday which looks like a lazy weekend but it's actually the total opposite. I was stuck inside with piles of marking when I'd much rather have been out geocaching or exploring with the kids !

2. Get cooking bookmarked recipes ! 
I made Pineapple Bissap, a drink from my Cameroonian Kitchen Trotter box, and a Chechen soup for the #FoodForThought challenge. I also made a Turkish dish, Chicken Tava, so it's been a very cosmopolitan week foodwise!

3. Get geocaching !
Nope - not this week. I've been enjoying seeing comments from other people finding my caches though.

4. Get comping !
Last week, I put out a call for the comping fairy and she must have heard me because I got a lovely email telling me I'd won a £100 shopping voucher from Britmums for my Elastoplast blogpost - yay !

2017 wins :
January : 4 wins - £20 shopping voucher, Mr Lee's noodles, Ambrosia trifle glasses, set of 5 books
 February : 1 win - tea & personalised mug (prize for Galina)
March - 1 win - a Bear Grylls adventure book
 April - 4 wins - a colouring bundle, And Then We Ran book, Aram book, 6 months supply of Hairburst vitamins
May - £100 shopping voucher

5. Get reading !
 My reviews went live for The Lies Within by Jane Isaac and The Overlook by Michael Connelly which I finished the week before. I'm now reading Under A Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander.

6. Get FLYing !
The kids have been keeping their rooms under control and I've invented a new game - they set off their fidget spinners and keep tidying until they stop. It seems to be working for the moment, until the novelty wears off !

8. Get bloggy housekeeping !
The worst thing about having a blog is that, in terms of housekeeping, you often take one step forwards followed by at least one if not two steps back. My average pageviews always used to be steady at around 1000 per day, then they dropped to about half that last summer and I discovered I'd been hit with a google penalty so I'd stopped showing up in search listings. I started blogging way back in 2009 when follow/no-follow links were unheard of, so all my original links were by default follow. I went through and cleared out all the follow links up to 2010 then put in a reconsideration request and was cleared. So my stats slowly but surely climbed back up to their original level. Last week, they suddenly dropped to half of that again and, digging around a bit, I discovered there was a google algorithm update called Fred which targeted spammy links. So I've picked back up where I left off and am going back through old posts from 2011 onwards, removing dead and broken links, spammy links that slipped through in comments in the early days when I was less vigilant/more gullible and swapping over follow links to no-follow. It's a boring and soul-destroying job but it'll be worth it in the end. I've done a couple of hundred pages over the weekend and my stats are slightly up already, but this could be a coincidence.

I also set myself two targets - getting my emails down to 200 from 226 - I'm now on 227 so at least I kept on top of new ones - and I wanted to get my draft posts down to 400 from 483 (by deleting now irrelevant posts or bookmarked recipes for ingredients that I no longer have). I got down to 408, which isn't bad, as I got sidetracked by clearing broken/spammy links.

9. Get French !
Still waiting to be summoned to the préfecture with Madhouse Daddy.

What about you? Did you set yourself any targets, challenges or new year's resolutions this year? How are they going?

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