I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, there’s something a bit joyless about them – they always seem to be about berating yourself for not being good enough. And I’m quite versed at doing that without having resolution hanging round like millstone round my neck. But I do like the timeliness of setting myself a challenge that is smart – sensible, measurable, attainable, resourced and time-limited.
This year I wanted to revive some of the challenges I’ve done before, like the book and film challenges, but add in another one for the theatre. A few years ago I went to the theatre quite a bit, and I really enjoy it, but with everything going on it’s really easy to forget this.
50 films at the cinema
This one I’m blasting through, having seen 24 films from January to March. Typically the beginning of the year usually starts strong as the Oscar contenders tend to be released in January, and I saw seven of the nine up for best picture. I’ve also been keeping an ear out for some other one-off showings, documentaries and screenings at festivals.
I’ve also reinstated cinema days, which is when I give up a whole day and spend it at the cinema. This used to be something I did quite frequently, but then cycling took over. Given how grotty the weather has been, spending my Sundays in the cinema has been a pretty easy choice, but I’ve also worked out that I can squeeze in two films after work, if the run-times fit. There’s also the Flatpack and Shock & Gore festivals coming up in Birmingham so even with the inevitable summer blockbusters taking over the screens of the local cinemas, this should be achievable.
Molly’s Game | Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri x2 | The Prince of Nothingness | Coco | The Post | The Shape of Water | The Greatest Showman | Darkest Hour | Downsizing | Phantom Thread | Pad Man | Call Me By Your Name | Black Panther | I, Tonya | Wonder Wheel | Lady Bird | Red Sparrow | Timecrimes | Syria’s Disappeared | A Wrinkle in Time | Unsane | Proud Mary = 24/50 – well ahead of schedule
Read 24 books in a year
Last year I failed pretty miserably to read much at all. I had a real issue with being able to focus without being distracted and that made reading really difficult. I’m trying to work on making more time for reading, my bus journey to work being a natural one, but that requires some self-discipline at not napping or messing about on social media.
To keep up with this challenge, I should be reading two a month, and I’m a bit behind thanks to the flu. But I have read five books and there’s a whole raft of books I really want to read, I just need to be a bit more focused at pulling out a book rather than my phone.
The Year of Saying Yes | Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda | Golden Son | I Am Thunder | Piecing Me Together = 5/24 – need to focus on this a bit more
See 12 theatre shows
This is a new one for me, but it’s a challenge to remind me that I really like the theatre, it’s just easy to forget to look up what’s on. It’s also kinda pricey, so it’s a reminder to check out some of the smaller theatres to see what is showing there, as well as some of the bigger theatres. I figured going to the theatre once a month should be affordable if I look at some of the smaller shows.
Technically I started this last year when I bought tickets for Brief Encounter in December for a February show, and in March I’ve managed to go to the theatre a whopping five times. I had my Hamilton ticket for well over a year, but whilst I probably won’t be seeing a lot of West End shows, I do want to try and see some more of the bigger stuff in Birmingham, if my budget allows. I’m also going to be doing some writing for my friend Ryan’s Geeky Brummie blog and off to the theatre with that.
Brief Encounter | Hamilton | We Are The Lions, Mr Manager | This is Elvis | Kite Runner | Testosterone | Rotterdam = 7/12 – well ahead of schedule