5 Goals for April

I am always full of goals and projects to the point where sometimes instead of being uplifting they weigh me down. I am the eternal optimist (dreamer? lunatic? you decide what you want to call it – me, I’m sticking with optimist for reasons of self-preservation.)

I can look at a 2,000m2 steep-sided cow field and picture it perfectly as a landscaped eden with productive orchard and veggie patch. I can then take that lovely cow field and turn a large portion of it into an inaccessible mire of brambles and nettles as I bite off more than I can chew and let it all overwhelm me.

This is NOT my garden. Sadly, from my mean-spirited point of view, it bears a great resemblance to the gardens of all my neighbours in its general orderliness and productivity. Image courtesy of Wikipedia

I could reel off some excellent excuses here for that particular failure (oh look, it seems I am), like my broken arm that took a year and a titanium plate to heal (skiing – the devil’s sport, ’nuff said) and of course there was pregnancy and a new baby and full time motherhood to deal with. But mostly I just bit off more than I could chew.

Ah yes, I’m not one to do things by halves. (Well, I am actually, in fact that’s probably the heart of my problem –  a chronic inability to actually finish off any one project. But that doesn’t suit my thread here ;)) When I make a mistake it’s a big one. A huge one. A half-acre one. One that sits proudly in the centre of the village. One that is clearly visible on Google Earth. Now that’s what I call a mistake.

So anyway, that’s me. This year I’m back for take two on the garden. Baby is now nearly 2 and a half and I’ve gotten fed up of the crick in my neck that came from constantly avoiding looking at it (the garden, not the baby). And it’s already looking loads better (ditto). I’ve got potatoes in, jerusalem artichokes, carrots, strawberries, rocket, spinach, lettuces, herbs loads of flowers and trees and a couple of fruit bushes. But already I can feel it starting to get away from me.

I catch myself looking around the field (still a long way off being not quite a domesticated garden) picturing it all perfectly planned and perfectly productive. The scene is so real I can not only see it but I can almost touch it and feel it and taste the succulent organic fruit. Which is all fabulous, except for the fact that between me and that reality lies several months of ongoing hard graft. And the sacrifice of other activities and opportunities. And, when it comes down to it, do I want it that badly? Can I actually pull it off?

The view from my garden. Not a bad place to have to hang out.

If I am to succeed (and when I say succeed, I simply mean a) not drive myself insane and b) actually bring about a net improvement in the garden and not just break off halfway through, abandoning it to be reclaimed by weeds) I need to break the task down into individual, achievable goals.

And of course this is just one of my current fantasies goals.I need to set this task in the broader context of my other goals. (Not to even mention the over-riding goal which both permeates all others and trumps them all, and revolves round one happy little boy and keeping him that way.) I need to look at combining these goals where possible and, where not, ensuring that each one receives adequate attention/time so that overall I am getting the most out of each and remaining motivated.

So, when I saw Kate’s 5 goals for April link I seized upon it with glee. 5 goals for one month sounds just perfect. 5 specific, measurable and attainable goals. A month to commit to them – enough time to achieve a considerable amount but really no time at all; any pain or sense of self-sacrifice will fly by. All topped off with a public declaration of intent. Ah, the impetus to be had from the potential of more public failure – just the ticket!

Who knows, if it all works out and I’ve achieved loads I might want to keep it up and do the same next month? Maybe with a few more thrown in for good luck….(See? This is how it all starts…)

So, my 5 goals for April are:

1. Gardening: Finish my spring planting plan: pimientos padrones, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, beetroot, cherry trees. Keep waging war on weeds – dedicate at least one hour three times a week to this task. That way hopefully I’ll be able to hold my head up high again in the village (literally.)

2. Climbing – redpoint a 6c+/7a. This will be unintelligible to any non-climber but to me it means a lot. And now I’ve gone and said it out loud. For April. It’s long been a tenuous goal of mine for this year/season…. Feck it, why not now? I can get there within a month – with a careful choice of route (I have one in mind) and a commitment to training daily (even if that’s only a dogwalk and some core stability exercises some days). Most of all, I know it will give my confidence a huge boost if when I do it.

3. Blogging. Something else that simply makes me happy when I dedicate time to it. (And when I’m happy I’m a nicer mummy and partner and far more productive.) So I’m going to do just that, dedicate some time in a structured way. The mornings are my best time for writing. I need time and space for it – before the tiny terremoto (lit. translation: earthquake) rises. Unwanted conclusion: must start setting the alarm and getting up earlier.  Hey, it won’t kill me for a month, right? If it works out I can keep it up….and if not I can just sleep for the whole month of May ;)

4. Re-paint our rental house before the first guests of the new season arrive on 5th May. (See how timely this list is?)

5. Finally, and reluctantly, if I’m to achieve all of these, I think I’m going to have to cut alcohol out of my life almost entirely. An ice cold beer or chilled glass of albarino wine at the end of a long day is often a perceived necessity welcome delight but also signals an abrupt end to any productivity on my part as I slump in a heap on the sofa for the evening. So, no drinking mid-week. By which I mean Sunday through Thursday. (Note to future self: sorry about the lack of wiggle room on the interpretation of mid-week. Remember, I’m doing this for us!)

So that’s my month sewn up. What about you? Any goals you’d like to share? Any advice for me on mine?


  1. Ah good luck. I would come totally unstuck with number five! Number one sounds awesome.

  2. I love the sound of all of your goals (apart from the no drinking during the week part, which I am also attempting. Someone else can do the painting as well!)… The garden sounds incredible, and it sounds like you are progressing with it really well! At least I will know who to ask now when it comes to growing vegetables. I am currently panicking over five tiny courgette plants (the first things I have ever grown!)… Good luck with it all! Emma :)

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement Emma. It feels really positive to make a public declaration of intent like this. (Day 1: hopes are high, although my glass is dry ;) )
      And good luck with your courgettes – they’re the perfect plant to start off with. They are fabulously productive. In fact, if all your 5 plants make it to full maturity you will soon be drowning in courgettes!

  3. I love your goals, since I also garden and climb (hike up steep places!) and blog and plan to do a little painting around my own place. Thankfully, I do not have to deal with cutting out the alcohol consumption, as I was already imbibing only on occasions of special celebration. I am in love with the view from your garden, by the way! And your neighbor’s gardens must really be goading you in to action, if they look like the one at the top of this post.

    • Oh yes, I must post some photos of my neighbours’ actual gardens when I can. They are amazing! A testament to a LOT of hard work. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

  4. Good luck with your goals! I try to be wine free Sun-Weds too and occassionally have the odd glass on a Thursday. A Friday and Saturday night without wine would be miserable for me so I have never tried to cut it out :)

    • Thanks for the encouragement and the good example. I think that’s a sensible approach on the wine drinking – total abstinence doesn’t appeal but it’s good to have some rules!

  5. Ha ha. I love the note to your future self! Good luck with your goals. x

  6. am so excited to see you in the Listography at lovely Kate Takes 5.
    anyhow, side issue – good luck with goals. Red point 6C+/7A! go you!

  7. Such a lovely post. Hope it helps the focus! I’m going to follow your lead and ditch the mid week alcohol too (I think).

    • I won’t lie to you Kate, the mid-week drinking is trickier than I thought it would be when it first glibly slid off my keyboard and on to my list. Still. Thanks for a great listography – and for stopping by :)


  1. […] Spanish refrain – and it has rained a LOT. On reflection, not the best month to choose for my 5 Goals. I’ve only managed to get out climbing once (seeping limestone is no fun, unless you’re a […]

  2. […] Spanish refrain – and it has rained a LOT. On reflection, not the best month to choose for my 5 Goals. I’ve only managed to get out climbing once (seeping limestone is no fun, unless you’re […]

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