I spend most of my life looking forward to things. While it’s easy to get stuck in monotonous routines of going to work, watching TV and going to the gym, having my diary planned out for the year definitely keeps me motivated. Trust me, nothing gets you through a Monday morning knowing you’ve got a sunny holiday around the corner or even just a coffee and a catch-up with a good friend. Grab yourself a cute little diary on your next shopping trip and schedule these things far ahead – you’ll feel sunnier just for knowing you’ve got something to look forward to.
Weekend getaway with the girls
It doesn’t have to be a grand getaway. If you’ve saved enough pennies to take you off on a European Christmas Markets break, do that. Alternatively, pitch up at your friend’s place (whoever has got the biggest flat) and spend your weekend cooking, chatting and watching rubbish films. Getting older usually means getting everyone together is a nightmare but booking it in far in advance means no-one can claim they’re too busy. Plus, you’ll have loads to catch up on.
Cheap city break
I love exploring new corners of the world and a city break is the best way to do it. Take the Friday off work, jump on a train to somewhere new and enjoy the cultural offerings of some of the world’s best destinations. This year, we ended up visiting Liverpool in January and spent a few days eating in great restaurants, sightseeing and making our way around the museums. Knowing we had that in the diary definitely got me through the post-Christmas lull.
Maybe not an event to schedule months in advance (who can wait, quite frankly?) but definitely a necessary addition. Ideal for the kind of Sunday nights you just want to laze in your pyjamas and watch Netflix, a pamper night is a great way to end the weekend. Put on a face mask, try a leave-in conditioner and use all those beauty products that have been stuck in your wardrobe since Christmas. Scented tealights around your bathtub and Radox bubble bath? You’ve pretty much got your own home spa.
This one speaks for itself. Booking in holidays to exotic locations and far-flung cities are all well and good but sometimes all you want is a dose of sunshine and an opportunity to wear your bikini for a week. Every couple of years, all I crave is the chance to head somewhere with a beach, swimming pool and the kind of cocktails you see on Instagram.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re happily coupled up or free and single, date nights are a great opportunity to treat yourself. Forget Valentine’s Day too (unless you want to spend your evening in an overpriced restaurant feeling the pressure of the world’s expectations.) Plan a night out, get dressed up and book in for dinner and wine – it doesn’t have to be somewhere fancy. Also, leave your phone at home. There’s nothing romantic about being together and constantly checking in on your Facebook notifications.
Duvet days are seriously underrated. I’m really bad for switching off and attempting to do nothing but even I can appreciate the kind of days that warrant a long lie-in and Netflix marathon. Block out a Sunday or go crazy and book a day off work to do whatever you want. Baking session, yoga class or a chance to chill out with your adult colouring book? Do it.
The first day of Summer
Handily, this one is probably already marked on your diary. Celebrate the first day of (hopefully) continuous good weather by spending your evening in a beer garden or having a picnic in your back garden or making Pina Coladas in your smoothie maker. It’s all sunshine and fun-times from here on in.