Category Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions 2019: January and February Goals.

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Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post on the blog for this shiny New Year! I’m really excited for what this year will bring for the blog so I hope you’ll stick around with me. Today’s post is all about this year’s goals and what I’m choosing to focus on for the first two months of the year. 

In my last post, you’ll know that I’m trialing out a two month time frame instead of three month time frame, and I’m focusing on two goals this time around rather than three goals. This is to enable me to focus more intentionally on less goals and not give myself too much time either. I believe that for me, three months was too long a time frame and that’s why I tended to fall off the wagon with the habit I was trying to create. 

(What do I want to start in 2019?)
Creating a house cleaning routine. 

Cleaning is something that I love to hate. I love the feeling I get afterwards but during it, I can’t stand it. It’s something that I’ve struggled with ever since I can remember; even when I was leaving at home, I would be told to put something away and I would procrastinate until I had no choice but to put it away. It’s different now in terms of mentality; I would see a list of chores I had to do and get completely overwhelmed so much so that I didn’t do anything. I’ve managed to work through this through CBT and I know when I can push myself and when I can’t. It’s something that has taken a long time to work through but it’s been one hundred percent worth it. 

While I was off work during the Summer, I got very overwhelmed because I had a lot of free time but I almost had too much. There was so much I needed to do and wanted to do, but because there was so much that I had planned, I felt very anxious about it all. Now that I’m back at work, I’ve noticed that I don’t make enough time to clean apart from the weekend. I don’t want to spend my weekend cleaning my house but I tend to find that I make the excuse that I’m too tired to clean after work. Now, I’m very cautious of saying excuse because for me, it’s not an excuse, it’s something that I live with on a daily basis, I’m always tired. I don’t live with a chronic disease thankfully because I know how it can affect you when you do deal with something like that but from a very young age, I have always been tired. I’ve learned when to push past the tiredness and when I need to rest, because there is a true difference and you know the difference yourself when you come across it. 

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My plan going forward is to create a house cleaning routine that I can implement on weekly basis. I want to choose a number of tasks I can put into place around five days a week and it doesn’t have to be a big list; they have to be something I can do after work, that won’t take too long but they still make an impact on the house cleaning overall. Now this does correlate with another one of my “stop” activities which is “not cleaning up on a regular basis” and it’s something that I wanted to combat it alongside with the cleaning routine.  

There will be particular tasks that I’ll have to complete on a daily basis; cleaning the bath, emptying Audrey’s litter, freshen up the toilet and brushing the living room floor. Those are just a few examples of daily tasks but that is something that I will need to work into each day plan. 

(What do I want to stop in 2019?)
Not getting up straight away when my alarm goes off. 

This is one that I believe I am in the middle of conquering. In general, when Scott and I plan to go to the gym during the work week, the majority of the time, I do get up with my alarm. However, when we haven’t planned a gym session during the work week or when we plan something early at the weekend, that’s sometimes a different story and it’s a story I would like to change. 

A lot of us get into the mindset of “five more minutes” but in reality I’ve found that five more minutes in bed doesn’t make me feel any better. In fact, when I’ve had this attitude during the work week; I’ve ended up rushing to work, not having a great breakfast and starting the day off as great as I would like. 

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I don’t think this will be an easy task to start doing, but I believe I’ll be able to become more adaptable in the mornings if I see it as “five more minutes won’t give me as much satisification as I may think”. I don’t like being stressed, I don’t like not having time not to make my breakfast or my lunch properly and I prefer to control my morning, not my morning taking control of me. 

In terms of the weekends, we’re all very precious with our weekends, and why not? With working nine-to-five Monday to Friday (for me at least) it’s our time of the week where we’re not plaque with doing tasks involved with our job so it’s not unsurprising that many of us enjoy a lie-in. I love one, but I believe I’m going wrong with not going to bed early so I feel the need for that extra sleep in the morning. However, if I went to bed early continually, then I wouldn’t feel the need to want those “five minutes”. 

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I have to say I’m looking forward to introducing both these habits into my life because they are two things that I know I need to incorporate into my daily life. I tried to choose two activities that I know would be the most important to add in or change right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these first two goals pan out. 

Have you any tips on how to create a cleaning routine or waking up early every day? Let me know in the comments, on Instagram or via my Twitter. I hope you have a lovely day, and Happy New Year! (again). 

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New Year’s Resolutions 2019: Continue, Start and Stop Plan.

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Having had a look back at this year’s goals, I wanted to take the opportunity over the last few days of the year to decide what I wanted to achieve next year so that’s what today’s blog post is all about. 

I experimented with goals this year; I chose three new goals each quarter, and tried to focus on them for those three months. Having only achieved three of those goals, I knew that that particular method didn’t work for me, and that was my alternative this year to New Year’s Resolutions. I’m still glad that I tried that method because now I know that it doesn’t work and I can try something else. See, it’s all about experimenting, isn’t it?  

One of the stand out influences for me this year in particular has been Muchelle B; I’ve written about her before but she speaks about habits, goals, minimalism and resetting your life, all on YouTube. She puts everything very simply and doesn’t complicate what she’s trying to put across, especially with topics like minimalism and goals, were it can be very overwhelming. During her “Creating an Environment to Support Your 2019 Habits: Reset Your Life Challenge” video, she introduced me to the concept of a “Continue, Start and Stop Plan” which is three mind maps; one is what you wish to continue with next year, the next one is what you wish to start doing next year and the last one is what you want to stop doing in the New Year. 

I found this experience quite therapeutic because I’m often known for looking at the negative side of life and choosing to focus on what I’m doing wrong rather than what I’m doing right but this showed me to focus on what I like about my daily or weekly routine. It’s also taught me to stop thinking in the “I wish I was doing <insert activity here> instead of <insert activity here>” mindset, because now that I had everything written down, I could see what was achievable. 

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Below are my three lists: continue, start and stop. I thought it would be nice to lay them out in a list form for the blog but I have it in one of my notebooks in a mind mapping format.  

What do I want to continue in 2019? 
  • Meal prep for my work lunches. 
  • Filling in my diary. 
  • Listening to podcasts. 
  • Gym sessions in the morning. 
  • Going to bed at an early time during the week. 
  • Reducing my use of plastic. 
  • Being conscious of what I eat. 
  • Writing regular blog posts. 
  • Meditating regularly. 
  • Listening to audiobooks. 
What do I want to start in 2019? 
  • Read more (Add a minimum of chapters per week). 
  • Have a regular yoga routine. 
  • Double cleanse after make-up. 
  • Save on a regular basis. 
  • Spend more time in my own house (Not spending so much time at Scott’s). 
  • Create a house cleaning routine. 
  • Go on evening walks. 
  • Get up earlier during the weekends. 
  • Incorporate more running into my weekly schedule. 
  • Cook more new recipes. 
What do I want to stop in 2019? 
  • Going to the gym without a workout plan. 
  • Not getting up straight away when my alarm goes off. 
  • Not cleaning up on a regular basis. 
  • Getting frustrated when I’m stressed. 
  • Not having stuff on my bed apart from PJ’s. 
  • Procrastinating. 
  • Twisting and pulling my hair as often. 

I’d highly encourage you to do the same with these lists, and if you’re struggling to set your next goals (and they don’t even have to be at the New Year, you can do this at ANY point of the year) once you start on your lists, I can almost guarantee that your head will be a lot clearer to determine your next goal. 

Now, what you might be thinking is that both my “start” and “stop” lists are far too long, and I would tend to agree with you. I believe that if your list is too long that it will be harder to achieve your goals. However, I wrote this not with the sense of achieving it all; I’m planning on focusing again on twelve-week goals, because while three goals over twelve weeks this year didn’t work for me, I’m scaling back and focusing on two instead. I’m planning on using one goal from the “start” list and one goal from the “stop” list. Will it work? I don’t know, and if I find it doesn’t work throughout the year, then I’m free to change it up.  

I’ve decided to split this post up into two parts because this post can work absolutely all year round and my second post will be about the first two eight-week goals that I’m planning on focusing on.  

Have you planned any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Are you goal oriented or do you prefer going with the flow? Let me know either in the comments or via my Instagram or Twitter. Thank you so much for reading! 

Reflecting on my 2018 Goals.

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I’m getting a head start on New Year’s Resolutions this year because I’ve already started to think about the next year ahead. Before I commit to my new goals, I wanted to reflect back on the goals of 2018 and how changing my method worked out so that’s exactly what today’s post is all about.  

Instead of having to go back through my goals this year, I’ve listed them all down below, and below those are all the goals up until October. I’ve marked it green if I have completed it and if it’s in red, that means I wasn’t able to do it. 

Changing My Perspective of New Year’s Resolutions. 
January to March Reflections and April to June Goals (2018). 
April to June Reflections and July to September Goals (2018) 
July to September Reflections and October to December Goals (2018). 

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Clear my spare room. 
Finish my nutrition course. 
Read fifty pages a week. 
Begin my research into growing my blog. 
Note down my spending for one month. 
Try a new fitness class. 
Write a “Top Three Tasks” list every day. 
Be satisfied with my home. 
Practice “Good for them” rather than being negative towards myself. 

Before I talk about this year over all, I want to briefly talk about the last three goals I set for myself this year:

Run a 5K in under 30 minutes. 

Unfortunately I didn’t do this over the last few months and I was quite disappointed. I had an injury for over a month and that set me back more than I would have liked but it’s a goal that I’ll be keeping in the back of my head continuously for my running progress. 

Refresh my wardrobe. 

Since getting my new job (which you can read about here!) Scott went shopping with me to get some new outfits because I wanted to dress more professionally. I had been so used to jeans and a shirt but I was looking for a change. I tried out blouses and skirts, which was something I had been nervous about because I didn’t think I would suit them, but I was surprisingly very wrong. Currently around the holidays, I’m in jeans and Christmas jumpers, but I’ll be back in the professional clothes after Christmas.

Incorporate the two minute rule more into my daily routine. 

This is a hard one to judge because I was great with it at the start of October but it did start to slip towards the start of November. It’s a really easy one to keep in mind for the future especially when it comes to trying to tackle procrastination, but I think for me, it was something that I didn’t nurture enough as a daily habit. 

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I tend to set a small number of resolutions and then I forget about them half way through the year, but that’s like a lot of people. This method never worked for me and because I’m so interested in goal setting and having goals that work for me, I wanted to take a serious approach to it. It’s hard to word it; I’m not saying that you should be completely serious about your goals but why set them in the first place if you’re not planning on trying to implement them?  

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Out of twelve goals this year, I completed three… Admittedly I’m quite surprised at myself for the lack of completed goals. Not trying to make excuses for myself but it’s been a pretty unsettled year for me but that has been a lesson in itself; it’s shown me that I need to become more adaptable to my own surroundings. I often get so tied up when something doesn’t go right, and I know that my goals need to reflect that too. That’s something I will be taking into consideration moving forward with next year’s goals. 

In terms of what my goals actually were, I don’t feel like any were completely out of reach. They were all mainly focused on personal development which is something I wanted to work hard on this year and will continue to do so next year. I believe part of the problem was that I was reaching too far at times; reading fifty pages a week for example was tough around that time because I was trying to finish up my nutrition course AND I had tried to clean my spare room that had become an absolute tip. Is it any wonder I found it difficult?  

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What this year has also taught me is that I need to focus on priorities and determine what they are. I tried to do so many things at once this year and I truly believe that I was trying to distract myself from the stressful life situations I had throughout the year. Distractions are great, don’t get me wrong but if you start to stretch yourself too thin, then you get yourself worked up even more than before. 

For me, this method didn’t work as well as I had hoped but I still think it’s a much stronger method than the simple New Year’s Resolutions, were you set a few goals at the start of the year and then almost of us forget about them by the middle of the year. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be researching different methods and techniques for next year’s goals and while they will still be very much personal development focused, I’m going to try and focus more intentionally this time.  

My new post will be live soon and I’m already excited to start the New Year because I have some really lovely plans ahead. Let me know how you found this year, what worked and what didn’t, and how you are going to change it up for the year ahead. Thank you so much for reading and if you want to get in contact with me, I’m always over on Instagram or Twitter. 

Reflecting on 2016’s Resolutions.

I posted my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions yesterday and last year I reflected back on the previous year’s resolutions so I wanted to do the same thing this year too. There’s no point setting resolutions or goals if you don’t reflect back on them and see if you achieved them, right?

Go outside every day!
I didn’t do outside every day, I know that for a fact but that wasn’t really the point of the goal. I wanted to spend more time outside and I did that! For a few weeks, I walked home from work (it’s a two hour walk!), I walked around town more on my lunch break and because I went away on holiday twice this year, I walked so much to explore. So I think I completed this goal, I’m satisfied with that.

Further advance in yoga.
Yes! I did this! When you go to a class once a week most weeks, you do see yourself growing and advancing over time. I’m now doing poses that this time last year, there was no way I could even do at beginner level. It’s so motivating to see yourself get better at something you love.

Save money.
I did this but not for my original purpose. I was meant to be saving to take a trip to Canada, and I had started but then life stepped in the way for this one. However, I started saving towards the end of the year and I now have my first month’s rent saved so I don’t have to worry about that.

Write every day in my One Line A Day book.
The fact I stopped doing this actually does upset me. I loved that book but then I was never motivated to write in it and I always said “Oh I’ll do it tomorrow” Tomorrow essentially never came and I fell behind.

Read more books.
I read but I don’t think I read more than usual which is a real shame because I want to read more but I just can’t seem to push myself to do it.

Knit more.
I don’t think I knit one thing this year. I finished off a scarf at the very very beginning of the year then I tried to knit something for my Mum but I hardly started that.

Keep up with my blog!
I’m so happy that I kept up with the blog this year. I have loved having this platform and connecting with other bloggers, it makes the online world so much more exciting. I’m really happy with the content I put out this year and I hope that this year will be just as great.

Learn a new language.
I’m so disappointed that I didn’t do this! I wanted to learn Finnish for when Ryan and I went to Finland but we never got around to it. Definitely a missed opportunity!

Spend more time with my boyfriend.
You could say this one did but didn’t work out. We spent a lot of time together and I practically lived with him for about six months, but we broke up in September. Reminder to self: do not make a resolution about a boyfriend, you don’t know what can happen in a year (and clearly I didn’t!)

Four out of nine isn’t bad, right? 

❤ My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions ❤

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2017! It’s the year we’ve all been waiting for. I hope you all have a lovely year this year!

It’s Sunday today which means there’s normally a Sunday Saves but I wanted to post about my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions instead. Next week Sunday Saves will resume, and if you come back tomorrow, you’ll see a reflection of my 2016 Resolutions. (I’ll link it here when it’s live!)

1) Take part in Veganuary.
First and fore most because this starts in January, I’ll be participating in Veganuary. I’m planning on doing a blog post later on in the week about what exactly Veganuary is and about how I became vegetarian because I haven’t talked about it on the blog yet.

2) Create a morning and evening routine.
Having a morning and evening routine is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle in my opinion but yet, I don’t have either. I want to get up earlier and achieve more with my morning before I go to work. I want to have a healthier attitude to ‘bedtime’ and have a set routine that can settle me down for the night.

3) Create a sleep routine.
This ties in with the morning and evening routine goal. Over the past nine months or so, on an average work day, I have lived on about four or five hours sleep a day. It’s not healthy, I know it’s not. Every part of me has felt the effects so I’m committed to going to bed earlier and getting up earlier too. I’m slowly killing myself otherwise.

4) Meditate more.
Ideally, I would love to do a ten minute meditation in the morning and in the evening but I don’t want to throw myself in to such a big task at first. One meditation every other morning would suit me at the beginning of the year at first and then I would want to build it up to once or twice a day.

5) Practice more yoga at home.
Okay, so I’ve covered getting into yoga and advancing yoga over the past few years but I want to take that even further by making sure I practice yoga at home rather than just in the studio once a week.

6) Live in the moment.
This is really important to me because I am either so stuck in the past or the future. I never take time to appreciate where I am right now and how far I have come. I always float back to my past and how I can’t change it or I race to the future thinking “Okay, I need to be here in the least amount of time”. I really need to take each day as it comes, go with the flow of life and take it in my stride.

7) Expand my knowledge on mindfulness.
Through therapy and reading mental health blogs, I have been really interested in learning more about mindfulness and the techniques behind it. I tend to participate in it quite often but I would like to make it a daily routine of mine because when I do, I genuinely feel better about myself. So I want to practice it as well as do my own reading and research into the ‘science’ behind it too.

8) Keep a Happy Jar for the year.
I love this idea! I featured a jar like this on one of my recent Sunday Saves but I found a post that explains it more, so if you click here, you’ll see it. I’ll do a blog post on mine once I have it decorated!


If you have a New Year’s Resolutions or Goals posts or videos, please send me them via the comments below or over on my Twitter, I love finding out about everyone else’s goals!

Happy Easter (Monday)!

Well, Happy Easter Monday! I know I haven’t blogged in a while but I’m not beating myself up for it. Life gets busy, but in the best way.

I’m a huge advocate for New Years Resolution’s, I love setting new goals and I’m a list girl, so lists and goals are one of the big motivators for me. So what a perfect time to start a new slate than the day after Easter Sunday!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or reading my tweets, you know that I can’t eat a lot of chocolate but my boyfriend bought me some small raw chocolate eggs and I might have had a few too many of those, and now I feel quite ill.

So today will be a new day. Fresh food, happy food, healthy food, and just getting back on tract with the food and exercise. Taking a few days off is never a bad thing but I can’t wait to get back onto feeling myself again.

 

So you want to try yoga?

I’m not an expert in yoga at all but if you read my first yoga birthday post, I have some quite fresh experience in getting into the lifestyle, so I thought I would give you some advice if you’re new to yoga or even if you want to try it, but don’t know where to start.

Do your research.
Do you know anything about yoga? Do you know what type of yoga you would like to do? Have you done it before? Is this your first time or are you getting back into it again? These are all questions you have to ask yourself while researching about the practice.

Find classes in your area.
I’m all for watching videos online, I think it’s a fantastic resource and with so much free content out there, I don’t think you should let it go to waste. HOWEVER, for yoga especially, I think it’s an absolute must to go to a class and learn how to do the poses correctly. You will never know if you’re doing it right if you’re watching it and trying to copy it, you could end up hurting yourself.

It shouldn’t cost the earth.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either; depending on the area you live in, you can find affordable classes with experienced teachers. I live in Belfast so I learn through Yoga Belfast who have a range of classes for beginners right up to intermediates, in a range of areas, and are affordable too. There’s some drop in classes and others were you can sign up for a certain amount of weeks. There are many other yoga companies in Belfast of course, but I haven’t had any experience with them.

Get the right gear.
You don’t have to buy a £200 yoga mat, you don’t have to spend loads of money on new workout clothing, but make sure you’re equipped to work out properly. You don’t need to worry about trainers because yoga is done in either socks or in your bare feet. Try to avoid very loose clothing but don’t go really tight either, try and find a nice balance in between the two. I personally don’t like the cheap foam yoga mats because they can slide back on the floor (First week I went to yoga, this actually happened, so personal experience is talking.) but I got a good yoga mat from ASDA and it wasn’t expensive at all. I’ve heard TKMaxx or Sports Direct do some nice ones too.

Practice makes perfect.
This speaks for itself really. You can’t expect to get better at anything if you don’t practice. You’ll mess up, you’ll fall over, you’ll lose your balance, your posture will need corrected, but you know what? That’s okay, if you learn with someone who is willing to show you the ropes and if you’re willing to put the effort in, even one or two times a week, then you will gradually get better.

I am very thankful to have introduced yoga into my life, I don’t know what I would do without it. It has helped me physically; I’m now more flexible and that is particularly helpful when I go to the gym too. It has helped me mentally; I still get stressed and I still panic but yoga helps to bring me down (If only I could do yoga in work every day, now that would be heavenly!). I believe yoga is for everyone, no matter what your age, gender, flexibility, fitness level, lifestyle, whatever it is. It’s such a good focus for people to get stuck into and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope my advice has helped even just one person, good luck!