Tag Archives: New Year Goals

2020: The Year Of Running?

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (1)

Aah running, it’s always been such a balancing act for me; I love it because I can see instant progress but I hate the way it makes me feel sometimes. Thankfully I don’t get too much of the latter anymore. Today’s post however is talking about my first run back a few weeks ago, how I felt and what changes I’ll be making to move forward with my running goals.

In a previous post about how last year (2019) wasn’t my best year of running (which I’ll link here) I talked all about why I thought it wasn’t the best year in terms of my running and what went wrong. I had an incredible 2019 for the most part but it was just that my fitness wasn’t at its best like it should have been.
Getting ready for that first run again was tough, not in the sense that I had no idea what to expect but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to run at all. I didn’t know whether I could run 100m never mind one mile, and I had been putting it off for a couple of weeks. Scott would suggest that we go for a run, and I would quickly suggest the gym instead, but I always knew in the back of my mind that running was more important to him, and I felt bad. I felt bad that I was more than likely, holding him back from doing what he loved, because I couldn’t get past my worry.

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Starting that first run back was better than expected; I was able to run 5K without stopping and I didn’t think I would be able to do that for at least the first few runs. I was incredibly proud of myself because I had been so worried for weeks that I would never be able to run again. When you say it out loud, it sounds ridiculous, right? I stopped running on a regular basis and now all of a sudden, I feel like I’m never going to be able to run again.
There are so many quotes about not thinking about the past and living in the present, that this one in particular seems perfect for what I’m trying to explain: “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” Thinking about how you used to be (especially when you were at your best) can be emotional at times and it can actually put you off pursuing something (like I did for quite a few weeks).
In anything, when you have built a skill and you feel like you have to start over again, it can be difficult. You never know if you’re going to get back to that stage again and it can be even harder going back to square one and doing all the leg work. For me, it was all about speed; when I first began running, I was at a 45 minute 5K and then my best was 30:02 (yes, two seconds off 30 minutes!) and now I’m at around 38 minutes. Sure, it’s not forty five but it’s not close to my absolute best. I would say that was the hardest part of getting back into a running routine again; knowing that I wasn’t going to be as fast and having to deal with that, whether I was okay with it or not.. When you haven’t ran consistently in just under a year, what can you really expect? It’s like anything really; if you learn a language for a year and then stop for nine months, it’s going to take a while to get back into again.

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I can tell you about how I felt getting back into running again and how I’m not happy with having to start very close to the beginning again, but what changes do I need to make? Am I going to make running a priority again? Am I going to make a plan?
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about how to start budgeting (which you can read right here), I talked about having a “why” and while we’re not talking about money in this post today, the subject is still relatable. It’s important to have a “why” and especially for your goals (whatever they may be) because if you don’t, you’ll simply be less motivated to move forward with them and failure will be more likely. In order to make something a priority, you need to assess your time, your why and where you would like to move further with it in the future.
For me, running and overall physical fitness is a priority for me, so it’s important to me to make sure I look at what time I do have and when I can fit my goals into my time. I work a normal 9-5 schedule which I absolutely love, but I get tired very easily. I don’t have a chronic disease and having someone close to me that has one, I can only imagine what someone goes through with that type of illness. I have always had a sense of tiredness since my early teenage years and it’s always something that has stayed with me. Having no solution can be difficult but I know that so many other people have it worse than me, and it’s something I do have to remember.
I know that scheduling two runs during the week and a slightly longer run at the weekend will be the starting point for Scott and I, and we may substitute a run for a gym session but it’s equally as important to improve our overall fitness and not just our cardiovascular health. We’re also planning on signing up to a few races over the year too, because then that will help us aim for slightly larger goals, whether that is distance or speed.

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As always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post and if you have anything similar that you think would make an interesting read, you can leave it down below in the comments, over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Have a lovely week!

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan: 2020.

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan_ Mid 2019.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a few years now, you will know that I have been experimenting with goals and resolutions while trying to find the best solution for me. After watching Muchelle B’s video last year about the Continue, Start and Stop plan, I gave it a go and it’s been the best tool for me so far. If you fancy having a read of the previous post, (linked right here) and in today’s post, I’ll be talking about my plan for early to mid 2020. (It’s a long one so you may want to get yourself a drink for this one!)

What is the Continue, Start and Stop plan?

If you haven’t read my first post on this, I highly recommend you do because it has the complete backstory on why I wanted to try this method. However, I’ll give you a short version of what the plan is. It’s simply a plan where you lay out what you want to continue doing, what you would like to start doing and what you want to stop doing in your life. When I did my updated six month plan (linked here), I added a back-on-track section, because there were things that I didn’t need to necessarily start but I wasn’t continuing them because I hadn’t practiced them in a while.

I’m a cliche New Year, New Me type of person and I have zero shame in that. I love the fresh start of a new month or a new year, it’s just the way that I like to work. I love having goals to aim for, I’m very much a goal oriented person; however over the last few years, I noticed that my standard practice of setting New Year’s Resolutions wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to. I knew I had to mix it up so I tried three goals every three months, then last year I tried two goals every two months as well as this Continue, Start and Stop plan. I was able to concentrate on the goals for 2019, but it’s possible that I was still taking on too much with the plan and individual goals but I did try and tie them together as much as I could. 

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As mentioned before, I did a six month update of my plan last year and I believe that was one of the best ways not to overwhelm myself. While I’m a cliche New Year goals person, I’m also one of those people who want to change everything overnight, and as much as I know it’s the wrong attitude sometimes, I get sucked into it. Having that split over the six months will be much more beneficial and it gives you a better viewpoint on what has changed and what hasn’t changed. 

With this plan, I’m not going to go through each activity, because you’ll be here all day if I did. Most of them are self-explanatory and I think it’s important to note that these are my goals and what I want to work on for my own reasons. That’s the really good thing about goals and resolutions, we can all find our inspiration from other people and alternatives online, but it’s all about what you feel like you need to do to improve yourself. 

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What do I want to continue?

  • I have been planning mornings or afternoons at one of my local coffee shops for a few years now; you might be the type of person who can work from home but I haven’t trained myself to do that so my best work is done outside of the house. Whether the work is goal setting, blog post writing or planning the next few weeks; the new environment gives me some mental clarity. It’s something I can do on my own for a few hours whereas Scott doesn’t like working in coffee shops, he works so much better at home, so it’s always nice to come home and talk about what work we got done that day. I try and limit my mornings out to possibly twice or three times a month, but that will all depend on how much money I have to spend (those teas and coffees can add up without even noticing, which I’ll discuss in a moment) and the other activities I have planned.

  • Money management is something I have been able to stream line into my life quite easily, I’m able to work out quickly how much money I have left to spend on certain activities and when I know I have to pull back until the next pay day. I still question why this isn’t something we are taught in school; I took a Learning for Life and Work GCSE (I would also say one of the most pointless GCSE’s, I wish I had chosen something else) and we weren’t taught anything like this so it’s been something that I’ve been learning throughout adult life. Once you know what’s going in and more importantly, how much is coming out, then you’re able to establish what you can and can’t do.

  • During the Christmas period, Scott and I both managed to get back into a gym routine. (I know, it’s a VERY strange time to do this!) and we’ve been really enjoying it. What I needed to do and I had noted it on my plan last year that I needed to have a plan for the gym. Some people can decide what they’re going to do when they are there, but I’m definitely not like that. I’ve found that Instagram is a great tool especially for HIIT workouts, so I can use my wireless headphones and watch the video quickly before doing the exercise. We’ve also moved to evening workouts rather than morning workouts; this is because I kept saying “Oh let’s get up early and go to the gym before work” and for two months, that NEVER happened because I was so tired. This meant restructuring our routine and we found having the time off around Christmas gave us that freedom.

What do I want to start?

  • I don’t tend to set weight loss as a goal anymore but it’s something that I have been wanting to work on for the last year. I’ve gained a little more weight than I would like, and I spoke about this in my weightloss post quite recently (which I’ll link here) so having monthly weigh ins will be a strategy that will help me. I know it’s not all about the numbers but I know where ideal weight is meant to be so with more walking, more gym workouts and eating better, it will fall off naturally.

  • For Christmas, Scott bought me a calligraphy set alongside a Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook which has a really cool concept of being featured in the library once you have completed it and sent it off, and it ends up travelling around the United States. I’ll link the website here so you can see what it’s all about for yourself. I want to incorporate calligraphy into this project because then I’ll be able to see my progression throughout my sketches. It also has a deadline too, so it means that I definitely need to have it done before the mid-year point.

  • Intermittent fasting has always fascinated me, Scott is a big fan of it and used this method for the majority of last year so it’s something I want to explore more. I tend to get quite hungry in the mornings though so that’s one barrier that I might struggle with, but for setting it for one monthly, it will give me a taste (excuse the pun!) of what it is like without forcing myself to do it forever.

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What do I want to get back on track?

  • My “back on track” is very much centered on physical health and that wasn’t even intentional. Meal prepping my lunches and drinking the correct amount of water was something I used to be so on top of but over the last few months, it hasn’t been a priority for me and I ended up not eating as nutritious as I should have.

  • While I’m continuing with a regular gym routine, I only started running again after four months off (and I didn’t realise it was that long until I checked my Strava) so building up a running routine again is one of my top priorities this year. I absolutely love running and while I have to be in the right head space for it, I love when I’m constantly getting better whether that’s with distance or with speed, the feeling is like no other.

  • My relationship with Scott is wonderful and I feel quite lucky that we seem to be a very strong couple. We don’t fight all that often and most of the time, we’re able to talk it out. We absolutely love living together but even before we moved in together, we noticed that we were hanging out in the house a lot in the evenings and the weekends. There were a lot of factors in this of course, I’m always tired in the evenings and it’s hard to push yourself to do anything apart from lie in bed or have a nap. There was also stress from work so the last thing I wanted to do when I got home, was to go out anywhere. Scott knows the challenges of this of course and he is very supportive but I want to be committed to having mini dates with him; they don’t have to be expensive and even if it’s quality time together on a walk around the city, at least it’s not another night in the house.

What do I want to stop?

  • Three of these activities are back on the “stop” list; not getting up when my alarm goes off, needing a sweet treat every day and pulling and twisting my hair. These three are incredibly hard to stop doing altogether; I spoke about emotional eating in a previous post but I don’t think the sweet treat is about that anymore, I’ve just become so accustomed to having something sweet before or after dinner that it’s a habit now. A habit that I would definitely love to break. Of course, I am all about balance but I know the difference between balance and eating for no reason, and this is definitely the latter.

  • I also talked about pulling and twisting my hair, and how I thought it may be down the lines of dermatillomania or trichotillomania. Obviously, I haven’t been diagnosed with anything but on that basis alone, it’s not as simple as just stopping. I still haven’t found anything that works on a permanent basis (other than my boyfriend telling me off, ha!)

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A lot of reading I know but I hope it gives a better insight on my plans and goals for the next six months. If you have anything similar that you think I should read, please let me know either down below in the comments or over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading and have an amazing week! 🌻

Goals: Reflecting on October and November and What I’m Planning for Next Year.

Goals_ Reflecting on October and November and What I'm Planning for Next Year.

I don’t want to be a cliche but how fast has this year flown by?! I can’t believe it’s the end of the year and it’s my favourite time for two reasons. I get to celebrate Christmas which is my favourite holiday and I get to reassess what I’ll be doing differently for not only the next year, but into a new decade. In this post, I’ll be discussing my goals for the last two months and how they went.

Organise the spare room.

Scott is quite the star, I don’t say it enough but he is. He noticed that the room had become overwhelming for me and he helped out massively by moving most of the units around so the place didn’t look so cluttered. Towards the end of November, we moved most of the boxes out of the room that I didn’t need for the next month or so, and those were either put up in the roofspace or in the bedroom cupboards. It

Make time for more walks.

I completely SMASHED this in October because my boyfriend and my brother were taking part in a Sober October challenge with added steps, which meant they had to try and get the most steps throughout the month. It gave us a really good reason to go for a walk before or after work, and I started walking to the garage during lunch rather than driving up. I tripled my step count over the month of October compared the steps in September, and while I didn’t actively try and walk all the time in November like we did in October, I still think I did amazing for making more time for more walks, and I hope to continue it, but just not in such an intense way moving forward.

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Again, another goal setting exercise with one out of two. Technically, it’s two out of two but because the spare room isn’t as organised as I had planned in October, I’ll not mark that off my list. November was definitely a more chill month and I think it was much needed because I’m now focused on December and the New Year to get exercising and walking more regularly.

Looking back; last year I tried three goals every three months and this year I tried two goals every two months. Personally, two goals over two months has been much more beneficial for me because in hindsight, three goals was too much. I was so goal oriented that I took it a step closer and I think that’s perfectly okay; I’ve learned what is best for me and that’s what goal setting is all about at the end of the day.

Now, as we’re coming up to the New Year, that will of course be the time where I’m going to be focusing on goals for the next quarter and the next twelve months overall. I haven’t exactly planned it out yet but I’ll be posting about it very soon as I always do. I’ll be continuing with my Continue, Stop and Start plan that I began last year (which you can read the first one and the second one right here) because that was a really great way for me to lay out my good habits, my bad habits and what I wanted to do more. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to focus on one big goal or smaller goals over a certain amount of months but that decision will depend on what I want to do, and I’m excited to explore that over the Christmas holiday period.

As always, thank you so much for reading, I do appreciate it because there are so many other blogs or articles you could read, so thank you. If you have any comments or any blog posts that you think I should read in relation to what I have posted today; you can either leave it in the comments below, send me a tweet over on my Twitter or let me know on my Instagram. Have a great week!

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan: Updated for Mid-2019.

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan

You may remember at the start of the year, I wrote two posts about New Year’s Resolutions and one of those posts talked about the Continue, Start and Stop Plan that I wanted to incorporate into my year. We’re six months in and I thought it was time to update the plan and talk about what’s changed and what hasn’t. 

The Start, Continue and Stop Plan was one of the most beneficial ways for me to work out what I wanted to do day-to-day because it was the perfect tool to help me realise what I want to do but don’t, and what I’m happy to keep going with. The entire point with the plan isn’t to do everything at once which is quite refreshing but because I had quite a lot of activities on there, it means that your brain can constantly be focused on moving forward with something so they aren’t necessarily goals because there may not be an end point with them. 

I won’t go over every single activity that I talked about before, but if you want to see what I did for that, I’ll link it here. In that post, I listed them out simply because it was easier to visually to look at, but I thought it might be a nice idea to add the mind-maps today so you could see my logic as I was writing everything down. Now you’ll notice that there are actually four clouds rather than three; continue, back on track, start and stop. The reason for the back-on-track one is for activities that I don’t believe fit on the continue cloud because I haven’t done them for a while but they don’t belong on the start cloud either because I have done them before. 

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What do I want to continue in 2019?  
  • Drinking more water is something I’ve been trying my best at for a month or so, not very long mind you but my skin was getting really dehydrated, the skin under my eyes looked very dark and it was very dry. I knew that I needed to keep track of it in order to improve my skin so I used the Samsung Health app that I have on my phone and that’s how I keep track of my water intake. It only takes a few seconds to update so every time I go and get a new refill of water, that’s when I add to my tracker. 
  • Booking appointments in advance doesn’t sound that impressive sure, but I have my dentist check-up booked for December (it’s been booked since June) and I book my beauty appointments every three months. Again, it doesn’t take too long to book them all at one time so it’s all about those little time saving hacks. 
  • I began volunteering with the Girl Guides in November last year and while I’m still not that confident in “being a leader” I’m currently trying to progress in their leadership programme, I’ve even been to camp this year and I’m working on a programme for the girls for after the Summer. I love planning and organising so it’s something I’m really throwing myself into. 
What do I want to get back on track mid-2019? 
  • Filling in my diary was what I was known for amongst most people I know. I didn’t go anywhere without my Filofax, just in case I had to add to it (but I really only added to it when I was in a quiet space where I can write neatly). This is going to sound really vain but the diary itself was falling apart and it had seen better days. Did it still do the job? Yes, absolutely but I wanted something that looked the part because that’s how my brain works. Yes, it sounds crazy but it’s how I like it. Thankfully, I’m planning on starting my Filofax back up again because it’s an essential for me if I want to get my running routine and morning gym sessions back on track, so the diary planning isn’t just for appointments and special dates, it’s to help me with my fitness too. 
  • You might have seen this pop up in my June and July Goals post, but getting back to our daily language practice is really important because Scott and I absolutely loved doing it. It was a really nice thing to do together, and it’s something that we’re really happy to get back on track with. 
  • Writing blog posts and being creative is something that I love and over the last few months, I haven’t been writing as much. There are quite a number of factors behind it; my mental health, my mindset, not feeling they are worth reading, not having anything of value to say and generally not sure what I want from it. I never started blogging to make money, it was let me get creative in another way and I‘ve achieved that, but I have had certain doubts of the last few months. I believe that I’ll get back on track with it soon along with some belief in myself, I know that it’s not something I can push like some of the other habits though. 

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What you’ll notice is both my “start” and “stop” clouds are smaller in activities than the previous two. Not necessarily on purpose but I want to be more intentional with my “continue” and “back on track” clouds and not put too much pressure on myself to do everything. The activities in these clouds however aren’t very hard things to do and they all do fit in with building a routine of some sort, so it does balance itself out. Even if you want to only work on what you’re doing at the moment and what you want to get back on track, I still think it’s important to jot down the bad habits you would like to stop and habits you would like to pick up, because it’s going to give you a better overall picture of where you are. 

What do I want to start mid-2019? 
  • Who else sets an alarm to do something important every day? Well, I’m going to start doing this for my tablets and vitamins (I’ve just bought vitamins for the first time which should have happened a long time ago!) because I’m really quite bad at forgetting to take my tablets. I know, I know, I should know better by now and I don’t forget all the time, but it’s such a simple thing to do, why shouldn’t I do it if it’s going to help. 
  • I stopped using my FitBit last year but because I was walking so much, I didn’t need to use it. I already knew I was walking more than enough every day but now I don’t and It’s something I’m want to focus on. Now technically I have started this with more of my walks mostly in the evenings, but I want to keep it up on an almost daily basis. 10,000 steps is the minimum most of us should be walking so if I’m able to do so, I want to take advantage of that when I can. Since I don’t have the FitBit anymore, I use Samsung Health to track it now. 
What do I want to stop mid-2019? 
  • Emotional eating is something I believe we all struggle with at one point or another and I can admit it’s something I have had to deal with. I’m not emotional eating every single day but towards the end of the day, I feel like I need something sweet. Intuitively, I know that I’m missing something from my diet and whatever that is, it means that I’m craving that sweet thing. The reality is, I know that I don’t need a chocolate bar or an ice-cream bar every day; while it’s okay to do that of course, it’s not something I want to have as part of my daily diet, and I think that’s absolutely fine too. 
  • Pulling and twisting my hair is one of my worst habits and it’s not just a bad habit at this stage; it’s at the point now where I don’t realise I’m doing it all the time. If it continues, I know my hair is going to get even thinner and my scalp is going to get more sensitive. I was doing research a few weeks ago because I wanted to know if it was a common issue but I found out that I may have dermatillomania or trichotillomania. It’s not a simple as just stopping, because if everything was that easy, we’d all be damn perfect. I’m trying my best to find certain techniques and so far, it hasn’t worked out in my favour, but it’s all about finding something that works and I’m sure I will at one point. 

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post! A long one, I know but I wanted to give a little more detail on some of the activities and habits that I have chosen to concentrate on because it gives you, as the reader, a better insight to me as a person and my overall personality. What do you think of this type of plan? Are you more interested in short term goals? Let me know your thoughts or if you have anything similar to share, please let me know down below in the comments, over on my Instagram or on my Twitter. Have a great day! ☀️

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

Copy of Reflecting on my 2018 Goals. (3).png

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). 

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.