Tag Archives: New Year

Simple Budgeting Tools for the New Year.

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January, also known as the longest month of the year, because we’re trying to survive after the festive season. Budgeting is really important if you need to pay off debts after this period or if you want to do something more pleasurable. In today’s post, I’m going to be talking about some tools you can use to budget and how you can start to do it too in a few simple steps.

I absolutely love January because I’m a goal-oriented person so while it might sound totally cringy, I love goal setting and January is the perfect partner for that. The one downside of January however, is how long it feels especially when it comes to your finances. Getting paid early in December might feel like a dream at first but reality soon hits when you look at the calendar for the next month and realise how many weeks it is until you are next paid. If you’re like me, it’s the last day of the month. We’ve all heard about Blue Monday which is said to be the worst day of the month due to the financial strain of the previous month.

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(Photo Credit: Pexels)

There are three types of people in this world; those who like to record manually, those who like to work digitally and those who don’t know where to start. If you’re reading this blog post, I would say more than likely, you are the third person. Trying to find the right system for you can be overwhelming and it all comes down to what type of person you are and your time management skills.

You’re a manual person… if you love having everything written down in a notepad or your own worksheet and you have the time to make sure that everything is accounted for. The manual route is a great option if you are someone who isn’t great on technology and would rather have personal information like your expenses filed in a cabinet in your office or your house.

You’re a digital person… if you want everything accounted for but you know that you don’t have the time to write every single expense out. The digital route is also a really good option if you plan to keep your expenses on file in one designated place so they are easily accessible.

How I budget for this time of the year.

I use an Android app called “Money Manager” (which I’m sure is available on the Apple store too) and while it’s a digital system, you could say it’s a manual version. You have to input the data yourself and I personally love how you can customise each expense with each symbol as well as making your own expenses. I tend to sit with the app while going through my mobile banking app and adding in each payment alongside the date and a description of what it was. I tend to do this on a Sunday evening as I wind down for the week ahead. 

(Photo Credit: Money Manager on Google Play Store)

Recommendations.

These recommendations are friends recommendations and what works for them. Monzo seems to be quite popular at the moment, not only because it’s an online bank with some of the best interest rates but it can also help you with your spending. It has a function on the app to tell you what categories you are spending the most, which is a lot like the app I use, except Monzo does it automatically for you. If you don’t want to change your bank, I know that most of the commercial banks have something very similar on their apps (I know mine does!)

Both Google and Microsoft have several templates that you can customise to suit your style if you prefer having all your information on a worksheet. You can also make these to suit your financial needs, whether you want one huge sheet for the year or if you prefer to break them up over weeks and months.

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Who doesn’t love a traditional money box? I personally find this is an old school option because I don’t tend to carry money with me all that often but I think it’s a really good option for the loose change you may have sitting in the bottom of your purse or even the coins you have around the house. I bought my boyfriend a money box that can detect which coin is going into the box, and it added it up for you too. (He will happily admit that he loved seeing the figure go up!)

If you don’t think the coin option would suit you, there are a number of apps including Tandem and Monzo that will round up your purchases to the nearest pound and it adds it into your savings. There’s even an app called Moneybox and it adds the spare change into an investment fund. All you have to do is add an app to your phone and connect it to your bank account, and you’re good to go!

Make sure you have a why.

We’re always being told that we have to do something that everyone else is doing, which brings me to my most important point; if you don’t want to budget, don’t do it. There is nothing worse that forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do just because you think you should do it. My guess would be that if you didn’t want to sort out your finances, you wouldn’t be reading this post but I think it’s really important to make sure you have a “why”. Why do you want to save money or figure out your finances? Are you saving up for a holiday or a home renovation, or maybe you want to find a way where you’re not so tight every month. Whatever your reason, you have to make sure it’s a good reason for you or you might not stick to it as much as you think.

Thank you so much as always for reading today’s post! I know it can be hard to start budgeting but you need to find the right method for you, and I hope that my post is able to help with that, even as a starting point. I also have another post I wrote two years ago which gives a more in-depth look at how much to save (which I’ll link here). I hope you have a lovely start to the New Year!

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! 🌻

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! 

Changing My Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions.

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To me, New Year is quite special. We’re told that it’s cliche to think of the New Year as a fresh start but for many it is, and that’s how I view it to a certain extent. I’m very goal oriented and I love challenging myself but over the past year, I’ve seen how resolutions and goals haven’t worked “their magic” on me (so to speak). I need a new perspective on them, but I don’t want to give up on them completely so I need to change my mindset on them instead.

Smaller goals in three months?

This idea came from one of my favourite YouTubers Muchelle B. She posts motivational, inspirational, minimalism and organisation content on her channel and lately, she’s my go-to whenever I feel like I need a boost of motivation. I would write a slightly larger list of resolutions every year not really thinking about the true meaning behind them, and because the list was very large, it was hard to keep up. Muchelle’s video called “10 Tips To Actually Accomplish Your New Year Goals” helped me on the right track to breaking down my goals into smaller chunks, therefore making them more achievable.

(Number One) Clear my spare room.

I’ve been living on my own for one year now and yes, my spare room still looks like a bomb hit it. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to clean it all, organise it and tidy through it and when I would do it in little chunks; the amount of work I knew I needed to do became so overwhelming that I would close the door. It’s been a year, and quite frankly, every time I clean the house I never feel satisfied knowing that the little room upstairs is still a mess.

(Number Two) Finish my nutrition course. 

If you don’t follow me on social media, you won’t know that I signed up to a nutrition course. This is something that I’ve been looking at doing for the last few years and towards the end of last year, I took the plunge and signed up. The course has now finished but I haven’t; I became really busy and luckily for me, it’s the type of course that doesn’t have an end date so I’m going to be catching up over the next three months so I can get my certificate. It’s video and textbook based so it’s a longer process but if I really get stuck into it, I feel like my three month goal will be easily achievable.

(Number Three) Read fifty pages a week.

Every year I tell myself I want to read more and more often than not, it was always “read one book a month” and I can tell you that it never lasts that long. Not to put any pressure on myself, I decided to look at it from a different perspective and break it down into smaller chunks. Fifty pages a week is more sustainable; I can read ten pages an evening during the work week or if I have some free time at the weekend, twenty five pages in the afternoon each evening would be just as achievable.

Yearly reflections?

I’ve decided not to reflect back on last year’s resolutions; I normally would and have done for the last few years but because I’m going in a different direction with my goals, resolutions or whatever we want to call them, I’m choosing not to reflect. Sometimes it’s okay not to look back. Within this, I’m also taking a step back from my monthly intentions. Going back to the start of my post, I wanted them to be “little sprinkles of magic” to kick start me each month but it didn’t work out as well as I had intended it would.

What are your resolutions or goals this year? Do you believe in setting yourself goals? Let me know on either of my socials, Twitter or Instagram and I hope you have an amazing start to the New Year 

Speaking from Personal Experience | Engagement Dates.

When I was eighteen, I got engaged. I was on holiday in England with my boyfriend (who lived there) who I had been in a long distance relationship with for about three and a half years. 

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What sparked this topic for me? Valentine’s Day was a few weeks ago and we’ve just waved bye to Christmas too. Being on any social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I’m sure you seen at least one engagement, right? I’m very involved in Twitter especially so I seen a small number of the girls I follow, get engaged. However, what I also seen was some of these girls having to defend themselves and having judgement passed onto them about getting engaged close to on or Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

So why did I tell you that I was engaged at one point? I got engaged on my eighteenth birthday.

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Birthday’s for me were always quite special and so they should be. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are on the whole, something that (almost) everyone celebrates together but your birthday is something that is special to you.

The engagement didn’t work out, we never got married. We broke up when I moved to England, and a few months later after finishing my first year at University, I came back to Belfast. I have never regretted not getting married and not going further with that relationship; we lasted for a little over six years with five and a half of those years being long distance. It was my first ever relationship, I didn’t know what I was doing right and wrong most of the time because it wasn’t a “normal” relationship. There were more things wrong with the relationship than right. Looking back, I was worried about coming home, not because I was sad that it had ended (because I wasn’t), I was more worried that I had build this vision up of myself that I got engaged so young and he was my first everything and we were the perfect couple. (My trait of being a perfectionist had ideally slid in from here I think). I had to come back with my tail between my legs essentially and explain to people that we weren’t together.

Ever since then, I didn’t enjoy my birthday as much. The first birthday that I had when we weren’t together was my 21st. Again, another big birthday for many and I had a different outlook on it. I wasn’t excited, I didn’t want a big fuss, I didn’t think I was worth fussing over; it was just a day to me now. That’s how it was every year after, until my birthday last year.

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I wrote a short little blog post on it but that was my 25th birthday; my boyfriend at the time had gone all out for me to give me the greatest day ever and for the first time (ever), I didn’t think about that failed engagement. I didn’t think about how my life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would at eighteen. I was so overwhelmed with the amount of thought and effort that had gone into celebrating my birthday and making it special that I couldn’t feel or think of anything else but utter happiness.

For those that criticise others for getting engaged at Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day (for example), it’s no=one’s business when someone gets engaged apart from the two people in the relationship. If you think it’s cliche, fair enough but don’t push your view and your negativity on someone who is currently on cloud nine after just having an amazing moment happen, and quite a life changing one at that.

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I’m not against anyone getting engaged on those days, not at all. Getting engaged is different for every couple, so Valentine’s Day might have an even bigger meaning for you than most. I know that for me personally, it’s not something I would like again. I have told friends and family, and I even told my ex-boyfriend that I don’t want to get engaged on days like that or my birthday again. It’s nothing against those that choose to do it on those occasions but I now have the understanding that not everything works out the way you want it to. I used to love my birthday and it just became a “day” to me for a few years, I just didn’t want the hassle and I didn’t think I was worth it. Some people don’t like their birthday at all and that’s fine, but that never used to be the case for me.

My point is, I understand it from both sides. Stepping away from the criticism for a minute; I’ve been there, I know how it feels to look back a few years down the line at a failed engagement and be disappointed. Not that I’m sad that we didn’t get married (because I’m very thankful that we didn’t in the end) but because I looked back on it on my birthday. A day that should be about me (It sounds selfish, but that’s essentially what your birthday is, right?) yet I thought about this momentous event that was dampening my birthday experience years later.

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When you’re in that moment, it doesn’t matter what day it is. At the time, I didn’t think for one second how this could affect me in the future because I didn’t have anything to worry about. Maybe most people won’t but we have to understand that sometimes things don’t work out and that is perfectly fine. If everything worked out the way we wanted every single time, I would take a guess and say most of us would hate that, we wouldn’t be challenged and we would feel like life is far too easy. I’m just saying that doing this on a more celebrated occasion, it could be more likely to affect you if it doesn’t work out.

I’ll give you a really simple example; I don’t remember the day my ex-fiance and I broke up, but I do remember my most recent long term relationship break up because it was on a family member’s birthday. Chances are, when that birthday comes around, I’ll still think about that on that date whereas a few years down the line, if it had have been on a random day, I would probably forget the date altogether.

I hope from reading this that you can see there is another perspective of engagements and dates that you might not have heard before. Again, you do you, your engagement and the date it happens is special to you, I’m certainly not wanting to put a dampener on anyone’s happiness. I’m just sharing part of my story and how it affected me years down the line. Thank you for reading! ❤

 

SS: Sunday Saves (#37)

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Happy Sunday morning! I hope you’re having a lovely day so far! If you haven’t seen my other Sunday Saves, you’ll find them right here. This week I haven’t focused on a theme so it’s just the best posts I’ve found this week.

1. Blog Eighteen (Yes, you can live for the moment and document it.)

How many times have you been told, “Do you have to take a picture of your food? Why don’t you just eat it?” Thankfully most of my friends know I’m on Instagram so they don’t have a problem with it but I’ve had my brother in particular who doesn’t get why I want a good picture of something that will be gone in ten minutes. It’s a good point to make but at the same time; whether it’s a photograph of your food or a photograph of your walk at the beach, it’s so lovely to have a memory of it. Lisa feels the same way as me in her blog post and she really talks about why it’s not such a huge decision between “living in the moment” and “documenting the moment”, you can do both.

2. It’s Becca Jayne (Some things are meant to be.)

“Life works in weird and wonderful ways” is a philosophy that Becca says she lives her life by and it’s something I’m trying to transition myself into changing my mindset into too. She talks about it more on a relationships level but for me, right now, I would rather spread it across all aspects of my life mainly because my focus is on myself and more importantly, self improvement. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.” Another quote that I would love, right now, to believe but I have a hard time getting my head around it. I guess that’s part of self improvement right?

3. Jemma’s Simple Life (Mental Health & The New Year | How To Beat The January Blues)

January is a pretty tough month for us all. Whether you’re not looking forward to going back to work, waiting for the dreaded January bills popping through the door or whether heading back into the cold weather is filling you with dread, it’s something that we all feel one way or another. Jemma shares her tips on how to deal with the January blues; getting outside of the house aside from going to work or planning something in the future so you have something to look forward to, are just some of her tips. I think it’s really important to make sure to notice the signs of a drop in your mood and use some of these ideas to help yourself, it only takes a step or two a day.

That’s all for today’s post! Remember to give everyone’s links a click and if you have any posts you think I’d like, tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake. Thanks for reading!

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!

(Blogmas Day Ten) SS: Sunday Saves (#33)

sunday-saves

Welcome to Blogmas Day Nine! This day next week it will be Christmas Day, what?! I don’t feel prepared at all yet! Aaaaah! So back to this week’s Sunday Saves, I’ll be talking about potential goal ideas for the New Year.

1. Sarah’s Abode (How To Achieve Your Goals)

So Sarah’s post is a good one to look at if you’re wanting to set up a goal and actually achieve it. New Year for most of us is the time of year to set goals but some of us don’t know how to properly set it out, like if it’s realistic, if we want to achieve it (Do we really want to run more or do you just want to get healthier?) and what to do if things goes wrong. So if you’re like this, stick with Sarah’s post as your go to!

2. My Healthy Curves (7 Tips To Shake Up Your Fitness Routine In The Run Up To Christmas)

Breanne’s post is more on the lines of the pre-Christmas fitness routine but you can usually work this into working out a post-Christmas routine too. She gives seven tips that have helped her get back on track with her fitness and two that will help if you’re struggling with being out in the cold, workout challenges and workout DVD’s. Workout in the house until you feel like you can take that ran outside or head to the gym on that frosty cold morning.

3. Blue Bow (DIY Gift Idea – The Happy Jar)

This idea is really adorable, so much so that I want to do it for myself! It really is cute, and Sammy gives us tips on how to make a jar ourselves for either a gift or something that you can have for yourself as a New Year goal. (If anyone does this, I want to see progress throughout the year!)

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Saves! I’ll still be posting on Christmas Day because I know people still go online on Christmas Day (I know I do anyway) but I’ll try and add a special twist to such a special day. Have a lovely Sunday!