Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolutions

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! ☀️

What Happened To My Goals? Re-Focusing With June and July Goals.

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At the beginning of the year, I set myself a challenge of focusing on two goals every two months and because the year before, I had been working on three goals every three months, I thought this would work out more positively for me because I was focusing on less. However, because I went away in March and then it took me a while to get myself back up on the blog again, I never went back to reassessing those goals so that’s what I’ll be discussing today. 

I could talk about goals until all the cows come home; I’m a very goal-oriented person and I believe you need to have at least one goal to keep you motivated. I don’t think it necessarily matters what your goal is, everyone is different when it comes to their goals like I have spoken about before but it has to be something that you want to do, or else, what’s the point? Because I hadn’t got back on track with setting goals, I had to sit down and think about what I wanted to do, so I’m still sticking with the two goals for two months because I feel like that particular plan hasn’t had enough time to really work yet. 

Run twenty miles. 

If you read my “Running Confidence” post, you’ll know that my running for the last year isn’t at the level that I want to be, and while there has been quite a lot of factors in this, it’s something that I know I need to change, because if I don’t change it, no-one else will. That’s why I’m committing to running twenty miles altogether in June and July; now the seasoned runners, that might not seem like a lot, but to me, it’s the perfect starting point to get myself back on track, and staying on that track. Plus, we’re coming into nicer weather (hopefully) so that should help with the motivation. 

Start learning Polish again. 

At the beginning of the year, Scott and I started learning Polish on Duolingo; we were quite proud of the fact that we had done it every single day continuously for three months and until we went away, we didn’t miss a day. However, we didn’t pick it back up once we came back, and we still haven’t! We really enjoyed doing that because it was something we could do together and it was so simple that it didn’t feel like a chore. It’s so simple that we really have no excuse not to continue doing it so we’re going to start it back up again. 

It can be hard to set goals for yourself if you’re not sure what you want to do, I’ve been there so I know how it feels. I decided to focus on something that I enjoy; learning a new language and continuing to enjoy a sport that I had been used to getting my teeth stuck into. For you, it could be career goals, hobby goals, relationship goals or something completely new, but just make sure it’s something that you absolutely want to do or you might find yourself not sticking to it because it’s not calling to you. 

Thank you so much for reading today’s post; it was a short one this week but sometimes I need posts like this to re-focus my mind for a little while. If you have any feedback, please let me know in the usual places. 

Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods.

Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods

It’s been the talk of the town recently; today’s post is all about decluttering and general organisation. It’s something that I’ve made a goal around so I thought it would be the perfect time to test out different methods and find out what works for me. 

If you read my “New Year’s Resolutions: January and February Goals” you’ll know that one of my goals for the next two months is to develop a cleaning routine. This is something that is very important to me because while I have always been a messy person, I don’t want to be. (It’s got to the stage where my Mum has to come and help me with cleaning sometimes, which is really nice but I feel like I have failed because I asked for her help). I have learned that in order to have a clear mind, I need a clear space and the most important space to tackle first, is my bedroom. 

Before I start to create a cleaning routine, I need to work out what method works for me. Let me talk about the methods I have tried over the last few weeks and see how they worked: 

10 Minutes A Day

How it works: it’s what it says on the tin. You take ten minutes to organise and clean. It’s as simple as that; you can monitor your time either by an alarm or a podcast that you know is the ten minute mark. 

How did it go? A ten minute alarm comes by fast, I have learned and I also found it depends what you listen to. I found I was more focused with a podcast on in the background rather than music. I found this method much more useful in the kitchen, bedroom or the bathroom because my daily clean ups are usually in these spaces and I’m trying to focus my energy on cleaning daily in these spaces. 

Will I keep it up? 100%. It was amazingly helpful, much more helpful than I thought it ever would be and more of the time, I found that I tended to set another alarm after the first one went off and that can only be a good sign. 

Three MIT’s (Most Important Tasks)

How it works: Your three MIT’s are your most important tasks for that day. This can be used for any aspect of your day whether that’s appointments or work tasks but we’re going to use it for cleaning specifically. 

How did it go? I found this one quite difficult simply based on priortising how important each little mess was to me. I picked three areas to focus on each day but I’m not sure if they were the most important tasks. For daily or every other day tasks, this isn’t ideal but I would say if you’re doing a massive clean, then this is much better for you. 

Will I keep it up? I feel like this is an overall organisation technique for the house and not including your daily or every other day tasks, then I think it works perfectly. I will keep it up but I know that it will require a little more knowledge on each individual task and how often I need to keep up with it, then I can write this list out. 

Four Box

How it works: You set four boxes out in front of you; throw out, give away, relocate and sell. They can be any sized boxes that you have but preferably keep them all the same size as each other. 

How did it go? I used my IKEA boxes for this because I had different coloured ones so it’s easy to lay out what I was going to do with each one. I found this was a very effective method because of the visualisation; I was clearly able to see how much I had in each box and mentally, I felt like I was moving somewhere. 

Will I keep it up? Simply because of how easy it was to see what box was what based on the colours, I will definitely be using this method more often. It didn’t seem like a chore when I done it this way and that’s how I want cleaning to feel, not as a chore. 

Konmari

How it works: Marie Kondo has various different methods in her routine but we‘re going to concentrate on one for the mean time. We’ll use clothes as an example; you bring in every single item of clothing from everywhere in your house and place it in the same room. From there, you sort through what sparks joy (meaning you would like to keep it) and what doesn’t spark joy (which means you either donate it or throw it out). If you aren’t keeping it, you thank the item for giving you joy during a past time and then you let it go.   

How did it go? I didn’t get through this method at all, not even close because for me, it’s very overwhelming. I did try my best with it but even trying to find all my clothes seemed like an impossible task. 

Will I keep it up? I’m definitely going to try this again sometime but I don’t think I will start from the beginning like Marie suggests. If I choose a certain genre that appeals to me the most, I feel like I would be more connected to continuing with the method. 

12-12-12 Challenge

How it works: This method is simply finding 12 items to give away, 12 items to throw away and 12 items to relocate to another space in your home. 

How did it go? My favourite method by far! This is going to sound realy cliché but it’s like a game to try and get everything to 12 and it didn’t take too long after. I struggle with putting things away to tidy them up so I would say I didn’t like that part but this was the easiest method and the one I enjoyed the most. 

Will I keep it up? Absolutely! I found it to be the most effective method to use in my bedroom or the spare room but I wasn’t able to do it in the kitchen or the living room because I already have limited items in there. 

365 Less Things

How it works: This is another method that is quite self-explanatory; each day you either donate or throw away one thing. 

How did it go? Because it’s only one item per day, I feel like I didn’t get anywhere fast. It was nice to know that I could find another item each day but it wasn’t a very easy process for me. 

Will I keep it up? I think it is perfect for someone who already has a clean home and is looking to minimise but not do it all at once. For me, it was a very slow method and if I only did this, it would take me years to clean my home. 

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The reason I chose six methods is because I could test out a method out over a few days and I know they are all not in balance but that’s what I wanted to show. This challenge was for me but it’s also to demonstrate that there are so many other methods that aren’t all decluttering all at once. We don’t all live and breathe the same mess and it might be overwhelming to do Konmari just yet so the 12-12-12 might be a better fit. 

Have you any other recommendations of what I could do to help me develop my cleaning routine further? I would absolutely love to hear about any video, books or blog post recommendations that you have. Let me know either in the comments below, over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have a great day! 

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). 

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!