Okay, February…not going to lie, this has been one difficult month. I reached the penultimate week of February, looked at everything I had wanted to get done, and realised I was feeling overwhelmed with how much I had set myself to do. I like being pushed- but more and more I am understanding that ‘challenged’ and ‘overwhelmed’ are two different things. And I wasn’t feeling challenged, I was feeling overwhelmed.
This is probably the point I would have, at one point, given up. However, I went back to the drawing board and something very important occurred to me: I have a whole 12 months- now 10. But still, I have the whole year. So, why not choose a couple of my main goals to be my focus each month? And plan ahead which I will be focusing on? And so, for the last two weeks of the month I focused on a couple of chosen goals, and began making some headway. This, I am now thinking, will be my battle plan when it comes to goals. If that doesn’t work, then I will cut a couple of goals and simply keep them for 2018. I have little time on my hands from now until May, as I have my final year of uni to complete. After that…I may have more time to pick up learning French , and learning to drive, put it that way.
This month I want you to know: don’t worry if you don’t make the progress you want to each month. I certainly haven’t made the progress I wanted to. Goals are great, but sometimes you’ve just got to let something slacken in order to focus on what’s more important at the time. I’ll be carrying this lesson into March for sure. With that said: to the evaluation!
Learn the basics of another language
- Okay, I have made literally no headway on this one. I didn’t have the money floating around to buy a CGP book, and I’ve not really had the time to cram in learning due to two essays back to back. As this year is double-weighted, and I wasn’t going to sacrifice my essays to learn how to ask for the best croissant in the bakery in perfect French.
STATUS: No progress; next step remains the same, which is buying a CGP book. This may not happen until the end of May though, which I just have to accept.
Expand my blog and IG
- Here is one I can say went well! I totalled up my stats for the month, and I’ve seen a 189 person increase in visitors, a views increase of 478 views, and an increase of 10 followers- and so I am absolutely chuffed that people are loving reading my recipes and getting something from the blog!
- I made the big step of sharing a bit more about the current status of my ED this month, speaking about fear foods and how I’m conquering them as my final hurdle. Some of you chatted to me about this in the comments, or DM-ed me over IG, and I was thrilled that my post had given some of you a bit of a courage boost- keep going guys.
- I wanted to begin posting to Campus Society this month, but though I kept up with my own blog posts, I didn’t manage this. However, in March I am making this a “next step” in my blogging plan.
STATUS: Still going pretty well. I want to post a bit more about overcoming ED, creating superset workouts, and get some great recipes up in March. I’m looking to post to Campus Society once a week, and I’m searching for some blogging events to meet more fellow bloggers (so let me know if you know of any!).
Expand my mind and enrich my life
- Again, this fell away slightly this month, due to lack of free time. When I did have free time, I just needed to chill. However, I did manage to watch two documentaries, read two books, listen to three podcasts, watch one TED Talk, and read one new poem.
- It also occurred to me: I get a lot of this done on my university course, which (for some reason) I completely forgot about! The books and poems have both been for uni modules, and although it didn’t happen this month, sometimes podcasts have relevance too. On top of this, I read a lot of literary criticism, which though I’m not including here, is definitely a mind expander…
STATUS: I didn’t get around to visiting the theatre, an art gallery, or any where like that this month- however, I have managed to get my hands on a ticket to see The Tempest with a friend in March, and there’s an exhibition coming up at an art gallery we’re also planning to go see. This next month I’m just planning on carrying on with the documentaries and podcasts as and when I can, though I think I’ll be getting more into TED Talks next month.
Travel more often & explore
- Again, not going great. My mum and I discussed a 50th/21st girls holiday somewhere in Europe, but a) the car needs fixing, which costs money b) due to family ill health I’m not sure my mum wants to be out of the country, just in case c) we need to fork out to renew our passports d) as I’m unsure what my financial situation will be post-uni, travelling alone isn’t really an option. So it’s a bit up in the air.
- HOWEVER, I am looking at organising us a weekend in London, which would be good enough for me.
- Exploring the local area (Newcastle, as I live there most often), is going okay though- I’ve tried two new restaurants this month, which I count as exploring.
STATUS: Up in the air. Other than more localised exploring, this one is on hold.
Learn to drive
- No progress. It makes sense for me to wait until the gap between finishing uni and graduating (about 2 months worth of gap here) to learn.
STATUS: On hold until late spring/early summer, but I will be seeing if I can find a driving instructor to book in with/ roping my parents into asking around to compare prices, as I’ll be moving home between completing my degree and the graduation to save some money.
Manage my money & choose a saving/savings goal
- My goal was to save £40, and I think I managed to save £50. I do need to get a statement out to check this though, as though I track how much I take out of my account very carefully, I also need to start keeping a clearer track of my savings in my bullet journal.
- Realised where my money was going (tea, snacks, coffee), and so I attempted to reel it in a bit. My travel mug broke though, and during essay time I need to be about 60% caffeine to function, so go figure.
- I didn’t manage to sit down and plan how much I wanted to save for each thing I want to save for, and so this is a task for March
STATUS: Going okay, but not saving as much as I wish I could. The possibility of unemployment after uni does unnerve me a bit, and so I’m reluctant to say I’ll save ‘X amount’ for ‘X thing’, when I may be living off of my savings for a while until I find a job. This is something I need to just get the hell over. So, this month I want to save at least £40 again, and create a bullet journal “savings” page
Start to establish my career path
- This became majorly overwhelming this month. I actually took a break from applying for jobs, as I was becoming overwhelmed with my failure rate.
- My interview with Fenwick’s was a complete flop as the Skype connection failed, however, this also made me realise that this isn’t the career path I want to take. Silver linings.
- I did visit my careers service again as my ideas of what I want to do have shifted since I began looking, making me very glad I began thinking about it so early on. I also discussed doing an MA with them as an option.
- Booked into the Creative Careers Day my uni runs each year, as the PR side of publishing, or the copywriting side, are things I wanted to research a bit more, and make some contacts in.
STATUS: A bit hazy, but we’re getting there slowly. I feel like I went from being completely confused and stuck, to having a bit more clarity as to what I want to do this month. Next month I want to apply to at least 6 jobs, or make prospective applications. I’ll be brainstorming all of options as I’m a visual person, and like to strike things off if I’ve decided against them.
- I realised half way through the month that relaxation time just wasn’t happening. I was so busy with uni work. I realised I was beginning to experience the symptoms I get when stressed: spots, bad sleep, stomach cramps, tight jaw…Since that moment I’ve made more of an effort to stop working, and either chill by myself, or see friends.
STATUS: Lost sight of it for a bit, but I’m learning to balance it at times of a heavy workload now. Next month I want to create a solid evening routine to match my morning one. I have things I like to do on an evening, but find it more difficult to stick to doing them than I do with my morning one.
Be more adventurous/ accept fear & uncertainty
- Accepting fear was a HUGE one for me this month, as I dedicated a lot of time to overcoming the last bits of my ED. I’ve begun attending support groups that teach you to manage stress and other triggers, and I also made it a mission to try fear foods. And I managed to try a whopping eight foods in one month. I began keeping a journal purely for the purpose of analysing any anxiety I have over certain foods, when and why I over-eat/under-eat, and where the ED thoughts I still have come from. I have kept this from the first to the last day of the month, and into March.
STATUS: Made massive headway with this one, in a way I didn’t expect, and I’m actually very proud of myself!
STATUS: This is very much an ongoing goal, which is still going very well. I’m still gratitude journaling, but I’m also doing a Gratitude Challenge, where you consider specific things on a list, focusing on one for each week and writing a journal entry on it. Mindfulness has also played a huge part in this goal this month. Sometimes I have been too stressed out to ‘enjoy’ the little things as much as I would like, but since I’ve noticed this I’m working on it.
There we go- February has certainly been a bit of a learning curve for me! How about you guys? How are your goals going? Let me know in the comments…