March Goals Evaluation 2017

I have NO IDEA where March went. However, I feel that I’ve made a lot of progress this month in terms of goals. You may remember that I decided to make a couple of goals a focus each month, to make them more manageable during the final few months of my time at uni. This doesn’t mean that I am “dropping” any goals, it simply means that I’m appreciating that I have 12 months in a year, and that gives me space to pick and choose. That plan made this month a hell of a lot easier.

FOCUS GOALS OF THE MONTH:

Self

(This is where I am rolling all of these into one: Relax; Be more adventurous/ accept fear & uncertainty; Enjoy; Expand my mind and enrich my life)

  • So, I watched 3 documentaries, listened to 4 podcasts, read 3 books, saw 1 Shakespeare play, tried 1 new fear food, and watched/ listened to (wait for it) a whopping 29 TED Talks. I am LOVING TED Talks. I watch one while I eat breakfast each morning, and I am learning so much from them.
  • I established more of an evening routine, which has been helping me sleep much better so far
  • I attended 2 workshops at the place I attend counselling for sorting out the last few ED issues I’m experiencing, plus my actual sessions (4 of them). I feel like I am making real headway with this. I only tried one fear food this month, but I’ve also realised that I need to address some scary eating situations (e.g. spontaneity). More on this though when I update you on my “final bits of mental recovery progress”. I will say though: I feel at a place where I am getting pretty comfortable around food and my body.
  • I tried a new gym class, and also accepted that I didn’t have time for the 1 hour 30 workouts I was doing- so I’ve shortened the workouts and been experimenting with new moves. For me this was both a massive act of self-love- appreciating I have better things to do- and also challenging a fear of my health and fitness backsliding if I shortened all of my workouts (hint: it didn’t. In fact, it improved).
  • Still gratitude-listing every morning, but journaling in general has been a massive part of my month. Its something I’ve fallen back in love with. Myself and my journal go get coffee and just…write.
  • Also, been much more creative this month, and so I feel my creative writing efforts have been on point.
  • Took the time to actually sit down and watch one of my favourite films: Spirited Away. Small thing, but I usually put off watching films in order to do work.

STATUS: Some things I wanted to do I simply didn’t get chance, such as a solo cinema trip, watching GOT season 6, and experimenting with clothes. These are things I really fancy ticking off next month. I also want to eat some more fear foods; as it was a busy month I didn’t have room to deal with the anxiety. As I’m on holiday for Easter I have a bit more breathing space. Finally: answering my bloody phone. I love alone-time, but I also love my friends. Though I do make the effort to see them in person, I am a legend when it comes to not replying to texts/messenger/fb/WhatsApp. I just hate doing it. I’m going to make the effort to try and check messages once a day, though I can’t promise I will, because I really do hate texting.

Expand my blog and IG

  • Didn’t manage to find any blogging events taking place nearby to book into-  #disappointing. Let me know if you know of any food/fitness blogging events in Yorkshire/Newcastle.
  • Created a massive planning document to keep track of posts and when they need to be done by, to aid me in continuing to post during essay time.
  • I’ve been posting to Campus Society! I’m working on replying to comments more often, but you can now find me on there!
  • Updated my ‘About’ page, and I’m considering doing an updated “50 facts” post now
  • I gained 14 new followers on WordPress- thank you and welcome aboard newbies! Comments went up, which is wonderful because I LOVE  chatting to you when I get chance to sit down and read comments. Likes and views went down slightly but I haven’t had much time to post this month so I’m assuming this explains it. It’ll be this way until I finish my essays and complete my third year. Which, in exchange for a degree, I can deal with.

STATUS: Going swimmingly.

Start to establish my career path

  • Applied for another few jobs: I have an interview for my DREAM JOB in mid-April, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, keeping schtum on where it is at present, and  suddenly, much as I want a job doing something I LOVE, I’m also okay with moving home and getting a non-life-fulfilling job whilst applying for one that fits that description. I’ll take it as it comes, because right now my priority is completing my degree.
  • I did create a brainstorm, and then a flow chart (this is so me), of all of my options. And it made me feel like I had my shit together, and also let me work out a couple of alternative plans.
  • Attended a “creative careers” day that my uni throws every year, and got a lot of helpful advice and tips.

STATUS: Keeping an eye out for jobs, but waiting until after my interview to commit to anything major.

 

MINOR GOALS OF THE MONTH:

Travel more often & explore

Continue reading “March Goals Evaluation 2017”

February’s Goal Evaluation 2017

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.

Continue reading “February’s Goal Evaluation 2017”

16 Lessons I’ve Learnt From IG & Blogging

Since I was very kindly nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, and had to give two pieces of advice to new bloggers, I’ve been turning over in my head what my blogging and IG (my other primary platform) pearls of wisdom actually are. Turns out I have 16 of them. Some of them are funny, some of the are serious- I guarantee all of them are useful…

Her butt probably isn’t that big

Ahh the world of filters and facial readjustment on phones (which, yes, some people use on their butts apparently). Through blogging and IG I have learnt to look at every image with a bit more scrutiny, and appreciate that it isn’t real life. Take everything with a pinch of salt.

However big/small her butt is, it is fine the way it is

To the BO-PO movement! One of the most reassuring lessons learnt: every body is fine. You do you.

Don’t respond to comments that aren’t quite haters- but are basically out to ruin your day

Yep, had a few of these. Everyone has different opinions, but I have a hell of a lot more respect for people who actually message me, and speak to me like a human being if they have a problem- rather than wanting to pick a fight on my IG feed. If I’ve learnt anything it’s not to engage with people who want to cause an outright scene. Sometimes people forget that I’m a human sat behind the screen; call me out if you feel I’ve done something wrong, but have the respect to treat me as one such human. Oh, and use proper grammar.

Persistence pays off

I’ve been doing this for 4 years now. And only in the past 6-12 months has my blog and IG been noticed, and have people started to read my posts. If you really want to blog, then just do it! Enjoy doing it for the sake of it, and if you’re persistent, others will end up enjoying your work too.

There’s a massive community out there, so join in

I joined Blogger originally, but WordPress is now my home (read about my move here). WordPress has a much more active blogging community, and it’s always lovely to hear from fellow bloggers, or discover a new blog. Alternatively, I’ve met some bloggers in real life, and they weren’t too keen to chat- compared to them, I am in all honesty unheard of, so I can see why. So, the flipside of this lesson is to appreciate that not everyone is going to want to be your friend.

Keep a schedule…

Keep a master-list of posts and a week by week timetable of when they need to be prepared and going up by. I aim for 3-4 posts a week, and this method allows me to ensure I have a range of content going up- as well as meaning I don’t forget any important dates or ideas.

…But keep it flexible

This has been a massive learning curve during my third year of uni. Some weeks I am horrendously busy with essays, study groups, seminars, lectures, trying to have a social life, freelancing, and reading course materials (approx. 3 books, 6 extra readings, and sometimes compulsory extra readings – per week). Oh, I have to sleep too, and in winter, when it’s dark a lot of the time, I have to work around when the lighting is best. I have to consider if I can afford certain ingredients at times. Another factor is my flatmates: I can’t go whapping out the blender at 7am when they’re in bed. My blogging schedule has plenty of tipex on it, from where I’ve swapped posts around. My master-posts list means I can simply find a post that does fit in, and get swapping. Some weeks I may not get 4 posts up, but 2 or 3- and that’s fine. Quality over quantity, and try to remain consistent as far as possible. Continue reading “16 Lessons I’ve Learnt From IG & Blogging”

January Evaluation – The first month of goals…

Here we are at the end of January, and it’s time for me to reveal the monthly post I am planning on continuing all the way through 2017…my 2017 goals monthly evaluation. I’m sure we all saw this coming.

It’s slightly nerve-wracking to be sharing how badly I could potentially fail at achieving these goals on the internet. Not that I’ve had much issue sharing way bigger stuff, but still. If you want to read what my goals actually are in detail then head over to my 2017 Goals post.

Each month I’ll be looking at how I’m doing on the goals I’ve set, bullet pointing what I’ve done, my wins, my massive failures- all in the hope that if you’re trying to achieve something this year too, then you can do this with me.

Lets get going…

Learn the basics of another language

  • Okay on the 8th January I saw an advert for ‘Babble’ on TV, and thought it would be a great starting point to begin re-learning basic French. I downloaded the app, used it once…
  • …and then figured out I had to pay to get to more advanced learning. Deleted the app.
  • About a week ago I discovered an amazing blog called Passion for Dreaming, and the writer shares her top tips for language learning success, linked here. Apparently she also has a YouTube channel, so I may have found another way into learning a language.

STATUS: I haven’t gotten any further with this one, but I’ve browsed the GCSE level and A-Level books in WHSmiths, and I think I’ll be rediscovering CGP.

 

Expand my blog and IG

  • One of the first steps to expanding my blog was tidying it up, and making it easier to navigate. My IG is very clear and organised, and so I wanted my blog to match. I never realised tags and categories weren’t the same thing, and so I spent a good couple of hours weeding out categories/tags I didn’t use, and basically tidying up my blog. Took ages, but well worth it.
  • I have FINALLY learnt  how to create drop-downs on my blog. No doubt I will forget how to do it, but my blog has bloody dropdowns!! I feel like a massive pro right now.
  • I attended my first blogging event at Eldon Square in Newcastle, and you can see my review of that right here. I loved the event, I leant a lot- but I didn’t find some of the other bloggers very friendly, and I was very glad I’d brought a plus one, as they all already seemed to know each other and have flashy cameras- unlike me and my Samsung (which functions perfectly well, and takes great photos btw)
  • Received some new followers here on WordPress- hello if you’re reading, thank you so so much, and I hope you’re enjoying the content of my blog!! This is the first blogging platform that has felt like a community, and I’m really enjoying chatting to people in the comments here. Another blogger also nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award, which has meant that in turn I’ve discovered some amazing new blogs.
  • Okay, over to IG! Biggest lesson of the month? Let criticism go over your head, and don’t fucking respond other than very briefly, and in a positive manner. Take a step back, and wait to reply- this is something I’m implementing in life outside social media as well.

STATUS: Going really, really well. Next steps include finding some more blogging events, navigating Campus Society, and bringing my ‘About’ and ‘About Me’ up to date! Also, writing more posts looking at body confidence, the fitness industry, and generally trying to help you guys with some of my own experiences- as I want to ensure you get something out of reading these posts!

 

Expand my mind and enrich my life

  • The sheer number of ‘podcasts to listen to’ ‘documentaries to watch’ etc was SO overwhelming. It helped to actually say ‘podcasts I have watched’, and then list them as I listened to them.
  • I realised that I can’t cram my head with intelligent stuff 100% of the time. Sometimes, especially when I have so much uni work, I need to watch some comedy, or shitty YT videos, and just stagnate.
  • You can’t be productive 24/7 either; some time off is always needed from seeking knowledge.
  • I did, however, listen to a lot of podcasts, watch a lot of documentaries, and read a lot of books- all of which I really enjoyed.
  • I also visited an art gallery, and a museum with a great exhibition on women’s bodies throughout history over in York.

STATUS: Doing well with this one. I plan on keeping up the pace as I’m really enjoying it. Something I would really love to do next month is go to see some shows at the theatre.

 

Travel more often & explore

  • Okay, I haven’t decided where I’m going. Either NYC, though this isn’t looking very realistic, or a couple of places in Europe for the “big” trip. This all depends on if I manage to get a job when I graduate.
  • My mum turns 50 this year, and has just finished her chemo, and I’m turning 21, so we have discussed possibly going on holiday together. Amsterdam is the top choice. Though I’ve been before, there’s still so much I want to do there, and any travel is a great starting point. Plus, I would be splitting the cost with mum, making it more feasible.
  • The four new places inside the UK I had actually forgotten about. One I am set on is London; I’ve only ever been for business. Other than that, I would love to visit some new coastal areas. Any suggestions?

STATUS: I need to give this more thought, and start planning exactly what I want to do. Above all else, I need to renew my passport. This is how little I have been outside the UK: I think it expired 2 years ago, and not having one real scares me.

Continue reading “January Evaluation – The first month of goals…”

11 Inspiring Women Online

Cambria Joy

Cambria is one of the YouTubers I would most love to meet.  Her positivity is the first thing that will hit you; Cambria always reminds me that life is to be lived and intensely valued. Her vlogs are some of the only vlogs I will watch on YouTube outside of Vlogmas, and there’s good reason. Though I’m not religious, I have grown up with religion, specifically Christianity. I have to say, in all my twenty years, Cambria is one of only a handful of people I have seen who embody what are the core values of this religion; she wants her viewers not just to watch her videos, but to leave having gained something from them- be it fitness advice, help with ED, an insightful bible quote, or a shot of a beautiful Californian sunset. My perspective on life has changed thanks to this lady.

Kelly U

Another YouTuber who addresses mental health is Kelly U- specifically binge eating, and recovering from this disorder. I admire Kelly’s honesty surrounding her experience, and her drive to help others in their recovery, but also how she combines this with complete honesty about the fact that she isn’t perfect herself. Kelly and Cambria have played a massive part in helping be to believe that I could overcome disordered eating. Kelly is hugely multi-talented, working as a researcher, and also being an amazing singer and performer alongside her YouTube channel.

Lavendaire

The “artist of life”, Lavendaire is a YouTube channel by a lady called Aileen, dedicated to self-improvement- but of the mental and emotional variety. She values creativity and discovery, and is constantly inspiring me to try something new. Her goal is to help her followers craft their own dream life, and enjoy it every step of the way. If you need help with organisation then I highly recommend her channel. Overall, the biggest impact she has had on my life is in my feeling calmer, and taking life as it comes, whilst still having a vision of what I want. Continue reading “11 Inspiring Women Online”

Blogger Recognition Award 2017

blogger-recognition-2017

So guys… I got nominated for an award!! A massive thank you to Fitness Grad (https://fitness9555.wordpress.com/) for nominating me- it was a lovely surprise and truly did make my day! Her blog is amazing, and I really hope that you’ll go and check it out. If you’re on a fitness journey this year, and want some workout inspiration, then you can find it on this girl’s page. So, now it’s time for me to spread the love a bit, by telling y’all some of my favourite blogs – which I’ll be passing this award on to…

RULES OF THE AWARD:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated
    them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

WHY I CREATED THIS BLOG…

I created this blog in 2016, though I’d been on Blogger for about three years before. I started it wanting to talk about healthy food for students- but I now like to think it encompasses taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health, and the empowerment you can get from finding your own balance with fitness. Oh, and I also love to talk about books! I really wanted my blog to show that living a balanced life doesn’t just include the gym and healthy food, but making space for numerous other activities and experiences. I hope my posts help anyone reading to find and develop their own balance! Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award 2017”

32 Random Acts of Kindness

‘Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear, and the blind can see’

-Mark Twain-

  1. Hold a door open for someone
  2. Make a cup of tea for someone
  3. Remember how said person likes their tea
  4. Hand-write some letters and cards
  5. Send random texts, y’know, if you don’t like writing
  6. Smile at strangers- could be the only smile they see that day
  7. Say a random “Morning!/Afternoon!/Evening!” to a stranger
  8. Put your phone face-down, or into your pocket/bag, when having a conversation. A person’s time is their most valuable gift.
  9. Lend someone a pen when theirs dies
  10. Give up your seat on a bus if someone needs it more
  11. Bake someone something
  12. Leave positive quote sticky notes all over the house
  13. Just asking “are you okay?”, and being interested in the answer
  14. Leave comments letting someone know their blog post made a difference for you
  15. Donate things you don’t need to someone who could really use them
  16. Clean the house
  17. Help someone out with work they’re struggling to understand
  18. Give someone a compliment they didn’t expect- think people working on checkouts, waiting staff, shop assistants…unfortunately, customers are often rude to these people, but you can change that
  19. Make a cup of tea and give some biscuits to someone working outdoors. I was brought up so that if someone is fixing something on the street (the streetlamps, pavement, a fence), and it’s cold out, they automatically get offered a cup of tea.
  20. Buy someone flowers- or take some into a nursing home
  21. Buy some doughnuts, or bake something, and take it to one of your local emergency services along with a thank you note for all the work they do
  22. See someone without an umbrella when it’s chucking it down? If you have a hood, or aren’t far from home and can run, then offer yours
  23. Meals on wheels. If you live near someone old or who lives alone, and cook for a family, then when you have extra you could offer some to your neighbour, and then freeze the remaining portions.
  24.  Your time is more valuable thing: volunteering when you have some time spare is an amazing act of kindness
  25. Take your dog for a walk
  26. Be patient with people (I find this one the hardest if I’m honest)
  27. Tape enough change for a cuppa, in a little envelope, to a vending machine- you never know who REALLY needs a brew, but lost their purse
  28. If someone only has a few items then let them in front of you when waiting at the till
  29. Bring yourself, tea, a DVD, and snacks to a friend that needs a hug and some down-time
  30. Leave a random gift for someone: every Christmas we leave the dustbin men a box of chocolates. I think we need to do this more often – once every couple of months, or every month, maybe.
  31. Donate food to a homeless shelter
  32. Pass on a talent that can be taught

And remember…it’s consistent kindness that makes the most difference.