April Goals Evaluation 2017- Finding employment & Getting a massage…

Looking back I actually got a hell of a lot done over April…it was a pretty productive month. As with all goals, some have been more important than others, and this month I chose to focus on uni and taking care of myself. Let me know how you’re doing as we enter month no.5 of reaching for 2017 goals – are you sticking with your goals? Have they changed slightly, as you learn more about what you really want? Have you dropped some in order to focus on others? Comment below, and also let me know: what has been your biggest achievement of April?

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)

  • On the expanding my mind front…
    • Podcasts listened to: 9.
    • Documentaries watched: 1.
    • GOT Season 6: Completed (documentaries come second to this. Always.)
    • TED Talks watched: 16.
    • Books/ short stories (any everything in-between) read- 4.
  • One of my biggest goals for the month was to read up on British politics and read into current affairs more (this also played into the final research for my file of original work- see below). I found a document on the history of British politics and read many articles on the Trump-Putin situation, which naturally did lead to reading up on North Korea too. So a bit of a learning curve here, to put it mildly.
  • I completed a 30 Days of Minimalism Challenge, and loved it. I feel I have a lot less clutter, and am still finding things to de-clutter now. I’ll be repeating the challenge a bit more ruthlessly, and in a shorter space of time, just before I leave Newcastle to move home (obviously I won’t fit everything I own into one room).
  • I got a massage! Major self-care points earned here, and it is 100% something I’ll be doing again.
  • I cut my hair even shorter, and its now hovering in ‘bobbed’ territory. I’ve also kept it that one shade darker, and I am LOVING it. Apparently, for the first time in my life, I look my age!
  • I also took a week off of list-making and just went with the flow. This meant that when I came back to lists I managed to really slim-line my To-Do’s. I also learnt to be more flexible and just take some time off full stop. The last week of my Easter break I let myself relax, and felt a lot better for it.
  • I tried four new fear foods (yaaay!!)- but then I also began binge eating again for some reason I am still trying to figure out. Possibly it is due to the immense amount of change just on the horizon, as I finish uni and have to leave Newcastle, which is more my home than home is, because I chose to live here.  You can read about this here, but obviously its a very upsetting thing for me to have binge eating re-emerge. However, I can and will get past it, and May will mean spending a lot of time on this.

STATUS: A mixed month. I did some great self-care activities, I tried some fear foods, completed a challenge, learnt loads- but also did have a bit of a dip in recovering from ED, and this month exposed a few issues I thought were no longer in existence. I also didn’t live up to my goal of replying to texts etc. more rapidly, though I did manage to meet a lot of friends in person.

Uni:

  • Handed in my biggest piece of work, which the past three years of learning has been building up to: my portfolio of original work. For anyone who is new here: that’s a collection of twenty poems, plus an essay explaining my creative process, research, and decisions, plus a bibliography detailing nearly a year’s research into my chosen topic.
  • I’d planned on completing my final two essays (due in May) during April. Didn’t happen. The above was, and had to be, my focus. So now (May) I am cracking down on these final two pieces of work, for which I did begin my research. I would like to highlight though that I could’ve really relaxed a bit more over Easter break. Our lecturers actually told us to put these essays on the back-burner, and I didn’t listen, wanting to just get them out of the way. Though the research I did was useful, I could definitely have taken it a bit easier.
  • Buying my graduation gown didn’t happen. Its on the list for next month. I really have no excuse for not finding time to do this. Buying lecturer gifts/cards hasn’t happened yet either, purely because I’ve realised it’s still slightly too early.

STATUS: Final two essays due in 9 days. Final lectures and seminars have been attended. Absolutely devastated that its over, but I’m focusing on just enjoying the final few days I have left in higher education.

MINOR GOALS OF THE MONTH:

Start to establish my career path

  • I HAVE A JOB!! I’m honestly still in a bit of shock regarding this. In September I’ll be taking up a position as a marketing executive for a social media management company dealing in food, drink, and tourism. I’ll be meeting clients, brainstorming campaign ideas, copywriting, and maybe even taking some photos for social media. I am incredibly grateful to be going into a job I love straight from uni. I kind of had to just do what I could with this in April, and then sit back and let what would be, be. I know that a lot of hard work over the years has gone into my getting this, including 6 months of relentlessly searching, and it feels good to be able to say that. I don’t believe in false modesty in women (in anyone, though we are more conditioned to adopt this attitude), and I’m going to say it: what with blogging, work experience, exams through high school and my degree, I have worked my arse off to get this and I am coming around to giving myself a pat on the back.

STATUS: Awaiting my contract to arrive, so I can sign my life away. I just have to keep my creative juices flowing, as my role will involve a lot of creativity, and so obviously I don’t want to be getting rusty. Continue reading “April Goals Evaluation 2017- Finding employment & Getting a massage…”

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”

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…”

GOALS for my 2017 …

Happy New Year my fabulous readers! I hope you’re all looking forward to another amazing year, and plenty of opportunities to achieve some serious goals. If you’re new to the blog, welcome- and if you’re returning then thanks for stopping by.

If you are a returning reader, then we also all know I prefer goals to resolutions; goals have more flexibility and can be broken into specific steps, rather than an intimidating “I am giving up X from now on. Forever”. If you’re new, then you can read my post all about that right here.

It has taken me a lot of pondering to decide what I want to focus on this year. In the end I have tried to get a spread of practical goals, and also some that are more emotionally or mentally focused, and so more subjective in how I measure my progress.

Choosing just a few goals doesn’t mean you have to ignore all of the other dreams you have for the year ahead; I simply choose a few big ones to really focus on. I also break the big goals down into smaller chunks, which you won’t see here, but is one of my top tips for achieving what you really want. You can always add to them as you go through the year, and you can always have a mini-bucket list on the side, so all of those small things that you look forward to (e.g. eating fro-yo with X and Y; visiting the beach; Have a BBQ etc.) can be ticked off too.

I also have a little list of habits that I did master in 2016 which I will be carrying through into 2017, as they are now simply habits. I’ve included them just in case you like the idea of any of these tried and tested goals, and want to give them a try…

 

2016 Habits I am continuing:

Having a morning routine

Minimalism

Saying ‘no’

Prioritising & Single Tasking

Organisation & Bullet Journaling

Regular self-care time

 

The Goals

  1. Learn the basics of another language- I always feel guilty that I only speak English, and haven’t worked hard enough to learn another language in the past. At the time of writing this I am actually stuck between learning French, or sign language. I am leaning towards French, but sign language might be my 2018 goal…
  2. Expand my blog and IG- I want to make my blog even more professional looking, and obviously turn out the best content that I can. In 2016 I feel I really began to get to grips with this, and 2017 means more opportunities to do so. I also want to get more social with you guys! This means more Insta-snaps, maybe a twitter account, perhaps a YouTube channel (again, the last one may have to be a 2018 goal, as my blog is my focus this year)
  3. Expand my mind & enrich my life- I want to read more books, watch more documentaries, listen to more podcasts, research more feminist conversations to join in with, gain a better understanding of current affairs and politics, see new art forms…I have specific numbers of what I want to achieve, but I won’t add those in today.
  4. Travel more- I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much in my life. My parents work hard to support myself and my brother, meaning that there hasn’t been much time for it. In 2017 I’m hoping to save some cash, and take myself to 2 places outside of the UK, and about 4 new places inside the UK.
  5. Learn to drive- Because I can’t yet, and it is an essential life skill, which I want to have mastered before the end of the year. I plan on taking an intensive course.
  6. Manage my money better, and choose an amount to save as a goal- The above two both require money. I know I can cut back and save, and so I’ll be setting some specific amounts for each trip, and my driving lessons, and then putting aside money each week.
  7. Start to establish my career path- I’d like to get a proper, post-graduation job, preferably in PR and Marketing. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I’m working on it. My back up is actually to train as a PT so I can always have some form of employment- again, need to look into this.
  8. Relax- Basically get a better work/life balance going. I really struggle with this, and being in my final year of uni, it has gotten much worse. 2017 is the year I am going to force myself to become a little more balanced. I am a workaholic and I need to be mentally stimulated in order to function and remain happy in myself, but I often miss the sign saying “Burn Out Ahead”.
  9. Be more adventurous & accept fear/ uncertainty – All of these goals are scary and exciting in equal measure. In the past, I have let fear stop me from doing things I really wanted to do. This year, I will be working on not letting fear stop me.
  10. Enjoy- Be happy and content with what I have, whilst working for what I want. This is incredibly important. I want to be grateful for all, and remain positive, whilst working for all I want. I have so much to be grateful for, and I won’t be losing touch with that this year.

 

How would you eat if you already loved your body?

I want you to take a minute to consider the above question.

Perhaps what you immediately thought was: I could indulge, and not be unhappy with the effects. Or maybe you thought: I’d look after myself more, and show my body it matters by eating better food.

Maybe, like me, you didn’t think either of those things- but both. I think that without balance, either of the above responses could be potentially harmful. If I loved my body I would indulge a little bit more, but I would also continue to eat healthy food because I happen to genuinely enjoy that type of food, and how it makes me feel. If you read my post on social media and self esteem from the blogger’s point of view, then you’d know I occasionally still struggle with disordered eating thoughts, and -as with most of us who do- they tend to boil down to body image.

Continue reading “How would you eat if you already loved your body?”