April Goals!

2019, goals

Hello!

At the beginning of every month I get so excited about a new month, a fresh start and a new focus – deciding on what goals to work on this month! It only gets better when the month starts on a Monday, now that makes my heart happy.

Last month’s goals didn’t go very well – I got a bit too in over my head and expected far too much of myself and with a lot of unexpected last minute plans, I didn’t make a lot of progress on many (if any) of last month’s goals. But rather than letting that hold me back, I’m using what I learnt from it to adapt my goals for this month.

And this is what I’ve come up with!

  1. Make driving progress – I started practising test routes in my lessons in March and I convinced myself I would be ready to book my test at the end of the month and then when I wasn’t ready it was a massive bummer to have set myself the goal of booking the test and failed! So this month I’m adapting that goal slightly – I want to make progress and be closer to booking my test. When I book the test isn’t important but making progress and being for it is what I should focus on!
  2. Focus on diet – I was at a point where I was happy with smaller portions and better food and I want to get back to that, being more aware and putting more effort in is a start (she says as she samples a selection of macarons from last months trip to Paris! It’s all about compromise!)
  3. Work on photography – At the end of this month I’m going to a dance convention and last time I went to this convention, I took a lot of photos that I was really pleased with. Four or five years later I want to have made some improvement! I want to learn more and take technically better photos, so I need to go and practice with my Canon 100D – especially if I want to justify upgrading it at the end of the year.
  4. Start job applications again – it’s a little soul destroying, especially as it’s approaching a year since I finished my degree and graduated, but I’m not going to get anyone if I don’t try. I’m working with the careers team at my old uni to see if they can help and I am working as much as I can in my current job to tide me over. Just got to keep trying, I want to carry on doing the digital marketing course with Google Digital Garage and I’m going to carry on researching going to do a masters degree and something hopefully will figure itself out for me!
  5. Camp NaNoWriMo – another writing challenge! I’m training myself every other month for November’s 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge – in February I wrote 20,000 words in 28 days so this month I’m aiming for 25,000 words in 30 days! I wasn’t too sure what I was going to write about and then I had a very strange dream on the last night of March that I had to write down as soon as I woke up because I felt so compelled to develop and work on so that’s my last minute project!

The way I make my goals is generally by picking one thing from each of the categories in my New Year’s Resolutions (link), having a glance at my ten ‘bucket list’ style goals for the year and see if any of those are relevant, then anything else that’s relevant! It works really well for me to have lots of lists of goals – between 2019 goals, monthly goals, weekly tasks and even a 5 year plan/goals chart I have no reason to feel like I don’t have anything to do!

That being said, I still feel a bit lost sometimes – I’m still looking for a graduate job and with it coming up to a year since I finished my degree and graduated, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself but with all these lists and personal goals, even if my life takes a different turn I’ve always got something to focus on!

If you make monthly goals, tell me what they are! Are you still working on your New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s share and motivate each other!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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March Goals

2019, goals

Hello!

Every time I start writing a goals post I get a little bit baffled at how time is going so fast and how this is the third post of the year?! I feel like I’ve missed most of January and February so let’s dive head first in what I want to achieve in March!

[ M A R C H   G O A L S : ]

  1. I want to book my driving test!

I’ve been learning to drive for about six months now and I’ve started practicing test routes and reaching the end of my teaching and I’d love to be at a point that I’m ready to book my test by the end of this month.

2. Work 2 full days a week

I know this seems absolutely ridiculous to set myself the goal of working two days a week, but hear me out – I’ve always had the option of working for my mum’s business and I recognise that I’m incredibly fortunate to be in this position HOWEVER I’m incredibly stubborn and driven. So in a way, to me it feels like if I accept working more with my mum it’s almost as if I’ve given up hope of having a career job and this is it for me. It feels like giving up or defeat and I know that’s silly and I’ve enjoyed working there last month I just need to get over it in my head.

There’s also more lenience with this one because sometimes they don’t need me for two days in the office so I’ll try my best to complete both days whether it’s from home or in the office but that might not always be the case. Lil disclaimer there!

3. 1 workout a week / start running?

The question mark is very big on the running! I think I can definitely focus on one at home workout a week, whether it’s a FitBit one, a Nike one or just one I’ve found on YouTube – doesn’t matter if it’s 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I want to get back into more of a routine because I’m determined to stick with this and I’m not giving up just yet.

Running I’m a bit reluctant about because I want to use the NHS Couch to 5k app but it means committing to running three times a week and I just don’t know if I have time for that right now, so it’s a maybe but it’s something I definitely want to try at some point.

4. Refine career skills

I know one of my goals for last month was to make more specific goals and this is the complete opposite but this one has three sub-goals (wow, I’m taking this too seriously).

  • learn more about the core skills of photography – I know how photography works and I know the terminology and equipment I just don’t think I know it well enough because it was always skimmed over in my photography teaching at uni. So I want to spend time really reading up on it and making notes so I can understand why my photos don’t always look how I want them too.
  • copywriting work – what these last few months has taught me is that I really love copywriting, whether it’s news article writing, blog writing, creative writing, I just love writing and if I can get some remote freelance work that would be an amazing thing to do in the interim between now and (hopefully) getting a career job (or going back to uni but I’ll talk about that another time).
  • have one ‘learning’ day a week – there’s so many free online courses I’ve found that can fill in the gaps in knowledge I have for the career I want so I want to set aside one day a week to read through a few classes and put what I’m reading into practice. Maybe it’s silly, maybe I’ll realise there’s no point, but I want to make time for it.

5. Make time for knitting again!

In January it was my goal to make time for hobbies and I really did make a good crack at knitting and though I didn’t even finish one square, I really enjoyed it and it was really therapeutic so this month, I want to stop taking my laptop into the living room in the evening and I want to make time for knitting again. Just to help everything slow down and relax a bit more.

And that’s what I’m focusing on this month. February was a big turning point and I need to try and improve on that in March – tell me all about your goals and focuses for this month!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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Adjusting (Diary 2)

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

It’s been about a month since I did my first diary post and I feel like I’ve got more to say and document (as per) so I am going to do both of those things. It’s not so much a situational change but a mental attitude change and we all know I love a ramble so I think that’s what I’ll do today!

I guess the biggest thing is that I started learning to drive! At the beginning of September I had my first lesson and it was amazing! I enjoyed it so much I literally jumped around the kitchen because I loved driving so much. My instructor is so lovely and makes me feel really comfortable and because she’s so great, she’s incredibly booked up so I couldn’t get another lesson until the beginning of next month but I’ve booked a lesson a week until the beginning of November so I’m really focused on learning and I want to be able to drive in the next six months or so, which is exciting!

It all then snowballed quite fast – my granddad sold me his car and I can’t drive it yet but I now have a car which is quite fast considering I’ve had literally one lesson but it’s a long story and it’s situational (I’ve made a video on my YouTube channel if you’re interested in hearing all about it!). Long story short – I had a lesson, I bought a car and I passed my theory test last week so the driving journey is really kick starting and I’m so excited! I’m so surprised I’m not scared of it to be honest, I genuinely can’t wait to be able to drive.

I’d like to think that the driving development makes up for the lack of job development but there’s still a lot to say – I don’t have a job, I really lost momentum in applying because I’d applied for so many, I’d had so many rejection emails, no interviews and looking at my cover letter to tweak it for every job genuinely gave me headaches and made me want to burst into tears. It’s not even like I took a break I just couldn’t do it anymore.

But now I feel somewhat ready to start applying again – I’ve been helping my mum out by doing some jobs in the office and helping out her business so I’m learning again, working for a wage and earning some money, which is a nice feeling. I’m ready to start slowly applying for jobs again – rather than applying for seven in a day, I want to take it slower and make each application more meaningful and only apply for jobs that really make me excited rather than applying for literally everything.

I’m adjusting to life back at home – I’d always planned to move out again and have my own kind of career by about October but, to be honest, I’m quite warming to the idea of staying at home for a year and finishing learning to drive, learning about business from my mum and finding a role that really suits me.

So it’s taking time to adjust, but I think I am settling a little and I’m actually not hating it.

There’s no smooth segway between topics other than talking about how I’m completely changing the topic. So now to talk about diet and exercise!

I’ve written a couple of posts about exercise recently and I’m now not working out in the same way but I’m still working on it – as of this week, I’m focusing a lot on what I’m eating and training myself to not be as hungry and rely on food as I have been previously. I’m going to my cousin’s wedding in January and I’m using it as an incentive to lose some weight (though Christmas being between now and then is not going to work in my favour). I’m still exercising but not forcing myself to miserably walk on the treadmill three times a week – I’ve gone for going for focused walks walking at a higher pace than I’m comfortable with and I’m already noticing a positive effect on my mood in three days so I’m feeling more motivated to go back to the weights and cardio machines. I’m listening to my body a lot more and not pushing myself to do anything that doesn’t help me mentally (other than food, I’m being quite strict about that).

And I’m actually kind of enjoying it! Sure I’m hungry, but I’m planning my meals more, I’m trying new things, I’m cooking more, I had a really nice conversation with my dad about it yesterday and it was really lovely. I don’t want to diet, because I would either then spend the rest of my life on that diet or I’d yo-yo back up to where I am now and neither of those are good. I’m making sustainable changes by cutting out snacking and being aware of the kinds of food I’m eating and making certain types of food a treat.

But I would quite like to ban food adverts on TV because god it makes avoiding evening snacking really difficult. The other night, I could have eaten boxes of shortbread, a bucket of buttery pasta and at least three pizzas. But I didn’t, which is the important bit. I had grapes instead.

I think that’s enough for one diary post – my days have been pretty quiet recently, making content, working for mum, applying for jobs, nothing too exciting to report.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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learning to drive ‘late’

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve spent the last four to five years wanting to learn to drive – I turned 17 and was so excited about being on of the first of my friends to be old enough to learn to drive and I never got round to it. I wasn’t ready five years ago – I’d just flunked my AS levels and I needed to focus to be able to even have a chance of going to uni. And I did that, so I don’t regret not learning then.

But then I didn’t learn in first year, or second year, or during my my third year, and here I am beginning my first year not going back to education and I’m finally starting! I had my first lesson a few days before my birthday and just last week I passed my theory test (which was a miracle might I add).

Most people I know learnt to drive when they were 17. I’m now 22. I don’t regret it but I do feel like I’m getting to the party three hours after everyone else and they’re already drunk.

So I thought I’d talk about a few of the advantages and disadvantages, for anyone my age who’s not sure, for anyone who’s just turned 17 and is considering waiting or anyone in between and beyond!

Disadvantages:

  • I can’t drive yet lol
  • A lot of people will try to give you advice about learning, tips on how you should drive and how many times it took them to pass
  • Instructors are so used to teaching 17 year olds that sometimes they forget you’re not one (luckily my instructor is lovely, but a couple of people I know who’ve learnt later have said they had really patronising instructors)

Advantages:

  • I can afford it more – it’s situational obviously and my finances are either stable or rock bottom with no in between but I have been able to bulk book a bunch of lessons whereas when I was a teenager my parents wouldn’t pay for my lessons, so now I’m in a position where I can actually afford it
  • I have more time, I’m not at school six hours a day so I can have lessons when I may not have been able to before and, in theory, have lessons more frequently
  • Because of these things I will (potentially/hopefully) learn faster and have fewer lessons saving both time and money

Also I know loads of people who can accompany me as a learner in the car.

The conclusion I’m trying to make is, it doesn’t matter – if you feel like you missed the boat then that’s definitely not the case and it’s definitely a car not a boat. Everyone’s journey is so different and everyone learns things at different stages that are best for them – when I took my theory test there were genuinely people of all ages there. Learning to drive isn’t exclusive to teenagers – it’s one of the most freeing and valuable life skills so you learn and earn that license in your own time and when you are ready.

My original draft just ended with the words “have fun friends broom broom beep beep” and I think that’s a pretty solid ending.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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September Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been doing these posts for about six months now and I find they really help me focus on specific tasks for the month, especially because I’ve integrated them into my bullet journal spreads.

However, in previous months I’ve done a review of the last months goals before setting my new goals for the month and I’ve decided not to do that this time – these reviews should be a personal reflection for me to adapt and respond to but I don’t think anyone else needs to know or cares about last months goals!

Last months goals went quite well, ironically, you can read that post here if you like!

September has always been my favourite month, whether it was because it was my birthday month, whether it was back to school I was excited for or just going into the Autumn/Winter season, September makes me happier and I’m excited for this month.

[ S E P T E M B E R   G O A L S ]

  • work 12 hours a week – I’m fortunate enough that my mum has let me work for her company as a kind of Office Assistant/PA/learning about business management person and she’s always been open to letting me help but I was so focused on graduate job hunting that I hadn’t accepted it till now. I want to dedicate specific time to working for her company and I’m starting with (minimum) 12 hours a week and I’m actually kind of excited about it.
  • write 20,000 words (667 a day) – last months writing challenge was a huge success so I wanted to up the stake a little bit – I wrote 15,000 words in August so I’m aiming for more this month! I’m basically training myself up before NaNoWriMo (50k in November) but I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives me and being in the mental position to write again, I just love it.
  • driving – guess who booked her theory test and her first lesson on a whim when she was tired one night? Yes, it was me. My theory test is towards the end of this month, my boyfriend will (hopefully) be taking his test soon and we’ve nearly got our own car too. Right now, I feel the same as I did when I was 17 – I don’t want to learn to drive, I just want to be able to drive but it’s not the simple so I’m biting the bullet and doing it. My first lesson is on the 7th so wish me luck!
  • maintain no pressure exercise – I’ve written a couple of posts now about exercise and I think it’s not a phase that I’ll get bored of? It’s been about four weeks now and I’m still integrating it into my routine? And I like it? I’m having to change it up quite a lot because I get bored or I feel like it’s not doing anything but I’m actually enjoying exercising and boy I need to lose weight so hopefully by this time next month I’ll actually be able to see some results!
  • positive job hunting – will she ever stop talking about job hunting? Probably not! Being an unemployed graduate (bar working for my mum) has really got to me mentally – I went for a job interview that I felt really good about and then I didn’t get it and I felt like giving up. So alongside feeling really mentally low, I just didn’t have the motivation to apply for anything else. However, I’m pulling myself out of it and I’m trying to get back into the habit of applying for jobs positively and not looking at it as a mindless chore that will never amount to anything because if that’s the attitude I have than it never will amount to anything! Even if it means taking it a bit slower, I want to maintain a positive relationship with applying for jobs.

I’ve tried to make these goals realistic and achievable – September is a time for new starts; going back to school, back to uni, back to work and I’m feeling that kind of motivation without having school, uni or a job to go into it but I’m making my situation right now work as best as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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