Practicing the Work/Life Balance Thing | May Goals ’22

2022, goals, mental health

Hi there!

Another month means another set of goals to work towards.

April was a very mixed bag with my mini goals – I think I’m finding work very overwhelming at the moment and between that, bank holidays coming out my ears (I find not knowing which day of the week it is very confusing) and trying to main some semblance of a social life (badly) is burning me out and I’m only just managing to keep up with everything I have to do day to day, let alone something I want to achieve over the course of a month.

But I’ve reevaluated how I make my to do lists and I’m trying to reframe my mental attitude to not fill every moment with doing something – being ‘productive’ or pushing myself too far. It’s clearly a work in progress because I went to a drive through car wash and whilst my car was being cleaned, I did my daily Duolingo lessons so I could tick that off my list, but I am working on it!

So I took this approach when setting my monthly goals – I took the time to figure out what was actually achievable and what would help to benefit me in the long run. This is what I came up with:

Pick a new Professional Goal – one of my professional goals for the year was to learn a software called AfterEffects so I could include more animations and graphics in the videos I produce at work. But since then my role has adapted and now that we have more editors on the team, I don’t actually edit videos anymore (which absolutely suits me and my strengths, I want to clarify I am not complaining about this 😂). But as my role has adapted and this goal isn’t relevant, I want to decide on something else to aim towards by the end of the year that is relevant, beneficial to my career and achievable. Rather than just picking a new goal out of thin air, I set this goal so I can dedicate the time to research the skillset around the career path my job is now taking and figuring out what can help me learn and be better at it!

Wow, that was a bit long winded.

Make one piece of content a week for a new project – I’ve been meaning to try something new for a really long time and I know now that if I don’t set myself actual deadlines than I will not do the thing, so I’m aiming to make one piece of content for a new project I’m working on a week and I’m hoping it’ll inspire me to make more content more regularly going forward.

Wedding – rings and invites – My wedding is now less than six months away and I still can’t say the word ‘husband’ without feeling like I’m playing pretend. This month’s goals are to buy our wedding bands and send our invites – the invites have been ordered we just need to finalise the guest list and write them all. There’s also a couple of extra bits like getting in touch with a make-up artist, getting in contact with my florist and planning anything that I’m going to make for the day but those are just chugging along in the background.

Plan museum/concert/new place trips – Another instance of planning to plan a goal – on my ‘bucket list’ goals for this year is to go to a museum, go to a concert and go to a new place but it’s easy to say those things, but actually doing them is another thing entirely! At the end of last month we booked our mini-moon for after the wedding (we’re going to go on a proper honeymoon when it’s not November and the weather will be nicer) and it’s a place neither of us have been before, so that’s the planning for that one ticked off! The concert, I’ve not seen that any artists I’m particularly interested in are touring, but there’s still time! And I really want to go to the Victoria and Albert museum, so just need to plan a day that my partner and I are both free to take off and go to London for the day!

And my monthly goals are: read three books, save money (done), date night and do a craft project. I’ve nearly finished my first audiobook of the month so I do feel like I’m slowly creeping out of my reading slump!

I can’t believe we’re five months into the year and I absolutely can’t believe that I’m getting married in six months – how mad is that? Time is absolutely flying at the moment!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

April Goals ’22

2022, goals

Hello!

Yes, I’m still here! March ended up being ridiculously busy between a relatively big change to my role at work which took me longer to process than it should have, rehearsals for a dance show that let me pretend I was a teenager again (except I can drive myself to the theatre now!) and trying to get enough sleep at night, I didn’t have the time let alone the brain space to think about anything else!

But, a personal goal of mine is to let myself get better at rearranging my to do lists and not beating myself up if I don’t finish every single task so in a way, it was all good practice!

And to be honest, the only thing you missed out on was a March Reading Wrap Up post where I said that I only finished one book (the audiobook for ‘The Love Hypothesis’ by Ali Hazelwood which was 5/5) and having a little sad ramble about how my brain is too busy and sleepy to make time for reading at the moment.

So now it’s April, my dance show is over (and went pretty well I think!), I’m starting the month with a week off work to spend with my partner and I’m ready to feel refreshed and re-energised! Here are my goals for the month:

Sort out my portfolio website – I’ve been getting emails about it left right and centre about domains and WordPress things and I need to figure it all out. I want to evaluate if it really serves me to have a half finished website that I don’t know enough about to make it look pretty and I can’t afford to hire a proper designer. Whether it’s finishing it or deleting it, I’m going to figure it out and sort it this month!

Start Couch to 5k – it’ll be my third attempt to finish the program, but my partner and I are going to try and do it together and pairing that with now getting a gym membership through work, I’m actually kind of excited about exercising. Since starting dance again last September, I’ve enjoyed feeling like I’m pushing myself and getting better at something and I think running will be really good for me.

Wedding tasks – bridesmaid’s dresses, hair and make-up, ushers suits – this month marks only 7 months to the wedding and with my wedding dress ordered (eeeee!) it all feels more real and I’ve really got to get a move on! I have a hair consultation booked with the spa at the venue but getting the outfits sorted for the rest of the wedding party is the main priority now (or at least, starting the process!).

Writing challenge – what did I just say about being adaptable and not overwhelming myself with tasks? Ha, why not set a challenge to write 45,000 words in a month and not start until day 4, sounds like a fantastic idea. But, the writing is more important to me than the word goal – the way I spend my free time has totally changed since I was a teenager and I don’t spend every waking minute writing anymore, I have to set myself goals or I don’t do it. And when I do set the goals I always realise how much I still love it.

Monthly goals:
Read 3 books
Weekly savings challenge
Date night (actually already done, as soon as he got his first negative covid test and we could stop social distancing in our own house!)
Craft project – Use my cricut

My craft project goals this year have absolutely fallen on the back burner and been the first thing to go when I’m busy, but starting the month with a week off, I want to make time to figure out how I can use it to do some crafts for the wedding – I’m really excited about it.

I absolutely need to work on setting myself less overwhelming goals – like starting a new workout plan, craft projects and writing challenges all in one month is a bit much, but it’s as much about prioritising what I really enjoy and learning about personal time management as it is about ticking off goals. It might not make sense, but I at least like to tell myself I vaguely know what I’m doing!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

March Goals ’22

2022, goals

Hello!

Another month has flown past and it’s time for some new goals for me to work towards.

Last month’s goals actually went really well and for the first time ever, I have amended my yearly goals to suit what I actually want going forward. I’d always given myself very strict guidelines and led myself to believe that changing or amending a goal was a failure and not ‘true to my intentions’. When actually, things change – now isn’t the right time to work on what I want to achieve, what I want might need more steps to be reached and what I want might change completely and that’s okay. I’m learning to be more flexible with myself and invest my time into the things that are truly most important to me.

And we’re only in March! Imagine where I’ll be at the end of the year!

So these are my mini goals for the month:

Seasonal Wardrobe Update – I started doing a seasonal wardrobe after (unsuccessfully) trying the project 333 challenge last year, but even though the challenge didn’t work for me, I found swapping out my clothes seasonally worked really well for me from a storage perspective (because ya gal doesn’t have a lot of space) but also it’s a great way for me to bring the seasonally appropriate clothes to the forefront and the out-of-season clothes can be tucked away. Part of the Project 333 challenge that I am trying to implement is parting ways with the clothes that I haven’t reached for in a whole season, because that’s a pretty good indicator that I’m never going to. This practice (and it does take practice, believe me) has really helped me refine my shopping habits over the past year as well, because I feel so much more in tune with what I actually wear and what I feel good in, I’m much less likely to impulse buy (please note: less; if it is soft, oversized and snuggly I cannot be held accountable for my actions).

Properly plan finances – this one is kind of already done as my payday is the 1st of the month, but rather than rushing to move money into different savings accounts, I took the time to look at how much our bills are in both the joint account and my personal account, allocate savings appropriately and then send my spending money to my Monzo account (a new thing for me, but I wanted to try having my personal spending and my personal bills in different accounts and so far, very good!). It’s not perfect, but I am working on being much more mindful with my spending with all these adult things on the horizon like a wedding and wanting to save for a house deposit etc. At least I started the month on the right foot!

House tidying and sorting – I feel like having your own space is a case of constantly rearranging, sorting, tidying and rearranging again! We’ve been in this house for nearly a year and there’s still piles of things here and there and stuff I want to sort through. But what I have learnt about goal setting is that generic statements like ‘sort and tidy the house’ are really difficult to achieve – my focus is to clear what has accidentally become a craft dumping zone in the living room and a pillow dumping zone in the spare room. One day maybe I’ll even get to the garage!

Wedding to dos – I’ve been banging on about monthly wedding tasks for the best part of a year and the wedding is still 8 months away! My intentions for this month are to make the final decisions that will allow us to select our invitation stationary (and maybe even send them?) and order my wedding dress, but the evil beast that is covid has already reared it’s ugly head and put a spanner in the works of going dress shopping this weekend. But I’m trying to remember what I’ve already said about being flexible and adapting and making arrangements for another time – it’s all going to be okay and it’s not the end of the world if I haven’t picked my dress by the end of the month!

And my monthly goals that I have every month are to read 3 books, do my weekly savings challenge, have a date night with my fiancé and work on a craft project.

I’m still working on January and February’s craft projects in the background, but I feel like I’ve ‘discovered’ crafting and watching TV in the last week or so and I definitely intend to be doing a lot more of it in the precious time I get to just sit and watch TV when I’m home alone!

The end of February and the beginning of March has already been a bit rocky between having covid and not taking enough time off work, getting back to work and my colleague who I sit next to every day then testing positive, a trip to go wedding dress shopping cancelled on the morning I was going and generally being very stressed and having bad mental health. It’s been a lot, but the only thing I can do it take one day at a time, one moment at a time. Everything else is a bridge to cross if and when I get to it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

February Goals ’22

2022, goals

Hello!

Another month, another set of mini goals – although January flew by much too quickly for my liking, but it got off to a really good start. I didn’t really get the break I wanted over Christmas so it’s been a slow, tired month, but after a couple of quiet weekends I’m ready to carry on trying to balance getting enough rest and being somewhat productive.

February being a month that is exactly four weeks and short enough that pay day will roll around again in no time is exciting. I’m slowly building habits that I want to develop into my daily life and it nearly feels like I’m not drowning in to do lists, so I want to work on that ‘not drowning’ feeling this month.

So, without further ado – my February Goals:

  1. Sort out the bookshelves in the library – sounds like a silly little task right? It’s one I’ve been ignoring for months so if I put it in writing maybe I’ll actually do it. I may have officially run out of room on my current bookshelves too so might need to rearrange the furniture as well.
  2. Plan cosplay lists – last month I figured out what cosplay I wanted to work on this year (because last year’s projects went so well…) this month I want to figure out exactly what steps I need to actually make them happen. I happen to have a sibling who is very talented at this sort of thing, so I’m hoping to rope in their help at some point (but I haven’t asked them yet haha).
  3. Wedding tasks – pay next part of venue costs, go to menu tasting and coordinate decor with the wedding planner: we have a meeting to tour the renovated facilities and I already have a list of questions. It’s all starting to come together now!
  4. Craft project – I didn’t finish my project for last month, so I want to finish that and finish another project as my ‘February’ crafts,
  5. Recurring monthly goals
    • Read 3 books
    • Be sensible with money
    • Plan a date night

My reading goal for this year is already going well – I’ve just finished my 6th book of the year and I think sorting out the shelves in the spare room I call ‘The Library’ will definitely help with my motivation for reading.

In hindsight, I’ve set myself a lot of daily tasks this year – including learning French on Duolingo, using my bullet journal every single day and filling in my Noom weight loss app – balancing that with everything else I want to achieve was never going to be easy, but it will get easier. At least I hope it does!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

2022 Goals

2022, goals

Hello and Happy New Year!

Usually the Christmas holidays feel slow and almost drag, but they’ve gone so fast that I can barely comprehend that we’re in 2022! How mad is that? I’m getting married this year?

Outside of the astonishment at the passing of time (and still processing March 2020), a New Year means new goals and a time to refocus, figuring out what’s most important to me and how I want to spend my time this year and I love it.

I spent my Boxing Day looking within myself (read: staring absentmindedly out the window) to figure out what I want to spend my precious free time on this year, knowing that there isn’t that much of it around a full time job, dancing three times a week and getting enough sleep!

So here’s a basic summary of how I ‘design’ my goals, for want of a better word – I have three categories; Professional, Personal and Home; and in each of those categories I have three goals (I like the number three). Then, I have a list of 10 goals that either don’t necessarily fit into any of those categories or just make more sense in a ‘bucket list’ style (but I feel weird calling it a bucket list because it’s not a bucket list).

Is it perfect? Probably not. But it works for me and I’ve been doing it for three or four years now so I’ll stick with it!

Professional:

  1. Stay in the same job (if that’s what’s right for me) – the fact I got a job so quickly after my previous contract ended still baffles me, but I’d like to stay here for the whole year if I can. With the caveat that if it isn’t right for me anymore, for whatever reason, I don’t have to make myself stay for the sake of a goal. I know it sounds like a silly stipulation, but it’s what works for my brain!
  2. Learn to use AfterEffects – an Adobe software I’ve never been taught how to use before. I need to find a course or an online class or something, but I’m trying to do a lot of AfterEffects style editing in quite obscure ways and I think it would make everything simpler and streamline my editing process.
  3. Update my Portfolio Instagram page once a week – maintaining a portfolio has been a bigger challenge than I should probably admit, but rather than doing ‘update’ posts every six months, a little round up each week seems much more manageable. I’ve included this weekly goal in my new bullet journal set up so I get to colour in a square every time I do it, which is incentive enough for me.

Personal:

  1. Use DuoLingo every day – with the way DuoLingo works with it’s ‘streak’ feature to encourage you to come back every day, it’s almost difficult to forget. I started trying to learn Italian last year but fell off the bandwagon after a month, so I thought I’d go back to a language I’m semi-familiar with (to a very basic level), so I’m now learning French. I really like how DuoLingo teaches and how the app is laid out and I’ve really enjoyed spending 10 minutes a day learning.
  2. Blog once a week – I covered this in my last blog post but I accidentally stopped blogging for the last month of 2021 and I missed it! A lot of my goals this year are focused on adjusting doing what I love to make sure I don’t overbook myself and burn out. Going from 2 blog posts to 1 a week should be a good way to maintain doing something I love but not getting stressed about it. So far so good, if you’re reading this!
  3. Cosplay – no, I never finished my 2021 cosplay goals but (pandemic allowing), hopefully I’ll be able to go to MCM ComicCon again this year and I’d love to get a costume together. I’m thinking along the lines of a female Doctor Strange (mostly for the cape), the 13th Doctor and/or Luna Lovegood. All of these I think would be relatively easy as they’re more about buying pieces than making something from scratch, but we’ll see if I actually get round to it!

Home:

  1. Wedding – not just planning, but the actual wedding! I’m getting married this year and there’s still a fair bit to do, including buying my dress (I tried some on before Christmas!), getting my partners suit and all sorts of finer details. I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous, but it’s going to be a big year for sure.
  2. Weekly saving challenge – I had a go at this 52 Week Saving Challenge in 2019 and made it to approximately week 40 before I had to stop to be able to pay for things like bills (boring). But it was really satisfying and I saved more than I ever have before so I wanted to try it again this year to have some money in my personal savings as well as the wedding savings and my Help to Buy ISA. Not being a student and having a full time job should really help with this and I’m looking forward to the challenge that the latter weeks of the year will bring!
  3. Go on a budget summer holiday – I just want to go somewhere and lie in the sun and read, preferably with the sound of the sea in the background. I haven’t done enough research on this yet and with the wedding I’m not sure whether it’s financially viable, but we’ll see!

10 aims (that aren’t a bucket list because it’s not a bucket list):

  1. Read 36 Books – this is my StoryGraph reading goal for the year! As part of my update to my blogging schedule, I’ll also be doing a monthly round up of what I’m reading. 36 books in a year is 3 a month, so if I can review roughly three books a month till the end of the year then that’s my goal met!
  2. Book buying ban – I have over 200 books on my shelves at home that I haven’t read. There’s absolutely no way I’ll finish reading them all this year but I’d like to make a good dent!
  3. Go to a museum – my partner and I use to have date days in London and go to the museum pre-pandemic, but I’d love to be able to do this again this year.
  4. Go to a concert – I love live music and I feel like one concert this year is a good aim. Minimum.
  5. Go to a new place – I wanted to include some more ‘one off’ goals on my list this year, can you tell? After the wedding, my partner and I want to go on a UK break to have some time off together before we can afford a proper Honeymoon in 2023. I always feel drawn to places I’ve been before so I want to use this opportunity to see somewhere new and scratch that travelling itch! I’m thinking maybe Scotland?
  6. Continue updating my wardrobe seasonally – this was something I started in 2021 that worked really well for me – it helped me figure out what I actually enjoy wearing, what I look forward to getting out again and it saved so much space in my drawers! I need to start being properly ruthless with the clothes I don’t wear. Right now, I’m thinking I need to throw out some hoodies because I very rarely wear them (but they’re so cosy…)
  7. Writing challenges – I’ve been banging on about it forever, but I love creative writing and every other month (ish) I like to set myself a challenge of writing a certain amount in a month. I find if I don’t do this, I don’t write at all so doing it this way helps it become something I prioritise and actually work on!
  8. Monthly date nights – a way to make sure that my partner and I spend some dedicated time together at least once a month!
  9. Do one craft project a month – I have enough craft kits, materials and gadgets to fill up a whole room in our house, except they’re currently gathering dust and I hate it. So I figure if I can finish one project a month then it clears the room a little bit and gives me a creative project to work on!
  10. 1 Second Everyday 2022 – this will be my third 1SE video and I love making these. Here’s 2021 if you missed it!

And that’s it!

I’m really pleased with my goals for this year and I’ve started developing a routine to maintain those daily habits and trackers for the weekly and monthly habits so nothing is forgotten and I can make consistent progress!

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, a wonderful New Year and I wish you the best for 2022!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

December Goals 2021

2021, creativity, goals

Hello!

I feel like I’ve been waiting for December 1st for weeks now – the excuse to wear Christmas jumpers, play all the Christmas songs, put tinsel everywhere. But simultaneously, where has November gone and how is it the last month of the year?

But the end of the year means so many wonderful things – for one, Christmas (obviously), for two, I’ll get to see my finished 1 Second Everyday video for the year, but also the time to look back on the 2021 Goals I set myself and plan out my 2022 goals (which is always the most exciting way for me to spend the limbo week between Christmas and New Year).

Between snuggling into cosy, dark nights with blankets and Christmas lights and long work days and evening dance classes, I’ve just about managed to figure out my five mini goals for the last month of the year!

Portfolio work

It’s been a long year of trying to figure out how to present my portfolio – initially I wanted to make a website, to update my Instagram page and to edit an up to date showreel. I realised presenting wasn’t for me, so I decided not to make the showreel and I’m just posting the last of the update posts on my Instagram, but the website has been a long work in progress and I’d really like to try and get it sorted out this month. Website design is confusing and I’m not going to pretend it’s my specialty in any realm, but I’ll try!

Craft Christmas gifts

With our wedding coming up in less than a year, the budget for Christmas isn’t huge, but I love giving really personal, sentimental gifts so I want to craft and create as much as I can! I’ve not completely figured out what yet, but I will!

Plan 2022 wedding tasks

I’ve been very overwhelmed by the whole concept of planning a wedding, but I need to figure out what the next 11 months will look like and what I need to get done by what deadlines. Any tips, tricks or help you can offer would be much appreciated!

Plan 2022 goals

I’ve been making notes about things I want to achieve next year for a couple of months now, but I want to really figure out what my intentions for the next 12 months are and to make goals that I hope to have a chance of achieving. I’m working on being more okay with goals being flexible and adapting, but I’d also like to be in a place where I have an understanding of myself and what is realistic for me and setting my goals accordingly.

Seasonal wardrobe update

I started trying out Project 333 – a ‘challenge’ (for want of a better word) where you have 33 items in your wardrobe for rotations of 3 months) – and having 33 items of clothing just wasn’t realistic for me. But the principle of swapping out clothes seasonally has not only freed up a lot of space in my wardrobe and drawers, but helped me rediscover my own clothes and get excited about what I already own (without the little dopamine hit of shopping).

My Autumn and Winter wardrobes are very, very similar but there’s a few items I’m really considering whether I actually like and a few pieces I consider ‘staple’ that I’d like to add to my collection.

Monthly Goals

My rolling monthly goal of reading 2 books, putting money in savings and having a date night with my partner are still on track!

I’m well over my reading goal for the year (I’ve currently finished 41 books when my goal was 25!), saving has been a mixed bag and date night’s only really started in July but if there’s any month that I really need to try to hit all three, it’s the last month of the year!

From lockdown to heat wave to random weekend of snow in November to new jobs and new houses and new friends and everything in between, this year has been absolutely mental so anything that any of us have achieved, is something to celebrate! Happy December!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

November Goals 2021

2021, goals

Hello!

It’s always going to be a fantastic month with the 1st is on a Monday – my little organisational brain finds it incredibly satisfying and I can’t wait to start my first full month in my new job (at what point do I have to stop saying ‘new’? It’s been three weeks!).

My October Goals were somewhat of a train wreck – I expected to be unemployed the whole month and take some time for myself, work on creative projects and do lots of reading, but I got really depressed and overwhelmed by the concept of being unemployed for an indefinite amount of time and I started a job after only a week of not having one which had a much longer commute than from my bed to my office in the spare room, so time has been short, energy has been low but my mental health is on the way up (I hope!), so I’m cautiously optimistic about November.

Without further ado, these are the five goals I’ll be focusing on this month:

1 – NaNoWriMo

It’s National Novel Writing Month – the time where thousands of people all over the world get square eyes from looking at their laptops and attempt to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

I saw a wonderful article the other day when I was doing some research on journalling of someone who just used it as incentive to write – he included journalling, blog posts and a fictional story (I believe) in his word count and although I’d love to write a 50,000 word novel this month, I think I want to include some ‘diary’ aspects to my word count too. Though they might not be a diary of my life and they might be relevant to the story, which would be an incredibly fun character development exercise if nothing else.

Wish me luck and tweet me if it looks like I’m not writing!

2 – Update my Portfolio instagram

I really intended to do this when I was unemployed so I could use it to get employed, but I haven’t updated my @salportfolio account in seven months, so I’m going to work on doing a bit catch up then it’ll be much easier to do little updates as and when (assuming I don’t forget about the account again).

3 – Cosplanning

I love the amount of words people mush together to make new words – cosplanning (thank you sibling for the introduction to that one!) is when you plan what cosplays you want to do (cosplay itself is a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’, and yes I’m impressed that I used the word ‘portmanteau’ too).

I’ve spent all year saying I’m working on a cosplay, but I’ve spent all year putting it off but with the creation of the Mystery Machine prop for an office Halloween costume (see in my ‘Treasured In… October 2021‘ post), I’m feeling very creative and inspired but I want to properly evaluate what I’m capable of (both in terms of skill and the time I can dedicate) and figure out at least one costume to wear to MCM ComicCon next May. I have plenty of time, but if I’m doing it I want to do it well.

4 – Wedding Planning

As of November 5th, there’s less than a year till our wedding and it still doesn’t feel real! I feel like I’ve booked all the ‘big’ things but hopefully we’ll get really stuck in to working with the venue soon and it’ll start to come to life!

This month I want to review my goals for 2021 and work on anything that needs ticking off, particularly figuring out our finances in regard to the wedding and really knuckling down with the saving!

5 – Southampton trip

And with our anniversary in mind – my fiancé and I met in halls when we both went to Solent University in Southampton in 2015 so I thought for our last year before the wedding it would be nice to make a trip. We can’t go for our anniversary weekend but we’re tying it in with the release of a film we’re really excited about and we’re going to go to all our favourite old spots including Sprinkles Gelato for waffles, Forbidden Planet for nerd merch and maybe even wonder on down to the docks.

We’ve not been able to do any of the travelling we wanted to do this year, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend!


Starting a new job which involves two 45+ minute drives every day is exhausting – and don’t get me wrong, I am exhausted – but I’m working so much harder on planning my time and prioritising what’s important to me. I save admin tasks like wedding stuff and finance tracking for days my partner is away with work so we can play video games and watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ when he is home. Sometimes I delete things off my to do list in favour of having a quiet night watching ‘House’ and doing some cross stitch because there’s no point spending three hours doing a task that will take one when I’m in the right mindset.

I’m always getting to know myself better (as we all are, I think!) and learning to adjust and work with myself rather than berating myself and burning out.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

October Goals 2021

2021, goals

Hello!

Another month has flown and even though I was baffled by how quickly September went by, I’m glad for October. I’ve now finished my contract at work and I’m officially unemployed and a little bit excited about it. I’m looking forward to slowing things down a little bit, focusing on what I really want next and taking the time to rest and recover.

But as ever, I’ve got five monthly goals that I want to work on whether I start a new job or not, so these will be my focus!

Portfolio work – I’ve been developing a portfolio website on and off for the last year or so and I want to finalise it this month. As I’m job hunting it makes perfect sense to have this ready to go, but I’m not a website designer and I never claim to be so I’m a little nervous about it!

Cosplay work – as ever, I’m trying to work on this cosplay costume. I didn’t get time to complete my September tasks but now that I have a little more time on my hands I’m hoping to complete the four tasks I have outstanding in a more casual manor and actually use my sewing machine for the first time since we moved!

Wedding planning – I feel a little lost with the wedding stuff at the moment, but I think I want to focus more on any specific decor bits that I’d like to DIY and decide on the wedding favours. I might even brush off my Photoshop skills and start designing our invites too…

Get a tattoo – it’s been too long since I got my last tattoo. I know exactly what I want – something small to get to know the artists in the new area I live in and something bigger that I want design help on can be something for next year perhaps. But it’s been too long and I really want a new one!

Plan Christmas presents – October is probably too early for the ‘C’ word (my sibling would tell me it’s spooky season first!) but budgets are super tight and I want to look at crafting lots of presents this year so that takes a bit of planning and organising so I want to try and get on top of it as soon as possible.

My ongoing monthly goals are to read 2 books (with my new-found love for audio books, I finished 5 in September!), put money in savings and have a date night with my fiancé.

Alongside all this, I need to work on getting a job, I want to start doing some career relevant courses and really make time to properly relax. With the way my last contract worked, I didn’t get any holiday entitlement so I’ve been going solidly for nine months and I’m feeling it! So I’m going to take some time for myself, spend time doing things I enjoy – cooking the new HelloFresh recipes I’ve ordered, play Animal Crossing on my Switch, have baths with my lush bath bombs and read a book.

I’m really excited to have some time for me.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Stretch Goals for 2021

2021, goals

Hello!

I love goal setting, but it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve given myself the flexibility to adapt my goals when my interests or perspective change.

I’ve watched Hannah Witton make videos about ‘Stretch Goals’ for the last few months of the year and I thought I’d give it a go – a few of my goals are no longer relevant to me (and/or I was too optimistic about how long lockdown would go on for and how confident I’d feel in a post-covid world). So I’ve written a few adaptations to my original 2021 Goals and I’m going to see how far I can get by the end of the year!

Professional Goals:

The one I’ve still got left to do: Finish my portfolio website and Instagram

My New Stretch Goal: Start New Job Part 2! – my nine-month contract in my current job finishes at the end of the month and it’s time for something new. Not so much of a goal as a necessity but it takes me a little while to process big changes like a new job and this helps. And it’s exciting too!

Personal Goals:

The one I’ve still got left to do: Finish my first cosplay costume

My New Stretch Goal: Give handmade Christmas gifts – a nice combination of saving money and using all the craft supplies I’ve been collecting for 18 months. And it’s an excuse to work on lots of craft projects!

Home Goals:

The one I’ve still got left to do: wedding planning and saving!

My New Stretch Goal: Have a trip to Southampton with my fiancé – it’s where we met and we haven’t been back in ages – this year is our last anniversary before our wedding day and I think it’s the year to do something special.

‘Bucket List’ Goals: (I need to find a new name for this)

  1. Read 30 books (upped from my current goal of 25)
  2. Writing challenges – 45,000 words in September / 50,000 words in November
  3. Monthly date nights with my fiancé
  4. Get a tattoo
  5. Finish 1SE video

Even just writing these out, thinking about and evaluating my focus on these goals has been really refreshing and helped me feel more focused. Every time I look over my goals I feel like I’m learning on how to make smarter goals that are more beneficial to me in the long run.

I’m aware of how ‘hustle culture’ this makes me sound – working on goals in my own time outside of work, using words like ‘evaluating’ and always aiming for productivity, but actually my intention is the opposite. I want to be more mindful of how I spend my time – I’ve come to terms with expecting myself to be ‘productive’ for 16 hours a day isn’t healthy or beneficial for me or anyone around me, some I’m trying to maximise my efficiency so I make time to chill out, get enough sleep and do things I want to do as well! I’ve just started dance classes again and it’s an hour round trip to get there and back so I have to be more mindful with my time.

Having these stretch goals is a great way for me to figure out my priorities and plan out my time in the wisest way for me.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Hopes for 25

2021, lifestyle

Hello!

Today is my 25th birthday and I’ve had the loveliest day – very lazy morning, taking time to put on make-up and my favourite dress, a little video call with my mum and sibling and opening their very generous presents, then my fiancé took me to a local reservoir for a walk and some lunch, then a trip to Hobbycraft to buy supplies for my new toy (he bought me a cricut!) and an afternoon of playing with the new toy before dinner at the highest rated restaurant in Banbury, which was actually fantastic.

If you’ve ever read any of my posts before, you’ll know I’m a massive goal setter – I love New Years for setting new yearly goals, I love setting monthly mini goals and consistently evaluating my progress, adapting to fit my current desires and pushing myself to develop in the ways I care about most.

I thought about setting myself a few little goals for things I want to achieve before my 26th birthday next year, but if we’ve learnt anything from 18 months of pandemic is that life is unpredictable and sometimes we don’t have control over what we do and don’t achieve.

So rather than setting anything so rigid, I thought I’d set myself a little list of aspirations. Not 26 things I want to achieve in a year, not 3 huge life changes, just a few things I’d be pleased if they did happen!

  • Travel somewhere internationally – having worked in Italy for five weeks for the Euros, my fiancé has somewhat been bitten by the travel bug and we’d both love to go somewhere new and explore, but also to be somewhere hot near a pool and read. We went to Paris in 2019 and had so many ambitions to explore countries further afoot but that cheeky pandemic made it slightly more difficult, so it would be lovely to get away in the next year!
  • I’d love to feel more body confident – I think I’ve been at war with my body since I was about 12, always feeling too big compared to all my friends and just in the last couple of weeks, I’ve started dance classes again and it’s the closest to consistent exercise I’ve been since I was doing Couch to 5k last year. I’m hoping this can help me work towards a healthier lifestyle – losing weight would be optimal, but just feeling happier in my own skin would be lovely.
  • Go to the West End again – I love musical theatre with all my heart and soul. I took my fiancé to see ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ over the summer and I’d love to be able to go more frequently but wow theatre tickets are expensive. I’d love to see the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ‘Cinderella’, I’ve heard amazing things about ‘Six’ and my favourite ‘Les Miserables’ is one I’d love to take my fiancé to see as I adore it so much, but there’s also ‘Frozen’, I’ve never seen ‘The Lion King’ and I really want to see ‘Come From Away’. Conclusion: more theatre required.
  • I want to be doing a job I really love – what I’ve learned from my current job is that even though I won’t always have the opportunity to work in my dream industry, I can grow to really love what I am working on, whatever that may be. I never thought I’d be so proud working on an inaugural tech festival this year but now I’m actually really disappointed to not be working on next year’s festival if it’s approved. So yeah, I’m still building up my career but to be doing something I actually enjoy is really important to me.
  • Do more little things that bring me joy – buying myself flowers, using nice products in the shower, wearing my favourite clothes even if it means I’m ‘too dressed up’ – life is short! Buying myself a bubble machine this summer to just sit and watch the bubbles in my garden was one of the best things I did because I didn’t let myself feel bound by ‘things for children’ and taking that mindset forward with me can only be good for my mental health, right?

Having had a wonderful birthday, I’m feeling incredibly content right now and I’m looking forward to continue making little tweaks to my day to day life to maintain that. Life is short, we’ve got to make what we want from it, and mine includes bubbles!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx