How To Create New Year’s Resolutions That Will Stick

No doubt you are all excited for 2021, and the fresh start it promises for all of us. The pandemic will not miraculously go away – but I am certainly wishing for a better year for the world. Along with any new year comes the exciting notion of resolutions! I will be setting a few myself. This is how I chose what goals to pursue. With the technique I am going to share in this post, hopefully you will find yourself more compelled to achieve your resolutions! Because, no matter how motivational, a Pinterest quote doesn’t solve everything…

The words: who, what, where, when, why, how will not be unfamiliar to you. In fact they might even bring back haunting memories of primary school English class (if you know, you know). Let’s take that academic connotation away and turn them into tools for success! (stick with me – this is going somewhere)

What

You must first determine your what. What do you want to achieve? From as small as baking a 3 tier cake, to creating a consistent meditation habit. Have in your mind what you want to achieve. Write it down if it helps! Don’t feel any of your goals are insignificant. Make a list of everything – big and small – you wish to do. We’ll narrow it down later.

You’ll be glad to see that I’m using a different candle in this post 😂

How

How will you complete your ‘what’? For each part of your ‘what’ list, write down a set of instructions or steps for success. My resolution is consistent journaling (very atypical). I will achieve it by opening my journal, picking up a pen and writing every day. 

It may be stupidly obvious! Yet breaking the task up will allow it to appeal to the brain more.

My January bullet journal set-up

Where

Might sounds a little ridiculous but it will help as the year goes along (also as the New Year’s buzz fades away). Where are you going to complete your goal? Again with my journaling example: I am going to journal in my bed. For exercising consistently – it might be a run around the canal every morning. Find your where. This is a bit like the previous step: it is breaking down your big goal into ‘digestible’ chunks. Also, the more boxes checked off the more accomplished you’ll feel!

‘No matter how motivational, a Pinterest quote doesn’t solve everything…’

When

I find the ‘when’ is the most useful (besides the why). Finding a when will allow the habit/goal to thread into your daily routine. Make time for your goals! Determining a ‘when’ means there will be less friction between you and achieving the goal. Throughout the year it will create consistency. If you’ve not heard it before (possibly one of the most important quotes of all time): consistency is key!

The mistletoe come twig doodle is starting to grow on me

Why

This is where we narrow down which goals are the most important to you. That list you created earlier? We need it again. For everything on your list think – or write down – a why. The ones you are most passionate about will have the most ‘why’. But don’t let this fool you! You can have perfectly valid goals that don’t need a why.

The process of writing the ‘why’ is very meditative. Between words your mind is getting more and more excited for the prospect of completing this final goal. The ‘why’ is also nice to read back on when you are losing motivation with your goal. At the start of the year you put a lot of thought into what you wanted to pursue.

I have a tiny calendar this month because I tend not to use the bigger ones

If you have been a reader of my blog for a while now, you will know of my fixation on writing to-do lists the night before. I think this is the best way for me personally because…

  1. The night before your mind is more alive, and it knows what is best for you. It knows what is needed to have a good following day. But say for example you wrote your list in the morning – your priorities wouldn’t be the same. You might be working for your own short-term comfort rather than long-term bliss.
  2. I believe this aligns with setting goals at the start of the year – but throughout the year losing motivation with them. Just because you are losing motivation with them doesn’t mean you should give up. Because past you (or ‘more awake’ you) probably knows what’s best. We do grow from our past – of course – but in this instance the past self is the more motivated self.
  3. But although it is important to remind yourself of why you initiated this goal in the first place, things do change. Don’t tie yourself down to a resolution if it isn’t benefiting you anymore.

I really hope this tips help you to consolidate what resolutions you wish to pursue and how you will get there. Hope to see you again on Friday where I will share my New Year’s Resolutions with you all. As a Slytherin, I have certainly been ambitious. But no doubt I will get there 🙂

What are your New Year’s resolutions/goals?

Thank you for reading and I wish you a very happy new year!

Catherine x 

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Top 10 Blogging Goals For The Future | Finding Inspiration & Engaging With My Passions

I’ve had a burning desire to get back to the keyboard ever since I announced a ‘break’ last Sunday. Although a break would probably be beneficial for me, my mind is buzzing with ideas and I don’t want this motivation to be wasted. Today I woke up late, around 7:30am, with no spark in my step at all. Instead of yoga I wanted to crack straight on because I was already a little late. 

Head over to my Instagram for more cute cat photos like this one!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my cat. However while I was washing my face she decided to walk all over my white sheets with her wet, muddy paws. I returned from the bathroom to see my unmade bed soaked through with a guilty looking cat sat in the middle. She got the sign and decided to leave… sorry Pikachu. Then I washed my sheets and tidied my room a bit. You might say boring. But I have a feeling that if you’ve been reading my blog for this long then you might care about my pets.

Despite such an unplanned morning, my day was awesome. I love every second of it! I also had the idea to start a project… which is coming soon. This inspiration has grabbed hold of me and I don’t want to fight it. Passion is one of those complicated emotions that tires you and excites you all at once.

So, what is this post going to be? I hear you ask.

My list of goals for the future of my blog:

  1. Launch the project!
  2. Spend half an hour catching up on my reader every day.
  3. Follow 10 new blogs a month.
  4. Update my Instagram story consistently! 
  5. Post on Instagram to a schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
  6. Get better at promoting my blog though Instagram.
  7. Reply to comments more efficiently.
  8. Enjoy the writing process.
  9. Copy and paste all of my blog posts into a huge Pages document so that when the Internet dies they’ll all be safe (I’ve started on this already)
  10. Write more book reviews

That’s all my blogging goals for now! Don’t want to have an immensely long list otherwise I’ll feel intimidated. 

What are your blogging goals? Are there any good blogging habits you have got into?

Loads of love,

erin x

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Top 5 Easy Tips On How To Glow-Up/Get Out Of A Slump

Deciding to take a break wasn’t an impulse decision that happened overnight. In fact, the factors leading to my unexplained hiatus were brewing for a few months. I soldiered through my schedule, ticking boxes and the sort, until I realised that I probably need to step back and consider myself for a second. Because though I was promoting self-care and exercise, I wasn’t doing it for myself. It was very hard, at first, to begin my mini ‘glow-up’. Especially because beforehand my schedule revolved around school and being busy. When school closed and all my plans were cancelled, that’s when I found time on my hands. I didn’t spend my extra time productively and ended up binge-eating and watching a lot of TV. It was unhealthy but I caught myself before it got worse. I plucked myself out of my sad hole and said, ‘let’s take a break from social media, start working out, continue with my yoga and stop snacking’. The expectations of myself weren’t realistic, which meant sticking to them felt like I’d conquered heaven and earth. I’m still in the process of keeping to them, of course. Health is for life, not just for January. I’m not an expert but here are few tips for any of you that want to glow up:

1) Exercise

Workouts aren’t my cup of tea but I found an amazing YouTuber called Lucy who does 7 minute regimes that get your heart rate up but aren’t so hard that you collapse on the ground! I found it easy to slip it in to my mornings and it has had a profound impact on the rest of the day, making me feel like I can conquer my to-do list. You’ve heard me rant about yoga previously, and I also do that every morning. At the moment I can only go out for exercise once a day and it’s always a walk with my family. Though I only do a little bit, it has massively changed my life.

2) Waking Up At A Consistent Time

You don’t need to be a morning person to be productive. I always wake up at 6am but if you go to bed later than obviously you still have the same hours in the day (06.00-22.00 or 09.00-01.00). Go to bed at a consistent time and wake up at the same time too. Your body will get into a routine as long as you don’t skip a day (including weekends). I’ve not to a point where I can trust myself to wake up without an alarm but I’m sure you can.

3) No Snacking

It’s tricky, but it’s good for me. It means I can appreciate my meals more and I hardly ever feel bloated. I still have a tangerine mid-morning but I’ve cut out the late-night snacking thing that I really struggled with. 

4) Be Forgiving

I’ll have a packet or crisps every now and then. I’ll miss a workout or wake up later. The key is to not be hard on yourself. And the more forgiving you are, the easier it is to carry on again. I used to do workouts every day but then I’d miss one. Once I’d miss one, I’d think it was pointless then all of that effort has gone to waste. Please don’t do that to yourselves! 

5) To-Do Lists

It’s second nature for me to write a to-do list every day. I find them an effective way to keep on track of what you need to do. Especially with home-schooling, it’s important I’m getting my work done. Sometimes I might need to set my own work just to make sure I don’t fall behind! I keep my to-do lists in my bullet journal. As my bujo is a ‘pretty’ place, I feel a certain extent of pressure to tick off my lists just because it makes me spreads look complete. It’s a healthy pressure though and often means I get things done.

Those are all the five tips I have for you today. I am not perfect and I just want to make it clear that I don’t always keep to these tips. This blog is supposed to be as raw and truthful as possible. This sort of lifestyle is me at my peak, obviously why I’d like to share it with you. I don’t feel compelled to telling you about my unhealthy habits because that’s my past. I only want this to be a positive space, and I am living proof that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So if you are going through a rough time, please talk to me or someone that you trust. I am always here for those of you that need me. If you don’t want to share with me, just try to follow these few tips. They helped me out of a rut and I’m sure they’ll help you too. 

Do you have any glow-up tips? How do you get out of a slump? Could you share some motivation in the comments of this post, to help someone going through a rough time?

Can’t wait to hear from you,

erin x

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Mental Health March Bullet Journal Set-Up | Happy Clouds & Positivity

For a little time in February, I stopped writing myself to-do lists. There was a dip in my productivity, but I also found time for things I never usually had time for! However, now I’m back to school, lists are essential. How else can I keep track of what needs to get done? Though I spent a lot of time with friends and family, those few weeks were so disorganised. You may know that I’m not a fan of disorder!

March’s bullet journal theme is clouds. Now we are entering Spring, there are breaks in the clouds. However, when I was drawing up this set-up, it was so drizzly and grey! In the UK we had two consecutive storms. Luckily I avoided the floods. Please wish the best for those who did get stuck in it. I hope those affected get back to normal soon 🙃

I didn’t do a cover page; it’s not useful and I spend a lot of time rubbing out and recorrecting! So the first page of March is the monthly spread.

The box grid layout works best for me, even though it looks boring. It’s very functional! There is always a little strip on the side which the calendar doesn’t cover. I used this to put my habit trackers. The goals I’d like to track this month are:

To-Do Lists

I want to write a to-do list every day! Last month I got out of routine so I would like to return to routine this month.

Cello

As all months, I want to practise my cello often! If I track it, I hold myself accountable. 

Less Than an Hour on My Phone

Sometimes I don’t do this, and waste the day away. Now it’s nicer outside I will naturally be on my phone less. However, tracking it is always a good motivation. If I finish a week of being below my screen time limit, I treat myself! Usually my reward is to sit down and watch YouTube for a bit. 

100+ Pages Per Day

The first week of March is my readathon and I really hope I read more than 100 pages a day! But, when that’s over, I need a reason to keep reading. My habit tracker always helps me to do this. 

The next spread is my book tracker! I have ambitiously got a whole page to fill. I did track this at the front of my bullet journal, but I couldn’t put my ratings in such a small space. Hopefully there’ll be a few five star reads this month.

I’ve never done this before, but I wanted to make a ‘happy clouds’ spread. Whenever something good happens, I’m going to write it in one of these clouds. It’s more attainable than a mood tracker!

That’s the end of my set-up for this month! Hope you enjoyed reading, if you did stick to the end. 

Do you enjoy Spring? What the theme in your bullet journal this month?

erin x

The ‘M’ in March Means Mental Health. This month I am sharing with you a series of mental health related posts. There is such a stigma attached to mental health and we all need to realise how disrespectful it is to overlook this issue. In the UK, about 30% of young people have mental health problems. That is a huge number. That’s approximately 1 in 3 people! So, for those of you suffering, I hope these posts gives you some help. And for the other 70%, I hope these posts remind you to be more aware of your own mental health. Caring for your mind is just as important as caring for your body. So please tag along in this journey as we all shares our thoughts together. An overwhelming number of people wanted to help in this cause so I’ll also share with you their perspectives on mental health too!

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February Goals | Novel Writing & My Etsy Shop

A New Year can be very daunting for all of us. All of this goal-setting can be very overwhelming; I don’t think any of you are failures for already giving up! That’s why I don’t do it. I introduce new habits whenever I think that I need them! For example, I am now working on the plank position. I started by doing it for 30 seconds every morning and night but now I’m bumping it up to a minute. I keep fit because it makes me feel better – the physical results are just a side-effect!

However, setting resolutions can be an attractive idea. That’s why I thought it could be interesting to do a ‘February Goals’ post! Just because the New Year hype is over doesn’t mean that we can’t still be challenging ourselves day-to-day.

Write 5000 words on my novel 

To all of the authors out there, I know 5000 doesn’t seem a lot. But we’ve got to start somewhere and small goals are really the only way for me! Don’t expect this novel to published anywhere soon. No doubt it will be another draft I am too insecure to share with anyone.

Read 100 pages a day

Towards the end of last year I was focusing a lot on other hobbies, so reading wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. Now that school has started again it feels more necessary to be reading a lot! Fiction also helps me develop ideas for my own books.

Sell my first scrunchies!

I’ve been working on an Etsy shop for a little while. Though everything I have the products and the website, I don’t have the packaging. This month I’d like to work on that and hopefully post my first order. Etsy isn’t something I want to do in the long run – I just thought it would be a good way to fundraise for GirlGuides! And if I somehow found the time then I’d make stickers too. I’ll link the shop here. All purchases are much appreciated! 

Do you set monthly goals? Have you kept up with the New Year’s resolutions you set?

erin x

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