March Goals | 2018


Happy March, and happy almost Spring time. I feel as though the end of February dragged so badly, possibly even more than January did to be honest - although, despite all that, I still can't believe we're into the third month of the year already. For me, the first two months of the year were a warm-up of what was to come; I've had my Winter Blues, feeling sorry for myself, and now it's time to take charge and to really focus in on my goals. We're coming into Spring, which I adore, and I'm excited to see what the rest of the year brings when I put my all into everything that I do:

● Cut down alcohol
● Journal every day
● Meditate every day
● Don't buy as much food at work
● Find somewhere to work that isn't at home
● Start taking more photos
● Go see a film by myself
● Be more active in the blogging community
● Organise a weekend away
● Keep on track with my reading goal
● Be more assertive
● Learn to say no

Do you have any goals for the month?

My Ideal Morning Routine


My track record with getting up in the morning has been pretty atrocious in the past few months, to say the least, and I was using work as an excuse for my laziness - "I had work last night", "I didn't get in till midnight", "I was on my feet all night". I would get up at 10-10:30am when I had work at midday, and lounge around slowly getting ready, again sacrificing washing my hair because I didn't want to get up an hour earlier, using my trusty old dry shampoo instead. Despite this, I'm a big believer that the way you spend your first hour awake sets the tone for the rest of the day, and the rest of my days when I did this didn't exactly go the way I wanted them to - this just led to a stream of other bad habits and a hell of a lot of procrastination.

So recently, I decided to write down what I want my ideal morning routine to look like and when I have utilised it I felt so much more refreshed and motivated to deal with my day. It's definitely a work in progress with regards to making it a proper habit just yet, but it all starts with one small step each day.

Due to the fact that I do shift-work, and the fact that I sometimes finish a shift at 2am, I decided to give a time slot to this one depending on my work the previous day. I'd ideally like to get up anytime between 7am-9am in order to get started on my days activities. In the past few months I've been getting up most days around 10:30am and have felt sluggish during the day from oversleeping, so I'm gonna slowly work my way up to a 7am get up. 

I have known about the app Headspace for a long time, but the subscription fee was always something that put me off because I wasn't sure if meditation was really my thing. I managed to get a deal with my Spotify Premium account, however, and I haven't looked back. It just calms me, grounds me, and lets me clear my mind to focus on the things that I need to get done that day. Headspace has a massive variety of different guided meditations to go through from stress to kindness to creativity - there's always gonna be something for everyone, no matter what you're going through. I want to try and do this in the morning as well as in the evening for a couple of minutes to unwind.

I've been known in the past to go full on personal development reading, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, but when it comes to reading, reading, reading, and not applying any of that to your life, that's where issues start to arise. I've decided on a happy medium of reading a chapter a day to continue my learning curve but to also allow room for reflection and action. 

I love journaling in the morning; like meditation, it's a release. I feel that I can get all of my thoughts and feelings out onto one or two pages about anything and everything so I can move on from it and continue my day - it's massively therapeutic for me and definitely gets a lot of things off my chest. I like to do a constant stream of writing that I just let flow from my mind so I can get my raw feelings out of my head and onto paper. It was especially helpful with my my brain dump earlier on in the month as it helped me realise some of my downfalls and weaknesses so I was able to rise up from them and build a better life for myself.

This is the obvious stuff, but I want to get this out of the way before I even think about checking my phone, which leads me to...

Now, this is the biggie, and probably the most difficult of all of the habits to keep (embarrassingly). I realised that I was/am massively addicted to my phone; constantly checking, scrolling, checking and scrolling the same feeds waiting for something interesting to happen because you know, FOMO, duh! I'm just so used to waking up and checking all of my feeds, that that itself became a habit, albeit a bad habit, that I've picked up and am trying to stop. But, if I can at least keep this part of my day free of any phones or social media then it's a small win on the road to curbing the habit completely. 

So that's what I'd ideally like my mornings to look like. Do you have a morning routine?

Favourite Book Quotes | #1


I love myself a good quote, and one of the best things about having a kindle is the ability to be able to highlight certain passages from your books so they are stored for later perusal. I enjoy looking back at the things that I have highlighted and remembering what it meant to me at the time. The quotes that I highlight aren't necessarily profound, as much as I may have just found them funny, but I highlight words that just speak to me in one way or another. 

These are a few quotes from fiction books I have read within the last year. I may create another quotes post with quotes that I love from my personal development books at a later date, which speak to me in a completely different way. For now, enjoy, what are some of your favourite quotes?

On that first day, looking back, I was as boring as organic gluten-free porridge with no sugar
All of the Above - Juno Dawson

Someone who understood that using the "f" word wasn't a measure of my lack of imagination. Sometimes using that word just made me feel free 
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz

Even if you do order the wrong thing, it's just food. It's no big deal compared with mistakes in life.
IQ84 - Haruki Murakami

This was, I would later realise, a planet of things wrapped inside things. Food inside wrappers. Bodies inside clothes. Contempt inside smiles. Everything was hidden away.
The Humans - Matt Haig

You don't have to be an academic. You don't have to be anything. Don't force it. Feel your way, and don't stop feeling your way until something fits. Maybe nothing will. Maybe you are a road, not a destination. That is fine. Be a road. But make sure it's one with something to look at out of the window.
The Humans - Matt Haig

Don't feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

There's no creature more amazing than one that can make it's own light.
The Light of the Fireflies - Paul Pen

Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.
Insurgent - Veronica Roth

Do nothing, and nothing happens. Life if about decisions. You either make them or they're made for you, but you can't avoid them.
You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane

Brain Dumping My Feelings


For the past few months, I've felt as though I was just floating through life not really doing anything spectacular, and more than that, not doing anything that I was happy with. I would go to bed late, get up late, spend half of my waking time either on my phone or at work...repeat. Now THAT is a life that I do not want to live!

A few days ago I just let go of any thoughts and feelings that I'd been having recently and just wrote and wrote and wrote in my journal - this is what I like to call a "brain dump". I wrote about things that I didn't want to admit, things that had been taking up too much of my waking thoughts, and I came to some harsh realities about myself that I needed to change - it was a personal wake up call that I, myself, created willingly. 

I feel a lot lighter now that I know what and where my problems lie, and although I may have subconsciously known before, I feel as though I can move forward now that I've admitted it to myself and truly become aware that there is a problem. The first step is always admittance when something is wrong, so now onto moving forward and taking actionable steps towards a better life and a better me.

There's always room for improvement in your life, and it is NEVER too late to stop and start again if you're not happy. Don't feel that because you're at a certain age, at a certain role in your job, or at a certain stage of your life, etc, that you need to stay where you are if you're not truly happy. You're always in the driving seat and you can always decide what YOU want to do with your life. 

Mid-Month Goals | February 2018


I kinda missed the beginning of February with this one, but it's absolutely never too late to put some goals into place:

Even though I work shift work in a pub, I want to create a routine, although it may be variable, to help me start and end my day right. I won't go into details just yet, but let's just say that my morning and evening routines at the moment are absolutely nothing to be desired.

I'm never normally someone to stick to a strict blogging schedule, let alone let it be known to the world what my schedule is, but I want to put it out there that this is something that I want to be a constant in my life - I just enjoy it so much, and I need to do more of what makes me happy.

I received a yearly planner for Christmas, and so far I've only used, perhaps, a week's worth of the year so far - which is pretty poor for a yearly planner. I need to utilise it more as it does have a lot of really cool features which I can use in my business and in my daily life. 

I absolutely love journaling and how therapeutic it is - I can just write all the thoughts that are on my mind so it can leave room for more important things. Like the planner, I haven't been using my journal enough, and my mind recently has become very clogged, so I'm hoping this will help me help me to gain a clearer vision. Maybe I'll learn a few things about myself too.

Why do I put down a book


I've recently been reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson which is an absolute mammoth of a book. I got 250 pages in and decided that I wasn't really feeling the book anymore so decided to put it down. So, what makes me put down a book?

"Life's too short to read bad books"

Quite simply, if you don't like a book, then why continue to read it when there are millions and trillions of other books out there just waiting to be read. I generally have a rule of thumb, that if I'm not getting into a book by 100 pages, then I will put it down - I've actually got three quarters into a book before and put it down because I thought it was that bad. 

Some readers are perfectionists; they like to finish every single book they read, even if they don't like it. I respect that opinion, and I understand it to a certain point, but I don't agree - reading is a pleasurable hobby for me that I would rather enjoy than endure. Why force yourself to read something that you're just not feeling when you could be having the time of your life reading something page-turning and amazing. 

Here are a few reasons why I put books down:

☽ I'm glazing over everything and not really taking it in. This could be seen as me being tired, but I can normally tell when I'm about to fall asleep compared to when I just don't care about a book anymore.

☽ Too many information dumps - the author literally tells you EVERYTHING about their books world, religion, politics, etc, in one big swoop, or multiple swoops as you will. I prefer books where information like that is worked into the storyline, or you learn as the main character learns.

☽ Talking of religion and politics, any book that is too heavily focused on any, or both, of those two areas. (This was one of the reasons why I stopped reading Elantris!)

☽ I'm just generally not getting into it. Plain and simple.

I think it goes without saying, that this is a very personal topic, so I'm interested in hearing why other people put down books, or if they even do put down books.

Decluttering my life


I've been going through a massive rut as of late, so I decided to declutter, organise and reset my surroundings to try and give me clarity. I went through everything in my room, from art supplies, books, clothes, stationary and random stuff that I haven't looked at for months - the things I don't want will more than likely be given away to charity shops as I'm not all too bothered about gaining any profit off anything.

This has definitely been my biggest cull yet, and because of that, I feel that this one has also cleared out the mess that has been in my mind too. I habitually clear out my belongings every six months or so, and in the past, there have been items that I've clung onto in the hope that I will someday use them again - my art supplies being the biggest anchor.

I'm a massively creative person, and I used to be big into art and design with masses of paints, pens, pencils, and other general art supplies. Unfortunately, I haven't used these items in years, so I decided that now was the time to part ways with them and pass them onto someone with a bit more of a passion for it that I have right now. It's sad, but I'm moving on, and making room for things that I am passionate about.

I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulder just by that one little decision to remove a few material objects from my life. Those items were subconsciously taking up a little compartment in the back of my head that can now be used for more productive things. I don't know whether this is all psychological and will wear off within the week, but I feel more motivated already, with a fresh new space and with minimalised belongings.

I love the feeling when you have just finished tidying and organising a space. Ironically, I'm quite a messy person, but can't properly concentrate on anything unless the space around me is tidy. Let's try and keep it this way for once, hey?