Blog posts with the tag: "goals"

Wonder Woman

 

At this time of year, we often focus on the ways we can improve ourselves and the goals we wish to achieve for the following twelve months. We go on diets, join gyms and buy language courses, and a lot of us probably write down the same resolutions we have written for last year, and even for the year before that. We tell ourselves that this time it’ll be different and that we’ll somehow make more effort to change and to achieve the goals which we lust after. I’m totally guilty of this myself. So how can we avoid falling into the same old trap?

 

This new year was the first time I thought about doing a year’s review. I listed all the great things I’d experienced, the things I had achieved, the places I’d seen. It felt wonderful to thoroughly go through all of my highlights and give gratitude. I also realised that there were things that I didn’t achieve last year and things that I have failed at. I didn’t dwell on these in a negative manner, by mentally beating myself up and calling myself every nasty name under the sun. It’s important to analyse your failings and figure out why you failed, and how you can move past that and succeed in the future.

 

Sometimes we fail at things and it’s perfectly ok. A few year’s back I tried being in a netball team for the first time since high school. I realised pretty soon that I hated it, and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. I’m not a sporty person, and for me, that’s totally fine. But there are goals I consistently fail to see through to the end and I wanted to know why.

 

So ask yourself, how can you approach your goals in a different way? Can you change your approach somehow? Often, we become overwhelmed by our ambitions because we make them too big and scary. Sometimes we have to cut them down into bite-size chunks or be really specific. Sometimes we have to set realistic deadlines for ourselves. If you want to learn French, for example, don’t give yourself the resolution of ‘becoming fluent in French’. That’s far too broad a goal. Surely you don’t need to know all aspects of the French language, at least right away. If you dislike sports then there is really no point in trying to practice your French by reading the sports section of Le Monde. Instead, you could say you want to be able to converse comfortably in everyday French as your grand goal but break that down. Perhaps focus on learning weather vocabulary one week, and restaurant phrases for another. And don’t promise yourself you’ll work out for a solid hour every day. That’s enough to put off anyone. You have to build up to that. Start off doing 7 mins, or even by doing some squats as you brush your teeth. I’m using French and fitness as examples, but you can apply these principles to any goal.

 

For deadlines, you could maybe pick a date to start conversing with a French buddy online, or take that Paris trip you’ve always dreamed about. Instead of focusing on being a certain weight or dress size, you could run a half marathon or have an event you want to look amazing at.

 

If you miss doing your French or your workout one day, or whatever your goal is, don’t beat yourself up and give up, just carry on! And if you find you are lapsing again then you need to look at why. Do you need to adjust your schedule? Perhaps you have to look back to your reasons for wanting to accomplish that goal in the first place. Are your reasons still the same? Who are you doing it for? Yourself? Or to please someone else? If it doesn’t bring you joy, then consider doing something else. If learning French grammar fills you with dread, then don’t waste time learning the grammar. Find another way of understanding. If you absolutely loathe burpees, don’t do them – there are plenty of other exercises to get your heart pumping.

 

Reward your efforts. Start small. If you do your task for the day or week, then treat yourself to a bath, or a trip to the cinema. If you achieve your bite-size goal for the month then treat yourself to new lingerie, or running shoes, or even a weekend doing whatever you want, whether that’s taking a long walk on the beach or bingeing on Netflix.

 

Consider doing weekly or monthly resolutions, and weekly or monthly reviews of how you’re doing to keep yourself on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

 

So, here’s a quick recap:

 

  • What did you fail at last year? Why?
  • Do you still want to achieve that same goal? Can you alter it?
  • How can you approach the same goal in a different way?
  • Can you be more specific? Can you cut it down into manageable chunks?
  • Can you set a realistic deadline?
  • How can you reward yourself?

 

Sep
24

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I thought I’d post a quick update on the progress of my debut novel Dark is the Sea. It’s been sent off to the printers and is currently being formatted for Kindle. This all looks like it will still be on track to be released at the beginning of October, which works out well, as it ties in with Halloween/Samhain. I will announce an official release date as soon as I know.

 

Yesterday, I started my Masters. I’ve been really looking forward to going to uni and diving in with reading, but I must admit I was a bit nervous. The first lecture was great, and really interesting, but I must admit, I felt I needed to dust the cobwebs from my brain and get back in to critical thinking.

 

Of course, not everyone wants to go to university, or can. There are plenty of great free courses on iTunes U, as well as fascinating lectures on TED which has an app and a YouTube channel. I’m probably a giant geek, but I love learning, and I can’t imagine a time when I won’t want to learn either through classes or reading.

 

I try and keep my brain ‘trained’ by reading widely, learning languages, keeping up with current affairs and using the Lumosity app on my phone, but it has been about 8 years since I finished my degree, and since I have written an essay, so I’m bound to be a bit rusty.

 

This week celebrated the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon. It is a time to reflect on the past, and to make new goals for the future. I love adding to my goals on my Pinterest board, but sometimes I think I’m a bit overly ambitious, and it’s good to break down goals, or concentrate on one at a time. I mention goals and learning a lot on this blog, and I apologise if I am being repetitive, but it is a real passion of mine, and purely  for the personal pleasure of it – not to boast to people how much I know, or how much I have achieved. I love learning how high achievers manage their time, break down their goals, and what methods and routines they use. Lifehacker is a great website for this, but sometimes you just have to dig, try what works for other people and keep going until something fits.

 

 

Aug
13

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I’m very happy that I live in a part of the world that has seasons, and anticipate each one greatly. I get bored of having the same weather after a while, so although I love the long hot days of summer, around this time every year I start yearning for colder, darker days; days when I can wrap up in jumpers and scarves, sip hot chocolate and enjoy cosy Sundays reading while it rains outside. I feel guilty if I’m not out in the sun, but truth be told, I’m only occasionally an outdoorsy person. Most of the time I’m a complete homebody.

 

 

After a stormy weekend, the air here has cooled a little, and today I fished out a lightweight jumper and made a jar of homemade, vegan hot chocolate powder for the colder weather. I used cacao powder, Natvia and salt. I added a spoonful of this to almond milk and heated it. Here is a link to the recipe, although I did tinker with it a little as I find myself incapable of following recipes properly.

 

 

I write much better when I’m wrapped up inside. The heat or air-conditioning really puts me off for some reason. Also, I always associate this time of year with preparing to go back to school. I want to plan and schedule, clean, organise and buy a new pencil case and pretty new pens and notepads. I also take a serious look at my goals and what I need to do to reinforce them. It feels like a new beginning; a chance to start over. I love feeling motivated like this.

 

 

I’m intending on spending the coming Autumn working hard to sell my debut novel, writing another, studying again academically and working on my French and Spanish. I also want to start some kind of fitness routine to whip my sloth-like body into shape, as well as making lots of super healthy warming soups and casseroles.

 

 

What will you be doing?

Hello!
Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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