How to Actually Stick to Your Goals

As we make our first tentative steps into the second month of the year, talk of New Year resolutions is starting to simmer down. The flurry of people proclaiming they will have more of some things (motivation, exercise, books on the read shelf) and less of other things (drunken nights, weight, empty cigarette packets) has subsided. And here we are, a month into the year: have all those commitments stuck? The likelihood is probably not.

We all do it, whether we like to admit it or not. All of us set goals we don’t ever reach. This is frustrating, disheartening even. In today’s pressurising world it can feel like we fail because there’s something wrong with us. Perhaps if we just try harder we’ll find success.

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Finding a House – January Reflections

I feel like January normally drags a little, the cold days and endless greyness of the sky stretch out and we all find ourselves wondering if February is ever going to turn up. I haven’t found that this year though. The bleak weather is certainly hanging around as usual, but the actual days have been tripping over themselves in a hurry to get to spring.

My month started in the Peak District, hiking around in the hills and eating bakewell tart. On one of my favourite walks, it started snowing for a couple of minutes which was magical. The whole week was wonderful actually (apart from losing my bullet journal…).

I headed straight back to university from the rugged hills and had a hectic first week back on a compulsory course workshop. It was pretty tiring and a lot of people didn’t show up, but I’m glad I went. If I hadn’t, I would be wondering what I’d missed out on. I really can’t complain, most people had exams that week which I thankfully didn’t have to do.

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My Goals for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! I thought I’d kick things off on an incredibly predictable note: a list of my goals for the coming year. I felt a need to set the tone for the next 12 months in some way, and this post seemed like a good way to do so. I don’t really set resolutions in January – I’m not sure the pressure is particularly helpful and I find it causes me to feel more negative emotions than positive. I do, however, like to contemplate the general direction I’d like to move in over the coming year in the form of a few vague goals.

Last year, I got a little swept up in a blogging trend in which people outlined 18 goals for 2018; looking back, that seems like a lot of things to hold in mind at any one time. Granted, I did keep most of them small, and many of them related to one another, yet I think the sheer quantity could perhaps have put me off a little. This year, in a pure act of rebellion, I will be listing a number of goals which does not necessarily adhere to the year we happen to be entering, or even a round number that could make for a satisfying blog post title. I know, 2019 already seems to be the year of stretching boundaries…

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sunlight on peak district mountains

Goodbye 2018 – December Reflections

December, as it usually is, has been an exhalation: of stress, work, chaos. I spent the first week up at university, catching up on lectures and bits of reading I missed throughout the term, before enjoying a couple of days in London with some friends. From there, I headed back home to be with my family for Christmas.

We did the typical yuletide activities – making a wreath for the door, going on cold woodland walks, shopping for and wrapping presents, baking festive-flavoured things – and ate lots of yummy comfort food. It was a blessing to be able to use a proper food processor to make vegan nicecream again – I miss it so badly when I’m up at uni with just my cheap smoothie blender to rely on.

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Reflecting on My 2018 Goals

We have reached that reflective point in the calendar, a week in which lots of us cast a thought back over the previous 12 months and linger on the good and the bad the year had to offer. I thought I’d take a moment to wrap up by looking back on the goals I set way back in January.

Physical Health

I wanted to spend lots of time outside and move more in an effort to improve my general wellbeing. I think my success with this varied over the months but I did get out the house quite a bit and I did give basketball, yoga and running a crack. Through these activities, I attempted new things and overcame old anxieties; I’d say that’s a win even if exercise did fall off my radar as the year toppled into the colder months.

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July Reflections: Holidays and Undoing Stress

I’m writing this post on the first day of proper rain in a long time: not like a light drizzle, or a sea fret, but a downpour. A deluge from the heavens. And I’m welcoming it with open, now soaking wet, arms. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed the rain. I have enjoyed the sun over the last few weeks too, though.

July kicked off a little unusually – I was in New York, 3474 miles from home and having a wonderful time. I was feeling so much better than at the start of June, that’s for sure. I was coming to the end of a nearly-month-long adventure with my friend that took us across 5 (and a half) countries from two continents. I had a great time and really loved New York. I’ve started sharing the photos from there, as well as the rest of my travels, over on Instagram if street photography is your thing.

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My Summer Goals

I’ve found that disrupting your everyday routines with either a temporary or permanent change can be extremely helpful for reevaluating your ambitions and rekindling your motivation. Luckily enough for me, the last few weeks have been stuffed full with so much travelling I’ve had more than enough opportunity to consider my priorities. Now, sitting in Helsinki Airport in Finland on the verge of flying home, I feel that tingling urge to push forward with the things that are important to me that sometimes sets in after the disruption of routine: the feeling of determination.

A couple of posts back, I reviewed my 2018 goals which I made in January – most of them seem to be moving along well but some of the points on the list have definitely been feeling a little neglected. I thought that the coming two months before I head off to university could be a great time to put in the effort with my goals in the hope that I can establish routines that won’t fall apart so easily when I move in September.

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