Sunday, 27 October 2019

Setting Realistic Goals & Sticking To Them

So, I've been reading. 

I'll pause while you pick yourself off the floor.


Guys seriously. I mentioned I was reading this in my previous post & I honestly haven't read such an inspirational book in a long time. I described it as sitting down with an old friend, having a cup of tea & a chocolate biscuit & that is genuinely what it's like.

I like to think of myself as an organised person (if you know me, you'll know nothing excites me more than a spreadsheet!) but the actual doing of the tasks is another matter. I'm hopeless at prioritizing my time, so much so, I find a lot of my time is spent worrying about things, that could literally be solved from completing them. Easy right?

We're all under this constant pressure to 'exercise more, eat healthier, socialise but also have time for ourselves' & the list goes on. Surely, a regular human can't do all these things as well as maintain a full time job!?

Anna breaks it down brilliantly. She basically states that if you have all of these as your goals, you'll never complete them. Start small & be specific & you're onto a winner.

On page 103, she suggests grabbing a piece of paper & writing the following headings, so that's what I did.

Financial / Wellbeing / Personal / Career

You can obviously add in different ones if these aren't relevant to you, but they suited me perfectly. Anna's top tip here is to try to break down the goal. So instead of 'drink more water' be more specific & say 'drink 2 litres a day' or if you want to add exercise into your life, instead of 'go to the gym more' it could be 'try to exercise once or twice a week' My top tip is don't give yourself too many. You'll overwhelm yourself & you'll find that instead of completing the majority of them, you'll end up giving up. So here are my goals for the categories above.

Let's start with financial. So James & I have recently bought our own house which is incredibly exciting, but obviously meant we are now budgeting for a bigger property than we were when we were renting & we are still learning about the house in regards to our water & electric usage. Hence, my first & only goal for this one is try to save £50 a month. Now this money will literally go straight into the 'house' fund. I do want to start adding more to it in the next year, but with Christmas coming up, it seems like the sensible amount to aim for.

Next we have wellbeing. I like this category as you could add one of the smallest goals, but it could make the biggest different to your lifestyle if you stick to it. The first one for me is to attend my Bounce class once a week. I used to go back in the Summer every Monday after work, but since my shifts have changed, it hasn't been as easy for me to attend (let's be real, they do 3 classes a week.. if I forced myself I probably could have made quite a few that I was "busy" for on other days!) but I truly don't know why I stopped to be honest. It's so much fun & the ladies I do it with are amazing, so there really isn't any excuse. My second one is nice & easy; drink 1 litre of water a day. Now I know you're supposed to drink 2, but right now getting me to drink anything other than multiple cups of tea a day with a half glass of orange squash thrown in is a challenge, so I'm starting small to see if I can achieve it. It should definitely help with my headaches & hopefully my skin will thank me for it too! & final one for wellbeing is try to either jog, or walk for 30 minutes, twice a week. I actually live half an hours walk from work & in the Summer time when it's lighter, I would think nothing of the walk there & back, but unfortunately as we head into Winter, it's so much easier (& safer) to grab the car. But I find I feel so sluggish if I haven't walked in the day. My job involves sitting at a desk for 8 hour days, so I really need to push myself to get out more.

Thirdly we have personal. I have 2 goals for this one which I'm hoping I can achieve. Firstly, spending no more than 2 hours a day on my phone. I've recently got a new iPhone & it's got the screen time tracker on it & my god, it's scary. Who knew scrolling through Instagram looking at all those cute puppy videos would make you seem like you have no life away from a screen!? I seriously couldn't believe it when my first 'weekly report' came through, so I'm determined to switch off from my phone from now on. Anna also suggests have a 'digital detox' every so often & literally shutting your phone in a draw for an evening or a whole day if you're feeling brave, just to see what life is like without being joined at the hip to socials. I'm definitely going to do this more. Secondly is read a book per month. Anna had this one on her list & I attempted to read 8 last year & think I got to about 6! Not bad but I still think I can do 1 a month. I thought about how much I lay in bed each night on my phone for about 20 minutes before I go to sleep & for what reason? ..there is no reason! So why not pick up a book instead (also that will help me with the 2 hours a day goal too! 2 birds with 1 stone & all that!) I found my library card at the bottom of a handbag when we were moving & now I'm absolutely craving going there & selecting some new books! As I remember, you could only borrow the book for 3 weeks at a time, so hopefully that'll force me to stick to my goal.

& finally career. I'm quite private about my job on my blog, so I'm afraid I'm going to keep this one to myself as I know I have colleagues that read this from time to time, but I will share 1 of Anna's with you to give as an example. "Get a piece of my writing published in a magazine". I mean, is there anything this girl can't do? It'll be ticked off in no time (if it hasn't been already this year!)

Well lovelies, I hope you enjoyed that exceptionally rambley post. I'm hoping by me actually typing these down - I'm going to stick to them! Let me know if you try this method of planning your goals & what yours are! I'd love to know : )

Saturday, 19 October 2019

A Long Overdue Catch Up

Wow.. 10 months. 

I seriously can't believe it's been that long since I've sat down & written a blog post. If you're reading this, thankyou for either sticking with me or if you've stumbled across this page, welcome! I used to blog quite consistently, 2 or 3 times a week, but over the past year or so, that's sort of digressed to 1 or 2 a year! Which is so incredibly sad. I'm not going to even start to bore you with excuses why I haven't been, but let's just say life. Life is & has been extremely busy, so I thought we'd better start with a catch up.

The biggest change & what has been taking up most of this year is our move. Not only have we moved, but we've bought our very own house! We've lived together for 2 & a half years in rented accomodation, firstly in a flat, then a house & now finally we are in our very own property! We moved at the end of September & if I'm being completely honest, it still doesn't feel real. I'm not going to promise & say my next blog post is going to be all about buying a house & our experience (because who knows when I'll get round to writing it!) but I would love to share our journey with you. It was full of so many ups & downs (more downs that ups tbh!) but until we actually began the process, we never really knew what to expect & definitely agree with people when they say moving is one of the most stressful things you go through in life! But overall, so worth it & despite us not having the smoothest ride, everything has finally started to fall into place.

Not much else has changed except our living situation (this has honestly been taking up most of our time since February when we started looking!) 

I guess you're probably wondering why have you started your blog up again Cat? Why this moment.. well if I'm honest, I was just about to have a nap & the sun came out & I thought "Mmm, I'll put some washing on, it'll only take 45mins on the quick cycle, that definitely isn't enough time to nap. I know, I'll sit down & make a few goals & analyse my life." You know, a standard Saturday really!

I've recently been reading An Edited Life by Anna Newton & have become absolutely obsessed (honestly, this book is amazing, I can't recommend it enough. It's like your sitting down with an old friend over a brew & a choccie biscuit) I'm currently half way through & reading all about setting achievable goals. It encouraged me to sit down & start writing & I remembered my blog & just thought, what a great way to start.

I really want to give my blog a proper make-over, but I'm terrified of messing everything up. I remember spending hours & hours on my html when I first started, that I'm scared one wrong click & I'll ruin it all, haha! So I guess a fresh style of writing will have to do for now.

Well, that's all I have to write for now lovelies. I hope you're having the most wonderful Saturday. Here's to the next few posts! (Let's at least try to get five in before Christmas ok?)

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

28

No waaaaaay am I 2 years off of being 30?! Stop the world.. I want to get off!

Seriously though, where has this year gone? I know I type this most years.. but I'd love to know the answer to that question. Someone actually said to me the other day the world is spinning faster, so time is going quicker & I'm actually starting to believe them..

Anyway! Time for me to look back over the past year of being 27..

We moved.. again!
I mentioned in last year's post we had some exciting news about moving to a 2 bed house last April & I can confirm, everything went to plan & I'm currently sitting in our living room, log fire burning, in my onesie & I couldn't be happier. It was definitely the right decision to leave the flat when we did, even though I cried like a baby on the day we moved out! I get so emotionally attached to things & obviously our first home together meant alot to me, even though looking back, it wasn't the nicest place in the world. The house we are in now has a perfect sized garden; quite small, but I love nothing more than sitting outside in the Summer at our garden table, with my morning cup of tea. I'm counting down the days when it's warm enough to do that again. We haven't decided what we are planning yet for our next move & if we'll be here a while longer, but everything seems to be moving in the right direction, so watch this space!

Holidays
James & I were lucky enough to go on 2 big holidays with family this year; we firstly jetted off to Kefalonia in June & it was honestly one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Definitely my favourite out of the 3 Greek islands we have visited. We also were lucky enough to go to Quimper for a week in July, where we had our own pool & plenty of activities to keep us entertained! I also spotted a wild seal which was amazing.

Events 
This year has been full of exciting things! Here are a few; I met baby Ru, James & I attended Crufts for a 2nd time & met JP the pug, we sat & ate dinner outside in our own garden, we visited Hever Castle, I held a Eurovision party, I took part in my first escape room & went on to do 2 more, I went to Kefalonia & Quimper, I saw Legally Blonde & The Play That Goes Wrong with the girls, I became a gardener, I organised a brunch & Christmas dinner for my work ladies, I held my annual Summer BBQ, I attended my first murder mystery night, James & I attended 2 weddings; Matt & Alice's in Bristol & our best friend's Mils & Craig's, I organised a surprise birthday party for Elisa, read 6 books, went for afternoon tea with Mum for her birthday, went to my first pumpkin picking patch, travelled to Devon for a mini holiday to visit Nicola, dressed up as an elf for charity & went for a job interview, went to Glow Wild with the girls & finally hosted Christmas Day.

I mentioned in my last post it's incredibly hard to put a stamp on the whole year as being 'good' or 'bad'. I had some wonderful things happen last year as I've listed above, but it's funny how one thing can tip the year on it's head.

I lost someone incredibly close to me last year & it was one of the toughest things I've had to deal with. It's still incredibly hard & everyday something will remind me of my Nan & bring a smile to my face. Some days are harder than others & I still can't really get my head around the fact she's gone. Nothing really prepares you for losing someone but I honestly wouldn't have got through last year without my amazing friends & family, so thank you guys.

Here's to 2019; a fresh start & the year of being 28.. here's hoping it's a good one : )

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2018

Every year I sit down & write a yearly update in January, around my birthday, but for some reason, this year seems a bit different. 

I've started this post a million times & all the different ways you can imagine, but the words just won't flow & they somehow feel wrong being typed.

It's hard to put into words & review a whole year isn't it? Because how can you chuck a mixture of ups & downs together & expect for the good or bad to outweigh the other? 2018 was truly full of highs & lows, but it had one extreme low which has ultimately made it one of the hardest years in my lifetime.

I struggled a lot this year with what direction I wanted to take in life. Life is too short right? Everyone says it & this year especially has just raced by. When certain things happen, it makes you realise you can't just sit about & let life pass you by, you have to take that leap, that jump & either fall or fly. 

I do completely get '2019' is just a date, but there's something about the New Year that makes you go "Right, I'm going to try this now" & that's where I'm at.

What I think I'm trying to say is, 2018 was incredibly hard. It showed me I could be strong when I really didn't believe I was. It proved to me that my friends & family are everything & that the people around us are what keep us going.

I just want to thank you, if you're reading this & have been there with me through everything this year. I couldn't have done it on my own. So thankyou, from the bottom of my heart & here's to a happy & healthy 2019.


Monday, 29 October 2018

Fun Things To Do On Halloween

Hi lovelies,

Ok, let's be honest here. I'm not a fan of anything remotely scary. I hate being terrified.. I can't think of anything worse! I know some people love it & I applaud you for it. I wish I had the guts to visit haunted houses & watch scary movies but I get no enjoyment out of it, just a slight heart-attack & feel sick. But, the reason I wanted to write this post, is to prove that you don't have to be into scary things to enjoy Halloween. I absolutely love decorating the house with cute sparkly pumpkins & baking cute spider cookies, so I've put together a few ideas to inspire you to do the same.


Pumpkin Picking
This is something I have wanted to do for years & finally, this year I got to go to a pumpkin patch! I took my mum & we visited Tulleys Farm. They have a PYO section on the farm, where they grow over 75000 pumpkins each year! There was so much choice, from big traditional pumpkins, to small bobbly ones! Mum & I picked a selection, as I find the little ones are perfect for decorating around the house, including our window sills, ledges & bookcases! Tulley's are open until this Wednesday, so there's still time to go along if you're local.

Baking
There are so many mouth-watering Halloween treats that you can bake from the comfort of your own home. You just have to walk into a supermarket & you are transported to confectionery heaven. I've lost count of the amount of magazines I've picked up over the past month & how many page corners I've turned to save the recipes! I made the most delicious Salted Caramel Tart this week & oh my goodness, it was incredible if I do say so myself! I decorated it using white icing to give it a Halloween theme, but I'm definitely saving the recipe for other occasions as it went down so successfully. If you simple type 'Halloween Food' into Pinterest, the most amazing selection comes up & the recipes are incredibly easy to follow. I loved the idea of these little strawberry ghosts, so easy & quick to do.

Movie Night
This doesn't have to involve scary films as such.. any Autumnal / Winter themed movie will do! The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favs, alongside Halloween Town (who remembers this from the Disney channel?!) But even films like Chalet Girl that make you feel all warm & fuzzy are definite crowd pleasers. I would highly recommend one of these over the Final Destinations! You can make up for the lack of scariness with some Halloween snacks & decorations after all!

Walk
Now you can make this as scary as you like! There's nothing I love more than wrapping up in my fluffiest coat, putting on my hat, scarf & gloves & going for a walk at this time of year. I much prefer to go in the daytime.. however if you did feel daring, you could venture out at night for an extra scary experience! (Just make sure you go with friends / family & take your phone!)

Games Night
There are so many fun games I've found online for this time of year! The girls & I are heading to visit our friend Nicola this week & I've printed off Halloween themed quizzes & prepared some games! So far we have 'pin the nose of the witch', 'Mummy wrap' & 'dangling donuts'. All you need for the Mummy wrap, is to be divided into teams & see who can wrap the person of choice in as much toilet roll as possible in a short space of time! & the dangling donuts game I thought would be hilarious to play; you just need to put some donuts on a piece of string & hang them from a door frame or something similar & blindfold the person before they try to eat the hanging donut! Think of a pinata but with donuts & you can only use use your mouth! You can tell we're taking alot of alcohol with us.. haha!

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I would love to know what you've got planned for Halloween.

Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a wicked time : )

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