A Mindful 2014

2014 new yearsHey Guys!

So I haven’t really posted in a while due to the crazy, psychotic time that was Christmas and New Years! I spent some of it working, some of it drinking with friends and a lot of it with lovely family. Still, we are 6 days into the New Year so time to start thinking to the future and what 2014 may hold. 2013 was a great year in some ways and awful in others but there is no way but forward and this year will be something different again.

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The best goals involve cheese

So goal setting doesn’t seem to be that effective for me. I am only being honest when I admit that I did not look at my 2013 goals once, the entire year. Which is extremely sad but also kind of demonstrated that this year would need to be different. So instead of a list of specific goals I have one theme for 2014 and that is going to be Mindfulness.  Confused? Don’t be. Mindfulness for me relates to being present in each moment, attentive to each event whether it be a beautiful sunrise or an unexpected emotion. According to Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn mindfulness relates to “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” and so in my mind this translates to being more aware and contemplative of what happens in our present moment. Being receptive and contemplative in life I guess. Ok so maybe I am a little rusty on the concept but hopefully you grasp the idea.

mindfulness

So for me this year is about being more aware and accepting, of my external environment but also my internal one (thoughts and feelings in all their weird, complicated wonderfulness).

Basically this year I want to be more mindful in general of different aspects of my life. I think a theme is easier for me to refer back to as it is simple and easy to remember without referring to a list of goals that really don’t change from year to year.

So having a theme doesn’t mean there aren’t specific areas that I think this will be most applicable to. The first one is my health e.g. how I look after it in terms of exercise and eating. One life change (in relation to what we eat) Edd and I have chosen  to make and started on the 1/1/2014 was to become vegetarian which terrified me before hand but now that I am doing it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Other areas I think will benefit from some mindfulness include how I treat myself mentally and how I let others treat me. Lastly I don’t think a blogger could blog about New Years resolutions without referring to their blog so of course I am hopeful that by being more mindful of what I enjoy about blogging and what I find stressful I can optimize my little hobby and get the most out of it possible.

Other things that this year will bring include the start of my first ever book (and wine) club and I am VERY excited. Although not quite as excited as I am for the two month Europe trip that Edd and I are planning for May/June (tickets to be booked asap!).

All in all 2014 will be an exciting year with lots of new things and challenges and hopefully with a bit of mindfulness I can make the most of it!

What are your goals this year?

Xx

If you want to read a little about Mindfulness Google brings up a host of easy explanations such as here and here. I should warn you that my idea of mindfulness may not be 100% the same as the technical definitions but it is a theme I would still like to incorporate more of into my life.

4 Simple Goals… before 2014

Happy Monday!

Today I may have become slightly preoccupied with the idea of Christmas…I realize it is only early November but I decided its time to start preparing Christmas decorations for my workplace (anything to make it slightly less grey and office like). With some Christmas themed paper and a pair of scissors my Christmas bunting got underway! Regardless of my slightly premature Christmas excitement, today I wanted to post on a task that A Beautiful Mess has done the last couple years and I keep meaning to take part (4 Simple Goals before 2014).

The idea is to come up with 4 simple goals to try and focus on before 2014 comes along (in case that wasn’t grasped via the rather self-explanatory title). To be honest I am pretty terrible at goal setting (I dread this part of New Years almost as much as I dread waking up after New Year’s Eve) but maybe this slightly less intimidating task will fare better. With the focus on keeping the goals easy to achieve and on small lifestyle changes/trying out new things, I tried to stick to little changes that weren’t negative or too goal orientated. Despite being a little late to the party I enjoyed choosing 4 little areas of focus and I hope to bring little updates in the lead up to 2014 on how it all goes.

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Pretty self explanatory but I will  elaborate on each goal more in a specific update later on. These are small things that I would like to introduce into my life and I look forward to seeing how I can bring them to life.

Also check out a lovely blogger Tegania and her 4 Simple Goals (and enjoy her beautiful blog while you are at it).

Short post today but more on these later 🙂 Hope you are all having a great start to the week (if not try introducing a little bit of bunting…it’s very therapeutic!)

P.s I just have to mention that I am going to the Wicked stage show tomorrow night and I am VERY excited. I have had these tickets for a couple of months now and waiting has been excruciating.

P.p.s CHRISTMAS IS 43 DAYS AWAY !!

Looking forward: Goals for 2013

Hi All!

So I find it hard to believe it is already 2013. Where did 2012 go? Every year that flies past and leaves me breathless makes me a little uneasy because, as I am sure a lot of people feel, I want to feel like I am getting the most out of each year I am lucky enough to be alive! And yet I know this year, it felt like I scraped by day by day, a bit of an emotional wreck just trying to finish University and deal with Life’s lovely challenges. So 2013 I want to try harder. Now I have this lovely wee corner of the internet I think trying out some goal-setting may be useful. Having my goals up here to see whenever I want makes me feel a little more accountable and I plan to do either 4 monthly goal review posts to see how things are going. Anyway, after that rambly introduction here are my rather random goals for 2013.

1. Look after my body better. Ok so I resisted my usual “lose 15kg” type of goals (although that would be great) because as much as I would love to be a skinny wee thing, I’m not and I don’t think its a particularly healthy goal, for me anyway. Instead 2013 will be a year to focus on health. This includes more balanced meals (not just skipping meals to make up for naughty takeaways the night before), more vegetables and fruit (which have been seriously lacking in my student budget diet of 2012), more exercise (3 times a week for half an hour, any kind of exercise I feel I can motivate myself for) and other generally healthy activities. All at once this probably won’t happen but over time I hope to make some small and manageable changes that will move me in this general direction.

2. Put myself first. In terms of my relationships I want to learn how to put the needs and wants of others aside every once in a while in order to focus on my own mental health and priorities as well as my relationship with Edd. I love my family and friends but life is complicated and putting my needs second in order to please everyone is the habit of a lifetime that I want to keep working on reducing. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about all these wonderful people but just want to put a bit of care into myself as well.

3. Make blogging more regular and less stressful. I love this little blog but I would like to improve the regularity of my posts. I want to become one of those people who has multiple post planned and drafted so that I am not constantly doing things last minute. Having a journal where I can keep a plan of when I want to post certain things is something I am going to start doing to keep things less stressful and more organised.

4. Become more organised in other areas of my life. This ranges from cleaning schedules, keeping my makeup and nailpolish under control, keeping more written records, sticking to my list making which helps me more productive on a day to day basis and so on.

5. Read more books. I love books and I don’t read enough thanks to 4 years of university which made me feel guilty every time I wasn’t reading lecture notes or text books. After seeing people do the 50 book project in 2012 I think 50 books is a good number but we’ll see how manageable it is once I get into a better routine. I would also like to share more about what I read on the blog, although I’m not sure people would be particularly interested haha.

6. Go on more dates. I love spending my evenings curled up on the couch with Edd and Callie, watching movies and eating pizza and popcorn, but I want to try more things with Edd and go out more often. As lovely as it is to stay home variety is the spice of life so 2013 will bring some new restaurants, new activities together, new holidays overseas and who knows what else!

7. Develop a more positive outlook on life. This something I started working on this year with my Made me smile posts which I found so helpful in encouraging me to look back on the past week in terms of the highlights and the positive moments. I hope that I can continue to improve in this area as my default position in life has always been more on the stressed and pessimistic side.

So there are 7 pretty general areas of my life that I want to work on in 2013. As I mentioned in my What I learned from 2012 post, change in these areas won’t come without some hard work and perseverance from me so I’ll do my best to use this year to its potential and enjoy each moment!

Does anyone else still set goals? I know they go in and out of fashion but I think setting goals is useful as long as there isn’t a lot of guilt and self-punishment involved when things don’t go to plan. For me I just need a little direction in life that keeps me on track and stops me losing sense of myself and what I want from the year to come. Let me know what you think and if you have set any goals or resolutions for 2013!

Xx

p.s. Last night I read this great post by a fellow tweeter and blogger which talked about the importance of Values as opposed to goals. Sarah discussed rather brilliantly the danger on having incongruent goals and values in life which makes achieving one’s goals harder than it should be. After reading her post I went and thought about the kind of values I want to focus on for 2013 and things that I wrote down were happiness, health, love and relationships amongst a couple others. I then used these to edit and refine some of my goals, removing a couple that I felt weren’t in line with the values I wanted to focus on. I highly recommend checking out her post (Here!) and her blog in general 🙂