How are you spending your time?

Question of the week: How are you spending your time?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet we spend it so differently.

Some of us go after our goals with everything we have but don’t stop to enjoy it, some of us dream bigger than our imagination but hardly put anything into action, and some of us go along with the path set out for us even if it’s not what we want. And there’s every other combination in between.

We all have less and less time as we get older. Are you wasting it? We need to be more conscious of the excuses we’re using and be more honest about what is holding us back. Only then can we move onto what makes us happier and keeps us fulfilled. We might not spend every day to its highest potential, but we can always do better, before it runs out.

How to approach a new challenge practically

Taking on a new challenge can be thrilling. But the excitement can also wear off and quickly turn into overwhelm or dread when we think about our goal. Passion is essential, but some practical steps can really help us stay on track:

  1. Take it a week or a month at a time – instead of looking at the habits you want to form as ones you’ll need to live by forever or looking at goals as ones that will take years to achieve, dedicate yourself to your new challenge for a week or month. This could be challenging yourself to a new habit for a month or splitting out your goal into mini-goals that take you in the right direction. Having a ‘deadline’ in reach really helps to push yourself, stick to it and remind yourself that its doable. At the end, not only can you celebrate, but accomplishing it will leave you wanting to do more.
  2. Plan it out – there’s no point in throwing yourself into something without first having a plan of action. A habit tracker that you can tick off every day or a calendar where you schedule in time to reach your goal helps to keep you accountable and organised, ultimately helping you deliver! Otherwise you’ll quickly find that you aren’t getting anywhere.
  3. Have a place to visualise – keep your sights set on that goal you’re trying to reach every day. I like to use a Pinterest board to collect pictures that represent my goals. Other ideas include a physical vision board on the bedroom wall or a daily morning ritual of visualising yourself accomplishing your goals. Whatever works for you!

Have any practical tips of your own? Please share in the comments!

Page 4: Rules of Commitment

Capture

Remember those resolutions you made in the New Year? Your last birthday? Beginning of the month? Last Monday?

It can be really difficult to stay committed, stay motivated and stay on track to achieving your goals and building the life you envision for yourself.

Do you ever ask yourself why you failed? I recently did and noticed that I had unrealistic ideas about goals, habits and commitment.

So I’ve made some new rules of commitment to help me go further on my journey towards success, and I wanted to share them with you in hopes they might help you too.

Commitment one: Do your best

This rule erases so many common pitfalls, namely striving for perfection and comparing ourselves to others. When we do not (and cannot) meet expectations we have for ourselves, we quickly lose enthusiasm and give up. Instead of perfection and unrealistic expectations, we should strive to do our best. And that might be different each day. As long as you’re doing something towards your goal, it doesn’t matter whether it’s as good as what you did yesterday or as good as someone else might do. Just do your best and keep at it.

Commitment two: Get back up when you fail

When it comes to my goals and habits, I can often have an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. For example, at the moment, I am trying to cut out all sweet treats, because that’s how it works best for me. But inevitably, I sometimes cave. In normal circumstances, I would have just given up if I failed. But instead, I’m just trying to start over whenever I fail, so I can keep going towards achieving my goals. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail. Don’t give up when you fail. Every day is a brand new day to be better and do your best.

Commitment three: Have big dreams, realistic journeys

Everyone should have big dreams. But it won’t happen overnight, and if you always have your eyes to the sky, you’re bound to trip up on the ground. The best way to make progress towards your dreams is to break them down into small, realistic steps you can take and accomplish. That way, you’re also motivating yourself by achieving quicker wins that are helping you get to that bigger dream.

Commitment four: Stick to the decision

I have a bad habit of scheduling in the time to do something, making the decision, and then bailing when it comes to actually doing it. So when I made decisions, my brain was already expecting me to not follow through. Now, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to stick to my decisions, to retrain my brain and actually achieve the things I set out to do. I encourage you to do the same.

Do you have any rules of commitment? Tips on how to stay motivated? Share them in the comments!

7 ways to lift yourself when you feel down

IMG_0410

We all process our sadness, anxieties and problems in different ways. Sometimes we choose to face them head on, with a sword or a shield or empty-handed. Other times we want to bury ourselves away, letting ourselves pretend for a little while that our problems don’t exist, and maybe even hoping they’ll disappear for good.

Whatever your preferences, here are a few tips that may help you lift yourself back up when you’re feeling down:

Write it down or talk it out
Letting your worries out of your head onto paper or into the universe actually helps you to find the root of the problem. Relieving it from the inside gives you perspective on the outside and gives you the chance to figure out ways to solve the problem. Find a notebook or grab a friend and let it out.

Take a gratitude walk
Taking a walk around my neighbourhood really helps me release my negative energy. Instead of allowing your mind to circle around the negative thoughts, try listing everything you’re grateful for, no matter how small. It helps put the situation or your mood into perspective.

Switch up the environment
It’s tempting to sulk and wallow around at home alone when you’re feeling down, but your troubles are weighing you down there. Try and get out of the house; go see a friend or take a trip to your favourite coffee spot. Surround yourself with people. Sometimes we just need a little distance.

Accomplish something, like exercise
Focusing your mind on something completely different to what you’re going through, like an intense workout, is enough to make you feel good about yourself – or at least achieving something you set out to do. Exercise is a bonus, as it is proven to boost your endorphin levels, which increases happiness.

Transport to another world
Listen to your favourite music, crack open a good book, or put on a funny TV show. Your mood can instantly lift when you distract yourself enough to put some distance between you and the problem before coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Sleep
I know that I always feel worse towards the evening, when I’ve had a long day and am feeling tired. It can really screw up your perspective. Go to bed early and remind yourself that it will feel better in the morning. Wake up refreshed to tackle your troubles.

Remember…
All darkness passes and the sun rises. Everyone has bad days. Your problems won’t last forever.

(image: LD Fleming)

10 habits you can implement into your lifestyle

We can be the best versions of ourselves and live our best lives, but only with consistent action. Here are some of the habits I’m trying to implement into my lifestyle this year lead a healthier life:

Wake up earlier – Make the most of your mornings, whether it be to get a headstart on your to-do list or to have a mindful morning and take time for yourself.

Practice discipline – Get into the habit of making your bed in the morning, picking up after yourself, and resisting those chocolates in your kitchen cupboard. Becoming disciplined with small things in your life helps you practice discipline for when you really need it.

Gratitude journal – Reminding yourself about all the amazing things you have in life sets everything else in perspective and helps you get through the harder days. I like using the 5 Minute Journal, which is available both as a book and app.

Recite affirmations – Show yourself some love by telling yourself how awesome you are and set the tone for the day. Sit quietly before getting ready or say them out loud in front of a mirror. affirmyourlife.blogspot.com is great for finding affirmations that speak to you on a whole range of subjects.

Have a productive commute – Wherever you’re going and however you’re getting there, listen to a podcast or read a book to keep learning and keep the mind inspired.

Plan your week – We all have big goals, but unless we take small actions towards them, they’ll always seem far away. Each week list the actions you want to take, no matter how small, and write them down in your calendar so you know when you’ll be getting them done.

Track your finances – It’s amazing to list all your expenses in a week, because you realise the places you’re unnecessarily wasting money. Something as simple as making lunch or coffee at home instead of buying out can save hundreds of pounds a year!

Meal plan – Eat more consciously by taking the time to plan out what you’re going to eat during the week. This will cut down unnecessary spending, reduce snacking and impulse eating, and help you nourish your body.

Schedule in relaxation – Whilst endless motivation and drive is fantastic, make sure to take time to yourself, to relax and rest, whether you have half an hour each day where you treat yourself to a bubble bath or having a leisurely Sunday in your pyjamas.

Get enough sleep – We hear it all the time, but it’s much harder to do in practice. We need sleep to recooperate and rejuvenate, otherwise we’ll burnout and crash somewhere along the journey. Sleeping is healing for both the mind and body.

What are you trying to do more or less of this year? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once!

(Image: Pinterest)

How to stay on track with your goals

Focus on fewer goals – we often make the mistake that we want to change everything at once. And whilst there might be lots of things we want to achieve and change, we cannot do everything overnight. Pick a couple to really give your all to each month or each quarter. Once they’re engrained in your life, you can look at picking up more.

Break down bigger goals into smaller ones – our passion for our new year or life goals can slowly morph into overwhelm when we realise how long the road ahead is. That’s why we should set short rest stops along the way. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly milestones to give your journey more direction and make it more enjoyable.

Find your why – goals are nothing without the drive behind them. Make sure you’re setting goals that actually mean something to you and that you’re setting them for the right reasons. Create a vision board, even digitally on Pinterest, to remind yourself of your intentions and to push you when you need it.

Keep track of your progress – motivate yourself by tracking your habits and progress across the month. I like to note down what I’ve achieved and what habits I’ve stuck to everyday in a journal.

Improve your accountabilitytell a friend about your goals to help you stay accountable and get support when you need it. Plan out when you’re going to commit time to achieving your goals each week. Be realistic, but you have to make the time and stick to your schedule.

(Image: Twitter)