Setting goals part II

Technically writing this in 2017… but let’s ignore that technicality.

At the end of 2015, I set myself five goals to work on throughout 2016. I was expecting to achieve roughly 70-80% of the below, so I think I’ve done pretty well. It wasn’t until I was gathering all the evidence for this post did I realise how many mini victories I had over the year. I guess it’s very easy to lose sight of them.

I definitely want to stick with these goals, and continue to progress with them during 2017.

1. Apprendre le francais
I completed the reverse tree on Duolingo (French > English). For Duolingo I reached 89%. Although I did have the following message pop up in August. I haven’t completed the drill books, however I have been more immersive in my learning, listening to French radio stations / TV programmes / podcasts

Goals for 2017: Communicate more in French, getting more involved in language exchanges, practising translations. Possibly taking a French class?

2. Read more
I completed my challenge of completing 23 books, and then exceeded it by reading an additional seven books! Reading a total of 11,689 pages.

Starter For Ten – David Nicholls
Hummingbird and the Bear – Nicholas Hogg
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne

The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
The Two of Us – Andy Jones
A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar

Paper Towns – John Green
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
The Program – Suzanne Young
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joye

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Perfect – Rachel Joyce

Room – Emma Donoghue
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers

It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany
Somewhere Inside of Happy – Anna McPartlin

Before I go to Sleep – S. J. Watson

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it all – Jonas Jonasson

Goals for 2017: I’ve set myself the challenge of reading 26 books, whereby the author’s surname of each book has to start with a different letter of the alphabet. With the added rule of not being able to purchase any additional books to complete the challenge.

3. Exercise and diet
My diet has had it’s ups and downs this year, but as we have progressed through the year it has gotten considerably worse. Exercise wise, I have been running since February. It wasn’t until I restarted the Couch 2 5K programme that running became a routine. Once I came back from holiday, I started to slack a little on going to the gym. But when I did go I was pushing myself and was able to complete little goals such as rowing 2k within 10mins at a resistance of 10. Something I have been trying to do for the last few years.

Goals for 2017: Join the local parkrun, I have been putting this off a while but now I can run 5k I have run out suitable excuses. Try several fitness classes, join a local sports club, get back into pilates. Avoid junk/processed food.

4. This blog
Awkward….same story, different year.

Goal for 2017Break the bloody broken record.

5. Mental health
I honestly feel like I am in a much better place mentally than I was this time last year. I still have a lot to overcome or improve, but I have done things this year that I wouldn’t have imagined of doing (travelling – posts to come, promise!). I had a really useful block of CBT earlier in the year and I’m slowly reducing my medication. Exercise has definitely been a great replacement, and having my lunch breaks surrounded nature.

Goals for 2017: I want to continue with the exposure therapy. This year I want to take it to the next level and throw myself into my idea of hell or things that I wish I could do/were doing but currently can’t imagine myself ever doing.

6. Getting arty farty
New goal for 2017! Over the last few months of 2016 I have been practising hand lettering and drawing. I’ve found it very therapeutic and have loved firing the creative cylinders in my brain that were collecting dust. I’m hoping to continue this through 2017 and showing some of the work on here.

Annmarie xoxo


Setting goals part two

Before the start of the new year I set myself a couple of goals. I thought if I created a roundup of how it’s gone each month it’ll help to keep me on track.

1. Learning French
So far on Duolingo I’ve completed four units. It has been quite hit and miss. But one thing I’ve noticed is that things are starting to click and I’m able to form sentences a lot easier than I did before. I’m currently on 86% on Lingvist. Just have to learn another 1162 words! Early on in the month, I took part in my first language exchange, it was terrifying! I was constantly running to a dictionary to fill in gaps in my vocabulary. But I’m glad I did it, I just need to find the courage to do so again. I’ve become obsessed with French music, listening to French radio stations and roaming through artists on Spotify singing along with the paroles I currently love Louane’s album Chambre 12 it’s my go to to listen to on the tube.

2. Read more
I spend at least two hours a day commuting on public transport, which gives me an opportunity to sit down and read. Especially as there’s no internet on the tube. In January I had read four books:

  • Starter For Ten – David Nicholls
  • The Hummingbird and the Bear – Nicholas Hogg
  • The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourn

Which currently puts me two books ahead of my challenge.

3. Exercise and diet
My diet is slowly improving. Watching Sugar Free Farm has made me very concious of how sugar-laden everything is now a days. We also got a combi microwave over Christmas which is making dinners easier. Have yet to grow a pair and go out for a run, in my defence the English weather has been shit, I have been doing FitnessBlender videos though.

4. This blog
urm…this is awkward…

5. Mental Health
I’ve now started the intensive sessions which have been really insightful and exhausting. There’s been a few hiccups, notably having the worst hangover ever in an attempt to complete my ‘homework’.

Annmarie xoxo

setting goals

Yup I’ve crawled out of my cave…again. Just in time to commit myself (in writing) to what I want to achieve over the next year.

Over the last few months my mind hasn’t been in the best places. I feel like my life had become stagnant, and I wasn’t getting anywhere, just further and further away from where I wanted to be. I had imagined my life after University to be different, but at the same time I cynically knew I’d end up exactly where I am.

I’m 70-80% I’ll achieve the following below. They’re goals I want to do to achieve something bigger. In no particular order…

1. Apprendre le français
I’ve finished the English > French tree earlier this year on Duolingo. But I’d like to finish the reverse tree as well. I want to reach 90% on Lingvist, and finish my drill books and old exercise books from school. By achieving all of those, I hope to by the end of the year be able to take part in language exchange websites and not be terrified of even the prospect of doing so.

2. Read more
Yes the reading challenge failed this year, but I was also doing a full time degree for the majority of it and then ridiculous 10-12 hour shifts for a job which left no time to read. So far I’ve enjoyed reading in the last month whenever on public transport and really want to continue. So I’m giving myself the challenge again of reading 23 books this year. Aiming for reading 50 pages a day hopefully. I also got some good books as Christmas presents that I’m looking forward to.

3. Exercise and diet
I’ve known for years how drastically my mood and mindset is altered if I’m inactive. I want to get back into pilates and overtime running. It’ll be harder now I no longer have a free gym membership as I’ll have to get over my nerves of running in public. But I’ve always want to get into the Zombies run app now that I have it after years of wanting it, that might take my mind off of things if I have a zombie on my arse. Also diet goes hand in hand with exercise. Surprisingly I ate healthier at Uni than I do now I’m home. Probably because I had no money, so out went the junk food. I want to get back to that, I enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes.

4. This blog
I want to bring it back from the dead. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve sat down to write, only to knock the idea on the head because I was doubting myself. I want to overcome that, and enjoy blogging again. I have a couple of ideas I’ve been toying with. Should probably start with changing my About me…

5. Mental Health
I recently had several CBT sessions which have been helping, before I start something more intensive next year. It’s something I really want to focus on over the next year, with the idea of focusing on the goals above to aid it. It’s something I’m sick of suffering with, and allowing it to hold me back or sabotage opportunities.

Annmarie xoxo

To 23 year old me

Lately I’ve seen lots of ‘what I’d tell my X year old self’ or ‘To my x year old self’, and I find them fascinating. It could be that I’m slightly nosey. But I like see how people grow, or the way a person talks to their older / younger self.

I thought of writing to my 25 year old self, but that’s four years down the line – a lot can change in that time. So I chose 23, two years down the line. The year succeeding my excuse to sing Taylor Swift’s song and it being oh so relatable. (Who’s Taylor Swift anyway?!) Of course to do that I need to get a life…

1. Dude come on, French it up! As Joey says. Of course your French is a lot better than Joey’s, but still there’s a lot of room for improvement. I know you can go weeks without doing any, but if you could just set aside 20 minutes a day who knows where we’ll be!

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Currently having withdrawal from exercise classes and weekly gym sessions. We need to keep that feeling going, building that body strength so whenever someone springs burpees, push ups, crunches on you, you don’t want to move into foetal position and cry.

3. Have a job you enjoy Yes, you don’t know what you want to do. But you know what you don’t want to do, at least that’s a start. Hopefully we’re in a job that makes us happy, because we’ve learnt that is more important than the pay slip at the end of it.

4. Have your own place Somewhere at least you can store the crap you have accumulated over the years. It would be nice if you were financially stable enough to rent your own place, and buy all the homeware you have been lusting after for years.

5. Let go Of all the negativities, but also opening yourself up to lots of new opportunities. Turn off that ruddy brain every so often!

 In the end this just ends up being a long to do list for my current self.

Well I better get started!

Annmarie xoxo