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.

January
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

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

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

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

May
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

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

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

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

September
Before I go to Sleep – S. J. Watson

October
The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

November
The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

December
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

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Setting goals part four

1. Learning French
I’ve finished seven units on Duolingo and have learnt around 250 more new words on Lingvist. I need to get back in the habit of doing both daily, and re-gilding my tree on Duolingo.

2. Read more
Half way through the month I was a little worried that I would only have read two books for the month, as one was a bit chunky. But starting the Hunger Games series helped bump up the number. I know I’m late to the party. This month I read the following:

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

This put me five books ahead of schedule for my challenge for the year.

3. Exercise and Diet
My diet for the latter part of the month has been controlled by my doctor, restricting diary, gluten and food high in fructose etc. Which was originally painful noting how many different fruits and veg that I usually eat, are now barred. But it’s starting to become second nature, it’s meant for lunchtimes I can no longer just rely on the usual of a sandwich or pasta (gluten free pasta, is just wrong). Exercise wise, ran a few times, just need to get into a pattern.

4. This blog
Photo 101 helped get me back into the swing of blogging. I had to stop nearer the end as I’ve started a new job and commuting four hours in total a day  was causing me to just collapse onto the sofa each day. But I’m glad people liked my photography, I’ll bear that in mind.

5. Mental Health
I’m nearing the end of my CBT sessions, and if I’m honest I’m pretty scared. I’ve gotten used to having that weekly safety net and motivation.

Last months updates

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

Ch ch ch ch changes

…For 2015
I didn’t want to ruin the title, as that gem of a song popped into my head!

Now I know in a very recent post I said New Years resolutions are pointless, and I still stand by that. I’m not going to start a new fad or vow to remove xyz from my life, just because it’s a new calendar year – there’s no actual motivation behind that, at least for me personally.

However I do feel you can’t completely grow without having goals in mind. That’s what I plan to do in 2015, either continue to grow premature habits or bring back things that recently I’ve noticed are missing in my life. All in the name of self care / CBT homework!

1. Complete 5 year Q&A diary.
First of all, who’s the idiot that left the book 100miles away? It’s something I saw when buying a new journal. I really want to fill it out to see how my mentality changes over the 5 years. To look back and reflect upon.20141231-235645-862053622

2. Read 23 books…without spending any money.
Unfortunately I didn’t meet my Goodreads target for this year (probably didn’t help that I set it up in May) but want to actually achieve it next year. I found I was either given books or bought many this year that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I hope that by challenging myself to achieve that number without spending money will mean I can get through that list. But also, more importantly save money because I’m a poor student! Why 23? Because that’s how old I’ll be at the end of 2015 (oh god, I’m getting closer to 30).

IMG_07653. Meditate more often / have more me time!
Over the last few months I’ve realised that I always put myself last, even if it means sacrificing time to help others out I’d do it, because that was how I was raised. The sad thing is I’ve realised those around me do the opposite, and then I wonder why I’m so behind compared to others, or look back at friendships and realise I was just a doormat. So this year I’ve decided to make time for myself, even if it’s just to relax and put my wellbeing first.20141231-235642-862027244. Increase emotional awareness
I’ve always been pretty pessimistic, but more and more over the past year I’ve realised how much of a drain this has been. How my own thoughts have held me back. For the last few weeks whenever I’ve had a negative thought I’ve written it down and made it into an origami heart. The idea is everytime I fill a jar I burn it…or recycle it.

Happy new year!
Annmarie xoxo

Another year older

Since Monday I’ve been 22! Do I feel any older? Not particularly. (Note to self change about me page).

When I was a teenager I always looked up to people in their twenties assuming they had their lives figured out and it was always one big episode of Friends. Well I now know the former isn’t true, and regardless of age most people don’t have their lives figured out, which is always great to think about when you’re faced with looking for your first job of your ‘career’.

There are some negatives of being a Christmas baby, *ahem ‘birthday’ Santa visited me this year*

20141227-175711-64631186.jpgbut one positive is that my birthday is so close to the end of a Georgian year, that a year of my life is the same as a calendar year. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt in reflection over the last year.

Being independent does not mean you can’t ask for help
I’ve always been stubborn when it comes to asking for help. I’ve always seen myself as being independent, not wanting to rely on others to get things done, to try and overcome hurdles myself to prove that I was strong. I saw asking for help from others to be a sign of weakness.

It wasn’t until this year I really grew up. Realised how ridiculous that notion was. If people are willing to help you, it shows how much they care about you and they also want you to succeed.

Distancing yourself from loved ones doesn’t help
When things get tough, it’s very easy to distance yourself from everything to help you cope. But pushing yourself away from others only adds to the list of your problems once the previous one has been solved. Having others there to lend an ear, to help with problems, be your coach or to distract you entirely are key.

New Years resolutions are pointless
When I was a teenager I would write a New Years resolution list, seal it in an envelope and open it the next year to see how many of those things I had achieved. Who wants to guess how many of those I had actually completed? The last couple of years I’ve abandoned New Years resolutions, and chosen to make changes because I’ve wanted to. Because I’ve felt the need to make them regardless of when it has been during the year, and have not given myself a timeframe to complete them. The previous times I’ve made those resolutions had been when I wasn’t committed to the change.

Be yourself
I’ve found that the most cliché phrase to be true. I made some great friends over the year, by being myself completely. The cheeky sense of humour, the crazy curly hair and painted nails. The creative, passionate and caring person. If it meant that some people didn’t like me, then their loss not mine. I’ve given up caring whether someone would like me or not, helps to free your mind for other tasks.

Hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas holiday!
What epiphanies have you had this year?
Annmarie xoxo