April Goals

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post (over a year, oops), but not that I’ve got a bit more time on my hands I thought I would try to get back into posting more regularly.

So, it’s the beginning of a new month and usually the time when a lot of people think about what they would like to achieve over the coming weeks and set some goals for themselves.

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Originally this post was going to be about my goals for the month. But as we all know, April isn’t going to be a normal month as most of us are under full lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and are only able to leave the house for essentials. I, like many others, have been furloughed, which means I am unable to work from home and so will not be working for the foreseeable future.

A few days ago I sat down to think about what I want to achieve this month. I wrote a list of all the things I thought I could do now that I have a lot more time on my hands. I was feeling optimistic and looking forward to a month of self-improvement, just like I’ve seen so many others document on social media.

The next day I woke up and felt like total crap. All I wanted to do that day, and for the following few days too, was lie in bed. I was in a real slump. One of the things that was getting me down even more was thinking about all the goals I had set for myself, and only a couple of days into the month I was already failing.

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So I’ve decided not to make this post about setting goals this month. Sure, it’s good to have some ideas of things you might want to do during this time, but at the end of the day we are living in a totally unprecedented situation. Many of us are stuck at home without any work to do. Some are classed as high risk and have been advised not to leave their home for 12 weeks. Some people are completely alone. Some days will be harder than others. There will be times we feel productive, and will get up, do some yoga, bake cookies and clean the whole house. But there will be other days when we want to do nothing but watch Netflix. And there will be some days when we won’t want to get out of bed at all. And that’s okay. We all need to stop being so hard on ourselves.

Instead of worrying about the things I feel like I ‘should’ be doing during this time, I’m going to try to take it one day at a time, and not get stressed about achievements and goals.

I saw this post from Matt Haig on Instagram the other day, which perfectly sums it up.

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Being is doing.

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So let’s all try to be a bit kinder to ourselves!

To resolution, or not to resolution?

Happy New Year!

A friend once wished me a happy new year and said that she hoped the year brought me everything I wished for, which is a really lovely thought and is something that has stuck with me.  So, to everyone who reads this, I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for!

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This time of year brings with it the usual onslaught of ‘New Year’s Resolution’ posts all over social media.  These usually revolve around making big changes in your life, such as dieting, getting a new job, etc.  This is fine if it’s something you’ve been wanting to do for a while anyway, but is it really worth making a resolution just because you feel you should?

In the past, I’ve made resolutions myself, including things like working out every day and learning a new language.  I have yet to succeed in a single one.

The problem with making a New Year’s Resolution is that we put too much pressure on ourselves to have instant success, when in fact life so often gets in the way and prevents us from achieving this.  How can you start a no-sugar diet when your house is still full of Christmas chocolate?  Going to the gym every day is fine, but what about those days when you just don’t want to leave the house?  And when we do inevitably eat that Lindt teddy bear we had stashed at the back of the cupboard, or choose to stay in bed for an extra half hour instead of working out, a wave of guilt follows.  After the first ‘failure’, it’s more difficult to get back on plan, and soon your resolution is cast aside.

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But we shouldn’t feel guilty for these ‘lapses’.  Because that’s just life!  You can plan out your day to the very minute, but something will always crop up that throws you off schedule, and you need to allow for adjustments.

So instead of making a fixed resolution, maybe it would be more realistic to have a series of smaller monthly, or weekly goals, which can eventually get you to where you want to be.  One of my aims for this year is to cut down on meat consumption, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to just stop eating cold turkey , so I’m going to try gradually introducing more vegetarian meals to my diet until I can (hopefully) cut out meat altogether.

Don’t get me wrong, different things work for different people, and for some it may be necessary to have a strict regime.  But don’t feel bad if this doesn’t work for you, and don’t give up on a goal just because you haven’t achieved it within a month or two, or because you see someone else’s ‘success’ on Instagram.

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After all, we all work at our own pace and have our own ways of defining success.  So maybe don’t worry too much about making a New Year’s Resolution, but instead think about the areas you may want to improve on in your life, and take small steps to try to get there.

What do you think about New Year’s Resolutions? Do they work for you, or do you think they’re complete rubbish?  I’d love to hear some other opinions on this, so please leave some comments!