Number 13

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There is a part of me that thinks if I speak things into the universe then I more likely to hold myself accountable for them. I don’t necessarily always do it, but that’s mainly because I then don’t try and follow them up again with myself because if I don’t follow up then I can just pretend that it doesn’t happen.

But this month I have a plan.

It’s related to one of my goals for the year. It’s number 13.

It’s also the one that I failed the most last year. And the one that I want to really get to grips with this year. But I’m serious about it this year.

I’ve already started making a start with trying to get things a little bit more under control. Not that they were crazy out of control or anything, because I still live at home and don’t have to pay rent/bills yet (but I would like to be able to be in the position to do that soon-ish) but I’ve kind of not been truly paying attention to where the hell my money is going. It’s like I have it and then it’s gone. But I’m challenging that now.

I’ve made a list of all the payments that come out of my bank account on a monthly basis and an estimate date as to when they leave their little house. What doing that taught me was that more things leave my bank account automatically then I thought. It also made me truly accept that I need to cancel my magazine subscriptions because the pile of ones that I’ve not read yet is excessive (some of them date to July 2017…). It also taught me that by some stroke of luck most of them go out around pay day which I think is a good thing. Currently it feels right.

Christmas also helped me tip the balance back in my favour for my monthly travel card which remains my biggest expense each month and now falls three days after pay day. Win!

Anyway, back to my point, which I think I have lost slightly over the way, this month I am cutting down my spending to needs must only. Things like food, toiletries, all the expenses that automatically leave (which I do now know and have ended if necessary) are pretty much the only thing that I will be spending money. But I am allowing for the odd occasion that I might get a life.

I will be real, there was a part of me that had little to no faith in myself, but then I was on one of my fave sites of all time, Fabletics, because the February collection dropped and was wondering whether anything was drawing me in and there were a couple of things. Then I remembered that you get reward points whenever you buy something and if you get enough you can convert them into credit against your account. And I was 200 odd shy of that.

Then I discovered that you can also get points if you review things. There are a lot of things sitting on my account waiting to be reviewed. And well, to cut a long story short, I spent a lot of yesterday reviewing this and now I can choose a pair of leggings of my choosing and get them pretty much for free which will satisfy that itch in me that wants a new pair…

I also have a shit ton of Boots Advantage points that I can redeem against stuff (when I figure out the very complicated system that allows you to actually buy things with your Advantage card…) so I can pick up some of the stuff that I know I need that way.

We’re on day 3 of this though and so while this feels like a promising start, I’ve also been in this position before where it’s been great for a few days but then goes to shit real quick. But I want to really be in a position where come the end of the month I can make an accurate assessment as to how much I can actually afford to out into my savings account and not just put some money in there and then move it back out a couple of weeks later. I also want to be able to close my overdraft completely and know that I don’t need it as a safety net anymore.

So, I’m speaking it into the universe. As well as trying to cut back down on sugar (which I’m not doing to hot on right now, but again day 3) and starting to meditate more I am also going to curb and really reassess my spending (and only be a little bit better that my monthly travel card has gone up by nearly a tenner…)

Parentheses count: 5. See you tomorrow!

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2018 Goals

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We are now pretty firmly into this year, 2018 and like I did last year I have set myself some goals for the year. Unlike last year where there were 6 quite broad goals that could kind of encompass anything that I wanted it to,  this year they are a tad more specific. They are something that I can actually aspire to and that could maybe be something a little more tangible. They cover an array of things and they are the kind of things that I am hoping to form into habits.  I may or may not do updates on this as the year goes on, I quite liked it last year because it forced me to check in on them and see where I was and whether I was putting any effort into them, so I probably will (and I’ll be better at tracking them over the year).

1) Learn how to fuck with eyeshadow

I am being legit about this. I have kind of gotten better at make up over the past couple of years. I mean I do the same face each and every time but just switch out the lipstick out and my eyeliner never really matches, but I can contour now and am really nailing the whole highlighter thing, but I also don’t trust myself with any kind of eyebrow product that isn’t a gel with a spoolie. So I think that if I learn how to actually do things with eyeshadow then I can actually make it look like I have a different face on whenever I do put make up.

2) Learn how to do a full pull up

Listen I have minimal upper body strength and am also tall as hell. The idea of being able to do a pull up sounds almost unachievable to me, but it is also something that I want to be able to do. I’m not even aiming high. I just want to be able to do one.

3) Be able to a full push up

I can manage this when I am on my knees, but when I am going full push up I can get about half of the way down before my arms feel like they are going to give up and so I push back up to avoid smashing my face onto the floor. I want to change that. I’m aiming up for this one, I want to be able to multiple reps for this.

4) Read 70 books

Okay I know the challenge is officially set at 65, but for some reason, probably because I exceed last year’s one, I want to see if I can push it that little bit further. I already have two other books that I started reading and have carried over to this year… I’m sure I can find another 3 from somewhere.

5) Lift heavier

So for this Lift class of mine (it’s literally called that) the heaviest I have on my barbell is for the squat tracks and it’s 13kg, then for any kind of clean and presses and rows it’s 10kg, biceps and triceps it’s 8kg. All this means that I am classified as an intermediate. And I can just about cope with this at the moment, I think the problem with that one is that I went up in weight and then became really sporadic with when I went which meant that it was harder to get consistent with it and move up with the weights. Which I want to change. I want to be a strong lifter. If I’m meaning really ambitious then I would say seasoned pro, but I’m a realist, so I’m just aiming for strong.

6) Eat more fruit and veg

You know that whole recommended intake of fruit and veg? Yeah I think I get about 2 on an average day, 3-5 when I’m really conscious of it. I want to be more conscious of it at all times until it just becomes a habit and the idea of doing it isn’t even something I think about anymore.

7) Cook More

I used to cook all the time and then my dad changed shifts at work and it went back to him so I pretty much only do it on weekends if I’m feeling inspired enough to do more than just pasta, which is rare because I am so out of the habit of it. But even when I did cook, I pretty much only ever cooked the same 7 dishes just on a rotation and so I want to expand that. And cook more. This is the year that I want to make some tweaks to my diet and cooking is a pretty good way to get that into my control.

8) Finish the damn book

As in writing it. I want a first draft of this thing done by the end of the year. I want to final be able to say that I have finished a novel because I have so many half written ones in my life that have lost their way somewhere in the middle and I want to change that.

9) Write for half an hour a day

This kind of links to the above one, but is also just a general thing. By the end of the year the only writing I did was for this blog and even then I stopped doing that come December, which is fine, it’s still writing, but I want to more creatively. I have a built in hour of my day where I usually read (sometimes I don’t but they are the exception to the rule) on my commute to and from work/gym and I want to carve out a half hour of my day where I write. I think at first I might literally have to set a timer for half an hour and close any possible distractions, but I want it to become a habit. I can’t finish the damn book if I never write anything.

10) Get better organised

This is back, but I’m serious about this time. I have way too much time that I just spend aimlessly and then never have ‘time’ to do the things that I want to do which is bullshit. The time is there I’m just not utilising it properly. I have a shit ton of unused notebooks that I bought because they were pretty and that 2018 organiser of mine, they’re gonna get used and I’m gonna become a better organiser of the time I have that isn’t spent at work. Although even there I’m gonna get a clearer level of organisation in too.

11) Get my Peak score to 800

I talked about this at some point last year, I downloaded the Peak brain training app at the back end of 2016 and am now on a 376 day streak or something like that, but the score that I have has been hovering between 770-780 for months now and I want it to break 800, it means I have to take more care around the board for all the games and stuff, but that’s my aim

12) Meditate more

Headspace literally asks for 10 minutes out of your day and I used to give it to them, but then I stopped and kind of undid all the work that I had done with it. On the one hand it was because I was treating exercise as a kind of meditation but also I just wasn’t making it a priority, which I want to change. It’s just 10 minutes and it makes such a difference.

13) Save, save, save

I know this was also on the list last year and it was an epic fail but I’m serious about it this year. I’m gonna start keeping better track of all my expenses and try and not buy things that I really do not need. I want to be able to completely close my overdraft, ideally by summer time, but definitely by the end of the year.

14) Put more effort into blogging

I used to be relatively good with this. I would think about what I was doing more and I was good at sharing my posts and I had finally fallen into a habit of interacting with other blogs and then I just stopped all that. Posts came together really quickly and they were literally only shared once when it auto shares at posting. I want to get better at utilising Tweetdeck and reading other blogs and commenting on them and get back into the blogging community.

15) The Masters

Just as I was heavily considering actually making my way through the application, work got really hectic and left me feeling incredibly drained. On the one hand I think I used that as an excuse for not doing it this year, but on the other I knew deep within me that I wasn’t prepared to put the time into the application because I wasn’t ready for it. But I do still want to do it, so when the time comes later in the year I’m going to put the effort in and let the chips fall where they may.

And those are the 15 things that I want to work towards this year.

What about you, are there any things that you’re working towards or want to achieve this year?

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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