Habit Tracking

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Remember that bullet journal of mine? Don’t blame you if you don’t. I don’t. It was a project that I tried to make work but then ultimately didn’t because I just didn’t really know what to do with it and couldn’t figure out a way to make it work for me in terms of coding and all that jazz.

I also never set up a habit tracker.

Which felt like it might have been the most useful part of the whole thing. Yes, I need to get better at making to-do lists for the days and I’ve already started a finance tracker in a separate notebook (seriously I own so many notebooks I always forget, and then I find a new one) and other than that I didn’t really see the point in it.

Anyway, at the beginning of the year (which for real seems like a lifetime ago) I was reading an article about apps that can help you get your resolutions in check and one caught my eye the most:

Today.

Basically you just set up some goals and then how often you want to achieve the thing and then you check in when you’ve done it. You can also set up reminders for it to pop and just let you know that you need to do the thing.

I currently only use it to remind to take my vitamins each day because I missed a few days in quick succession because I deleted the VITL app off my phone to clear up some storage and that used to remind me and well my days were all aligning up and then they weren’t because I kept missing them and I apparently needed the reminder.

So I did that.

And now at 2pm I get little reminder to take it and usually it always does because I’ve forgotten about it and then I get to check in and build up a streak. If there is one thing that I have learnt about myself it’s that I give a much bigger shit about it when there is a streak to build up. I do it with Timehop, I do it with Peak. I am currently doing it with this. I am only on a 13 day streak, but it’s a streak.

The vitamins one is currently the only that I am actively doing.

But there are other habits that I can try to track with it now. And that I want to track as well.

One of them is, yeah you can probably guess it, write. I am gonna set a notification. I’m finally buckling down on it. For real.

I also want to track my sugar intake, maybe my caffeine one as well. I don’t know how, but yeah it’s an idea. There are others as well that I might consider but I don’t really know how to track them (like saving…where do I start with that?).

I dunno, this basically started out as a reminder for myself and then I realised that it could be a habit tracker and it’s something that feels like it might be close to organisation and we all know what’s going on there with this one.

So that’s where I’m at. Weirdly switching from writing shit down to doing it with an app. Or maybe that’s not weird.

It’s where we are with this.

I’m starting to habit track it now.

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

 

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Final 2017 Check In

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So 2017 has well and truly come to a close even though it’s only been 3 days since the clock ticked over to midnight signalling a new year, but as such I am due a final check in from my 2017 ‘Intentions’. As I mentioned in Checkpoint 5 this one will just be a quick summary of the year as I went quite in depth in that one.

Without further ado, let’s wrap last year up:

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – This has moved along fine. I am getting another hair cut at some point this month because you gotta cut it to get that length. I’m keeping it moisturised and super hydrated. I’ve just gotta keep this up, but I’ve got into a routine with it and so I consider this one a success

2) Take Better Care of My Skin –  I’ve been using Glossier for two months now and my skin feels a lot better hydrated. I’ve dropped tea tree oil from routine completely and haven’t really noticed that much of a difference. I still keep getting breakouts on my forehead but they clear up pretty quickly and I’m currently pretty happy with where I’ve got my routine to.

3) Tone The Hell Up – I never really got my diet back under control and then December hit and then it just all got worse. Not massively or anything, but yeah the diet overhaul that starts next week (because nothing happens in the first week of the year in my life) will be real. Also going to look at my workout breakdown week on week and see what I can change there. Mainly looking at how I can get Pilates/Yoga back into my routine.

4) Start Saving Properly – No, this ended badly. But yeah, this year will be the year.

5) Get Better Organised – This has rolled over into this year. It would be nice to know that it’s a habit come summer to be honest. I’m aiming for it earlier.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – I’ve kind of made my peace with where I’m at with this one. It’s been a bit of a mess for the most part but I’m at peace with its status. I’m going to get back to it a bit more this year mainly because I want to finish a couple of things to be tied up and done.

And that’s my final check in for 2017. I can actually only cross two off the list completely and consider them to be habits, which is a third of them…ah well.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

 

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Checkpoint 5

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This check in is late I think…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I honestly cannot figure out the timings of it. I’m pretty sure it’s late. It should have happened last month but November was otherwise engaged and so it has to open December, which is gonna be festive-ish I guess. I’m not a big Christmas person until it gets to about the 20th and then I’m over it come the 27th. That’s it, you kinda get festive me for about a week, but during that week I go hardLike, I wear a Christmas jumper every day and always buy a new one to wear on the day.

This is kind of festive themed I guess. I mean it’s terrifyingly reaching the end of the year and this is the time where people start looking back at what they had intended to do for the year and seeing whether they’ve achieved it or not. This isn’t quite closing out the whole year because I wrote it up when it was supposed to be written but have only just had an opening to post it, the final check in will come some time in January when I do a 2018 version of this, but this is the last comprehensive update of the year. So without further ado:

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – There’s not really much more that I can do with this one. I had my second haircut of the year back in July and I am due another one in January (hell yeah perks of having hair that only needs two haircuts a year). I continue to wash, condition and deep condition my hair each week. Which is arguably kind of pointless given that during this season so far (meaning winter) and the fact that I work out 5 times a week it spends most of its time tied up. But it remains moisturised and there is some length coming to it and it’s plodding along. Leave in conditioners are my friends and I’m always trying new shampoos and new hair masks. I’m kind of done with this one. It’s become a habit at this point.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin –  Okay, so I have moved away from Lush products since the last check in. This happened mainly so I could see what Glossier hype was all about. I’ve got a full post coming about this later this week but it’s come with a new cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. My skin is looking less oily which is good, but the breakouts are still there and I can’t quite figure out why they are happening. I really need to get back to cleaning my face with Dark Angels once a week again for an extra exfoliating kick mid week but I keep forgetting. I mean I’m not treating my skin badly or anything, it’s just decided to go through a second puberty.

3) Tone The Hell Up – Look at some point in October my diet fell to shit and for some reason it now ebbs and flows. I’m not beating myself up about or anything and I kind of make up for it by regularly working out and stuff so I don’t feel bad about it or anything, but I really need to start shaping up with that again. Diet is like half the battle with this one. The exercise is routine now. It happens 5 times a week, I do cardio twice a week, I lift once a week, I do some bodyweight stuff that is basically just planks and squats and I do barre because nothing burns quite like the barre burn. Physically I have baby biceps that come out to play now and I can lift weights now which is changing things slightly and like, I have the hints of abs and my legs are hella toned. Did I do that for the aesthetics? Hell no. I did it to get stronger, to get moving, to help cope with my every day stresses and just really sweat the day away. But the aesthetics of it isn’t a bad thing. We’re approaching Christmas at this point, and while I’m not going to go crazy I’m kind of not naive enough to think that I’m going to completely overhaul my diet in amongst alllll the food. So this will trickle over into a 2018 goal.

4) Start Saving Properly –  Look, this has not gone well this year. It just hasn’t. But I think this is good. It’s forced me to really assess the whole situation properly and truly look at better ways to be saving money and how to get everything under control. So yeah, this has failed. In so many damn ways. But it can only go up from here.

5) Get Better Organised – The diary I bought does get used. But again, it remains super sporadic. It’s habit that I’v never had before and trying to get into one is proving hard for me. I’m choosing Sundays as the day where I sit down and just plan things out. And then I need to keep referring to it. In a similar way to how I do a face mask every Sunday and go through the hair washing process on a Monday, I just need to form a habit of it. And I have the motivation for it, so it’s getting there.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – I’ve learned this year that I need to not force this. I need to just let it do what it wants to do. And some days it wants to write 3,000 words in a day and others it wants to write 0. I need to learn to fall into this and not feel bad or feel like a failure when I don’t. I also need to not just let myself fall into a habit where I do not write anything for days on end. It’s just kind of frustrating the way it works, but I need to stop worrying about that. I also think that I am going to start making a habit of just writing for half an hour each night, and not just for this blog but outside of it. It’s just half an hour and yeah sometimes that half hour will fly by in a flurry or words and sometimes it won’t. I just need to roll with it and not fight it. My NaNo attempt was behind from day 2 and it sucked, but it wasn’t the end of the world and realising that lifted a huge weight that I hadn’t even known I was carrying.  So yeah, I have written more and I’ve also not, but this is a ongoing thing for me and I have written a lot of stuff so I consider it a win.

And that is the 5th and final full check in for my 2017 goals for the year. Some have been good, some have been truly ignored and nothing has come from them. Some of them are ongoing beyond just this year and this was just the foundation for them.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

 

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Letters to Autumn 26

Letters to Autumn 26

Dear Autumn,

You remember that diary that I bought some time over the summer?

Yeah, to be honest I almost forgot about it too. I schlepped the thing all the way to bloody Filey with me and it never even left the bag that I put it in. I’ve been doing that a lot with it. Just taking it places and then forgetting about it.

I keep having good intentions with it. It’s my great bid to become more organised after all. But then I kind of lose those intentions somewhere along the way. I don’t even really know where it goes, it just goes missing momentarily.

And then on Sunday I got hit with another wave of motivation to get to this thing and became the kind of person that plans the minutiae of her life. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I did write down all the little tasks that I wanted to get done over the course of week and assigned them to a day. I then tried to hold myself accountable for that.

The majority of the things that I wanted to get done were and are writing related. I have a lot of book reviews to write for next month and I want to be as on top of it as I can be so that I only have one focus for next month for the most part. I’ve been doing relatively well with this so far, mainly because I have a reason to be trying to be as productive as possible this last full week of October (what the fuck by the way?). Also ideally I want to spend the last two days of this month getting some prep done for the next 30 days. You know like actually have a plan of some sort and not go in totally blind like I have done for 16,000 words so far.

My aim is to get to 70,000 words with this thing by year’s end. And I can’t do that without a plan.

So the diary is back and I’ve started writing down all the things that I actually need to do because putting down onto paper means that I can see it practically and it doesn’t just bounce around in my head as a vague idea to maybe actually do. The task is written down and it has a date. I’m being held accountable for it.

And for the most part, so far it seems like this diary is proving practical and useful.

Result.

Love,

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…Organised?

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I had a goal for the month. I wrote about it on here and bought a new diary and everything.

The goal was simple: get more organised.

Somehow this month ran away from me at cheetah’s pace and it’s now pretty the end of the month and I don’t really have anything to show for it.

I have opened the diary.

I have stared at the pretty pages and read the quotes that are at the top of the page for each week. I have marveled at it and all the possibilities that it holds. I have even written in it.

But for the most part I’ve written in it retrospectively. I’ve sat there on a Sunday and just thought about the week and what I did and then just written it all down to make the week look busy.

I was originally going to approach this a little bit like a bullet journal, and I still will (because yes, I am determined to make this a habit this time), and just make quick notes about tasks I need to do and other events that might be worth noting and all that jazz, but I guess because I am not in the habit of that it’s just not really happening.

I tried to carry my shiny new diary with me but I just kept forgetting about it so it didn’t really add anything to my day to day life. I didn’t refer to it at all throughout the day which means that carrying it around was kind of pointless. And so then I took it out and now I just sort of don’t refer to it as much.

In fact it has just sat on my living room table for the past week or so and I’ve not opened it. But I want to.

The difference between this instance and all the other countless attempts is the intention. I mean yes I kind of bought the diary because it’s very aesthetically pleasing, but it is also for the first time kind of holding me accountable to get my shit together.

It’s nowhere near as together as I would like it to be, but I feel like come the next check in I do for my goals this year that there may actually be something to report on regarding this particular one..watch this space.

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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One Goal

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As I mentioned on Friday, the majority of this month will be a bit all over the place and some might be prompt based. This will be one of those and the prompt is: ‘Share one goal you want to achieve this month’

I actually do actively want to get better organised. I know this is a goal that I have set up for the year and as you can probably gather I have been doing terribly. Just truly awful. I am on some level just terrified of making lists and all that jazz. It’s just I have this irrational fear that once I put it down into words then I am going to freak myself out and shut down and therefore trying to become organised would become null and void.

So that is my goal for September.

To actually be able to say come that next check in that I have felt myself finally click with getting into a routine of being organised.

And because I am me and I am stationery fiend (seriously I have such a problem) I have also bought myself an 18 (it might be 17 month actually) month diary. It’s florally, it looks super pretty. It’s from my new fave place Ohh Deer which I have to pretend is not a site that exists otherwise it would just have all my money. And also because I am me, I’m waiting for it to arrive before I truly get my shit together and get physically organised so for the time being everything remains a mess.

My main reason for this being my goal is that what with the whole return to my blog and the clusterfuck it was before I took my extended break I am very aware that it would be sooooo easy for me to sort of fall off the wagon again and clobber together everything really last minute and I’m not naive enough to think that still won’t be the case, but if I can just manage my time a bit better then it shouldn’t feel like such a chore, which it did come about June.

I do not want to fall out of love with my blog again, and I don’t want to fall into a total state of apathy (which I am well at the risk of doing) and I want to feel like I am actually filling my time with doing things that are going to better me in some way. And currently I have a couple of things that I want to do and I need to manage my time with it all. And I need to be better organised for that.

I need to literally write it all down and make time slots or something. I think first I need to figure out what the hell being organised actually means to me. But it means that I need to start getting on board with lists and putting things down on paper so I can physically see them, rather than just hoping that my brain is going to remember it all.

So that’s my goal for the month of September, that hasn’t yet come into effect because I need the stationery to arrive first…

I’m speaking it into existence on a bigger level than I have before, I will report back to see if I’ve been successful in the endeavour.

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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8 Month Point

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I spent an awful long time trying to figure out when the hell the next one of these was due. I think in total there should be 6 in the year if I do one every 2 months, so I think I have worked it out that one is due now, one in late October/early November and then one at the end of the year. I think. Honestly I cannot figure it out, but I’m gonna roll with that and pretend that I’m not truly atrocious at maths. So, here’s another check in.

1) Take Better Care of My Hair – I got a trim at the end of July just to keep it fresh (and also to encourage it to grow a bit, the fact that my hair seems to just hover at shoulder length when dry while it is boob length wet is a tad annoying to me right now, but I’m embracing the curls and all that jazz) and that is obviously to keep it as healthy as possible. I also deep condition it once a week and make sure that it is slathered in conditioner at all points to keep it hydrated and bouncy and in good nick. This one has basically just become part of my day to day life with great ease and it’s in the best condition it’s been in in years.

2) Take Better Care of My Skin – I fear that I am going to have to change my skin care routine up a bit shortly because I keep having break outs and I do not know why. Sometimes it’s hormonal and that’s fine, but it’s when it’s not that it’s annoying. And also the hyperpigmentation on my face has just become even more obvious recently, which I think is just because I’ve got a tan over the past couple of months and so the dark marks look darker. I’ve recently added Vitamin E oil to my night time routine as well as tea tree oil to deal with the breakouts overnight and I think there has been a small change in the state of my skin, but they are small. So I’m in two minds about what to do with it. But while I still um and ah about it I am keeping up with my existing routine to try and keep the issues under control.

3) Tone The Hell Up – I took a whole week off and did whatever the hell I wanted while I was in Greece because I was on holiday and who the fuck cares. I then came back and jumped straight back into doing a lot of cardio, which is a big deal for me because I cut the hell back from cardio for a good 2/3 months and just did low impact work outs (that focused on stretching as well). I then got my diet back on track for the most part and am still making small changes to it to try and make it better because all the exercise that I am doing don’t mean shit if my diet is whack. I’m also going to try and get back into exercises that focus more on stretching (like yoga and pilates which I haven’t done in over a month now). Look, I like the way my body looks. I like that it’s a lot stronger than it used to be. I like that I don’t need to fake being confident in wearing certain things that I own and actually am now. I will walk around in a crop top/bralette and shorts and not feel super self conscious. I have some personal goals that I am working towards for the end of the year and I feel confident that I am going to achieve them. I feel good about myself and that’s what this goal for the year was all about. I hated myself for too long and had far too many bad habits and behaviours that were doing me damage in so many ways and I’ve changed a lot of them and actually feel good now. Plus exercise is doing wonders for my mental health and that can never be a bad thing.

4) Start Saving Properly – Listen, I spent so much money in August cos holiday and I went a bit into denial about how much money I actually spent. So to counteract that I am basically not spending money on anything except for a need to basis for the next couple of months. So things like food, toiletries, my gym membership and my monthly train ticket are still on the list and I’m not going to deprive myself of going out if the opportunity arises, but for the most part I’m cutting back on my spending. That’s not going to contribute to the saving thing, but it is going to put me back in a position where I can start saving properly. This whole goal has been a total clusterfuck, which to be honest is what I expected.

5) Get Better Organised – I mean I don’t even know what is happening here. For the most part, I am not better organised but then also I somehow am as well…there has honestly been no change. But there probably needs to be because as it stands I am due to get more creative projects in my life that I need to dedicate time to and keep on top of them all, so some change is going to have to happen. But then again, knowing me I also don’t think it will.

6) Try And Be More Creative/Just Write More – This is happening. I have 14,000 words of a novel written that came fully into existence throughout August. Plus I have some other projects that require my creativity over the next few months so this one is actually all coming together. Which I am really happy about because my creativity abandoned me in a big way recently and so having it back is just really great.

And that brings me to the end of this little 2017 intentions update. Another one of these will be coming at some point…I think it’s November…we’ll see. There are 2 more left that much I know.

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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