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Friday, 31 January 2014

January Roundup: Make The Most Of 2014

When I think of 2014 as a whole I get a little nervous and excited. I haven't quite decided if it's the 'good' kind of anxiousness yet, but all I know is, when I think about the whole year to come my heart starts to beat a little faster. Oooh just writing that has made my heart do a little jump and has just made me breathe out, "oh gosshhh".

Now I'm no psychiatrist or doctor or counsellor, but I suspect the reason why I feel this way is because I'm thinking of 2014 as one big chunk and some kind of ginormous task that's bigger than the UK. Which naturally, makes me want to crawl into a corner and sing to myself and hibernate for at least another 3 months.  The real reason why people can't seem to move towards their goals is because they focus on their task as this unfamiliar, colossal goal and it puts them in the terrified-let's-just-avoid-all-problems-and-not-do-anything mind set.

So how do you solve this? Easy. Work in small steps. Focus on one section per day and avoid just doing it all in one chunk. You can't become selfless or a genius in one day, but you can take baby steps every day to help you get there. Also, everything is a lot less daunting and more achievable in smaller bits. I get that we can't all have the time or the energy to work on ourselves everyday, but think about how many days you will waste in one month by not moving forward and waiting until the weekend to even start. Again, I'm not saying that tomorrow you have to have achieved all your goals, but to get to that  A* or to be 5 pounds lighter, things need to be taken in smaller steps.

So this is what I want you to do with the goals you made: find that piece of paper that's a) either taped up to your door and hanging proudly or b) crumpled up and pretty dirty in places, and break up your goals into smaller chunks that you can do daily.  To explain this a little further, let's use my own goals as an example. For each one, I will find something I can do for a few minutes each day in order to move forward with them, which I want you to interpret to fit your own goals. A lot of these things that you'll see below I either already do and some I'm planning to start soon.
(To see a full list of my resolutions and reasons behind them + further details on them: click here )

  • Take My Blog Places. - Each day, I'll jot down any ideas that spring to mind and plan out future blog posts as well as images I might use. It doesn't take very long, a few seconds at a time really. If I see something nice or I think of a good idea, I'll write it down in order to move forward. And on the weekends, when I have a bit more freedom, I'll do more research by reading other people's blogs and promoting my page.

    (Side note: Eccentric Light Bulbs now has a Facebook page! Be sure to "like" it and share it if you want - it would mean a lot to me :))

  • Exercise When I Can. - Each night, I'll exercise for the length of ONE song. Nothing too strenuous; some push-ups and crunches work well for me. In addition to this, you can also do some exercises throughout the day like while cleaning your face, while you're in the shower etc. For me, I like doing calf raises while I'm brushing my teeth and stretching while I wash my face. (Although I do look really weird while I'm doing it.)

  • Take Better Care Of My Body. - Everyday, when I first wake up, I'll take a long drink of water and at the end of the day before I turn out the light, I'll take another. (Obviously I'll still drink water throughout the day as well.) I'm also going to try and add in a few more minutes of sleep by developing a faster morning routine and staying more organised so I can get all the beauty sleep I need. At the moment, I'm trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and something as simple as taking one extra carrot at dinner time can really help quicken the process.

  • Take More Risks. - For me, I'm going to do one thing a day that scares me (within reason). Whether it's talking to a classmate that I don't know very well or putting up my hand even if I'm unsure if I have the right answer (that really terrifies me), I'll do it and take a risk. Because you never know if you're right unless you try.

(Side note: This is one of my favourite HIMYM quotes) 

  • Get More Organised. - Each morning and each night, I'm going to go through the lists of things that I need to do and get my head focused on the tasks at hand. I've also been keeping a little list book which really helps me prioritize my assignments better.

  • Promise Myself to Try. - This one is a little difficult to do, but everyday, I will try to remind myself of who I am/want to be and where I want to end up. I know that every journey starts with the decision to try so by constantly reminding myself of what I could be and have, hopefully I'll be able to try each day. (For any motivation tips: click here or here )
  • Not Let Things Get Me Down So Easily/Be Stronger. - Every time something goes right or something makes me happy, I'm going to write it down no matter how small it is. Like today, for example, one of my favourite songs came on the radio, my teacher gave me a really nice compliment and I managed to sort out the theme of my art project. And when I get sad, I'll go back to my list and read through it so I can remember my happiness and hopefully catch some of that joy whilst reading it.

  • Live and Take Charge. - Each day you will be faced with daily struggles of conformity whether you realise it or not. Even something like choosing what you want for lunch can be affected by what other people say. So to really live and take charge, I will try and remind myself each day that if I want to do it, I should just do it. If I want to bring a pickle sandwich to school while everyone else eats an egg & cress one, I will. This one probably will take the longest time to achieve, but the way to get there is in small daily steps.

  • Get 10 A*s in my GCSEs - This one isn't actually in my resolutions, but I thought I would add this for anyone who does have something like this for their resolutions and I think it is important to still focus on your exams. (Also this might seem a bit ambitious, but it's important to aim high and stretch yourself to your full potential. Don't set your goals low just because you think you can't do it.) So, instead of waiting for the GCSE time to roll around to start revising, I'm going to start now. So each day I'll take 5 minutes to learn some German vocab, 2 minutes to read through my English notes, 2 minutes to draw up that Chemistry diagram etc. Those three things took less than 10 minutes and already I would have become one step closer to getting that A*.

Even if you haven't been completely successful in moving towards your goals this January, that's okay. February is a new month and a new start. And if you fail again, tomorrow is another new start. The point is that it's okay if you don't succeed at first. What's that saying? If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Get back up again and believe that you can get to where you need to be. Because at the end of the day, the only person you should never give up on, is yourself.

And even better, the end of January (the 31st) is actually Chinese New Year! So even if you aren't Chinese, take this as a new start to your year.

So that concludes January 2014 - hope you enjoyed this month with me (even if I was absent from it for a little while. But on the bright side, my mocks went really well!)

Hopefully, I'll see you all again in February which is going to be a very exciting month I think. I've already got tons and tons of posts planned and February is one of my favourite months of the year, so stay tuned! Take Chinese New Year or the beginning of February as your new start to the year and make the most of 2014. We'll get there together. You deserve it.

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