I never got around to writing up a challenge/goals post for March like I planned, but this month I’m determined to set out my goals and also give myself a few activities to work on. I’m taking part in the #MyMonthlyMemories challenge set by the lovely Basant so I figured it makes sense to put both into one mega reviewing/planning post!
March was a mixed month. I was still feeling a bit stuck and lost settling into my new surroundings and getting increasingly frustrated looking for work. However I made some breakthroughs in different areas of my life. As I did last time I’ll use different categories to review how things went the past month, but this time I’m also going to write my goals for April.
I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit in March. I had a couple of bouts of illness/feeling rubbish and also got a little overwhelmed with trying to do too many different habits and things. Because of this my productivity plan didn’t go so well, but I’ve had some genuine rest and reflection time, and also learnt valuable lessons. The biggest one being if I try to change everything I’ll end up slumped into a heap feeling burnt out and fed up. I already knew this, but I’ve taken it on board a bit more in the past month, and I feel a lot more positive about my productivity going forward.
Goals/Plans for April:
At the start of this month I discovered something called The Miracle Morning, which is honestly changing my life. It’s a routine/thought system which encourages you to focus on self improvement and open yourself up to achieve what you’re capable of. I’m going to write a whole post once I’ve got into it, but in the meantime you can check out the creator Hal Elrod’s website to get more info! As part of The Miracle Morning(TMM) I’ve been trying to get up at 7.30 (which is pretty much unheard of for me since I left high-school!) and also doing 10 minutes of meditation each morning using Headspace. I’m already feeling a LOT more productive – it definitely helps to be dressed and ready to go before 9am! I’m going to keep following TMM this month, as well as refining my morning routines. I’ve been a bit lapse with using The Fabulous so by incorporating the new habits from TMM, tweaking my ritual, and getting up earlier I hope to be more productive in April.
I still don’t have a job, but I’ve applied for quite a few, and also attended several training opportunities and events. From the Queen’s Young Leaders introduction at the beginning of the month to the Young Women’s Trust residential, and some exciting meetings for my Fixers campaign (more coming on that soon!). All of these are adding to my skills, confidence and employability, and I’m feeling more motivated and empowered by these opportunities. A highlight of the month was going to London to speak on a panel about Women as Carers at the Women Of the World Festival. I was alongside Chloe Alexander, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Carer’s Trust, and Author Kathy Lette. It was a great discussion and the first time I’ve been paid to speak at an event. Though I’m just going to pay someone back/cover my bills with the money I still count that as a win!
Goals/Plans for April:
I’m going to keep applying for jobs, as well as developing my Fixers campaign project which I’m hoping to turn into the basis for my social enterprise eventually. I’ve also just been accepted onto the UpRising Fastlaners programme which is a 6 month employability programme, starting with 2 weeks of training/workshops in Manchester. It kicks off next week and I’m excited to be a part of it! I’ll blog about how it goes and any thoughts/ideas I get from it.
As I’ve mentioned March was a bit mixed. I’ve been feeling sort of up-and-down this year so far, I think a lot of it is down to lack of structure, routine, and income. I’m in a still relatively new place, so getting used to it is going to take a bit of a time too. I was ill on and off last month, culminating in a day where I basically watched Netflix and napped all day (I really don’t ever nap unless I’m very ill). All of this made me feel mentally rubbish too; I’ve felt unproductive, useless, and sometimes like I’m not good enough to do any of the things. However I started April on a high.
Goals/Plans for April:
On Sunday I woke up at 7.30, and I think it changed my life. Obviously I’ve got up at that time before, when I was living in London I had to get up about then to get ready for work, but since moving up North the mornings have largely escaped me. I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘morning person’ but I managed it. I got up the same time on Monday too, though by the end of the day I was exhausted. This morning I didn’t do so well, waking up at 10.30 as my phone died last night, I didn’t put it on charge, and even though I was really tired I still went to bed late. I think two nights is the amount my body can go with not enough sleep before it just forces me to sleep in. So my plan for April is to be in bed before midnight every night. I’ll track how I’m going and hopefully it will help me continue getting up early! Part of The Miracle Morning is gratitude, and taking the time to write down 3 things I’m grateful for has also helped put me in a positive mindset, so I will make an effort to keep that up too!
Aside from waking up early my well-being goals are around self-care. As you may know I started my new Self Care Sundays series last week, alongside that I’m attempting to do yoga 3 days a week using videos from Yoga with Adrienne. Eventually I want to do more exercise, but easing in with something gentle will really help me both physically and mentally.
I’ve been out and about a bit in March; it was great to visit friends back in London earlier in the month. J and I spent Easter weekend at his parent’s caravan in The Lakes which was lovely. I haven’t done very well at making new friends up here though. I’ve been talking to a few lovely people on Twitter and Facebook, but haven’t plucked up the courage to go and meet anyone. I have joined in a few Twitter Chats run by bloggers and blogging sites though, which were really fun! You can see a list of blogging related Twitter Chats here 🙂
Goals/Plans for April:
I’m going to meet up with one new person. I haven’t decided how or who, but I’m determined to take a positive step in making friends up here. When you’re an adult making friends is so much more difficult because you all have jobs and don’t necessarily live near each other. I really need to get the confidence to go out and make friends. There’s also a Poetry Group in Preston I’m going to look into joining. A group of writers seem like a ready-made friend pool to pick from! It’s kind of lame to admit that I’m 24 and not sure how to make friends, but honestly most of the friends I have I met at uni, or through volunteering and social action stuff. If I want to meet good people I have to make opportunities. This will also help me get out of the house a bit more, as a lot of the time I just sit in this room on my laptop writing blogs, poems, and emails, or getting hooked into Twitter. Perhaps in direct contradiction to that sentence I’m also going to join in with more Twitter Chats. The ones I’ve participated in have been really interesting, and led to new followers who could potentially become friends some day…
I fell down a bit in regularly posting on the blog last month. I’ve had a lot going on in my head, but I also realised that it was partly because I wasn’t being true to myself and what I really wanted to write about. At the end of the month I made the big decision to Re-brand and Refocus back to why I started writing in the first place. It’s been a few days since I changed the name of the blog to Your Book Begins, and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve been getting more interaction from the HuffPost blog I wrote as well, and have also submitted pieces to a few other sites in March.
Goals/Plans for April:
I filmed and uploaded my first ever vlog yesterday on my YouTube channel, and I’m really excited to keep going with that. On the blog I started Self Care Sundays, which I’m hoping will turn into a useful resource for others, as well as a collaborative project. I’ve already been in touch with a couple of bloggers about using their self-care stories as inspiration, and I’m going to reach out to see if anyone wants to do a collab or guest post this month. My other goal is to keep submitting to websites etc to write for them. A lot are unpaid but if I build up a good portfolio of bylines I can use that to help get a paid position in the future hopefully! I’ve also been thinking about other ideas for the blog, including changing up the sections and how I can tie it in with my YouTube channel. Watch this space for more in the coming months!
March was a very mixed month with illness; trips to London, Liverpool and Manchester; blog posts; job applications; and a few days where I really didn’t want to do anything. There were definitely good points like the caravan weekend, speaking on a panel in London, joining the Queen’s Young Leaders programme, and going on some nice walks in Preston with J. I’ve learnt more about myself in terms of my own limits and how to work better/be more productive.
April is going to be a pivotal month for me I feel. I’ve been accepted onto the Fastlaners programme run by UpRising, have started doing The Miracle Morning, and also meditating using Headspace. By being more conscious of how I’m feeling and what I’m doing I think I can be more productive, improve my mental well-being, and become more successful. I am going to get up at 7.30 the rest of this week, and then next week it will probably have to be 7(!) as I’m going to Manchester every day. Expect more blogs, more vlogs, and more social media presence!
What are your goals and plans for April? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter
Remember Your Book Begins when you choose to become the author.
Have a great day,