Wow. It’s JULY.

Can you believe it?!?!

Time has seriously flown, I find myself waking up every morning wishing for more hours in the day or for the seconds to simply slow down.

July also means we’re headed into the last half of 2017. Six months ago I posted about my ‘this time next year’ challenge, and there were so many people who got involved. Sending me their goals, secretly written down and sealed in envelopes for me to store away until the end of the year.

I thought today was a good opportunity to have a think about my own and see how I was getting on accomplishing mine.

Got to admit… it’s not going great.

Six months in and I am no way near hitting my goal for the year. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty disappointed in myself. For years I have set myself lists of objectives and I normally get through the majority of them. This year I simply challenged myself to one thing, just the ONE and I just can’t seem to do it!?!

So. I’ve decided I need a new plan of action.

Usually at a time like this I would be looking for ways to motivate myself. Kick start my brain into thinking “you can do this. You can do anything” but for this particular task, that approach is beginning to seem wasted.

Maybe I need to instead turn to why I’m not achieving it. What’s stopping me?

Are the factors that are stopping me from doing it greater than my will to succeed?

Surely that can’t be possible??

As it happens, I don’t believe it is possible, BUT I do believe that looking into my failings could actually be the key to winning this fight against myself.

Literally by chance, fate fed me a sign that I was finally on the right track.

As I worked through my morning chores, my TED app playing in the background, a talk by Tim Ferriss caught my attention instantly as he explained when it came to hard choices in life, we should be looking towards defining our fears rather than our goals.

And there it was. The answer to what I was struggling with. The challenge I set myself this year is very much more about addressing my failings rather than pushing myself with quotes on positive mental attitudes.

By working through the extremely simple methodology he lays out in his talk, I realised that there were a number of deeper issues that was stopping me from moving forward.

Now, I’m not quite ready to tell you what exactly my goal is yet, but I’m definitely feeling a lot more confident about being able to achieve it thanks to Tim.

He mentions a philosophy that relates to his practice: stoicism.

I knew nothing about stoicism until I heard his talk, but looking into the subject I’ve realised it is right up my street!

It’s defined as the following:

The endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

It sounds kind of harsh, but if you investigate further you’ll find that it simply means accepting that there are many physical and mental factors that are out of our control, however we have the capability to train our minds to deal with hardship through our thoughts.

I’ve talked many, many times about the importance of shifting paradigms, to better understand a situation and this is no different. When I’ve looked at Stephen Coveys paradigm shift stories in the past I’ve always spoke about using it to see how a situation affects others. From what I’ve read so far, stoicism seems very much about helping yourself. Self-preservation, self-control. Important skills which I’m pretty sure we could all do with some help on.

Rather than me continue to bore you, I recommend taking just ten minutes out of your night to have a watch of Tim’s talk.

If like me, you’ve been struggling to hit your goals, struggling to reach for that dream, maybe you too need to look at things differently. Sometimes we need to address the tough stuff in order to ease us on our way…

 

 
How are you getting on with your goals? Has anyone achieved there’s yet? How do you motivate yourself? Any tips are most welcome!! 

 

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From the age of 21 I have always written a yearly to do list. Goals and dreams to work towards, a list designed to keep me focused. I had all sorts on last year, find the perfect sunrise, learn a new skill, go on a microadventure… the last few lists I actually shared on the blog, hoping it would spur me to complete them.

As we’re coming up to the end of 2016, I should be getting ready to post up my latest.

2017 is right around the corner.

And this year, I am not writing a list.

For those who know me it’s pretty controversial (Dad – please don’t panic).

It’s just that this year, I plan on doing something a bit different.

My friends and family will tell you that I don’t like to be bored, so last week I came up with a new project, inspired by Davina’s ITV show ‘This Time Next Year’ (you can find it on catch-up if you want to see what its all about, considering I’m not a big fan of tv I seem to have taken to this series).

Basically the show is filmed in two parts: in part one they make a pledge on a personal ambition they hope to achieve and then part two is filmed a year later to see if they managed it. However, on the actual show they combine both filmings together so you can see it all in one go, rather than having to wait a year.

Well I love the concept of having one clear personal goal and aiming for it, So that is exactly what I’m going to do.

I am going to set my own personal challenge for 2017 and I’d love for you to join me!!!

I’m roping as many people as I can into this, 2016 has been a pretty s*!& year for so many people I know and I thought this could be a great way of looking forward, thinking positive without the ritual of writing a whole list of resolutions you may find overwhelming.

If you do want to get involved it’s super easy:

Simply think up one thing (just one thing!) that you want to achieve by this time next year.

You don’t need to tell anyone what it is, not even me, you just need to write it down, seal it in an envelope, write your name on the back and your done.

Now I have got myself a special box where I will be collecting as many pledges as possible to place inside and the box will then be completely sealed until… you guessed it, this time next year!

 

 

I will then distribute all the envelopes, either by hand if you’re close or by post, so you get your own pledge back and you can see whether you achieved it or not!

For those who live far away, and trust me enough, you can email me your pledge and I will fill out a card on your behalf to be stowed away and then I will gladly post it to you at the end of next year for you to open – I’ll post it wherever you are in the world!! Just leave me your email address (I promise I won’t spam you with anything else!) and I will be in touch nearer the time (you know, in case you move or sumat).

For those who are happy to share their story I’d love to receive comments, emails, videos, pictures anything that shows your end result – whether it was successful or not. But don’t worry, you don’t have to share it if you don’t want to I’d be happy just to have you involved and knowing that we are all working towards looking forward to something greater 🙂

So what could your goal be?

Well, it can be anything you want! You can keep it secret or you can tell your friends. Losing weight, trying something new, aiming for a special trip, making new friends, having a baby, personal challenge, start a blog? 😉 fitness goal, TRAVEL , maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never have … it can be anything at all!

I’ll be sure to share some reminders throughout the year, try and motivate us all, and feel free to do the same to me, give me a nudge if I start to get all grouchy on twitter again.

Lets get 2017 off to a bang shall we!!

 

 

Do you make resolutions? Or yearly to do lists?

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I know what you’re thinking.

Don’t worry, I am fully aware that we are one and a half months into 2016 and that the ‘New Year’ has passed us by.

The Guardian reckons that by now, 66% of people have already given up on their resolutions, with the number much higher for those of you based out in the US.

It’s for that reason, instead of writing a list of ‘resolutions’, I’ve always preferred to choose a platform I am much more familiar with and create a year-long ‘to-do list.’

It’s never too late in the day to make one either. Just set a date, write a list and *poof* all sorted. I’ve kept these sorts of lists ever since my 21st birthday, so I thought I’d share a few tips on how I make it work:

Write it down

It may sound like I’m stating the obvious but this is a pretty crucial point. Once you’ve got a list sorted, physically write it down on a piece of paper and ideally pin it up where you can see it every day.

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Share it with friends and family

I love sharing my list with the people I love. You’ll find that people will see things on there that interest them too and want to help or join in. Knowing other people are wanting to get involved is a great motivational tool.

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Be realistic

Being realistic does not mean playing it safe. It simply means if you want to stick on your list a trip to Antarctica which will cost you in excess of £2,000, but you know you would need to save for years to get that much money is not realistic (it’s not impossible mind!).

Challenge yourself

Following on from being realistic, don’t be too easy on yourself either. Giving yourself a year, means you can set yourself some serious challenges.

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Make it personal

I always include a number of personal achievement goals, ones that will mean nothing to others but will help me feel like I’m bettering myself.

Enjoy! 🙂

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If you need some inspiration…

As usual there were some great blog posts released at the start of January with lots of inspiring ideas:

Conde Nast Traveler: 8 New Years Travel Resolutions

This list is more like a list of mantras rather than things to do, but it’s a good piece to get you motivated.

The Travel Hack: New Years Resolutions

A great collection of personal goals from the travel hack team.

Rough Guides: 10 New Years Resolutions to make in 2016

I LOVED this one, a few of these definitely made it onto mine.

 

And for those of you who are curious to see what I’ve got mapped out here’s mine:

My year long 2016 to-do list

1. Digital detox day
2. Learn a new skill
3. Finish photography course
4. Launch new business
5. Become fit and healthy
6. Hit 30 park runs
7. Clock in 50 hours volunteer work
8. Discover a new place in the UK
9. Watch a spectacular sunrise
10. Microadventure
11. New postcard buddy
12. Produce a new art piece
13. Blackpool
14. See something new every month #12trips
15. Family trip
16. Girls day out
17. Become more environmentally responsible
18. Stay somewhere unusual
19. Create a video
20. Create a buzzfeed article
21. Watch a movie outdoors
22. Raise money for a charitable cause
23. Go on at least one Wainwright walk
24. Achieve my blog goals
25. Cook/bake at least one new thing every month
26. Say happy birthday to every single one of my friends
27. Write an article for print
28. Have a professional manicure
29. Go to an event abroad
30. Smile and give thanks everyday

 

Are you still keeping up with your New Year’s Resolutions? Any tips on how you make sure to keep them? Feel free to share your own lists in the comments to help inspire others!

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After 30 days of fasting, today Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid ul Fitr.

Ramadhan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and is a time for Muslims to purify body and mind. With Islam constantly being referenced in the media at the moment, it’s been all the more important for us Muslims to show the right side of our religion. View Post

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