New Year New Me and Other Bullshit Cliches

I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t.

It’s that time of year, you’ll see the #NewYearNewMe posts flying around, everyone will be raving about New Year’s Resolutions and how to keep them.

Last year, my biggest resolution was in the form of my bullet journal, you can read more about that by clicking the thumbnail at the bottom of the post!!! This year, I’m carrying on with my bullet journal, and my biggest resolution is to be well on my way to affording our first house. GOD I FEEL SO GROWN UP TO SAY THAT.
 
That’s not to say there aren’t any mini-resolutions, in fact, there are loads of mini-goals I want to achieve and things I want to do:
  1. Travel more
  2. Go to the gym regularly
  3. Have a French-speaking day every week
Plus I generally want to worry less and be happier in myself! That may take some work as it’s the way I’m wired to worry about everything, but by making my small changes I hope to achieve the bigger change too.
 
I still, even more than last year, can’t get behind having huge and unattainable resolutions that you’ll struggle to keep and will beat yourself up about when you don’t. Part of me thinks that the new year’s resolution idea in itself is one massive bullshit cliché, but sometimes it works, it gives us a chance to reflect and focus on things we want for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s the #NewYearNewMe bullshit I have more of a problem with…
 
Yes, some people are easily able to say they want to lose 2st and will do it – GREAT! Do it! Well done, and a massive pat on the back. But does anyone feel that the whole resolution thing sets you up to fail? You don’t normally announce to the world when you’re going on a diet, especially not with that oh so irritating #NewYearNewMe.
 
The reason I can’t stand it? Well, what’s wrong with the current you?
 
My mother-in-law send me a facebook chain mail message earlier about how if women were cars, we’d constantly be trading ourselves in for newer models without any bumps, lumps or dents. But we are not cars. We are immaculate vessels of life and we should be celebrated as we are, not made to feel like we need new parts.
 
Whatever the resolution is behind the #NewYearNewMe social media post we’re all bound to see this week, it’s probably more apt to say it’s not a “New You”, not even an “Improved You” – it’s probably all to do with the outside packaging and while, if that’s what you want, that’s great, you shouldn’t strive for it because you feel you have to. Please, ladies and gents, remember that your bodies are maps of your life’s journey. Love them, look after them, but don’t think that you have to improve them or that your appearance is all that defines you. This time of year, lots of companies will be betting on the fact that you’re making those exact resolutions and add to that pressure to change yourself when maybe, deep down, you’re happy as you are…
 
It’s not a new you. You’ll be the same you that you always were, whatever you look like. You’re all beautiful in your own unique ways – beauty isn’t universal despite what we’ve grown up being told and shown.
 
Does anybody else feel the same way or have New Year’s resolutions always been great at motivating you to achieve your goals?

 

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How I use my bullet journal to get my parenting shit together!

You may have been a queen at organisation before you had kids… HA! How is that working out for you now, hmmmmmm?

Like it or not, actually trying to organise your time effectively isn’t going to be easy peasy. For someone like me, who plans out every second of my life so as to suck out the chance of fun and spontaneity (because I am well and truly a fun sucker), this inability to do anything really ground me down.

However, I have a solution, and I am sharing it with you all. It’s my Bullet Journal. I actually love this thing, possible more than my child.

Here are 5 ways my bullet journal has made me get my shit together…

1. Shopping lists

Look, I know this is incredibly anal of me, but I made lists of what I can buy cheapest where. Yes, it took a lot of time, and yes, it was totally worth it. I try not to shop at Tesco (even though it’s most convenient, literally being at the end of my road), and if I’m able to, I shop around and check special offers on http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk

If you can make out my tiny writing and you have these shops near you, feel free to use the list next time you go!

Obviously there’s not every single item on these lists………. THAT would be ridiculous…. ha

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Tesco now sells custard creams the cheapest – 36p a pack. Priorities.

2. Money saving

This is my newest spread (that’s what you call a page in the BuJo lingo, I’m so down with the kids) and I frigging love it. Can you tell what my weaknesses are?
I am going to hit my 30 days “spend free” – it’s not really spend free as I obviously have to buy food and shit to feed my kid, but it’s no spending on anything non-essential. I’ve got days out planned for weekends that are totally free, or if not, dirt cheap. For example, today I went to a local RSPCA centre with Olivia, saw the kittens, dogs, horses, and ducks and had a home made picnic, and all it cost me was probably a couple of quid in fuel and a small donation on entry (and yes, I am having to be stingy, so it really was small! – I’ll make it up to them in a few months’ time).

I am going to be the most frugal mum on the planet if it kills me! I’m fighting all of my instincts to do this and I neeeeeeeeeeeed to stick it out for at least a month or our Christmas is ruined… awkward.

3. Future planning

Anyone like Back to the Future? Do you see what I did there? I’ve literally just completed this spread and I’m feeling all pleased with my artistic prowess (that completely totally doesn’t actually exist but let me pretend for like an hour, okay?).

4. Setting goals

I completed this spread on New Year’s Day, and it has served me well! I followed it up with a 6 month progress spread to see how I felt I’d improved and in which areas of my life…

BUT I won’t be doing this one again. I’ve found myself tracking things I don’t need to track – i.e. spirituality! That’s what happens when you use a template. I definitely will use a similar style to do monthly goals in the future, hopefully utilising some of my CBT techniques!

5. Habit tracking

This was my first tracker of the year, and it worked and it didn’t work. For a start, I was tracking too many things, and I was still insanely busy at the beginning of this year. Now, in line with my money saving agenda, I’m tracking a couple of things. No spend is a continuous one, as are the amount of grocery trips, and then there’s things like blog posts or social media.

You can use this tool to track what cleaning and household tasks you’ve done and how often, or even get the kids to do their own to track their chores and make it a bit more fun… If you think stationery and colouring in little squares is fun… Which I do… Don’t judge me!
It’s such a versatile option and it really does help me get my parenting shit together!
What do you use to get your shit together? 🙂

Coping with New Year Blues

‘Happy’ New Year.

January is a time that people make changes to their lives and make promises to themselves to be better, do better and feel better. It’s no surprise then that ‘happy’ new year can be anything but happy. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves only to slip up in the first few weeks can set us up for a really stressful time. Of course that’s not all; think of the energy lost over the festive season, the persistent cold weather and very obvious lack of sunshine – it’s no wonder January feels so blue.

Personally, I tend to find no happiness from boxing day right through to the first sunny day in February or even March most years but I am trying to cope a little more effectively and so far, I am feeling more positive than I was expecting.

This year I started taking the Christmas tree down early, which might not seem like a huge deal but it has been significantly less stressful than in previous years. I did it for a couple of reasons: I was able to do it in stages and the gradual change was meant I had no ‘thump’ back to reality a week into January and honestly? Clutter. Christmas made my house look even more cluttered and it felt so closed in that it was a relief when we took it down.

We have adopted a ‘one in, one out’ rule for things like shirts, toys, novelty mugs… basically anything that we end up with more of than we need. As a stay at home parent, excessive clutter that has no home is a huge source of stress for me and I have been at breaking point with it more times than I care to recall. I am determined not to let it get the better of me anymore. Although we haven’t completely followed through with this yet, we have sorted and stored the things we want to take to charity shops or sell online.

Set realistic goals and set them when you are ready. I am in a position where I have been my  ‘ideal’ weight and gained from there and I know that I need to lose around 4 stone to reach that healthier weight and that is daunting, so I am aiming for my pre-baby jeans first. The timing is important, too. I find the ‘from New Year’s Day’ thing really intimidating for some reason. We still had Christmas food in the house for the first couple of weeks of January and there was no way I could have started dieting with all that temptation around – I would have failed miserably and given up.  So my main aim for January was to make healthier choices in the supermarket, and change my portion sizes because I know I’m an over-eater.  I have since started a popular diet now that the temptation of Christmas cake is gone.

If you spend a lot of time at home like I do you will know that it can really get you down if you don’t have anything to do all week and then getting motivated to do anything can get really tough. I am trying to find things to get involved with without over-committing. I’m not great at meeting new people but I want to change that and start going to coffee mornings and maybe join a walking group. If that really sounds like the worst thing ever then make plans with yourself, just write down a time and place and go there, you’ll be glad you did.

Take this new year one day at a time – January is almost over now and if it hasn’t been great so far that doesn’t mean that the rest of your year will be the same. If you aren’t up to New Year’s resolutions just yet, or if you’ve already slipped up, then just make them again on 10th February or 3rd March… whenever you’re up to challenging yourself and NOT when other people expect it of you.

Happy New Year

Super inspiring healthy food
Here’s a super inspiring picture of some roasted veggies.
 

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