Re-Evaluating Your Goals

We have finally reached the end of January! I will say, this month did feel a little long and dragged on for a quite awhile, but still, it was a great month. Today I thought to wrap up the whole new year inspired blog posts, that it would be nice to end with a chance to re-evaluate your goals.

Pull out the goals you made at the beginning of the month and really analyze them.

  • Are these the goals you want to pursue for the rest of the year?
  • Is there any new goals to add, or any you want to take out?
  • How are you going to continue working towards your goals in the coming months?

Most of the time we forget that we even made a list of goals. This is your chance to go back to them and see if this is what you truly want.

Do not be afraid, or ashamed if you want to take out a goal, or change them up a bit, or even add new ones! Life has passed by this month and I am sure a lot has changed; your goals need to keep up to date with you and your changing mind. This isn’t the time for self-doubt to creep in and make you get rid of all your goals. This is simply a time to see if you’re in the right the direction, or if you are going the complete opposite direction.

I had to go over my goals recently and realized that they were not entirely what I wanted. Actually, they seem like the type of goals that are not substantive and that you made at the beginning of the year for the sake of it. There are of course some that I really do want to pursue, but there were even some I had made very short term, like my blog. One of my goals was to get my blog back on track, and now it is. But what next? I can’t just stop there, I did not think far enough into what I wanted to happen to my blog. By looking back at my list of goals I was able to adjust things, and maybe see that what I thought I wanted, I didn’t want anymore. And that’s completely okay, changing your mind happens all the time. Keeping that in mind, your goals can’t change every week (obviously, your weekly goals can), because you would have no sense of direction or focus.

When the new year rolls around it’s all about self-reflection, but truly it needs to happen all the time, and at the end of the  ‘new year, new me’ phase, we need to check and see what progress was or wasn’t made. This month I set a few monthly goals, and honestly, I did not accomplish most of them. But why didn’t I? What happened? Are they worth accomplishing in the next month? Do they matter that much to me? How can I try this again?

The end of January, as well as the beginning of January, should be about self-reflection and re-evaluate what you want. This is your life after all, and you need to be making sure it’s the life you want to live.

 

I just wanted to take a few moments to say thank you to all of you that have followed The Life We Dream Of, and who have commented and liked my posts. It truly means the world to me, and I hope you keep coming back! I really want to create a space for advice, happiness, sharing, and community, and that is already starting, thanks to all of you. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate and am grateful for you all!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

How to Keep Going Throughout the Year

At the beginning of the year, we feel this sense of rush, joy, renewal, and ambition. But eventually that will fade as the year goes on, and you might find yourself stuck, bored or drained… perhaps all 3 if you are anything like me. Today I wanted to talk about habits and things we need to start now and carry them on for the rest of the year, to make sure we do not fall into the dreaded slump. Now, these are not full proof and might not work for everyone, but they do work for me.

  1. Self Care

This is so important, and the first thing I want to address. We get caught up in the idea of helping others, and pleasing everyone around us, but ourselves. The way I see it and explain it is that you have x amount of energy, and often we give 100% of it away, and we are left with nothing. Which can explain why a lot of people feel drained and tired. I did this for the longest of time, and some might call me selfish, but when it started affecting my day to day life, even my parents were noticing changes in me that were not for the better. Self-care means reserving some of that energy for yourself. You can practice self- care in so many ways, from reading a book to yoga and meditation to taking yourself out for coffee and just people watching, journaling, being creative etc. Self-care is very personal and should be tailored to your specific needs. For example, I know many people that to feel reenergized they need to be near people. On the other hand, where I am, I need to be alone to recharge. I just mentioned a few ideas but do look around the internet and books for so many unique ways that might suit you and your needs.

  1. Reward yourself

Have you noticed that if you look at your calendar and you have nothing to look forward to, life looks a little dull and boring? Because its true the same thing over and over gets boring, it doesn’t have to be that way! Make plans with people, spend time with friends and family; I don’t care how busy you are, nothing is more important than spending time with the people you love. Plan a night out, a spa day, a vacation even. When we set or create rewards for ourselves, it gives us an incentive to be productive and work towards something.

  1. Re-evaluate your goals

At least on a weekly basis, I need to go back to my goals, because they become so secondary in our minds, while the more immediate things become important. But your goals are also important, and you need to put them at the front of your brain. When looking at them, think about if they align with what you still want. Do they still make sense? Is there anything you want to add or take out? Are there any new goals that you want to accomplish? I always say that everything around us and ourselves is constantly changing. Your goals need to keep up with you and what you want from life.

 

These are obviously just 3 tips, but I do recommend you refer to them in the coming months of 2018! Comment down below if you have any other suggestions that you think can help people avoid that stuck, drained feeling we often all feel.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

5 More Tips for Being Productive

The minute I stepped into college, the idea of productivity and constantly being busy was cemented into my brain. Like many other students, I got caught up in the idea that If I was not always somewhere or doing something, then I was being lazy and wasting my time. But before you knew it, I was losing it. Everything from relationships, to my mental and physical health, and my overall sanity had been thrown out the window, and I felt utterly shattered, weak and exhausted.

The idea of constantly being busy and being productive has a lot of negative consequences like I mentioned above and varies with everyone’s own personal experience. So today when I talk about being productive, I truly want you all to keep in mind that you need to take time for yourself and your loved one. Life is not meant to always go, go, go! Slow down, because what happens when you don’t is that you often go through a burnout. I completely agree with the notion of being productive but sacrificing your wellbeing to accomplish everything on your to-do list is not worth it. Please be mindful and aware of your habits and take care of yourself. Your career or school should never be prioritized above your mental or physical health.

But there are days when you need to get things done. Here are 5 tips I truly use to keep myself motivated and productive, but I also remember that not every day will be super productive and that it is okay to slow down.

  1. Set Goals

Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. These might look a little daunting which is why you have to break them down and set deadlines with rewards attached to them. But if you want more info, check out my goal setting blog post I recently put up!

  1. Break down goals into smaller tasks

As mentioned before, breaking down a large task or goal into small and easier steps makes a difference. For example, you have an essay to write, if you just keep writing down write do the essay, it will seem like a giant and daunting task which you will most likely procrastinate it. If you break into down into steps such as research, rough draft, edit, proofread, cite etc.  you are making the task much more manageable and less scary.

  1. Prioritize Well

If you sit down and look at your to-do list which is probably equal to the length of your arm at this point, chances are you will want to run away from it and not do anything. But on certain days there are just things that absolutely need to get down. What I recommend is prioritizing your top 3 or 5 items on your to-do list. Not to say you ignore the rest, but by setting them as a priority you can get them out of the way first. Usually, these are the bigger, longer or more lengthy tasks we have, and by doing them right away you will feel like you’ve had a more accomplished day.

  1. A fresh mindset

Every day is a new chance, and a new opportunity, even every minute is a new opportunity. What you need to understand is that what happened yesterday should not affect how you are today. And same goes for what is going to happen tomorrow, it should not affect how you are today. What happened this morning, does not need to affect the rest of your day. You need to make a conscious choice and effort to make sure that the bad things stay in the past, and the daunting things are not dealt with until the time comes. By going into the day with the thought that it’s a new day, a new chance, a new opportunity, you take away the self-doubt and emotions that go into procrastinating or being lazy.

  1. Make use of online sites

I have a slight obsession with planning, to the point where it calms me down. I love using a paper agenda, and writing out my to-do lists, but sometimes when I am at school or on the go, I rather just look at my phone or laptop to see what I must do. I put all my due dates or events into my google calendar, which then sinks with my laptop calendar and my phone calendar, so no matter where I am I can check when an essay or assignment is due. For online to-do lists and such, I use a website called Trello (not sponsored), and it essentially allows me to lay out everything I need to do. I keep track of my daily goals, weekly goals, and my 2018 goals. It’s just a nice electronic way of keeping up with whatever you would have otherwise written down.

Those are the 5 tips I have for you today, remember that these work for me and might not work for everyone, but do give them a shot and let me know what you think!

I would also like to thank everyone who has been commenting lately, the feedback means so much to me and helps me a lot!! Thank you!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

 

Goal Setting

Goals. Do we even know what a goal is? How do we get there and what does it take?
Today we’re going to look at the foundations or basics if you will, of a goal, and then how to structure your path to achieving this goal.

But before anything, you need to have at least a vague idea of the goal you want to reach or accomplish. Say your goal is to do well in school or open your own business, those are very vague ideas, but they are a good starting point. Now those ideas are broad so you will need to break them down and make them much more specific. When being specific you can start to visualize the end goal, and it is no longer just a floating idea in your brain.

Once you have that you need to establish your Why. For the longest of time I did not do this, and I constantly wondered why I lost motivation or momentum. For example, my goal this month was to upload every Tuesday and Thursday, which I have slightly been keeping up with. But okay great I have that idea, but then I had to specify it and say it was going to be centered around advice, and starting off the new year on the right foot.

But when I established the reason as to why I wanted to write and post these types of posts, it came down to the fact that I wanted to at least help one person, or inspire them to fulfill what they have the potential to do. I wanted to help someone achieve their goals. So now every time I don’t feel like writing or publishing, I go back to my Why. I upload so maybe it will get one person thinking or help them, and quite honestly sometimes it helps me become inspired or motivated as well. The Why reminds you why you are working towards your goal, and keeps you in line.

Another measure that I do to keep myself in check is to think about what will stop me from continuing this goal. Often its laziness, self-doubt, or lack of time, with many other things that depend on the situation. Now think of what you can do to prevent that, or stop those negative feelings when they’re just starting. For example, when I run into self-doubt which happens much more often then I like, I remind myself that I am writing this to help someone, and even if it doesn’t get out to anyone, I am writing it for myself. Essentially you need to anticipate the roadblocks and find solutions to them right away. Trust me it will save you time and energy and will keep you on the path towards your goal.
Now let’s talk about your actual goal. You have the end of it, but the journey to the goal is going to be a lot of work. To make this less stressful and manageable, you need to write a plan of action. In it, there should contain the broken down steps and even smaller steps within them, that you will need to accomplish to bring you one step forward to accomplishing your goal. And what will keep you in check in this part, is by setting deadlines. You should have your deadline for the main goal, but also make deadlines (that are realistic) for your smaller steps. This will make sure you don’t abandon your goal or spend too much time not working on it.

And the last component to goal setting is actually doing the work to achieve your goal. I am telling you now, that everything you want is closer than you think, and that the sacrifices you will make will be worth it. But this will only be worth it if this is what you truly want. Also remember that if you get to a point where this goal does not align with what you want, you are allowed to change it. Make sure it is something you truly want and are passionate about, and you would give your blood, sweat, and tears for. If it is, then go out there and kill it. I believe in you, and you need to believe in yourself.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

The Chaos that is My Life

I had a whole plan for what I was going to post today, but as I started writing it I just couldn’t. I am such an emotional and mental mess; my life is and will be, for the next semester, constant non-stop rollercoaster ride. Am I ready for that? Not even close.

I really don’t like diving into situations when there is no end in the near future. From today until who knows when, I have so much to do and so many commitments to follow through, that the only thing I could think of is how am I going to make it through this? But the real question I think about is, are you going to let time slip away again?

What I mean by this is that I am known for not living in the moment, it has been a horrible habit I’ve had since I was a kid. Always trying to predict and plan for what will happen, and completely missing out on what’s happening right now. So, when I go into these non-stop periods of my life, which happens often, I wonder what will I miss.

Instead of taking a moment to be present, my mind can’t help but jump forward. I truly hate that, I hate that life is throwing me opportunities all kinds and I don’t even notice them because I’m too busy focusing on this potential future that I’ll maybe one day get.

The next few days is just one of the first waves of chaos I will experience in the next semester… so if anyone has any tips on how to get through this please share them, because I am running out of ideas.

I’m sorry I really wanted to post something on goals and such, which I still will do but I didn’t have it in me. I hope that your day is going well, and remember this crazy, confusing, messy life is something we should cherish every day, even on the bad days…

Thanks for reading!

How I Plan my Semester

A new semester or term has started for a lot of students, who have still not gotten over the mental and emotional drainage that was last semester. But regardless we need to restart, push forward and do our best! So here are just a few things I do at the beginning of the semester to make sure I start off on the right foot.

The moment you receive the course syllabus, go through it thoroughly. Read it back to front and every word, as many professors will remind you this is a contract between you and professor, minus the lawyers. But still, if you have any issue throughout the semester this syllabus/contract will be referred to you. Also at the same time look at important dates that you will have assignments or essays due, and the date of your test and exams. This is going to help you know what is coming up and what you are in for.

Then look at if there are required books or textbooks for the class. Before running to your school bookstore, in which the prices of the books will surely give you a heart attack, check online. See if you can find an e-book version or a Kindle version. Sometimes even if you go to Amazon you can find it a few dollars cheaper than if you bought it from your school. Or go the classic route of buying used textbooks, trust me you save a lot of money.

And my last tip is that you can’t procrastinate at the beginning of the semester. Chances are, you will procrastinate all the reading that you should be doing. If you don’t think you don’t have any, please go back and look at that course outline. The thing about university or college is that there is always something to do, and if you are not doing something, then you are procrastinating it. But eventually, you reach a time when there is too much to do and absolutely no time. Don’t you wish you could not go through that anxiety and stress? Well then start being proactive and doing your work from the beginning. I’m not saying it will take away the stress and anxiety but I can assure you it will help.

So, to sum up, read through the syllabus, plan everything out, look for the books at a cheaper price and don’t procrastinate.
Best of luck in the new semester!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

How I Plan My Year

We are now well into 2018, and for some, they have already lost that ‘new year new me’ spirit or are using that fuel to their potential, while others are still trying to get it together. But no matter which direction you are coming from, and regardless of the date on a calendar, you can always plan your year and start off with a clean slate.

Today, I want to take you through a few steps that will help you create a guideline for your year or even a rough idea of what is to come. But before anything starts you absolutely need some form of an agenda! I cannot stress this enough, but agendas will save your life, and take away the everyday stress we get from being disorganized. I am a little extra and use both google calendar that syncs with my phone, and a paper agenda… overboard I know. But having something to write down and plan in, is crucial. It’s a way to get all the jumble that’s in your head out into the world, as well as allow you to tease out the main ideas that were floating around in your head.

Now that you have your agenda of choice, fill in all the important dates you have in the year to come. Whether that be longstanding appointments, birthdays, events etc. At this time, I also like to put reminders on my agenda throughout different times of the year to remind me to make future appointments. For example, my hair will need a trim by may, so in April I will write down a little reminder to book that appointment. Or, if you need to change the oil of your car, write a reminder a few weeks before you want to have it done that you need to book the appointment. This is simply being proactive and planning in advance.

Now, look at your goals for the year. By this point, I hope you have a few, but new ones will and should come up throughout the course of the year, and in that case, just add them in. But the ones you have now need to be broken down into steps. These can vary, but with each step create a deadline, aside from the big deadline you have for reaching your goal. Write them down on your agenda; at the same time come up with a reward that you will give yourself once you accomplish these steps and the goal. For a long time, I just set goals and no rewards and quickly lost the motivation to follow through with it. By setting deadlines and rewards you are motivating and encouraging yourself to get working.

From goals, let’s hop into resolutions for a few short moments. Goals are concrete and once they are complete, that’s the end of them, you come up with new ones. The thing with resolutions is that these require a lot of work, and don’t have an end goal that you will immediately see. But let’s say that you want to read more, well then plan it out. Plan what books to buy, when, how many, how much will it cost etc. this will help you achieve the resolution of say, reading 2 books every month. Resolutions can easily be incorporated into our daily schedule, and getting it to become a habit takes commitment and planning.

A subsection of these goals can be financial goals. Maybe there is a trip you want to take by a certain time, maybe you need to save up for school, or maybe you just want to save money. What you can do is see how much of your income per month you will need to save, to save a target goal at the end of the year. Say you want to save $1200 by the end of the year, and after you look at your monthly income, you realize that you can do that if you put aside $100 a month. Write this down, write down your saving budget, your spending budget, and how much you are saving along the way.

I hope these few tips inspire you to get cracking on planning the new year.

Dream big and Plan big.

Have a wonderful day!