Thursday, 28 January 2016

101 list is no more


If you've been following me for awhile now you might remember my 101 things in 1001 days list (see here).

I've decided since reading "Better Than Before" and getting to know myself a little better that I will not be continuing with my 101 list.

Why?

I've started to realise that deadlines haunt me. When I'm given a deadline I only seem to start at the last minute and struggle to keep myself accountable (my obliger tendency coming out). Plus I find that deadlines put pressure on the task at hand and take the fun out of it, making it feel like a duty instead.

Don't get me wrong I still want to do the things on my list plus many much more but I need to take the guilt off myself and work toward these things at my own pace and in my own time, that way I'm not pressuring myself to be something that I am not.

Also I was finding myself feeling guilty for doing different tasks other than the ones on the list (which is just silly), plus I keep disappointing myself for not achieving things within a certain time frame.

Have you ever started something you thought was great and then changed your mind about it?

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Saturday, 23 January 2016

You'll always disappoint someone


I hate disappointing people and being unreliable, I like people to know that I'm there for them and I'll always show up. Lately since being pregnant I've been finding it harder and harder to be there for people the way I use to be. I've been sick, tired, unwell and just plain don't have the energy to be able to be who I was beforehand. This has really been getting me down and frustrating the heck out of me. So last week I spoke to my psychologist Suzie about it and gave me the most interesting insight:

"You'll always disappoint someone"

I'd never thought of it like that. Suzie went on to say: "you'll always disappoint someone no matter what you do. You'll disappoint them or yourself or your husband, no matter what choice you make, someone will be disappointed. The more you know that and learn to sit with that knowledge the less guilty you'll feel."

I feel terribly guilty when I disappoint someone, as it's not nice to trouble someone else. But I've started to realise that by pushing myself and my body to be there and do everything for everyone, I'm actually disappointing myself as I'm not giving myself the time that I need and I'm disappointing my husband MJ because I'm giving everyone else the time and energy and have none left for him.

Yes I don't want to become selfish and disappoint people for the sake of it of course. I need to keep working on healthy boundaries and realise that someone is always going to be disappointed with my life choices and I cannot let the guilt of that rule my life.

How do you feel about disappointing people? Do you struggle with guilt? What boundaries do you have?

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Monday, 18 January 2016

Book Review - Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin


“Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin

I was given Better Than Before for my birthday in December by my husband MJ, I've read 2 other of Gretchen’s books and I really enjoy her style of writing, so in depth yet so easy to read.

Better Than Before didn't disappointment me at all, I couldn't put it down. I underlined so much as it was full cover to cover with fantastic insights in the nature of habit formation.

If you want to try and start a new habit, change an old habit or work why you have the habits you do, this book is differently for you.

What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. You need to know “what habits serve us best” – because what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Because “while I'm not much different from other people, those difference are very important”.

You need to know yourself so you can build the right habits for you and have the right foundation that will work for you.

Are you a lark or an owl? I'm a lark (morning person)

Are you a marathoner, a sprinter or a procrastinator? I'm a procrastinator.

Are you an underbuyer or an overbuyer? I'm differently an underbuyer

Are you a simplicity lover or an abundance lover? I love simplicity

Are you a finisher or an opener? I'm a bit of both

Are you a familiarity lover or a novelty lover? I love novelty and trying new things.

There a four tendencies that make all the difference when forming habits.

Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel – each one forms and keeps habits in a different way. I realised I'm an obliger. I can meet external expectations and obligations to others but not so easy to myself.

Pillars of Habits include: Monitoring, Foundation, Scheduling, Accountability and more.

Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Abstainers find it easier to give up something altogether than to indulge moderately. Whereas moderators find the occasional indulgence helps them. “For abstainers, having something make them want it more, for moderators, having something makes them want it less”.

I found quite a few thought provoking statements in this book that have really helped me not just in my habit formation journey but my life in general.

The first one is one of my biggest downfalls with habits – rewards. “A reward teaches me that I wouldn't do a particular activity for its own sake, but only to earn that reward”. That’s so true, I really undermine myself so often and only do things for the reward – “the reward for a good habit is the habit itself”.

Second one is what are my values: “The clearer I am about what I value, and what action I expect from myself – not what other people value, or expect from me – the more likely I am to stick to my habit”. I'm always looking at what others value and think that’s what I'm meant to value, not always, I might value something completely different. I need to understand and stick to my values.

The last one that really hit me throughout this book was: “Not everyone is like me” “I cannot convince people, they must convince themselves” “No simple, universal solutions exist”.

I'm alike to people but I'm also different to people, there is no one size fits all solutions out there, I can only change myself not others.

This book is a great insight into human behaviour (which I find absolutely fascinating). If you want to learn more about yourself and how you tick and also how others tick, this is a great book to read and find out so much more than you expected.

Thank you Gretchen, you've done it again, look forward to your next book.

Have you read Better Than Before? What did you think of it?

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

It's all connected


Over the past 2 years I've started to learn more about sustainability and what it means to be sustainable. But it’s really been over the past 6 or so months that I’ve started to develop a passion and a heart for it. I do get passionate over things but it normally quickly fizzes out and I become bored as I don’t give it the time (see last post – be a beginner). 

Sustainability has been very different not only has the passion stayed around but it’s gotten stronger and stronger. I was curious as to why was this different to all the other things over the years, so I sat down and journaled it out. This was my conclusion:

“It’s all connected. What I put on my skin, what I put in my mouth, what clothes I wear, what I buy, the waste I create it all makes an impact. It either helps or destroys the planet and its resources. As a Christian I view this planet as a place God gave us to look after and take care of. So by treating the world with respect I see it as a form of praise/worship to God. Once again it’s all connected – body, mind and spirit. All levels are intertwined.”

I cannot believe I've never made the connection before, I didn't see it till now.

The clothes I wear: How were they made? Are the workers paid right? Treated right? Are they exploited? Are the girls sexually assaulted? What resources are used? Are they renewable? Are they wasteful?

The food I eat: Is it local? How many pesticides were used? Is it GM free? Is it in season? Farmers paid fairly? Animal treated fairly? Added hormones? How much packaging?

What I put on my skin: Harmful or safe? Chemicals? Recyclable packaging? Animal testing? Resources used? Workers paid and treated fairly?

Products/Items I buy: Recyclable? How do I depose of it if it’s not? Resources used? Packaging? Safe or harmful?

So many questions but it’s all connected, nothing escapes it. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and just think what’s the point it’s all too hard. Yes it is hard but it’s worth it. All you can do is take it slow and go one step at a time. I get easily overwhelmed but I realised I cannot change it all in one go, all I can do is with each new purchase seek out the best possible source I can and that’s within in my budget. We don’t have a very high income at all but I can learn to DIY, buy secondhand (which I do a lot anyway), borrow etc. Sometimes I won’t be able to buy a better alternative as it’s either not available to us or out of our price range, but that’s ok, it’s a start and a step in the right direction.

Plus the wonderful world of the internet is full of amazing people and blogs that have really helped me learn and discover more about sustainability, go check them out, they’re fantastic and you’ll learn so much and get great ideas and knowledge.

The blogs I love to visit are:

Katie at Sustainability In Style

Jennifer at Eco Warrior Princess

1 Million Women

Erin at The Rogue Ginger

Lindsay at Treading my own Path

Plastic Free Tuesday

If you know of any others I’d love to hear about them and go check them out.

Also please let me know your thoughts on sustainability.

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Friday, 8 January 2016

Be a Beginner in 2016


2015 was the year of “push through fears”- which was a big challenge for me but I do believe that I was able to achieve that to a degree. 

I pushed through my fear of what people excepted of me and starting putting up some healthy boundaries (still more work to be done). I pushed through my fear of trying for a child (due to previous losses) and I’m now 27 weeks pregnant. I pushed through fears of what I thought I was and discovered something completely new. I will continue to push through my fears always and challenge myself to better than before.

Now onto 2016 theme: “be a beginner”.

I’ve got a terrible habit of excepting myself to be good at something straight away and I’ve been known to have a perfectionist streak (it runs in the family). This attribute prevents me from achieving so many different projects as I’m not willing to give myself the time that is required to learn something. I want to be good now, not later so most times I give up and do nothing. That means that I’m not doing any projects or achieving any of the things I desire to do because I’m not allowing myself to be a beginner. So this year – 2016 – I’m going to challenge myself and push through the fear and allow myself to be a beginner and make mistakes, take the time that is needed to learn and get better. Plus I’m not going to put time limits on myself to achieve certain aspects as I get annoyed when I fail to meet them as I didn’t learn quick enough.

This year will be really push me to be a beginner as I’ll become a mum in April and I sure as heck will be a beginner in so many ways, as you never know what a child will teach you next.

So this year will be a big year of pushing through fear again, fear of not knowing what to expect from becoming a mum but also a year to learn how to be a beginner. How to approach everything in life and every project from beginners eyes.

Do you have a theme for this year? Or a goal you’d like to achieve? Let me know I’d love to hear from you.

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Friday, 1 January 2016

No act of kindness is every wasted


Do you ever feel like that by being nice to people you are really just banging your head against a brick wall? What is really the point? Do they even notice you being nice? Should you just give up and not care and be mean too?

I've felt this way so many times, several times a week in fact. You hold the door open for someone and they don’t say thank you or you ask someone how are they today and they completely ignore you. Why should I continue to care when it seems like the world doesn't even notice and the world doesn't even care itself?

Well in fact the world does notice and the world does care, you just aren't always privileged to see it, except now and then you get to catch a glimpse. Thankfully I caught a glimpse the other week.

Where I work there’s a lot of different personalities and wow can they clash sometimes. There’s one lady who clashed with others the most and recently had to be let go at work. I was saddened to hear what had happened to her, so I sent her a private message on Facebook asking if she was ok and the last line of her reply really touched my heart: thank you for just being you for that 4 years.

So my kindness was noticed, my good mornings and goodbyes were heard, my politeness even on bad days was taken in. I wasn't being nice in vain it did make a difference, yes it did take me 4 years to find out that it had though.

What I learnt from this is even though some days it’s extremely hard to nice etc it’s still a worthwhile venture because you just never know who is paying attention or what is being taken in. On those days where you feel like you've got a headache from hitting that brick wall so much, remember that headache is worth it as you are making a difference in that person’s life and in the world by just being you, that caring and kind sweet you. Keep going, it’s worth it. 

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