Life Balance Project

Do you make New Years Resolutions? I don’t as such but I do set myself goals. This year I’ve decided to try something a little different. Often I complain that I don’t have a balanced life, it feels a bit like juggling and I regularly drop at least one ball. I want to create more balance. I want to feel more relaxed whilst also feeling that everything is under control. Crucially, I want to make time for everything and everyone that is important to me. I know its a big ask but with a little time and careful planning, I hope to prove its possible. I’m making 2019 the year of my Life Balance Project.

12 months to find balance

When I first decided that 2019 would be the year I attempt to find balance, I had no idea how to go about it. Over the last month I’ve done a bit of soul searching, brainstorming and plotting to work out what I want from this project and more importantly, how I can achieve it. I’m going to set myself 5 goals a month, each goal for a certain aspect of my life. First I needed to choose those 5 aspects of my life. I wanted 5 areas of my life that by focusing on each of them equally would keep me well rounded and help me achieve a sense of balance. Here are my 5 aspects and what each one means to me.

  • Well being Goals and activities that improve my sense of well being. For example, goals focused around routines, yoga, meditation and self care.
  • Relationships My friends and family are so important to me. However this section will include meeting new people as well as strengthening the bonds I already have.
  • Personal Growth Developing habits or skills that will help me grow as a person.
  • Money Unfortunately it does make the world go around. These goals will revolve around budgeting and continuing to save for a house deposit.
  • Organisation These goals will focus on organising myself and my time better.

A theme for every month

To plan out my year, I have set a theme for each month. My themes are influenced slightly by the seasons. For example, Spring makes me think of growth and new beginnings, whereas Autumn signifies changes, preparation and reflection. It makes sense to me to a line my goals with seasonal changes, it allows for some variety through the year and will also keep my goals relevant. Thinking of a suitable theme for each month was tough but I’m happy with what I decided on.

  • January: Fresh start
  • February: Making time
  • March: Hello Spring
  • April: Refresh
  • May: Blossom
  • June: Explore
  • July: Nature
  • August: Restore
  • September: Reflect
  • October: Hygge
  • November: Cherish
  • December: Festive

What I hope to achieve

Basically, a more rounded, less frantic, better put together life. Not asking for much am I? If you have read my other blog posts you might know that I recently moved to a new city on my own. Its actually the second time I’ve done this, I wrote a post called 5 things I learnt by moving away alone reflecting on the first time. I’m getting used to my new city but haven’t really had a chance to put down roots yet. A lot of my goals are going to focus on getting to know new people and really settle into my new city. I’m also hoping to become more organised and feel like a “proper adult”. I’m 28 and still feel like I’m trying to carve out a little space for myself in this new adult world of house deposits, pension schemes and overdrafts. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels like this? 

My January goals post will be up in the next couple of days. I’m excited to get started, a new year, new month and new project! Are you making resolutions this year or are you doing something else? Let me know in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

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December goals

Its beginning to feel very festive around here! I’m really looking forward to spending a few days at home with my family over Christmas. Time to set my goals for December but first a quick look at my goals from November:

  • Explore my new city and get settled in: I’m starting my new job next week so I have a few days to explore and settle in first. Complete, I feel like I’m really starting to settle down and I love my new city!
  • Book a yoga class: My housemate/landlady gave me a leaflet for a yoga studio. She has been before and enjoyed it and kindly thought it might be a good place for me to meet new people. I have had a few yoga sessions in the past and I’m keen to start up again! Complete, I’ve been for a few sessions now and plan to keep going!
  • Join another exercise class: This is another part of “Operation meet new people and do new things” I discovered an exercise class where adults play playground games such as dodgeball, british bulldog and capture the flag in a local park, then go to the pub after. I’m liking the sound of that! Not complete yet. I’m signed up for my first session on Sunday.
  • Meal prep: I’ve been trying out some recipes and having a go at mini meal preps during October (I’ll be posting about that soon!) Now that I’ve moved away and I’m going to be working long hours I want to get into meal prep properly! Complete, I’ve been trying out different recipes and have a few food based posts to write soon.

Goals for December

  • Have a restful Christmas with friends and family. Enough said =)
  • Get on top of writing and scheduling posts. With my recent move, starting a new job and life in general I’m now writing posts on the day the are going out. Not good! I want to get back to having posts scheduled a week in advance.
  • Set myself a budget.  Time to work out my expenses and see if I can shrink them!

So that’s mine, what are your goals for December? Let me know below.

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Reviewing goals for October

October has passed by in a bit of a blur. There’s a couple of days left but I’m ready to look at the goals I set myself and see what I’ve achieved. Or haven’t achieved…

I went big on a couple of my goals, especially ones relating to the blog as I didn’t know what a realistic target would be. That’s my excuses out of the way, lets get on with it!

Blog goals

  • Post at least twice a week: Achieved
  • Get to grips with Twitter and Pinterest: Achieved
  • Have 500 site views over the month: Not achieved. I set my target way too high and at time of writing I have exactly 250 views for the month. Oops! Well at least I got halfway there!

Habits goals

  • Keep tracking sleep and caffeine intake in my bullet journal: Achieved
  • Stick to no more than 3 caffeinated drinks a day Achieved. By only drinking caffeinated tea at mealtimes and drinking decaf in between.
  • Finish reading at least two books. Achieved. This month I read Relight my fire by Joanna Bolouri and Better than before by Gretchin Rubin.

Planning goals

I’m making this month the month of organisation! Moving to another city is imminent,  as soon as I secure a job I’ll have to pack up and drive to Yorkshire. At the moment its a waiting game. I hate waiting games! But if I can get the majority of my things sorted out and ready to go then that’s one less thing to worry about.

***Update: During the month I was offered a job and I am moving tomorrow!***

  • Pack up anything that I don’t need right now, summer clothes etc. Achieved.
  • Make a page in my bullet journal for everything that needs doing before I move. Sort of achieved. I didn’t make a page in my bullet journal but I did scribble a master list of everything I had to do.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter! Achieved. My local charity shop loves me!

So that’s how I did with my goals for October. Its looking like November is going to be a huge month, exciting times! Did you meet your October goals? Let me know in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Goals for October

October already? I shouldn’t complain, autumn is my favourite season. I would much rather wear a cuddly jumper and curl up with a hot cup of tea and a good book than sunbathe in shorts and a crop top. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when its sunny up to a point but once I get too hot I feel frazzled and grumpy. This summer was crazy hot so although I was very happy to get a decent tan, I’m inwardly celebrating that colder weather is coming!

I’ve been having a think about what I want to achieve in October. The blog is still a baby, just nine days old so I want to focus on being consistent with posting and growing an audience. So its not just me sitting here chatting to myself! Problem is I don’t know what a challenging yet still realistic target would be, I’m very much learning as I go along. Which is good in a way because that was the whole premise of Educating Hayley in the first place! However it does mean I’m a bit clueless at the moment…

Blog goals

  • Post at least twice a week
  • Get to grips with Twitter and Pinterest
  • Have 500 site views over the month

Habits goals

I’m keeping my focus on better sleep and how much caffeine I’m drinking. I also want to get back into reading, I don’t make time to sit and read a book anymore. Time to change that.

  • Keep tracking sleep and caffeine intake in my bullet journal
  • Stick to no more than 3 caffeinated drinks a day
  • Finish reading at least two books

Planning goals

I’m making this month the month of organisation! Moving to another city is imminent,  as soon as I secure a job I’ll have to pack up and drive to Yorkshire. At the moment its a waiting game. I hate waiting games! But if I can get the majority of my things sorted out and ready to go then that’s one less thing to worry about.

  • Pack up anything that I don’t need right now, summer clothes etc.
  • Make a page in my bullet journal for everything that needs doing before I move.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter!

I’m going to make that do for this month. Hopefully I can reach all these goals and set bigger ones next month. I also hope to have moved by then but I have no guarantees. What are your goals for October? Let me know below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

First steps

Every plan has to start somewhere. The problem I have is I normally do too much, too fast and get burnt out and frustrated. In my first post I came up with a list of skills and habits that I think (and hope) will make my life easier. Now I’m trying to come up with a proper plan instead of the “flying by the seat of my pants” style I normally go with. For each goal I’m going to take a couple of little steps to get me started. At the moment I’m between jobs and once I get a job I’ll be moving to another city a couple of hours away, so it makes sense to start putting things into place now before life goes manic again. Plus in the meantime it gives me something to focus on, I’m not used to having so much spare time!

Goal 1: Learn how to plan and prep meals ahead

Once I start working again, the plan is to have work lunches and dinners ready to go. If it’s waiting for me to heat and eat, I will. Have you ever had a decision to make, not an important one, something trivial like what to wear or what to eat and felt completely overwhelmed by choice? Might just be me but sometimes making a choice is the exhausting part! If my meals are already prepped, I don’t have to think about it. “This is what I’ve prepped so this is what I’m eating”. There’s no temptation to order a takeaway or binge on something unhealthy because the quickest and easiest option is right in front of me. While I’m waiting to move I want to try out some recipes that I think would work well for meal prepping. Work out what I like and what I don’t so that when life gets crazy again I know what my favourite recipes are and how to cook them. I’ve also recently bought a soup maker. Is there anything better than a mug of hot soup on a cold autumn day? Plus if I make it myself I know exactly what is in it, so I’m going to get to grips with using that too.

Little steps:

  • Learn more about meal prepping. Read blog posts, watch videos, look through cook books and magazines.
  • Choose a few recipes and try them out. Discover what works and what doesn’t.
  • Get acquainted with my soup maker.

Goal 2: Declutter, organise clothes and make a capsule wardrobe

Lately it feels like I just have too much stuff! A couple of years ago I tried out the idea of a capsule wardrobe and it was great but when I moved away for work the habit slipped and the clothes crept back in.

Little steps:

  • Declutter room. Bin or donate anything I don’t have a use for.
  • Sort clothes. If it doesn’t fit or I haven’t worn it for over a year then it has to go.
  • Make an autumn capsule wardrobe. Box away all my summer clothes and choose what I’ll be wearing this season.

Goal 3: Get back into the habit of using a Bullet Journal

There’s a blog post about my bullet journal coming soon. I used a bullet journal every day for over a year and it was brilliant! One week at the beginning of the year I stopped, I don’t even know why but once I stopped I found it really difficult to start again. I didn’t want there to be a random gap in the dates, as silly as that sounds and the longer the gap became the harder it was to restart. So I’ve bought a new notebook and I’m starting afresh.

Little steps:

  • Set up bullet journal and get going again!

Goal 4: Make a budget and shop smarter 

This one is more in the research stage at the moment. I’m living at home while interviewing but once I secure a job and move away a budget will be essential. I’m looking for a bit of inspiration.

Little steps

  • Research! Read blogs, articles and websites to learn more about how to set myself a budget that will allow me to save for my big goal, a house deposit.

Do you give yourself little steps to work towards big goals? Let me know in the comments =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch