Life Balance Project: March

For me February was a month of making time for the things that I say I’m going to do but I’m always “too busy”. I tackled emails and budgets and finally attempted meditation (work in progress). I made time to catch up with friends and family and spent a lovely weekend in a log cabin. Overall I’m pleased with how the month went. On to March!

My theme for March is Hello Spring. For me March symbolizes new beginnings, refreshing and revitalizing. For that reason my goals this month focus around refreshing myself, my belongings and my relationships. Below is a quick reminder of the 5 aspects of my life that I will be setting goals for.  

  • 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.

March Goals

Well being: Have a spa day

Both my Mam’s birthday and Mothers Day fall in March so I’m planning to book us a spa day as a treat. My ever changing work schedule could scupper this goal, so if we don’t manage to go to the spa in March itself, I’ll at least book it for a later date.

Relationships: Reconnect with old friends

Since I moved cities for work, I don’t see my old friends as much as I used to. This month I want to make sure to spend some time with them.

Personal Growth: Make my Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Its actually sad how much I’ve been looking forward to this goal! My Autumn Capsule Wardrobe lasted me through winter with the addition of a couple of thicker jumpers. Now I’m going to reassess what worked, what didn’t and make my spring capsule wardrobe!

Money: Start working on an extra source of income

The days and times that I work change constantly but when I’m working during the week I have a gap in the middle of the day. I’ve decided to set up as a dog walker to give myself some extra security… and because I love dogs and can’t have one of my own right now. It’s a work in progress but I’m really hoping it will take off. Time will tell!

Organisation: Spring clean and declutter

I’m going to declutter and thoroughly spring clean my room! Anything that I don’t need or never use will be going!  

So there are my 5 goals for March. I’ll be updating my progress on here and twitter so feel free to follow along! Do you have goals for the month? Let me know what they are in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 8

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

This post is late and should have landed at the weekend, sorry about that! Its been a bit of a mad week both at home and at work and I let things slip. Must try harder! Below is a reminder of my goals for February.

Well being: Make a self care plan

I know self care is really important but do I normally make time for it? Erm, no but I know I’m not the only one guilty of that! It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and self care becomes the thing that you’re going to do later. Problem is later never comes! I want to make a self care plan and actually follow it.

Relationships: Plan a get together with a friend

Its always great to have a catch up with a friend. Sometimes it’s another thing that will get done “later”. My relationship goal for February is to actually make the plans and catch up with a friend. 

Personal Growth: Start a meditation practice

I keep hearing how powerful and calming meditation can be. Its something that I haven’t really tried before because I’m busy and I’ll do it “later”. There’s a real pattern emerging in this post isn’t there? I was inspired to make meditation a goal for February when I read this quote: 

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb 

Money: Establish a budget

Its time to get serious about my finances. The big goal way in the future is to buy a house. I have some savings but I need to grow them and I figured the best way to start is to be clear about whats coming in and whats going out. I started tracking my spending after Christmas, now I need to put a budget in place.

Organisation: Clear emails

Its one of those jobs that I put off because its so monotonous but is there anything more satisfying than an empty inbox? I have 3 email accounts so it may take a while but I know I’ll be so happy when its done! 

This weeks Progress

I’ve been trying to work out the best way to make myself a self care plan. In the end I decided to do it in list form, I love making lists! I’ve made a daily self care list, the plan is to tick as many things off as I can everyday. Some of the things on my list are common sense things that we should do everyday anyway. They are important for our well being but can be overlooked, even though we know it will make us feel worse later on. For example, everyone has skipped a meal before even though we know the dip in blood sugar will make us feel crappy later on.

Daily self care

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat balanced meals regularly (no skipping!)
  • Bath/shower
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Make time to do nothing
  • Read
  • Go outside
  • Reach 10,000 steps on fitbit
  • Drink chamomile tea
  • Do something creative
  • Spend time with friends/family

I’ve already reached my goals to clear my emails and plan a get together with a friend. Actually I’ve had a few catch ups this month with both friends and family, its been lovely! I said in last weeks update that I was going to try shower meditation. What is shower meditation? The photo below from Pinterest explains.

I loved the idea of shower meditation but I definitely need more practice! I keep forgetting to do it or I’ll forget mid shower what I’m supposed to be visualizing! That said I do think its a great idea and I’m going to stick with it.

The goal I’ve struggled the most with this month is making a budget. A lot of my main expenses can’t be reduced, for example rent and petrol. Since I started my capsule wardrobe I rarely buy clothes so budgeting for clothes/shoes etc seems pointless. In the end I decided to set a budget for two specific areas of spending. I now have a monthly grocery budget of £100 (including toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant or shower gel) and a monthly “meetup” budget of £50. Lately I’ve been loving attending different meetups and meeting friends for coffee but the cost soon adds up. Taking a quick look through my bank statement for January, I realized I’d spent almost £150 going to meetups that month! That did include a spa afternoon but going forward I’m going to try to keep the cost down.

Are you wrapping up your goals for the month? Let me know how its going in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 7

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

Its been a bright and surprisingly warm week, the hottest Valentines Day for 15 years according to the news! When this post is published I’ll be in a log cabin for the weekend with my family. I can’t remember the last time me, my parents and my brother all went away together so I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks! Its been a manic week at work so it feels well deserved. I’ve still been trying to focus on my monthly goals whenever I get a chance. Here is a reminder of my goals for February.

Well being: Make a self care plan

I know self care is really important but do I normally make time for it? Erm, no but I know I’m not the only one guilty of that! It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and self care becomes the thing that you’re going to do later. Problem is later never comes! I want to make a self care plan and actually follow it.

Relationships: Plan a get together with a friend

Its always great to have a catch up with a friend. Sometimes it’s another thing that will get done “later”. My relationship goal for February is to actually make the plans and catch up with a friend. 

Personal Growth: Start a meditation practice

I keep hearing how powerful and calming meditation can be. Its something that I haven’t really tried before because I’m busy and I’ll do it “later”. There’s a real pattern emerging in this post isn’t there? I was inspired to make meditation a goal for February when I read this quote: 

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb 

Money: Establish a budget

Its time to get serious about my finances. The big goal way in the future is to buy a house. I have some savings but I need to grow them and I figured the best way to start is to be clear about whats coming in and whats going out. I started tracking my spending after Christmas, now I need to put a budget in place.

Organisation: Clear emails

Its one of those jobs that I put off because its so monotonous but is there anything more satisfying than an empty inbox? I have 3 email accounts so it may take a while but I know I’ll be so happy when its done! 

This weeks progress

My self care plan is starting to come together. I have a good idea of the kind of activities help me relax and what doesn’t! I’m also going to add in things that help me sleep better, eat better and socialize. We underestimate sometimes how important those 3 things can be to our well being.

I had my catch up with a friend last week and this weekend its a catch up with my family. I’m also planning a get together with another friend for later in the month. Its been a long time since we last met up so I’m looking forward to that.

I haven’t started meditating yet but I have been looking at different types of meditation. I always assumed meditation was sitting cross legged, trying not to think about anything but now I realize there are different ways. In the next week I’m going to try shower meditation, I can’t say I’m too busy when I’ll be showering anyway!

I’m still putting together my budget. Its the first time I’ve really made one so its a work in progress at the moment! I finally finished clearing out my emails. With 3 email accounts it took a while and more emails come every day. Now that I’ve cleared the backlog, I should be able to stay on top of it…

Here’s hoping!

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 5

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

This week January drew to a close and I started my goals for February. I’m pleased with my progress on my January goals, here is a quick round up.

Well being: Attend yoga once a week

I did eventually get to a yoga class but my goal of going once a week was dashed before January had even got going. A silly injury and then leaving it too late to book a space in the class meant that I missed two weeks straight away. I really enjoy yoga and I am still going to go to classes when I can. Moving forward though, I’m going to start doing a home yoga practice. That way it doesn’t matter what shifts or days I’m doing at work, I can fit it around me.

Relationships: Attend 2 meetups

On Thursday I attended my 7th meetup of the month, an afternoon of games at a local board games cafe. Honestly I would never have believed at the beginning of the month that I would go to so many meetups in January! I enjoyed all of them and will continue to sign up to any that catch my eye. I’m already going to a spa afternoon and a climbing lesson next weekend. So basically I’m going to get all pampered and relaxed on Saturday… and then cover myself in bruises on Sunday! 

Personal Growth: Establish routines

I’ve found an evening routine that seems to be working for me. It took me a while! The issue I had was that my work schedule is different every week, some nights I’m at home and others I’m sleeping at work. I needed to create a routine that would work no matter where I am. I think I’ve found it, you can read the post here.

Money: Sort out finances

I canceled all the subscriptions I wasn’t using but in the end I decided not to swap banks as I’m happy where I am and I couldn’t find a new account worth switching to.

Organisation: Try time blocking

I tried a few different methods of time blocking, you can read the whole post here.

February Goals

Well being: Make a self care plan

I know self care is really important but do I normally make time for it? Erm, no but I know I’m not the only one guilty of that! It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and self care becomes the thing that you’re going to do later. Problem is later never comes! I want to make a self care plan and actually follow it.

Relationships: Plan a get together with a friend

Its always great to have a catch up with a friend. Sometimes it’s another thing that will get done “later”. My relationship goal for February is to actually make the plans and catch up with a friend. 

Personal Growth: Start a meditation practice

I keep hearing how powerful and calming meditation can be. Its something that I haven’t really tried before because I’m busy and I’ll do it “later”. There’s a real pattern emerging in this post isn’t there? I was inspired to make meditation a goal for February when I read this quote: 

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb 

Money: Establish a budget

Its time to get serious about my finances. The big goal way in the future is to buy a house. I have some savings but I need to grow them and I figured the best way to start is to be clear about whats coming in and whats going out. I started tracking my spending after Christmas, now I need to put a budget in place.

Organisation: Clear emails

Its one of those jobs that I put off because its so monotonous but is there anything more satisfying than an empty inbox? I have 3 email accounts so it may take a while but I know I’ll be so happy when its done! 

This weeks progress

We are only 3 days into February so I haven’t got much to report yet. I’ve been doing a lot of research into self care plans, making a budget and meditation but that’s as far as I’ve got. I’ve also made a start at clearing my email inboxes but I have a lot of work to do!

What are you working on this week? Let me know in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: February

January has passed in a blur! I’m so pleased with how the first month of my Life Balance Project went. I attended 7 meetups in the month, far exceeding my goal of 2. Things didn’t go as well with my goal to regularly attend a yoga class. A random injury and my ever changing work schedule held me back but I did learn that a home practice works better for me. Thank you for the youtube channel suggestions, I’m working through them. Also in January I tried my hand at time blocking and made an evening routine that I can follow wherever I am. Moving on to February!

Life Balance Project February

My theme for February is Making Time. Life is manic and all too often we forget to make time for the important things, family, friends, looking after ourselves etc. This month my goals will be centered around making time for myself and others. Below is a quick reminder of the 5 aspects of my life that I will be setting goals for.

  • 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.

February Goals

Well being: Make a self care plan

I know self care is really important but do I normally make time for it? Erm, no but I know I’m not the only one guilty of that! It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and self care becomes the thing that you’re going to do later. Problem is later never comes! I want to make a self care plan and actually follow it.

Relationships: Plan a get together with a friend

Its always great to have a catch up with a friend. Sometimes it’s another thing that will get done “later”. My relationship goal for February is to actually make the plans and catch up with a friend. 

Personal Growth: Start a meditation practice

I keep hearing how powerful and calming meditation can be. Its something that I haven’t really tried before because I’m busy and I’ll do it “later”. There’s a real pattern emerging in this post isn’t there? I was inspired to make meditation a goal for February when I read this quote: 

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb 

Money: Establish a budget

Its time to get serious about my finances. The big goal way in the future is to buy a house. I have some savings but I need to grow them and I figured the best way to start is to be clear about whats coming in and whats going out. I started tracking my spending after Christmas, now I need to put a budget in place.

Organisation: Clear emails

Its one of those jobs that I put off because its so monotonous but is there anything more satisfying than an empty inbox? I have 3 email accounts so it may take a while but I know I’ll be so happy when its done! 

So there are my 5 goals for February. I’ll be updating my progress on here and twitter so feel free to follow along! Do you have goals for the month? Let me know what they are in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 4

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

January is starting to draw to a close and February is within sight! The first month of my Life Balance Project was a bit of an experiment, I have never tried something like this before. I had the ideas in my head but I didn’t know how they would play out in the real world. So far I’m really happy with how things are going and I’m looking forward to starting my February goals on Friday.

Life Balance Project: Week 4

Here is a quick reminder of my goals for January and the reasons behind them:

Well being: Attend yoga once a week

Before Christmas I started a yoga class but only managed 2 sessions before it finished for the holidays. I’m going to restart and go at least once a week. The issue with working shifts is that I can’t consistently attend exercise classes, groups etc. Luckily this class is at a yoga studio and there are many different classes so I should be able to attend once a week. It just won’t necessarily be the same class or instructor.

Relationships: Attend 2 meetups

I’m using meetup.com to meet new people and find clubs/activities that I enjoy. I have joined a lot of groups but the next step is actually getting out there and meeting up! I’m aiming to attend 2 meetups, bonus points if they are from different groups! After all, the more different meetups I go to the more people I will meet.

Personal Growth: Establish routines

I’m especially interested in making a night time routine that helps me get a good night sleep and be organised for the next day. I also hear a lot of good things about morning routines and waking up a couple of hours early to have time to focus on yourself. The problem with that is again I work shifts and my day shift start time is 6.30am, there is absolutely no way I’m getting up at 3am! Maybe I could make a morning routine for the days when I’m off or start later. I think the reason I want to make routines is I’m craving a bit of stability. I love my job but its the first time I’ve worked various day/night/weekend shifts and it messes with my head a bit. Often I forget what day it is and I would love a bit more order to my days.

Money: Sort out finances

This goal might sound a bit broad but basically I’m going to go through all my bank statements, cancel any subscriptions I don’t use and see if there’s a better current account I can switch to. I’m preparing myself and my bank account for the upcoming months goals.

Organisation: Try time blocking

I’ve read a lot of articles on Pinterest lately about time blocking and I really want to try it for myself. Maybe it can provide some of the order and routine that I’ve been craving?

This weeks progress

I finally made it to a yoga class but my goal of going once a week was dashed before January had even got going. I really enjoy yoga and I am still going to go to classes when I can. Moving forward though, I might start doing a home yoga practice. That way it doesn’t matter what shifts or days I’m doing at work, I can fit it around me.

This week I attended my 6th meetup for January! Honestly, I’ve shocked myself. I’m not a social butterfly, I’m a rather shy and socially awkward caterpillar and always have been. I think the difference is that everyone at the meetups is open to meeting new people and wants to be more social. Everyone is really friendly too which definitely helps! I’ve smashed my goal of attending 2 meetups and will definitely keep attending regularly once the month is up. 

I’ve found an evening routine that seems to be working for me. It took me a while! The issue I had was that my work schedule is different every week, some nights I’m at home and others I’m sleeping at work. I needed to create a routine that would work no matter where I am. I think I’ve found it and a post is coming over the next couple of days. In the end I decided not to swap banks as I’m happy where I am and I couldn’t find a new account worth switching to.

Last stretch and soon we will be into February! How are your January goals going? Let me know in the comment below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 3

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

Its been a crazy week, both work wise and personally. I got very frustrated at the beginning of the week when nothing seemed to be going right! I had to take a step back and regroup, luckily the week got much better from then on. More about that later. I guess when I’m setting goals based around different areas of my life its inevitable that some will go better than others. It gets frustrating when things outside of my control mess up my plans.

Here is a quick reminder of my goals for January and the reasons behind them:

Well being: Attend yoga once a week

Before Christmas I started a yoga class but only managed 2 sessions before it finished for the holidays. I’m going to restart and go at least once a week. The issue with working shifts is that I can’t consistently attend exercise classes, groups etc. Luckily this class is at a yoga studio and there are many different classes so I should be able to attend once a week. It just won’t necessarily be the same class or instructor.

Relationships: Attend 2 meetups

I’m using meetup.com to meet new people and find clubs/activities that I enjoy. I have joined a lot of groups but the next step is actually getting out there and meeting up! I’m aiming to attend 2 meetups, bonus points if they are from different groups! After all, the more different meetups I go to the more people I will meet.

Personal Growth: Establish routines

I’m especially interested in making a night time routine that helps me get a good night sleep and be organised for the next day. I also hear a lot of good things about morning routines and waking up a couple of hours early to have time to focus on yourself. The problem with that is again I work shifts and my day shift start time is 6.30am, there is absolutely no way I’m getting up at 3am! Maybe I could make a morning routine for the days when I’m off or start later. I think the reason I want to make routines is I’m craving a bit of stability. I love my job but its the first time I’ve worked various day/night/weekend shifts and it messes with my head a bit. Often I forget what day it is and I would love a bit more order to my days.

Money: Sort out finances

This goal might sound a bit broad but basically I’m going to go through all my bank statements, cancel any subscriptions I don’t use and see if there’s a better current account I can switch to. I’m preparing myself and my bank account for the upcoming months goals.

Organisation: Try time blocking

I’ve read a lot of articles on Pinterest lately about time blocking and I really want to try it for myself. Maybe it can provide some of the order and routine that I’ve been craving?

This weeks progress

What went wrong this week

Lets start with everything that went wrong, it does get better! For the last two weeks my goal of attending a yoga class hasn’t worked out. The first week classes were still closed in the aftermath of Christmas and New Year. Week 2 I had to cancel after pulling a muscle in the top of my leg. This week I decided to wait to book until the night before the class to make sure my leg was better. It was still a bit tender when I twisted a certain way but I was confident I would be able to do the class. I logged on to book and found out I was too late, the class was full. There were 2 more classes later in the week but I couldn’t attend because of my work shifts so for the third week in a row I’ve failed that goal. So annoying! The good news is I’ve booked myself on a class for next week so unless I get another ridiculous injury or there’s a random blizzard I should be able to attend!

Unfortunately there’s more

Moving on to the second thing that went totally wrong this week… I signed up to a belly dancing class through one of my meetup groups. It was at 6.15pm in the middle of Sheffield city centre. I knew traffic would be interesting at that time of day but hoped that it would be ok because I was driving into the city and everyone else would be driving out after work. I allowed myself 45 minutes to get there, its only supposed to take 25. The short version of the story is I got hopelessly lost in the middle of the city in horrific traffic. By the time I got to the right street it was 6.30pm and my nerves were shot. I couldn’t face walking into a class of strangers 15 minutes late and disrupting the lesson so I turned around and got stuck in traffic all the way home too. The whole crappy experience took nearly 2 hours! 

All of the above happened on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Luckily it got better from then on in.

What went right this week

I have already smashed my goal of attending 2 meetups this month. Then I decided to double it to 4 meetups and on Wednesday I achieved that too! I went to a new dessert bar with a lovely group of ladies and had a bowl of cookie dough, yum! At the moment I have 2 more meetups planned this month so that’s 6, I may sign up for even more!

I’ve continued to work on my evening routine. A post about that is coming soon. The issue I had was that my work schedule is different every week, some nights I’m at home and others I’m sleeping at work. I needed to create a routine that would work no matter where I am. I think I’m close to getting it right!

My money goal was to look at changing bank accounts. I’ve looked into it over the last couple of weeks and for now I’m going to stay where I am. I couldn’t find another account worth switching to and I’m happy with my current bank.

I’m still using time blocking in different ways to find out which works best for me. A post about that is coming at the end of the month. At the moment I’m finding shorter time blocking sessions more productive than blocking out my whole day.

 I’m hoping next week will be smoother than this week! Time will tell…

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 2

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing.

Christmas and New Year are now long behind us. Everyone is back at work and school and the decorations have been taken down. A lot of people talk about January blues but personally it’s never really bothered me. Apart from that first day back at work but everyone feels that right? Now that life is “back to normal” I’ve been picking up speed with my goals for January.

Here is a quick reminder of my goals for January and the reasons behind them:

Well being: Attend yoga once a week

Before Christmas I started a yoga class but only managed 2 sessions before it finished for the holidays. I’m going to restart and go at least once a week. The issue with working shifts is that I can’t consistently attend exercise classes, groups etc. Luckily this class is at a yoga studio and there are many different classes so I should be able to attend once a week. It just won’t necessarily be the same class or instructor.

Relationships: Attend 2 meetups

I’m using meetup.com to meet new people and find clubs/activities that I enjoy. I have joined a lot of groups but the next step is actually getting out there and meeting up! I’m aiming to attend 2 meetups, bonus points if they are from different groups! After all, the more different meetups I go to the more people I will meet.

Personal Growth: Establish routines

I’m especially interested in making a night time routine that helps me get a good night sleep and be organised for the next day. I also hear a lot of good things about morning routines and waking up a couple of hours early to have time to focus on yourself. The problem with that is again I work shifts and my day shift start time is 6.30am, there is absolutely no way I’m getting up at 3am! Maybe I could make a morning routine for the days when I’m off or start later. I think the reason I want to make routines is I’m craving a bit of stability. I love my job but its the first time I’ve worked various day/night/weekend shifts and it messes with my head a bit. Often I forget what day it is and I would love a bit more order to my days.

Money: Sort out finances

This goal might sound a bit broad but basically I’m going to go through all my bank statements, cancel any subscriptions I don’t use and see if there’s a better current account I can switch to. I’m preparing myself and my bank account for the upcoming months goals.

Organisation: Try time blocking

I’ve read a lot of articles on Pinterest lately about time blocking and I really want to try it for myself. Maybe it can provide some of the order and routine that I’ve been craving?

This weeks progress

Unfortunately with my well being goal, its more like lack of progress. I pulled a muscle at the top of my leg during the weekend and had to cancel my yoga session. I wish I had a good story to go with it like “I was running a marathon” or “I saved someone from being hit by a car” but no. The reality is I was pushing a roundabout at a playground and something in my leg went twang. I could walk fine but when I tried to run, kneel down or twist in a certain way there was a sharp pain. Basically I’ve failed my goal of attending yoga once a week. There’s nothing I can do about it except roll my eyes and move on. I’m still going to try to attend once a week from now on, random, ridiculous injuries permitting!

I’m doing much better with my goal of attending 2 meetups. In fact I’ve done it! This week I went to a coffee shop with a small group, one person I had met before and 2 new people. It was their first meetup and we shared stories of how nerve wracking it can be that first time. It was this conversation that inspired me to write my last post, making friends as an adult. I also had my first taste of a cronut (half croissant, half donut) and it was delicious! Mine is the one furthest on the right in the photo below. I have another 3 meetups planned this month. The first one is a belly dancing class! I’ve been talked into it and I’ve been assured that our bellies will stay covered! Its a bit out of my comfort zone but I’m going for it! I’m feeling more relaxed about the other two meetups, one is a spa afternoon and the other is going to a dessert bar. Its a hard life 😉

I’m still working on my evening routine but the next couple of weeks I’m doing a lot of overnights at work. This is complicating things but I’m going to make a routine for the nights when I’m home in my own bed and stick to that as best I can.

For my money goal I went through my bank account and canceled a couple of monthly subscriptions that I wasn’t making the most of. I’ve also been looking into changing bank account but up to now I haven’t found a deal worth swapping for. I’ll keep looking but if nothing jumps out at me I’ll stay where I am. For now at least!

I’ve had a few comments from people interested in my attempts at time blocking. I plan to write a post at the end of the month sharing what worked for me, what didn’t and whether I’m going to continue with it. On Monday I time blocked out my whole day and it was kind of a success. I say kind of because I kept swapping over which tasks I would be doing when. I also didn’t stick to the timings very well. Saying that, I did get a lot done that day! So it did work but I used time blocking as a rough guide rather than set in stone.

On Thursday I time blocked just my afternoon and on Friday I did between 11am and 3pm. I found it a lot easier to stick to these smaller sessions rather than blocking out my whole day. I’m going to keep tweaking this over the next couple of weeks and see if I can find the right balance for me. 

So I’m expecting next week to include yoga (fingers crossed) more cake, yay 😉 and belly dancing *gulp* 

Wish me luck!

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Making friends as an adult

Its all so easy when you are a kid. At school we are put in classes with others the same age as us. There are clubs where we can have fun with kids with similar interests. At a park or soft play, all you have to do is walk over to another child and say “Can I play?” or “Do you want to be my friend?” Most of the time the answer is yes.

Fast forward a few years. If you go to college or university, again you are put into a class. There are socials, freshers week and various clubs to join. If you have moved away from home and into the halls or dorms, everyone else is in the same boat. Everyone is new, wants to meet people and is open to making new friends.

But what if you are trying to make friends as an adult? What if you move to a new place or your circumstances change? How do you start over with meeting and getting to know people? It feels so much harder as an adult, especially if you are juggling work, home and family. I have moved to another city twice now. Both times it was for work and I didn’t know anyone except the family I was going to work for. I admit its scary but it is possible to find/make a new social circle and it can also be a lot of fun! Here are my tips.

Don’t be embarrassed

The first time I moved to a new city, I felt a bit embarrassed to be looking for friends. I was worried I would look sad or desperate, like that kid in secondary school who’s socially awkward and doesn’t really fit in. I’ve been there before… But the truth is a lot of people are in the same situation. They’ve moved to a new area, their other friends have coupled up and started having families, they’ve realised their interests have changed etc. This time around I don’t feel embarrassed and neither should you! Putting yourself out there doesn’t make you look sad or desperate, it makes you look brave. 

Think about your interests

Did you belong to any clubs when you were at school or university? What did you like doing in your spare time as a kid? Yes we have all grown up since then (in theory!) but thinking about your past interests can help you to discover activities that you would enjoy today. If you were very creative maybe you would enjoy an art class? Maybe you could learn a new skill such as knitting or pottery? If you were active is there a sports team you can join or a gym class you can sign up for? Where there are clubs and classes there are normally other people. If those people have similar interests then you already have something in common.

Find clubs/classes/groups that appeal to you

Following on from the last tip, find an activity or group to join. If you know what you are looking for, search google to see if there’s anything in your area. Local newspapers and notice boards in shops or supermarkets are another good place to find activities local to you. I also had a lot of success with meetup.com. Its free to sign up, you tick the kind of activities you are interested in and enter a search radius, say 10 miles from your postcode. All the groups in that area pop up, you can join any that look interesting and RSVP which meetups you would like to attend. Through this site I have gone to the cinema, had coffee/cake/lunch, gone snowboarding and driven quad bikes and hover crafts! There is something for everyone so why not give it a try?

Say Hello

Yes I know this one feels scary. I have always been shy and when I’m in a situation where I don’t know anyone, my first instinct is to leave or hide at the back and keep to myself. All I can say is the more you put yourself out of your comfort zone, the easier it will get. So when you are doing that art class say hello to the person sat next to you. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible when you attend that meetup group. Smile and be friendly. If it is your first meetup and you were really nervous, say that! Then watch as everyone else nods and starts sharing stories of how scared they were when it was their first time. Trust me, I have seen this happen many times!

Be patient

Remember that these things can take time. You might hit it off with someone straight away or it could be a bit trial and error until you find the right group for you. Have fun with it and try not to put pressure on yourself to be really social and make tons of friends. Do it at your own pace. 

I was inspired to write this post after joining more social groups as part of my Life Balance Project. What are your reasons for making more friends? Let me know in the comments below =)

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

Life Balance Project: Week 1

If you are thinking “What on earth is a Life Balance Project?” Please read this post before continuing. 

So Christmas and New Year passed in a blur and here we are ploughing through the first week of January. The first few days of January I found myself feeling really motivated! Maybe its the whole “New Year, new me” vibe. Did anyone else experience this? As I write this post I can feel that its starting to wear off but I’m impressed that this “New Year energy” lasted as long as it did!

My Life Balance Project posts have had a really positive response so on top of starting my January goals this week, I’ve also been thinking about the best way to document my progress. I’ve decided to post a weekly update every weekend. That way I can keep track of my progress and anyone who’s interested can see how I am doing. So strap in because there’s another 51 of these posts to come! 

Here is a quick reminder of my goals for January and the reasons behind them:

Well being: Attend yoga once a week

Before Christmas I started a yoga class but only managed 2 sessions before it finished for the holidays. I’m going to restart and go at least once a week. The issue with working shifts is that I can’t consistently attend exercise classes, groups etc. Luckily this class is at a yoga studio and there are many different classes so I should be able to attend once a week. It just won’t necessarily be the same class or instructor.

Relationships: Attend 2 meetups

I’m using meetup.com to meet new people and find clubs/activities that I enjoy. I have joined a lot of groups but the next step is actually getting out there and meeting up! I’m aiming to attend 2 meetups, bonus points if they are from different groups! After all, the more different meetups I go to the more people I will meet.

Personal Growth: Establish routines

I’m especially interested in making a night time routine that helps me get a good night sleep and be organised for the next day. I also hear a lot of good things about morning routines and waking up a couple of hours early to have time to focus on yourself. The problem with that is again I work shifts and my day shift start time is 6.30am, there is absolutely no way I’m getting up at 3am! Maybe I could make a morning routine for the days when I’m off or start later. I think the reason I want to make routines is I’m craving a bit of stability. I love my job but its the first time I’ve worked various day/night/weekend shifts and it messes with my head a bit. Often I forget what day it is and I would love a bit more order to my days.

Money: Sort out finances

This goal might sound a bit broad but basically I’m going to go through all my bank statements, cancel any subscriptions I don’t use and see if there’s a better current account I can switch to. I’m preparing myself and my bank account for the upcoming months goals.

Organisation: Try time blocking

I’ve read a lot of articles on Pinterest lately about time blocking and I really want to try it for myself. Maybe it can provide some of the order and routine that I’ve been craving?

This weeks progress

So what progress have I made this week? I have signed myself up for a yoga class on Monday. None of the classes were running this week so I’ve had to skip ahead to next week.

On Thursday I went to a meetup and had coffee and a lovely chat. On the subject of meetups, I’ve signed up for another 2. One is with the same group to go and have coffee and cake next week. You can never have too much coffee and cake in my opinion! The other is to go out for dinner with a different group at the end of the month. That would mean I’ve completed my goal of attending 2 meetups but why stop there? I’m going to see if I can double my target to 4 meetups. With being new to the area, going to different places and meeting new people can only be a good thing!

I haven’t started my night time routine yet. I’m still in the planning stages, deciding what is important for me and realistically what I can fit in. If you have a night time routine, do let me know in the comments. I love reading them, feel free to link a post if you have one about your evening routine.

I have written a very basic time blocking schedule for today and I’m doing my best to follow it. Today is an experiment and a first attempt so I won’t be posting it. Instead I’m going to use it to see what works for me and then implement what I’ve learnt into my second attempt.

Next week

Next week I am expecting more coffee and cake, a second attempt at time blocking and I’m going to have a good look at my bank statements… Yay. Maybe even more coffee and cake would make that job more appealing!

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch