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 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

Life Balance Project: January

In my mind January is all about fresh starts. A new year, a blank slate, the first of 12 new months. This January is also the first month of my Life Balance Project. If you are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, I suggest going and reading this post first. Go ahead, this post can wait.

Ready? Ok, lets continue. My theme for my January goals is Fresh start. I’m hoping each goal will help get the year off to a good start. 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.

January Goals

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. If anyone has any tips to help me manage this, I would love to hear them =)

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?

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

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch

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