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

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

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

Moving on

This post is a little different. I’m writing it on the spur of the moment, no planning or scheduling. Why? Because after a couple of months of planning, applying, scheming and dreaming, I’ve finally secured a job and somewhere to live! I’m moving back out of the family home and on to the next adventure in 4 days…

4 days?!

Its one of those things, for the last 10ish weeks I’ve been waiting. Waiting for interviews, waiting for the results of the interviews, waiting to hear back off agencies. Weeks and weeks of hanging around. Now suddenly its all systems go, exciting but also a little scary.

A quick back story for anyone who hasn’t read my previous posts. I’m a nanny. I spent 2 years working 250 miles away from home and living with the family I was working for. I returned home at the end of summer with plans to spend a few weeks at home, then move away again to work for another family. With 2 little changes. Firstly I wanted to be closer to my hometown and second I wanted to rent nearby instead of being a living in again. I decided on these changes as I wanted a better work/life balance. Finding the right job took me longer than I would have liked but at the same time I wanted to be sure it was the right fit. Finally I can get myself together and get going!

Planning and stuff

As you can imagine my do-to list is getting huge! There’s things to pack, addresses to change, registering at a different doctor/dentist etc. Some of my things are still packed in boxes from when I moved back home all those weeks ago. I always planned to move on soon so I only unpacked the essentials. Everything else is being sorted into bags or boxes but I’m pretty happy with how its going. I feel a lot more relaxed this time, I’ve done it once so I can do it again. Moving to a different city alone is a big deal but also an amazing adventure. I’ll have to write a post about it some time.

I’m planning to stick to my blogging schedule of Monday and Friday but in all the chaos of the last week or so (and also that I’ve had a horrible cold for the last few days) I’ve ran out of scheduled posts… Oops! I like to be at least a week ahead. I’m going to try to rectify that over the weekend but if my posting gets a little wobbly over the next couple of weeks, please bear with me!

So that’s everyone caught up on my news, have you got any to share? 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

Never be afraid to try something new

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19616985/?claim=zgq3c7ubdjw”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Life is busy and complicated. I’m not complaining, it would be kind of boring otherwise. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of learning something new and if what I learn could help make life feel less busy and complicated, then even better! My main flaw is that whenever I have a brainwave and think “I’m going to do this/learn that!” I get overexcited, try to take on too much too fast and end up quitting, through either frustration or burnout. Or both in equal measure. Ever been there? Enthusiasm is good but I’ve come to realise that planning and organisation are crucial too. Throwing myself head first into something without really knowing what I’m doing is exciting at the time but in the end, unlikely to work out.

That is the purpose of this blog, to help me keep on track with what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s a place to talk honestly about what I want to achieve, what’s working, what isn’t and what I’m going to do next. I have lots of goals and ideas floating around but almost all of them fall into three themes. I want to save myself time, money and effort.

Time. It’s something that you can’t buy and for most people, including myself, there never seems to be enough of it! I hope that by working on skills that improve my time management, I’ll have more time for the important things.

Money. My never ending quest to save for a house deposit. I’m doing my best but there’s always room for improvement. I’m a single buyer and don’t have a high income. I’m a nanny by trade, which I love and wouldn’t want to change any time soon, however childcare generally isn’t a well paid profession. It just means I have to save harder and look for more inventive ways of scrimping or  earning extra money. Like I said earlier, I enjoy a challenge, which is good because getting a mortgage in my circumstances will be a big one!

Effort. If a habit or skill can make life easier then fantastic. However often to save time and money you need to make an effort. That’s why effort is my third category because at the moment time and money are my priority.

I decided the best way to add a bit of order was to get everything out of my head and onto a scrap piece of paper. I sat for 10 minutes just scribbling down every idea that came into my head. Skills I want to learn, habits I want to make (or break!) goals I want to pursue, things that I want to research in the future, basically dumping everything out of my head and onto paper. When its all laid out in front of you its so much easier to group things together and make sense of everything. When I was done I had 3 main goals, 2 areas I want to research more into and a few skills and habits that I clustered together based on type.

Goals

  • Save for a house deposit: Not much more needs to be said about that, I need to save and earn as much as I can if I ever want to be a homeowner.
  •  Learn new skills: The whole reason I’m starting this blog is to teach myself new skills that will hopefully help me out with reaching my other goals.
  • Feel more organised: I just want to feel like I know what I’m doing and that my life isn’t disorganised chaos basically!

Skills/habits

  • Meal plan, meal prep and eat better. I’ve grouped these 3 because they all tie in together. I want to plan what I’m eating, prep beforehand so its easy to grab and go and that should mean eating better as a result.
  • Declutter, organise, make a capsule wardrobe. I have done all 3 of these before a couple of years ago and I was very happy with the results. Unfortunately then life happened and the clutter and clothes slowly crept back in. I’m going to try again but change my approach so that this time the habits stick.
  • Make a budget, shop smarter. I want to get a better understanding of how much I’m spending, what on and find ways of spending less.
  • Bullet Journal. I used to adore my Bullet Journal. It went everywhere with me in my bag and I always knew what I had to do that day and what was coming up that week. But then once again, life happened, habit slipped and then stopped completely. I plan on writing a full post about this soon and starting up my bullet journal again, I actually felt like an organised adult when I had one!

Research

  • Mindfulness
  • Forming habits

I plan on researching the above topics as they are both things that I’ve had an interest in for a while.

So that’s why I’m here! Feel free to join me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. In tomorrows post I’m going drill down into what I want to achieve in different areas and make an action plan! Have you taught yourself a new skill recently? If you could choose one new habit that would change your life, what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

Take care,

Hayley x

Lets stay in touch