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You know what they say about time?
Well, many things, actually.
Time flies, Time is of the essence & time waits for no man are all phrases that have been uttered in some blog post or deep meaningful conversation, once or twice. When do these words really resonate and how often do we say them so flippantly that it actually sinks in? On our birthdays? New year’s eve? Or, when we have some time during a Pandemic to over-think on it?
There were messages popping up in my college WhatsApp group this week highlighting that it’s been eleven years since we packed up our cars and headed to our family homes as we vacated our University accommodation for the very last time. That day marked the end of random Tuesday nights in the Lodge, ditching classes during Rag Weeks and cramming for exams over red bulls in the library . It meant that the times of actually having to figure out our next moves could no longer be put on the long finger. We needed to make decisions on the next phase of our lives that hadn’t been pre-planned for us.
With the end of a milestone come reflections and thoughts of whys, whens and what ifs? Certainly as I look back to who was a 23 year old June without a notion of her next move, I realise how clueless I really was and how I didn’t know what was ahead of me.
Firstly, the job I’m doing now has little to do with my studies. During the adventure of my twenties, I ventured into a few different career paths to eventually land on people management. Of course it’s super relevant and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world but certainly, that was a path that came through discovering what I enjoyed and being given opportunities to progress.
An added two continents later, I can safely say that the idea of traveling more has gone the way I’ve wanted and hasn’t stopped there (watch this space).
I have travelled quite a bit more & have grown in more than one way. I’m in a totally different relationship and indeed, have had to reinvent myself two or three times over. When I consider those in my life who were around then, some friendships have stayed strong while others have fizzled out. I’ve needed to say goodbye to one or two people for reasons out of my control and serendipity has re-introduced me to people from UL as we were meandering along random journeys.
There’s none of it that I’d change for the world.
The reasons for posting about this are many. When we look back on time, it can be easy to go into a rabbit hole of thoughts and reflections. That’s a good thing – we need to look at where we’ve come from to set intentions for where we’re headed.
My tips here are plenty.
Journal, journal and journal some more. This means deliberately writing about particular times in our lives, our respective days and what we are grateful for. As we look over our journals, this helps to guide us on how far we’ve come. This article by Jame Clear outlines the impact of journaling to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Virginia Woolf to their success. Start with just a sentence a day and watch how that adds up to lots of content in the archives.
Make every day count with your most important relationships. It can be easy to take people for granted and not put in the little touches to their days in order to thrive. Remember, it’s better to stay consistent rather than attempt a big gesture once per year. Be present. This video by Simon Sinek is a wonderful reminder that it’s the little things that matter in every relationship.
Regularly check in with yourself on how you’re doing on your path. Life is short and actually asking ‘is this right for me now?‘ goes a long way in guiding you toward what’s meant for you. It won’t always be perfect but acknowledging what isn’t perfect will help you get or stay on the right path.
Here’s some reflections of mine from 2019. So much can change in even a few months – including this Pandemic. Keep moving forward but don’t forget to look back and see how far you’ve come :).
As I prepared to start into 2020, I reflected back on the amount of reading I had done in 2019. Ten books or so later, how much wiser was I and how much time had I spent deliberately improving myself. When I lounged on the poolside in Bulgaria last July, I consciously worked my way through two of those as my toes faintly tanned. This reignited a like for the past-time that I’d left after me more recently.
Reading is a massive part of my self-development plan, see? Apart from the fact that it takes my ever-busy mind away from multiple screens and social media, it allows me to learn from people who have been there, done that.
Last Christmas, my team bought me a book voucher which actually, helped spark such a keen interest in building my reading. Secondly, the personal and professional life change I saw in 2019 spurred me on to strengthen my knowledge in whatever way possible. Finally, in order to become a better writer, it’s true that aside from actually writing, it’s important to build ideas and vocabulary from absorbing other writer’s content.
This year, I’ll work through at least twenty books. Here’s to hoping it’s doable and well, I’m off to great start so far.
Books I’ve read so far in 2020 (kicked off at the end of 2019) are ‘Everything is figuroutable’ by Marie Forleo, ‘What would the Spice Girls do?’ by Lauren Bravo and ‘Who moved my cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson M.D.
My top recommendation is ‘Everything is figuroutable’ by Marie Forleo. Picked up while rummaging through Barnes and Noble in Utah at the end of the year, I spotted this read. When I started as a freelancer in 2011, I watched a lot of Marie’s videos as I wanted to learn how to be the best marketer and entrepreneur possible. Fast forward to when I bought the book, it’s been a nice reminder of her brilliance.
Marie Forleo is a self-made, self-motivated life coach who quit her high-paying job to embark on a ten year journey to successful entrepreneurship.
Her book covers the fundamentals of how to reach her definition of success. This includes time management, managing your inner critic and tangibly working towards your goals with tips and examples throughout. It’s practical with actual written work you can partake in after each chapter. As I worked to adopt new habits, it is a book that is super motivating and will drive you to take action towards what you want right NOW.
‘What would the Spice Girls do?’ is not only entertaining but as a 30 something year old, it resonates deeply. As a young teenager, I was a huge Spice Girls fan and can relate to the influence this girl band had on my peers and I. They not only founded the concept of girl power, they also showed young women that they could be what they want (especially if that related to being a Pop star). Lauren Bravo writes about how the Spice Girls impacted our generation and generations thereafter.
Thirdly, my manager gifted me ‘Who moved my cheese’ which is a best-seller and has sold over 1 million copies. As I mentioned it to a few friends, they were mostly surprised that I hadn’t read it due to its popularity.
It’s a short read which I completed in a day and a half (as a slow reader) and keeps things simple. When navigating through change, we have two choices – either to stay where we are and not adapt or to move forward and accept that we will be forced out of our comfort zones. Spencer uses a straightforward analogy of mice looking for cheese. When the cheese is moved, the mice have two choices – to stay and hope the cheese returns or to move on in the hope of finding more, to potentially even better cheese.
Moving throughout 2020, I’m looking for further recommendations. Feel free to share yours across in the comments field below or by reaching out to me.
I’ve said it before. Who cares about new year’s resolutions? If you’re going to make a change, why not now? I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve got a busy couple of months ahead with Christmas in retail and so, it would be easy to throw my fitness plans to the side. However for many reasons, I will push through with them now. I need to get the benefit of it now (not in three months from now) and besides, it’s better to start sooner rather than later. In three months from now, I’ll have wished that I started today.
Considering 2017 as a year, it hasn’t been bad. It also hasn’t been the best year of my life. There have been so many things I’ve said I’d do and they haven’t happened. I wanted to see more of the world – that was limited. Meanwhile, I had some health challenges and had some personal situations pop up that hadn’t been invited around. It all worked out and I feel on track however I can’t help but think that 2018 needs to be better. The way for me to do this is being pro-active and being clear on where I want to be.
As mentioned above, I’ve taken a better stance on my fitness. To be honest, I haven’t had a choice. Visiting a physio again last week brought me and my sore back right down to earth – I need to take care of myself. Other goals have been to grow this blog (yes, again) and thirdly, I want to travel more. Hence why I booked my first holiday of the year for April next year (watch this space). It doesn’t need to be a challenge, it just needs to be organised and realistic.
So there’s a whole new year ahead, have you thought about what you want it to be like for yourself? Are you a planner or do you like to take things as they come?
*Firstly, the reason I got planning for next year was financial. For one, I realise that booking holidays super close to the time means that I spend way more on the trip than I need to. Sometimes, this means I don’t go at all as I don’t want to part ways with lots of cash. So basically, planning for 2018 now will save some cash.
*Being clear on goals means you aren’t flapping about in the dark. I am personally happiest when I know where I stand and where I’m headed. This is why I know what holidays I’ll take, how fit I want to get and how much money I want to save. These are all the areas for me to work on so these are the examples I’m using. For yourself though, perhaps it’s to do with diet, a career move or a hobby you’ve been dreaming about? Get journaling, planning and taking action NOW.
*Is there something you need to put in place now in order to reach a certain goal in 2018? Perhaps, you need to enrol in a course, put down a deposit on a trip somewhere or start researching something that will move you in the direct of your calling.
*How many times have you worked on this before? Did it work out or has it left you at square one? If there’s a goal you want to reach that you’ve failed to reach before, learn from your mistakes. Why didn’t it work out? What can you change this time? You know your self better than anyone.
*Work on yourself and everything else will follow. I’m a huge believer in the self-help movement. I believe if we work on ourselves and how we value ourselves then we’ll be more likely to reach our goals. If you’re not feeling as great or as confident as you could – spend some time on the why. Read some books, watch Ted Talks or discuss with a life coach. I promise you’ll be glad you did – no matter the reason.
Whether it’s for 2018 or right now, being clear of goals and intentions is more likely to move you in a direction that suits you.