Goal setting and monthly challenges – Thanks, but no thanks.

For two months now, I’ve been setting monthly goals for myself to try and be more productive. After watching many Youtube videos and reading articles about the importance of goal setting and how much more likely you are to achieve a certain goal if you write it down, I thought to myself, well, maybe I should try it out.

My monthly goals were focused primarly on books and writing and then I also added a lifestyle section. Last month for example I challenged myself to a two weeks break from eating sugar and I actually managed to do it! This month I focused on my writing and so I challenged myself to write for 30 minutes each day.

When it comes to books and reading, I set a rough goal of how many books I wanted to read in a certain month and I also added some titles. These were mostly the books that were sent to me for review. At first I felt really motivated and whenever I achieved a goal, I ticked it off with a most satisfying feeling.

But then the initial euphoria started to wear off and I became increasingly frustrated and anxious. I kept looking at my to do list and if I took an afternoon off from reading and blogging and reviewing, I felt terribly guilty and I couldn’t relax at all. The list was always in the back of my mind but instead of feeling motivated to tick the goals off, I felt pressured into doing everything that needed to be done.

Even reading became a daily task, a must do, and the fun was sucked out of it. Finally I said to myself, enough, and I stopped looking at the list altogether. What I found works better for me, isn’t setting monthly or weekly goals, but instead writing down the things I’d already accomplished. For example, I keep a list of books I’ve read and reviewed and by adding new titles to it, I feel more productive and therefore have more motivation to continue with the work.

I’m not saying goal setting doesn’t work, it works for some people, but I’ve found that it has the opposite effect on me and only adds to my already high levels of anxiety. My memory serves me just fine and so instead of having an endless to do list, I keep it in my mind because I already know what I have to do. But by writing down the tasks AFTER I finish them, adds to me feeling more accomplished and productive.

I still have a monthly spread in my bullet journal (if you can call it that) to see what things I have to do for uni each week, but instead of writing down my goals, I just try doing the best that I can each day and I don’t feel bad about taking an afternoon or even a whole day off if that’s what I need. Productivity is great but burning out in the hopes of achieving it is not something I would strive towards.

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Come here, Christmas!

Howdie, dear readers! I apologize for not being active in the last two weeks, school was intense and I had zero energy. But now it has finally ended and I’m on my Christmas vacation which will last for two weeks. How exciting is that? 😀 I already started binge reading and I’m looking forward to receiving my Christmas gifts (I already know what’s in them) because I want to read the books I’ll. Which books are that, you must be wondering? The first is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater who is my favourite YA author and the second is The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. Seriously, tomorrow evening cannot come soon enough.

What was I up to in the past two weeks? Not much. I was busy with school and procrastination, I (sort of) learned how to use a professional camera and I worked on changing and adapting my IG theme. Our professor kindly loaned us his camera for a week and I got to play around with it for a day. It was so fun, I felt like a real pro. It was also really hard to figure out how to use it. Luckily my best friend’s brother gave me a short lesson and I managed to take some pretty decent photos. I went for a walk and ended up taking photos at the local cemetery (as one does) and one photo turned out pretty good. Here it is:

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Then we went exploring a local church and I took some photos there but I wasn’t really happy with them. I learned how to use the portrait filter and my best friend kindly agreed to model for me. And then I looked around the winter fairytale and played some more. Here are my best photos:


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Last weekend I was busy writing a paper and planning a photoshoot so I did a bit of research to figure out what my theme will be, which photos I liked the best etc. My personal favourites are the ones that are nature themed but I can’t very well go outside and hang around in this rain and mist taking photos all day (well I can but it won’t look good) so I moved my shoot indoors and my sister helped me out. We managed to take like 15 or so photos so I don’t have to worry about that for a while.

When school ended I was finally able to see my friends again and it was super fun going for a cup of coffee and ending up talking for like 4 hours. We both ordered a latte, an apple pie and then later on shared a toast because we were getting hungry. Just so you know how long we chatted. I drank like a liter of water and had to go to the toilet at least five times. But it was so great, to just chat about different things and not worry about homework.

My plans for the holidays are quite simple: read as much as possible and try to write something. Anything. I also started watching a new TV series, Arrow, so that may take up some (a lot) of my time. But who cares, it’s Christmas!

Just one more photo, I promise. I used the micro thingy that you fasten on the camera (wow, I sound like a real pro) and I really like the way this photo turned out.

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Yeah, those are my books in the background. Happy holidays, everyone!

Where art thou, dear Santa?

Yes, I love Christmas. Not just the getting presents part because I love shopping for Christmas and birthday gifts, but I also love the atmosphere and the songs and the movies and the overall spirit. I love baking cookies, watching the snow fall, decorating the Christmas tree and last year I even started singing carols (though I wasn’t any good at it). But there are still two weeks left till Christmas and for me that means two weeks of intense school work. I am in physical pain right now!

All I want to do is chill and eat candy and read books that have been on my tbr pile for way too long, but do I get to do that? Nope. A big fat NO SIREE. All my professors have jointly decided that December is the month for projects. I mean some of them are actually really interesting but they take a lot of time and then there are these other assignments (a long paper on some random topic, I honestly don’t know what we’re supposed to write) and it’s all just too much!

December is one of the best months of the year but I’m more stressed than I’ve been in the last couple of months. True, some of that is due to my procrastination skills (I am a master of that) but then there are these last minute assignments that make me wanna scream and shout “I don’t have time, you fool!”. Anyhow, I am counting down days till Christmas break. Funny enough I only have six more days of actual classes left but a tone of work to do at home.

I had such lovely plans of reading my way through December. What an idiotic idea. I’ll be happy to read for a week during the holidays. And I already planned on reading Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon because reading Outlander series has sort of become my Christmas tradition. And I already know Santa will bring me The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman so that is next on my reading list! ?

This post is so not fun and I realise that. Sorry that I keep on ranting; I just tend to feel better if I write things down. I’m currently listening to Silent Night on youtube and I can already smell the Christmas spirit. Not yet, though. Not just yet. I haven’t been posting regularly on my IG account because I wasn’t at home during the week and I didn’t take enough photos on weekend to last me for the week. I’m planning on hosting a little photo shooting tomorrow to make up for that. Because apparently I don’t have anything else to do.

I hope you’re all doing better than me and enjoying this beautiful and festive month. What are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s Eve? I’m spending Christmas with my family and New Years’ with my best friend. Or maybe I’ll just stay at home and have a movie night by myself. I honestly don’t care about New Year’s Eve. It’s too commercialised for my taste. Besides there’s nothing better than being tucked under a soft blanket watching your favourite movie. Unless there’s chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.

Enjoy your weekend and have fun for me as well! I’ll be stuck indoors, writing my paper (or trying to write it at least).