Last year I saw Becky talking about her 'Positive Life Plan' and made all good intentions to use the prompts to get my life in order. Suffice to say that this didn't happen and I forgot all about it. That was until I collaborated with Becky on the 'fitness' section of her Positive Life Plan a couple of weeks ago. I provided her with five top tips for new runners as she's working her way through the 'Couch to 5k' plan, and we all know what a big fan I am of that.
The problem with me is that I find it hard to focus on long term goals. I'm crap at new year's resolutions, diets, blogging targets.... in fact, anything that requires me to make a plan and put effort in. I'm very much a 'in the moment' type of person, grabbing opportunities as they arise but it's very clear that I still need some sort of focus so I'm going to take each of Becky's prompts and revisit them monthly to see if I can get my life into some sort of semblance.
I'm not going to blog about this each month but I will probably keep a diary of sorts in a notebook so that I can look at what I've done each month, examine what goals I did or didn't achieve, ask myself why this was and make changes for the next month, and so on. This feels so much more attainable to me.
So here are the Positive Life Plan prompts and what I am hoping to focus on in the immediate future.
I'm lucky that my overall health is absolutely fine however my diet is shit. I eat well (far too well) and like wine. Since we returned from holiday I've made moves to eat better and have less take-away food. We are very much a family who gathers at the table to eat together at tea time but we are making compromises and know that home-cooked foods and meal planning are the way forward.
At the moment, this feels like one area in my life that I have sorted. I run at least three times a week, I enter occasional races to challenge myself and I walk the dog regularly too. But I get into a funk from time to time with my running, I pick myself up again, I'm OK for a time but then it happens again. The vicious cycle is all about self-doubt and wanting to better myself at what I do. I am currently taking steps to see if I can make this happen; small baby steps where I can't and don't need to compare myself to anyone else.
We are a single income household (with nominal board money from our two sons) so money has always been carefully budgeted and any luxuries have come through extra work through my blog and other non-regular income streams. Recently, it's felt a bit easier because I've been paid for a bit of writing here and there and we have managed to save some money towards holidays that we didn't think we could have this year. It's now a matter of keeping that additional income trickling in so that we can enjoy life a bit more.
Beauty / Personal Style
I almost have to laugh when I think of myself from a beauty point of view or with a personal style. I don't have a style to speak of, I am very uncomfortable in my own skin after putting weight on over the past few years and this is definitely an area I need to work on. I'm not too sure where to start though as it all feels very overwhelming.
Having been with my partner for over 27 years (we celebrated our Silver Wedding Anniversary last month) you can find yourself falling into a 'routine' or a 'rut' but I see this more as familiarity. We still make each other laugh but we argue too which is no bad thing as it clears the air, much like a thunderstorm after some humid weather. I think the key here is for things to stay the same as much as possible and to tackle any problems as a team rather than as individuals.
It's very hard to define 'friendships' when you reach my age. My school friends are no longer as close as they once were but we still keep in touch with each other via Facebook after a school reunion was arranged a few years back. Work friendships are kept just there - at work. Again, we occasionally communicate via Facebook with some in-jokes or messages but it's a completely separate part of my life and I'm happy for it to be like that. My running community has created a whole new friendship group but I rarely venture out for social events with them due to other commitments. I'm still very much in contact with friends from elsewhere in my life but we seem to live so far apart these days - it's great catching up with each other when we do get the chance though.
Work / Personal Brand
I work in the type of job that I can embed myself into 9-5 and then leave it on my desk. I'm very lucky in that respect as it's not always been like that. Blogging has grown into my personal brand outside of work and I'm always thinking of ways that I can try and improve on that but, as we've already found out, I'm a bit flaky so one of my main goals is to spend more time blogging like I used to and to build my writing portfolio. I'd like to take on some more social media clients to generate that additional income that is much needed and I've still never written "that book" that I have in my head, although I did write an Interactive Quiz Book specifically for Kindles which became a 'best seller' for a short period of time.
I always come back off holiday with good intentions of putting the laptop away earlier, switching my phone off, reading more, going out on walks and doing everything else mentioned above to enrich my life and this year was no different. Most of the time it doesn't happen as writing and blogging generally mean that you're attached to a computer and social media for extended periods of time and this has to fit in around the full time job. What I am making more of an effort to do is spend more time at the weekends with the laptop shut, enjoying life, so that I have more to write about during the week.
As mentioned at the start, long term goals are difficult for me to set. It's OK to have that dream but if it feels unattainable then what's the point? In the short term, I want to keep up with this method of self-examination,
I'm great at motivating others so maybe I need to spend a little bit more time motivating myself. Breaking all of this down is going to help as I seem to have lots of ideas but nowhere to take them and not enough time to make them work. If using the Personal Life Plan helps things to slot into place then I'll feel better about being kinder to myself?
Do you have a Positive Life Plan in place at all? Are you working towards any life goals?
By the way, the sunset picture at the top was taken in Corfu when we were on holiday last month. Isn't it beautiful? And there was a new one every single day!