10 Achievable Tasks for 2016 – Update

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At the beginning of the year myself and a group of bloggers and vloggers set ourselves 10 achievable tasks for 2016. You can read my original post here. Today at just over halfway through the year I’m bringing you an update. As you’ll see I’ve achieved some, am on my way to achieving  others, and have completely failed in at least one!

1. Contact friends and family every day – ACHIEVED! (But could do better)

In the modern age of technology there is no excuse to not keep in touch. Whether it be by phone calls, texts, WhatsApp message, Twitter, Snapchat or any other medium I am in touch with friends and family every day. So yes, I’ve achieved what I set out to (although of course will keep it up!) However, sitting to write this has enabled me to reflect and realise there are certainly people I need to make more of an effort to speak to on a regular basis so am giving myself a kick up the bum starting with calling one of my best friends for a catch up today.

2. Reach 200 followers on Bloglovin – getting there slowly

I set myself this modest target because (as you might have noticed) I am a bit of a flaky blogger. It’s a hobby and therefore I never want it to feel like a chore. This means I only post when I both have the inspiration and the time, which isn’t that often! I’m sitting at 185 followers at the moment so still have time to reach this target by the end of the year. If you don’t already follow me on Bloglovin it would be great if you click the button on my homepage to help a girl out!

3. Start a weekly make up rotation – ACHIEVED!

Every Sunday I select my makeup products for the week and place them in a basket. These are the products I use all week. It’s become such a habit that I do it without thinking. It has been a great way to discover old favourites and make the most out of my collection.

4. Renovate our bedroom – Not yet!

Eight and a half years down the line our bedroom has still barely been touched. In our defence we have had a new kitchen fitted this year (although that still hasn’t been fully completed!) What can I say, we just aren’t the home renovating kind. There always seems to be something more exciting to spend our time and money on!

5. Make time for Headspace – COMPLETE FAIL! But it’s OK

Having discovered this guided meditation app last December I was determined to use it four times a week to get some relaxing me time. Want to know how many times I’ve used it in total since writing the original post? ZERO! I even deleted the app last week to make space on my iPhone. However, I have taken up colouring as a relaxation method so although I have not technically achieved this task, I have found an alternative way to unwind so I don’t feel bad about it at all.

6. Visit a different UK city – ACHIEVED!

As I write this I am recovering from a busy but amazing hen weekend in Bath. A beautifully unique city that I will definitely return to.

7. Restart social media free nights – not quite

My aim was to have social media banned at home one evening a week and to be honest this hasn’t happened (I blame my discovery of Snapchat!) However, we are still having them occasionally and I highly recommend them – there is nothing like good old fashioned conversation to pass the time!

8. Listen to 5 albums – On track (pun intended!)

I have actually surprised myself with this one! As much as I wanted to listen to more music my lifestyle means I rarely have the time to sit and ‘just be’. But by being inspired by a friend’s passion for music, listening to an album on a long car journey and making use of Spotify I’m on my way to my target. I’ve listened to three different albums so far this year which to many of you probably doesn’t sound much but before that I can’t even remember the last time I did this. Favourite so far? We come from the same place by Allo Darlin’ – beautiful.

9. Eat less takeaways – ACHIEVED!

I’ve kicked the bad habits I slipped into at the end of last year. Takeways are now (almost) exclusively reserved for weekends and even then I’m not having them every weekend. *smug face*

10. Try a new class at the gym – ACHIEVED!

OK, the new classes I’ve tried aren’t technically at my gym but at a fitness centre but that still counts in my book. I now regularly attend a few different classes including Boogie Bounce, Weighted Hula and Anti-gravity and can honestly say they have rekindled my love for exercising. Mission accomplished!

 

 

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5 Tips – for a better night’s sleep

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I love a good night’s sleep (who doesn’t!) Years of shift work messed up my sleeping habits big time, and when I started a ‘9 to 5’ a few years ago, I struggled even more when I had to force my body back into a ‘normal’ sleep pattern. Now, I’m no scientist (unless being addicted to The Big Bang Theory counts!), so these tips are just based on my own experience but with these in place I rarely have difficulty sleeping nowadays.

1. Pamper yourself

I don’t mean a full on head to toe pamper session (but if you have the time and inclination to do this every night go for it!) but I find taking time over my skincare routine, using products I really enjoy, helps me wind down for the day. I start by literally washing the day off my face; micellar water, eye make up remover and cleanser. I follow this up with skin tonic, serum, facial oil, eye cream and night cream. I have a little acrylic storage unit on my bedside table and here is where I keep the products I use once I get into bed; cuticle cream, foot cream and hand cream. This mini pamper routine has become a bedtime ritual and I find it helps me physically and mentally relax ready for sleep.

If you would like to know more about the skincare products I use please let me know in the comments – I can do a seperate blog post or You Tube video.

2. Invest in you bedroom

In my opinion, your bedroom should be your sanctuary and by feeling completely and utterly relaxed by your surroundings, it can only help you sleep better. By invest, I don’t necessarily mean spending loads of money, it depends what you find comfortable and appealing. For me I want a soft mattress, calming colours and lots of ‘homely’ touches. For others it might mean a wall full of photos, or as many scatter cushions as humanly possible to fit on a bed, or very minimal decor – whatever floats your boat!

3. Ban smart phones and tablets

This is one tip that I really should do more often! I’m vaguely aware of actual research with scientific reasoning as to why using smart phones or tablets before trying to sleep is detrimental (something to do with the blue back light I think – I’m sure Google will enlighten you if you want to know more!) and I’ve definitely noticed that if I don’t look at mine for an hour before going to bed, I get to sleep much quicker. In our household we even ban them for the whole evening on occasions and it really makes a difference.

4. Talk to someone

I’m a big believer in ‘de-briefing’ at the end of the day, no matter how mundane, stressful or exciting it may have been. Live with a partner or your family? Chat about your day over dinner. Live alone? Call a friend or family member each evening to talk about how your day was. Not really a talker? Why not write it down or keep a diary. I find just talking about my day, and listening to others talk about theirs, helps me ‘put the day to bed’ and clears my mind ready for a good night’s sleep.

5. Meditate

Meditation is a word that used to make me feel sceptical. And it’s because I didn’t understand it. I joined a Pilates class over a year ago, and the last five minutes is always meditation. For me, it’s about controlled deep breathing and clearing your mind (not necessarily chanting mantras or sitting in the lotus position like I had imagined!) I don’t do this every night but after a really stressful day, or when something is making me feel anxious, just doing controlled breathing as I’m trying to get to sleep helps me relax. I won’t try and explain how to do it, as I don’t want to give out any misinformation! However, there are plenty of You Tube channels available with methods and advice if you are interested.

If you have any sleeping tips, let me know! If you also find the above tips helpful, I’d love your feedback too 🙂