Sunday, 3 November 2013

4 Simple Goals Before 2014

In case you hadn't noticed, it's November. Where has the year gone exactly?! If, like me, you  feel like life passes you by in a bit of a blur then this post is for you.  Being busy isn't necessarily a bad thing but sometimes it's helpful to take a step back and refocus before diving back into the bedlam of your daily routine.

Whilst catching up on a few of my favourite blogs I came across a post by A Beautiful Mess called "4 Simple Goals before 2014".  The basis of the challenge is to choose 4 simple goals that will challenge and remind you to create healthy, life-enriching habits before the New Year.

 The rules are simple:

1) Choose simple goals that you may not otherwise get done but that are achievable.

2) Don't choose result orientated goals i.e. rather than to lose 10lbs choose to watch your portion sizes.

3) Choose personal goals.  They can be daily, weekly or one time achievements.

4) Reward yourself when each goal is achieved.

5) Blog about your goals - about each one plus a round up of how you've gotten on before the New Year then leave a link to your blog on the A Beautiful Mess post comment section.


So, I've been thinking about what my 4 simple goals would be. There are so many things that, in an ideal world, I would like to achieve but the beauty of this challenge is that by limiting your goals to 4 simple things you're forced to focus on things that you think would really enrich your life. So instead of listing out 100 things that I think would make me happy, what 4 simple things could I focus on between now and 2014 that would really make a difference to my life.

So here we go, my 4 simple goals before 2014 are:

1) To schedule in regular date nights/adventure days with Mr H

2) To fit in some kind of exercise everyday

3) To cook at least one homemade meal from scratch every week

4) To spend more quality time with friends and family

What would your 4 simple goals before 2014 be?

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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Current likes: 2nd November 2013

A little snap shot into the world of Ellie….

Reading:  Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Watching:  Vampire Diaries and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Playing:  Plants vs. Zombies

Listening:  Lorde, Royals

Wearing (work): Black suede boots

Wearing (wkend): Woolie blue jumper and Hunter wellies

Working on:  Management accounts and end of year audit

Last film I watched:  Thor: The Dark World

Last DVD boxset I watched:  The Inbetweeners

Food that’s good for me:  Bananas

Food that’s not so good for me:  Iced gingerbread biscuits

Drink (non-alcoholic):  Strawberry and banana smoothie

Drink (alcoholic):  Rosé

Projects:  Prepping the house for Christmas guests

Last purchase: Craft fair goodies made by the talented Anjali :)

Plan of action for tomorrow:  Sunday lunch and a dog walk, make apple tart, paint nails

Amateur Novelists vs. The Amateur Blogger {Writing Club}

Last year my friend and colleague Anne (or Annabelle as I like to call her) took part in NaNoWriMo –  National Novel Writing Month – where aspiring novelists work towards writing a 50,000 word novel between the 1st and 30th November.  {Find out a bit more about how it works here.}  Then this summer my brother Matt went on sabbatical to California where he spent time at a writing retreat working on a novel he’s been privately formulating for years.  Matt set up a blog to document his travels and share his experiences with friends, family and colleagues and slowly but surely amateur novelists back home started to come out of the wood work. 

With this year’s NaNoWriMo  fresh off the mark and Matt’s writing sabbatical getting people talking (and motivated) Anne suggested we start a Writing Club amongst (but not necessarily exclusive to) our work colleagues.  Genius!  Now, when I started this blog I didn’t give much thought to writing style and definitely didn’t think of myself as a ‘writer’.  I’ve never thought about the possibility of writing a novel, but I do love books, and I do love writing…. is there a place for an amateur blogger at writing club? 

Spurred on by the fact that I’ve been given some really good feedback from readers and encouraging comments about my writing style (hi Nicola!) I decided I’d give writing club a go.  Writing is writing right?  And while I may not be aiming to be the next J K Rowling I think I may be able to offer a little something different to the club. 

So how will I be using my Writing Club time? 

While my fellow writing club members are working on character profiles, setting scenes and twisting plot lines how will I be making good use of writing club?  To be honest when I first sat down at Coffee No.1 with my skinny gingerbread latte surrounded by aspiring novelists I wasn’t really sure.  I was totally unprepared.  I didn’t even have a notebook and pen with me let alone my tablet and blog planner.  At first I tentatively took part in writing exercises and uncertainly listened as my colleagues exchanged ideas and advice on their latest chapter, then slowly but surely I started offering my input and formulating ideas.

Lately I seem to have let the busyness of life distract from my blog but writing club has helped remind me how much I love to write and made me more determined to dedicate time to writing all the blog ideas that float around in my head.  It has also got me thinking about my writing style and how it can be improved, the reasons why I started blogging and what I aim to get out of it.
So with armed with my updated blog planner, a new notebook (any excuse) and grim determination to, eh, blog… I am so ready for next week’s writing club gathering (and maybe a white chocolate mocha).  Watch this space!

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