Writing 101 – Day 20 – The Future

Planning

Oh my, I don’t know how I feel at the end of Writing 101! I suppose I am feeling exactly how I felt when I was graduating from university. A mixture of “Thank God, I won’t fall back on assignments any more!”, and, “OMG, what now? Does this mean I have to restart thinking about my own topics to write about?” and part, “I can’t believe I won’t be seeing familiar faces anymore! How will we manage to stay in touch when life gets in the way?” as well as, “I learned so much and I can’t wait to join another course again!” Emotions are just running back and forth, jumping up and down, fighting like cats and dogs and giggling together like little children in my mind.

Of course, the real test comes when you don’t have daily prompts and challenges and when you just have to write on your own. That really terrifies me but it excites me as well. Planning and goal setting is key; two skills that I’ve said time and again that I need to work on BIG TIME!

So what does the remainder of 2015 look like for me?

Starting this month till the end of December, I plan to:

  1. Do lots of blogging and scheduling for most of the posts that have been in my mind and in my notebook since forever, which I did not want to tackle. This includes scheduling posts for the NaBloPoMo which I intend to take part in this November.
  2. Get some fall-cleaning done in preparation for Diwali which coincidentally falls on my birthday this year! So that means lots of de-cluttering (my new best friend!), cleaning and organizing! Looking forward to it at the same time procrastinating on it!
  3. Tackle some little tasks, errands and some shopping which I’ve been putting off for weeks! (Yeah, procrastination seems to love me!)
  4. Go back to my old freelance full-time job from mid-October. I wasn’t planning on doing this but it’s a great opportunity and it also means everything is going to get super busy although I will be working mostly from home till mid-November and then work from the office till end of December.
  5. Keep my fitness routine going but change the timing to first thing in the mornings so I don’t have to worry about it at the end of the day (mostly because my will-power and stamina are the weakest in the evenings after work).
  6. Start thinking about my new pet project which will give me a lot of creative satisfaction and allow me to learn so many new skills. I won’t be able to get it off the ground yet (I need to read and learn a lot!) but to plan it, I need to ponder over it seriously.
  7. Ease back into the 2015 Reading Challenge. I am ashamed to say I have been ignoring this challenge which ironically was the reason why I started blogging seriously in January! Realistically, I know I won’t be able to finish the challenge but I want to try and finish as many books as I comfortably can by the end of this year.
  8. Make my very own planner for the first time! I’ve never used a planner properly before (to-do lists are as far as I reluctantly go!) but I’ve been so inspired to make one of my own and get it printed and spiral bound! Hope this goes well !
  9. Make plans to visit a mountainous region in India next year! Any suggestions? 🙂
  10. Review my 2015 goals and see where I succeeded and where I went wrong and make a better plan for 2016 with revised goals.

Coincidentally, halfway through drafting this post and while taking a lunch break, I picked up the weekend magazine that comes with our newspaper every Friday and checked my weekly horoscope (I don’t know if I always believe in it, but sometimes it uncannily senses my thoughts!) and this is what was written:

You may wish to learn more and could consider returning to an educational course that interests you. Planning personal matters takes priority this week. You will feel happy and a little impulsive, believing nothing can go wrong. A balance between detail and positive thinking will make you a winner.

Is that eerily correct or what? Anyway, all signs are leading to planning, so that’s what I shall do !

What are some of your goals for the remainder of this year? Leave me a comment below and let me know your planning technique. Would love to hear from you!


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Take-A-Step Thursday #8 – Get Back On The Horse

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Hello Everyone!

First of all, thank you so much dear fellow bloggers for reading my little blog! I recently hit the 200 followers mark and I am completely over the moon! Never imagined when I started blogging in January that I would hit this milestone. Really thank you from the bottom of my heart. It really motivates me to keep writing! 😀

It’s been too long since I’ve posted something in the Take-A-Step Thursday series. In my previous one, I mentioned that my mother had had a fracture and we were busy figuring out a new routine that included taking care of her and everything else. I’m very happy to say that she is recovering well although it will take her some more time to get back to normal which is to be expected. Meanwhile, we have a workable routine going on too.

I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging and everything else I had set out to do but honestly, I was at a loss for words. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about when I got back and I started procrastinating and becoming lazy. And that was making me feel guilty too. This defied my whole purpose of setting goals because procrastination, laziness and guilt were the biggest enemies I set out to defeat this year.

Anyway, I’ve jumped right  back on to the horse. I restarted my 2015 Reading Challenge (I was in a bit of a challenge slump – I would start a couple of books from the challenge and abandon them a few days later and would just opt for some comfort reading). Hence, I am a few weeks behind on the reading challenge but that’s okay. The point is to read a variety of books throughout the year and read them well. 🙂

I have also somewhat rejoined the 5 AM Club. I say somewhat because it’s still a bit erratic. I have to mention though – the morning routine that I had established for myself earlier was working so well for me that when I abandoned it in April (I was just not feeling up to it) after my mom’s incident, it affected my health to a great extent. It’s amazing what a morning ritual can do for you in all areas of your life especially your health and I for one, can personally vouch for it. I finally decided I certainly didn’t want to let go of all the progress I was making and be another statistical number of the 92% who fail to achieve their new year resolutions. Although this Forbes article is specifically targeted at Americans, I think it can apply to mostly everyone. So this time around, I’ve made a daily goal worksheet where I can track my progress every day and have a better idea of what my problem areas are or what doesn’t work for me and where I need to plan ahead. So far, it’s only been a few days but I think it could work. I got the idea from this video.

Although the routine is still shaky, I feel like I am in charge of my own life again instead of letting my life control me. Getting disciplined and organized is my overall goal for this year and daily planning is becoming my new best friend. I hope I can tip myself into the 8% who do succeed in goal-setting. Here’s a little motivational quote I read somewhere on LifeHack which makes complete sense to me right now:

It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.

Get back on the horse
Meanwhile, I would love to hear some planning and scheduling tips from you guys! What works for you and any advice you can give me to help plan my day, week, month and year better? I would love to hear from you! 🙂

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DayZero Project

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Have you heard of DayZero? It’s a neat little online community where you can set yourself 101 goals and challenges to accomplish in 1001 days. So that’s about 3 months short of 3 years to accomplish 101 goals that matter to you, no matter how infinitesimal or absolutely crazy they maybe.

I discovered it last November and set myself some goals from the prompts and suggestions provided and of course, promptly forgot about them. I remembered that the clock’s-a-ticking only a couple of weeks ago. I sat myself down and revised my goals list to things that really matter to me and that I can realistically achieve.

I keep looking at the list of 80-something goals I have set myself on DayZero (some very much achievable in the near future and some that I am absolutely not sure HOW I am going to accomplish them) but my job is not to worry about the how, it’s to set the wheels in motion. I’ve already started working on some of them. I’ve already spoken about using the law of attraction and the importance of creating a vision board to achieve your desires here.

I do not claim to be an expert in goal-setting at all, in fact I am going to be outright honest by saying that most of the goals I set out to accomplish in my 27 before 28 list are still pending but I will not give up. I have a good feeling about DayZero though, I think it will be a fun experience especially knowing that there are so many other like-minded goal setters on the same platform who you can follow and get some inspiration from.

I also like the fact that you are not under an immediate pressure to try to accomplish everything,  you have 1001 days and you can prioritize your list from the most important to the not-so-important.

Here are just a fraction of my goals I plan to achieve in the next 926 days (that’s how much time I have left to complete them, yikes!):

1. Blog at least 4 times a month.
2. Write letters to at least 5 people who inspired me in some way.
3. Watch 10 movies in French.
4. Go on a road trip.
5. Karaoke, at least once!
6. Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days are over.
7. Grow something from a seed.
8. Send a message in a bottle.
9. Refurnish my room.
10. Write a personal mission statement.

If you haven’t tried DayZero yet, do it. It’s so much of fun, maybe you just might end up changing those “Things you want to do someday” into “Things you have done”!

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
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Daily 5

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Yes, I have been so wonderfully lazy, it’s not even funny. Yes, I have my usual excuses ready to use too, on why I haven’t gotten a serious head start on my 27 things to do before 28 yet. Too busy, too exhausted, too hot, too sleepy et cetera et cetera.

I recently read a blog post by Violette where she was inspired by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen’s (the writers of Chicken Soup for the Soul series) idea of accomplishing 5 daily goals to be able to maximize your potential and take your baby steps towards success. I really loved the cute little poster she made, with 5 colorful post-it notes to keep reminding her of her 5 daily goals to accomplish. She has inspired me to make my very own Daily 5 poster too.

What really struck me was a sentence that the inspiring leadership and motivational coach, Robin Sharma mentioned in one of his blog posts on 35 Fast Tips to Make This Your Best Year Yet. He said, “Set 5 daily goals every morning. These small wins will lead to nearly 2000 little victories by the end of the year.” WOAH. 2000 little victories in a year is a helluva better than one or two big victories in a year.

I have been trying diligently since the past couple of days to list down my 5 daily goals. However, most of them tend to be work related. But I realise, it’s helping me focus so much better although I still haven’t mastered completing all 5 on the same day.

The ground is still shaky, my legs are wobbly, but I’m sure I’ll get there. I only wish that goal-setting, time-management, leadership and motivational skills were something they taught in school along with trigonometry and chemistry.

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
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