2015 Wrap-up

Here’s the mandatory post about “how things went in 2015”. This is somewhat based off of my “Goal List” from the start of this year (find it in this post). Over the next few days, I’ll be working out my Goal List for 2016, and I should post that sometime during January.

University/study
I was remarkably successful in this category! I graduated from my Bachelor of Psychology (we won’t speak of my final marks for that, but I GRADUATED!) and now have a piece of paper and another line for my resume.
I’m one year through my Bachelor of Nursing, and my marks are SO much better! As of the end of this year, my GPA is 6.0 and this makes me eligible for the “High Achievers” events (e.g. a morning tea a few weeks ago, that may result in a nursing job!).
I managed to maintain my designated “study hours” fairly well, but there is definitely room for improvement (particularly in regards to getting assignments started earlier). I started all my assignments this year approx 1-2 weeks before they were due, but I’m going to aim for having them COMPLETED 1 week before their due next year. I only had to pull 1 all-nighter for an assignment, and OMG I felt like crap. I am too old to do that anymore.

Health/beauty
I did much better at (mostly) eating at “normal” meal times, and I consistently made packed lunches for uni. Hubby took over his own lunch making around June, and he’s also been good at that.
I’ve done much better at not worrying/stressing about things that aren’t under my control, and I’ve felt far more level emotionally (particularly in the last 6mths). I’ve also been asking for help when I needed it, not once it was too late and I’d already burnt out.
We’ve been eating far more food that I make from scratch, and this has reduced our food costs. We’re still spending an absolute FORTUNE every week on soft drink and energy drinks, but I can confidently say that I’m not the one drinking those. Hubby just isn’t ready to give them up, and I’m not going to push the point because we can (sort of) afford it.
I swapped out driving for walking and bike riding (or public transport) for about 90% of my transport needs, and this helped increase my fitness levels and reduce our fuel costs. It’s much easier at our new place than it was at our old house though – EVERYTHING is within walking distance, while at our old place nothing was (closest supermarket to our old place was 4km away. New place – there’s 3 within 800m). I only joined a gym in the final few months of 2015, but I’ve been going fairly regularly (barring a few disaster weeks).
I BECAME A MORNING PERSON!!!!! Well, sort of. I became a person who regularly gets up at 7am on days when I have nothing booked before lunchtime (or at all) and I feel pretty good about that. It took until the second half of the year to really get there, and the 6:30am starts for my nursing prac really helped cement the morning thing. I’m still not exactly cognitive before caffeine, and my brain doesn’t really wake up until at least 2hrs after I get up, but I’m no longer nocturnal so that’s a good thing.

Organisation/management
I successfully remained off of Facebook during semester time this year, and I will be repeating that next year. I also feel like I wasted less time on Tumblr and Twitter. I may have swapped this out a bit with this blog and YouTube though. I still feel I wasted less time online than previously though.
I culled my wardrobe, and now pretty much everything in there fits me and is in the styles I want to wear.
I *tried* to plan out my days… with mixed success. Some days, it went really well. Others were an absolute disaster. I let it slide a bit in the second half of the year, but I’m going to continue working on that next year as well.
Did better this year with keeping on top of the housework – I could definitely do better, but the only times I really didn’t keep the house reasonably tidy were exam weeks… and I figure that’s forgivable.

Creativity
I still don’t have my reading corner, but we’re looking at possibly replacing our couch this year, so I’ll hopefully be getting a big squishy one-person chair when we do that, so I can set up said reading corner.
I have successfully been trying at least 1 new recipe a month, sometimes almost 1 per week. Only 2 of them got rejected by Hubby, so that’s a good start!
I averaged 1 recreational book per month, but they were mostly crammed into my uni breaks… I would judge that a success 🙂
I’ve been spending more time knitting/crocheting, and I’ve almost finished a gorgeous jumper. It’s a little tight atm (mainly around the tummy area), but by the time the weather gets cold enough for me to wear it I aim to have lost a bit of weight so it will all be fine.

Relationships
I did a bit better at keeping in regular contact with my grandparents this year, but it’s never enough. I lost my Nan only a week ago, and the amount of contact I had was never enough. I wish I could have gone down to visit more often, but flights are expensive and we haven’t exactly had spare $$ this year. So many regrets, but it’s too late. Everyone give your grandparents a hug, because you’ve only got a finite time to do it.

Overall, a mostly good year. The past month has been hard, but up until that point things were going well. Normal life has still been good during the past month though, which has made it easier to deal with the bad stuff.

Happy New Year to you all (because I probably won’t be doing another post before then), and I’ll see you in 2016!

~K

Discoveries

I just found my list of “Goals for 2015”, and it’s interesting to see how many I’ve already been doing, even without actually looking at the list (heck, I forgot it even existed!). I originally posted these on the blog back in January as part of the “New Year New Life” series (Day 6 is where I have my goal list).

For each of the categories, here’s how I’ve done this year:

Relationships – have still been a bit slack with the “writing to grandparents” thing, but I’ve done better with the other two items (setting aside time for Hubby & not feeling guilty about saying “no”).

Organisation & Management – I’ve gotten MUCH better at keeping up-to-date with the housework, and I think that is partly because our house is half the size of our old one.
I’ve culled my wardrobe, and now it’s only got the style of things I wear and like (except for the dresses. I didn’t get rid of many of those because I only really wear dresses in summer. If I don’t wear them this summer I’ll get rid of them). I also bought a few new items that are in keeping with my style.
I haven’t done quite so well with the “fix it immediately or chuck it” thing – my mending pile is still a reasonable size, because there are a few items I can’t bring myself to get rid of. This sort of comes under the “stop holding onto things that are not useful/required” thing too.
I’ve been mostly planning out my days in the morning and following that plan – it doesn’t always go how I want it too, I’m still consistently putting too many things on my to-do list for a particular day.

Health & Beauty – I have been quite good at eating proper meals at proper times, as well as making packed lunches for uni. I started out making Hubby’s lunch for him the night before, but that fell off during exam time last semester and now he just makes his own. I’ve also managed to significantly reduce the amount of pre-packaged/pre-mixed foods we buy, and I have gotten to the point where 90% of our food is made from scratch. I still buy a few things that I can’t replicate at home (like a particular brand of chic-chip cookies that are SO ADDICTIVE and tinned fruits).
I’ve been driving far less since we moved to this new house. I’ll generally ride my bike to & from uni or get Hubby to drop me off and walk home, and I walk to the shops. Just recently, I’ve taken to driving to do the shopping, because I’ve discovered a really good & cheap fruit&veg shop in the big shopping centre that’s about 15mins drive away.
I’ve been very good at making sure I get at least 7hrs of sleep per night, but I haven’t really done much yoga this year. I’ve been doing more pretty stuff with my hair now it’s longer though – I can finally put it up in a proper ponytail, and even use one of those bun donut things! I’ve recently bought a whole heap of new earrings and pretty hair clips too, because for prac we’re supposed to have our hair all up and no dangly earrings (I bought a whole heap of pretty studs).

Creativity – I haven’t set up a reading corner, mainly because we don’t really have the furniture to do it and we can’t afford to buy it atm. I’ve been reading recreationally still though, and I’ve been trying new recipes regularly. I was doing fairly well with the “blogging regularly” thing until I got out of the habit over the June-July break. I’m going to try and do better from now on.

University – so far, I’m maintaining a GPA of 6.25 (WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!), I generally stick to my designated “study hours” (except for assignments), and I THINK I’ve been able to improve my study practices.
I’ve been wasting less time online, mainly because I’ve stayed off of Facebook. That thing is a complete blackhole! I don’t seem have replaced the time I would have spent on Facebook with other websites though, I still use them about the same amount that I did when I was using Facebook.
I still procrastinate, BADLY. Particularly procrasti-baking and procrasti-cleaning.

So, I think I’ve made reasonable progress. We’ll see how things go for the rest of the year!

~K

New Year New Life – Day 31

Today’s Task
The Final Challenge
Celebrate what you’ve done this month, and relax!

Reasonably self-explanatory I think – congratulate yourself on what you’ve done towards being able to achieve your goals, and celebrate what you’ve learned that will help!

I am eating some chocolate right now 🙂

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.

New Year New Life – Day 30

Today’s Task
Celebrate your Accomplishments
The big ones, AND the small ones

A reminder from Kirsten to celebrate what you accomplish – even completing a small step towards a goal can feel like a huge thing, so feel good about what you’ve done!

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.

New Year New Life – Day 29

Today’s Task
Work out what to share and what to keep to yourself
Sharing certain types of goals can actually reduce the chances of achieving them, as can telling the wrong people…

Well, this would have been good to know when I started doing the series – I’ve already shared all my goals with you guys, including the personal ones!

I HOPE that this will be a bit more like writing the goals down in a journal though, seeing as it’s really just like have a Chamber of Secrets sort of diary that talks back to you sometimes…

Hopefully I will not reduce my success at some of those goals!

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.

New Year New Life – Day 27

Today’s Task
Write down what you have accomplished
What have you accomplished that is working towards your goals?

This is more a tip from Kirsten, so I’ll let you all check out her posts for a full explanation – needless to say, I won’t be needing this until I’m properly back at uni (I don’t think).

About the only example I can give at the moment is to do with my “improve my yoga practice” goal:
Monday – None
Tuesday – 15mins
Wednesday – None
Thursday – None
Friday – 20mins
Saturday – 15mins
Sunday – None

So, I’ve done a little toward my goal – I have done yoga 3 times in the past week, and while it wasn’t much, I will gradually be increasing to longer sessions as I get back in practice (I’m BADLY out of the yoga habit, and I’m so inflexible it’s not even funny).

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.

NYNL in practice…

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to start trying to follow the morning & evening routines I laid out in today’s post and see how it goes in practice (not just in theory).

This could mean that I’ll be adjusting a few of the time things – I will DEFINITELY have to set timers at first so I can get a feel for how much time I have for each thing.

~K

New Year New Life – Day 26

Today’s Task
Modify you daily routines
Make changes to your routine so you can fit in your goals better

So, this is what my routine will need to look something like:

7:00am – wake up
7:05 – yoga
7:30 – shower & get dressed
7:55 – feed cat, kettle on
8:00 – EAT SOMETHING & drink coffee while doing some recreational reading
8:30 –  look over calendar for the day and plan to-dos
8:45 – make lunch
9:15 – leave for uni (or start day’s tasks for non-uni days)

This helps with several of the items on my Improve list:

  • eating meals at proper times
  • stop sleeping in past 7am
  • planning my day every morning
  • making packed lunches
  • improve yoga practice

This may seem like a slow start to the morning, but for me it is a necessity – I am NOT a morning person. I have tried time and again to be, but it just doesn’t work for me. I need the time to be able to wake up before I have to deal with other people in the mornings.

There are a couple of days in the week where I actually have to be at uni at 9, so those will have slightly different schedules. I’ll probably do my calendar and to-dos while eating breakfast on those days, and maybe get up 30mins earlier too. That will have to be worked out once I’m actually doing it though. I’ll just work on getting the basic timetable in place before I worry too much about variations.

As I mentioned yesterday, I don’t really have a routine for the rest of the day at the moment, but ideally my ‘evening routine’ would probably look something like this:

6:00pm – start cooking dinner
7:00 – eat dinner
7:30 – spend some time with Hubby (I can do some light housework during this time, like folding clothes/ironing/mending)
9:00 – dishes (Hubby goes to bed about now)
9:30 – light revision
10:30 – wind-down (cup of tea, recreational reading)
11:00 – bed

This would not be a routine I could follow every day though, because there are at least 2 nights a week where Hubby doesn’t get home until 10pm-ish. In which case, I would probably cook something quick for dinner and spend the time studying.

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.

New Year New Life – Day 25

Today’s Task
Write down your Daily Routines
Think about your current routines, note the things that frustrate you, and compare your routines to your lists of things to Improve and Maintain

I know my current morning schedule will have to change – I waste FAR too much time in the mornings at the moment.

Current morning:
7:30am – wake up
8:00 – actually get up
8:05 – feed cat, put on kettle
8:10 – COFFEE
8:15 – read book/feedly and drink coffee
9:30ish – finally have a shower
10ish – start actually working on my to-do list for the day, also eat something about now

At this point, I don’t really have routines for the rest of my day – I more just take it as it comes, depending on what I have on my to-do list for that day. Generally dinner is at about 7pm, but otherwise everything is pretty fluid. I’ll reevaluate the evening routine idea once I’ve sorted out my morning routine – evenings are easier for me.

~K

The New Year New Life challenges were created by Kirsten on her blog Organized Charm, and I give credit where credit is due. I make no claim to the series, I am merely posting my working for each of the challenges on my blog.