March 2015 Goals

Writing my 23 Before 23 Review last week has got me motivated to set some goals for myself. I’m the kind of person who works much better if I have a deadline and I am super productive if I set myself a challenge. I have set myself some long term goals to achieve this year which I will blog about shortly, but I have also decided to set myself some shorter monthly goals too. These monthly goals will sometimes be ones that help the general progress towards my long term goals, or will otherwise just be shorter goals or jobs that I want to complete before the end of the month. I have tried to pick a range of goals from different areas of my life such as crafts, reading, fitness and blogging, to help inspire me to achieve everything that I want to achieve by breaking it down to regular milestones each month.

Crafts:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – So far I have been making good progress with my sampler and keeping up with each month well. This month I want to stay on track and complete the design, I also want to add the bottom row of 4 frames which I am still yet to add. So far I have stitched the first 8 frames, so if I can add the last of the frames this month, it only leaves me the banner at the top to complete at a later date ,then I am definitely on track to complete each design per month! If I can keep up with my plans, this will be the first year that I don’t have to play catch up…fingers crossed anyway!

Once Upon A Time Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – February was a good month for this project! I have been working on a ‘2 month’ basis for each quarter of the project, meaning that I had given myself February and March to get to the half way point. Luckily though, the quarter that I chose to do featured a lot of the sky, and as this feature large blocks of the same colour, as well as some blank areas, it stitched up a lot quicker than expected. This meant that I flew through this quarter in only one month! I was thrilled to watch the progress but the project is starting to take its toll now. I’m struggling to find the motivation to press on with this project, and as the remaining half features a lot of colourful areas that will require a lot of colour changes I know that progress will be slow. However, I don’t want it to go on the back burner since I am working to such a tight deadline, so this month I just want to complete half of the next section to feel satisfied. Continue reading

2015 Reading Challenge

Hello!

As you might remember from my 23 Before 23 Review, I mentioned that I had committed myself to a reading challenge with some of my colleagues from work. My colleague Marie spotted the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge on Pinterest before the new year and decided that she was taking part, and from then on the number has grown across our office of people getting involved. I wanted to sign up to the challenge initially because I had got out of the habit of reading. I have a pretty reasonable commute to work (averaging around 45 minutes each way but can be well over an hour depending on traffic) and shortly after I started work I put this time to good use by reading. I got so into reading on the bus that I managed to fly through 7 books in 2 weeks but then as the mornings and nights grew ever darker I just felt sleepy on the journey and couldn’t really pick myself up enough to read. Since taking on the challenge though, I am getting back into the routine of reading on the bus once again and I am (slowly) making a dent in the massive backlog of books that I have to read!

Here is the list of criteria for the challenge, and I have highlighted those that I have been successful in fulfilling so far:

Reading Challenge update 1

Click image for source

I have made the decision to only count one book for each of the criteria (meaning that I have 50 books to read to complete the challenge!) whereas some people have opted to tick off all of the criteria that their book meets. To me this feels a little like cheating myself to do it this way, so I’m playing hard and fast by my rule! I have allowed myself to relax a little bit about the seriousness of the challenge though. Usually, if I set myself a goal I will work at it no end until I achieve it, but I fear that this may take the fun out of the challenge so I am approaching it with a relaxed plan, and my challenge is not to cross all of the books of in 2015, but to see how many I can cross off in 2015. I don’t want to force myself to read books for the sake of them, so I am using this as a checklist to manage my attack on the book collection that I already own as an excuse to get some reading done! And any that I don’t cross off in 2015? They’ll simply roll over into 2016 instead!

As you can see from the image above, so far I have managed to tick two of the criteria off the list and I am working my way through my third. The first book that I read was The Winter Book by Tove Jansson, meeting the criteria of ‘A book that was originally written in a different language’ as it was first published in Swedish. It is a collection of short stories for adults spanning the whole of her adult fiction writing career, from her first collection¬†The Sculptor’s Daughter,¬†published in 1968 to seven of her later short stories, the latest dated 1996.¬† Continue reading