Category Archives: Goals

Miranda’s tenth month: music

I’m happy to say that I didn’t eat any candy or cookies for 22 days in a row. And during all of these days, I did some kind of physical exercise, although on a few days it was only a walk. I have tried zumba and pilates and tai chi, and for once, I’m almost addicted to working out. It does make me cope better with the workload, and I don’t crave sugar anymore. And despite my stress, I’ve been able to read two books, meet some friends and go to two concerts. Because I prioritized what I felt was most important to me, I had the energy to do things in time anyway.

So, because of last month’s success, I’ve decided to go against my plans and choose a focus area that may not help me finish my essay faster. However, it will hopefully keep my mood up and give me some nice breaks from the long hours of studying. This month, I will focus on music.

Last week, I took part in the filming of a documentary, and they wanted a shot of me playing the guitar. First, it hit me that I hadn’t taken my guitar out of its case since my last guitar lesson in December. Secondly, I couldn’t come up with a single song to play. This made me feel really awkward, because here I am, dreaming of making albums that will change people’s lives, and I haven’t even touched my guitar for months. I figured that if I managed to squeeze in up to an hour of exercise every day, I should have time to play some guitar as well.

My first goal is to learn a quite difficult song containing lots of fast picking, which is something I really need to practice. Right now, it seems completely impossible. But if I slow it down and just gradually play it a little faster each day during the month (or at least each day I’m home, because I’m going to London tomorrow), I could make it.

My second goal is to find a new band I like every week. Sounds simple enough, but I’ve had a really difficult time finding bands with more than one or two good songs lately. I cancelled my Spotify subscription last week to save some money, and I still haven’t regretted it. I think Spotify made me lose my patience with music, because there’s too much – it’s so easy to jump to the next song. And some music needs to be listened to a few times before the greatness of it sinks in. Now I’m mostly using 8tracks, a free service where you can only skip songs a limited number of times.

I think these two goals will be enough, considering that this is the month I will (hopefully) finish my essay. It’s kind of hard for me to grasp, but soon my education will be finished. In one month and a few days, I will be free.

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Filed under Goals, Health, Miranda, Music, Physical exercise, Priorities, Stress

Miranda’s ninth month: Priorities

Inspired by Titania’s thoughts on time and priorities, I have decided to turn this month into an experiment. Since my life gets more and more stressful, I think it is time to start prioritizing the right things. Since I came home from Italy, I have been exercising twice a week, and I notice such a tremendous change in my energy and motivation that it would be stupid not to take time to exercise. It simply gives me so much time in return.

One thing that doesn’t give me energy, however, is sugar. This easter weekend has been crazy, with two family dinners and lots of desserts and candy. I don’t need to lose weight, but stomachaches and tiredness is something I could definitely do without. I’m curious to see how it would affect my body and mind to stay away from sweet things for a whole month. I don’t think I have managed more than a week before, but I think that this perspective will help me. Instead of viewing it as a ban, I will prioritize eating healthy because it makes me feel much better and gives me much more energy.

Finally, because of my stress I almost feel guilty when I spend half an hour reading  before I go to bed.  I haven’t touched my guitar for months, and sometimes I would like to draw or take some photos or bake bread or meet a friend, but I usually end up studying instead. This is not okay! I have to squeeze in some free time and fun activities to be able to cope with the stressful days, and I think that if I can make my days more effective by gaining more energy, I will find time for this as well.

So, my goals for April are:

1. Do some kind of physical exercise every day.

2. Eat no candy or cookies.

3. Take time to do something I really enjoy every day.

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Filed under Body, Challenge, Diet, Food, Goals, Health, Miranda, Physical exercise, Priorities, Productivity, Stress, Wellbeing

Miranda’s eighth month: Mindfulness

Apart from catching a cold a few days ago, I think my wellbeing month went okay. I spent two weeks visiting my dad in France, and although I had to spend most of my time working or studying, I went for several really long walks and a 30 km bike tour. The time away from home also helped me to form some healthier sleeping habits, which has made it a lot easier to tackle everyday stress and lack of motivation.

However, I do have some problem staying positive and focused and getting things done in the pace I need to. I have so many things I have to do, and even more things I want to do, but instead of keeping me motivated, this never-ending to-do list sometimes makes me unmotivated and unable to start or finish anything. I just go numb and end up wasting my time doing absolutely nothing.

This month, my aim is to be more mindful. To focus on one thing at the time. To get things done, and enjoy the process. To meditate (which is the one goal from last month I completely failed to do). And as pretentious as it may sound, I want to find the beauty in each moment. To savour even the smallest of things.

To live, and notice it.

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Filed under Feelings, Goals, Meditation, Mindfulness, Miranda, Wellbeing

Titania’s eighth month: Culture – here we go again!

Just as in my sixth month I revived an old focus (body), I will extend my culture focus yet another month, since I haven’t been able to give culture as much attention as I would have hoped. I haven’t read more than usual, I have only watched one film BUT I went to a stand-up show performed by a wonderful female comedian, and I really enjoyed it. It even inspired me to thoughts about – some time in the future – creating a show of some kind with my best friend, with whom I share a blog, lead a discussion group and give lectures on how to make the best out of life. Perhaps the next step in our development is to combine life wisdom with humour?

The good thing about this project is that there is only plus, no minus, which means that I’m not disappointed or blame myself for not doing as much as I had planned. However, since I feel that culture really is important to me and my well-being, I would like to give it another go and let March as well be focused on music, literature and film. Perhaps I will be able at least to squeeze a few more films into my life (there’s still a huge pile of DVD:s that I’ve borrowed from a neighbour next to our TV set).

Titania

PS. My focus on body and health is still active in my life to a great extent. It’s interesting to experience how something that used to be really difficult to find time for in the autumn now easily prioritizes itself. I so very much enjoy having gone back to a healthier lifestyle, and to feel that my biggest addiction right now is yoga! 🙂

 

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Filed under Culture, Goals, Priorities, Titania, Yoga

Miranda’s seventh month: Wellbeing

My simple month turned quite chaotic. I managed to clear out three rooms before I suddenly ran out of spare moments. All my time seemed to be wasted either working or worrying about working. I have tried to do one thing at a time, and I think I have started to prioritise better but I want to keep striving towards a simpler life. In the middle of everything I went to an osteopath and she said I had severe vitamin deficiencies and that my digestion isn’t working properly. So, now I’m taking four kinds of supplements, while trying to stress less and get my mind and body on track again. I decided to squeeze in a wellbeing month to have yet another reason to stay focused on what makes me feel better. These are my goals:

– Exercise regularly

– Eat mindfully

– Get enough sleep

– Meditate

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Filed under Body, Goals, Health, Meditation, Miranda, Physical exercise, Wellbeing

Titania’s seventh month: Culture

After a failed attempt at focusing on a healthier lifestyle in the autumn, I can happily conclude that NOW was the time instead. January has been my body month, and so far things have gone greatly. I’ve eaten less, and especially less unhealthy food, and I have managed to find those little time spots for fitness training in spite of a lot of other things going on. I’m back on my jogging track, I’ve been to a body combat class and two yoga classes, I’ve taken a lot of power walks and I have even (finally!) got started with doing yoga at home. The result: a four-kilo lighter me and I’m certainly motivated to go on.

One of the two yoga classes I took focused on ashtanga yoga, a form I had never tried before, and after hearing people talk about the high tempo I must confess I was a bit nervous about going there, since my yoga experience is quite limited. But since there was an open-house ashtanga class available, I decided to give it a go – and I fell in love. In fact, I think I could become one of those yoga nerds, devoting my life to yoga. Let’s get back in ten years time and I might be a yoga teacher myself. There’s something about the body control…

Anyway, new month, new focus coming up. February will be devoted to culture. December was my music month, and now I will widen the focus to also (I hope!) include more films and more books in my life. I have a HUGE pile of DVDs lying next to our TV-set, and this month I will try to watch at least one each week. I am part of a book club, and in February I plan not just to ready the book club book, but also one or a few more. Perhaps one of them will be about yoga? Finally, I will end this month by going to a stand-up comedy show. My first one ever – exciting!

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Filed under Culture, Goals, Titania, Yoga

Miranda’s sixth month: Simplicity

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
— Henry David Thoreau

In line with this month’s area of focus, I’ve decided to keep this post simple. To sort out the mess that my life, home and workload has turned into during the constant stress of the last few months, I’ve decided to make things simpler, and these are my goals:

– Figure out my priorities in life and spend more time on them.

– Get rid of all unnecessary things and find a home for everything else.

– Do one thing at the time.

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Filed under Goals, Miranda, Organisation, Priorities, Productivity, Simplicity