2019 Goals

I thought about writing this post at the beginning of January to mark well, the beginning of a new year but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I wasn’t completely sure whether the goals I set for myself in December would still be relevant for me in 2019. I am the type of person who likes starting over, I like new beginnings and therefore I love starting a new year. I stand by the ‘tomorrow is a new day’ saying and thus 2019 started and I was sat down at my desk, pouring over my goals and trying to break them down into more manageable tasks, to understand how I want to go about achieving them. This is how I realized that I wasn’t so keen on some of the goals I set for myself. Of course, in true perfectionist fashion, I started to panic because January already started and that meant I didn’t have the perfect plan to get me through the year (I am an anxious person.)

This made me realize that:

  1. You can never have the perfect plan because life’s a bitch and it likes to throw curveballs.
  2. I can always switch things up. If halfway through the year I don’t care to learn to play the guitar anymore, I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to force myself to do anything that doesn’t make me happy and that is okay.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m willing to just scrap goals just because I know I won’t achieve them or because I’m too insecure about doing them (e.g – going places on my own). I just have to adjust them, tweak a few things here and there and hopefully, I’ll achieve the goals I’m not 100% sure about. This is why when coming up with your goals, be them monthly, yearly, 5-years and 10-year goals, it’s important to sit down with a cup of coffee and really ask yourself what do you want to do. What’s worth your time here on earth and what makes you happy? Tailor your plans according to the answers to those questions, have some ambition and you’ll see you’ll come out a happier person in the end.

So, a couple of my 2019 goals (as of now) are:

Get a first in my second year of university – this one is pretty self-explanatory and a goal that most likely won’t change. Some of the steps I’m taking to achieve this goal is to attend each lecture and seminar as much as possible, to read for my seminars every day and to start my assignments two weeks before they’re due instead of leaving them until the last minute. I already wrote down all my deadlines in my bullet journal and my calendar on my phone.

Go fully vegan – I’m quite embarrassed to say that I’m weak when it comes to sweets and I am the worst baker ever. As in I burn everything I try to bake. So if baking my own sweets is impossible and buying vegan sweets is super expensive for my student budget, well, I haven’t been really doing great in that department… but I am working on it every day and hopefully this year I’ll go fully vegan.

Read 30 books – not counting the reading I have to do for university, of course. My reading goal last year was 30 books and I barely managed to achieve that. I’m not sure why I struggled so much when in other years I would read way more than 30 books with no problem. It’s probably because I have to read so much for school that when it comes to reading for pleasure I’m kind of exhausted.

Finish three of the stories I started last year – I tend to go through phases when I’m super motivated to write so last year I started three stories, one of which I was supposed to finish over the Christmas break so this year I want to at least finish two of them – the one that I was meant to finish over Christmas and the collab. I think out of all my goals this goal and the reading goal are the most susceptible to change.

Complete my BTS album collection – this one’s pretty up in the air too but right now I’m determined to achieve this goal. I’ve always been someone who collects stuff from W.I.T.C.H. comic books to well, books and stationery to kpop albums. I currently have all their Korean albums but I still need to complete the LY Her, Tear and Answer albums and the WINGS albums. Of course, this is going to be a pretty slow progress since these albums are damn expensive but I guess we’ll see by the end of the year if I manage to achieve this.

Learn graphic design – I used to do graphic design for forums back in 2013 and 2014 and I’ve always enjoyed it so much but of course, I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to actually know what I was doing. This year I want to learn the right way and so I am planning to achieve this goal over the summer.

So this is it, these are my current 2019 goals. Of course, these are all (okay maybe some of them) susceptible to change but I guess we’ll see. For now, I’m really excited to see what 2019 has in store for me. I feel like for the first time in my life I am finally able to look forward to my future without too much anxiety clouding my mind which is something I’m very proud of.

Anyway, until next time!

With love,

Peach xx

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(GIFs ARE NOT MINE, CREDIT GOES TO WHOEVER MADE THEM!)

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2018 – A Review

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2018 has been an odd year because it’s been good in some regards and bad in others. I started the year ready to take on the world, I made changes after changes in order to improve myself and achieve my goals and so the start of the year was probably why 2018 might be my best year so far. I started Marbled Intentions and I even started writing my favourite story ever. I got close to 1k followers on Instagram and made so many amazing friends on there too. People I can easily call my internet family and who have become such an integral part of my daily life – I am thankful for all of you. I also made up with old friends this year, we got over our differences and came out stronger in the end. I made more of an effort to keep in touch with old friends and made memories I will treasure forever.

In 2018 I finally went vegan. This is big for me because I have a hard time making these big decisions so I am proud of myself. I started penpaling this year so I now know how to mail stuff and I am less awkward and anxious on paper. I learnt to write letters and to appreciate deeper bonds with people in my life. In 2018 I saw Burn The Stage with my friends and revisited an old story that’s always been my home. This year I finally allowed myself to drop my scepticism and allow myself to be curious about the potential of being spiritual. I learnt that this moment is a blip in time and better days will come.

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This year I started to understand myself better – I am a very chill person but small things can set me off. I have trouble relating to people but I have no trouble guessing how they’re feeling. I now know that I don’t have a dream like so many other people do but I have my writing passion and that’s enough for me. This year I learnt that in order to be completely free I have to rid myself of expectations. I learnt to value myself above others because I can’t pour from an empty cup. I learnt that I only live once and yes, it’s sad that I missed some things I’ll never get to do/have but I can’t do anything about that so what’s the point in being sad about it. In 2018 BTS taught me to love myself and for that I’m grateful.

This year I also went vegetarian for Christmas, skipped A LOT of classes and got a few bad grades. In 2018 I didn’t really learn much about my spirituality even though I allowed myself to. I created Marbled Intentions, posted three times per week during the summer holiday and completely stopped posting in November and October. In 2018 I fell into such a slump that I started doubting myself as a person, I started going back to the darker days and I debated dropping out of university. In 2018 I pulled my friends closer while I pushed my family away. I didn’t read as much as I wanted, I didn’t stick to a skincare routine and I still eat a whole lot of junk food.

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So yeah, 2018 has been good but it has also been bad. But we wouldn’t know happiness without pain so I am grateful for this year either way. I’m turning 20 in January. In less than three weeks I will officially have been on this earth for two decades and that scares me in ways I don’t even know how to describe but I’m also excited because 2018 gave me the tools to move into my 20s confidently.

This is the last post of 2018 so I’d like to thank anyone who reads this blog (I don’t really check the stats so for all I know I might be talking to myself). The plan for next year is to post every Saturday at 12 PM GMT so stay tuned for that and have a great New Year!

With love,

Peach xx

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Exhaustion

I always joke around with my friends that exhaustion is a powerful drug. You know that feeling when your body is just so, so heavy that you can barely move? Or when your head is so full and your eyelids are constantly ready to drop that you can’t focus? You lose motivation to do things that you love or even things you don’t love but have to do anyway. So you end up procrastinating, spending hours watching YouTube and then even more hours trying to catch up on whatever work you were supposed to do and then your sleep schedule is all out of wack and maybe your diet is too and this keeps on going until you break down.

That’s not healthy. It’s definitely very common, sure, but it shouldn’t be. We live in a society in which we rarely stop to rest and when we do, well, we think about all the things we have to do when we get back to work. How exactly is that rest? It’s not. It’s tiring and exhausting and it doesn’t help anybody in the long run.

Now, picture your body and mind as a machine – it works perfectly when it’s out of the box and it serves you well for a while but after that, the wheels start rusting and you might need to do some work on it to restore it to its original form. That can take the form of what we now know as self-care which can be of many types but is mostly advertised as bubble baths and scented candles. Others like to say that self-care doesn’t have to be all bubble baths and candles and meditation which is fair enough, not everybody responds to these things in the same way and doing something pretty mundane can easily trick us into thinking about work so what do you do when the bubble baths don’t work and going for a walk just doesn’t seem feasible? You go back to the basics.

I finally finished the first semester of my second year of university. I started the month of September excited and ready to go to university and do my best then bad things started happening one after the other, ultimately snowballing into a massive depressive episode which lasted for the past three months or so. This semester has been exhausting, to say the least. I missed a bunch of classes because I was exhausted. I didn’t do some of the reading because I was exhausted. I focused on less important things to make myself and my anxiety feel better. I procrastinated and tried to catch up and it just didn’t freaking work because I was and still am exhausted.

My arms and my brain ache as I’m typing this blog post, that’s how freaking tired I am. I sat down to write for one of my stories and I just couldn’t gather the energy to think about this whole other world full of energetic and diverse characters. I feel like there’s this fog clouding the inside of my skull and a cold well inside of my chest and I honestly don’t know how to repair any of those things in a way that will still get me the results I want. I keep saying that I’ll get my shit together, that I’ll figure a way out but I never do because, in the end, there’s rarely one answer to all of our problems. Sure, I can buy a new planner and sit down to write my new year resolutions and goals or I can clean my entire room until it sparkles but that’s just a band-aid solution to the bigger problem which is the fact that I strayed so far from the basics that not even bubble baths and planners can help me feel like a well-rested, well-adjusted member of society.

I aspire to a great life, we all do. I want to live comfortably, to travel and to… uh, well, I don’t know what else I want because I’ve been stuck in this loop of exhaustion and trying to fix things with band-aids that just won’t hold things together. I’ve been so caught up in fixing the petty stuff that I forgot that the world is not just the small bubble that I created around me, that in fact, it’s an ocean of dreams and ideas and opportunities for learning and adventure. I can only describe this as walking around with my eyes closed because this is how I’ve been living my life for the past twenty years or so. I want to open my eyes and finally feel that fire in my chest, instead of an empty, cold well and I want my vision to be clear so I can fully understand what I want from life and effectively work for it without getting so exhausted (we’ll get exhausted no matter what, after all, but it should never get this bad) that I end up procrastinating and covering it up with a dumb band-aid. Now, mind you, if bubble baths and planners work for you then that’s great! I thought they worked for me too and in a way they do but for me, to fully recover I think I need to get back to the basics.

What are the basics you ask (you probably didn’t)? Eating a healthy, balanced diet (keep in mind that I’m not talking about your weight-loss diets, but diet in general) at specific times of the day, drinking enough water, sleeping eight hours per night, getting enough sun, etc. I don’t do these things even though they are the bare minimum, basic things everyone should do. I make a healthy meal plan I never follow and I say I’ll go to sleep early tonight but I never stick to it even though these things have been proven to make me feel less exhausted. Instead, I slap on a band-aid by taking a bubble bath and getting right back to procrastinating.

Now, I’m not here to tell anybody what to do. In fact, during these three months, I realized that although I started this blog with good intentions, it turned into something I don’t enjoy. Sure, I like music and what not but this is not what I want to do with this platform. Instead, I’m putting this out there as a form of self-care. I am writing my thoughts down and working through them as I type the words and if this is inspirational to anyone then it is, if it’s not then whatever, it helps me.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this long word-vomit. The short version of it is that these past few months have been very difficult for me and I have finally found a solution to the problem which is to go back to the basics. Work on setting up a strong foundation for myself and then go from there, or at least that’s the plan – I’ll keep you updated.

I am planning to revamp this blog during the winter holiday which means new content and possibly a new look. I want this blog to be more ‘me’ and less every other lifestyle blog out there so I’ll work hard on that over the next few weeks! Thanks again for reading and I hope you’ve had a great week!

With love,

Peach xx

tenor

(GIFs ARE NOT MINE, CREDIT GOES TO WHOEVER MADE THEM!)

Using YouTube for Escapism + 3 Favourite Youtubers

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Like many other people, I too, am obsessed with YouTube. It started sometime in 2011, this obsession of mine and changed slightly over the years. I am the kind of person who is so awfully aware of everything I do and why I do it so I realized that the reason why I started watching YouTube back in 2011 was because it was so new and interesting, the connection between creator and viewer seemed personal. Then every YouTuber and their mother started putting out merch, they started doing weird tags and challenges and there was no creativity on YouTube anymore. Of course, I don’t really mind or care that these YouTubers turned their channels into businesses, everybody has to make money, but personally, I am not a big fan of tag videos or the Q&A format. But the more I watched YouTube the more I grew accustomed to this content and started watching it mindlessly. Watching the same content over and over made it easy for my brain to switch off and use YouTube as a form of escapism. It was no longer relatable, just a way for me to stop thinking for a damn minute.

Again, I am a very painfully aware person. I know I use media as a form of escapism and that it really doesn’t do much good for my mental health, but that’s the fun part of being a teenager/young adult, I grew up mindlessly watching content I didn’t care for without realizing that this is a habit that will be so hard to kick. I started being interested in the idea of self-improvement back in college. I was having a hard time focusing and being generally happy and I just wanted to feel good about myself for once so of course, I went to YouTube. I looked up basic words like self-care and self-improvement and I spent hours, days and weeks just mindlessly watching these videos. They were different from what I was used to, British YouTubers doing absolutely nothing but showing off. These videos were inspirational and made me want to become better, but as I said earlier, using YouTube as a form of escapism is a habit that’s very hard to kick. I had to actively think about my reasons for watching these inspirational videos and motivate myself to get up and put them into practice.

I’m not going to lie and say I completely changed. I didn’t, I still watched YouTube mindlessly (I binge watched Dan and Phil’s Undertale series at least 10 times, not to mention all the Sims 4 let’s plays I’m still obsessed with) and I will probably always do that to some extent. But at the same time, I learnt to take a step back and spend some time in the present. I started following YouTubers whos content matched my goals and slowly started changing my routines, habits and outlook for the better.

Without further ado, these are my three (current) favourite YouTubers. I will link all their channels at the end of this post.

Kalyn Nicholson

Kalyn was one of the first lifestyle YouTubers I followed back in college and I can safely say that she honestly changed my life for the better. At first, I watched her content because I was desperate for a change but slowly came to love her personality and her outlook on life. She began changing her content last year and now makes videos on spirituality, being happy yet she still makes those lifestyle videos I originally fell in love with. She makes videos like ‘coffee talks’ (as videos and podcasts) which are basically advice videos, rosé rambles where she talks honestly about her life, GYST videos which are basically videos of her getting her sh*t together and so many more. She makes me want to travel and allow myself to be in touch with my spirituality.

Content: Lifestyle, spirituality, personal development

Rowena Tsai

I started watching Rowena sometime last year when I was going through a slump. As I do, I found one of her videos in my recommended section and I completely fell in love with her message. She’s not militant, in fact, I like how she’s not afraid of her own slumps yet she always gets back up. Rowena is that person who’s videos I can watch and they instantly make me feel less shitty about myself. Plus her voice is very calming.

Content: Self-care, personal development, life advice

Madeleine Olivia

Madeleine’s videos are my latest obsession. I started watching her two months ago when I went fully vegan and I haven’t stopped since. Madeleine’s videos focus on veganism made easy, minimalism, self-care and living an ethical life. Basically all the things I aspire to be good at. She helped me a lot in feeling more comfortable as a vegan, I don’t cook very well but she made everything so easy. I have also started watching her minimalism series and while I really like the idea, I am also a bit of a maximalist (is that even a thing?)

Content: Veganism, Minimalism, Ethical Living

So here it is, an explanation of how I used YouTube and social media as a form of escapism and how I’m working on changing that as well as my top three favourite YouTubers. Feel free to let know who your favourite YouTubers are and make sure to check out my last blog post which is a list of my seven favourites Monsta X songs. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

With love,

Peach xx

Kalyn Nicholson’s Channel

Rowena Tsai’s Channel

Madeleine Olivia’s Channel

Writing Blocks and How to Get Over Them

I am a creative person, I have always been a creative person ever since I was a kid. I used to paint with watercolours at four years old (that’s how I learnt to spell my name) and I was constantly in my own head, dreaming up an endless list of scenarios from being a princess in space to being a bratty yet trendy teenager like Sharon from Braceface. The universe has always been endless for me. I especially loved the creative writing aspect of my lessons in school – I took great pride in my stories and wanted everyone to read them. That hasn’t changed much.

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Then I became a pre-teen and I moved to the UK and my imagination kept flourishing. It has helped me through tough times, laying in bed with my eyes closed, just living my best life away from my real life. Then I got into anime and music, I started writing stories about the things that I liked such as Naruto and Tokio Hotel and as I grew up my writing improved and so did my love for this creative outlet. It wasn’t just a hobby or a passion anymore, it was my safe place. It allowed me to bend rules to a breaking point, to experiment and grow up with my characters. I then took two years of creative writing in college and to this day I believe that those lessons were the best lessons I’ve ever had.

My creative writing class was a second home to me, even though I was there only twice a week. It symbolised the way my creativity rolled in waves of pure excitement. I started writing poetry and plays and I came up with so many great ideas that I don’t think I’d be able to write them all in this lifetime. In fact, my creative writing teacher at the time encouraged me to start my own blog so thanks to him I am here, doing something I love.

I always knew writing was my passion but as I grew up I became addicted to it, I began seeing it as a source of comfort in hard times and good times and all the time, to be honest. I spend my days and nights jotting down ideas and writing poetry and while that might sound boring or redundant to some, it’s usually the highlight of my day.

I think it was necessary to preface this post with this very (very) long story about how I grew to love creative writing because it explains why I have such great trouble with writing blocks. I think because I put so much effort and love into my stories and poems and plays, I tend to burn out pretty quickly. I can write five chapters for one of my stories and come up with ten different poems in between seminars but by the end of the day I would feel so tired and burned out that the mere idea of being creative annoys me. This would go on for a couple of days, maybe a few weeks even but after a while, that dependence kicks in and I find it hard to get back into writing right away.

I realize that I am not alone in this – many great writers, if not all of them, dealt and still deal with writer’s block but this is my way of pulling myself out of a writing funk. Here are a few of my tips:

Get inspired

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I guess it’s easier said than done, right? Personally, I get inspired by everything, especially music. I can listen to Cherry Pie by Warrant or Barbie Girl by Aqua and somehow I’ll make a drabble out of it. People watching is also great, although I advise being casual about it, not creepy. Just sitting in a coffee shop with a notepad or whatever device you write on will be enough to spark some sort of interest and creativity in that beautiful brain of yours.

Carry a notebook everywhere

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This works with mobile phones or laptops as well, of course. One thing that we were told over and over again in my creative writing module at university (yup, I did creative writing at university as well as college) was to always carry something where you can jot down ideas – even words that elicit some sort of creativity. I usually use my phone’s memo app for this since I already carry half of my belongings around with me but to each their own.

Write daily

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Yeah, yeah, I know that everyone and their mother will tell you to do this but it is true. No matter how crappy your writing is that day, you should write something. Be it a poem or a song or even a short story. This will allow you to get into the mindset and focus on writing. Let yourself be creative! In fact, one of my favourite things to do back in the day was to sit down at my desk, take a random word/phrase/song and just write a page of A5 about it. It could be any form or theme but it gave me such great joy.

Write drabbles / 7 Minute Writing

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(FYI – it’s almost impossible to find a GIF of Deb without her swearing xD)

Something I learned in college was to just let go. We were told to take out a pen and a paper, we were given a prompt such as ‘The last thing I told my best friend…’ and we were given seven minutes to just write. The idea was to write whatever came to mind, even if it was the word ‘boring’ repeated over and over. I think that allowing your hand to write down your stream of consciousness you allow yourself to be free of expectations of what you writing should be like. I mean, let’s be honest here for a moment, we all have expectations. I’ve been writing since I was ten years old, for nearly a decade, and I still read the works of some of our greatest authors and I compare myself to them because that’s just human nature but by knowing you’re allowed to just word-vomit onto a page you are putting away your expectations and focusing solely on getting your point across. This works amazingly well if you do it every day!

Just do it

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I think that with a lot of things in life we always look for some sort of sign or we think we need to plan things before we do them. The same applies to writing or any other form of a creative outlet. Whenever I’m in a writing funk I have to remind myself that sometimes motivation can be a method of procrastination because it keeps me in that safe space of knowing I’m doing something towards my goal but in reality, I’m not actually achieving anything. Instead, I just focus on being determined and disciplined because if I’m determined enough to tell a story then I’m going to be disciplined enough to pull through.

So here are a couple of my tips on how to get over a writing block. I really love writing for this blog, it’s almost as therapeutic as looking for GIFs to fit my posts! Let me know what you think about the GIFs and whether they should stay or go? Also, disclaimer, all of the GIFs used in this post are NOT mine – credit goes to whoever created them. Thanks a lot for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is about how I stopped fearing change.

With love,

Peach xx

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How I Stopped Fearing Change

I think this blog post could have very well been a part of my ‘Be Present’ blog post from a few weeks back, and of course, change is a big part of us moving through the different stages of our lives. Change is a natural phenomenon but it’s also something we fear or avoid. It’s also something I’ve been struggling with for the better part of my life.

I was that child kicking and screaming when her mum dropped her off at nursery in the morning and I was that kid who hated having to leave her country to be with her parents at the age of eleven because the prospect of change terrified me. I know that anyone would be anxious if they were to go through what I did but I think I took it especially hard. I practically isolated myself from everyone I knew and I can count on two hands the times I left my house to go out in the first six months of moving to the UK. It’s safe to say that I don’t fare well with change.

This fear of change followed me to this day – from finishing secondary school and starting college to beginning my journey at university, I am still just as afraid of change as I was on my first day of nursery. That’s not to say that I am always on the safe side, I certainly have my moments when I forget all rationale and dive straight into whatever’s in front of me, no matter the consequence but sometimes, well, sometimes I have to really think about my decisions because the fear of making a bad decision is so overwhelming that it paralyzes me.

Because of my fear of change I started noticing things about myself. I started noticing how small changes make me feel compared to big changes. Small changes like going vegetarian and then vegan (small for me, big for others – everyone has their own journey) compared to moving countries at the young age of 11 are certainly hard to compare even though they both affected my lifestyle and how I now view the world. I noticed that I can accept small changes, changes that don’t have a huge impact on my day to day life, a lot easier than major changes and I began asking myself why. Of course, because major changes like starting university and moving to another country are bound to throw me into new situations and out of my comfort zone – I can’t control the impact these changes have on my life the way I can control my diet for example. That’s when I realized that I am not really afraid of change because obviously, small change doesn’t bother me, but that I am afraid of losing control and I believe this is something very common, especially amongst young people.

The next step for me was to want to get over my need to be in control of everything which was the difficult part because on one hand, I thought that being in control of everything meant that I was safely in my comfort zone and nothing could shake me out of it. In reality, I wasn’t nearly as safe in my comfort zone as I thought I was because that’s not how life works. Life doesn’t wait for anybody to be ready for change and so by not accepting change and needing to be in control all the time, I wasn’t protecting myself, I was actually holding myself back from learning how to handle losing control of everything so when something big happened I didn’t know how to react. That’s when I realized that in order to live a more fulfilling, less scared life, I needed to figure out why I wanted to be more spontaneous and less controlling.

One of the main reasons why I went on this little journey of self-reflection was that I knew that I wanted to experience life at its fullest capacity and since then, I’ve been working hard on accepting change and losing control from time to time. Of course, nothing happens overnight and I am still very much set on some things, but I am glad I took that step forward and allowed myself to work on becoming a better person, even though I am not there yet.

So here it is, a whole blog post about one of my deepest insecurities, just two months after launching this blog. It really doesn’t take me a long time to feel comfortable enough to over-share. Anyway, I think that as long as this is out there and has the potential to inspire at least one person or to even just spark a bit of interest, then that’s good enough for me. Thank you for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which was the second part of my Hogwarts Houses Study Tips series – the Ravenclaw edition.

With love,

Peach xx

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Bullet Journaling: My 3 Favourite Spreads

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Up to this point, I think I managed to portray myself as someone who is constantly trying to get their sh*t together be it through self-care, self-acceptance, reading and being positive. Of course, that doesn’t work every time because everyone has those days, y’know? But something that really helps me keep myself on track in every aspect of my life is my bullet journal which I carry around with me at all times. My bullet journal is part of my morning routine and night routine (blog post coming soon) and it also serves as a reminder throughout the day.

I began bullet journaling at the end of my first year of college – I remember it so clearly… Scrolling through Tumblr on the study motivation hashtag and seeing all these amazing bullet journals. It left such a good impression that I started researching and watching Youtube videos (instead of studying for the exam I had the next morning). The next day, right before my exam (and I mean, right before – I have no idea how I made it to that exam) I went and bought my first bullet journal; an A5 black Moleskine that is still my favourite bullet journal to this day. My first spread in that notebook was a June calendar.

But what is a bullet journal? According to the Bullet Journal website: “The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” (http://bulletjournal.com/) But to me, the bullet journal system means something a bit different. To me, my bullet journal is a physical, visual representation of my brain. Whatever goes through my brain is written down in my bullet journal such as reminders, to-do lists, quotes, song lyrics, story ideas, poems, blog post ideas, top 5 lists, research, birthdays, brain-dumps, etc.

Anyway, enough of me rambling about my absolute adoration for this amazing system, here are three of my favourite spreads that I couldn’t possibly do without:

Calendar

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This one is super basic but I guess the basics are always the most important. The calendar in my bullet journal is one of my favourites spreads simply because it’s so accessible when I have everything in that little (not so little) notebook. Yeah, I can use the calendar on my phone but it’s easier for me to flip from my weekly spread to my reminders and then back to my calendar instead of fumbling with my phone and writing things down and then writing them on my phone – it’s just too much work, I’d rather have it all in one place. Something else I like about my calendar is that it’s always paired with my monthly page which is basically a doodle/quote that fills the whole page. I think the reason why I like the monthly page so much is that it makes it easier for me to visually separate let’s say, July from June.

Weekly spreads

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Another basic one but again, super important. My weekly spread is where my productivity lies. Everything I have to do throughout the week is there, so easily accessible. I can just switch to my weekly spread and see everything I have to do that day. I also like my weekly spreads because of the way I bullet journal; I am a very visual person, I like colours and aesthetics and even though I’m not an amazing artist, I enjoy doodling. My weekly pages allow me to be creative and so they always have a different theme/aesthetic which is super fun to look at every day.

Research/Thoughts/Poetry/Quotes/Etc.

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I feel like not a lot of people actually do these or if they do they never put them out there for people to see. You always see beautiful pictures of daily spreads or monthly overviews but you never see these. My bullet journal is my brain and so whenever I’m listening to a podcast, reading a book or watching a YT video and I want to remember what I’m hearing I just take notes in my bullet journal. Same thing with quotes and song lyrics. I also write poetry in my bullet journal and I plan chapters for my stories and describe my characters. I think that having these types of spreads in your bullet journal not only makes your notebook more unique, it also helps you stick to bullet journaling and being productive as well as it keeps your mind constantly creative and occupied.

Honourable mentions:

Gratitude log

Sleep log

Wishlist

So here are my three favourite bullet journal spreads as well as some honourable mentions. I hope this list helped you maybe by giving you some ideas for your bullet journal or maybe even inspired you to start your own. Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which was the first post in my Hogwarts Houses Study Tips!

With love,

Peach xx

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7 Organization Tips

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Summers used to be all about hanging out with friends, lazing around and staying up till the sunrise but now that we’re older, summers tend to go a bit differently. Personally, I like to take my time to improve myself during the long summer vacations. When I finished my GCSEs I finished an online Creative Writing course and after finishing my first year of college I gave learning Korean a try. Despite the fact that every summer I try something new, I always lose focus by the end of the holidays and in turn, I end up showing up to class in September feeling unmotivated and confused because I let the end-of-term chaos roll into the new term.

This time around, I decided to ask myself a few questions because usually at the end of the academic year I end up very confused and tired. Some questions I asked myself are “how was the first year of university?” and “what could I do better in the second year?” and after doing some self-evaluation and reflecting on my first year of university (I made a *post* about it – you should check it out!) I came to the realization that at some point throughout the year I lost sense of my goals and how I was planning to reach them.

In order for me to find some motivation and feel more in-tune with my goals and aspirations, I came up with a way to get myself organized again. Through following this ‘recipe’ I am able to be self-aware and proactive about the way I spend my time, the things that are going to help me reach my goals and the things that won’t. Here are seven tips for becoming a more organized person.

Keep a tidy work-space

Personally, this is an important part of how I keep myself organized and focused and although I know that some people thrive off of chaos and an organized mess, I am not that person. I need my work-space, be it my desk, the dinner table or my little corner in the library, to be tidy and efficient for what I am planning to do.

Preparing the night before

This is also very important. How many of us hear the sound of the alarm in the morning and dread getting out of bed because even though the day just started, we have a hundred and one tasks to do from the get-go. It’s no surprise that we are so overwhelmed as we are always on the go, hustling and trying to reach our goals but I believe that would be easier if we started enjoying mornings a little bit more. Therefore, I take time to prepare my meal, my clothes and my bag for the next day the night before, that way I don’t wake up and immediately feel overwhelmed.

Cluster similar tasks together

I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of this before when it’s such a no-brainer. Instead of jumping from one task to another (doing the dishes to studying for finals) it’s easier to just cluster together similar tasks. For example, it’s easier to answer emails, make phone calls and listen to a lecture one after another because they all involve your laptop/phone and thus you can move from one area of your to-do list to another more seamlessly.

Focus on short-term goals on your to-do lists

It’s easier to get muddled up, confused and anxious if we overload our to-do lists with tasks that have to be done, say, next week. If it can’t be done today it shouldn’t be on today’s list because seeing so many irrelevant tasks is bound to make us anxious about not being able to tick all the boxes. By focusing on short-term goals and breaking down our to-do lists in a practical manner we’ll feel less unmotivated and beat-down at the end of the day.

Plan Journeys

This is important not only because nobody likes people who are always late but also because ‘the early bird gets the worm’. I can clearly and proudly say that I have NEVER been late to anything in my life and this is partly due to my anxiety and the fear of walking in and everyone staring at me and partly because I want to always make a good impression. On a daily basis, I make sure to arrive wherever I’m headed to at least half an hour before the set time. This allows me to work with the small inconveniences of every day, city life such as traffic, no service on the tube, etc.

Give yourself rewards for completing tasks or staying on schedule

I think it’s safe to say that we are all only human. It’s natural to feel depleted and tired sometimes and therefore rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to keep going and to take care of yourself. I wrote a whole blog post about self-care which you can check out *here*.

Be aware of what works and why it works(metacognition) and don’t be afraid to change your time management techniques if they are not working

When it comes to things such as the way you organize your life, it’s easy to assume that you can follow the same ‘recipe’ for the rest of your life but in reality, we are ever evolving creatures and our habits, goals and states of mind change and grow as much as we do which is why it’s critical that you review your organization/time-management techniques every so often while keeping it real with yourself. Some questions to ask yourself when doing this are “is this working for me?” and “are my techniques still relevant to my goals and my dreams?” More often than not the answer will be ‘no’ but that is the beauty of change. Allowing change to happen is important because it will give you something to work with when you’re feeling like your life isn’t going according to plan. So don’t be scared to be critical with yourself and embrace change!

So here it is, a (long) list of my organization tips and the reasons why I think they could be helpful to you too. Thank you so much for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is all about my favourite books!

With love,

Peach xx

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Self-care Alphabet

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It is no secret that our everyday lives can be difficult, stressful and sometimes upsetting. With the challenge of mental health being on the rise and the effect social media has on our society, I believe it’s good to practice self-care as often as possible. Everyone takes care of themselves and their happiness differently. While some like to walk their dog or try a new recipe, others might like to take bubble baths and play in the rain and both of these rituals are valid. The following list is a list of ideas to maybe start you on this self-care path or maybe even to inspire you to add to your personal ritual of self-care.

This is something that was sent to me via email by my college two years ago and I thought it would be good to post it here and maybe encourage some people to engage in self-care and self-love. I hope these are helpful and feel free to share them with anyone who you think might need these tips.

Allow yourself to dream

Be honest about what you need

Create/craft something

Drink a mug of soothing tea

Eat foods which nourish you

Forgive yourself

Go on a walk in nature

Have a long soak in a bubbly bath

Invest in yourself

Join a support group

Kite, fly one

Learn to say no to the things you want to say ‘no’ to

Make a blanket fort

Nap

Own who you are, embrace your you’ness

Play, it’s not just for kids

Question your icky boundaries, work on them

Read books, not just self-help/improvement ones

Stop making New Year’s Resolutions, choose a feeling or a key word instead

Take time out for you

Upgrade a tatty item

Vocalise your needs

Write a journal or a letter to someone

Xenial – be as kind to yourself as you would be to others

You matter, you are important and worthy

Zzz, 7-9 hours per night

I hope this self-care alphabet has given you some inspiration to engage in loving and taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out my last post all about tips for getting a good night’s rest.

With love,

Peach

Be Present

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A lot of times we tend to live our lives in the past or the future and very rarely in the present. My question is, are we truly living if we spend our lives thinking, wondering and being anxious about the past and the future? How can one really live their life if they’re reliving memories or just simply planning ahead? That’s not living, that’s remaining stagnant. We can’t change the past and we won’t have an amazing future if we don’t get our shit together in the present.

I think that it is human nature to focus more on the past and the future. We try to relive the past because we miss it, because it is easier to lose ourselves in fond memories when something is difficult to deal with in our present lives or simply because we are wondering ‘what if’? What if I chose to take a gap year? What if I would have said yes to that opportunity? What if, what if, what if. As for obsessing about the future… I think that is normal too! We live in an age when everything is fast paced and our productivity levels are constantly through the roof – simply put, we never pause to think. Be it because we are working hard to create future for ourselves or because of social media which not only it can be addictive but it can also be a damaging safe-habit.

What is a safe-habit? A safe-habit is a habit we cling on to make ourselves feel safe and comfortable. Such as over-eating, sleeping in and staying in toxic relationships/friendships. Just like over-eating and sleeping in, obsessing over the past and the future can be a safe-habit. It is easier to live in the past because it has already happened and we know we got through whatever we went through and it is easier to obsess and plan for the future because at least we know that we have a plan and that we are prepared for it.

The truth is, we are never prepared for the future and we can never relive the past. The past is gone and the future is not here yet so we are left with the present. This is something I am working on in my personal life, thinking (more like over-thinking) about the past is something I am guilty of and worrying about the future is like a second nature to me but as I was trying to improve myself and to become a better, happier person I came up with a few things to make sure I actively live my future. Some of them are:

Switch up your routines

We are so stuck in our routines that everything we do becomes automated – making coffee in the morning is like a well rehearsed dance and scrolling through our social media is like watching a movie without engaging with it. Things like your morning routine, your study routine or even little stuff like where you get your groceries from can become an easy habit – a dance that we don’t have to think about, we just do it. Because we don’t have to think about the sequence of how we do things in the morning or the food we eat on a daily basis, that leaves a lot of room to think about the past/future and in turn it does not allow us to live in the present. By switching up your routines you keep things fresh, you keep yourself on your toes and through that excitement you begin to enjoy your present. So maybe instead of making the same five dishes all the time you could learn to make something else, something more challenging or even something completely out of your comfort zone. If we start to enjoy the present then it is easier to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.

Active reminders

It is easy to slip back into old mindsets and habits if we don’t actively remind ourselves of our goals or the reason why we want to start living in the present. A few ways in which I actively remind myself to be present are post it notes, phone wallpapers or simply putting a stop to my thoughts when my mind wanders in that direction. By actively thinking and reminding ourselves that we must live in the present, not only do we find it easier to achieve that goal but it also spares us the disappointment when we realize that we haven’t been working hard to achieve a better state of mind.

Spend time doing something you love

Initially, this point was going to be called ‘spend time with family and friends’ but I thought, why not spend time doing something you love? It doesn’t have to be spending time with family and we all know that getting a group of friends together is harder now that we are getting older. Anything that keeps you grounded and focused should work and that includes friends, family, pets, hobbies such as writing, painting or a sport. By doing something you love you get into the habit of living in the present and enjoying every happy moment.

So here is the product of my highly caffeinated mind. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it might have helped you in one way or another. While you’re at it, check my last post which is a Get to Know Me Tag. Thank you for reading!

With love,

Peach