Achieving Your Goals: How to Form a New Habit

Habit: bring my camera with me on every walk so I can increase the number of photos I take to improve my photography skills (Instagram: @therunningshutterbug)

Have you ever had those days where, try as you may, you cannot bring yourself to fulfil a task? You tell yourself “I should do the washing up as I’ll appreciate walking into a tidy kitchen later on”.

You consider the thought for a moment, before a feeling of dread and discomfort overwhelms you and you find yourself sitting down to scroll through social media, or turning on your PC to play a game, or doing anything but the washing up.

Come the next day, you find yourself in a similar situation, with more dirty plates mounting and with that your desire to do something else ever increasing. So once again, you leave the dishes and find something easier and more fun to do. You feel guilty but come to the conclusion the process of doing the washing up would be far more unenjoyable so ultimately, you’ve made the right call.

Fast forward a few days, maybe even a week or two and every time you walk into the kitchen you are overwhelmed by the mess. You feel stressed, claustrophobic by the mess piling around you and unhappy with the task ahead. The thought pops into your head to do something else again, but this time you can’t; you have to take action. You tidy the whole kitchen and feel a sense of relief wash over you. You tell yourself “Next time I will do the washing up as it comes and not let it build up so much.” A week later, you find yourself in the same situation feeling stressed and overwhelmed and you are left wondering how you’re ever going to get on top of this undesirable habit.

The Theory

As humans, we have evolved to take the easiest and most gratifying course of action. Whether that be watching TV instead of doing the washing up, playing a game instead of going to the gym or scrolling through Facebook instead of writing that blog post you’ve wanted to write for a while.

It is speculated that this tendency to gravitate toward an easy and instantly gratifying task comes from our Nomadic ancestors who lived their lives in the moment. Their focus was on survival and any actions which didn’t give them an immediate advantage could jeopardise their survival as it was energy they didn’t need to expend. Nowadays, most of us don’t need to worry about walking out our front door and having a bear jump on us so we spend a lot of our time thinking about goals and what we want to achieve. However, our brain has evolved to keep us focused on survival, and therefore decisions that give us an immediate satisfaction or comfort. This can cause an internal conflict as we know what we want, but if the reward isn’t immediate our brain gravitates toward the easier option even if that isn’t in line with our ambitions.

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear describes how often the more immediately gratifying the decision, the more negative it is for us achieving our long-term goals. Whereas the more resistance we have toward a decision, the more in line with our future goals it will likely be. For example, your long-time goal might be to lose weight.

However, when the opportunity arises to make a positive decision toward that goal, such as choose to cook a nutritionally rich meal instead of snacking on a chocolate bar, you often find yourself leaning toward the chocolate bar. The more you think about the positive decision, the more resistance you meet. Negative thoughts creep in about how much effort it’ll take to make dinner, how hungry you are, how you just want to sit down. However, when met with the decision about eating the chocolate bar, you might feel guilty, but the mental resistance you feel to picking up that bar is often far less than to cook yourself a dinner.

So, how do you train yourself to follow better habits?

After spending the morning working at my laptop, I noticed the time hit 12pm so put my laptop down and walked toward my kitchen. As I entered the kitchen, I noticed my shoulders tense up and a wave of dread overcome me. I looked around at the dishes pilled up, the sink full of pots and pans that I had ‘put into soak’ and empty cans and wrappers left carelessly on the kitchen top. I decided I’d had enough; whilst my lunch was heating up, I was going to do the washing up and tidy the kitchen.

Without realising, I had created an implementation intention.

An implementation intention is a plan you make with yourself which specifies the time and place you will complete a task, therefore increasing your likelihood of completing that task.

E.g. If/when situation occurs then I will perform this action

So, if I use the microwave to heat up my lunch, I will do some washing up.

Previously I had told myself “I need to tidy the kitchen” but, whilst true, it wasn’t specific enough. However, when I told myself “When I heat up my lunch, I will wash up some plates” I set a specific task and time for me to complete that task.

Okay, so I know what you are thinking; how does simply telling yourself when and where you will complete a task increase the chance of you doing it?

A study completed by Gollwitzer, P. M. (1999) on Implementation Intentions deducted there were three core reasons why an individual might not follow through on a goal-oriented behaviour, that is a behaviour that an individual has told themselves will help then move closer toward achieving their goal (e.g. keeping the kitchen tidy)

Forgetting to Act

Have you ever had the best intentions to act on an intention but simply forget? Taking your medication with the end goal of helping you get better, doing yoga after work with the end goal of getting stronger, tidying up your desk at the end of the day with the end goal of keeping a clean, uncluttered workspace?

One factor of why I never was able to keep the kitchen tidy was that I forgot to wash up my bowl after I’d finished with it. I forgot to take my mug through to the kitchen once I was done with it. I forgot about my goal to keep the kitchen in a better state. By setting an implementation intention, I created a trigger to prompt myself to complete my goal-oriented action. I knew every time I turned on the microwave, I should wash up a few plates and bowls. I eventually extended this out to when I turned on the kettle and was cooking on the hob too, so created more triggers to prompt me to keep the kitchen tidier.

Not seizing an opportunity to act

It’s true that sometimes you can simply forget to complete an action, but many of us will know the all too familiar struggle of not finding a good time to complete an action. For me, every time I walked into the kitchen, I knew I should wash up a few bowls, however I also knew I should get back to work so I failed to identify a good opportunity to act on my goal. However, when I identified that using the microwave or boiling my kettle was effectively dead time as I just went on my phone and browsed through social media, I identified a good opportunity to act on my goal-oriented action. I didn’t feel guilty about getting back to work as I wasn’t spending any extra time in the kitchen than usual; I was just utilising the time spent in there better.

Having second thoughts in the moment of acting

When you leave acting on an opportunity to chance, often if you meet some resistance to completing an action you will decide to take the easier option (remember, this is how our brains are wired – we tend to avoid short term cost even if it leads to long term benefit). However, by having already identified a clear opportunity to act and assigning an action to that time I removed all uncertainty about acting in that moment. I didn’t need to consider if I should complete the action as I had already assigned a plan of action to that moment of uncertainty.

The Philosophy

The great Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, once wrote:

To make anything a habit, do it; to not make it a habit, do not do it; to unmake a habit, do something else in place of it.

The reason why so many of us never progress toward our goals is because we are not consistent with the habits which help progress us closer toward our goals. Often, we try to do too much too soon which makes being consistent difficult and that default mindset of choosing the easier option kicks in as we are faced with too much resistance.

Our end goal may be to lose 10kg of weight by the end of the year, so we tell ourselves we’re going to go from doing no exercise to going to the gym 5 times a week.

Or our end goal is to learn a new language, so we tell ourselves instead of watching TV in our spare time, we’re going to spend two hours a day studying.

Or our end goal may be to eat healthier, so we tell ourselves instead of snacking between meals all day, we are going to cut out all snacking completely.

The problem isn’t with our end goal, but with the big habit changes we try to enforce in our daily lives. We expect to be able to go from doing no exercise to living a very active lifestyle of attending the gym 5 times a week; ultimately the mental (and physical!) resistance is too much and we quit. We try to go from spending no time studying to committing to two whole hours of study a day; our concentration wavers and the idea of studying becomes an unbearable task as two hours is too hard. We try to eat healthier and not snack but when hungry strikes we give in as it’s too difficult to go from snacking to no snacks at all; we feel like we must cut it out completely instead of, for example, replacing it with a healthier alternative or smaller snack.

When you set out your implementation intentions, keep them small at first until they become easy. Then you can increase difficulty. If I had told myself every time I turned on the microwave I had to do all the washing up it would have been too much, so instead I committed to washing up a few plates each time. Keeping your new habits easy will help with keeping them consistent; consistency will ultimately lead to a new habit forming and you a step closer to achieving your goals.

Keep it simple, be consistent and be patient. You will get there.


Finding your roadmap to happiness and success

We spend so much of our time trying to find original ways to live our lives and find our way to a successful life. We’re taught from a young age that copying people and ideas is cheating and is always bad. Yes, I would agree that if you copy your friend’s exam results then you’re cheating yourself more than anyone else and it will hurt you in the long run. Likewise, if you download cheats for a competitive video game to reach the higher ranks, you’re depriving yourself of the experience of learning and improving your skillset.

 However, whoever said it was a bad thing to copy successful habits and learn from other people’s experiences to take what’s helpful to apply to your own life? To immerse yourself in their experience and knowledge from mistakes and successes they’ve had? Too many of us at some point in our lives, myself included, have felt like they need to find their own way to a successful life. Well, after a couple of years of finding inspirational figures and watching their interviews, reading their books, watching documentaries made about them I feel I can now confidently say that our journey to a successful life, to find a way out of any hardships we are going through has already  been laid out by many who have come before us. The roadmaps are there, now let’s delve a little deeper in how to find them.

What do you value most right now?

This seems like an obvious question, but so many of us don’t consider it when we make important decisions in our lives. Should we go for that managerial job that’s just popped up? Should I sign up to the gym and commit to getting in shape? Do I quit my job and focus on writing my blog?

It’s taken me a while to understand what I value, but now I know it drives a lot of my decision making and I feel like I’m finally making progress with things that matter to me.

I spent a long time feeling very unhappy about weight I was putting on and how unfit I was. I was also terrified by the idea of having to spend time alone for an extended period as mentally I wasn’t in a good place. However, I didn’t know what to do about it. I would search online for answers but often came up empty. One day, when speaking to a counsellor she encouraged me to reflect upon what I had achieved each day and what I had enjoyed (I talk more about in my post about Finding a balance in life) but the crux of it is that she was trying to encourage me to make an active effort to reflect on the day gone and see what I did well and what I struggled with.

I found myself scoring high in the feeling of achievement after I had done some exercise. Likewise, I found a lot of peace and enjoyment in drawing. I did this task for about two weeks (I’d encourage longer as self-reflection is a great tool for understanding your mind) and identified I needed to fill my spare time with exercise and drawing.

So, what did I value? I valued leading a healthy lifestyle and to be in control of my own mind so I could enjoy leisure activities, so that’s what I started to focus on. All of the smaller objectives, such as learning a new coding language, setting up a side business with passive income and bettering myself as a gamer became less of a focus as they weren’t in line with what I currently value. I still want to achieve those goals so I’m not saying I’ll never work toward achieving them, however I had little drive to do them because they weren’t in line with what was currently important to me. In addition, they caused me a lot of unhappiness through guilt as I felt I had to work on them but felt too demotivated to.

It’s important that when you identify what you value, to only choose one or two projects to focus on at a time. If not, you’ll likely end up feeling quite burnt out and will struggle to achieve them. There are exceptions of course, some people thrive from being busy but even they will know their own limits for what they can take on. Whatever your limits are, try to be honest about them and not over stretch yourself too much.

So, I now know what I value. What next?

This is a tough question. It’s one thing to know what your focuses should be, it’s another completely to know about how to begin to work toward them.

This is where your inspirational figures come in. Becoming a fit and healthy individual with a strong mindset was very important to me so I began my research into inspirational people who had overcome tough physical and mental experiences, and completed amazing sports achievements to learn about their experiences and what lessons they’d learnt and troubles they’d have to overcome. There’s no set formula for finding these people, just open up Google and start searching. Likewise, I found talking to my friend who is a Personal Trainer was helpful as he was able to recommend some really good books.

For the world of sporting, so far I have three inspirations (I’ve proved links to their books for anyone interested):

Ant Middleton
David Goggins
Ross Edgley

Each of these individuals have a wealth of knowledge dispersed through books and interviews that I jumped on reading and listening to.

For Ant Middleton I learnt the importance of being completely brutally honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses and how to avoid pitfalls like having a victim mentality. I also learnt the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people and how to ignore those more toxic individuals in your life.

From David Goggins I learnt the importance of callusing your mind, that is to expose yourself to suffering so you can grow from it. Whether that’s running 2.1 miles instead of your initial goal of 2 miles when all you want to do is give up as you sprinted the last half mile and have a massive stitch. Or if it’s making yourself get up at 5am each day, despite how tired you feel and how much you’re suffering in that moment to wake up, to get used to waking up earlier and making the most out of your day. I learnt you can use suffering to make progress toward your goals.

From Ross Edgley I began to learn a lot more about my body from a sports science perspective and how that voice in your head and the tiredness in your arms and legs are telling you to give up else you’re going to collapse. However, they are just trying to maintain the status quo in your body (homeostasis) as a way to protect you.

As well as reading books, I also entered myself into several challenges to provide a good short-term focus for myself. Running is something I absolutely hate but wanted to build on, and I was really struggling to push myself. So, I signed up for Miles for Refugees and committed to running, walking and swimming 76 miles in a month. As I couldn’t do more than 2-5 miles per run it meant I had to run most days and swim or walk on ‘rest’ days. I’m still getting over my second ear infection from the amount of time I spent in the pool.

That was my September challenge, my October challenge is a drawing on. Inktober, where you are given a broad theme each day and draw it.

Inktober – Day 3, the theme is ‘Bulky’ so I drew the bulkiest villain I knew

Challenges are important as they give you a good short-term objective to focus on. It’s much easier to commit to a month of drawing, instead of telling yourself “I will get good enough to draw original artwork and sell them online to make a passive income”. That second one is damn near terrifying and seems so far in the future it’d be difficult to obtain. Inktober allows me to practise my drawing each day and focus on finding a style I like. That seems like a logical first step into achieving that much larger, more intimidating goal.

In conclusion, the roadmap to success and happiness isn’t always obvious but it’s there out for you to find. Nothing you are going through isn’t where someone has been before you and, for those brave individuals who never give up and keep pushing, there’s a lot of content out there to help you along your journey. Sure, you can read a self help book on the theory of happiness in principle, or you can learn from and relate to real life examples of people having to overcome those problems.

You may think “well this person hasn’t had the same experience as me so what they say isn’t relevant” but I encourage you to keep an open mind and take what you find useful. I am likely never going to climb Mount Everest, but it didn’t stop lessons from Ant Middleton’s book being helpful to aid me growing as a person.

Reflect each day. Think about what you feel like you’ve achieved and what you have enjoyed. If you notice you get a lot of enjoyment or a high sense of achievement from a certain activity, do it more. This is likely an area in your life you value a lot. Be honest with yourself about it, else you won’t find what you really value.

Find your own roadmap. Look for those inspirational figures that have produced content you can learn from. Do you want to become a more fair and balanced individual but have a problem with getting too angry over things? Read Nelson Mandela’s book on his struggle in life and how he had to learn to accept his anger and forgive his oppressors. Do you want to lose some weight? Read David Goggins book about how he went from a should have been failure in life to a highly successful athlete. Once you know your values, you’ll find those people you can relate to and learn from.

Challenge yourself. It can be difficult to keep pushing so find ways to keep yourself engaged. Enter a competition which forces you to learn a skillset or improve on an existing one. Get competitive with yourself and never stop challenging yourself to be better. You will improve.

Never stop learning. Absorb all the knowledge you can get. You don’t have to apply it all, but you do start to build up an arsenal of tools and habits that will shape you into the person you want to be. Never accept that your current reality will be who you are for the rest of your life. You can do it, trust me.


The Fear of Failure

You can call it failure; I call it life.

Ant Middleton

It has been a while since I have written a post, so I must admit it is a little intimidating coming back to it again!

A lot has changed, the world is looking a lot brighter.


When I wrote my first blog post I was very motivated after a long period of feeling low and enjoyed the experience, but the more I wrote the more I began to feel like it was a chore to do it. That is not what I wanted from my hobby, so I decided to have short break and explore some other hobbies.

Now, I have always been terrified when it comes to investing money into things, especially when I don’t know a lot about them. My husband and I ordered a hot tub (one of those blow up ones that probably looks a little more expensive than it really is). I remember looking in my garden and seeing so much potential for what I could do to make the hot tub area a nice area to be in. However, as soon as I thought about the possibility of putting in decking myself and designing an area in the garden, I felt terrified and immediately put that crazy idea to bed. I had never done it before so it would be a little risky to give it a go and potentially waste time and money.

Or would it?

I began thinking, contemplating over the idea of who I want to be. I considered the idea that a characteristic of the person I wanted to be was fearless, well somewhat anyway. I had just finished a book by Ant Middleton called The Fear Bubble (I highly recommend it). It talks about how so many people live their life in their own safe corridors. Opportunities come up to open new doors and see what is out there but ultimately most choose to retreat to the comfort of familiarity and certainty, their corridor. It is something I’ve been doing for the last few years.

Learn a new skill? I could but if I am not good at it, I’ll feel demotivated. Go for a job I’m really interested in? Maybe, but if I don’t get it then that’s it, I’m doomed to be a failure. Sounds crazy when you hear someone else’s thought process right? Of course as an outsider you’re able to see things in perspective.

“Just because you don’t get that job doesn’t mean you’re a failure!”

“Practise makes perfect, if you’re committed enough you will get better”

In all honesty, the reason I chose to commit to renovating my garden was because I was fed up. I was fed up of saying “I wish I could craft things”. I have too many wishes I’ve sat on for a while.

“I wish I could lose this weight that’s making me unhappy”

“I wish I could draw better”

“I wish I could write a successful blog”

No, I wasn’t having it anymore. Fail or not, I was going to build some decking and plant boxes for my hot tub area. I jumped in the car and went to Homebase to scope out how much it would cost me. Cost was something I had to consider but I had decided it wasn’t going to be a reason I didn’t go through with improving my garden. If it was too expensive to buy decking, then I’d buy used wood and sand it down and put decking together with that. Ultimately fear of failure was the driving factor behind all of my doubts, as soon as I recognised that’s what was triggering the doubt I pushed forward.

The fact is, if you want things to change you have to do something about it. Staying in my corridor wasn’t working. I felt stuck in life, demotivated and ultimately very bored. I would rarely push myself out of my comfort zone and give something a go, therefore nothing changed. The moment, and I really do mean the moment, I began facing my fears and having the courage to try new things my whole world changed.

It’s wasn’t some magical feeling, where you feel like you’re on top of the world and can do anything (not at the start anyway). I felt terrified, constantly doubted my decisions and was wondering if I’d just wasted a few hundred pounds of our hard earnt money on something I was going to give up on. However, I kept going. If I failed I would try again, as ultimately all failure is, is a lesson.

“You bought partially premade decking slabs which cost more than anticipated. Next time consider looking for used wood and making your own from scratch. You’ll learn more and save money.”

“You didn’t support the wood when you were cutting it so when it got weak it splintered the end. Next time, balance it between two equally high supports.”

“Okay, you sawed your finger so maybe next time buy some gloves.”

I’m still a novice when it comes to gardening and DYI, but I have learnt a huge amount in such a short space of time. I didn’t look at any of my mistakes as failures, I looked for the lesson in them.

A story I find inspiring is one of Mandy Harvey. She is a singer and songwriter who at the age of 19 lost her hearing. Mandy had every right to give up and accept the hand she was dealt, but instead she began to practise and learn again. Now, she’s not only a professional singer and songwriter, but also has a book and has several tours where she speaks about the hardship she overcame.

In her book, Sensing the Rhythm, she speaks about how most people stay inside their own boxes, their comfort zones, similar to the corridors Ant Middleton describes. She describes how she went through a period of feeling very low and her life and dreams had fell apart. However, one day her dad asked her if she’d like to sing along to him playing guitar. Naturally, she thought it was a crazy idea because she was deaf and things wouldn’t be necessarily be able to. However, from that, she was able to see a world of possibilities open up for her again as she was able to sing along and keep in tune and rhythm. Mandy recognised she wasn’t hopeless in her situation; she could change it.

Mandy goes on to talk about saying yes when the time is right. If she’d said no to joining her dad in what seemed like a hopeless cause she may have never climbed out of her box and grown as a person, opened that new door out of her corridor.

Since I made it my mission to work on my own self development, I have pushed myself towards saying yes and opening myself to new experiences. More recently, I have not let fear of failure dictate what I can and can’t do.

I thought I was going to fail miserably at my garden, but I’ve done a good job that I’m proud of and have learnt a lot – I’m now progressing onto making some garden furniture.

It’s not fully done yet, but I’m proud of the progress made so far!

I thought I’d fail at my first interview for a job as historically I’ve never made it when I’ve looked to pursue my dream, but this time I passed it. I learnt from my previous experiences and used them to inform me this time round.

I had the courage to step out of my comfort zone and the resilience to take the positives from my failures. I honestly believe progression leads to happiness, which is why so many of us are unhappy as we feel stuck. Don’t let fear of failure stop you from growing as a person. The more you fail, the more you’ll learn and grow.

Sure, it may be uncomfortable and you may mess up, but next time round you’ll do better. I have had some awful experiences failing but I wouldn’t change them. I have learnt a lot and I’m beginning to feel happier as I’m not the same person I was a year ago, even a few months ago. The idea of failing may be terrifying, but the idea of never trying and letting your life drift by you, that is what is truly scary.

Things turn out best, for people who make the best of the way things turned out

John Wooden, American basketball players then Coach


Finding a balance in life


It can be difficult to know what to do some days; sometimes you feel like there is so much to get done and not enough hours in the day, at other times you have nothing to do and filling the void of nothingness in your day can be daunting. This blog post is going to look at what you can do to find a better balance in your days and feel more content with how you’ve spent your time.

PACE Yourself

Play time is an important element to factor into your day; doing something that gives you a sense of enjoyment. Whether you enjoy going out with friends and family (albeit virtually at the moment with current Covid-19 lock down measures) or reading a good book, it is important to have time in your day that is just for you. You don’t need to necessarily be achieving anything or have an aim to what you’re doing, you are there to enjoy the experience.

For people like me who are very goal orientated and struggle to relax, knowing what to do to relax can be a challenge in itself. Something I have found helpful is to, at the end of every day, write down 3 things you did that you enjoyed that day and rate them on a scale of 1-10. My observations are below:

I worked past 5pm because I was enjoying my work

Scale: 7/10

I contributed work towards my blog

Scale: 8/10

I watched an episode of a documentary about Michael Jordan and  found it inspirational

Scale: 9/10


From this, you can begin to look at what you enjoy doing the most and start to plan time into each day for these activities. You won’t always be able to fit them in each day, but it’s important you try to keep as much balance as possible.

For me, I really enjoyed writing. However, I did not enjoy stressing about what to write about. So, I made a conscious effort to not set myself any goals for writing a blog post. I told myself that I may not even publish the post, that it was just for me to write and reflect on how I was feeling. When you take your focus away from all your goals and things you need to do and just focus on the experience of doing what you enjoy, it’s a moment of complete bliss.

Achievement is the next thing we’re going to look at. For many people, whether you’re goal orientated or not, it is important to feel like you have achieved something. From my personal experience, I need to constantly be achieving something every day to feel like I’m progressing forward. If I don’t, I feel very low and demotivated. However, people often make similar mistakes when trying to find what gives them a sense of achievement:

  • They look online at suggestions other people make, such as doing the washing up or tidying the house but those suggestions aren’t personal to them
  • They set unachievable goals for the day and feel demotivated when they cannot meet them

Similar to understanding what makes you happy, it’s also important to understand what is important to achieve for you personally. You may have a big end goal of earning lots of money by 30/working your way up to your dream job/going from being a complete slob to keeping the house perfectly tidy and that’s okay. However, you need to identify smaller, more achievable tasks you can complete to get closer to your goal. I began to write down 3 things each day that I did that helped with my sense of achievement that were personal to me, as small as they were.

I did the washing up and brought some washing up from downstairs

Scale: 8/10

I ate in line with my diet

Scale: 8/10

I wrote part of this blog post in HTML instead of using the normal viewer

Scale: 9/10


It may not seem like you’re achieving much, but slowly you are performing behaviours that are moving you closer toward your goals. Something as simple as keeping the kitchen tidy has done me a world of good with feeling less stressed. Slowly but surely, I am becoming less of a slob. Try to plan small amounts of time in your day to complete these activities.

Care for yourself. It is so easy to become flustered and lose track of your routine. Weekends/time off work can be particularly challenging as there is not a set routine you need to follow. You may choose to sleep in, but then become overwhelmed with guilt for not making use of the morning. You may treat yourself to a bar of chocolate but feel like you’ve failed at eating healthy for that day. You may go out for a walk but cut it short because you feel tired and feel like you’ve let yourself down.

Let yourself off the hook for those times; often they are indicators that you do not have enough balance in your life. It is okay to not meet every goal in your day; you can get back on track by focusing on your next one or reassessing and considering if you need a bit more ‘me’ or ‘achieve’ time. Beating yourself up about missing targets is that negative voice in your head trying to hold you back, but that isn’t you. Be kind to yourself.

Energy to achieve your goals or to engage with things you enjoy can sometimes be challenging. There will be days where you don’t feel like doing anything or feeling positive, however by keeping to your plan and doing it your mood will improve.

I had an awful day a few weeks back, where I had decided “Today is a write off” and that I didn’t have any energy to write a blog post. I began to lay down and close my eyes to escape from my reality but pushed myself to go outside and sit in the sun. Initially, I felt rubbish and couldn’t see how sitting outside was going to help my mood. However, I put on an audio book (something I enjoyed listening to) and laid there listening to it. After a few minutes, I felt the tension in my shoulders go as I just enjoyed the experience of relaxing.

Half an hour later, I sat up after having listened to enough of my book and pulled out my laptop and began writing my blog post. I actually wrote my best blog post to date and ended the day feeling so positive and like I’d overcome a big hurdle. I would never have managed it if I’d let myself accept that nothing was going to be accomplished that day.

It’s important in life to find a good balance that works for you between caring for yourself and achieving your goals. If you swing too far one way you may feel stressed and anxious all the time, or too far the other you may feel low and depressed. Reflect on each day as it comes and build a plan that works for you, one you know you will make you feel happy and will bring a sense of achievement to your days. Pace yourself, you can do this.

This blog post is based off of a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PACE plan I’ve been trying to implement, you can find a link to it here.