“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 

I can really relate to the above quote. Over the past few years I’ve had to really work hard to ensure my own happiness, and I know many in similar situations.

For today’s post I thought I’d share a few things that make me happy. I’d also love to hear what little things in life put a smile on your face.

  • Catching up with friends I don’t get to see often. There is no better feeling than seeing someone who you’ve not seen in months or even years and feeling like you were with them yesterday.

 

  • The blogging community – I’ve had nothing but positive experiences interacting with other lovely bloggers & can’t wait to meet more.

 

  •  Light nights.

 

  • Discovering shops with kitsch bits and bobs

 

  • That feeling when you just know you’ve found the perfect gift for someone.

 

  • Fresh bedding.

 

  • Surprises.

 

  • Facebook memories. It’s great being able to look back at what you’ve done over the years.

 

  • Writing.

 

  • Finding cute quotes on Pinterest.

 

  • The feeling of having a really good makeup day.

 

  • Putting fake eyelashes on properly on the first attempt.

 

  • Painting my nails and getting no smudges.

 

  • Spa days.

 

  • The noise of the rain on windows when I’m in bed.

 

  • Making lists.

 

  • The feeling of absolute hysteria when trying to tell a funny story.

 

  • Clean makeup brushes.

 

  • Hangover days spent in bed with friends eating ALL the food and watching rubbish films.

 

  • Impromptu plans.

 

  • Hugs.

 

  • Getting stuck into a really good book.

 

  • Binge watching Friends

I’m a magazine hoarder, and I recently stumbled upon an old Jameela Jamil column from Cosmopolitan where she discusses life milestones and the age society dictates you should ‘achieve’ them.

Inspired by her post I thought I’d see how I compare, what milestones have I already hit and which ones am I years behind on?!

First Kiss: 15

Well, I was an early achiever with this one. I was around 11 or 12 when I had my first kiss or ‘got-off’ with someone as we used to call it.

My best friend and I had a pact that we would both kiss our ‘boyfriends’ if the other did. I remember it being SUCH a big deal, and we’d even set a date and time when it was going to be (I am cringing writing this).

The date came, and we were all there surrounded by a group of friends waiting for us to do it (how romantic). I ended up ‘getting-off’ with my boyfriend and my best friend didn’t, I wasn’t happy! Safe to say my first kiss wasn’t my best.

First Full-Time Job: 20

I was 22 when I started by first full-time role so I was two years late with this one. I’ve worked part-time pretty much consistently since I was 16, through college and university, but when I finished uni at 21 I did struggle to secure a full-time role.

My first full-time position was in sales in a call centre and I absolutely hated it, I am not cut out for sales!

I was there for a year and a half until I started my first ‘degree-related’ position in January 2016, as an editorial assistant for a marketing company. I’m still with the same company now in a different role, and I finally feel like I’m on the right track with my career!

Pass Driving Test: 20

I’m a little bit early with this one as I was 18 when I passed my test, and although that may be ‘early’ it wasn’t an easy ride.

I started lessons as soon as I turned 17 as I live in such a small town a car was essential to get anywhere. Passed my theory first time, but it took me FIVE attempts to pass the actual driving test. Something that my friends all like to take the piss out of me for.

Although I don’t have a car at the min as I don’t need one where I live, I’m SO glad I persevered when I was younger to pass, as I wouldn’t want to go through it all again!

First Holiday With Friends: 20 

Another ‘early’ one, I was 17 when I went on my girls holiday. I’d split up with my then-boyfriend, so my best friend and I booked a last minute deal to Turkey in between our exams. We had a general studies exam in the morning and then left college straight for the airport!

We both cried the first night as we felt so out of our depth, but we ended up having an amazing time and I’ve been on many girls holidays since.

Buy First Car: 22

I bought my first car when I was still learning to drive at 17. I bought it before I passed thinking it would help me as I’d get more time to practice, how wrong was I!
It was a Ford KA and although I absolutely loved the car I was ripped off when I first bought it as I had to fork out over £300 in the short time I had it. I’ve only ever had one other car since then, which was also a Ford KA (but the newer model).

First Holiday With Partner: 23

I was quite young when I went on my first (and only) holiday with a boyfriend. At 17 I obviously thought I was madly in love and that we’d have the best time away ever.

We went to Lanzarote and it was the worst holiday I’ve ever been on. We argued constantly and we went out of season so there was nothing to do and the weather was crap. The holiday was definitely the beginning of the end of that relationship.

Be a Bridesmaid: 23

I feel like 23 is really old to become a first-time bridesmaid, does anyone else agree? I was 9 when I was first a bridesmaid for my aunty, and I’ve been one about 3 or 4 times in total. As my friends start to settle down I’m really hoping I can be one a few more times, who doesn’t love an excuse to get dressed up!

Rent on Your Own: 24

I moved out when I was 24 – but with a flatmate. I got really lucky with my flat when I found it, despite the flatmate that came with it (but that’s a different story). I now live with a great flatmate, it’s a newish flat and it’s in a great location. I couldn’t imagine living alone, I’d be too bored!

Get Engaged: 25

LOL!!

Rent with Partner: 25

See above.

The rest of the milestones covered marriage, babies and mortgages, all of which I am miles off! I’ve never been one of those people to have a ‘five-year plan’, I’m quite content letting things happen as they happen.

I’m a big believer in fate, and these ‘milestones’ cannot be controlled. They’ll happen when they are meant too, and putting too much pressure on yourself to hit them will probably have the opposite effect.

Although saying that, I’m eager to hear where you shape up to these ‘milestones.’ Are you an early achiever or have you hit any of these super ‘late’? Let me know in the comments! 

I have a really bad habit of making new years resolutions and not sticking to them. I can’t even remember what mine were for 2017 – safe to say they didn’t happen!

I’m not quite sure why I think 2018 will be the year I actually achieve my goals, who knows if I’ll manage it. So I’m setting myself 18 goals for 2018 in the hopes I’ll be sat here on the 1st Jan 2019 actually having done at least one. Some are definitely more achievable than others, some are really broad, and some are super specific.

1. Cut out Coca-Cola

I have a serious addiction to fizzy drinks, specifically coca-cola. It’s actually ridiculous how much of it I drink and I know it’s probably ruining my insides. In 2017 I managed to go the entire month of January without drinking any, despite the intense headaches and constant cravings I actually felt loads better at the end of the month, but I didn’t manage to keep it up. My hope is by the end of 2018 I won’t be drinking coca-cola at all!

2. Use my gym membership

Since September I’ve been absolutely rubbish at going to the gym. I checked my online account and I’ve only been twice since August, shocking! I have no excuse for not going, as the gym is attached to my office building. Hopefully, I can get back to going regularly and start to feel the benefits again.

3. Consistently blog

I touched on this in yesterdays post ‘Getting Back into Blogging’, but I want to start blogging again for fun. It’s a dream to eventually write a book and writing on this little blog is great practice.

4. Go to at least one gig alone

I ALWAYS miss out on gigs I want to see as I can never find anyone to go with. In 2018 I plan on going alone to any gig I really want to attend but have no one to go with. Has anyone ever done this before?

5. Travel to at least 3 new countries

If I could quit my job and travel the world for the rest of my life I 100% would. Unfortunately, my bank balance won’t allow this but I do still want to visit places I’ve never been too. I’m attempting 30 countries before I’m 30 and 3 new countries will help me get a little closer to that goal.


6. Eat breakfast every day

I’m awful at fitting in breakfast every day, I either don’t eat or eat something rubbish. I want to get into the routine of having something healthy(ish) every day and I’ll hopefully see the benefits.

7. Learn to cook 5 new meals, well

I probably know how to make about 3 meals well from scratch, chicken pie, chicken tikka masala, and chilli con carne. I can make other things, but not without the help of a very detailed recipe. This year I want to broaden my culinary skills and learn how to cook 5 new meals from scratch and get bloody good at cooking them.

8. Continue to grow in my role at work

I’m so lucky to work in a company that encourages growth, and I’ve been fortunate to move into a role within a growing part of the business. I’ll be working my little butt off to continue to grow and improve in my role in 2018, I can’t wait to see what this year brings work-wise.

9. Volunteer my time

When I was a teenager I did tonnes of volunteering, from helping at my local youth club, being a young leader at a Brownie pack, and even going to Ghana for a month with a charity. Life has gotten in the way more recently and I’ve not found any time to give back, this year I’m going to volunteer my time to at least one charity if not more.

10. Save money

I am SO bad at saving, but this year I want to start putting some money away for a rainy day fund. I’m going to do the penny a day challenge, where you put 1p in on Jan 1st all the way up to £3.65 on December 31st in an attempt to save a bit of cash.

11. Make new friends

Is it a bit weird that a 25-year-old woman wants to make new friends? I don’t think so! I’ve been living in Manchester for a year and a half now and I’ve been in a little bubble just seeing my same friends, and that is great, but it would be nice to meet new likeminded people as well.

12. Stop overthinking things

This is a biggie for me, I’m such an overthinker. The littlest thing can play over in my mind again and again. This year I’m determined to stop overthinking, and stressing over the smallest things that I can’t do anything about.

13. Take off my makeup every night

Pretty self-explanatory, I’m often guilty of getting into bed and falling asleep with the reminents of the days makeup still on my face. I need to stop being gross and take the day off, EVERYDAY.

14. Use my bullet journal for the entire year

In my attempt at getting my shit together in 2018 I’ve started a bullet journal (post coming soon) and I want to keep using it all year as I know it’ll be a massive help with organisation.

15. Complete my NCTJ Diploma

I’ve been doing my NCTJ Diploma as a distance learner for a couple of years now, and it is SO HARD to find the motivation to revise and study when I’m working full time. I’ve got a fair few modules left to do and 2018 is (hopefully) the year I do it.

16. Take more photos

This is a pretty simple one, I just want to really improve my photography this year. I’ve sold my DSLR and I’ve now got an Olympus Pen I need to get to grips with. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see my skills progress as the year goes on.

17. Read a book a month

Another simple one, I just want to read more!

18. Manage my CFS better

This final goal is a biggie for me. Early in 2017 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and while the diagnosis was a breakthrough for me, I’m still struggling to manage my fatigue. I’ve been lucky to get sent to various courses through the NHS, and hopefully these will help.

So there you have it, my 18 goals for 2018. It’s going to be fun to look back at this in a years time and see how many I kept too. Have you made any resolutions this year? 

Blogging

So I’ve not blogged in a little while.

I’ve not blogged consistently since 2014. Although I have attempted to relaunch this blog several times in the past three years and failed miserably!

Writing is one of my biggest passions, but I fell out of love with it as I didn’t feel what I was writing was up to scratch and I lacked motivation and inspiration.

This lack of enthusiasm for blogging also fell over into other aspects of my life, but I’m being one of *those* people and starting off 2018 on a new page.

I’m determined to have a fresh start this year and that goes for my blog too – so this will be my ‘first’ post.

I’ve deleted most of the posts I had previously written, although a few will be being edited and republished, as I loved the subject but felt the writing wasn’t great.

I’m going to start blogging for myself, creating content I’d want to read, and hopefully, other people do too.

For my first post back I thought I’d outline what I’m doing to get back into blogging;

READ.

Reading is definitely my main source of inspiration, it can come from books, magazines, blogs, social media, etc. etc.

It could be as little as a sentence or an entire article, but I find reading a wide range of topics really ignites my imagination and makes me excited to create content that could possibly do the same for someone else.

Following other bloggers who are pushing the boundaries and writing innovative and exciting blog posts really motivates me to write the best content I can for my blog.

I already have some great (IMO) ideas for content I want to produce, and I cannot wait to share it!

GET INVOLVED.

When I was last blogging consistently, the blogging community was a huge source of support and a lovely thing to be a part of.

Whether it is chatting with bloggers over social media, or going to blogger meetups, getting involved in the blogging community is a great way to connect with like-minded people and discuss ideas.

I’m planning on logging on to twitter more, signing up for events, and commenting on blog posts that really inspire me. I know the more I put into the community the more I will get out of it.

WRITE.

As far back as I remember I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve always wanted it to be a part of my career.

I stopped blogging at a time when I was in a job that couldn’t be much further away from what I wanted to be doing, and I think that influenced my writing block. Ultimately I lacked motivation.

Now that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m in a role that I love, and it involves writing! I’ve started to write for fun again, and hopefully my love for writing will be evident in the content I produce.

EDIT.

Continuing with the writing theme, I really need to learn to edit my posts more thoroughly. I had gotten into the habit of writing a post and not even re-reading it.

I wasn’t proud of what I was producing and it showed.

I am planning on tweaking some old posts. Posts where I loved the idea, but I wasn’t happy with how I executed them.

I want my blog to be a true reflection of my writing style and ability, and I really want people to enjoy the content I’m producing.

So, that’s what I’m doing to get back into blogging. Let me know if you have any more tips you think I could use.