September Recap and a break from Monthly Intentions

Welcome to October! (aka my birthday month!)

Q4 of 2017 is here and I’m ready to see the year out with a bang... despite the blog post title.

September felt a big sluggish for me - there was lots of rain around and some of those nights on the couch I wrote about last post. But thanks to Brooke Castillo’s September Self Coaching Scholars topic of ‘How to get it done’, I still managed to get a lot done!

So let’s look back at the month and talk about the plan for Q4.

September Recap

Start regular Pilates practice

This one went really well for me. The practise of paying for and booking classes ahead of time has been a big motivator for me, rather than having a gym membership where no one minds or notices if I don’t turn up.

If you’re struggling with consistent exercise, I’d recommend booking and paying for classes ahead of time to help you get there.

I’ve been going twice a week and it’s been great for my office desk body in terms of both strength and flexibility.

I’m booked in for another fortnight’s worth of classes so will see if I continue beyond that, but I think the answer will be yes.

Tackle life admin

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So much life admin for me at the moment! Sadly I forgot all about my tax return until I re-read last month’s post (oops), so will get on to that in October.

I did follow Brooke’s method of writing a big list of what needed doing and putting it in my calendar. I got around 80% done I’d say, and the rest of the time my brain talked me out of it.

I’m not feeling too bad about that though, since I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have even gotten that 80% done without this intention.

Q4 plans

I’m planning on being pretty busy with work, coaching, Self Coaching Scholars and life in general for the rest of the year so won’t be setting any specific monthly intentions here on the blog.

I am going to focus on blogging about the topics you readers like the most - time management, routine ideas, good old imposter syndrome and relaxation.

Let me know in the comments below if I’ve missed any topics you’d like to hear more about in late 2017.

Otherwise, have a fabulous October!

Why Your Future Plans Won't Make You Happy

Obviously I’m all for setting intentions (not goals!) for myself around here but I’ve come to some realisations over the years, and I’m sure some of you have been through scenarios like this too.

Have you saved up for a new car (or any new possession), dreaming what it will be like to finally have it, then a week or maybe a month after getting it (and trying to keep it sparkling clean!) it becomes no big deal?

Did you plan your milestone birthday / wedding / other occasion, working on every detail and planning the perfect outfit, only to come crashing down to earth the day or days after when the anti climax of the event being over kicked in?

It’s all a little depressing yes, but all comes back to the false theory of “I’ll be happy when…” I hate to break it to you readers but this is all an illusion.

If it wasn’t, wouldn’t you be happy now, since I’m sure you’ve had those thoughts before, reached your goals, and thought I’ll be happy when I’m done with ‘X’?

So what can you do to be happy right now?

Practice gratitude

An obvious one, but a goodie. One of my guided meditations from Stop, Breathe & Think is all about gratitude and I love choosing this one in the morning.

It asks you to think about all the people who have supported you in your life, all the people you don’t see who make the world tick as it does for you (think roads, food in your grocery store, etc) and to think about the freedoms you have in your life that so many others don’t.

I love thinking like this and not taking seemingly obvious things for granted. Look around readers, there’s a lot to be grateful for right now.

Go after feelings, not just goals

I’m sure many of you have heard of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. I haven’t done it fully myself but do support the idea of picking core desired feelings and aiming for those instead of focusing solely on goals.

Not to the level of Danielle’s work, but I have picked my top three desired feelings for each day in the past and came up with ‘excited’, ‘energised’ and ‘satisfied’.

If I keep that in mind when deciding what to do each day (or even approaching things I don’t get to decide on with those feelings), I notice a huge difference. You can try Brooke Castillo’s worksheet on this here.

Realise this is all there is

A little morbid but I guess we all know we’re not necessarily promised any future other than today. That’s a struggle to comprehend but is incredibly grounding too.

One of the exercises I did in Self Coaching Scholars was to write out my ideal day.

What really surprised me was that, despite often trying to improve, I’m really not that far from the days I want to have.

Although it can sometimes seem boring or repetitive, on my ideal day, I would still do yoga, meditate, write to you guys, do some coaching and exercise.

I could pass them off as ‘have to’ tasks in my life, but after completing the exercise I realised I really want to do all of them.

How can you find happiness now, instead of waiting for it in the future?

 

March Recap and April Intentions

Bye bye Q1, hello cooler weather!

Welcome to April readers - how have the first few months of your year been? Mine feel like they’ve gone quickly, but I feel like I’ve done a lot in that time too.

My life coaching spots are now all booked out, which is fantastic - but click here if you want to jump on the waiting list for when my next coaching series spot is available.

For now let’s look back at March and ahead to April.

March Recap

Obsess a bit more over Brooke Castillo

It’s hard to express the full extent of my love for Brooke Castillo - she is truly my guru at the moment. Self Coaching Scholars is amazing and I love doing the thought work she recommends doing.

Sure it’s hard going but so, so worth it. I’m learning stacks about myself and my brain and I can’t recommend this course enough.

Prep to launch my new website

You heard it here first - I am launching my updated website on Monday, 1 May.

I have not done as much prep as I’d have liked to in March but have a weekend set aside in April to work on this with my masterminding buddy.

Wish me luck and I hope you like the updated site!

April Intentions

Smash time management

Ha, my intentions are clearly aligning with the work in Self Coaching Scholars.

This month is all about time management in the course, and who isn’t looking for better strategies here?

Between work, health and fitness, my social life and my life coaching business, I am a busy bee, so I’m excited to find out more about Brooke’s recommendations.

If you’re interested in time management, start with her podcast here.

My number one takeaway? Stop using the word busy (oops, I already have in this post). A tough one right?

Embrace down time after a full on 6 months

Work has been crrrraaazzzy (I didn’t say busy!) for me since last October, and it’s finally returning to a manageable level.

Although I love working hard and being busy, I’m enjoying this time to clean up all the work I’ve neglected over the last 6 months and spend more time with my coworkers and clients building relationships.

April is full of public holidays here in Australia so it’s nice timing that work isn’t too over the top.

Plus I can start to implement all those time management strategies I’m going to learn right?

What’s in store for you in April? I hope you have a fabulous month!

 

My March Intentions

So I dropped off the radar for a couple of months on the intentions front but you readers know me - I haven’t been lying stagnant since December. I’ve been working on plenty of things, self development wise, work wise, fitness wise and business wise.

Sounds exhausting right? Bizarrely, it hasn’t been.

I think this is due to a few people and theories popping up for me - meeting Jess Lively was amazing, plus I’ve been working on segment intending, doing thought downloads and I started Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching Scholars in February. I am seriously obsessed with Brooke right now.

This combination has had me feeling much more relaxed about life, working full steam ahead on things yes, but just focusing on what needs going, when it needs doing.

So what’s on for March?

March Intentions

Obsess a bit more over Brooke Castillo

Self Coaching Scholars includes monthly work, based on Brooke’s Self Coaching Model. March is dedicated to new beliefs and I’m going to keep up with the homework and podcasts as best I can.

Working on emotions and thought downloads in February was so beneficial to me so I’m sure whatever’s in store for me in March will have similar positive benefits.

Prep to launch my updated website

Just a small one here! Eeeek.

So after putting it off for a while (due to an unhealthy combination of doubting my design and tech skills, and fear of launching a crappy website), I’ve been working pretty hard on getting my content ready for a new version of my website.

As you guys know, I’m offering life coaching packages now and am almost fully booked up already, bar 1 spot (Would you like it? Go here and message me to set up a complimentary consult!)

So stay tuned for a refreshed website, hopefully followed by a new design later in 2017.

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What’s on for your March? Hopefully the last month of Q1 will bring you plenty of momentum towards your goals.

March Recap and April Intentions

Well, Q1 of 2016 is about done lovely readers.

It did go quickly but I take that in a good way - it means I was busy doing enjoyable things and not feeling bored or sluggish.

Let’s take a look at how I did with my March intentions and set one for April.

Enjoy the weather

I totally embraced this intention in March.

I sat in the backyard and watched our cat munch on grass, I walked along the river as the sun was setting and we ate dinner out on the balcony as often as possible.

Although the warm weather and light have been so enjoyable, the mornings are becoming darker and I’m ready for the clocks to change and the cool months to roll in.

But then again, my April intention may be swaying that position...

Less personal development

This was truly hard!

I had an inkling, but it’s totally been confirmed that I am addicted to podcasts and blogs with themes of self-discovery and personal development.

I found myself wanting to catch up on my regulars, and had to make a concerted effort not to.

In being mindful of not overloading my brain with too much ‘self-help’, I focused on podcasts with a wider variety of interviews and read some more light-hearted blogs and news sites.

April intentions

Embrace our trip fully

As I mentioned, maybe I’m handling the thought of cooler weather better because we’re about to escape it for a few weeks.

With our trip to South East Asia ahead, I’m excited to see new parts of the world and escape everyday routine for a while.

Enjoying the food, lazing on the beach and walking the streets (if I can learn how to navigate crossing the road in the bigger cities) are high on my list.

How has your March been? Let me know below!

 

January Recap and February Intentions

How has the first month of 2016 been for you dear readers?

Mine has been pretty great - with no specific intentions and a fairly free schedule, I’ve been able to enjoy the warm weather, take my time with thinking about 2016 and I’ve also been practicing a fair amount of gratitude (more below).

So here’s what’s changed at Where the Light Plays this month:

Journaling

I’m pretty sure I was 16 the last time I kept a journal. And it was mostly to document my crushes…

I’ve mentioned them a few times but I’ve become even more obsessed with Alex and Mimi Ikonn lately. On the surface they lead a pretty glamorous life but their backgrounds, outlooks and goals are very sincere.

I’ve been wanting to pick up The Five Minute Journal for a while but the overseas shipping is pretty exorbitant. Apparently this will change soon so I think I’ll still purchase my own copy when the time is right.

The great thing is the authors, Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, actually give the planner away for free on their website. So I mocked up my own journal to start trying out this habit in January.

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And? I truly love it. It puts me in a great frame of mind when I think about what I’m grateful for each morning and makes me more conscious about what I want from that day.

I can check in on the journal after work to make sure I’m on track with what I wanted, then I practise gratitude before bed. I totally recommend trying this (even without buying the journal).

Productivity Planner

The obsession with Alex and UJ continues… again, for free.

As you probably know, I’m always up for trying new strategies to be productive and manage my time at work. I’ve been using the Productivity Planner worksheets to plan my week on a Monday morning, listing out my most important tasks. I then complete a review of the week on Friday afternoon to see how I’ve tracked with the goals and what I’ve learned and want to take forward into the next week.

A few weeks in and I’m finding this a very useful tool with a particular benefit being you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot by the end of the week.

Kittens!

Newsflash - I’m not the hugest risk taker in the world.

Luckily my husband has more of a taste for getting us out of our comfort zone, so persuaded me to agree to looking after two kittens for a week while his coworker was away on a business trip in January. I was pretty concerned about our current cat being put out and the general disruption to our house.

In the end it was such a rewarding thing to do - to know they didn’t have to go to a cattery, to get to hang out with two beautifully natured kittens and to help our cat socialise with other cats.

The lesson? The best fruit is out on the furthest branch, so take a risk!

February Intentions

And as for February?

Focus on home decor

We moved into our house almost two years ago now and I’ve been wanting to update some furniture, buy some rugs and do the final declutter ever since. February is my month to get this done!

I’m depending on Gray Malin and Danielle Moss for online inspiration. Check out my Pinterest boards here and here.

Plan a holiday

I’m very excited that we have an overseas trip planned this year. Almost 4 weeks in the States and Mexico is on the cards and I can’t wait! Time to trawl accommodation sites and plan sightseeing and (mainly) eating and drinking in each city.

If you have any Austin or Mexico City recommendations in particular, please let me know below!

Do my rehab

I spoke about this in an earlier post, but I have a niggling, continuing hip problem that gives me pretty bad lower back pain from time to time. I have a series of rehab exercises I need to do a few times a week but I always find an excuse not to do them.

The benefits definitely outweigh the time it takes me to do the exercises so I’m committing to three times a week through February.

What are your February intentions? Let me know below or over on Facebook

 

December Recap (and a break from intentions in January)

Thanks again for keeping me accountable through December, readers.

While it often seems much easier to stay on the couch on a Sunday afternoon or hit the snooze button at 5.30am on a Wednesday, I instead made my way to the pool and to an outdoor yoga class in beautiful gardens.

I knew they were activities I really wanted to do and they were, of course, worth the effort.

Swim

I see much more of this in my future while visiting family over Christmas, but Melbourne delivered on the hot weather and I made it to the local pool twice.

Yes, it’s packed and you can really only dip in and out of the water but for the chance of a Frosty Fruit and feeling cool water on hot skin, it was totally worth the visits.

Do outdoor yoga

To be honest, this one has been on my wishlist for over a year.

After some searching I found Peachy Yoga, who run super reasonably priced classes in Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne (very convenient for me on the way to work). The classes run on Wednesdays and Thursdays but I was afraid I wouldn’t fit one in due to a hectic December.

But you know what you need during a hectic December? Outdoor yoga!

The hatha style class was run by the lovely Claire and within two minutes I was gazing up at the sky, breathing in fresh air and already feeling the tension of the holiday season melt away.

Working through the routine, I couldn’t help but notice the dewy grass, the sound of galahs and the imposing beauty of the trees. Not bad before work right?

I highly recommend trying Peachy Yoga or an outdoor class more local to you.

Enjoy events

Gratitude was a big focus for me this month.

Even though I was busy and felt some stress, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be going to Christmas parties, having wonderful conversation over meals with friends and sitting out on my balcony admiring my new fairy lights with a glass of wine.

Not everyone feels the same way around this time of year, so I am conscious to be thankful and not wish this time away.

In line with the purpose of this blog, I’m feeling pretty tired at the end of 2015 so am giving myself a little break in January regarding intentions.

I’ll still let you know how January goes and will be ready to set intentions again for the month of February.

Happy festive season lovely readers! Thanks so much for all your support, it really does mean a lot to me.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly.
- Andy Rooney

October Recap and November Intentions

We are almost through October so it’s time to review my intentions for the last month.

Cut off technology at 10pm (and read hard copy books)

I am getting better with this intention. I’ve been reading this great book, which is basically short interviews with interesting Londoners. It does entice me to read every night but I still find myself often taking ‘one last look’ at social media. Disconnecting from technology is a work in progress for all of us I think.

Enjoy the daylight

Unfortunately I injured myself earlier in the month, so I haven’t been able to do much exercise, including going to the gym. However, walking has been doable so I’ve been walking along the river most nights after work before we sit down to dinner.

With the clocks moving forward in Australia, it’s been beautifully light and warm, so I have definitely felt an increased appreciation for the daylight. And with less wine than I intended to enjoy last month, which is probably a good thing!

Revel in upcoming events

An expressive birthday moment with friends...

An expressive birthday moment with friends...

Over my birthday weekend I made sure to sit back and enjoy special moments with friends and family and not let them pass by too quickly.

Unfortunately the music festival I was going to was cancelled but I still have plenty of upcoming fun activities to practice this technique on.

November Intentions

Schedule quarterly shopping days

Uh, how fun does this sound? This year I’ve been planning my budget a little better and putting some extra money away for clothes and beauty.

It’s starting to build up and I figure rather than making spontaneous online shopping hauls (hello Asos), I should make a day of it and go into stores, try on and buy great products and finish with a meal or drink with a girlfriend. Who’s with me?

Eat more frogs at work

I ebb and flow with this concept, but back when I wrote this post, it was working really well for me. It’s a very busy season at work so, rather than fall behind, I’m going to try and get my ‘ugliest’ task out of the way first thing.

Whether that be a phone call I’m dreading, a report I’ve been putting off, or plugging my headphones in and getting my inbox back under control, it will put me in good stead for the rest of the work day.

Plan for the holidays

Yes, it’s nearly that time again! Between work and social events, I usually do a frantic online shop (are we seeing a pattern here?) in early-mid December.

This year I’d like to think ahead, work on some great, thoughtful gifts and also get a food and drink list started to make this season extra special.

What are you planning to get done in November? Let me know in the comments below.

Light Links: September (+ October Intentions!)

Hi lovely readers. I’m going to mix it up with this last post of the month.

Along with the regular Light Links, I’m also going to look forward to the next month and set some intentions (I love this word over ‘goals’ - thanks Jess Lively).

Then at the end of each month we’ll recap and see how I did. Sound good? Ok, let’s go...

October Intentions

Cut off technology at 10pm (and read hard copy books)

So my reminders plan was going along brilliantly, but since I finished my last hard copy book, I’ve been a little lost after 10pm and have either been reading on my Kindle app or (let’s be honest) perusing the internet again.

This month I’m going to pick some books to replace the internet habit and wind down before bed without a screen.

This time last year...

This time last year...

Enjoy the daylight

Spring has rushed into Melbourne and I’m noticing the longer days more than ever before. I think because our new house has lots of natural light, it’s more obvious than in previous years.

I’m planning on sitting on our balcony or in our courtyard with a glass of wine after work as often as possible in October. 

Revel in upcoming events

I have some exciting plans for October - things I booked in months ago that are now almost upon me. It’s my birthday, I’m going to Soulfest and I’m spending a biennial weekend away with all the women in my family. I really connected to Laura Vanderkam’s post on how to make time slow down. This month I want to enjoy the moments I’ve been anticipating for so long and remember Laura’s quote:

“For the door does close, and eventually I will look back on all of this. Even happy moments bear in their shadows this melancholic reality. All moments, good or bad, are finite. All you can do is deepen your experience of them.”

September’s Light Links

And for those who enjoy my favourite links of the month, here they are for September.

Some measures to help you get to your higher self

It is 100% worth getting organised Friday afternoon for the week ahead: 

A fascinating article on intuitive eating and the intrinsic need to control

Anyone else struggle with being an adult some days

And finally, don’t forget to let go of perfection.