June Recap and July Intentions

Happy second half of 2017 lovely readers! How was your first half? What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

June (like May) felt super long to me again - when I went back and reflected, I felt like I’d worked a lot, socialised a lot and rested a lot - not a bad trifecta. So let’s recap on how I went with my June intentions and start some planning for the second half of the year.

June Recap

Enjoy quality time

I feel like I really nailed this one - I had a great trip to Sydney to catch up with some friends early in the month, then went on to one of my favourite weekends of the year - the Winery Walkabout in Rutherglen.

I have been going for at least 10 years and can only remember being washed out with rain once. Given it’s winter and super cold up there, that is a pretty amazing strike rate.

I’ll let the photo do the talking but it was so nice to catch up with friends and family and take it slow with some delicious food, coffee and, of course, Bobbie Burns Shiraz.

Do one weekend hike

Thanks for holding me accountable readers, because I finally did this one! I walk regularly, but the real intention here was to go somewhere different.

I started off researching some of the best walks in and around Melbourne and, surprisingly, many of them I have already done. This includes Dights Falls, which I did many weekends over five years when I lived right near there.

It made me realise we often take our routines for granted, and here are all the walking guides heralding the amazingness of a walk I did all the time like it was no big deal.

I didn’t venture too far, but did a great walk around Banksia Park in Heidelberg and ended with brunch at the lovely Heide Museum of Modern Art. A beautiful Saturday!

Bonus: you guys also know I’m a little obsessed with Alain de Botton so I wanted to share this passage he posted on Facebook about walking last week:

The shortest trip: On Going for a Walk around the Block

A walk is, in a sense, the smallest sort of journey we can ever undertake. It stands in relation to a typical holiday as a bonsai tree does to a forest.
But even if it is only an eight minute interlude around the block or a few moments in a nearby park, a walk is already a journey in which many of the grander themes of travel are present.
The need to go for a walk begins from the same place as the longing to take off to another country: with a desire to restart our minds. We sometimes cannot work it all out by staying rooted in one place. We have stared at the screen too long, we have been bumping into the same inner obstacles without progress, we have grown claustrophobic with ourselves.
That is why we need the sight of the three oak trees and two robins by the river or the maelstrom of the high street, where we linger outside a grocer’s shop and wonder (inconclusively, yet again) what a yam might taste like. The better part of our minds has a habit of getting exhausted and sterile. It is scared as well. Some of the most profound thoughts we need to grapple with have a potentially disturbing character. An inner censor tends to kick in and blocks the progress we were starting to make towards ideas that - though important and interesting - also presented marked threats to short-term peace.
While we walk, the mind is no longer on guard. We’re not supposed to be doing much inside our heads; we’re mainly occupied with following a path around a pond or checking out a row of shops. The ideas that have been half-forming at the back of our minds, ideas about what the true purpose of our lives might be and what we should do next, keep up their steady inward pressure - but now there is a lot less to stop them reaching full consciousness. We’re not meant to be thinking and so - at last - we can think freely and courageously.
The rhythmic motion of an easy stride helps to separate us from the ruts of our current preoccupations and allows us to wander more freely though neglected regions of our inner landscape. Themes we’d lost touch with - childhood, an odd dream we had recently, a friend we haven’t seen for years, a big task we had always told ourselves we’d undertake - float into attention. In physical terms, we’re hardly going any distance at all, but we’re crossing acres of mental territory.
A short while later, we’re back at the office or at home once again. No one has missed us, or perhaps even noticed that we’ve been out. Yet we are subtly different: a slightly more complete, more visionary, courageous and imaginative version of the person we knew how to be - before we wisely went out journeying.

July Intentions

Take a break from winter

After two almost freezing mornings this past weekend, I am feeling very excited to step away from Melbourne winter for a little while and head to Hawaii for the first time.

The combination of beaches, beautiful scenery and over the top American meals is just what I need for a mid-year break. If you guys have any recommendations, please let me know, I’d love to hear them!

Focus on tech free time (again)

In last week’s post, I talked about using Moment, which tracks the time you spend on your device. Back in May I started reducing my tech time on weekends, but I feel like I’m ready to extend this to weekdays too.

As I said in last week's post, I’m not overly concerned with the amount of time I’m on my phone but more the dependency I have - picking my phone up 20-25 times a day seems pretty excessive to me.

I’m going to use Hawaii as a reset point to start focusing on reading again and not depending on social media so much, particularly while I’m away having a break. Let’s see how we go…

Do you have any tips for reducing time on your phone?

Let me know in the comments below and have an amazing July!

July Recap and August Intentions

And just like that, August is upon us…It’s the last month of winter here in Australia, but also usually the coldest month here in Melbourne.

I had a busy July, mainly due to work, and am glad to say things are quieting down on that front so I can get some more balance back.

So how did I do with my July intentions and what’s up next for me?

July Recap

Seek out winter warmers

As I looked over the last month, including my photos, I realised I actually had a lot of sunny memories.

We like to moan about the weather but chilly sunny days can be counted on here in winter and I can handle this season when there’s sun.

A weekend in Healesville was a highlight with country town fun including walks, wineries and a gin tasting - not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

I’ve also had some cosy dinners in the city with friends and even when it’s wet, Melbourne is still beautiful when slick with rain.

Put first things first

This one has made a big impact on my life in the last month.

As I mentioned in my habits post here, I’ve been planning my week and therefore having a much nicer balance of blogging, study, catch ups with friends and exercise (all alongside the busy work month).

I really encourage you to write down what’s ahead for the week on a Sunday, if only to get it out of your head and easily visible once the busy weekdays take off.

August Intentions

Interrupt the negative voice

Another habit I reinstilled during July was journalling before bed. It’s been insightful and slightly terrifying.

I’ve been tending to have (self-proclaimed) crazy ‘worst case scenario’ thoughts lately - mainly about what other people think of me and also around work situations.

I’m still not sure how to alleviate these negative thoughts but am going to do some digging this month and see if I can’t stop them in their tracks.

Up the training at work

Continued professional development has always been important to me, but it’s so easy for it to fall by the wayside in between the daily to do list and busy weeks at work.

We have a few products at work I’ve been meaning to learn more about for (ahem) over a year, so I’m going to try and be ruthless this month and block out time and headspace to up my knowledge.

What’s your intentional plan for August? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

June Recap and July Intentions

Well June has come and gone and it felt like a swift one! We had a long weekend here in Australia which involved an annual winery jaunt, but after that I decided to hit the health and fitness trail, only to be struck down by a stomach bug in the last week of the month.

So a tumultuous month, that’s for sure! But how did I go with last month’s intentions?

June Recap

Keep the juggle calm

A stomach bug will keep you very calm. I’m not the greatest patient so relinquishing control and spending a few days in bed was tough but needed.

It’s good to remind ourselves that it’s ok to lose momentum and ditch routine, and you will often feel more grateful for your day-to-day when you return.

I have a lot of catch ups planned in the next month so although I’m trying to space them out to avoid any franticness, I’m also grateful I have lots of people to spend time with.

Do a financial review

Ok, so there was one Asos haul…Although I enjoyed my life changing magic of tidying up clean out, it has left me with only a couple of winter jacket options so I needed to top up a little. Needed being the operative word!

Other than that, I’m staying calm around money, paying down debt at a steady rate, and trying not to splurge on weekends. It’s working so far!

July intentions

Seek out winter warmers

The number of winters we get to experience won’t be endless so July will be about embracing the chill and the activities that come with that.

With our Healesville weekend coming up, there will be roast dinners, red wine and fireplaces in my future.

I’m also spending my weekday mornings enjoying coffee while looking over grey skies, and that’s helping ground me in winter too.

Put first things first

If you’ve read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you’ll be familiar with this principle. Prioritising important things to me like study and blogging will be a focus in July.

If I don’t break things down into smaller to-do lists I can feel overwhelmed and end up doing absolutely nothing towards my goals, so I’m going back to basics and will plan out what I want to do each week in July.

How’s your June been? Any fun plans coming up for July? Let me know below!

 

Light Links: June

Happy end of June, dear readers. How was your month?

We started the month with our annual winery jaunt to Rutherglen and ended June with a bonfire at a friend's farm in Trentham. I know it's cliche but it really does rejuvenate me to get out of town and do something different on a weekend. Try and schedule some time out of your regular town when you can.

It wasn't all picture perfect winter getaways though - I had a cold that hung around for quite a while. After feeling virtuous for taking a day off in an attempt to halt the cold in its tracks, it ended up hanging around for longer than I'd hoped. It's a great reminder to stop and truly relax when your body tells you to. If you could see my wintery outfit and ugg boots right now, you'd know I'm embracing this idea.

Enjoy my favourite links from this month. 

The pressure to look good when every day is now school photo day...

Do you guys know about my obsession with watching cooking shows? Barefoot Contessa used to be my Saturday morning jam. Check out some life lessons from Ina Garten.

I am not a messy person, but have feelings of both jealousy and appreciation for those around me that are. Here's 3 lessons we can learn from the messy

How many times a day do you apologise? Things you need to stop saying sorry for

A dear friend of mine told me about a breathing technique she's been trying to help her fall asleep. The next day I spotted this article that claims to help you fall asleep in under one minute. I'm yet to try it out, but let me know your results in the comments below. 

This spookily sums up my impression of Sweden on my short trip there a few years back. I love so many of these lessons, but definitely need the one about not letting the weather stop you as we head into the Melbourne winter.