My Goals for 2021

2020 was a year to say the very least. January to March was truly the calm before the very unexpected storm. If anyone had told Emily at the end of 2019 what was to come in just a few months time, I’m sure I’d have laughed in your face.

Fast forward to January 2021 and I can say more safely than ever, that you truly never know what is around the corner. Take each day as it comes and live your life to its fullest. Although the current days may be boring and uneventful, we can be grateful for our health and the roofs over our heads.

In March 2020 I travelled to Krakow in Poland for a weekend, yes you read that right, in March 2020 I managed to fly abroad. The same March that saw lockdowns globally as the pandemic truly started to cause havoc. In the airport coming home, everyone was staring at the one man that was masked up with disposable gloves on thinking ‘is he for real? it’s not that serious!’. A couple of weeks later, I was working from home unable to leave the house apart from to go for a walk. Life can do a 360 quicker than I could ever have imagined.

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

So what was the good, the bad and the ugly from 2020?

At the end of January I started my new job after moving home before Christmas, I managed to tour Auschwitz in Poland which was a historical sight I’d been meaning to visit for years. Covid entered our lives quite soon into the year and this meant normality as we knew it would stop for a very long time.

Our trip to South Korea had to be cancelled, our friends’ wedding couldn’t go ahead, we couldn’t enjoy summer as we normally would. Birthdays and other celebrations weren’t much different to every other day and life became very mundane and repetitive.

All of this in the grand scheme of things is extremely trivial. Lives have been lost, livelihoods lost, jobs lost. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to still be upset. It’s okay to be upset.

Heartbreakingly, I said goodbye to my dog of nearly 13 years which made the rest of 2020 that bit harder to cope with. I’ve enjoyed working from home, but I haven’t enjoyed my job if that makes sense? The positives are hard to find!

Did 2020 actually bring about any good?

  • I’m grateful January to March (ish) was relatively normal and carefree.
  • I travelled
  • I passed my driving test
  • I picked up more hobbies, i.e. reading, crafting
  • I’ve still seen family and friends when it’s been allowed
  • I’ve had a full time income and lived at home!
  • My boyfriend and I have saved a huge chunk of our house deposit

Despite the dark clouds, there has been some rays of light undoubtedly. I do hope 2021 sheds more light and hope for us all.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Where am I headed in 2021?

I wasn’t going to make any resolutions or goals for this year because of the potential for them to be put on hold due to Covid. However, I then thought, why should I put my life on complete hold whilst we wait for this to blow over? So I set some goals I knew I could stick to.

  1. Start regular exercise 2-3 x a week
  2. Chill out more and not let stupid things stress me out
  3. Educate myself so I can have a more stable career
  4. Learn to cook more meals
  5. Spend less time on my phone

2021 is automatically off to a good start as we recently secured a little ginger kitten, who will be ready to come home at the end of January and we are SO excited. Stay tuned to see an introductory post to ginger George. We’re going to continue to save as much money as possible whilst living with my parents and take each day as it comes. I’m not going to plan too much because things are still very scary and we’re nowhere near normality yet.

I want to wish you all a healthy and happy new year. I hope 2021 brings good news for you all.

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

What is the ‘5 year plan’ and should you have one?

The notorious ‘five-year plan‘ question may send you into a cold sweat or be the easiest question you could answer. You may have first been asked this question during your final years in education or at a job interview. This is the question that would fill me with instant dread and pressure; are you really meant to know? Are you meant to be aiming for something in particular in 5 years? Do I just fall victim to societal pressures and say “job, house, kids”?

I’d like to disclaim that I am not totally against a 2/5/10 year plan – I am sure it holds importance for many people that actually find it useful and motivating. However, what about those that don’t have a 5-year plan? Do you not hire those that don’t have a suitable enough timeline planned out? What is the significance of 5 years? Theoretically, it is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.

What is there to plan?

  • A change in mentality and perspective
  • Career progression, or even career break
  • Housing situation
  • Relationship status
  • Travel destinations
  • Personal achievements i.e. skydive or learning a language
  • Business adventure
  • Children

The list truly is endless. Personally, I view my life as being one complicated stencil I’ve drawn around on a piece of paper. There will be lines that I will want to perfect and make them as neat as possible, but there will be lines where my hand is shaky and I accidentally go outside of the lines. However, at the end of it, I will be mostly content with what I have created.

Life is renowned for being unpredictable. There are days when it may feel like a huge boulder has crashed down in the middle of your path, making it difficult to work around, but not impossible. Acknowledging that life will always have its curveballs, should help a life plan seem less intimidating. Things go wrong, but there will always be a way to get back on track and dust yourself off again. It is almost guaranteed, that if you were to ask anyone who is 5 years older than you, if they have got to where they are by sailing their way through life – they will most likely say no.

What are some pros and cons to having a 5-year plan?

Pros:

  • Gives you goals to work towards, no matter how big or small
  • Allows you to prioritise your goals in terms of when you want to achieve them
  • Can keep you disciplined and on track
  • Hand in hand with the above; can force you to start something you have been putting off
  • It can be comforting

Cons:

  • You may feel pressured and rushed
  • Your plan may adhere more to stereotypical achievements by default
  • May cause a feeling of disappointment if you don’t hit certain milestones within a certain period
  • It can make room for comparisons with other people’s success
  • You may become too attached to the plan and opposed to change

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

The logistics of a 5-year plan are so personal to each individual. What might be a mountain to one person, is a molehill for another. It can be exciting to share your plans with others – I don’t believe the intention of a plan is negative. If you are surrounded by decent people, you should hopefully never feel belittled by what you have set yourself, you should have nothing but support and encouragement.

Personally, I choose to live life day-by-day. I will happily write a to-do list in the morning and can stick to it pretty well. Stretch it further than a weekly plan, and I will probably struggle to stay on track. My interests and motivation levels fluctuate too regularly for a long-term plan to sit comfortably in my head. Knowing what I want out of life is important, but the route to get there can be as sporadic and spontaneous as possible.

So in terms of being asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” in a job interview, the intention behind the question is probably to cover their own backs. Is this person looking to be in a completely different position in a few years to what they’ve applied for? Can we afford to train someone who sounds like they are going to leave soon? I understand why the question is asked, but it can be a tough cookie to crack if you are not a natural planner.

To conclude

A 5-year plan is exactly what you make of it. It can be as intense or as mild as you like. There is no obligation to know the answer to this question, but I do feel like it crops up quite often. It offers food for thought in many different ways. Planning what I think is my ideal plan, can allow me to spot pitfalls and genuinely think carefully about the routes I wish to take.

Avid organisers may thrive by setting their goals long into the future, and to that, I say hats off. There is not a right or wrong answer. It is admirable to see how we all cope and work our way through this journey. If you are keen to know how to create your own 5-year plan, there are many resources available to help.

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal”

What are your thoughts on the concept of a 5-year plan?

Until next time,

Emily x

 

 

 

 

 

 

21st Birthday Q&A

I’m 21 today! I was born at 6:45am on Thursday 24th June 1999 (we should be celebrating our mum’s surely?!) I think this will be my last birthday related post for a fair few years as I feel like turning 21 is the last “big birthday” until you’re 30. Lockdown undoubtedly ruined any potential plans, but we’ll see where the day takes us and make the most of the situation!

In celebration of waving goodbye to my turbulent teens in 2019, I wrote about 20 things I’d learned in 20 years, which still reads very true to this day. To honour the age of world-wide legal drinking and the real step into my roaring 20s, I thought a Q&A would be a fun way to kick it all off. So I’d like to firstly thank Charlotte, Millie, Shannen, Paige, Gemma Jayne and Laura for their questions! They’re a great bunch who you should definitely check out.

 

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2020 Come And Get Me

Another year ends and another one begins, nice to meet you 2020! I think a lot of us can agree that 2019 was over before it started, it’s felt like one of the quickest years of my life. It’s funny to think that I’m only 20 years old but this is my 3rd decade, and I’m loving every minute of it. I really do have a lust for life and a passion for creating the most fulfilling life I can for myself.

I have so many memories stored up and 2019 has definitely added to the collection. Back at the start of 2019, I wrote a post all about my goals for the year and continued to write “monthly reviews” so I could keep track ready for this exact post you’re reading now! I’m going to see what goals I achieved and what I’m aiming to achieve in 2020.

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November 2019 Review

HAPPY DECEMBER! It’s officially the start of the Christmas season (even though I was 100% thawing off the Michael Buble album in September) and that means another month has been and gone. November was a HEFTY one and I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional! It’s been such a mix of a month and if I’m to be completely honest, I didn’t end the month feeling particularly happy, nor much like myself.

With change comes a wave of emotions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. I definitely had a mix of the two over the course of the month and I’m here to share what I got up to in November. Since January this year, I’ve written a post to summarise each month so that I can look back through them all at the start of 2020 and see how much has happened. I’m really glad I’ve been keeping track and I’m really keen to do the same next year.

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August 2019 in Review & Welcoming the Sunday Series

Pinch punch first day of the month! September 1st has rolled around and I’m ready to activate my autumn mode. As I’m writing this it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday and I’m kicking this new month off on a positive foot.

It’s crazy to think I’ve only got a handful of these monthly reviews left until we’re leaping into 2020. August was probably the last full month of proper summer here in England which I’m almost grateful for. I’m excited for cosy evenings, winter coats and hot chocolates. I like taking a little bit of a different stance on these monthly reviews each time I write them, so I’m going to do a little roundup and then get straight into talking about the new blog series I’m going to be working on.

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June and July 2019 in Review

Why hello! It’s AUGUST. We’re over halfway through 2019 and before you know it we’ll be carving pumpkins and fighting over who puts the baubles on the christmas tree. Reaching a new month means it’s time for a monthly review, and I’m sure no one cares that I missed June’s review, but here we are with a double wammy of June and July.

Up until Lewis and I flew to Spain for my 20th birthday back in June, not too much had gone down. Once back in Blighty I got to see Toy Story 4 with my mum, visit the gorgeous Belvoir Castle (found by accident, blog post coming soon) and spent some much needed time with my dog (I’d probs die for him). I’ve got a blog post in the making about our trip to Espanol, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

The drill is to pitch the month against my goals for the entire year, so here we go!

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7 Things I’ve Learnt in 7 Months of Blogging

It’s nearing the 7 month mark of me having this slice of the internet. Over the last 7 months, I’ve introduced myself to strangers on the web and allowed access to parts of my life and brain. Blogging was a long-awaited hobby of mine and it feels surreal to have been doing it for 7 months now. I wasn’t all that consistent to begin with, but with the help of me starting my Chatty Tuesday series, I’ve incorporated a bit of a schedule into the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Blogging has been a whirlwind so far. I’m still very much settling into the community and learning every day. I want to genuinely push my blog as far as I can and over the past 7 months, my own eyes have been opened as to the direction I wish to take all of this in. So without further ado, I wanted to share the 7 things I’ve learnt in my 7 months of blogging.

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April 2019 Review: I progressed?!

HOW are we here again, at another monthly review?! This year is absolutely flying by, which means the time has rolled around again to sum up how the previous month treated me. If this sort of post is new to you – I write reviews each month about how the month has gone and cross-check it against my overall goals for 2019. I think April showed the most progression for me so far. Things are falling into place, I’m less stressed, I’m wearing more smiles on my face and so I’m excited to share with you what I’ve been up to! Let’s get into it.

I blinked and April was over. It was a nice month with a beautiful bank holiday towards the end which meant Lewis (my boyfriend) and I could spend some nice time away visiting my family. My favourite day was when we took a late afternoon trip to the beach just my mum, her friend, Lewis and I. We grapped chips and watched the sunset before spending some pennies on the amusements (I won a squishy spider from the 2p machines, what a score). My mum and her friend are Zumba instructors so we made ourselves useful and filmed them performing a couple of routines in the sand. It’s all fun and games until I turn around and Lewis is holding 4 pairs of shoes, surrounded by the incoming tide.

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Chatty Tuesday: A re-introduction to Emily Gabriella

If we’ve met before, then hello! I am so glad you came back to my cosy corner of the internet. If you’re new, then hello to you too! I already appreciate you lots for even clicking on my blog. Emily Gabriella has had a bit of an upgrade recently. I’m now self-hosted and have a pretty new theme that I was really excited to share with you all. Over the past couple of months, I’ve had a little peak of new followers which made me realise, you probably have no clue who I am! I’m yet to properly introduce myself, despite having had this blog for nearly 6 months now. I want to start taking it seriously and really work hard this month to get it off the ground.

I personally love getting to know people on a more personal level, it adds so much more realism to their words and makes you realise you are in fact, connecting with a living, breathing, human being. So I wanted to re-introduce Emily Gabriella to you, let’s be friends!

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