Why You Should Stop and Celebrate

I come from a family that loves to celebrate. Birthdays are a huge deal, champagne is called for when someone buys a new car, Christmas sees a tree overflowing with gifts and I always get texts from family on pertinent anniversaries.

It’s what I’m used to and I’ve always felt grateful for that being how my family operates.

Celebration is something I’ve held on to as I’ve formed my own life away from my family.

I like to make a fuss over friends’ new jobs, new babies or new anything really, and my husband will attest that I smother him in birthday fun whether he likes it or not (spoiler alert: the answer is ‘or not’)

So why should we take time to celebrate?

It differentiates your life

Although I’m sure you all try to lead rich lives, it’s natural to feel a sense of groundhog day from time to time. Another day at the office, another meal being cooked for your family, the days can just bleed into the next.

By taking time to celebrate - whether that be a dinner out, rewarding yourself with a new candle or taking a day trip away - breaks up our lives and creates stand out memories.

It feels amazing to make someone else feel special

One of my favourite reasons to celebrate is to make someone else feel great. I’m not a cruel person who forces ‘Happy Birthday’ to be sung in a restaurant to a cripplingly shy friend, but I make sure my loved ones are made to feel special through words, gifts and somehow making their life easier on important occasions.

It points out how lucky you are

Not every person in this world has the resources to celebrate in the way we do. Along with that comes the fact that not every person has friends and family to celebrate with.

When I stop and celebrate my own and others’ special occasions, it gives me a chance to pause, look around at those close to me, and remember how truly lucky I am to have the life I do.

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Do you take the time to stop and celebrate? What’s the next milestone or occasion you can start planning a celebration for now?

 

August Recap and September Intentions

August, what a month you have been. Life threw me a couple of curve balls and it’s an understatement to say I’ve not been feeling so great.

I’ve been drawing pretty heavily on Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching Model, which I wrote about on the blog last month, and wanted to share this quote from her for anyone going through a tough time - it sounds simplistic but it eventually becomes true:

There has been nothing more empowering than the realisation that I don’t have to think thoughts that bring me pain.

And when all else fails, get your ‘90s hip hop on like me and listen to Ms. Lauryn Hill:

Everything is everything / What is meant to be, will be / After winter, must come spring / Change, it comes eventually...

Well, thanks for listening sweet readers. Now how well do you think I went with my August intentions?

Interrupt the negative voice

Well lo and behold, I actually worked on this one by default!

Journaling my thoughts before bed has been a huge help to me - unpacking them from my brain and getting them on paper eases the rumination a little.

I have mentioned this before, but feel it’s worth mentioning again. Whatever we worry about rarely ever comes true. Keep a record of your worries so you can gather evidence and prove to yourself that this statement is true. Seriously, try it!

Up the training at work

I haven’t done so great here - blocking out time to do self-training at work just isn’t motivating me at the moment.

Do you guys have any tips on how to shift past this?

I know generally I fit better into formal training courses or learning skills on the job (rather than just reading about them), but there’s gotta be a way to move forward here. Let me know your techniques in the comments below!

September Intentions

Increase energy levels

As you can imagine, a stressful August has brought with it some not so great habits - I’ve managed to keep up the exercise thanks to having a gym buddy, but my eating has ranged from not-so-nourishing foods to not eating at all, and alcohol has been featuring a little too frequently.

Now that the fog is lifting a little, I’m going to plan my meals again, get the freezer stocked and try and reduce the social drinking to keep my head clear.

Study comes first

I’ve alluded to some study I’m doing here on the blog - I’m currently doing a life coaching course and loving it. Stay tuned for more about this on the blog!

But of course work, social occasions and general procrastination can get in the way of things we want to focus on most so I’m going to carve out weekend time (another reason to ditch the vino) to make sure I’m on top of my studies.

Have a wonderful September readers - thanks as always for being here!

Why You'll Never Finish Your To-Do List

The Huffington Post ran an article earlier this year revealing that 41% of the tasks we put on our to-do list are never completed. Disheartening? Yes. True? Also yes...

I keep my to-do lists in a variety of places - in my Productivity Planner at work, in the Notes app on my phone, in Trello, and wherever else takes my fancy that week.

But I find I never look at a list that’s completely crossed off and that can be a little depressing or overwhelming.

So why do we never complete our to-do list and, more importantly, why should we stop focusing on completing it?

You’ve set too many tasks

To-do lists can set us up to fail for a couple of reasons:

  1. We lump everything together in the one list and don’t distinguish the size of each task or how long it will take to complete it. For example, a 15-minute trip to the chemist could be lumped in with starting a website for your new venture - obviously a much larger and more time-consuming task.
  2. You expect you’ll race through your list, when we can really only do so many tasks in a day.

Try and allocate time against each task and return to my productivity planner method - pick only certain tasks you can get done that day (including your one, yes one, most important task) and get those completed.

Your focus is off

As driven women it’s easy to get caught up in the race to perfection. We strive to complete every work task, home task, wellness task, and on and on, only to collapse into bed at night with a lack of satisfaction.

To-do lists are a useful tool but focusing on a laundry list of sometimes arbitrary tasks won’t necessarily fill your life with fun and spontaneity.

Yes, use a to-do list but don’t let it run your life to the detriment of relaxation and fun.

You don’t edit the list

Instead of our to-do list getting shorter, we often lump more and more tasks onto it.

I am particularly guilty of this on my personal to-do list in my phone. I have all sorts of to-dos on there - makeup I want to try (thanks vloggers), films I want to see, dentist appointments I’m avoiding booking...

But some of those items have been on there for over a year - if I haven’t gotten to them yet, it’s time to edit it down. Say no to items that you’re not doing and cull that list!  

You forgot to eat frogs

This step ties into the others, but another reason we don’t get through our list is because we’re avoiding tasks we think will be too difficult or unpleasant to complete (hello dentist).

If you opened your to-do list every day and your most important task was also your least favourite task, imagine how good it would feel to wipe it off that day.

You can read my post about eating frogs here, and if you complete your most dreaded task today, I promise to book the dentist. Deal?

What did you wipe off your to-do list today? Did you also make time for fun? Let me know in the comments below!