How To Set Goals Like a Pro

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Calligraphy image on phone by Pauline at http://www.happyhandsproject.com 

Last week I wrote a post on why it’s good to set goals, which you can read here. This week I’m sharing some of my favourite goal setting techniques for you to try. It’s a bit of a long one, but stick with me and you’ll get a great overview of how to set goals that work for you!

You Don’t Have to Focus on Your Career

It’s common to see people setting goals that focus solely on their careers however it is really good to check in frequently with the other areas of your life and ask if there is anything you could be doing to better enhance those.

First you need to know what other areas there are. When I’m setting lots of goals for myself, (something I usually do about twice yearly) I consider the 7 dimensions of wellness: Social, Emotional, Occupational, Environmental, Intellectual, Physical and Spiritual.

Side note: If you don’t class yourself as a spiritual person – don’t worry! This section could be anything along the lines of: appreciating a sunset, doing kind things for your friends and family or feeling inspired creatively. It can really mean whatever you want it to.

If some of these don’t resonate with you, then you can always change them around a bit. I think they serve as a good guide to go off but you could divide the areas in your life in many different ways. The key is to make them specific and relevant to you. An example could be: Home, Education, Work, Friends/Family/Relationships, Fun, and Health. Really any way you do it is fine.

The important part is to make goals that correspond to all the different areas of your life.

Get Smart

You may want to use S.M.A.R.T Targets when you set a goal. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time Bound) I’m going to break them down to give you a better idea of what I mean.

Specific: Be as specific as possible with your goals. When I was younger, I’d make New Year’s resolutions that would say “Be happier” “Be successful” etc. which sounds nice but what does that even mean? How would I even begin to work towards that? And how would I know when it had been achieved? You want to turn your goal into something tangible. Include the details.

Measurable: E.g. “I will have completed (X task) by (X amount of time)” There has to be an end and there has to be a way you can track your progress. “I want to be a successful poet” is something I would have probably written down a while ago but something like “I want to have a poetry collection published by 2018” gives a clearer idea of what needs to be done.

Attainable: If you can keep your goal attainable and realistic then you are far more likely to achieve it. An ideal goal should be a little hard to attain but not impossible. It’s about finding the right kind of challenges for you. We don’t want to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. If we ask the world of ourselves and fail to achieve it then that’s only going to lower our self-esteem and further take us away from actually achieving. Keep your goals simple to start and you can always build on them later. Splitting things up into small manageable chunks should also help with this.

Realistic/Relevant: Different websites or professionals will use either one of these two titles. I like to use relevant. Is this goal A: something you’re interested in and B: something that is actually relevant to your life? Does it fit in with your wider goals and dreams? It could be worth running some of your goals by someone who knows you well, see if they agree that it’s worth focusing on. (But remember to take people’s opinions with a grain of salt and also I’d only share your goals with someone who is supportive) Either way, now is the time to be clear.

Time Bound: Pretty self-explanatory but adding a time frame or deadline to your goal will make a big difference. Again be realistic, we’d all like to be super successful by tomorrow but it’s not going to happen. It’s a good idea to break your goal down into manageable chunks with their own deadlines too. For example if my goal was to hit 1 million views on YouTube by next year then today I need to set up a YouTube channel. This week I need to film my first video. Next week I need to take out a book on marketing etc.

Finally

Your goals should exist to inspire and motivate you. If you do not achieve them it doesn’t mean you have failed, it may be that you set something slightly unrealistic and it means you know better for next time. As time passes people generally get better at setting appropriate goals for themselves. What is important, in my opinion is to let your goals serve as a guide.

The next post on this topic will go through some tips and tricks to make goal-setting even easier! I’d love to know how you get on if you decide to try any of these techniques. Thanks for sticking with me on a slightly longer post. Hopefully I’ve taken some of the headache out of goal setting for you! Don’t forget to subscribe and/or follow me on social media for poetry musings and updates.

Lyndsay xo

Why It’s Good to Set Goals

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I’ve always been a fan of goal setting and reflecting.

When I was younger I actually used to think that no-one else did things like this and that it was me being way controlling over my life and extra laborious! As I have grown up, I have discovered (to my delight) that other people do this too. Not only that, but there is whole plethora of books, e-books, seminars, talks, YouTube videos and courses that all centre on the importance of goal setting and reflection.

I’m going to be talking about this over a series of blog posts in more detail but for now lets cover some of the basics…

Why Bother Setting Goals?

I think for many of us, especially those of us who are creative, the idea of goal setting can feel a little unnatural. In my experience, I have found that learning to set goals in a useful way can actually help you to dream big and put your plans into action! We all have ideas in our head of things we would like to achieve, goal setting is just another way to make them concrete and ultimately: help you get them done! Since I’ve been setting goals for myself I’ve felt a lot more inspired in life, I have more faith in myself to get things done and have achieved things that I never thought possible. The key lies in creating goals and plans that are specific, simple and tangible! There is definitely a knack to getting it right.

Turn Your Year Around: Workbook

I recently came across a workbook (pictured above) by YouTuber MuchellB. It was a free download linked on her video How To Slay The Next 6 Months, which you can watch here. I thought this seemed like a great way to check in with the progress you’ve made so far this year and set some expectations for the months ahead .

MuchellB also talks a lot about goal setting, organisation, minimalism, creating positive habits and just generally how to be a responsible human being. I do recommend you check out her stuff if you want a little motivation in these areas.

One thing I like about this workbook is that it’s pretty extensive! It really goes into detail and there’s an emphasis on your feelings around certain things which I like.

Adjustments

You may want to create your own little system with questions that are more specific to you. However there is something nice about having a 9 page document that is already done for you and set out beautifully! (Plus if you are like me and sometimes need an extra push into doing your life admin, then having a pre-made document will probably mean that you’re more likely to actually do it)

To Wrap it Up

In my experience, having clear goals can really help to fast track your life and realise your full potential. Hopefully this introduction sparks your interest or re-ignites your passion if you are already a goal-setter needing a little push. Next week I will share some of my favourite techniques along with the common pitfalls that people make! If that’s something you need in your life you can follow me on social media and subscribe on WordPress to be the first to know when it’s out!

I hope the next 6 months see all of us achieving some incredible things and I can’t wait to hear how you all get on!

Lyndsay xo

The Secret Garden: Book Review

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Image by: Cristina Colli: www.cristinacolli.com

On World Book day, I wrote about two books that have shaped my life. Today I wanted to review something that I am currently reading; The Secret Garden written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and published in 1911!

Why Did I Decide To Read It?

A while ago I was incredibly lucky to be able to spend some time in Bali, Indonesia. One thing I loved the most about the country was the scenery! I live in the north of England so as you can imagine: jungles, palm trees and tropical flowers are not exactly things I get to see very often.  While I was revelling at these sights, I realised that I had really been taking the UK’s countryside for granted.

I was desperate to get my hands on a book that celebrated the landscapes of this cold climate. (maybe thinking it would cushion the blow of flying back home during the depths of winter)  and I remembered this book was sitting at home in my bookcase.

Overview

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

The story follows a little girl called Mary who spent her young life living as a very spoiled, bad tempered child in India. When a terrible illness wipes out everyone in her home but her, she is sent to live with her uncle at his manor house in Yorkshire, England.

With nothing much to do and many rooms in the house considered “out-of-bounds”, Mary takes to the gardens. Here she meets gardener Ben Weatherstaff, makes friends with a Robin and uncovers both the key and the entrance to the off-limits secret garden.

Plot

“As she came closer to him she noticed that there was a clean fresh scent of heather and grass and leaves about him, almost as if he were made of them. She liked it very much and when she looked into his funny face with the red cheeks and round blue eyes she forgot that she had felt shy.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

Playing outside and breathing in the fresh air from the Yorkshire moor has a strange effect on Mary, much to the surprise of the staff at the manor. Mistress Mary, who previously never had a nice word to say, nor interest in anything or anyone gradually changes for the better.

The Secret Garden follows Mary’s adventure and the friends she makes along the way.

“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that ‘she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow’.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

My Verdict

Delightful and enchanting are two words that spring to mind when I think of this book! It captures a real sense of childlike wonder and places emphasis on the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

Having a central character that is flawed and unlikeable is really refreshing and the descriptions of the Yorkshire moors are gorgeous!

I really enjoy the sentiment behind the story. In a gentle way, the author portrays how after throwing herself into the outdoors and tending to a garden; a previously miserable, ungrateful child suddenly comes into bloom herself. Mary starts to appreciate the beauty in her surroundings, gains a whole new respect for life and ultimately lives as a happier child.

There is something in that, don’t you think?

“Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

“Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

– Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

I’d love to know if there are any books from your childhood that you feel have stood the test of time and absolutely love today! I haven’t read many of the classics so if there is anything you think is worth reading then please let me know and hopefully we can discuss them soon!

Lyndsay xo

Old Journal Entries

 

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I hope you’re all having a happy Easter if you’re celebrating.

Today I was looking through some old journal entries on my laptop and found some things I couldn’t help but share.

The quotes below really range in terms of time frame. All are from 2014 onwards and were written at separate times.

I was a lot younger then (in my mind more so than actual age) Some of these conjure up a little groan of embarrassment however mostly,  I really am surprised by the depth in my own thinking back during a time where I seemed quite disconnected in hindsight.

I suppose they were the sort of thing I didn’t really know what to do with once I had wrote them. I didn’t turn them into poems or essays, they sort of just stayed. I enjoyed what I had written but I wasn’t sure how to present them to others or in what form etc. I suppose now a blog post feels like the right place to honour some of my favourites.

I hope you take something from them, (I hope I take something from remembering them too) and I hope you enjoy the rare luxury of getting to take a peek inside what a girl writes in her bedroom all alone on a Sunday.

Enjoy the following excerpts.

1.

I want to feel free. I want to be standing at the top of a mountain and I want to feel the wind in my hair. I want to hear beautiful music and I want to be in complete awe of life and the world. I want to feel alive. I want to feel beauty. I want to be held by someone who loves me. I want to look in their eyes. I want to lay on the grass. I want to feel nature against my skin. I want to feel the earth breathing beneath me. I want to smile at the animals and the insects. I want to feel part of it all. I want us all to feel as though we are all together. I want to feel part of the atmosphere. I want to feel part of the droplets of rain. I want to feel the suns rays. I want to feel the bark in the trees. We are all one. ❤ if you don’t like it that’s fine. But I have felt moved by moments of divine beauty. And these moments are what keep me breathing.

2.

Sometimes you need those late nights of bohemian art and creativity. Those late nights of solitude, never lonely cause you have a thousand thoughts to comfort you. Spending quality time with the universe is what you need totally. Not even caring that you’re cold, cause the words give you your warmth back anyway. The vibe in my room is peaceful and serene and present. The vibe my room gives off tells me the time is now.

3.

I can visualise a nice life, somewhere hot, somewhere I get to decorate my own little patch and call it home. Somewhere I can invite poets and lovers and friends into my little world. Where they will see me running around, being myself, incense burning, some sort of soulful music playing, windows open, letting a breeze in, herbal tea brewing, I’m wearing something that floats around my feet and have my legs out, skin all tanned from the sunshine, we eat healthy food and tell each other what we’re thankful for. I’m like a whirlwind, all poems and tattoos, the living room floor is littered with them, I’m typing on my typewriter, there is beauty and religion everywhere, and they are just taking it all in. This is how I show people my essence. And until I’m there, I will not feel completely right. Not when I know deep down the person I could definitely be. I’ve just created such a beautiful picture for myself.

Don’t ever be less than what you’re supposed to be.

4.

Do not try to replicate or mimic. Listen, absorb and learn. Then allow yourself to unlearn and forget as you continue to experience life while living in the present and living in the light. Some lessons only serve a purpose for a short period of time. All the information and soul energy that you absorb will benefit you fully in the moment that you receive it. All the important stuff will become imbedded into your DNA naturally. Anything else, feel free to let go of. There might be some lessons/forms of consciousness or other-worldly experiences that you must be exposed to on your own. You must feel them yourself. So that is why any of the other information may perhaps not stick; because you yourself are currently not in the right position to begin to learn said lesson. Or experience whatever it is. Love them fully. Thank them for stopping by to say “hi” on your journey. Don’t try to contrive anything, or make anything fit anything other than your soul’s utter need and desire at that time. Don’t listen to logic. Take out the poisons from your life and your brain. Love everything. Nurture your soul.

I am important. I am valid. I am vital.

5.

Life Is Amazing.

Thank you, Universe.

For teaching me how to love harder than anything. Or anyone.

Please continue to love me, to bless me, to help me live in the light. Thank you so much for your beauty. I have far to go. But I’m there. I’m exactly right where I need to be. I love my life more than I ever imagined I could. Exciting things are about to happen. But I love myself, my shell and my life.

Nav and Jason and Charlie have all taught me so much about myself…. ❤

They have all existed to show me lessons, to guide my heart, to teach me how to love, to let me know that I wasn’t alone, to expand my mind, to show me a level of consciousness that I not currently fully comprehend…. I love them all. ❤ ❤ ❤

6.

Keep asking questions and waiting for answers.

And thats the end for now! I’d love to know if any of these resonated with you. I thought they were kind of sweet. I may post some more at a later date but I thought that was enough for the time being. If you’d like to see more then let me know and I can certainly share more in the future.

I hate to round this off with a social media push after such a personal, reflective post. (However as I am a new freelancer building up a brand and trying to do my part to support my local creative community so I don’t really feel that bad :p ) If you enjoy the things I post, make sure to subscribe on here and also “like” my page on Facebook (LyndsayPricePoetry) and follow me on twitter. (@saltwaterpoetry)

Much love always

Lyndsay. x

Art Therapy

I want to share some of my paintings with you.

I find painting really freeing. Sometimes when I’m feeling the stress of life or want to indulge my inner child; I take myself out of the way, shut out the world, play some music and allow myself to paint.

Who cares whether it’s any “good” or not? What even is good when it comes to art? If it’s helped you feel a little more beautiful and at peace on the inside then that is good enough for me!

There is something really meditative in simply painting with no desired outcome.  I really love watching my brush swirl about on the page. It helps me find stillness. It can be really beautiful. Sometimes when I’m finding it hard to express myself, in life generally or through my poetry, I find painting can provide a great outlet and relieve the sense of frustration.

Whatever art you love to practise, whether it’s: dancing, knitting, sculpting, rapping, singing, music, gardening, drawing, cooking, (literally anything can be creative) I encourage you to try it when you are feeling the need to escape from the world for a few hours. Try something you’ve never done before.

Buy yourself a cheap canvas and some paint, you never know what you may create or how it will seep through and enhance the other creative areas of your life! Prepare to be amazed! Feel free to share your art with us in the comments below.

Here are some of mine.

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let it go

 

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Tear Drip.jpg

 

Swirl

Triangle

 

 

 

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Thank you for getting this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed and I hope this can encourage you to show your creations, no matter how “imperfect” or “unfinished” they are! Please feel free to share your work in the comments. Have a beautiful, art filled week!

 

World Book Day

In honour of World Book Day, I thought I would share a (belated) post on two books that have shaped my life!

1. Daughter of the Sea – Berlie Doherty

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A book from my childhood that is still hauntingly beautiful to this day.

A story based on European folklore about a baby girl found at sea, taken in by a family that couldn’t have children and raised as their own until one day her true family come calling.

I re-read this recently, as a kind of experiment to see whether the magic I had experienced as child would transfer to my adult brain and I have to say that it did!

It’s an incredibly sophisticated story for young people, yet effortlessly executed. The characters have layers and the narrative touches on topics that both adults and children can deeply connect with. It’s powerfully emotive: it gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

Berlie is a very talented storyteller and really causes you to look twice at the everyday scenes in your life and wonder if there’s more to life than what meets the eye.

I would say Daughter of the Sea would appeal to anyone who has ever experienced a sense of not belonging.

2. Quiet – Susan Cain

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Picture by Sophia. Instagram: @sophiacodes

One of the most life changing and affirming books for me personally.

This book sheds light on a commonly overlooked, fundamental aspect of our personalities: the introvert and extrovert scale.

Through the sharing of scientific studies, cultural history and personal anecdotes Susan Cain points out how western society caters towards the personality type of the extrovert and how we can embrace and enhance the power of the introvert.

My whole life I was brought up to believe (mainly by the education system) that there was something inherently wrong with me. I was a quiet child who was overwhelmed in social settings easily. Schools would tell me for years that I had confidence problems. This always felt so strange because I felt confident in my abilities; I just knew I didn’t talk very much.

Eventually, due to being told something so many times, I took on the words “low self esteem” as though they were stapled to my skin. For me, reading Quiet was liberating.

I began to understand my past behaviour. I forgave myself for not being the person I thought I was supposed to be, I stopped beating myself up for not being the centre of attention at parties, I stopped beating myself up for the fact that I don’t even really like parties at all and I began to enjoy my life without self-judgement.

I’ve learned to celebrate and nurture the characteristics I once saw as flaws. I used to often feel as though I was too sensitive for this society. Now, I channel that sensitivity into my work and my writing and I’ve fallen into what is basically my dream career.

I’ve given myself permission to live life in the way that feels right for me, I understand how I’m likely to react in social situations and as a result I think my relationships with other people are a lot more honest. I feel like I am a lot closer to being my authentic self.

I wish I’d have known this information when I was at school!

If you have ever berated yourself for being “too quiet”, “too sensitive”, “too weird” I think Quiet could really help you understand yourself more.

Also it has a chapter titled “when to act more extroverted than you really are” and I just feel like that sums up my life!

So there you have it: two books that have shaped my life! Also, I am currently reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés but more about those another day!

Have you ever read something that was life changing? Let me know what it was!