The longest month of January is over and it’s finally February! I feel generally more morale-filled today as I say goodbye to her longest and most difficult month yet. It helps that the sun is shining in Wales, the snowdrops are proudly breaking through the soil and everyone is feeling the spring in their step on their daily walks.
I don’t know about you, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that 2021 may not be “back to normal,” but the days are just a little longer and life is a little brighter now. It looks like there is. In fact, everything feels a little brighter now and I feel like I know why….
I read a lot online about what makes us happy. I read Jessica Rose William’s recent newsletter and she believes the secret to her happiness is lowering expectations. While some people think happiness means taking time to appreciate the little things in life, many say it’s about staying social and continuing to have Zoom calls with friends.
There’s plenty of research touting how exercise and time outdoors can boost happiness, but maybe a cozy home is the secret to happiness?
I have a new theory about what leads to happiness. My theory has a little bit of all of the above, just packaged a little differently (can you tell I used to work in marketing!?)
I think the secret to happiness is to have something to look forward to.
But don’t just look forward to the big things; look forward to the little things too. And we take them seriously, thank them, and acknowledge their excitement.
I think this is one of the (many!) reasons we struggled during lockdown. Because what we were looking forward to was taken away from us. Not only that, but I was even more disappointed because I didn’t know when the things I was looking forward to could be postponed.
So today I wanted to share some things I’m looking forward to. These are some of the things that will happen next week, everyday things, and he’s going to happen in February.
- First cup of tea in the morning (always tastes great!)
- Making Valentine’s jammy biscuits with the kids
- valentine card making
- I take a walk in the forest on a sunny day
- Wednesday Q&A with Enterprise Collective
- My weekly shop will be filled with delicious food on Tuesdays
- I’m going to dye my hair next week so it looks fresh and shiny
- The moment you hear the sound of the oven telling you it’s done when you bake bread
- Bake cookies and eat them when they’re a little too hot and the chocolate chips are still gooey
- I planted sweet peas at the end of February and am observing their growth on the windowsills around my house
- Patio tiling completed (hopefully this week!)
- Paint the shed and barn so everything is crisp white and clean. Hopefully I can do this on a low air weekend in February!
- Planning a courtyard garden!
- garden hanging flower decoration lighting
- I’m sharing three blog posts that I almost completed this week
- Finishing the book you are reading – The dilemma
- Start taking time to choose a new fiction book
- Read Helen Redfern’s e-book ‘Journaling your goals
- Organizing my capsule wardrobe
- Make a new batch of homemade face serum
- I watch YouTube videos about reseeding lawns and gardening (which is really sad), but when I watch her 86 square meter gardening video, it’s just gorgeous!
- The new season of Your Garden Made Perfect is here!
- I finished watching “It’s a Sin
- Read Joseph’s bedtime story
- Watch Alba learn something new every day
- I have new photos hanging in my kitchen. There are so many things I want to buy from Fai!
- I’m so happy to be able to work regularly again that I’m obsessively checking my bank account to see when my bills will be paid!
- Sam’s Cocktails (we’re obsessed with whiskey sours right now)
- Make a movie night bag for Friday movies
- I downloaded an audiobook called Power Hour. I can’t wait to start listening!
Another thing that really helps you retain your old happiness is to record and remember these happy little moments. The excitement before the happy moment and the happy memories after the happy moment are all part of what makes it so happy.
For me, the main way I record these moments is through photography, and I’m actually planning to start a new photography course and I’m looking forward to sharing more details soon!
I’ve mentioned monthly goals a few times online recently, and I always get mixed reactions. If you’re like me, you love setting goals to stay motivated and feel like you’ve accomplished something, even on days when you don’t leave the house. But other people are completely negative about goals and act like my goals are a personal attack on them, and life is hard enough as it is, so now I’m making goals. You shouldn’t!
Yes, I kind of get that, but I still love the goal! I feel like everyone else is getting the hang of this slower lifestyle forced on us by lockdown, but I still like feeling like I’ve done nothing when I go to bed every night. Not. Yes, I’ve kept her three kids alive and my house in order (ish), but I can only do this for so long until I want to enjoy each day a little more!
My monthly goals are definitely becoming more achievable, but I don’t know if it’s because of the lockdown or because of my age?
My goals used to be so impossible and unrealistically huge that they both scared and excited me. I never achieved it, but I loved the process of dreaming big!
These days, my monthly goals are becoming more realistic because I feel more motivated when I have something I can actually accomplish!
my goal for January was to walk 100km in a month. And that’s what I managed to achieve – I took my last walk at 7pm last night to log the last 4km before the new month starts!
i really liked this achievable goal. It wasn’t about actually walking 100km as I knew it was physically achievable, it was about making time every week to exercise. I used to think I was too busy to exercise, but January proved I could find the time. In fact, I managed to find about 5 hours a week. The previous excuse of “I’m too busy” was just an excuse. That’s why I’m glad I had the goal of walking. I love walking, so it doesn’t take me long to get up from the house and go for a long walk. If I had set myself a goal of doing his HIIT workouts 5 times a week…well, that would never have happened. Now he has an hour for himself almost every day and has found a time that fits into his family’s routine. That will be my time!
But now I’m going to try mixing it up with some exercise that I do during that time. Still, some days I walk, some days I run, and some days I do yoga, HIIT workouts, and other workouts I find online!
So, my main goal for February is to continue that practice. My other February goals are:
- Continue to use your time for exercise (even if it’s just a walk)
- Publish 10 new blog posts
- Start planting seeds indoors in preparation for spring
The photo in this post is Harlech Beach. You can read my travelogue exploring Harlech and Harlech Castle here.