The Art of Trying

Recently I’ve been inspired by this video by Dottie James. My introspective nature adores change. I love fresh starts and seeing progress and plotting out achievements in notebooks. But the perfectionist in me struggles with these things. One of my worst traits is my belief that if I can’t do something to its maximum then I don’t want to do it at all.

I’ve tried time and time again to make changes to my life. To exercise every day, to eat better, cut down on caffeine and a million others things I’d love to change. But, whenever I’ve made a start, I’ve been set back by one second of failure.

I constantly preach that it’s alright to miss a day or to fail but I know that I don’t really believe that. And I find it really hard when I’ve set myself a daily task and one day I just don’t have time for it. But watching Dottie’s video got me thinking. In her second video she goes back over her weekly and daily goals and sees how many times she achieved them and how many times she didn’t.

It’s not about succeeding every day. It’s not about berating yourself over not doing them. It’s just about trying.

This outlook has really changed the way I look at my own growth. At the start of the year I set myself 100 goals for the year (I was clearly feeling incredibly motivated at this point!). Some were tiny and some were much bigger but looking at them now, I can see that I’ve barely done any because 100 goals was far too overwhelming. So I’ve reassessed and set myself 3 big goals with lots of little sub-goals.

Saying Yes

I tend to play life safe. I don’t take big opportunities because I’m scared of failure and I rarely put myself “out there” in case of rejection. Honestly, I’m just really sick of being nervous of the outcome getting in the way of me doing things. So now I’m actively seeking out opportunities and living life a little bit more.

Saying No

This goal is all about me-time. I often say yes because it’s easy. Big surprise – this ends up meaning I spend a lot of time doing things for other people that I don’t really want to do.

Health

I’m the first to admit that healthy living is often a bit of a fad for me. I go through phases where I eat well and exercise but when motivation slips these good habits fall straight off the radar. I’m also terrible for forgetting to take my B12 tablets (sorry Mum!) and I could definitely just look after myself a bit better.

Although I’ve made some small goals in each category, I mostly just want to enforce that I want to live my life better. There are going to be days where I don’t do things and that’s okay. Because really what I want to practice is the art of trying. Change will come from that.

Rachel x-x-x

 

 

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Dealing With Difficult People

I am a professional conflict avoider. I can’t actually ever remember having an argument with anyone that wasn’t my parents or boyfriend because I always just bite my tongue and try to put the disagreement out of my head. However, not everyone goes around wearing their I hate conflict hat on like I do.

Last year there were a few times when I had to deal with some difficult people and while at the time it felt awkward and horrible, I’ve learnt a few things from it that I want to share.

Weigh Up Your Options

As someone who doesn’t like conflict, my usual response is to stay quiet, remain polite and not say anything when I’m finding someone difficult to deal with. However, I know that this isn’t always the best reaction and that sometimes you have to be upfront with people when they’re causing you a problem.

You have to decide whether confronting someone is going to have negative repercussions for you or the other person and whether you feel like telling them straight will actually help the situation or not. There’s no need to confront someone if the only thing you’re getting out of it is feeling better by letting off steam.

Be Honest

This is something I find really difficult. Whilst I’m always honest when asked my opinion, I find it very hard to say “You hurt my feelings” or “You made me feel X way when you said X.” I don’t like people knowing that they’ve upset me but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and be brave enough to tell people how they’ve really made you feel.

Take Advice With A Pinch of Salt

On one occasion last year, someone who I previously had a lot of time for, told me that the way I handled a situation was wrong and then proceeded to lecture me on how I should have dealt with it better. Their suggestion was to have gone in all guns blazing, which if you know me at all, you will know that this is never how I deal with things.

I listened politely through the lecture, smiled in the right place, and then seethed once I’d left. This person has an extremely different attitude to life than I do. Everyone is individual and whilst I welcome advice usually, I’ve learnt that sometimes people are just coming from different places. For me, a chilled, more mindful approach works just fine.

Don’t Regret

However you’ve dealt with a situation involving someone who has made things difficult for you, it’s really important not to regret how it went. You can’t change how you handled a situation and even if you’ve been in the wrong, sometimes sorry just won’t cut it. There’s not much you can do about this other than moving on and trying not to feel full of regret. Even if you’ve come to blows with another person, all you can do is try not to let the same happen again next time.

Distance Yourself

Rightly or wrongly, sometimes I find the best way to deal with difficult people is to simply distance yourself. Sometimes this is really easy when the person doesn’t mean anything to you or it’s someone that it’s easy to avoid. Other times, it’s really difficult. Either you’re living with that person or you come into contact with them regularly. It’s totally okay to ignore messages if you think your reaction will be an outburst or end badly. It’s also alright to say “I’m not up for having this conversation right now.”

Rachel x-x-x

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Slowing Life Down

Life has been zipping by for me lately. I can’t believe we’re already two weeks into the new year and I don’t feel like I’ve had a second to myself. Whether it’s because I’ve not been making time or the opportunity just hasn’t arisen for a good soak in the bath with a book and a glass of wine, things need to change.

Last year I really bought into the idea of slow living. I made more time for me, reflected on my hopes and dreams, practiced mindfulness and yoga and really made an effort to do more of the things that make me happy, and less of the stuff that doesn’t.

This year, however, I haven’t really thought about the things I want to do more and less of, until now, and in true blogger style, I’m sharing it with you.

More Books

Every year I try and read as much as possible and this year is no exception. In 2017 I read a total of 54 books but this year I want to beat that. After being a little bit of a YA snob for the last few years, I’m wanting to delve more into that genre, as well as trying out some new genres that I’ve never really read before.

If you want to be my friend on Goodreads I will happily accept. Find me here!

Less Stress

I’m not very good with stress. I keep it all tightly packed in my head until things become too much and I have to lie face down on the floor until it subsides. You get me? I want to continue with the meditation I was doing last year and get back into yoga. It’s so perfect for those moments when you need to get out of your own head.

More Sleep

Sleep and I have never been friends. Most nights I lie awake unable to fall asleep and on the rare occasions that I do nod off quickly, I wake up in the night. Turns out waking up 5 times a night isn’t normal which is something I only learnt last months, oops. I stick to my bedtime routine, I don’t go on my computer any less than an hour before bed and I try to wake up at the same time every day so if anyone has any tips on sleeping, I’m all ears!

Less Caffeine

I know, mad, right? Who am I without caffeine? Two years ago I cut sugar from my hot drinks and now the time has come to cut the caffeine. As much as I love coffee, I hate being reliant on caffeine and I feel it so badly in a morning when I’m desperate for a mug the second I get up.

At the moment I usually drink 3 cups of coffee a day but I’d like to get rid of that first morning one to help myself wake up more naturally. Realistically I’ll probably just switch to decaf because I’m still really going to need that tasty coffee fix.

More Writing

The final thing I want to do more of is writing. I’ve being trying to get back into journalling for some time now, nothing fancy, just getting my thoughts down on paper every day. But I’ve been struggling to get into a routine. Do you write in the morning or at night? Let me know what works for you!

I’m also wanting to write some more fiction. After taking part in NaNoWriMo last year, I’ve really got the bug for creative writing so I’m hoping some great ideas pop into my head soonish!

What are you trying to do less and more of in 2018? Let me know the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

 

 

 

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Seeking Direction By Choosing A Direction

I’m just as unsure as you are about where I was going with today’s title. In the last few months of 2017, I was really unclear about the direction of my blog. I often felt like I was floundering, trying to come up with blog posts ideas that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to write because I felt it was what I should be writing. However, after a refresh over Christmas and a good long planning session, I’ve decided to make a few changes. Maybe I don’t know which direction I’m going in for sure just yet, but I’ll make a start on this one and hope for the best.

Content

I’ve always been intent on the idea that No Space For Milk is a mental health blog first and foremost. But as my blog has progressed, so has the direction I want to go in. As much as mental health is still something I’m going to talk about here, there’s going to be much more emphasis on self-improvement. I asked on Instagram what you like reading and it was clear that most people enjoyed my long form rambling thought pieces which is great because those are what I love writing. So there’s going to be loads more life rambles, reflections and personal development posts.

Books

I’ve spent the last year half-heartedly writing book reviews. I’ve toyed with full posts per book, monthly roundups and theme specific posts but my heart just isn’t in it. I love books more than I love most people but writing book reviews just isn’t for me. I want to read the book, feel the emotions that pour out of the page and let the stories live on in my head long after I’ve read them, but I just really don’t want to write about them. Heck, I barely even read book reviews (Shout out to Lauren EvieAlmost Amazing Grace and Adventure and Anxiety who always get it so right and make me want to buy every book under the sun!). I’ve been desperate to find a format that works for me and my blog just isn’t the place for it, which leads me onto my next point quite nicely…

Instagram

Oh Instagram, don’t we all love to hate you? I fell out of love with you long ago but this year the game is on. You’re going to see a lot more books on my Insta. I want snappy reviews, immediate reactions to what I’ve just read and pretty book covers, whether that’s through Instagram stories or on the grid. Listen to me using ‘on the grid,’ who do I think I am?

I’m also stuffing any kind of schedule. Look at us all running round trying to post at the right times to get maximum engagement. Jokes on you because the algorithm is still going to screw us all. Even if it tells you the best time to post is 7pm, would you even believe it? We all know Instagram is that girl who says she drank 10 vodka cokes but couldn’t even get through 2 without vomming behind the Chinese takeaway.

Twitter

Twitter has long been my favourite social media platform. I just love instant gratification, okay? But seriously, Twitter is the best place to make friends and find new blogs and this year I’m going to do that to the max.

Last year started off with the best intentions, I was going to schedule tweets and join in on Twitter chats but it kind of tailed off. However, this year I’m shaking off the failures of last year and starting again. I can’t wait to discover some amazing new accounts.

Writing

And one last thing, I’m writing an e-book, kind of, sort of. I say kind of because my crippling self doubt won’t allow me to say anything more concrete. At the moment, I’m going to keep schtum on the content matter, just in case things take a slightly different turn while I’m writing. But for now, I will just say it’s non-fiction and I’m excited about it.

Here’s to 2018!

Rachel x-x-x

 

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Year of Calm

Happy New Year! I’m waiting for something to feel different, the same way as I do on birthdays. Do I feel older, wiser? Does it feel like time has been reset? Of course not, but New Year is the perfect excuse to decide how we’re going to improve ourselves in the coming year, let go of the past year’s turmoils and achieve the goals that felt so out of reach last year that we’re now creeping towards.

I always make resolutions. They’re often the same as the previous year: get fitter, eat less sugar, be more organised. I find that I improve year on year, but we can always get even better, can’t we? This year I’ve set myself some goals but I’ve also set myself an overarching theme for the year. 2018 is my year of calm.

Excuse the airy fairyness of this coming paragraph but 2017 was the year of growth of me. I pushed myself, learnt things about myself and realised that if you really want to change things, you can. I learnt how to say no more, how to say yes more and how not to feel guilty about saying either of those things. I blogged regularly and I read more than I ever have in my life. I joined the gym and picked up musical instruments that I hadn’t touched for years. But there’s still room for improvement.

In my bid for calm, I’ve set 3 goals for the year.

1. Saying goodbye to bitchiness

We all do it. We all make snide comments behind people’s backs, subtweet others and tear down others when we’re not feeling so great about ourselves. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 2017, it was that tearing others down does not build yourself up. We can all succeed, we can all be happy. One person doing well takes nothing away from you. This year I’m saying goodbye to bitchiness by using my journal as a place to pour out my feelings, instead of speaking to other people. Yes a little bitch here and there helps us feel better sometimes, but in the end it’s not doing yourself any good and it’s potentially going to harm someone else.

2. Making meditation a habit

When I meditate, I love it. I can feel the calm wash over me just by taking a few minutes out of my day to think about absolutely nothing. But, I’ve found it’s all too easy to ignore meditation when you don’t prioritise it, and that is usually the time when you need it most. This year I’ve added meditation into my habit tracker to force myself out of my own head at least once a day. I can’t wait to feel the benefits of this.

3. Cutting ties with toxicity

I’m always a little reluctant to use the word ‘toxic’ (a post for another day, perhaps?). But during the past year I’ve definitely held on to some relationships that were making me feel negative about myself. This year I’m making time for the people that do matter, and trying to realise that I can’t keep everyone happy all the time at the expense of my own happiness. Whilst it’s not always possible to completely cut ties with some people, it is possible to distance yourself and not allow their actions to effect you negatively.

What are your resolutions for 2018? Let me know down below!

Rachel x-x-x

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