Implementing habits

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It takes time to build habits. This is what I know from experience, not because I read it from a book. I also believe that the time to implement a certain habit is different from person to person. It depends on one’s determination, it depends on the context, on what motivates you to implement a certain habit, it also depends on the you at a certain time. See? There are so many external conditions that might make you decide that this is not the right time or even give up in the middle.

There were many times when I thought I succeeded in implementing a new habit and it made me so proud. But I get bored quite easily, and I am always searching for new and more efficient ways to implement good habits and improve my life. I guess we are all searching for what’s best for us and this is in itself a great achievement. You are doing great even if you are not where you want to be yet. Remember that all great things need time. And great is different from one to another. For me great is what is important to me, what makes me feel good and what I really like doing for a long time.

I think I found my own way of discovering what habits I can implement for a long time. Of course, it also depends on my own determination and the effort I put in, but I want to live more freely and to do more of the things that I really like. And the first step to know what you really like is to try everything. Do you really like something because it looks cool and it make you seem like a cool person when you talk to others about it? Or you like it because it makes you feel more like yourself or a better you? Well, this is what I try to do.

Back at the part where I was talking about my own way of discovering what habits I can implement for a long time… I don’t really remember when I started doing it, but one day I decided to establish one big goal that I would focus on for a whole month. This is how I came up with the one month goal idea. I think this works best for me because I have more time to transform it into a habit for a long period of time. However, I am not trying to transform all these goals into habits, because it would be impossible to do so many things regularly at one point. The idea is to challenge myself and discover how far I can go, or what I like to do.

Whenever I think about what I want to do for the next month, I think about what I need to improve next, about things that I would like to try etc. I decided to continue this one month goal idea this year as well, because I really like the way it helps me to find out more about myself. For January I chose to do one month daily workout with my friend because I wanted to motivate her to exercise hoping this would help her to sleep better. At the beginning we would send photos to motivate each other, but after 2 weeks we would stop sending photos, but continue working out daily and talk about it. We also promised to eat 3 times a day, but some days were more hectic than others and eating 3 meals was our promise for the next day.

However, working out daily made me realize that I like to work out, but because I tend to get bored easily I would soon give up. As I promised myself to become a more active person and to exercise more, I thought that for the month of February I should try to replace my yoga routine with dance. This is how I realized that I really like to dance and since February I could dance daily for about 30 to 40 minutes without getting bored even for one minute. I was surprised that I liked it so much and I would see how certain parts of my body became more flexible. Dance is so much fun and I do it without thinking that it is another form of physical exercise. Dance is my happy time with myself.

For the month of March I decided to spend more time blogging and to actually post one blog post per week. You might have already observed that I’ve been more visible this month and I am curious to see if I will be able to keep this habit from now on and for how long. My goal is not only related to posting weekly, but also to learning more about SEO and blogging in general. I love how it went until now and I am curious to see how I will improve from now on.

It’s still March, but I can tell you that I already thought what I want to do for the month of April. I observed that my French speaking skills got rusty, so I decided that I will try speaking daily for one month. This is not something difficult to do, because monologue is one of the methods I use to practice speaking in other languages, but somehow French was not really my priority. Well, speaking in French will become my priority for the next month.

These are the goals I focused on since the beginning of the year and I am really pleased that I can see progress and new ideas that came with practicing these habits.

I wish you can achieve anything you decide on and enjoy the process.

Until next time, sunny days.

The stories that will never be told

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When I first started blogging, I had two or three articles that I have already written and that helped me to feel less stressed about posting for about two weeks. When I finished posting all these articles, I felt like “ok, and now what?“. I felt like my resources were over and I wasn’t sure that starting a blog was the right thing to do.

However, I was thinking of ways to always have topics prepared, so I started doing what I do best: lists.
Every time an idea pops in my head, I try to write it down immediately on my list in my phone, and as I keep my phone by my side at all times, this is not that hard to do.

By now the list got longer. Truth to be told, there are many things to write about even if I don’t have that list. However, knowing that I have a back up plan for the “just in case situations” makes me feel less stressed and concentrate on what I really want to write about at a certain moment.

Having a big list with ideas to write about, doesn’t mean that I will write about all those topics. Why? Because there are ideas that pop up instantly, but when I think about them, I don’t feel the spark to write about them after a period of time. Actually, going through my list with topics from time to time, I got to eliminate many ideas that felt wow at the moment of popping up, but after I while I felt like I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to write about anymore. So I would eliminate them and concentrate on what inspires me at the moment, be it on the list or not.

Thinking about how I eliminated so many ideas on the list until know, made me realize that some stories will always stay untold. It made me sad somehow, but I still believe that this filtering must be done for various reasons, and the most important one remains that if I don’t feel like writing about it anymore, than why forcing things.

Sometimes, the ideas that I choose to eliminate give me new ideas that I usually write about immediately. I actually love this recycling thing because it usually gives me ideas that I feel like writing about even after a long period of time. Writing for me is an endless process of transformation and refining anyway, so this is not a bad thing. However today I thought for the first time that when I take out an idea from my list, I choose to not tell a story that could have been told.

I’ll let you think about this.
Until next time, let’s be happy.

September stories for when I forget what is happiness

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And then it was once again September
No matter how hard I think about it, September is my favorite month. A feeling of coziness and gratefulness embraces my heart and mind, and I start thinking about all the nice moments, about the things that I have, about the people in my life. I feel grateful to everything and everyone. I feel so creative that I end up procrastinating and only doing a small part of all the things that I want to do. And it is okay to do so, because now I know that I have to take things slowly sometimes, that productivity is not the norm and that self care is the most important.

The mornings are colder, but the warmth of the day makes me appreciate these days even more, and thus they become perfect to me. The work hours are long and sometimes boring, but when I finish I know what to do with my time. You learn to spend time wisely and you enjoy it at the fullest when you have less time for what you really want to do. I spend more time preparing breakfast because it became the most important meal and a healing time.

There are frequent power outages during work hours, but I learnt to turn these moments into opportunities. While it affects my schedule, it is in my power to decide what to do with that time so it won’t be wasted. I go for a long breakfast, meditation or yoga, and I prepare my mind for stressful moments that are never too late to appear. My birthday in September teaches me that I am not only older, but also wiser.

I was told I would make a good jam maker
I love making jam and I was told I would make a good jam maker. Isn’t that funny? I’ll tell you something funnier. Keep reading.

Jam maker… Is there such a job out there? I don’t know about that, but I think making jam is my newest hobby. Picking the fruits, washing and cutting them, adding the right amount of sugar (I still need to learn what is the right amount), waiting for syrup to form and then boiling the mix is like a ritual. It is a healing and cathartic time. And it feeds you when you need it.

I was told that I would make a good jam maker. But guess who told me that… my sister! That’s the funniest part. How can she say that when she built strong arms trying to take out of the jar this year’s last raspberry jam? Is she only about the taste or is she that much into sports? What I am trying to say here is that you cannot be right without being wrong and there is no success without a few or more failures. Embrace failure like I did with that jam that has at least a good taste. So what if it’s hard to take it out of the jar? I can imagine that I am eating lollipops.

1 year of blogging
Somehow time passed and I managed to stay around and to say pass to those thoughts about giving up blogging. It is thanks to my friends, to fellow bloggers who’s blogging journey and advice encouraged me to continue, and of course to me. I feel the need to thank myself for not giving up, and for trying one more time, even when I wasn’t sure what I was doing anymore.

And I want to thank you all for taking the time to read my stories and leave comments. Thanks to you readers, I felt more like becoming a writer. And I felt happy when you shared your thoughts with me, a person you don’t know in real life. I hope 1 year to become many more.

Thank you for reading and have a beautiful autumn.

My 5 tips to find inspiration and start writing

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I am this kind of person. I need to feel inspired in order to be able to create something good. This is especially valid when writing for the blog. However, even before my decision to start this blog, what I wanted to build the most trough this blog was consistency. I really want to do this for a long time, but only for as long as I feel joy.

The truth is that I mostly write when I am inspired to write. But in order to be consistent, I know I have to find a solution to keep myself inspired more often. Fortunately, I have discovered that this is possible in my case. Yes, I can find inspiration from simple things and I can make myself stay in front of the screen and write passionately even if I didn’t woke up feeling inspired. Inspiration doesn’t fall from the sky. You have to continually search for it. At least, this is how it is in my case. Thus, you could call it progress. Every time I search for inspiration, I learn something new.

I believe that the things that inspire us the most are the things we like and the things we naturally have an interest in. For example, I love music and I find comfort in music. Thus, listening to music is often a powerful weapon that helps me find my inspiration. Once you know what you really like, you will have found the perfect way to keep yourself inspired and grow. It doesn’t have to be something big. You might find inspiration in the simplest things, but that is the beauty of it.

I always try to stay organized when I try to build a new habit, in this case, the habit of writing regularly. But it could be anything, even meditating daily or exercising regularly. You need to build a plan, a routine. When it comes to writing, I follow a few steps that help me be consistent. If you like lists, here you have it, a list of 5 important steps that work for me when it comes to writing and staying inspired.

1. Keep a list with ideas. I have to admit that I don’t have the time to write every time when inspiration hits. Fortunately, I keep my phone with me most of the time. Thus, when inspiration hits, I always write down that idea in a list on my phone. The advantage of keeping such a list is that if you keep doing it every time a new idea pops up in your head, you will have in no time a bunch of ideas that will be your plan B for when you have absolutely zero inspiration. At the moment, I have 17 new ideas in my list, so I won’t have to worry for a long period if I don’t feel inspired.

2. Declutter your working space. In my case, every single object on my desk is another thing to worry about. Thus, before starting to work, I like to clean my desk in order to feel I am creating a new atmosphere for me to concentrate in. However, there are people out there who feel totally relaxed when they work in complete mess. If this helps instead, just let your messy desk be your cozy nest and start doing what you have to do.

3. Listen to your favorite music. As mentioned above, music is what helps me in most of the difficult periods. Sometimes, I could concentrate on writing even while listening to music with lyrics. Other times, I only write with ASMR or instrumental music in the background. As I was writing this article, I could concentrate perfectly while listening to my favorite Korean songs with beautiful lyrics. I felt I was writing at my favorite café where I could also choose what music to listen to.

4. Watch a YouTube video you like. I love watching YouTube videos, and, as I wrote in my previous post, I use YouTube as a source of learning and inspiration. Whenever I have a bad mood, or when I feel like rewatching the videos I like or watching new ones from my favorite youtubers, I go to YouTube. This winter I regained my good mood with videos filmed during spring or summer for example. I missed so much the green grass and trees that I started feeling better even after watching videos on YouTube. Even if I don’t necessarily have a bad mood, if I feel I want to recharge my inspiration storage, I go to YouTube and take energy and inspiration from beautiful people around the world. People can become other’s people strength and inspiration.

5. Just start writing. You don’t know what a beautiful and creative article you might write until you start writing the first word, the first line, the first paragraph. I only had the idea for this article and a few words written on a piece of paper when I started writing. I didn’t really know what shape I should give to this article but after the first line and with the help of these steps, my article came to have this form and structure, and I feel quite satisfied with the result. Starting writing means you’re already closer to the end.

This is it for today. I really hope this article can be your source of inspiration for the next time you might feel uninspired. Also, if you have built your own writing routine, please feel free to share it with me in the comments. I am always willing to learn from others.

Stay inspired and I will see you around.