2019 the Resolution post

At this time of year I like many others are trying to start a new habit, put right the things I didn’t get right and change the way we approach the world.

My most popular post by a good distance has to be the one I wrote about New Years resolutions some advice for food bloggers way way back in 2015! I thought I’d revisit and steal, re-purpose that content and jump in on the resolution band wagon. Mainly remind myself what it’s all about.

Your Only Human – Take Time

Forgive yourself for what you didn’t achieve last year and give yourself a pat on the back for the things you did. Also recognise or acknowledge that you most likely helped others to achieve through out the year.

I’m reminded that at the tail end of November my 8 year old son got a bronze in a local swimming gala. He’d won his heat, but got missed off the final race due to a mess up…so raced against himself, with everyone watching….. They’d retained the actual commonwealth podiums from the 2014 games and he stood there proud as punch. This was not only his achievement, his teachers but also his mums for taking the time to get him to class after school in amongst the errands. The smile on his face, this was one of life’s precious moments for me…..and it’s important to take these moments when you can.

Sharpen Your Saw

To do that relax and take time out. Remember to live and enjoy the things around you. Go to an art gallery, visit the cinema or simply take a walk. Even maybe taken a different route to work. The lost art of free time time struck a cord with me in that it’s important to plan free time.

Crisp walk into work today, allowed me to catch the sunrise, a bright orange opening up the day

Join in

Join a community and get involved. I was given a huge boost mentally by taking part in the blogging101 course ran by the daily post. The free course was great for creating momentum, a schedule around activity, genuine feedback and some good old fashioned advice. Looks like the format has slightly changed, the courses look available all the time and some great articles that I think I’ll go back and take a look at.

I take part in the weekend coffee share (hosted by EclecticAli), helps start my frame of mind in terms of just writing, a nice community of bloggers with a good mix of content from all manner of folk across the globe. Helped me create a good heart beat to posting.

Avoid Rabbit Holes

This is the process of following link after link. I find following rabbit trails too easy, going from site to site. I find lots of good stuff, and usually end up adding to my list of things I want to do and read. A bit like finding new recipes when I already have some to try! It’s easy to procrastinate and follow too many links. Set yourself a time limit and realise when your doing this.

Ohhh help me to follow my own advice!

Daydream

Not the same as procrastination…..this is about visualising your goal. Think about what it is you want to achieve and picture yourself succeeding. The telegraph wrote an article related to Sports Visualisation and explores this further.

Getting Things Done

Discipline is key here and what you do gets done!

Find yourself a process and stick to it. David Allen has defined the GTD process. If you haven’t heard of GTD then for me this guy is the most widely known author of Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity.

There are a few GTD videos on YouTube. This one is a TED talk as well…..be careful you might go down a few rabbit holes with this!

I’ve still not got to grips with GTD….what I have found that works is bullet journaling

Got a Tablet?

There are a myriad of apps out there that promise the world in terms of being organised and the new you. This is another one of those rabbit holes and the irony of procrastination comes to mind as I try to find another life saver app. My recommendations are to-do (Microsoft took over Wunderlist), Trello and OneNote. I’m still battling with to-do/Trello but OneNote seems to be the one constant in my life. Across all operating systems, I plan holidays with my wife through to simple lists such as my list of Jack Reacher Novels that I’ve read, still to read, got and not got. Its a god send when you’re at the school fair and can whip up the list on your phone!

There are quite a few productivity tools out there, my key advice is to choose and give it a good shot, stick with it and your process……saying that if it isn’t working at the same time don’t be afraid to swap and try something new (just to sit on the fence). The key thing is that it’s you who gets things done……not the app! The app is purely a mechanism to organise and group your thoughts along with your process. Discipline is key here! Same with the bullet journal. I think that the old fashioned list writing can’t be beaten.

Get Organised

Easier said than done, juggling is hard work. We all find time for the things that must be done. Treat your being organised as a priority. Book a regular slot and stick to it in your diary where you choose and stick to just organising yourself. That diary you’ve just bought isn’t going to organise itself. Make it work for you and put the things that are important to you into the regular slots. Can’t find a diary that works for you…..create or tweak your own. I use CalendarPedia a great free calendar resource. I take the excel version and tweak to suite my style of working. I download the school term calendars and fill those into the spreadsheet as well.

Bullet Journalling also allows you to bring your own creative streak to organising and I think that’s why I’ve taken to it. I’ve just created a 6 week block in my journal. 42 Days between now and term ends….a really short spell of time. I’m going to focus my head around what I want to achieve in those 42 days and stick to it.

The Blog

Sort it out! Only you can do this.

There is a great list of resources at the Blogging University. You could build a plan to achieving this list….they all take time so be realistic. I’ve definitely not mastered this! I find myself less proficient throughout the summer as I take to the outdoors at the weekend. The key message to myself in this space is to take a few moments to plan out the schedule…….take notice of the getting organised section and stick to it.

2019

Have a great new year! Remember for all the organising and planning that you do there will be curve balls, these can be both good and bad. It’s how you choose to deal with them that’s important. One thing is pretty certain, there are 24 hours in the day….and in the main you do choose how to spend them!

Desire to Write a Cookbook

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I keep coming back to a burning desire to write a recipe book.  I’m not some amazing foodie or a high flying chef with any stars after my name, however I am someone who cares about the food we eat.  I’m educated enough to know that the provenance of food is important, that we’ve gone way too far in terms of  processed meals.  However I understand it’s about choices and I’m not too precious to say that the odd pre made pizza or packet of reconstituted ham makes its way into the shopping basket.

Reading bird by bird by Anne Lamott, some instructions on writing and life..…the concept of short assignments taking it recipe by recipe!  She stresses over and over its not about getting published, it’s about writing and the love of it.  A trip to the foodie section in any good book store gets me all excited at the same time a pang in my heart kicks off as I think why would my ideas stack up against this lot!

Reality kicks in, these authors have put the hard yards in and becoming a food writer just doesn’t happen because you write a blog post every 3 months or so and call yourself a blogger.

I need to promise to myself not to get caught up in the razzamatazz of the foodie world and stick to my own path.   There are so many great food blogs already, so many great recipe books.  Why do we need another one?  I wonder if Jamie Oliver says to himself, I’ve written 17 books I think I’ll stop there, there are way too many books on the shelves as he stacks another video up on food tube.   This the epitome of success I know.  So I’m going to define what success means for me…….and that really means push on and keep my head down.

There will be peaks and troughs of enthusiasm, I know it’s not going to be easy, what I do have though is a hard working ethic and the will to get things done.  I also need to accept that I’m only human, I have a day job with a busy set of family activities and life continues to throw it’s challenges.   Food writing is a hobby, a chance to share and a way of getting excited about the food we eat.

Another re-read 4/4/17: Just read this through and this feels like another one of those self-motivational talks one gives themselves when they know they need to go to the gym and a new resolution kicks off.  My intention was to declare a public open statement of intent with a view to making a promise to persevere.

I’ve just been spurred on by Andrea Badgley Butterfly Mind piece on ‘The things we focus on are the things that will flourish

It’s time for focus if I want this blog to flourish………