2018 Goal Setting: How to set goals in 2018 and achieve them

GOALS

Tired of setting endless amounts of goals and getting nowhere? You and me both pal.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for finally motivating yourself to turn your dreams into reality.

Did you know that only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the first week of the year. That means that 25% of people stopped working towards their goals after just the first week! Their desired destiny is falling before their eyes and they have no idea why?

It’s probably because they’re not exactly doing it right.

In order for your dreams to become a reality you have to make an action plan in order to achieve it. Or like last year, and the year before that, they will unfortunately remain as dreams. Choose where you want to be or go by knowing exactly what you want to achieve and what to prioritise and sometimes what to let go of.

Here’s how to do it:

REFLECT ON YOUR GOALS

First of all in order to achieve your goals in 2018 you must reflect on your goals from 2017. What did you wish for and what did you want to happen? Did it happen? If not, why? What could you have done more to achieve this dream? What went well? Where you proud of who you were? Are there any changes you want to make in the upcoming year? Why?

The dreaded question – why? It is so important that you ask yourself this no matter how hard the answer may be. Face up to it and accept it.

BE CLEAR IN YOUR VISION

Ask yourself questions!!! Where do you see yourself in the next year? Are you happy? What’s different about you, your blog or your business? What is the same about these? Where are you living? Are you in the same social circles or are you in new ones? Do you have that new dream job?

Ultimately you have to picture your end game you have to see everything clearly there is no room for vagueness. Clarity is key – you need this in order to see things clearly. Through clarity you can begin to plan and achieve your dreams.

STATE YOUR BIG PICTURE

What do you want to accomplish? If you could accomplish one thing by the end of next year what would it be? Would it to become more bilingual or to become a better cook? Is it to finally move out f your parents place and get your own home? Or is it to travel as much as you can because it’s something you’ve always wanted to do?

You need to know and you need to be selfish in your pursuit. Your goals serve you; we spend a lot of our lives running round after everybody else that we forget to take care of ourselves and our needs.

PLAN YOUR GOALS – BIQUARTERLY

You need milestones. Break them down into actionable steps. This will ensure that your goals are both realistic and achievable. That’s were SMART goals coming.

SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

This formular makes it possible for realistic and achievable targets. For each goal, you need different actionable steps in each biquarterly period in terms of how you are going to achieve them. For example if you were wantingto become a better dancer in each 3 month period you should be reflecting on your progress. This could be through peer assessment or video analysis.

PLAN YOUR GOALS- MONTHLY

Focus on the first quarter of the year for now.

Not only do you need bi-quarterly milestones but you also need monthly milestones – what needs to happen at the end of each month to make it success? What are you doing each month to get you that one step closer to your goal? Linking back to my previous example: have you attended the dance classes you said you were going to? Have you made it a priority or did life get in the way?

PLAN YOUR GOALS – WEEKLY

Take each week as a new week for opportunity, you can do anything when you set your mind to it. Here you need a list of tasks to ensure that you are that one step closer to making the first 3 months a success and ultimately the next 9 months after a success too.

Get yourself a planner and jot all your tasks down – that way you can schedule them all in and make it manageable for yourself.

SCHEDULE

If a planner doesn’t seem right to you there isn’t an array of different apps out there that can help you schedule your tasks and work calendar online. My personal favourites are Asana and ToDoist

 

Start your year off right and turn your dreams into reality.

What do you think?

unsplash-logoEmile Séguin

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Small. I felt small in a world of skyscrapers. From the outside these tower blocks appear almost like gravestones for that is exactly what they are. It’s simplicity in design is effective as a memorial site; it wasn’t fancy or show off-ish and nor should it be. It was bold and brutal emulating the very act that caused this to happen. Walking through the maze, I was one, one of thousands there with me in spirit. The mass blocks commemorate all of the lives that were lost during the holocaust and I really felt that energy when walking side by side with the boulders.

Everything as grey: the day, the weather, the blocks. It felt somber and the rain fell down unapologetically. Everything about this place was symbolic and fitting.

Primo Levi paints it perfectly “It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.”

One must use history as a guide to ensure this never happens again. Learn from it, as it is everywhere. It is in the air; it mustn’t be forgotten.

Berlin.

Berlin

Greetings from Berlin. Guten morgen.

This is my final day here in Deutschland. I believe we’ve ‘seen it all’ but there is a part of em that would love to come back here and explore the ‘scene‘ and ‘culture’ more. I do think, however, that in order to do just that I’d have to up and leave my urban living in London and trade it in for a slice of European living here. I’d need at least a year here and a lot of German language lessons beforehand. Also a ski suit. I NEED one of those.

It’s Baltic here and if you add me into that mix, it just doesn’t work. I get cold all the time and if there is one thing I cannot stand it’s if my toes get cold – they’ve felt like ice for the duration of this trip.

Nein gut.

Winter has brought with it the christmas markets and festivity ad for that i am grateful. It been both warm and welcoming even if the winds weren’t. Somehow the winter weather made everything prettier to me. Walking through Tiergarten with the trees bare against the frost-bitten sky was appealing to me in every sense. The coldness glorified its atmospheric presence.

It was simply beautiful.

I think that’s what I like most about berlin; its simplicity. The buildings are tall and predominantly square, the transport links are efficient and easy to use, a lot of places are short walks away from each other and crossing the roads couldn’t be more safer here; if you obey the red and green man.

Like Berlin, our itinerary was simple. It featured everything that me and Jon wanted from tourist attractions to outdoor parks and coffee shops. On the list was: The Berlin Wall memorial, DDR museum, Alexanderplatz and the markets, East Side Gallery, Markethalle Neun, Brandenburg Gate, Reischtag, Bebelplatz, Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, Tiergarten and the palace, the victory column, Checkpoint Charlie, the Wall by Assisi and the Berliner Ensemble.

I had a delicious bite to eat at the Markethalle Neun (think London’s Borough market or Camden) – pulled pork burger featuring a glass of mulled wine (glühwein). Jon opted for a huge portion of pork from a traditional German food stand – the crackling was immense.

Finding a place to eat was always difficult. Jon took forever to decide what he actually wanted to eat in the evenings, often meandering down streets at a slower than average pace meaning that it would often take at least half an hour, sometimes longer, before we were actually able to sit down and enjoy our dinner. In the end though, the options were always great. On our first night we ate at lovely German restaurant near Alexanderplatz, having the currywurst and a large stein of beer. Our last night flew us across to Italy – Due Fratelli. We had a cute candlelit dinner in the heart of Berlin’s theatre district. £my vibes completely. It was here I got to see the Berliner Ensemble.

It’s been a great few days here and I’ve enjoyed the sightseeing, Berlin’s bitter weather, its festivity and its food. I can’t say when I’ll be back by I think I will.

Aid Wiedersehen.

Berlin in Pictures

Take a minute to visit my post on Berlin.

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We are one. Not two. One universe. If you believe in equality you can save the world.

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Where’s my licence?

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The nursery – DDR Museum.

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Brandenburg Gate
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Reischtag

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Empty room… photo moment.

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So a rather persistent German seller tried to persuade us into buying a nail buffer for Christmas. Spot the polished nail…

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This is me carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders

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Take a minute to visit my post on Berlin

Here’s a taste of Bavaria

 

5 Steps to meeting those deadlines

“Deadlines: the bane of all of our lives.

I usually start off strong and go downhill from there. Then I tend to plan out everything I need to do and organise what needs to happen and when it needs to be done by the moment I get an assignment. I then give myself a break for a few days sometimes weeks because my mind believes I’ve already done the work.

BIG mistake.

Before I know it, weeks have passed and the deadline is getting closer and closer meaning that I now have to rush my work in order to complete the task.

But alas no more, no more.

Step 1

Turn off your notifications.

Seriously. That’s the first thing you must do. Notifications only mean one thing – distraction. When you have a deadline you can’t afford to be distracted. It’s fine to check them in your breaks just not when you’re meant to be working. Before you know it 2 hours have flown by and the only thing you’ve accomplished is finding out that there’s a brand new makeshift slide for you to get your adventurers hat on and plummet into a lake in the Philippines. (No joke)

So what I recommend you do is turn off all your notifications for your social media apps. This means that you only get to see your notifications when you click on the app.

Why not take it a step further and delete your social media apps. You can still access them via your internet browser?

Step 2

PLAN and then plan the rest of your weeks.

Don’t just stop at day one. You have to be consistent. Take time to schedule in what exactly you’re going to do and stick to it. Above all else make sure it is achievable. Be realistic in your planning; if you know there are factors that are going to interfere with your learning then schedule them in and learn to prioritise. Be efficient and be smart.

The beauty of planning ensures that you are focussed. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can tick off what you’ve done for the day. Mentally this will keep you on track and keep your spirits high.

Step 3

RESEARCH

And do a lot of it. Knowledge is power and the more information you collect the more you can use it to your advantage. If ever I’m involved in a presentation, the one thing I do is make sure I now all the facts about the topic at hand. There’s nothing worse than going in blind and giving false information to your eyes and ears. Research doesn’t always have to be text-based, there are plenty of other sources out there that can assist your research. Just make sure you are smart with your research.

Step 4

Take breaks.

Give yourself days off and breaks in between your learning, you NEED them and you’ll be thankful for it later. I always try to stick by the 25 minute on and 5 minute off rule. This allows me to fully concentrate for a set amount of time and then allows me to unwind for a small break. I find this leaves me a lot more refreshed when doing back to do my work. It also stops me from over working.

Step 5

Look after yourself.

Make sure you find time to look after yourself, you can’t be running yourself into the ground because you’ve used up all your energy. Don’t over-commit. You need balance. Yes you’re passionate but you shouldn’t put yourself in detriment just for the sake of your work. At times you have to sacrifice and suffer but don’t wreck yourself in the process. Know your limits, know your worth and know your health.

What I loved about SE Asia

Teaching

My whole reasoning for going to Southeast Asia in the first place was to teach English to school children. It’s what I came out here to do. The kids were adorable even the naughty ones, like everything in Asia the teaching was crazy. You could never really pre-empt what was going to happen each day in each new classroom. One day a class could be perfectly well-behaved and then the next they behaved the worst in the world.

But behaviour aside, these kids all had one thing in common; the eagerness to learn. English to them was vital and you can see the hard work and determination in each student. It was worth it and I’m so glad I did it! I did have a few of my favourites – one girl GiGi with gorgeous hair and although she struggled she endeavoured to try her hardest to understand. I recall sitting with her I was teaching her about animals and when she finally understood what we were teaching her, her face lit up. Another boy although I’ve unfortunately forgotten his name, also had the most gorgeous hair remains in my mind because although at times he could be quite the mischievous chap you could tell he wanted to be there ever so much. Despite this cheeky persona, his work was always completed and with great accuracy.

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Teaching the children about directions and the world.
The people

In both Vietnam and Cambodia I found such honest and compassionate people. My heart however fell in love with the Cambodian people. They have a heart of gold. I found them much more inviting than some local Vietnamese. I found the Vietnamese a lot more reserved. In Cambodia they rush out to greet you as though you are a celebrity it was endearing but not necessary but still it was warm and welcoming. They always had smiles on their faces and would stop to talk to you. Don’t get me wrong the hospitality in Vietnam was great and I met such amazing and kind people there like Lucy at Freedom Hostel Hue and Chang my High Van Pass driver.

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I have the locals to thank for making my stay in Cambodia and happy and memorable one. Thankyou to NaNa, Mr Beer, ChaNa, James and all their loving family for the endless amounts of hospitality they shown me and the warm conversations I had.

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The charm and the sense of adventure

Both countries had such a charm. Cambodia was more of an preserved charm where as the more developed Vietnam had a different sort of charm. Each city was here different and so it’s charm is that of the surprisal element. I don’t quite know how to explain it. Everywhere I went I faced a new adventure; just getting on the buses themselves proved just that. The so much to do out here from canyoning to zip lining, to helping conserve the elephants to visiting the national parks. For me, this was both the first time in Asia the first time travelling on my own so I was expecting mayhem; mayhem is exactly what I received.

I got lost several times and even got stranded on a kayak in the middle of Ha Long Bay. It’s on the road that you learn from your mistakes like being late for your train from Hanoi to Hue – that was fun. being on the road I soon found myself becoming much better at navigating the streets as the weeks unfolded and i even rode a motorbike, ON MY OWN, through Hue for the first time – without a license might I add. So yeah, there are endless amounts of opportunities for you to potentially injure yourself or die having fun here in Asia but I believe there is an attraction to that. It adds to this nations charm. You’re almost invincible in a world where the crazy is the nations normal. Which leads me to my next point: transport.

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Myself and Anita testing our tastebuds by eating a snake.
Transport

Let’s start with Cambodia. Tuk Tuks – we should make these a thing in the cities of the UK. They’re an unforgettable ride through the hustle and bustle of the city. They are both quick and thrilling, I loved my time in them as they were my only means of transport in Cambodia. Motorbikes however dominated Vietnam everyone owned one. They had power on the roads and just dodging the vehicles was a task within itself. But it was a dangerous task I learned to love. Before I knew it I was able to cross the roads just like the locals and i took great pride in that.

Then there were the night buses. I was on five in total Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh to Saigon, Hà Nội and Nha Trang, Dalat to Saigon. The first of the  five slept 2 to a bunk with the rest of them featuring reclining seat (up to 75°) leaving little room for the legs of a 5 foot 10 man like myself. Wi-Fi almost never worked, the Air-con blasted Antarctica out to get you – I remember a very angry Ciara waking up shivering. We even resulted in shoving a pair of shorts into the hole to stop the air of death escaping from its abyss. There were several toilet breaks on each sometimes on the side of the road and other times at restaurants with squat toilets – they were fun. Speaking of toilets…

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Sometimes you’d see a family of 5 on one motorbike.
Toilets

SE Asia isn’t well-known for its high quality flushing toilet but what it did have instead was what I called the ‘bum gun’. The bum gun is your friend. I loved its use and it should become a common feature in the homes of Great Britain. Not only is it hygienic but it’s also very cleansing and refreshing. It’s a bit like a bidet and ensures that all the mess in that region is cleaned up.

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The open road.
Food

There’s no question that the food out here is delicious. There’s a variety of flavours for you to try as soon as you walk out of your hostel door. I had both street food and food in restaurants. My go to was simple yet delicious pork with fried noodles and veg but when I was feeling a bit more adventurous I tried the likes of pho in Vietnam, durian ice cream in Hue, com tam in Saigon, a vast amount of rice dishes and curry’s and even delicacy’s like silk worms, snakes, crickets and geckos.

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Beer

Before this trip, I was never a beer drinker but it had indeed grown on me. Now when I go out I’m often ordering pints with a hint of lime for myself. Changed man? I think so. Beer was just the refreshment you needed on a hot and humid south East Asian day. It was the perfect cool down anyone could ask for, and besides I was on my travels. I especially love Cambodia’s ‘Angkor Smooth’, I drank way to many of those although my friend Ciara holds the record of at least 5 a day. It was both light and refreshing. ‘Saigon Red’ had more of a fizz to it but it was still easy to drink, for a non beer consumer that is.

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Ciara ft Angkor Smooth and a stolen helmet.

For more check out my coffee series in Vietnam.

Seussical – Rehearsals

It’s now Friday; the day that ends my working week. So what better way to spend it than writing about my experience rehearsing and touring our latest project – Seussical.

Week 1

This week was a burst of all things fantastical, it was the start of our show rehearsals for Seussical the Musical. Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and the book by the two. In case you hadn’t guessed already it’s a musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Our task was to create a show for children as well and touring it around local primary schools as part of our Theatre in Education module.

We started off the week by first exploring what exactly we thought the show was about and how we could implement this into our performance. This week was very much about exploring and creating the magical world of Seuss through play. We dived into exercises relating to our own life experience, touching on the heightening of characters and the ‘BIG IDEA’.

The importance of treating everyone and the environment fairly, respecting and celebrating diversity in oneself and in others and challenging discrimination.

In Seussical, there are many moments where certain characters go against the ‘big idea’. My character happened to be one of the culprits of this. Wickersham 1 is part of a hypermasculine duo of monkey brothers who go out of their way, under the Sour Kangaroos impression, to make Horton the Elephant’s life a living hell. I was really excited about this because it meant that I would be playing a character that is mischievous and playful. Essentially I got to be a little kid again. Researching further from this our task was to create a mood board of ideologies and themes and representations of our character and present it to the class. I decided to be a Venezuelan Red Howler monkey.

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I also collated images of jocks to emphasize the pack mentality of the Wickershams’ and the hypermasculinity nature of the character. This is something we thought enhanced their status in the ensemble as its what drives their intent. They have to be bigger than everyone else and when something isn’t going their way they take action and cause the trouble.

I also found Akram Khans’s work very inspiring in terms of movement for the monkeys as he’s all about creating shapes whilst staying grounded. I’ve seen several of his works and each one I’ve loved. This is what lead me to look into tribes and capoeira as an art form; the Wickershams’ had to be quick on their feet and on alert at all times.

Later in the week, we utilised this research by putting it into practice through the embodiment of our characters and finally choreographing the opening number. There was a great sense of freedom and exploration instilled into this week which I particularly enjoyed even if it did feel a bit slow-moving at times.

Week 2

Arriving today was our choreographer, Jenny Arnold. This week primarily focussed on blocking and choreographing scenes; it was also the first time I workshopped my duet – Monkey Around. It took me a few tries to fully get into the scene but after completion and an extra rehearsal on myself and Brendan’s behalf, I left feeling relatively happy with what we achieved.

* cue round of applause *

The majority of the week was loosely based on creating and running through everything we had so far. I spent my breaks sipping herbal tea continuously and nurturing my mini injury I suffered mid-week. Somehow I managed to pull my groin which hurt a hell of a lot. It felt as though it was hinging in and out of place consistently. A hot bubble bath was what was prescribed that evening. I spent the rest of the week playing catchup in terms of what I needed to be doing physically. By the end of the week, I was restored to full health. My other cast double, on the other hand, was not. He too suffered an injury, an injury I would later learn meant that he would not be able to perform in the shows.

A blessing or a curse?

Week 3

As part of my costume, I had to wear American footballers shoulder guards and this was the week we got to try them out. It helped with the overextending nature of the monkeys and spatially it caused little problems which was good. This was the week where my vocal health started to deteriorate.

Herbal tea and yet even more herbal tea.

It’s safe to say I like my tea. It was my friend during this week for sure. Further into the week we continued working in exploring scenes and blocking numbers in the order of the show. After a hectic week the show was finally pieces together and Friday was our first performance in the primary schools. I had the joy of performing twice on this particular day and the 2nd run went vastly better than the first. I think once you do one show you’re more set for the rest and that was definitely the case on friday.

Week 4

SHOW WEEK

Such fun. This was a week of travelling; Thankyou London for great transport links. What was so great about this experience was the cohort of children. Each school was different so you never knew exactly what you would be getting yourselves into. Some offered heaps of energy as an audience and you could easily spot out the ring leaders and cheeky monkeys in the audience whereas others offered little; instead opting for a seated silence despite watching intently. Regardless of the audience you still had to put on a god show and thats exactly what we did.

As a cast we were involved in the setting up and taking down of the set and making sure all the props and costumes were packed away ready for the next cast’s performance. I think it was a great experience in terms of reality when dealing with a small budget touring performance as it gave us an insight into how things work and where our career could take us.

Amidst the hectic schedule I made time for a class at Laban that Danni Middle was putting on for us. This week was heels. It was my 1st Heels Class and a really great way to get comfortable in a pair of heels whilst dancing.

The End

Our final performance of the tour was to be at Laurie Grove in which we invited friends and family to support us in our show. We, as a cast, hadn’t performed in this venue since our first year end of show The Dreaming so it all felt rather nostalgic.

So my final 12th Show was completed and the experience as a whole has been really rewarding and I’m grateful for the opportunity to showcase this to a vast amount of audiences around our area. Being Christmas it felt right giving back to our community in one way or another and this definitely helped do that. Now though, it’s off to Berlin for me before going home for the holidays.

Let’s get merry.