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I was quite ambitious in my goal setting in May, but I am pleased to say that I managed to complete most of my May goals! You can read about my May goals and my reasons for setting them in the following post: My Goals for May 2020
One thing I am especially proud of this month is that I didn’t rush myself or get stressed over my goals. As the end of the month neared, I knew that I would have to really push myself to complete all of my goals. I decided that my mental wellbeing is more important than ticking every box! So I continued working on my goals at a relaxed pace which meant that I didn’t finish them all, but I stayed calm. I believe that was a sacrifice well worth making.
My message to you
It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’ve failed if you fall short of your goals. But actually, any progress towards your goals is a great achievement! For example, imagine you set yourself the goal to read 5 books in a month, but you only read 3. Would you have read those 3 books if you hadn’t set the goal? In many cases, the answer would be, probably not.
Goals are there to point you in the right direction and get you working on things you want to achieve. By aiming high, you boost your motivation and are more likely to ‘up your game’. But really, it doesn’t matter if you reach your exact target or not. If you’ve worked towards the goal even just a little bit, then you have succeeded! Your day-to-day physical and mental wellbeing should always have priority over reaching every goal.
Related post: How to Set Goals you WILL Achieve
Evaluating my May Goals
- Follow along with the Yoga with Adriene ‘Meditate’ playlist.
I followed this playlist, which included some guided meditations as well as yoga practices. It was good, but I did have a phase of feeling unmotivated to do yoga. I even felt tempted to give up altogether, but I pushed through. By the end of the month, I was enjoying yoga again and I am definitely going to continue with it. It can be very helpful and relaxing, especially when I get into the right mindset.
I missed three practices during the month, and I caught up on one of them but not the other two. I plan to catch up on those two missed practices as soon as possible, and I will also be following the June playlist which is named ‘Courage’.
- Finish reading Brick Lane
- Read 4 more books
I finished reading Brick Lane, but it took me nearly half the month! At that point, I was doubtful that I would read anywhere near 4 more books in May. However, I then managed to read 3 books within a week or so, because they were all shorter books. Then I picked out a final book, ‘The Way We Were’ by Elizabeth Noble, which I got nearly halfway through by the end of May. I am proud that I got so close to completing my reading goals!
- Write and schedule 9 blog posts
I wrote and scheduled 7 blog posts during May. Most of these are already published, but one of them is scheduled during June. I also have a few more drafts in progress. Despite not reaching my goal of 9 blog posts, I am still pleased with the posts I have written in May.
- Have 30 new blog followers
I achieved this, reaching my 30th new follower on the 31st of May! This goal was a lot easier in May than it was in April. Most of the followers came passively, whereas in April I really had to push to get there. It helped that I got in early for a blog follow thread on Twitter and got several new followers that way. I also got some new followers from a ‘blog party’ that I attended on the 30th of May.
I was going to aim for another 30 followers in June, but I might increase this to 40 because it felt easy to get to 30 in May. If I aim for 40, it will bring my WordPress followers up to a total of 100!
- Add descriptive ALT text to all photos on my blog
I neglected this goal a bit and only added descriptive ALT text to the photos on around a quarter of my blog posts. Once I got on with it, it was actually very quick to do, so it wouldn’t have taken long to complete. I will set myself another goal to finish this in June.
- Backup my blog and get a professional theme
I didn’t do this. Partly, I had doubts about whether to get a professional theme at all or just to spruce up my current theme with new colours and a new header image. I think I might abandon this goal for now, but I still think it would be a good idea to make sure my blog is fully backed up, so that will be a goal for June.
- Create and pin 3 new Pinterest pins every day
I succeeded in creating and pinning 3 new Pinterest pins every day, apart from missing 2 days. On those occasions, I caught up by creating 6 pins the following day. I am proud of how my pins have turned out – I think my skills have really improved in this area. My pins look more professional and consistent than they used to.
However, I haven’t been getting the blog traffic I had hoped for from Pinterest. My views and clickthroughs increased at the start of the month, but then dropped off again apart from a handful of pins that got lucky. I have been trying to write good descriptions and use hashtags, and pin at peak times of day, but obviously I am doing something wrong according to the Pinterest algorithm!
A few months ago, I enrolled in the Ell Duclos Pinterest course. I skimmed through it at the time, and took a few points on board, but didn’t really implement it properly. In June, I plan to work through this course in more detail and hopefully learn how to get more traffic from Pinterest!
- Use 3 items from my ‘use-up pile’ every day
I managed to use 3 items from my pile every day! This is helping me to gradually clear stuff out.
Related post: Using Things Up in June
- Write in my gratitude journal every day
I wrote in my gratitude journal every day, and I find it to be such an uplifting thing to do. It’s great to read back over my gratitude journal when I am in need of a mood boost. I will definitely be continuing to write in it!
- Set my alarm for 6.30 am and get up by 6.45 am at the latest
This started off well but got harder as the month progressed. The main problem is that I wasn’t very good at going to bed early enough to get a decent night’s sleep. I felt a bit sleep-deprived and on four occasions I slept in, sometimes until as late as 8.30.
I don’t think it helped that I allowed myself to stay in bed for 15 minutes after my alarm went off. It made me more likely to fall back to sleep and this made me more drowsy when I woke up again.
Once I am up, I do enjoy the atmosphere of the early morning hours and like getting things done early in the day. Therefore I want to continue getting up early, but I will have to work on going to bed earlier. That will be one of my goals for June.
- Learn French every day
I am really enjoying learning French, and I am so enthusiastic about it. It’s safe to say I smashed this goal! I reached (and usually exceeded) my daily goal on the Duolingo app every day. I have seen a real improvement in my French as the month progressed and I can’t wait to improve even further!
- Compose 1 piece of music
I did one short session working on a composition but I didn’t get very far. I will definitely come back to this goal in future months though.
- Take part in 5 video calls
I succeeded in taking part in 5 video calls, with several different friends. They all went well, and I am proud of myself for making an effort socially during this time when I could easily withdraw.
I was never a fan of video calling because I often felt anxious or uncomfortable during them. But I think I am getting more used to them now that I have done several within a short space of time, so that is a really positive outcome. I also learned how to use Zoom which is a platform I had never used before.
These calls probably would have all happened anyway, as they were mostly initiated by other people, but I’m glad that I set the goal because now I can acknowledge my achievement in taking part in them.
- Maximum of 10 ‘sweet treats’ during the month
Over the past few months, I have been cutting down on sugar by limiting myself to a certain number of ‘sweet treats’ (chocolate, cakes, sweets, desserts etc.) per month. I allowed myself a maximum of 10 ‘sweet treats’ in May, and I succeeded in sticking to that!
This month has been a breakthrough in that I rarely found myself craving sweet things, which I often did in April. One reason for that is probably that I have been eating Montezuma’s 100% dark chocolate bars, which are sugar-free but still satisfy any chocolate cravings. I’m glad I have managed to cut down on sugar and I’m sure my body will thank me for it!
- Follow my skincare routine every morning and evening
Last year, I made a skincare routine and I challenged myself to follow it every day this May. I succeeded in this! I’ve enjoyed following my skincare routine and it hasn’t taken too much time out of my day. My skin is looking pretty good although I have still had a few spots. I will need to tweak the products I am using until I find the ones that work best for me. I managed to use up a few skincare products during the month which is great because it’s cleared some space.
- Practise the clarinet 10 times
I succeeded on practising the clarinet 10 times. I am really enjoying it and I have made a lot of progress. It helped that I discovered some great online resources such as free clarinet sheet music and this YouTube channel.
- Watch Harry Potter films 7 and 8
I watched and enjoyed both these films, which completes my Harry Potter ‘marathon’ of watching all the films and reading all the books.
Evaluating my May Guidelines
I also set myself the following guidelines for May:
- Avoid snacking between meals. If I am still hungry after a meal, eat something else straight away rather than waiting.
I rarely snacked between meals, so I definitely did well at following this guideline.
- Replace gaming, social media and random internet browsing with reading as my default ‘filler activity’.
I didn’t really do this. I still played around on my phone a lot when I could have been reading!
I did this, but I haven’t been sticking strictly to all the rules. I am experimenting to see what works best for me.
All in all, my May Goals were a success!
I’m proud of how I did this month, and I can wait to get started on my June goals. Did you set yourself any goals in May? How did they go? Let me know in the comments!