Posted in being grown up, goals

The Listmaker – 5 Reasons Why Lists are Great

When I was a little kid, 7 or 8 years old, I read a book called ‘The Listmaker’ by Robin Klein. I don’t remember it too well, and from memory I found it a bit dull, but it’s basically about a young girl who compulsively writes lists to try to keep control of her life.

I remembered it recently because I realised that I myself write a hell of a lot of lists. Half of my blog posts have a list included in them. I have a list of Wedding To-Do’s, a list of Things to Do Before Travelling, a list of Things to Do While Overseas, and a list of To-Do’s Before Settlement on the Apartment. I keep lists to track my budget. I list my Current Work Tasks and keep a Fitness Goals list. I have a Five Year Plan list and an Ideas for Blog Posts list. Thanks to this post, I now appear to have a List of My Lists.

I can’t be the only one. There are whole websites, YouTube channels and books dedicated to making lists on just about every imaginable subject.

Is it a sickness, this incessant listing? Or a sign of a disorganised mind trying to keep some order? Perhaps it’s just my anxiety playing out. I don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

In honour of my moment of self-realisation, I’m going to write a kind of List-Inception list. Here it is:

My List of Why Lists Are Great:

  1. Lists Give Importance to All Things Equally                                                                They don’t discriminate based on the size of your ideas. Just give it its own dot point, and it’s worthy of attention.
  2. Lists are Easy to Read                                                                                                They give order to ideas without the need for extra filler like connecting statements. They also create negative space on the page, which helps with pace. You only have to concentrate on a chunk at a time. Brilliant.
  3. Lists are Easy to Skim Read                                                                                          I bet some of you are only reading the italicised headings…
  4. Lists Help Us to Focus                                                                                               When there are ten trillion things on your mind, writing a list gives some clarity to what needs to be done and takes away the fear of forgetting something. Which leads me to Number 5.
  5. Lists Give a Sense of Accomplishment                                                                         Whether you tick or cross off those Do-To lists, there is so much satisfaction in recording what you’ve achieved.

There are probably other reasons why people enjoy making and reading lists. I’d love to see your own list in the comments.

This is Julia, being grown up.

Advertisements
Posted in being grown up, goals

A celebration of sorts

There are a couple of reasons I haven’t written lately. Actually, it’s really just one reason that created a bunch of others.

For university this semester, I had an assignment to write a 15,000 word creative piece. It took me two-and-a-half months, and during that time, it absorbed all of my creative energy. I simply did not have any other writing in me. It’s submitted now, and I am nervously awaiting the result.

IMG_5885.JPG

I think it’s like any important piece of work. Even after nine drafts, I wasn’t satisfied that my work was finished. It got to the point where I just had to let go. It’s a scary, exciting, painful thing to do – letting go.

In doing so, I completed the final requirements for my Bachelors degree. It’s the end of five years of study, and the start of many new adventures. I’ve got quite a few big things to tell you about soon.

For now, I’m just enjoying not having deadlines hanging over my head.

This is Julia, being grown up.

Posted in being grown up, employment, goals, health, home, money

Mid Year Performance Review

At the beginning of the year I set a few goals. At work this week we are doing our mid year performance reviews, to make sure everything is on track and to remind us to redouble our efforts on some of the things we have avoided or not quite achieved.

So I thought I should do my own mid-year review, and give myself some incentive to keep pushing forward with my goals for the next six months.

2014 Goals:

Education:

– Study for one hour (outside class time) each week day.

Haha, nope. Fail.

–  Achieve a minimum Distinction grade in each unit.

Two high distinctions so far, yeah baby!

– N/A Complete all requirements for graduation.

This one isn’t actually possible at this point, but I am on the right track, so I’ve got that going for me.

–  X Apply for Masters.

I can’t yet, since applications aren’t open, but I’m not sure at the moment whether this is still something I want to do…

Career:

–  X Achieve permanency at current APS 4 level.

Not yet…but I’ll keep trying.

–   Reduce sick leave days.

I think I’ve had four days off this year. That’s pretty good in six months.

Health:

–  Eat breakfast every day (Try Green smoothies)

I did try green smoothies, they are okay. With only a couple of exceptions, I have eaten something every morning. That’s a big improvement for me.

–   X Take a gym or pole class six days per week.

Not quite, I think I have averaged 3-4 classes a week. This can and should improve going forward.

–  X Walk for 45 minutes before work in the mornings (at least 2-3 times per week)

oh god. This goal was misguided. I’m afraid to say I don’t think it will ever happen.

–  Reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol in my diet.

Yes! I’ve had a couple of relapses, but overall, I have reduced my intake. The final barrier is chocolate, that seductive, velvety hurdle.

Personal:

–   Take up a new skill; look at Archery.

I’ve been doing archery since February, it’s fun and I don’t completely suck at it. Boyfriend comes with me and it is nice to bond over learning a skill.

–   X Get my learners motorbike license.

Still too scared, but I really want to get on a bike before I go overseas next year.

–  Be proactive about seeing friends.

My social life has been pretty hectic this year, I’ve been quite impressed with myself.

Financial:

–   X Save $300 a week.

No. Thanks to fitness and social goals my savings have stagnated a little. Still saving a bit though, so that’s a plus.

–  Pack lunch instead of buying.

I’ve been really good with this. On Sunday afternoon I cook a big batch of something and freeze it in five portions. Voila!

–  N/A Apply for weekend job when university finishes.

Uni hasn’t finished, so this one really doesn’t apply yet.

That’s seven crosses, two N/A’s and seven ticks: a 50% success rate at the half way point. I have six months to get that to 100%. Wish me luck!

This is Julia, being grown up.

Posted in being grown up, goals, home, money, shopping

Building A House of Bricks

“You see it is just as I told you. The way to get along in the world is to do things as well as you can.”

Mother Pig, The Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs

In the Three Little Pigs, two pigs get eaten. The third builds his house of bricks and the wolf, unable to blow the bricks down, comes through the chimney and meets his end in a pot of boiling water. I’m not sure what the intended moral of this story is, but it speaks to me of the importance of making solid and secure life decisions, particularly in the housing market.

Some things seem like much more grown up steps than others. One of those things is buying your first home. For that reason, I am feeling extremely Grown Up this week. My boyfriend and I bought an apartment on the weekend!

Before I get to ahead of myself, I should tell you, the apartment doesn’t exist. Not yet. It is due for completion next June (but it would be a very good joke to take that date as gospel) so I probably won’t be completely grown up and moved in for 18 months or so.

There are lots of things about buying a property that are grown up. Negotiating, calculating mortgages, talking to solicitors, applying for loans and considering things like north-facing aspects and practical floor plans. The first step was to pay a holding deposit, which we did on Monday. Next we will be off to meet the solicitor and sign contracts – this will also involve spending the most money I have ever spent EVER! Scary. Daunting. Exhilarating. In fact, I’ve been thinking so many thoughts and experiencing so many emotions that I have a headache. (As a side: Halfway through typing that last sentence I received a phone call from the solicitor. Does anyone else have a phone voice? Mine is a little slower, deeper and more metred. Very mature and professional.)

I can’t help but feel sad about this purchase as well. Dad’s death has changed a lot of things about my life, and it has impacted my future in a lot of ways. I wouldn’t be able to make this step at this stage in my life if he hadn’t died. But I think he would be proud of me for making smart and educated decisions that will benefit me in the long run. I’ve done a lot of research about property and loans, and that thoroughness is something I inherited from him.

Soon we get to pick out our colour scheme. I’m already online shopping for furniture (I am coveting King Furniture lounges – they are to die for!), and my boyfriend is scrolling through Etsy admiring light fittings. Perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, but it can’t all be legal and financial. Shopping is the fun part!

This is Julia, being grown up.

Posted in being grown up, employment, goals, health, home, money

New Year, Renewed Focus

I think it’s important to set goals. Even if you don’t achieve them all it gives something to work toward. A sense of direction and purpose. New Year’s resolutions are a bit tired, they burn out and are vague and useless in my opinion. Maybe resolutions and goals are the same thing under a different heading? I like goals though. It sounds firm and assured. The start of the year is a good time to make goals. I want this to be a productive year.

Here’s the list.

 2014 New Year sign inside light bulbs on green background

2014 Goals:

Education:

  • Study for one hour (outside class time) each week day.
  • Achieve a minimum Distinction grade in each unit.
  • Complete all requirements for graduation.
  • Apply for Masters.

 Career:

  • Achieve permanency at current APS 4 level.
  • Reduce number of sick leave days.

Health:

  • Eat breakfast every day (Try Green smoothies)
  • Take a gym or pole class six days per week.
  • Walk for 45 minutes before work in the mornings (at least 2-3 times per week)
  • Reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol in my diet.

Personal:

  • Take up a new skill; look at Archery.
  • Get my learners motorbike license.
  • Be proactive about catching up with friends.

Financial:

  • Save $300 a week.
  • Pack lunch instead of buying.
  • Apply for weekend job when university finishes.

What are your goals for 2014?

This is Julia, being grown up.