Your life, Your vision

January is well known for being the month of setting resolutions, turning your life around, creating the ‘new you’.

From being little I knew how your life was supposed to be. You were expected to go to school, then to college, then to University, then get a job, then… what? I left University and was very lucky to walk into a full time job pretty much the next day. But then two years later, I woke up one morning and thought…’What am I supposed to do now?’ Like, is this it? Is this what my life is going to be like until I am ready for the grave?

It is said by pretty much every adult that the aim of school is to prepare you for life. My teachers made it very clear to me that only good exam results would do and my life would be over if I did not achieve them. I know now that teachers say this to scare the students who don’t work hard enough into action, but it had the opposite effect. It scared all of us hard working students into blind panic.

School had done very well preparing me for getting into college, how to pick my A Levels, how to handle interviews but they never prepared me for what happens after you have done all that. Do you get a job and then just wait until you are old enough to retire?  When do you get to do the fun stuff? Like travelling or go to a festival or learn how to make the perfect chocolate cupcakes?

There is a very famous story about John Lennon, the Beatles legend. John was at school one day and his teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he was older. John replied: ‘I want to be happy.’ The teacher laughed and said he had misunderstood the question. John told him that he misunderstood life.

John Lennon was right. What is the point of doing a job you hate, spending time with people who bring you down or wasting the days you have until you die?

I have never liked the idea of having a Bucket List. I thought about writing one but whenever I tried, it made me feel like I was trying to beat the clock. I always felt more focused on trying to get through the list before I kicked said ‘bucket’, rather than actually enjoying each once-in-a-lifetime activity, which kind of defeated the point of doing it!

But one day I came across something that I wish I had seen when I was about 14, when I was making my GCSE choices. I needed someone to tell me that if I made a wrong decision, my life would not be over! That something was a Vision Board. A picture plan, if you like, for what I want my life to look like. The idea is simple, you make a college of things you want to do in your life, things you want to achieve, skills you want to have, places you want to see. Anything and everything that would make your life complete. This is mine, it lives on my wall, right by my desk where I can see it every day:

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I want to be a children’s author, I want to own a house that is big enough for my relatives to stay in (I have a lot of family overseas), I want to be in a loving marriage, I want to have clear spot-less skin (that drama will be a whole other blog post!), I want to be involved with my favourite sports team, I want to be involved with my favourite charity.

How I am going to achieve all this is not clear at the moment, but that is not a problem. A vision board is a plan, not the finished product. Once you have made a board, it does not mean it is set in stone. I am always changing things on mine as more ideas come to me or I think to myself: ‘Actually, that is not important to me anymore.’ Making the vision board makes you focus on all the positive things you want to experience in your life, rather than worrying about the things that in the end, won’t actually matter.

The only golden rule for making the vision board is you must write the labels on it in the present tense: I am a successful author, I have clear skin, I have a nice car. Talking in the present tense will bring the experience to you. Saying statements like ‘I would like…’ or ‘In the future…’ keeps pushing it further and further away from you, meaning you never catch it. Sometimes I look at my vision board and say some of the notes I have written on there, to remind myself of where I am heading in my life, especially when I am having a rough day. As long as I have my plan, my vision, then I know which direction I am heading in.

I know a lot of the time during your teenage years, you can’t see past school, or past those girls who are making your life hell, or that feeling that you don’t fit in and you would rather be invisible, but this is the perfect time to start a vision board. Those days will end. You can turn those bad feelings into something positive and start deciding how you would like your life to be. You are in control of what you want your life to be like and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I am not for one minute saying do not try and get the best exam results you can. Obviously, getting good exam results does open doors for you. By law, you have to go to school so you may as well put your all into getting the best exam results you can to make the time spent there worthwhile. And yes you have to get a job so you can earn money to live off, money is not just going to fall out of the sky and land in your hand. Unless a real money tree has been discovered since I started writing this post… But what about all the things that give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside? Start planning those extra things that will make you happy. Because at the end of the day, that is the most important thing. That you are happy. 

So get planning!

Start making your vision.

And don’t forget to send me a picture when it is finished, either through the Facebook page: Positive Thinking and Not Falling Over or via Twitter: @notfallingover.

Sarah x

New Year, New Resolutions

Ah it is January again! Time to make some plans for the upcoming year.

The theme of 2018 for me is going to be looking after myself more. I am going to make time to do the things I love the most, or things that I never quite have time for.

My first new year’s resolution is going to be to read more. There is nothing more inviting when life around you is stressful than to lose yourself in a good book. Immerse yourself in another world. Yet I always say: ‘I don’t have time to read a book.’ My favourite author at the moment is Agatha Christie, the Queen of crime herself. And, true to my word, I have already finished one of her early novels, which I started over Christmas. It was brilliant and I even found that reading a little before I went to bed made me fall asleep quicker. It gave me something else to think about instead of keeping myself up worrying about other things. I think I am on to a winner!

My second new year’s resolution is to make time to look after my wellbeing a bit more. I am not the average girly-girl, but I do enjoying having my nails done and I have a little smile to myself every time I catch a glimpse of the beautiful colours for weeks afterwards, so I am going to treat myself to more manicures this year. It might seem like a bit of an unnecessary expense but the gel varnish lasts for 4 weeks and I have something to show for it, rather than spending that much on alcohol or food or something that is consumed immediately. Besides, I always feel a bit more confident when I have nice nails!

I would also like to try having a massage, I mean, what could be more relaxing? Well, this could prove a little difficult as I have a bit of a phobia where this is concerned. I am not very keen on the thought of someone I don’t know touching me. You can see why a massage may not be as relaxing as first thought! Is this a normal fear? Anyone else understand me? So I was thinking of starting with something small, like Reflexology. I read online that it has all of the relaxing properties of a massage and stimulating certain pressure points on your feet connect to other parts of the body, meaning the whole body benefits. And there is meditation music and nice smelling oils involved. I can hear the whale calls already! I will let you know how that one goes.

And last but not least, my third new year’s resolution is to put more time, focus and energy into this blog. I can get very easily distracted by…well…anything and when I look up again it is already Monday and another week has passed me by *sigh* so I hereby vow to make this blog a priority!

I would love to hear what your new year’s resolutions are this year. What I love most about resolutions is how personal they are to everyone. Your resolution might sound silly or insignificant to someone else, but to you, it is the reason 2018 is going to stand out!

Sarah x

Picture credit: https://eu.fotolia.com/tag/%22happy%202018%22

My first blog post…

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my new blog, Positive Thinking …and not falling over…

My name is Sarah, I am 27 years young from Manchester, UK. I am a music fan, sports fan, a photographer, a crafter and a writer.

I have started this blog to try and help those of you out there who are finding life difficult. When I was 15, I felt like there was no one to reach out to, to help me navigate the trails of life, the difficulties of growing up, the dramas of having to make decisions about further education when I couldn’t even decide what to have for breakfast without a minor meltdown. Or falling over. I did a lot of that while growing up. Usually in front of the whole class, or in front of a boy I liked. Who am I kidding? I still do a lot of that now. So here I am, 10+ years later, wanting to pass on what I have learnt about life.

People freak out when you mention the phrase ‘self-help’. They imagine you are going to trick them into speaking to a psychiatrist, who will inevitably tell you that your problems are all deep seated from that day that kid in nursery ate all the fruit at snack time before you had a chance to sit down and now you have an inferiority complex. (!) But I see the phrase ‘self-help’ as exactly what it is, helping yourself. Taking steps, and a little advice, to make life a little bit easier for yourself, whether it be your school work, avoiding your friendship group arguments or learning to love yourself when people around you are saying hurtful things. I would like to use this blog to share with you all the teachings that have helped me.

Don’t get me wrong, life is hard work! But if we can have a giggle about it, and a chat about things along the way, then hopefully it will make it a bit more manageable.

I look forward to the road ahead with you all.

I have never written a blog before, so I have no idea what I am doing so bear with me! But the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are all up and running so feel free to give them a follow, links are at the top of the page, under a lovely picture of me! Share these posts with your friends and together we will make a little community, And, who knows, maybe we won’t fall over as much! One can hope anyway 🙂

Sarah x