Sunday, 30 December 2018

My Goals & New Year's Resolutions for 2019

Goal setting is important. It's emphasized so much in all of those self-help books; I own one called "Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway" and it's spoken about there too. Goal setting is important for you to take note of where you are and where you want to be so you can see how far you still have to go and decide on strategic ways to get there.

I will be splitting my goals into categories; namely personal, academic and career.

  • This one may sound weird but next year I would like to put myself out there and hopefully meet someone special, I have been single for like 4 years
  • Lose 3 kgs and keep them off. I would like to maintain a weight of about 48kgs, I got sick often this year and I didn't manage to get my bikini body exactly so next year I want to achieve that
  • Read at least 10 books (not for academic purposes). This year I really skimped on the reading and I am actually disappointed in myself just a little bit. 
  • Meet new people and build meaningful relationships. I have had the same friends since high school and it's way past time for me to branch out; after all, I am not the same person I was back then. My interests have changed and I have developed as a person.  
  • Walk away or keep quiet when I have nothing nice to say in a negative situation
  • Pay off my study fees in time for results release
  • I'm ashamed of this but I need to learn to apologize, this is one of my worst character flaws and it needs to be rectified. I have this ugly thing called pride that really does no one any good
  • I would like to get a new job, the one I have has made my life quite challenging and has affected my academic advancement negatively, I didn't do as many modules as I would have liked due to cash flow problems
  • I would like to complete a minimum of 9 modules this year to get closer to obtaining my degree
  • I would also like to take my blogging to the next level and start earning some income from it. I want to reach more followers and create even better content. I need to do more research on SEO as well
  • Blog at least 8 times a month
As for New Year's Resolutions; I need to drink more water, I have often realised I am dehydrated only when I get a major headache which I know is bad and I really need to stop doing that. I want to take my skincare routine more seriously as well in order to keep my breakouts to a minimum.

I want to get back into the gym and keep my body looking fit and strong. I had begun to see the results I wanted already then I guess life got in the way and the whole gym thing went out the window.

I do not read enough and I hope to change this as well next year. I'm pretty sure that I spent 2018 reading nothing but study material. I want to expand my vocabulary and better my writing skills and in order to do that I have to read more so making time for reading will be a top priority in 2019.

I have yet to master a signature dish which I find appalling, I swear this year I found every excuse under the sun not to cook. I must change that especially since I love to eat. If I cook then I can eat meals that I like every day not to mention have better control of my calorie intake.

Next year I hope to save enough money to be able to go on a road trip with some friends. I have had a car for about 2 years now and it has never even left the city!!! Unacceptable! 

I want to open up my heart more and hopefully start dating again (with purpose). I have been quite apprehensive when it comes to the opposite sex and not even on purpose. I want to learn to break my own walls down and to stop getting in my own way. We all deserve love; myself included. 

Have you set your goals for the new year already and do you do new year's resolutions? Tell me why or why not in the comments.

*One way of making your goals seems more real is to visualize them* I had a vision board for mine and I'm thinking of recreating it because my it got all torn up.  Don't forget to make your goals S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) and come up with an action plan to make sure you achieve them.

Here's to setting achievable goals and smashing them!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

My 3 Blogging Tools

There's a lot more to blogging than just typing out a bunch of fancy words and hitting the publish button. You need to ensure that what you're putting out there is your best (or that you're at least satisfied) because first impressions really do count. You might have some loyal followers but it's also great to get your new blog visitors to keep coming back.

I use a few things to help me with my blogging. I even lie to you, I never plan posts. In fact, the only time I ever did that and used a schedule to publish new work was when I did Blogtober ( I did not make it to the end, maybe next time though). 

Since taking my blogging to the next level I have made use of the following tools:
  • Grammarly: This one has been a lifesaver. I read often so my spelling isn't terrible but grammar.y has made editing SOOO much less of a drag. I like it because it was very easy to install and works across whatever computer program I use to type; whether I am blogging, tweeting or whatever requires written text. Get Grammarly if you don't already have it. The great part is that they offer a free version for those of you like me that don't necessarily have cash to spare
  • My notebook: I carry my notebook around almost all the time, just in case inspiration hits; that way I can quickly jot down ideas before I forget them. I sleep with it at my bedside for those nights when I have difficulty sleeping. I get my thoughts down on paper, who knows, they may turn into a blog post.
  • Unsplash: My most recent discovery. I had always wondered where the heck people get such gorgeous photos for blog posts and I needed pics to use for my Pinterest pins because my Pinterest was very dull looking; it was so dull that if it wasn't my Pinterest, even I wouldn't have been keen to check it out. I found Unsplash through Google I think it was and my blog's Pinterest has never been the same.
These I think are my 3 most important blogging tools. There are others I make use of but I decided these were worth the mention because they have had the most positive impact on my blog. I noticed a substantial increase in my stats after making use of them. I used to just wing it but a bit of planning by making notes when inspiration hits, I can keep track of new post ideas.

Which tools have helped make your log a success? Share them with me in the comments. 

Saturday, 15 December 2018

I Actually Hate the Festive Season & Here's A Reason Why

It’s the end of the year and it’s time to celebrate. Office parties, “get-togethers” and a whole lot of drinking is going on. There’s always risk on the road but at this time of year, it’s practically QUADRUPLED ( I just Googled real quick and one of the hits says that there have been 36 fatalities on the Eastern Cape roads so far!) Oh and I just remembered, my city was dubbed the capital of the festive season so now more people will flock here during this month to see what all the hype’s about  (personally I don’t see it but hey, who am I?).  

I had a shitty experience last night that both pissed me off and also terrified me. I’m grateful it was minor because it could have been worse but I’m also annoyed by how unnecessary it was.

So last night I was with my friends. Since it’s the festive season roads are always busy and yesterday also just happened to be the last day of work for most people; myself included so naturally as people do, they flock together to have some fun.  I’m getting a little sidetracked here and I’ll continue my story in a minute but have you ever been in a position where you don’t want to be somewhere yet there you are because you were outvoted? That was me, last night. Anyways back to what I was saying...

So cars were moving slowly in my lane and the oncoming traffic lane was kind of empty, there wasn’t much traffic that side. So I’m busy talking to my friends as we are slowly progressing towards where we were going and next thing this red polo came speeding right at us from the oncoming traffic. We could see this driving was driving super-fast and super skew. So we swerved to the left to avoid a head-on collision. Does he not take out my side mirror and keep going?

It all happened so fast and by the time I actually realized he did hit us he was long gone, he did not even stop. I was a little confused for a second by the speed of it all because the mirror flew off and hit me in the face (luckily it only resulted in a headache) before I could even not anything else about the car besides that it was a red polo. That was a clean hit and run. I bet you that guy was so wasted he did not know what the hell he was doing and might wake up wondering where the white paint on his car comes from.

Honestly yes I was pissed off, I am calmer now and it could have been much worse. At least it’s just the side mirror that I lost (which is now going to be such an inconvenience for me). To top it all off I got a bank notification and I was only paid just under a quarter of my salary when now I need to fix my mirror. I can’t afford much right now. I will literally pay 2 bills and be all tapped out! 

 My dad is going to freak the freak out when he sees my car! I don’t have a driver’s side mirror anymore (gosh I got annoyed just typing that).

To be honest, I know it wasn’t my fault but I feel responsible because it’s my car and I didn’t want to be there so I feel disappointed that I didn’t follow my gut and I could have been firmer about not going in that direction. But I also feel that the incident was just a warning so I am reluctant to be driving around during this time. I was sober and it was not that late because everyone was dropped off after the incident and I was home by midnight.

Guys the festive season has just begun and I already feel like it needs to end. I had personally never been involved in anything like this in December but even then I was not a fan. I actually don’t want to go anywhere anymore because there are too many drunken idiots on the roads. I just want to chill at home and binge on Netflix.

I love my family but we are just one of those families that can't spend too much time together because we tend to annoy the sh#! out of each other after a while. On Christmas, my dad was being so pissy this year, god knows why! It was the crappiest thing so basically I just decided to get drunk then I went to go get some cake from a friend, only to find out my ex was leaving and he wasn't even going to say goodbye! I ended up having a chat with his mom who I swear is the sweetest person I've ever met. (By the way, my ex and I are pretty good friends at the moment, just in case you were wondering. We have a long and kind of complicated history).

This whole drinking and driving thing is really not cool. Basically, I don't have a car now until like mid-January because it's illegal to drive around without a side mirror. If you feel you've had a little too much and can't get yourself home; please don't endanger everyone else on the roads. We now have Taxify here; USE THAT or ASK YOUR SOBER FRIEND to take you home. It's not worth it!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Another Look at My Goals for 2018

As the year is winding down and steadily coming to an end I thought now would be a good time to look at how much I actually managed to accomplish.

I set a few goals for myself at the beginning of the year which I decided to share with you in a blog post earlier (view them here). I find goal planning helps give me some direction so I'm not running blind and I get to also see if I'm actually utilizing my time effectively.

I set 20 goals; some of which I crossed of in the original post but I will now share and discuss with you a few more that I have achieved from my list:

I have definitely managed to achieve this one. How? I made use of social networks to promote my posts. I joined Pinterest, Bloglovin and created a Facebook page. I wasn't doing this before and it has have a huge positive impact on my blog. I now have a total of 12 blog followers.

So far that is the only other goal I can say I have achieved. sadly I have not managed to reach my goal weight; not for lack of trying. I have been sick so often this year; it's crazy! I am actually experiencing weird chest pains as I type this. I have not been to see a doctor yet and also I have exhausted my medical aid funds for the year (sigh); such is life...  And to be honest I get tired of being pricked and prodded like I'm some type of medical experiment.

I did however gym as much as I possibly could; at least 4 times a week even though there's no 6 pack in sight. My abs still need a little work but I will not be worried about that during the festive season. I will try not to eat too much crap and squeeze in as many workouts as I can.

I missed this one by just 2 percent!!! However I am satisfied. The important thing is that I actually put in some effort. Setting this goal helped me to push myself a little harder and stop being lazy and settling for whatever. I also know exactly where I went wrong. I am proud of the marks I managed to achieve academically this year because I was going through a lot personally. My life has been a rollercoaster and I am glad to say I came out on top.

As you can see I haven't had the most productive year in terms of goal attainment but atleast I am still alive and kicking and I am trying to knock a few items off that list. I have just under a month left and times waits for no man so I best get cracking!

Let's set more goals and knock them out the park!

Later guys xoxo

Thursday, 22 November 2018

13 Changes I Made That Increased my Blog Traffic

I remember when I started blogging; I had no idea what I was doing and how to get people to notice me and read my work, all I knew was that I wanted to write. The rest I would figure out later.

Back then I was lucky if I even got 3 views a day, as little as that is; it was a lot(laughs). I wasn't doing it for the fame or attention after all but attention is nice. I started blogging again this year and tried a whole new approach and made quite a few changes that in turn lead to increased blog traffic.

  1. My blog background was black, I have switched to a nice light grey background that I found on a site (Can't remember which one it was). It makes the blog more readable and has a lighter feel to it.
  2. I gave my entire blog a fresh new look and edited the default blogger formatting; I learnt how to do this via YouTube videos and I customised my blog's theme (I literally Googled how to edit HTML)
  3. I joined various social media platforms to promote my new posts so that people know when I have uploaded new content. I joined Bloglovin &  Pinterest 
  4. I created a Facebook page for my blog where I share my latest posts as well as any other ideas I might have
  5. I started making use of relevant hashtags on Twitter and using RT accounts; this was when I really started to see a positive change in page views. Examples are #bloggerstribe #theClqRT and @bblogRT & @FemaleBloggerRT (there are loads more, just search for them on Twitter)
  6. I started following other bloggers, commenting and sharing some of their blog posts that I found interesting
  7. I listened to the feedback I was given by fellow bloggers and readers and implemented some of their suggestions on my blog
  8. I added follow buttons on my blog site so that people can follow me easily to get updates
  9. I tweet quite often and do a lot of promotion to get people to check out my blog posts and I reshare links of old posts that didn't get all that much attention
  10. I asked my sister to take a look at my blog site and she told me the areas that she thought needed improvement and what was unnecessary and I removed all the unnecessary bits
  11. I was using the web version of my site for mobile as well and I was informed by some fellow bloggers to switch to the mobile version; I did so and immediately started getting more subscribers. I had ZERO subscribers before I did this and I am now up to 11
  12. Making use of labels to link similar posts together makes it easier for readers who like a certain post to find other similar posts on the site at the click of a "button"
  13. I added tabs at the top of the page; one of which is how to subscribe for those who are unsure of how to do so
These are 11 of the changes I needed to make that increased my traffic. I am a stubborn person by nature but I was not so stubborn that I didn't implement the necessary changes that got my blog to where it is today. I know who to accept a little help; especially from people who have been in the blogging game for longer than I have.

It's important to accept help here and there when you need it. There are plenty of friendly bloggers out there that are ready and willing to offer you some help and advice if you're open to it. You just need to ask and be receptive to any and all feedback; even if you do not necessarily agree with it. The best people to help you identify areas of improvement for your blog are it's readers!

The most important thing to do when blogging is to JUST BE YOURSELF. There are thousands of bloggers out there; each with a unique voice so trying to copy someone else just won't cut it. Just be you.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Top 20 (most played) Songs on my Phone Right Now

I love, love, love music. I jam at work, in the car; basically wherever and whenever I can. It helps keep me sane and shaking the stress away has never hurt. I am currently sitting at my office desk right now listening to some Black Coffee on my cellphone whilst doing some work and typing this post in between. Don’t worry, I am not neglecting me duties; we are having a real slow day.

I use Apple music so I have access to any and every song I can think of at any time; which is freaking awesome. As long as I have my cellphone around I am never bored while waiting in line or stuck in traffic; I use my phone to play music (DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE).

Here’s my top 20 phone playlist:

20. Crying in the Club – Camilla Cabello
19. Slave for You – Britney Spears
18. I Got You – Bebe Rhexa
17. Bump That – B2K
16. Yeah – Usher
15. 2 Reasons – Trey Songz
14. All About Me – Syd
13. There’s Nothing Holding Me Back – Shawn Mendes
12. Rude Boy – Rihanna
11. Eyes Closed – Halsey
10. Let Me Love You – DJ Snake
9. Level Up – Ciara
8. Baby Boy – Beyonc’e
7. Hurts So Good – Astrid S
6. Ciao Adios – Anne-Marie
5. Gold Slugs – DJ Khaled
4. All Me – Lyrica Anderson
3. Cake by the Ocean – DNCE
2. Party – Chris Brown
1. Love More – Chris Brown

What you think? What kind of music are you listening to on the daily?

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Why Seeing A Career Counselor Didn't Work for Me

I was certain I wanted to be a fashion designer my whole life up until the day my dad told me that it was a hobby and not a career… THE HORROR!!! I spent my whole life dreaming of becoming this thing and it’s not even a legit career?!  (He was wrong by the way, but it was enough to deter me).

I grew up, went to high school then it was time to choose a college degree. I was such a mess!!!

In grade 12, my last year of high school, I went to see a career counselor. Some of my friends had gone the year before and I only managed to convince my mom to take me in my final year. I found a career counselor in the yellow pages; can’t remember what her name was and made an appointment. My mom and I went to see her to hear what she had to say. I had done a bit of research via my friends and they told me that they had been given aptitude tests and that’s what I was expecting as well…

I didn’t get an aptitude test. The lady sat in front of us (my mom and me) and we had a conversation and I answered a whole bunch of questions. It would have gone better if my mom had left because she ended up doing most of the talking and that didn’t help much. At the end of the session I was advised to take a gap year to really think about what I wanted. I was SO DISAPPOINTED. It felt like that whole session was a waste of time. I didn’t need to pay a professional to tell me what I already knew; that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. HELLO!!! That’s what I came to see you for!

I did take a gap year. I was very confused and stressed out about this whole "career choosing" process. The gap year didn’t do anything for me really because I spent it on my ass at home. I wasn’t able to find a job and I don’t come from a rich family where I got the luxury of travelling the world and finding myself. Also I was very confused.

I was expecting to be given an aptitude test during my session to give me a better idea of the type of job that would suit me. I have come to find that I am actually not as much of an introvert as everyone told me I was my entire life. I know they say that everyone is an ambivert but I really am one. The way I deal with people is different from day to day and situation to situation. I am not necessarily the loudest in the room but I am not the quietest either. I guess my issue back then was being comfortable in my own skin. It was hard for me to express myself or know exactly what I wanted because I didn’t know who I was. I know who I am now!

I am not saying that career counselors are useless, they know what they are doing and what they do does work otherwise it wouldn’t be a profession. It just didn’t work for me. I don’t know… maybe if I had gone alone it would have been different but at the end of the day I was expecting someone else to tell me what to do because I didn’t know what to do and no one can really do that. These are decisions on has to make on their own. I believe aptitude tests or career tests are helpful and useful though because they can give you information about yourself to help you make career decisions. I might think I’d make a great lawyer but maybe with my personality I’d be more successful at something else.

In closing I would just like to say that if you are unsure or confused about choosing a career, don’t shy away from seeing a professional. They can be a great help if you let them. Just because I didn’t benefit from seeing a career counselor, doesn’t mean that you won’t.

Have you ever been to a career guidance counsellor and how did it go? Was your experience a positive and helpful one? Is that the career you are pursuing now?