Diary 004: New Habits Update

This post is sponsored by Daniel Wellington

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Today I'm back again to talk habits - good and bad. In this post back in March, I talked you guys through a few of the habits I'd been trying to make and break since the new year, and I thought it was high time for an update. This blog post is in collaboration with Daniel Wellington and you can use my code SUNBEAMS for 15% discount (even on top of existing offers!) I'm all about scheduling and planning these days so it only makes sense to use my (ever growing) Daniel Wellington collection to keep me on track.

The gym

This one has been an almighty success! Apart from a blip around dissertation hand-in (literally anything apart from writing or sleeping was off the schedule completely), I've managed to go more consistently than ever before. I think since I started to work almost completely alone (either during my MA, or full time YouTubing/Instagramming now), exercise classes and the gym keep me on the straight and narrow, get me up in the morning and provide me with structure. Plus I have found exercise to be a saving grace for my mental health. In the hours I spend working out, I completely forget about all my worries; it's become almost meditative.

So I know that last time I mentioned that I hadn't been doing any cardio, and that has changed completely. At the moment I am still doing PT sessions twice a week, and trying to make it to both spin and reformer pilates classes, too. I did do some running for a bit, but I find that the spin classes make me work harder, though I would like to train myself to run longer distances in time. I've felt myself becoming a lot stronger and I'm excited to continue challenging myself with it. I wrote more about going to the gym here, if you're interested to see how I went from a couch potato to exercise enthusiast, and a few of my tips.

Not picking my skin

Another success! I have almost completely stopped picking my skin with around two or three exceptions (which in eight months is pretty good going for me). I try not to look too closely at my skin, or spend too much time in front of the mirror when doing my skincare routine, and I've consciously had to tell myself no a couple of times, and it's worked! My skin looks so much better for it, and it feels good to have this (kinda gross) habit gone.

Getting up early

This one has been trickier, mostly due to all the fluctuations in my routine which have been difficult to keep a handle on for a natural night owl like me. When I was going to the library every day I was really good at getting up, going to the gym, and then heading in to do some work. I'm still trying to plan in some early workouts each week to make sure I'm out of bed at a decent hour, but I also find I can do much more effective exercise later in the day (especially for my PT sessions), so it's a bit of a toss up. I'd like to be up by 8 every day, so now that my new routine is beginning to settle I'm going to make that more of a priority. Having said that, it's been a tough few weeks for a number of reasons, so if I need a bit of extra sleep I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. We'll get there!

Being more present/using my phone less

This is another one I've really fluctuated on - some weeks I'm great, and others I'm not. Reading back on my post might just be the kick up the arse I need to get this going again. I need to stop mindlessly scrolling! If I'm out with friends though I do think I have got better at putting my phone away, so that's good.

Reading before bed

So I've gone back and forth with reading before bed. Around dissertation time I fell out of this habit because I was so exhausted I couldn't possibly take in a whole new world right before sleeping, but I have been doing some here and there since. However, I do find that this time is also my time with Zak, who I usually don't see until late at night (chef life), so it can feel unsociable to pick up my book. I think with this one I'll just have to play it by ear each evening. But I definitely have been reading a lot more in general, for a number of reasons.

The first is my Kindle. I have such a love/hate relationship with this thing, but I've got to say it does keep me reading. I have the Paperwhite, and it's small enough to slip into lots of handbags (even teeny ones like my Chloe backpack), which means that I can pick up reading while travelling with greater ease. I usually have two books on the go, a 'home' book, and a 'Kindle' book. Of course it's not ideal as I much prefer the physical copy (plus I always end up re-buying the ones I like in physical form), but it's better than not reading. While in the early stages of dissertation prep (before my brain turned into N. K. Jemison fuelled mush), I read seven or eight books just on my tube journeys to the library and back.

I've also started to schedule time to read, even now that I've finished my MA. In some ways that seems a bit counterproductive, because reading is something I enjoy, not a ~work thing~. But the thing is, I have been treating it as work for five years of uni, and I enjoyed so many books on my courses that I never would have got round to reading otherwise. I also schedule pretty much everything else in my life, including date nights and time with friends, so why not pencil in an afternoon of reading? When it’s so easy to waste time binge-watching a Real Housewives franchise (oops), or while away hours staring at my phone screen, it gives me an incentive to spend more time doing something I find truly rewarding. I’d love to know how you guys fit more reading into your lives, because I could always be doing that little bit more.

So finally we are onto a couple of habits that I want to introduce now (no point waiting until January, right?)

Saving money

This is a big one, because it’s time to start thinking about moving out again (and also in the short term Christmas presents, and also that tax bill in January). So with that in mind I want to give myself goals and targets for my saving, and I want to be more mindful about what I’m spending. Let me know if you guys have any tips on this because I’m a bit clueless, but it’s something I’ve put into place these last couple of months and it’s going relatively well so far. I’m currently setting myself a monthly budget that is affordable to me and doing my best to stick to it, and saving everything else that I earn.

So with Christmas presents on the brain, I wanted to remind you guys that Daniel Wellington watches make amazing gifts, and with my 15% off - code SUNBEAMS, which can be used online and in DW UK stores - that can be used on top of all the other offers they have going on, it can be the perfect option for practically anyone in your life. There’s a free strap with any watch purchase, 20% off selected gift sets and 50% off (!) the Dapper collection for Black Friday, plus free shipping and gift wrapping for Christmas. The ones I've pictured here have interchangeable straps, too, which is perfect for those of us who just can't choose. Also their Classic Bracelets are gorgeous, too, and they have two new shades (Dusty Rose and Desert Sand) which I'm loving.

Thank you for reading this (rather wordy) diary post, let me know if you guys are enjoying these? I worry that they are perhaps not very useful and mostly act as a mind-dump for me, but I love to read your comments and see what you're up to ❤️