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On sailing ships and setting intentions: The July Reset

Let me preface what I'm about to write by saying that I am not traditionally the goal setting type.

Nor am I the kind of woman that has her ducks neatly in a row.

For anyone that knows me knows I have tended to resist order and structure in my life like a child stubbornly resists bedtime.

It's not that I could never see the advantage of setting and keeping goals, but making them always gave me this feeling of being trapped. Setting goals and creating good habits were for people more ambitious and organised than I, or so I thought; they were the kinds of people who kept a diary (and used it) and alphabetised their bookshelves.

I didn’t consider myself to be one of those people.

The truth is that I’m random. And not in the way that teenage girls say "oh my god - that's so random" but I mean the dictionary definition of the word; proceeding, made or occurring without definite aim, reason or pattern. My two highly logical, ordered and routine-loving flatmates will attest to this. They are creatures of habit, both pretty much eating the same thing for breakfast everyday (and likely lunch too), with set shower times and daily routines. I think the inefficiency of my lack of routines is often a source of amusement for them, but also of mild frustration too (usually when I make us late or steal their shower slot).

I don't have a routine for anything in my life. I don't follow a set routine for my mornings or evenings, I rarely eat the same thing for breakfast in consecutive days, don't always do the same workouts at the gym or put makeup on in the same order day. For the longest time I quite happily lived like this, changing things up to suit my mood, sailing along with the flow of daily life. That was until four months ago.

In February, my work life changed drastically, resulting in a big and unexpected increase to my work load. I had been sailing along quite happily and this unexpected situation arose like a rogue wave and completely overwhelmed me. This wave knocked me over and I found myself rudderless and off course, trying desperately to right the ship that was my life. I was under a ridiculous amount of pressure and foolishly thought I could do it all; be the perfect employee (while doubling my workload), the perfect flatmate and friend and girlfriend and sister. Oh and stay on top of my physical and mental health by exercising and practicing self care at the same time.

I quickly and predictably burnt out.

I can remember one warm night in March when, tired and stressed out, my friend, Ben and I, decided to walk home around the bays. It was a beautiful still evening and as we walked around the quiet harbour I can remember telling him about the pressure I had put on myself and how I didn't feel like I was winning in any area of my life. As I was talking to him I began to acknowledge that my boss had really pushed for me to get into a routine at work and how that was actually making my workload feel more manageable. At the time, there was still a part of me that wanted to resist routine, but since then I’ve found that there can be compromise - that routines can be flexible and interrupted if the situation calls for it. My routine had brought a real sense of calm and focus to my work life and I was able to achieve more and stress less.

It had righted my sinking ship so to speak. And I've been sailing along slowly for the past four months or so.

The thing is, lately I’ve realised I've sort of been drifting rather than sailing.

And the difference between the two is intention.

It's July in a couple of days. Let that sink in for a minute. J U L Y.

Half the year has passed us by, carrying all the lessons that six months could muster, but as I look to the next half of the year I find myself craving a mental, physical, creative, life reset.

July is my month to put into practice and expand on what I’ve been learning in my life, to form some good habits with clear intentions. Also to detox a little and attempt to undo some of the damage done in the past few months, both physically and mentally and to slow down and simplify my life. I want to spend the next month and figuring out how to give energy to the things that are really important to me, and how to let go of some of the things that are not.

And so dear reader, we embark on a little life re-set this month.

And I’m so excited about it!

To be clear, this is not about making perfect plans or setting up my five year goals, this is about learning how to be prepared, willing and able to adjust to whatever life throws at me next.

I want to master some adult habits like setting and accomplishing realistic goals, looking after my mental and physical health, sorting out my finances, doing some decent life admin and I want to focus on the things that I'm passionate about but haven’t made time for lately.

This is not about setting rigid routines or losing my sense of randomness, but about living life with a sense of intention and direction. It's about working towards something - not with the sense that those things are futile or unattainable, but with heartfelt excitement about what might come from striving towards them. In a way it's also about breaking some bad habits and strongholds on my life, about stopping the mindless scrolling and social media feedback loop I have found myself in. It's also about honouring my health - both mental and physical, and it’s an attempt to understand better the value of time, and how to spend it more wisely.

I’m looking forward to hitting the reset button on my life, to logging out and switching off some of the noise of modern life so that I can tune in and listen carefully to my life and where it might be telling me to go next.

I’ll be outlining what my July Reset is going to look like in the next post, and will be using this blog as a space to write about the experience and to keep myself accountable. It's perhaps a little different from what you’ve come to expect from this space but it's where I’m at right now and I’m so excited to share something different with you. Hope you'll join me for the ride. xx

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