Revising your 2020 goals

I made the decision to change into a new bullet journal for the rest of 2020. I’ve been using my current one (a Leuchtturm1917) since September last year, and I knew I couldn’t fit the rest of 2020 between it’s pages. Plus my hands had been itching to start the new one (Archer & Olive North Star, very pretty bluish cover). I was in the process of planning out the page order for the new bujo, figuring out which spreads go where, when I realized I hadn’t looked at – and I mean really looked at – my 2020 goals page for possibly the entire spring.

Now, reading through my list of 10 goals, my heart sank. I hadn’t reached any of my goals, and, I knew all but one would stay so for the rest of the year as well. I wondered why I hadn’t and why I wouldn’t reach those goals. I realized my goals didn’t feel right, they felt more of a burden than something to strive for. The important question I asked myself: is it okay to change the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

Of course it is.

Why? Maybe you’ve changed. You no longer are that same person who set those goals six months ago. You no longer want the same things. Maybe something happened, a change in your life like a new relationship or a new job. Maybe an uncontrollable force prevented you from doing and achieving the things you wanted (thank you Covid-19). Or maybe you overestimated and the goals you set were simply just too big and unreachable.

If a goal feels burdenous, you should be asking yourself why you wanted to set that goal, and whether it is something you want to still aim for. So why force yourself to reaching goals that are no longer relevant to you, goals that won’t make you happy?

Goals are all about visualizing your dreams and ambitions. They are a roadmap, a tool for you to use to help you live your best life. So it’s okay not to always reach those goals. And it’s also okay to change those goals when they are no longer relevant.

After much thought I reduced my 2020 goals from ten to seven. I got rid of the ones that weren’t specific, or that I knew I wasn’t motivated to aim for. I changed the wording of some, to better reflect my current situation and to make them more reachable. And for the goals I didn’t change, I told myself I wouldn’t be a failure if I didn’t reach them. After all, they are only goals, not requirements for life.

Have you looked at your own 2020 goals? Are you on track? With July right around the corner we are halfway through the year, and it is the best possible time to revise your own goals, and maybe even set new ones. Still half of the year left, you could achieve anything!

Looking forward to summer

It’s that time of year when it’s impossible to tell the time just by looking out the window. The sun shines pretty bright even in the middle of the night, so one has to be thankful for thick curtains – otherwise sleeping would be impossible.

There have barely been any signs of spring and summer lately. The snow has melted weeks ago, however, until a few days ago the nature has looked pretty dead. I’ve been jealous to friends and family living in the south of Finland – they’ve been sending pictures of green leaves and flowers for weeks. However, the temperatures for the past few days have +20 on the Celcius scale and the birch trees outside my window are finally beginning to show some green.

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My top-3 reads of 2019

Books have always been one of my best companions. I enjoy being immersed into stories, and even escaping reality. Some of my fondest childhood memories include my parents reading books to me and my siblings. One of my living room walls is dedicated for a big shelving unit overflowing books I own.

I try to make sure I spend time reading by setting a realistic reading goal for each year. For 2020 my goal is the same 25 books I’ve had as my goal for the past few years, though I added a sub-goal of reading one in French and one in Swedish to keep up my language skills. Here are the top-3 books I most enjoyed reading in 2019.

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7 tips to activities during social distancing

With recent events, governments are taking historically extreme measures to provide public safety; closing schools, closing borders and prohibiting social gatherings of more than 10 people and so forth. People are encouraged to stay home if possible.

While most of us are lucky enough to have work or studies to conduct at home, we are going to have more free time on our hands than normal, and there are bound to be moments when we’re thinking “what now?”

One of the most uncomfortable things for a healthy human being is to stay cooped up at home between four walls. So it’s important to take care of your mental health and keep busy. Here are my tips on activities to do.

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Movie review: Klaus

Every now and then comes a time when we all get bored of the content Netflix has to offer. One more reason to love the holiday season is that there surely will be new content available. So grab a big mug of hot chocolate, put on some candles or twinkle lights and wrap yourself in a blanket, because the time of holiday movies is here.

Christmas movies are perhaps my favourite movie genre. True, the plots aren’t always too complex, but what usually lacks in writing (and sometimes even quality), makes up for in spirit. It’s been a delight that some of the original movies on Netflix are really quite well done and enjoyable.

What really amazes me is that even with all the Santa stories out there, somebody still manages to think of another new approach to the Santa Claus Origin Story. This particular one recounts how the tradition of writing a letter to Santa came to be. The hero of the story however, is someone quite different to the jolly man in red.

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Christmas gift planning starts now

I’m sitting on the train, on my way back from visiting home, and it’s dawning on me that the next time I’m visiting my family is going to be at Christmas. Now hast to be the time to start thinking of ideas for gifts. I’m not saying that all gifts have to be bought by next week, but with less than two months to go, it’s a good idea to start keeping your eyes open for good possibilities.

Personal and unique gifts

Now, this may be obvious, but if you do buy a cat sweater for someone who absolutely despises cats, you’re doing it wrong. Giving a personal gift gives more joy both to you and the receiver. For the longest time my gifts would be, if possible, hand-made by yours truly.

However, thinking of something they’re going to like isn’t an easy task. I know my siblings fairly well enough to get them a witty mug they might like, but I have no idea what my 10-year-old god-child is into. It’s also hard to think of a gift when, even when you do ask straightforwardly what each person wants, the answer is “I don’t know.” I’m super jealous of my brother, who is really good at coming up with the greatest gifts for each person.

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What I’ve learned after a year of bulletjournaling

On the last day of September I was very pleased to find a new order of brush pens and washitape in my mailbox. They came just in time for me to prep my bujo pages for October. While mostly my bujo prepping might take hours, I’ve lately been able to do it in way less than that, savin’g myself a lot of anxiety. I’ve been using a bujo for over a year now, and here’s some of my experiences and thoughts on it.

Bulletjournaling is a continuous process. I’ve already made it to my third bulletjournal, and looking back it’s so great to see how I’ve evolved and how my bujo’s have chenged.

A bit of color here, a bit of tape there

In the beginning I started with the most basic dotted notebook and pen kit from my local book store. I’d done a little basic research on spreads and had figured out which trackers and collections I wanted. I drew my spreads with just a black felt-tip pen, with about one color to accentuate. Needless to say, they looked a little plain, even grimm. I was frustrated, and I easily critique my own work. I don’t think I’m too much of an artist, and I kept hoping that I’d get better.

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3 + 1 things to do when visiting the Capital region of Finland

It is the middle of my summer vacation and let me tell you, it’s been great to take it slowly and just enjoy. During June I got to spend a long weekend with my cousins in Helsinki and Espoo and we managed to do a little exploring.

I’ve spent some time in Helsinki over the years when I’ve been visiting some family members every now and then. As the current capital of Finland, the features are both historical and modern – and everything in between. It is also the center of everything happening in Finland – which sometimes irritates everyone living “in the provinces”. A common joke is, that there is no life outside of Kehä III (Ring III) – the outmost of the three beltways surrounding Helsinki.

Now it is clear that there is way more than just a few things to do and see when visiting the Capital region – which consists of three municipalities in addition to Helsinki: Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. However, these are things I got to do during my visit, so hope you like!

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Resetting and conquering back your space after overnight visitors – 3 steps I tried

During March and April I had about five sets of overnight visitors in just as many weeks. While I’m deeply grateful to have had visitors, I also found that I didn’t really feel like my space belonged to me after they had gone.

My apartment isn’t that big, and so every time someone spends the night, they take half of the space. And when spending time with friends before May Day, I found myself avoiding my own home. I just didn’t feel like coming back, and really didn’t feel like home. So here are the three things I tried to settle back in and feel comfortable in my own space.

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May 2019 bullet journal

My May bujo theme was inspired by Star Wars, of course. Only a little more than seven months until the premiere of The Rise of Skywalker.

May the Force be with you!

Hometown adventures: How well do you know your hometown?

Some weeks ago I had the joy of having one of my friends visit me for a couple of days. She’s really into escape rooms, so that was our main goal for the weekend: to go play one game together. She hadn’t really been to Oulu for years, and I thought that since we had the time, it would be great to show her around. Only, I realized, that I had no idea what to show her.

I have been living in Oulu for almost three years now. I moved here for university, and though I’ve gotten to know my (not so) new hometown, I have not taken the time to really know the place. I live fairly close to the university, which usually means that my time is spent between the university and my home. Because I don’t need to go to the city center so often, it’s easy to live in a bubble.

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Being mindful about the environment – why we need to take action now

In the recent months I have had a sort of environmental awakening. It all started with my decluttering process (you can read all about it here) during which I watched way too many declutter-, KonMari- and organization videos. My YouTube lifestyle video watchlist soon continued to exploring from KonMari to minimalism, and then on to Zero Waste lifestyle videos, and documentaries on waste cycles, fast fashion and so forth.

YouTube isn’t the only source to blame for my sudden climate anxiety. Environmental issues have lately been one of the hottest conversation topics with me and my friends. And not just us. 16-year old Swede Greta Thunberg just inspired students worldwide to attend a climate strike, and just this Saturday people gathered in Helsinki to march for the climate. People are clearly calling policy-makers into action, and only recently the EU Parliament approved a law banning single-use plastics. In Finland, we have the parliamentary elections this week, and environmentalism is one of the main issues that decide our votes.

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Decluttering home and mind

Hands up if you’ve seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, and been pulled in into the recent decluttering fever that has taken over the whole world? Yeah, me too.

Now, I have never read Marie Kondo’s books, nor have I tried the KonMari -method. And I actually started my first full-apartment declutter way before watching even one episode of Tidying Up. Had I heard of KonMari when I started? Yes. Did I believe in it? No. I did not do my decluttering the KonMari way. And I still don’t think it’s totally for me. But going on this declutter journey has taught me much, and after having learned a little more of the KonMari method I do believe the method has a lot to teach every one of us. Even if you don’t fully agree with it.

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Achieving my goals: Event photography training

You might remember from my post Setting goals for 2019, that one of my goals for this year was to learn photography. Up till now, I’ve just been taking pictures mainly for my own joy, pointing the camera at something and really just hoping for the best. So now I really want to actually know and understand something about what I’m doing. Which is why, when the opportunity came, that I signed up for a short event photography course organized by the Finnish scouting organization.

The training itself was organized over one weekend at a scouting event in Tornio, right by the Finland-Sweden border. The location was great for me, only an hour by train, plus a 20-minute bus ride to get there. And the event itself provided us with a chance to practice in action. Learning by doing is the scouting way.

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Work experience

I had the immense pleasure to be working as a language teacher last week. It was a great change to my regular student life, although it did add to my already ginormous workload. However, I got so much out of it, I am glad I did end up going for it.

Same place, different role

So I was working as a language teacher at an exchange student camp. The exchange students arrive to the camp for a week, before continuing to their host-families. The idea is to get them accustomed to the time-difference, new culture, and new language.

Now, I’d been at the camp many times before, but as a tutor. My role then was to aid the language teacher during the lessons, as well as follow the exchange students to their other activities and excursions, leading them in outdoor activities and overall acting as their older sibling and guide for the week.

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