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“The Quarter Life Crisis Poet”
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Twitter: @CattVaughan
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2017 New Years Goals: Fitness, Learning to Cook, finish a Grand Project i.e. my debut novel

Dear Readers,

I am going to share my New Year’s Resolution and the ways I shall effectively execute them.

fmd_cru6otk-cathryn-lavery

Given that in 2016 I managed sans plans/friends/connections and a whole lot of depression and anxiety launched a literary career, had a (fleeting) Amazon No.1 and performed at a major British Literature Festival I figure I must have some kind of knack to Get Things Done.

2017 is the year I finally get around to accomplishing the mundane goals, which I’ve not yet fully consistently committed to.

The Goals:

  • Establish and commit to a x3 days weekly fitness routine
  • Learn to cook
  • Complete the 1st draft of my novel.

How I will accomplish this:

Review date: 1st April 2017. Therefore goals are to be ‘run’ for 3 months/90 days.

Fitness:

  • Do the Tabata Workout x3 days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
    – In the mornings.
    – After April 2017 double this workout but continue only x3 days a week.

It will begin as only a 4-minute, high-intensity workout from now until April 1st 2017.

Cooking:

  • Using a mix between recipes found in Sam Stern’s student cookbook, my Mother’s recipes, other cookbooks and BBC Good Food recipes. Learn one new recipe per month.
  • January = Macaroni Cheese  ||  February = Chicken soup  ||  March = Carrot soup
    – Cook the dish only twice a month, then move onto the next assigned recipe for that certain month.

My Novel:

  • Write one hour a week
    – High focus, content driven writing on my novel. No note-taking just plot writing. If I get stuck/suffer writer’s block I simply move on and write in another chapter or edit written work.
    Tuesdays 6pm work on writing novel
  • Review material, research plot gaps for one hour
    Fridays 6pm work on rereading manuscript and doing extra research on passages marked TK.

The secret to these goals is to keep them as simple and small as possible so that I can actually consistently commit to them because implementing these accomplishments is a necessity. Also by having them take minimal time I can easily over-deliver on each task and gain small wins as a confidence boost.

Additionally I shall counter-intuitively reduce my blogging commitments.

This Lifestyle blog: CatherineVaughansWorld.com will not have a set blogging schedule. This will be my ad-hoc blog. Namely blog posts will definitely be posted early April to see how I have come along with my New Year’s Resolutions, to see which goals I’ve stuck with analyse what has worked and hasn’t worked. Any inspiring ideas or disappointments will be posted online.

My Arts & Culture blog NouveauBohemian.com will have only x1 article posted on the 15th of each month and a once a season Bohemian selection.

HerefordshireWriters.co.uk remains a once monthly article editorial. (Writing plans remain the same.)

 

A New Style for 2017

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So last night I just randomly decided to change the entire design and style of my lifestyle blog CatherineVaughansWorld.com.

This choice has been determined by my recent foraying back into the blogs I enjoyed back in the day. On my gap Year in 2009 and in my first year of University I was dipping into to blogs by Leo Babauta, Tim Ferriss and Cal Newport. I became frustrated as well as deeply affected by the horrid things that had been going on in my life since my teens and needed a new outlook on life, a vision of how life could be. I was insatiably materialistic with a huge propensity to excess (in attitude and habit) in those days and knew it was not the way to be. The bloggers and writers mentioned above are somewhat collectively LifeHackers, a term fellow British readers may not be too familiar with as life-hacking techniques are not particularly present in our culture. It’s a very American concept and one that I didn’t realize I had been doing since my teen years before I discovered these online writers.

I felt the need for transformation on my blogs. Things had been brewing for a while. I had successfully updated, revitalized and changed the entire layout of my arts blog NouveauBohemian.com and now it was time for my namesake Lifestyle blog to get the same treatment.

This former website design and aesthetic is simply too much. Too colourful, too bold. It’s crowded and distracted. It’s time for change. Time for simplicity. Time to pare things down to the bare essentials.

screenshot-397

It reflects the old me that had to be bold and striking but now I’m fed up of that approach and crave simplicity and spareness, even boringness.

ba5fjjcv-re-gaelle-marcel

I want to go back to the roots of my reading and writing style. Previously I thought my obsession with efficiency and discipline would reduce my artsy credibility so to speak, but then I realized that firstly those qualities shape me and enable me to find pieces of success in the arts field and secondly fellow admirers of productivity tips are actually quite Bohemian. The likes of Ferriss, Babauta and Newport are often contrarian in their views. They’re non-conformist types. If anything efficiency and productivity are non-conformist traits because there’s so little presence of it in daily conventional life despite it being necessary for a functional life.

I was watching an interview with ZenHabits.net blogger Leo and FourHourWorkWeek.com blogger Tim and realizing these guys are the Zen Bohemians that Laren Stover writes about in her book The Bohemian Manifesto.

Something else I’ve also had to accept in life is that these kinds of people are basically the top in their field and that such discussions in the video just do not happen in real life, sadly. It’s not a typical topic of discussion at all… Though it seems quite natural to me….

I no longer have to choose either side as both sides of myself the artistic, romantic and sensitive dreamer can work in unison with my detail-orientated, productivity-seeking and perfectionist tendencies.

I’m glad I’m embracing this side of myself again and also discussing such writers because they’ve been so influential on my life and are cumulatively a supreme bank of knowledge. I hope maybe some readers of this blog will check out these incredible writers mentioned on this post:

Tim Ferriss
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2ikY071
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2hkiSvm
Blog:
FourHourWorkWeek.com

Cal Newport
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2i0nLGT
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2il9RC1
Blog:
CalNewport.com/blog

Leo Babauta
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2hQGTZE
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2hgA4QI
Blogs:
ZenHabits.net
Mnmlist.com/archive/


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