Sunday, 21 August 2016

๐Ÿ’ฌ The Importance of Why ๐ŸŒŸ Goal Setting

Sometimes, it feels too easy to set goals: my journals are packed with them. Despite making my goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely), I often end up looking back at my old journal entries and feeling disheartened at the lack of progress I've made.

Lately, I've began to realise why I haven't been achieving certain goals. It's because I haven't articulated the reasons that achieving a goal would be so great. Simply put: I don't know why I'm setting out to achieve the goal.

It sounds ridiculous: like duh, obviously the reason that I want to give up sweets is to be healthier. But what does being healthy mean to me? Do I want to give up sweets and be healthier in order to live longer? For better skin? To lose weight? For whiter teeth? And hold up: Why do I even want white teeth? Is it to look better in photos, to feel better about myself, to feel more confident? It's only when you get really specific about the reason why you're doing something that you can crystallise your intention and get motivated enough to actually put the hard work in to achieve your goal.

Think about it. When you've got to get to the airport for an early-morning flight, how easy is it to get out of bed the second that your alarm rings that day? But try setting your alarm for 6.30am on a Sunday morning and see how many times you hit the snooze button... Or just sleep through it entirely. I have first-hand experience with this struggle: one of my personal goals is to get up earlier. But every morning, when my alarm blares, I hit snooze over and over again until holy shit I have to wake up now, I mean right this second, or I am seriously going to be late for work- o'clock.

Both examples involve hauling myself out of bed in the morning, but it's only when there's a flight to catch that I actually achieve my goal. Clearly, there's a big difference between the two situations. When I've got to get to the airport, there's a crystal clear reason why I've got to get out of bed: if I don't I'll miss the plane, miss out on an incredible holiday and waste a lot of money. But in the second example, there's no obvious reason why I should wake up... So I don't. A vague notion that early-risers achieve more, doesn't work. If I really want to start waking up early I need to let myself know why I should bother.

I need to ask myself why is this so important to me? What happens if I achieve my goal and why does that matter? Why do I want to grow my blog, run a 15k, do anything that involves getting out of bed at all, let alone at 6.30am?

For the best results, ask yourself why and write down your answer. Next time you're writing your goals down, spend an extra few minutes to jot down all the benefits you'll get from achieving the goal. If your struggling to think of more than one solid reason that you're attempting to achieve a goal, google it - I found out that early-risers are more productive, and added that to my list! If you're still finding it difficult to come up with numerous reasons to achieve a goal, perhaps reconsider the entire goal: is this something you will really dedicate time and effort into achieving when you can't even list off the benefits of achieving the goal? This gives you a chance to prioritise the goals that will bring about the most positive change in your life.

With a clear understanding of why you want something, you'll find that your willpower will skyrocket. At least that's the theory! So there's nothing left to do except my alarm for 6.30am and wake up bright and early. See you then?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

✈️ Send Me Somewhere Sunny ๐Ÿ“Split, Croatia

Around this time of year, everyone seems to find their chill. The office quietens, colleges and schools close and I happily make my way somewhere sunny for the inevitable summer holiday. The destination this time? Croatia, for the music festival Ultra.

Like my Ibiza holiday in 2015, Croatia had a blazing sun and EDM, but it felt entirely different. I loved Ibiza and would go there again in a heartbeat, but it's not exactly a cultural hotspot. Croatia, and specifically Split, however is a place to get a healthy dose of history and culture.

Our first day in Croatia was spent exploring Split in the toasty 31°C heat. Of course, we had to climb to the top of the St. Domnius Bell Tower to see the city from up high. A great vantage point of the rows and rows of orange roofed buildings, sitting below the towering mountains in the distance. Just breathtaking.

Inside St. Dominus Cathedral we were met with a blissful silence - the kind that you find in places of worship. Relieved to be in the shade for a while, I drank in the spiritual surroundings and took a few photos (duh).

So clearly Split is beautiful. But our accommodation? Not so much. We went for a seriously low cost option: cheap but not so cheerful. We collapsed into our room after a few hours of travelling and were met with a boiling, bog standard room... with no air conditioning. Ouch. Ever the resourceful travellers, we sorted it out by popping to the first electrical store we could find and buying a fan for the room. Sorted.

And that, my friends, was my first 24 hours in Croatia. I was there for a whole week so you can expect a whole lot more photos from the trip to make their way onto the blog and my Instagram. See you for the next one!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

✈️ Hustlin' in Hong Kong

Hong Kong. Not a bad place for my first ever work trip. I went along to work at RISE - a startup and tech conference. I was there to do what I always do: create content. Between work, this blog and all my social platforms I'm a one woman content machine!

I only spent five days in the city, and even then I only had one free day to explore my surroundings. But it was enough to give me a taste for the city. And I absolutely love it.

On my first day there I had to work, of course. But the nature of my role meant that I wasn't tied down to venue. All I needed was a strong wifi connection and power and I was all set. One place of note was Classified in Wan Chai, a little coffee shop perfect for working over brunch. And with damn good smoothies.

What do you think of my Snapchat inspired photos, by the way? On my one day off in Hong Kong I did something that's not like me at all: I forgot my DSLR. Luckily, my phone was fully charged and ready to go, so all the photos you see here are phone pics that I then took into Photoshop to Snapchatify.

For me, the highlight of Hong Kong was lunch on the 49th floor of a skyscraper at Cafรฉ Gray. Talk about lunch with a view. It was expensive, but well worth it to see the city from above while refuelling. The burger and fries were very much needed after a big night previous and a lot of walking in the humidity ahead. Let me point out that this was on my day off - I certainly wouldn't have been able to focus on my laptop with this in my field of vision.

In a blink, it was time to say goodbye to the city. From this post it seems like all I did was visit coffee shops! I didn't have much free time since I was there with work, but I saw enough of the city to know that I've got to go back. And I will! But not before I head on to my next destination for another work trip. This time it's Madrid.

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Tropical Donegal + The Most Awkward Blog Sign Off Ever

It's been hot in Ireland for more than a day! For more than a week! My goodness, this isn't just summer: for Ireland this is a heatwave! Okay, this doesn't exactly make Donegal tropical, but I reckon these colourful trousers I'm wearing justify the title.

Top: Urban Outfitters // Trousers: H&M // Shoes: Office

As soon as the sun comes out, so do these slacks. Far too loud for the winter months, they only get a spin when the sun is out. This summer they're getting more wear than ever, what with the uncharacteristically lovely weather in Ireland and my trip to Hong Kong. But more on the Hong Kong trip in another post!

If this weather keeps up I'll be able to take loads of outfit photos over the next few months... Even with a decidedly slimmer wardrobe. This weekend I'm heading to The Grand Social Flea Market to be rid of some old clothes. And whatever I don't sell is going straight on Depop - I'm determined to free myself from all the old clothes I've been hoarding.

I have a sneaking suspiscion that this sudden change of heart - I've been a diehard hoarder for years - has been bought about after meeting the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo at RISE Conference last week. She just exuded calmness and happiness. It's got to be from embracing the minimalist way of live, right?

I'm clearing out the clutter, but expect more outfit posts regardless. I've a lot of new items that have yet to see the light of day on this blog so subscribe to see future OOTDs. And yeah. Thanks for reading, I guess! It's at times like these I wish that I had some kind of generic sign off... Or that blog posts could fade to silence like songs used to in the nineties............................................... Nope, they can't. K bye.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Copenhagen: My 3 Favorite Moments in the City

As my (working) trip to Hong Kong fast approaches, I thought I'd take a second to look back on my last trip. Any excuse to relive my Copenhagen experience - it's such an gorgeous place.

Here are three of my favourite moments in Copenhagen.

1. Lighting a Candle in The Church of Our Saviour

I visited The Church of Our Saviour with a goal in mind: climb to the top of the spiral staircase and be rewarded with the best view of the city. But I didn't realise that there would be such beautiful sights far closer to ground-level. The art and architecture inside the church was just spectacular.

I lit a candle and took a moment to take in the awe-inspiring surroundings. A moment of peace. Then I got the camera out and disturbed the silence with the sound of the shutter. I couldn't resist - I mean, look at the place! How could I not?

Oh, and if you're wondering, I did reach the top of the spiral staircase. I was treated to a lovely view of the city and its orange rooftops. If you want to get an ariel view of the city (you do), then this is a must-do when in Copenhagen.

2. Reading The Danish Girl by the Danish Coast

I'd been meaning to read The Danish Girl for a while, and what better place to read it than in Denmark itself? Since I was on a solo trip I had plenty of time to flick through the pages. I took it everywhere with me, but the most peaceful moment was reading it by the coast.

Side note - the reason I ventured out of the city to the coastline because I was visiting The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which ended up being one of my favourite galleries I've ever visited.

3. Popping 'Round the Royal Family's for Tea

Okay, obviously I didn't actually meet any royals. But I did visit Amalienborg to see the Royal Guards do their thing and guard the palace.

Ah Copenhagen, you are a lovely little city. Can't wait to see you again - next time with a few travel companions hopefully!

If you enjoy travel posts like this, subscribe. My next trip is Hong Kong!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

How're Ya Howth? Instagram Meet-up

I went to my first Instagram meet-up last weekend! I randomly decided to go along to the meet-up, despite not knowing anyone who'd be there and being somewhat nervous because of that. I hopped on a train to Howth and after a few shy introductions, and a few new follows, we went on our wander.

The meet-up was in Howth, a beautiful part of Dublin which I'd never visited, so I was eager to explore. That's exactly what we did, with cameras around our necks and phones to hand - ready to capture every photogenic angle of the seaside town.

I enjoyed the meet-up immensely. It's great to be with other people who are just as passionate about photography, and just as likely to shamelessly take photos of just about anything. I've honestly never been so comfortable taking photos of strangers - like the girl in yellow above - and it's all because the rest of the group were doing the same!

Have you ever been to a Instagram meet-up? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and I can't publish a blog post about an Instagram meet-up without plugging my own account, now can I? Follow me here.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

3 Takeaways from Design Conference OFFSET

You'd think that since my day job is all about creating content for conferences, I'd be somewhat bored of them. But working for Web Summit has in no way tainted my love for attending events outside of work. And thank goodness for that, Dublin's design conference OFFSET was an amazing experience that taught me some lasting lessons. Namely...

1. Don't be shy, share your work

Share your work and good things will happen. At least, that's how artist GMUNK sees it. In his talk he urged the audience to publish their creative work, whatever that might be, as it will leave them open to new opportunities.

I needed this reminder... It's so easy to put off sharing personal projects until they are absolutely perfect. But sharing your work and getting feedback is all part of the process. And who knows where you could go by putting yourself out there?

2. You'll suck at first, that's okay

There wasn't one particular speaker that said this, but I love the quote by Finn from Adventure Time in the official OFFSET magazine. Dude, sucking at something is the first step toward being sort of good at something, it reads. How true is that?

รšna Burke alluded to this thought when she showed us her fashion designs from her undergrad degree - she cringed at what she had created back then. Of course, now she's a sort-after leather designer whose pieces are seen on celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga and are on display art galleries. She didn't start out amazing, but she got there eventually. Like all accomplished creatives.

Step one: you suck. Step two: you practice. Step three: you get better. And one day you make it. But not before you've repeated those steps a few thousand times.

3. Set crazy goals, achieve crazy things

If you don't set crazy goals in life, how are crazy things going to happen? Those were the exact words of Seb Lester, the calligraphist with a million Instagram followers. I know because I jotted it down as soon as he said it - I wanted to remember it.

Goals are supposed to be a stretch - that's why it feels so good when you achieve them. Your goal might be crazy, but I can guarantee crazier things have happened. So go for it.

As you can see, I was throughly inspired by OFFSET. You can be assured that I'll be sharing all the crazy things that happen to me, so do be sure to follow me on Bloglovin.