At The Beginning, Yet Again

intentions

Greetings 2018! I basically spend the whole holiday reading, and watching all the Harry Potter films (is it really a Christmas holiday if you don’t do that?), and I must say that I enjoyed this time of the year tremendously.

Another year is yet again over, but to me this feels more like just any other new day. The reason might be that I didn’t create any unnecessary hype over new years resolutions or tight schedules for the month of January, instead I just let the year change without any expectations. Even though I don’t bother with resolutions anymore, I like to set few intentions or continue carrying out my intentions from the previous year. Here’s just a few intentions that I’ve set for myself during the end of last year:

Reading

I did complete my Goodreads reading goal before midnight yesterday which I’m thrilled about. Overall I read 50 books last year, and some books I read twice so technically the number is a bit higher, but that isn’t really important. I discovered so many new books and authors that I fell in love with straight away, so I consider last year an excellent year for me personally.

My intention for this year reading-wise is to enjoy the process more rather than rushing through the books in order to complete my goal. Towards the end of last year, I rushed through a few books because I was behind on my goal, and that hurrying made me enjoy the books less, which I definitely don’t want to experience while reading. This year I intend to read because I enjoy it, not because I have to do it.

Eating

I don’t believe in diets and I’ve never been on one, and I don’t plan on doing so in the future either. I just want to get back to cooking more and eating food that truly is nourishing. I absolutely love cooking (and baking), but towards the end of last year I became really unbothered about it which led me to eat so much worse than I’m used to, and I could tell it easily from my mood and energy levels.

This year I intend to get back on track and start cooking again, especially because I know how much I love making dishes from scratch, I feel I can get back on it easily. I also want to do more research about the food I consume and eat more sustainably, and also make sure that I get all the nutrients that my body needs in order to function properly

Spending

I’ve never been one to waste money on something I don’t need, but I’ve noticed that I could still change my habits and live with less. This is actually an intention that I want to keep possibly for the rest of my life. I want to live more minimally and focus on consuming more sustainable goods and services.

Overall I think I’d like to make more conscious choices and really challenge myself to think what is truly something, that I need in my life and what I could do without. I feel passionate about this, and I want to adjust my lifestyle so that I can sense it making a difference in the world.

Because I started making these little changes throughout December already, or whenever they popped into my head, I now feel less pressure to turn my life completely around in January. I still think that we should start small whenever we are in need for a change, rather than trying to go big only once a year.

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There Is Time In The NOW

dreamer

As the days of this year are slowly flying away and the year 2018 is on the horizon, I have noticed how my mind has started to take notes of what I shall start doing in the month of January. These notes include such things as “Next year I’ll spend more time with my friends” and “I’ll totally start using less social media in January” and so on. As I was holding these notes in my mind a thought occurred to me; why do I have to wait until January to make these little changes in my life? Why can’t I just start right now?

I understand that it makes a lot of sense to start fresh when the number changes, but why wait for that specific moment when it would be easier to just start right away? When we are waiting until the 1st of January there is a lot of unnecessary build up to it, and a lot of unrealistic goals that are believed to be magically achieved because they were started in the beginning of the year.

It’s so funny that we are generally obsessed with this idea of ourselves starting some amazing things in time that hasn’t yet happened, and sadly in many cases these amazing things are not going to be started but instead pushed back to the next Monday, month or even a year. Sometimes planning your life ahead won’t bring you the opportunities you really want or need, because we cannot live in those make-believes of the future.

Instead of leading a miserable lives with glorious dreams in our minds, we should use the present moment to start working on those dreams and make them the reality. If those dreams are in the January of next year, there’s quite a huge possibility that they will flow to oblivion and never be fulfilled. I don’t want to wish away this year so that I could start working on all those notes in my mind, but rather live right now and make the changes as I go along and see where I am when the new year is ready to arrive.

Mastering The Art of The French Language

french

The French culture, history and overall atmosphere have me completely under their spell and I’ve dedicated a lot of time for the exploration of everything French. So naturally I’ve also started to learn the beautiful language that is French, and I’m quite determined to reach a point in my life when I can effortlessly hold a conversation in French, most preferably somewhere in the heart of Paris. I actually studied French as a fourth language in school on 8th and 9th grades, and that’s basically when I fell in love with it. After that though, I couldn’t study it anymore in high school so I started learning it by myself using various different ways. I generally try to do a little bit everyday just to keep it fresh in my mind.

Textbooks 

As I’ve studied French at school, I still have the books that have been a huge help in learning the correct grammar and expanding my vocabulary. As I’ve gotten through the previous books, I’ve bought the books for the next ‘level’ and continued learning through different types of texts and exercises. As I’m doing this by myself, it’s been extremely helpful to have these books as they contain the basic information that you need to understand the language and the culture.

Duolingo

This app has been a great way to sneak in a little French practice every now and then for example when I’m bored, waiting for something or if I just feel like I want to enhance my skills. The textbooks do get a bit too heavy after a while so it has been a nice change to do something different but at the same time learn the language more. It’s also quite addictive as there is a certain amount of practice that you have to do in order to get the circle to turn golden, which actually is quite clever as it increases the time I’m using for learning.

Books

This is maybe the most ambitious way that I’m trying to learn the language. I’m going through Le Petit Prince very slowly at the moment and I find it extremely challenging. There’s such a difference in textbook material and actual literature obviously, so it’s great to notice how the comprehension starts to develop, extremely slowly but it’s getting stronger. When I started to really perfect my English, I first read the Harry Potter books as I knew them for-and backwards in Finnish, so it was easier to comprehend them in English too, and that worked quite well as I was able to move to more complex literature pretty soon. I’m hoping this same tactic will work with my French too and I’ll be reading some of my favourite literature in their original language promptly.

In addition to these three things, I would also like to practice my French more in action which might  mean that  I have to finally plan a long awaited second trip to somewhere in France, or any other country that uses French as an official language really.