Staying Busy: Why you should bulk up your schedules

] 081So I’d like to pretend like I’m one of those people who is always busy. But as a twenty-something year old I’d have to say that that’s not always true. You know the story, college kids procrastinating on tumblr, netflix, or whatever other thing, alone in our room dissolving into nothing for a few hours a day. It’s a great escape… but only every now and then. The internet likes to make itself into an extreme life style. It glamorizes staying in and an extreme form of relaxation that actually passes the line of relaxation and into the realm of wasted time.

I’m as guilty as the next girl. In high school I was on tumblr 24/7. I thought it was a great way to spend all my time because it was inspiring. Well, that’s true. Tumblr is inspiring. But for it to be considered as an inspiration in your life… it has to inspire something.

Here’s what I’m getting at: We need to get off the couch, out of bed, and do more.

Writing this last summer would have made me a hypocrite. Writing it this summer, I can say that it’s a lifestyle change that will change you for the better. Not only will you see your goals move closer and closer, but you will be naturally happier. Here’s why:

  • You’ll sleep better an sounder at night.
  • You’ll be more active, which will release more endorphin’s, which will help your health overall, give you more energy… do I need to go on?
  • You’ll feel less anxious about social plans. Social anxiety is really big in our generation. If you force yourself to get out there more often it will stop seeming like such a weight. When you’re seeing people four times a week rather than once every two weeks you’ll be able to grow stronger relationships and the activity will seem less like a burden because of that and because you’re comfort zone will shift by what you’re used too.
  • You’ll be able to grow your hobbies. Didn’t you want to learn to play the guitar? Didn’t you used to love to paint? There’s more hours in the day to do things when you’re not behind re-watching an entire TV show or scrolling endlessly.
  • You’ll learn what’s important to you on the computer. You’ll figure out which TV shows you really care enough about to stick with and if reading up on a few bloggers is more important than going through 1000.

*The picture is from an internship I did senior year of high school, hence the old school desk top*

The Dream Schemes: How Future Dreams Change


© Anna Katherine Oates, 2015, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

We’ve all experienced that time where were standing with the thing that we wanted within reach and we pull back and say “but I don’t really want it.”

It’s normal, and it’s hard to wrap our heads around in the aftermath. We’re logical beings, we know that what we want changes, but there are some dreams which we are sure won’t, and when they do we’re struck by them and unsettled.

Dreams develop. We might think we want to be a big named published author and then a few years down the road realize that, no, self publishing and just having the work out there would be more than enough to make us happy, because we don’t have the time or the money for the rest of it, and to be honest, other things are more important (can you tell that this one is a personal one?) And that’s okay.

There isn’t a problem with lowering your bar, because normally when you do it’s because you’ve raised something else up. If you’re lowering it only because you don’t think you can make it, that’s a different story, but the balancing act between dreams is normal. Your priorities change, and guess what? They will keep changing, because you’re still changing. As long as you’re keeping dreams and goals, then the rest doesn’t matter.

Advice to Take to Heart:

215Someone is going to ask me about my phrasing, but there is just something about being at peace and in complete bliss that makes you feel light, like your soul weighs less. The weight of the world no longer seems so crushing.

My life has been improving consistently in the past three years. You could say adulthood is treating me well, but a big part of it is I’ve learned how to treat myself well. That right there is an under appreciated art form.

Here are my top tips to do just that:

  • Clean Out: Delete friends off social media that you don’t actually enjoy seeing on your main page. Delete old text message conversations. Clean out your contacts on your phone. Go through your desk, vanity, and closet. Get rid of the stuff you haven’t even thought about using in the past few months. Get rid of the weight of the past and make room for the things you actually need.
  • Make the Effort: You know that friend that you love but never see? Those people who you’ve always wanted to get to know but never have? Make the effort for them. Don’t do any of this “they’ll text me first” nonsense. That doesn’t work anyways, if everyone waits for someone to text them first no one would ever talk again. People are busy. You are busy. Make time for one another.
  • Journal: Blog, Photo journal. Do something to release the feelings and the memories. It’s a great way to distress and an even better thing to go through later on. You’ve felt this before, next time you do you can read yourself through how you got through it.
  • Stop Feeding Your Negatives: Stop reading the sad novels every time you pick up a book. Unfollow the depressing blogs. Download happier music.
  • Believe Your Beautiful: Tell it to yourself every time you look in the mirror. Check yourself out. Wear things that look good on you. When struggling, you just have to fake it till you make it.
  • Get Lost in Nature Every Now and Then: It’s easy to forget what being still means in a city. It’s important to emerge yourself in the great outdoors. Talk about distressing and recharging.
  • Engage: If you’re going to be on Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, than comment, send people pm’s. There’s a study that proves that people who interact on social media are happier than those who do not.
  • Wash your Towels and Bedding More Often: This sounds a little silly, but honestly it’s such an underrated pleasure.
  • Do Something New: There is more to life than just living, right?
  • Learn to Laugh it Off: How many posts do you see about “remembering the embarrassing thing you did three years ago”? And how often does something like that ruin your day. Everyone makes mistakes. You looked stupid. It’s okay, it’s all good, and in a movie you would laugh at it. Do it now. Let it go. Force yourself to the next topic.
  • Drink More Fluids: Water is the best, but tea is almost as good. Just rinse out some of those toxins.
  • Get Inspired: Read a book on something you strive for. Read a blog. Listen to a friend of role model. Listen to a tedtalk.
  • Set Realistic Goals: It’s nice to dream big. Hell, you should dream big. But make your goals possible. Nothing is more discouraging than planning for a one in a million chance and not getting it. High hopes, realistic expectations.
  • Let God into your Life: This can mean different things to different people. Figure out what it means for you.
  • Never Stop Creating: It doesn’t matter how good the end result is. It’s good for the soul, and it’s good for the mind.

Goal Setting:

bIf there is one thing that reading others blogs have really turned me onto, it would have to be detailed goal setting. I’ve always set goals, but they tend to be a lot more broad. I tend to say things like “job after college” or “A or B in my 300 level English Class”. Well, recently I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about goal setting to the T, and I’ve realized, it’s really the best way to turn parts of your life around. Now, I’ve been trying to improve my life while I’m in school, which tends to mean more studying and less time on tumblr (it’s my procrastination tool, for some it’s netflix). It also means taking better care of myself physically.

Improvements are hard to make, I’ll be the first to admit that. We get used to our type of lifestyle and everything becomes a habit that we repeat over and over again. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you can get so easily sucked into bad habits, than how hard is it to get sucked into the good ones? Here’s my tips to making goals and sticking to them:

  • Make realistic goals for right now: You won’t be disappointed or discouraged if you keep the more current goals realistic, once time pasts you can make them bigger because you will be prepared for it, but to start out, the little changes make the biggest differences!
  • Keep the future and the present in mind: A lot of people only plan for the future when they are setting goals, they tend to ignore things like making room for downtime and spur of the moment adventures. It’s important for you to make goals that will benefit you both now and later.
  • Start on a daily level: People tend to make milestone goals instead of making them for day to day, but when you make milestone goals you make them easier to put off. Plan out the steps to make it to those bigger goals, and make the steps your goals.
  • Keep them diverse: Don’t just choose one thing to focus on at time. Don’t just write goals for your career life and leave your emotional health out of it. It’s important to have well rounded goals, not only will they keep your life well rounded, but it’ll keep you from being discouraged by setbacks, because something is always moving forward.


Balancing: Today & Tomorrow


We save so much for tomorrow, so much for when we feel better, or and this is the big one, when we’re “ready”. Now, we’ve all heard it before. Live the life you’d live if you were going to die tomorrow, and that’s great in theory. It’s nice to think of life on a day to day basis, but some things take a lot more time. Somethings can’t be achieved in a day, and some things have some not-so-fun steps to get to the good part. So living like there is no tomorrow isn’t a very functional thing in this world. Than again, neither is planning just for the future. That’s clear, so how do you live in a way that’s not saving things for tomorrow and not living in the future. It’s a really hard balance to find. Here’s how I’ve found mine, at least this year, who knows where I will be in one or two more.

  • Realize that you’re never going to do something if you’re waiting till you’re ready: Seriously, no matter how much more prepared you might be in fifteen years, you’ll have other dilemma’s that hold you back. There is never going to be perfect timing to start something. You can learn to fly on the way down.
  • If it effects your health, just don’t: Okay, this one is a big one in the “YOLO” culture (or carpe deim for those who want to sound somewhat educated) the drinking, drugs, and all that. I’m not saying that a drink is going to kill you, but I’m saying that all the bottle of vodka a Saturday, late nights out, running on two hours of sleep, and wearing yourself down with stress to the point a cough across the room can get you sick. It’s not worth it, and if it’s super important you can…
  • Replace priorities: There are only so many hours in the day, and while there are a ton of them, sometimes you just overflow. You need to pick and choose. Sacrifice is a thing, make sure you lose the one that means the lease to you.
  • Beat off the idea of “not me”: If not you than who? Isn’t that the saying we always hear? Lets go with another one, if you don’t try how will you know you can’t. The thing is, even if you can’t make it, trying too almost always leads you to something else great, or shows you what was wrong with your plan, and how you can try again. It’s time to let go of the “I can’t’s” because honestly chances are if you’re passionate about it you can, but…
  • Keep it realistic: Not by saying I can’t, but by saying that you’d be satisfied somewhere. If you keep going bigger and bigger you’ll never be happy. The same thing goes with making you’re goal the biggest one possible, if you don’t make it, the progress you made won’t mean anything to you. Don’t let that happen.
  • Chart it out: Know the steps. You don’t want to live in the future, but to get to the future you have to start today. So know what’s the first step, the second one. You might find that you have to add in a few steps, and that’s fine, sometimes it takes us a little longer to make it up the steps, and that’s okay. What’s not is to only know what’s at the top and have no way to get there.

The “I didn’t reach my resolutions” revolution.

recenttumblr_ngbyi6rK0v1qzb3obo1_500This is the time of the year were everyone starts panicking or stressing over all the stuff they didn’t get done this year. Understandably, we try to set goals for each year, but they don’t always happen. Maybe I gained weight instead of lost it this year. Maybe I didn’t touch my camera near as much as I wanted to. Maybe I only finished a few books instead of my goal of fifty. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

It’s so easy to get upset over these things, because we feel like we’re not making process. My thought is, what were you doing instead? You were doing something. If you gained weight perhaps you became a better baker, or got a better social life and were eating out more often. Maybe since you weren’t that creative you spent  more time saving up inspiration, see were I’m going?

This year when making that list of resolutions, how about instead of just rewriting all the things you had on it last year, you look at what kept you from getting your goals and you put the first step in the opposite direction. Instead of lose weight: eat three salads a week. Instead of take more pictures: set aside two hours, one for down time and  one for camera time.

Goals are about balance, and now that you’ve made the goals and missed them, you can know why you missed them and how to correct that in the future. Don’t stress about getting it all done in the next two weeks, just be realistic and work out all the details.