5 Achievable Summer Goals

28 June 2017

Eldwick, UK
Summer is well underway at the moment, and I’m loving every minute of it. Despite the sudden heat in the UK, which everyone seems to be dealing (struggling) with in their own way, I’m welcoming the rise in temperature. Summer for me, is the time to get stuff done. The days are longer, much lighter and easier to handle. As much as I love the cosiness of winter, waking up when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark makes me want to curl up with a film, rather than run the world.

01. Put on a new personality.
Personally, I’m a little negative. I always say it’s me being realistic but actually I’m just being a bit of a downer. After taking inspiration from new friends, bloggers and public figures that I admire, I’ve decided to switch up the way I see the world a little bit. I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that my aim is to be more positive, and summer is the perfect time to do so! It’s bright outside, and I’m like 80% sure that affects mood. I know all I want to do is sing, dance and have a good time when the sun appears, which means much more optimism.
Not that there’s anything wrong with my current personality, I’ve always been taught there’s room for improvement. Grab a mirror and take a look, what do I want to change inside. Maybe the sarcastic comments? The snappy attitude? The negative outlook? They’re just a couple of things I want to get rid of. I think in the long run, a little self-reflection is incredibly beneficial. I’m 21 and still growing, so summer’s the time to get that kick up the bum.
02. Take thousands of photos.
I feel like this goal is a very “just girly things” kind of goal, but it still counts. As a freelance photographer, I’m always taking photos. Like, constantly. But most the photos I take are for work or as a hobby. I have a DSLR, and I want to pick it up, get out of town and take a bunch of photos with my friends. Not some weak Snapchat videos with frilly filters and fuzzy audio. Some real photographs that I can look back on in thirty years and tear up at (awwwww). They say you should live in the moment, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I also think it’s important to capture the moment the best way you can.
Some are happy with the mental image that lasts forever. I have the memory of a goldfish and can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning let alone what I did with my friends last summer. Photos make me happy, so I wanna take waaaaay more.

03. Be an adult.
I guess this is an odd one, but a truthful one. I’m 21-years-old, which is classed as an adult pretty much everywhere in the world. But sometimes, I live like a 12-year-old, depending on my mum and not wanting to face a very fast-paced life. That’s got to stop, or at least chill out a bit. Being older definitely scares me, and I know I’m not alone in that boat. There’s something about being independent that’s empowering but terrifying. I’m always crazy shocked when there’s a 18-year-old living on her own, with a job, a car, and a dog named Bentley.
Comparison can certainly be a mood-killer, but not if I use it for inspiration. Sometimes I need to grow up a bit, and aiming to be a little more independent and being open to growing is the way to do that this summer.
04. Party hard. Work harder.
As I’ve said 300 times, I’m 21, which also means I can drink all over the world (whoop)! I’m a bit of a party animal when I want to be, so every opportunity to have a good time is going to be taken this summer. It’s an easy goal to have and one that’s definitely achievable. Whether it’s a one-woman rave or this season’s coolest after party – I’m there.
At the same time, I also want to dominate my secular game. I currently work for a Yorkshire-based charity that’s kind of like my baby. As its non-government funded, I work my bum off with the staff to keep us afloat and it’s very rewarding when we receive a donation for our hard work or an extra like on Facebook. That feeling is only felt after working hard, so even though the sun’s out, I might not always be. I totally want to have fun, that’s part of being young, but at the same time it’s important to build a foundation for life and something to be proud of.

05. Read a ton of books.
Maybe not literally, but close. I bought a whole shelf’s worth of books in the spring, with the intention of finishing them all by then end of August. So far, I’m three books in and have quite a few to go but I couldn’t be happier. One of the main reasons I read is for entertainment, but I also love to expand my vocabulary and have something else to think about rather than the mess the world is falling into. One thing that’s different about my choice in books this year, is that I’m reading them for me. A lot of the time, we’re influenced by other people into what we think we should be doing.
Well I’m done with that, I’ll read whatever I want to read and do whatever I want to do. Maybe I don’t want to read 13th century literature while I lounge in the sunshine – doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person or book-lover and the same applies to everyone else.

One thing I noted while writing this post, is that it’s my summer. And your summer is your summer. Set your own goals, achieve your own dreams, and imagine whatever makes you happy, because without that, it’s very hard to have a hope. Happy summer!

Ten Thoughts for Thursday

22 June 2017

Leeds, UK
#1 You are not alone
It’s always good to remember there are other people in this boat with you. I often put myself in my own little bubble, and it’s not the best way to deal with things. You’re never alone!

#2 There’s room for improvement
I always like to think there’s a chance for something to get better. There’s growing space in most situations, so it’s time to notice that space and use it.

#3 It’s not the end of the world
Although it may certainly feel like it. It’s difficult to find comfort in the mess of today’s world, but it certainly isn’t the end.

#4 Smile back
There’s something really special about smiling back when you make eye contact with someone. In Yorkshire it’s a normal thing, but I think the whole world should do it.

#5 Just do it
Quoting one of the biggest brands, but one of the best sayings. That thing you’ve been avoiding all week – get it over with.

#6 Do what brings you joy
I hate anything that feels like a chore as much as the next person, which is why it’s vital to save some time for the joyful things in life.

#7 Watch some cartoons
I’m a big girl but SpongeBob will always make me smile. It’s an odd fact, but I know I’m not the only. Throw on an animated series and have a laugh.

#8 Forget the past
What’s done is done. Just take the lesson, accept the principle and move on. You only ever move the direction you’re facing, so turn around.

#9 Value everything
Sometimes it takes a shock in life for us to focus on what’s really special in life. Why not just value those things, or people, while they’re there?

And finally, #10 Pizza is awesome

Unless you seriously hate pizza, pizza is the best. I had a Domino's this week, and it brought me so much joy I just had to add it to today's post. 

Exploring in Floral

15 June 2017

Eldwick, UK
Going for walks has got to be one of my favourite things to do. It’s a very basic activity, you don’t need much, but the benefits are always positive. Whenever I’m in a bad mood, not feeling well, or want to get some easy exercise in, I just go for a walk. Luckily for me, I live in quite the scenic area of Yorkshire, so a beautiful stroll is only two steps away.
What I wear on a walk depends on each day. Today, was a beautiful summer’s day so I wanted to be a little girly and threw on a floral dress from Next. Florals have been my favourite pattern since being a child. The print can come in basically any shape or size and can be worn to literally anything – which makes them awesome. Unfortunately, when I pulled up to my location, a rainstorm broke out (I knew this sudden heatwave was too good to be true) and the woods quickly filled with water. But the best thing about post-rain walks, is that everything looks SO. MUCH. GREENER. The trees and plants are even more alive!

Converse have become a big go-to shoe to me recently, and I feel like up until now, I was really taking them for granted. I’ve had this classic pair since school, and they’re still in top condition (minus the mud). I love how they add a casual twist to this look paired with a denim jacket. Converse all the way! Shop the pieces from this look below!

5 Netflix Shows You Need to Watch This Month

12 June 2017

Bingley, UK
I’m a self-confessed Netflix lover. Ever since signing up, I have just adored the site and use it more than I use usual TV. There are a lot of TV shows and series that I have grown to love, and watched way more than three times. Therefore, my joy must be shared!

01. Girlboss
The phrase #GIRLBOSS is pretty famous thanks to Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso, and this show is a total inspiration. Although it hasn’t received the best reviews from critics and some feminists, I still love how determined and unique Britt Robertson’s character is. The story is interesting, very much like the book, even though the narrative is a little slow. If you’re looking for the motivation to start your own business or jump into the fashion industry, check out this show.

02. 13 Reasons Why
I completely understand why this show was controversial. Some scenes were truly terrifying to watch. Why you should watch it? Well not only because everyone is talking about it, but because this show will alter the way you look at the world. While watching it, I started to think about my own personal demons and actually become motivated to defeat them. I was moved by Hannah’s story, as well as Clay’s emotional turmoil as each episode unfolded. There’ll be characters you love, totally despise and want to hug. It’s a series full of relatable types and eye-opening messages. But please watch with caution!

03. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Whenever I’m on my lunch break, I look for something light and humours to watch, as it’ll lower my stress levels and put me in a better mood before I return to an afternoon of reports and cold cups of tea. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is that perfect show. Not only is it truly hilarious, but I fell in love with the characters, especially Titus. You’ll often see gifs of him floating around the internet, so tune in and enjoy.

04. Riverdale
I can’t lie, I really struggled with this show at first. With the first few episodes, I couldn’t get addicted, and didn’t relate to the characters this much. By the third or fourth, and a little encouragement from my friends, I really started to enjoy the show as more details of the mysterious murder were revealed. One thing I noticed with the characters in this show, is that you really get to know them and their lives, and are able to make your own decision as to whether or not you like them. And like any good show, there are some great couples to obsess over!

05. Gossip Girl… obviously
I mean, if you haven’t watched this show. Kmt. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been a Gossip Girl fan since it first showed on ITV2 a couple of years ago. I became obsessed then and I’m still obsessed now. It’s definitely the show that helped me to fall in love with New York City, fashion and glamour. The drama is enough to have you hooked, and each season has a hint of mystery; on top of the biggest mystery of all – who Gossip Girl is!

Six Ways I’m Approaching Blogging Differently

7 June 2017

Kettering, UK
In December 2016, I decided to take a break from blogging because I fell out of love with it. During this time, I wanted to really figure out the type of person I want to be, and I want that person to be the same online, as in real life. Blogging became more a chore for me and I feel like all the joy was zapped out of it. And articles from bigger bloggers saying the market is saturated and there’s no room for everyone else doesn’t help, but it isn’t going to stop me. I’m back to blogging for good, and I have six different ways I’m going to ensure that happens.

One of the main reasons I fell out of love with blogging is because I was comparing my blog to everyone else’s. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve and grow as a person, but it should be to your own standards, not to the achievements of someone else. I was measuring my success based on how similar I was to other bloggers I looked up to, and when I wasn’t close to them, it started to get me down. I’ll still look up to bloggers, but not try to become them. I wanna be me!

I used to really pressure and push myself while blogging, almost to the point of not wanting to even switch my computer on. I used to seriously freak out if I wasn’t getting four blog posts out a week and had to post on Instagram three times a day. That’s when blogging really became a chore. I was even setting reminders to tweet and so on. Now that blogging is more personal to me, I’m posting when I feel I should post (but still frequently) and tweeting what I’m actually thinking, rather than just a quote of the day or a photo of my breakfast. With Instagram, I still post every day, but filling up people’s feeds isn’t at the top of my list any more.

When blogging my daily outfits, I used to use any old photos and just hope for the best. I have a chunky DSLR that takes killer photos, and awesome lenses, so I’m going to make use of them! I really enjoy photography and my sister (sort of) enjoys taking photos of me in random locations, which means I really need to up my game. Instead of finding hit and miss Tumblr images, I want to spend time arranging flat lays, or planning the set up for my photos, so they not only reflect my personality, but also improve the quality of my blog.

The number one reason I started a blog is because I love to write. When I was younger, I really thought I was going to be an author or a journalist because creative writing and sharing my thoughts it my passion. I have quite a few blog posts sitting in my drafts that I wrote to inspire my readers. However I was always a little scared to publish them, worried that it means I won’t fit in to the whole “fashion” market, or that I was straying too far from my niche. Well my blog is named after myself, and myself shall decide what I publish. From photography, to travel to journal posts, I want to share it all.

There’s very little chance I’m going to become a YouTuber over the next six months, but I recently edited a video called “24 Hours in London” which I shot on my iPhone 7. I really enjoyed the editing process and loved the final product. Creating a travel video out of the phone footage was genuinely an enjoyable experience and I definitely want to continue doing so. I may start small, with the occasional trip around Yorkshire or even some drone footage. But soon, I want to be able to share travel videos online!

As I mentioned earlier, my blog is named Anika May. That’s me. There’s no point creating a little corner on the internet for myself, if I’m not being myself. I finally know the type of person I am, and I know who I want to grow to become. It’s not another blogger, or a celebrity, or even one of my friends – it’s just me. Anika. I’m not that cool, I don’t pout in photos and I like spending hours watching trash TV. I no longer want to hide aspects of my personality or worry what people think of me because it’s my blog, and it always will be. Haters gon’ hate…right?

June Goals

1 June 2017

Harrogate, UK
June’s officially the start of the summer for me and I have so much planned. Not only am I upping my blogging game, but I also want to improve my own personality and grow stronger friendships.

Get back my blogging groove – I used to post six times a week, which I now know is way too many times for my busy brain to handle, but the chaos was kind of fun and I’d like to publish more photography online.

Meet more bloggers – I haven’t met many bloggers in real life, and although I have mutual followers and so forth online, it would be lovely to really establish friendships with more in this wonderful community and get to know the people behind the URLs.

Update my CV – I currently work part-time for my mama’s charity, but my CV hasn’t been touched for about two years. Granted, I’m not looking for a job, but the media kit for my blog is always updated; I guess my CV should be too!

See my family – My extended family members literally live twenty minutes away and I barely see them. This results in broken relationships which isn’t healthy in the long run. I have quite a few cousins, and we should all be a lot closer!

More girls’ nights – For the first time in a long time, I have friends that I enjoy being around. There’s no cliques and there’s no drama – just how I like it. I love when we have our girly nights in and we need waaaaaaaay more.

Bond with my mum and sister – My mum, sister and I have one of the most hilariously interesting relationships I’ve ever known. We’re a peculiar bunch and could be yelling at each other one minute and howling with laughter the next… I want more of that.

Gym, gym and gym – I haven’t hit the gym in a while and it’s just because I’m lazy. I sort of gave up on the health kick I was on, and I’d love to hop back on that train. Being in the peak of physical health is the goal!

Prep my meals – One of the major things that lets me down is the food I eat. I hate cooking with a burning passion and will do quite a few things to avoid it, like buy Pot Noodles when they’re on offer. If I prepare my meals in advance, I’m sure it’ll help.

Take a yoga class – I’ve always been intrigued by yoga, and I love how it’s so beneficial and challenging for the body. It seems like one of those exercises that you will start to look forward to, rather than dread.

Late summer nights – Summer means more daylight and a higher temperature, that means campfires, woodland adventures and so much more. I can’t wait to get started, 2017 will be the best summer yet!

Take a holiday – I haven’t got anything booked yet, but taking a spontaneous trip to a country I’ve never been to sounds like the dream. Just something care-free and fun is sure to lift my spirits and help me enjoy the year with my friends.

Vlog – I already have one little travel diary from London sitting in my “Videos” folder, ready to upload to YouTube, but I don’t know if I’m ready. I think the more I vlog, the more comfortable and confident I will become with my skills.

Attain more freelance jobs – I really enjoy doing the odd job here and there, it’s such a fun change to my regular routine and helps me build experience in the real world. I’d love to do more, whether it’s photography or a sponsored post on my blog.

Buy a MacBook – Don’t get me wrong, I adore Windows, but Windows doesn’t come with some of the software I need. MacBooks are the key to upping my blogging and vlogging game and I think buying one would help me a lot… I just need some money…

Buy a camera – At the moment, my iPhone 7 does the perfect job of taking snaps when my DSLR is deemed too heavy, but I’d love to purchase something in the middle. I’ve had my eye on the Canon G7x Mark ii, maybe June is the month I buy it.

Be positive – One of the reasons I took a break from blogging is because I no longer saw it in a positive light. That’s got to change. There may be some bloggers who believe there’s no room for anyone else to shine or that the market is saturated… who needs that kind of negativity?

Journal daily – I have a journal specifically for making note of when my anxiety gets the best of me or when I struggle to control my emotions. I definitely to write down how I feel a lot more, as storing it all in my brain just isn’t healthy.

Start saving – Not just to have money, but for my future. I have a very ambitious mind set and have already decided my next car will be a Mercedes. If I want to buy one, I need cash. Saving money from blogging and my pay-check is definitely a June goal.

What are you goals for this month?
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