I joined a CrossFit gym a few months ago without much information of what I was getting into. I only knew that it consisted of a variety of workouts to develop strength and conditioning. As time went by, I found out much more…
CrossFit has a fun, engaging and demanding nature. It requires a ‘no nonsense’ mindset, one needs to engage with the workout and do the best. Today was my 54th workout and I have learned not only about exercise technique but about my self, specifically my inadequacies and my potential. I am always surrounded by more experienced people who motivate me, they are friendly and supportive too.
This is a perfect environment in which I have tested my limits and surprised myself, I recently managed to do a few pull ups for example. This may be nothing to some but it was very difficult for me and it took some time!
CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition.
The combination of exercise and sound nutrition is nothing new but it must be underpinned by discipline. Like every new habit I have implemented in my life, I found it hard at the beginning but I got into it very quickly for the reasons I outlined above.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
“What Is Fitness”, CrossFit Journal, 2002
I have seen significant improvement in my life both mentally and physically. Although I am still adjusting my diet, I am mindful of what I eat and when. I plan my week ahead and balance it with working days and other responsibilities. I wish I had more energy and didn’t need to rest so that I could train 6 days a week, some people have told me that CrossFit may be addictive, I believe them!
A few days ago, I saw an ad in the underground. It had a pancake picture and prompted people to lose weight without having to change their lifestyle or sacrifice what they enjoy the most. I personally find this approach misleading and very sad. Firstly because it doesn’t work, secondly because things that are worth living for take time and effort. It is rewarding to push yourself through a workout and keep going even when you feel you won’t make it. When you push yourself and others push you (coaches, peers), you strengthen your body and mind and are elated at the end. No pancake has given me this feeling and I like to work hard.
There is a lot to learn and I look forward to continue training and learning. I highly recommend you to find a CrossFit gym nearby and to learn more about it, the CrossFit website is very useful.
This post is day 7 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
YNAB (You Need a Budget) is both a software and a method that helps you to manage your money. It is based on four rules that are life-changing that have helped lots of people to have peace of mind in their financial life.
Rule one: give every dollar a job.
Decide how you are going to use your money and stick to the plan.
Rule two: embrace your true expenses.
Budget for upcoming expenses, when they come, you only need to pay the bill.
Rule three: roll with the punches.
You will not be able to anticipate all the expenses and will need to adjust your budget multiple times. Move funds from one category to another and make room for the expense you need to cover. For example: there is no money in the dining out category but you can afford to transfer from groceries. You make the treat affordable by taking advantage of some offer at the supermarket or by adjusting your shopping list.
Rule four: age your money.
As you begin to live within your means and spend less than you earn, money will start to age. This way, you will spend money that you earned at least 30 days before. This is completely different to the pay check to pay check life-style many people have got used to.
If you are interested, have a look at the workshops here.
When I got my first salary (I was 17 years old), I couldn’t believe it, it was both exciting and shocking to see money coming in and out almost immediately. At the time, I needed to cover some expenses I ran into so that I could start that first job: clothes, transportation, food, essentials. Therefore, my first pay check wasn’t mine anymore. I had to return the money and hope to catch up and stabilise my situation in the coming months. However, this situation (which should have been temporary) became the norm. I kept my head above water most of the time but I did not experience financial peace until I got my degree and my second or third salary as a professional (I had to pay my university debts first).
I will graduate, get a job and lack of money will be a distant memory. This is temporary!
My thoughts as a university student
Perhaps some young people, especially university students who work to pay for their studies might be familiar with this situation and might get on with it.
I learned valuable things, for example, I could cope with the struggle, hope for a better future, be a more disciplined student and prioritise my studies. I am not sure this was the case with some people who got support from their parents. Don’t take me wrong, great for them but I would not change a moment, those were good times. When I finally saw money left in my bank account after paying my debts and my monthly expenses, a thought struck me:
Surely I deserve a break after all my effort! Let’s travel, eat out and do things I couldn’t afford before!
This was a big mistake! I could have enjoyed for a while, I did deserve it. However, I forgot the tight budget of the old days and spoiled myself with treats for too long. Therefore, I went back to square one and I continued to live pay check to pay check. I eventually got a credit card and accumulated debt carelessly. It took me a while to realise how bad the situation was.
I was planning to get married at the time and I was determined to pay my credit card debt and to change my financial behaviour once and for all. My future husband told me about budgeting, financial principles and gave me ideas to fix the situation. The whole process took about 7 months and there is no secret… just keep this in mind:
Live within your means, do not spend more than you earn.
Plan ahead, not only for the monthly expenses but for emergencies, a house or retirement.
Most of the things we want to spend our money in are unnecessary, give it a second or third thought. Indulgence might be your worst enemy.
I have no debts at the moment and have tried to master the rules above. I still struggle sometimes to stick to the original plan and allow myself treats at times even when I know I shouldn’t. However, the underlying principles I have decided to live by always help me and bring me back. I am glad to have an organised financial life for the most part and this motivates me to keep on track.
There are useful resources that gave me a different perspective on finances and I list them below if you are curious.
The Richest Man in Babylon
The book contains a series of parables which are set in ancient Babylon thousands of years ago. The financial advice encompasses saving, controlling expenses, earning, preserving income, investing and general principles which anyone can grasp. Additionally, I was able to draw numerous lessons in regards to character: diligence, caution, patience, honesty… The book is fascinating! You can purchase it online easily.
David Ramsey’s story
He is a financial advisor in the United States. He tells the story of his bankruptcy and subsequent recovery. He hosts the Dave Ramsey Show and offers advice and courses.
The Bible speaks about stewardship, debt, diligence, laziness, labour but most importantly about God’s promises. If we keep his word, he will help us in all things.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
Proverbs 6: 6-8
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
This post is day 6 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
Hay páginas dedicadas a la publicación de noticias o artículos en inglés para diferentes niveles. Puede encontrar una transcripción, un audio y algunas sugerencias para aprender inglés usando estos materiales. Por ejemplo:
Lea el texto y busque las palabras desconocidas.
Lea el texto nuevamente y escuche el audio para familiarizarse con la pronunciación.
Lea y escuche la misma noticia el día siguiente, con seguridad su entendimiento habrá mejorado. Al leer y escuchar nuevamente podrá consolidar más vocabulario.
Repita el proceso con una nueva noticia. Cada día usted estará revisando lo anterior y aprendiendo algo nuevo.
Days in Levels se puede usar de la misma forma. Aquí encontrará artículos cortos sobre eventos históricos.
Pienso que 20 minutos diarios serán suficientes. Es una forma fácil y entretenida de aprender.
This post is day 5 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
En este artículo encontrará una lista de materiales disponibles en internet para aprender o mejorar su inglés, la mayoría de recursos son gratuitos pero a veces es necesario crear una cuenta.
Tim’s pronunciation workshop
Aprenda los sonidos a través de episodios cortos. Recomiendo empezar por el primer episodio el cuál tiene una introducción a todos los sonidos.
Busque la palabra y el acento (británico, americano, otro). En los resultados podrá escuchar la pronunciación, podrá ver la palabra siendo usada en contexto y sinónimos.
En la sección guides encontrará las palabras por categoría.
Write and improve
Esta es una herramienta fantástica. Hay que escoger un nivel y un tema, escribir un texto en respuesta al tema escogido y hacer click en check. Su texto será revisado y recibirá un puntaje junto con sugerencias para mejorar. Realice los cambios y envíe el texto de nuevo, esta vez podrá ver un nuevo puntaje y continuar trabajando en su texto hasta que esté a la altura. Este video muestra cómo funciona.
De todo un poco
BBC Learning English
Aquí encuentra cursos, noticias, historias… Algo que recomiendo muchísimo es 6 Minute English. Cada día hay un nuevo tema y una discusión y la transcripción está disponible.
Esta página contiene una serie de discursos con subtítulos y transcripción. Cada discurso tiene una pequeña reseña.
Escoja el nivel y la canción que desea aprender. Es muy bueno para escuchar activamente, aprender vocabulario y practicar la escritura de las palabras. ¡Es bastante divertido! También hay canciones en otros idiomas.
Games to learn English
Algunos juegos para practicar vocabulario, gramática o la estructura de las frases en inglés.
Quiz your English app
Esta aplicación le permite practicar y competir al mismo tiempo con otros jugadores. Es de selección múltiple principalmente y parte del contenido es gratuito, fue creado por Cambridge Assessment English. Está disponible en Android y iOS.
Contiene juegos, canciones y otras actividades interesantes.
Sé que estos materiales serán útiles para quien procura aprender de forma independiente. Puede ir a su propio ritmo, sin prisa pero sin pausa como dicen por ahí.
This post is day 4 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
En mi opinión aprender inglés es fácil, agradable y extremadamente útil. Sin embargo, para muchos es un dolor de cabeza y parece una tarea tediosa y hasta casi imposible. Cuando digo que aprender inglés es fácil, no quiero decir que el aprendizaje se dé mágicamente o como nos decían los profesores en el colegio ‘por ósmosis’. Es necesario tener disposición, ganas de aprender y constancia.
En este momento tengo en mente a las personas que viven en un país angloparlante, pero estos consejos son útiles para cualquier persona. Creo que lo más importante es aprovechar cada oportunidad y ser proactivo.
Al ver una palabra o frase desconocida en un anuncio, búsquela en el diccionario. El contexto le va a ayudar a entender y a recordar pues es algo que usted está usando inmediatamente. Seguramente la próxima vez que lo vea va a estar familiarizado o ya no va a necesitar de la traducción. Lo mismo se aplica a una canción, a un artículo o a un libro.
Yo soy un poco aficionada y escribo las palabras pues esto me ayuda a memorizar.
Hable con otras personas en inglés aunque le cueste. Intente tener una conversación breve en la cual usted entienda el mensaje principal y comunique lo esencial, esto es más importante que tener una pronunciación perfecta o parecer sofisticado. Esto no quiere decir que hay que pronunciar de cualquier manera o quedarse en lo básico, pero no deje que esto lo detenga (voy a compartir algunos materiales que le ayudarán a progresar). A veces tenemos pánico escénico y temor de errar pero debemos superarlo. Aprender a hablar requiere práctica y paciencia, paso a paso usted podrá mejorar su fluidez verbal y pronunciación.
Use gestos y no dude en solicitar aclaraciones, puede decir:
Could you repeat please? – ¿podría repetir por favor?
Could you speak slowly please? – ¿podría hablar más despacio por favor?
What does “x” mean? – ¿qué significa “x”?
Las personas son comprensivas por lo general y no tienen ningún problema en colaborarle. Nadie me ha dicho que no, o me ha dejado hablando sola jamás. Es más, pedir aclaración sobre el significado de una palabra o sinónimos es la mejor oportunidad para aprender a usar la palabra en contexto y para vincularla con otras palabras.
En este ejemplo la palabra “huge” es desconocida pero “immense” o “gigantic” son cognados.
WordReference es un diccionario en línea que además de mostrar la traducción de las palabras permite escuchar su pronunciación y ver su uso (English collocations).
Linguee es una concordancia y allí se pueden buscar términos específicos y frases. Es muy útil para verlos en contexto y comparar los dos idiomas.
Estoy convencida de que estos consejos le ayudarán bastante. En el próximo artículo voy a compartir algunos sitios web para aprender y practicar inglés.
This post is day 3 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
I have been using the Bullet Journal method since January 2019 as a New Year’s resolution… this might be the first time I stick to one.
At the time I had an idea of who I wanted to be, I wrote a detailed plan of the ‘ideal me’ and determined some steps that would allow me to become that person. To make this tangible, I set some goals and then thought of smaller periods of time and specific actions to achieve them.
In regards to personal goals, I decided to change my daily habits; this included prayer, bible reading, exercise, contacting family and friends. The main professional goal required about a years preparation and I broke tasks down in weeks. I pictured a well-rounded person and I included several aspects of my life.
However, I made a long list of ideal habits and I did not think too much about how feasible it was. It took me a few weeks to realise that aiming for a radical change was very difficult and frustrating. To fix this, I defined attainable habits that I was not willing to negotiate with myself and tried my best to stick to them. The Bullet Journal book did warn me about this mistake but I made it anyway! I guess this is fine and one needs to learn some lessons along the way. Once I managed the basics I had defined for myself, I added a bit more.
Not every week or month was perfect, I still have a long way to go until I am overall satisfied with the person I want to be. However, I see significant progress in several aspects of my life and that makes me happy. Nothing in this world will be ever perfect and it would be quite proud to say that one has nothing to improve. I attained my professional goal which was to be a qualified Spanish teacher. This was a massive project and I am glad to look back in my journals and see all the stages I went through to achieve this. This was a monumental task but it was done one day at a time.
One of the best lessons from Bullet Journal until now has been intentionality. Having a purpose, being mindful of the things I expect from myself and remaining focused has shaped my character and kept me stable throughout 2020 and 2021 in spite of all the changes and challenges that arouse. The thousands of things I got done in this journey are valuable, but secondary.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Lao Tzu – Chinese proverb
This post is day 2 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.
The Bullet Journal method has deeply impacted my life for 15 months. I am sure it will continue to be a pillar in my life for a long time. I want to thank Ryder Carroll for his brilliant book The Bullet Journal.
Bullet Journal® is designed to help you organize your what while you remain mindful of your why. The goal of the Bullet Journal is to help its practitioners (Bullet Journalists) live intentional lives, ones that are both productive and meaningful.
Towards the end of 2018, I needed an organisation method as I was struggling to have a clear vision of my current projects and deadlines as well as personal stuff. I had a long to-do list everyday but I was not mindful of my medium and long term goals. They were at the back of my mind. My daily to-do list contained:
Important and urgent things
Important but non-urgent things
If time things
At the end of the day I crossed many items out but did not stop to think: ‘where do these individual tasks lead me?’ or ‘are they steps towards the job I want to do in the future?’
When I found out about Bullet Journal, the phrase ‘live an intentional life’ resonated with me. Although I believed I was an efficient person, only a small percentage of the tasks were contributing to my goals. At times, I remembered what I wanted one or two years earlier and then I realised I was quite far from achieving that. This happened because I lacked clear goals and a plan to achieve them.
I got the book and read it along with he Bullet Journal blog, reading about people’s experiences was very helpful. I started journaling on the 1st of January 2019. Thinking about my goals was really hard, perhaps my only clear goals in life had been to finish secondary school, then to get a degree and a job. Once I got past that stage, I got into an automatic pilot, I think the fuel just run out for me. I wanted to focus on this new job and to relax a bit after 4 hectic university years.
Everyone needs a break from time to time, I think it is like allowing yourself some chocolate ice cream after an extensive diet. However, life can become too comfortable and it may just happen for you.
Thinking about goals took time, it was a bit painful, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do next, I felt like I went back to the end of secondary school when I was anxious about what career to choose and how to be a grown up. I believe that this is an inevitable part of life, people begin projects and one day they end. After a deserved break, it is time to think about something bigger or new. In my case, things developed and I established some short, medium and long term goals as well as the necessary habits I that would get me there. Not every day was a success, I tried to change all my habits at once and obviously failed.
When doing my daily and weekly revisions, I realised that I was trying to change everything in one go and I did not have the ability to do it. I then started with baby steps, something that required effort but that I was willing to keep with no excuses. As days and weeks went by, I started to consolidate these habits and could stick to them most of the time. This was very rewarding and I became more determined towards the goals I had set for myself and could begin to take my targets to the next level.
I have learnt valuable things while using the method and I would like to share them with you:
Use of the time
I thought that time management was a bit like doing lists and ticking off boxes. The initial pages of my Bullet Journal are filled with long lists and postponed tasks, which really frustrated me. However, when I aligned my activities to my priorities and goals, I noticed a shift in the way I spent my time. I understood that quantity isn’t necessarily quality. Tasks became meaningful and manageable, I knew where I was heading and was motivated, I got into a nice workflow in different areas of my life.
Within a few months, I could accomplish some of my short and medium term goals. Some goals were not realistic at the time but I could think about them again in the future. I also gave up some goals which did not interest me anymore. This was difficult at times but totally worth it. It gave me more time to focus on what was relevant!
Ups and downs
I can definitely be lazy and have different reasons not to take projects further. I was aware of the importance of structure, discipline and resilience when it comes to goals. However, I would set an exercise goal and abandon it in less than 3 weeks. Unfortunately, this was a tendency in other areas of my life.
When I defined my priorities and goals, it was easier to align my habits and routine to them. Things like waking up early, reading, exercising, developing professional skills became part of my life and I tracked them daily or weekly.
Actually, the habit tracker page is one of my favourite things about Bullet Journal. It may seem silly but it is very exciting to count the check marks at the end of the month and see the progress. For example:
By reading 3 or 4 chapters every day, I read the Bible in one year. I had tried to do this in the past but I left it.
I am following an exercise programme called Insanity MAX30. I am on the second month now. If you know the programme, you know what I am talking about: 30 minutes in awe and pain, 5 times a week.
I will start a university course in September 2020. I applied to the same position in 2019 and failed. It was a good try but I wasn’t ready at the time. The positive side is that I could identify areas of development and worked on them for several months. I am sure that I am much more prepared to for this course now.
Identify when you are genuinely being lazy or making excuses and do something about it. Rest assured: every day counts, consistency renders great results. BUT be kind to yourself when things don’t go as planned. Reflect upon them, be flexible, adjust and move on. It is better to make a slow but steady progress than to start with intensity, lose your breath quickly and do nothing at all.
Note: this does NOT apply to Insanity MAX30.
Do not to get caught by personal and professional goals only, this takes your attention away from important people in your life. It doesn’t matter how much you love or appreciate someone, if you don’t demonstrate it then it is hard to believe it exists. Living in London made it difficult for me to maintain close contact with my family, the distance and time differences are hard to manage. I used to call them whenever I had ‘spare time’ but calling your family every two months is not good enough is it?
Currently, I make sure I call my parents or sisters regularly. I spend quality time with my husband after work or during the weekends and try to call my friends and catch up with them much more than I used to. Routine, work or personal ambitions might catch us unaware and cause us to lose unique moments with our loved ones. I would like to keep improving on this, it is not perfect but I am more mindful of my interactions and value them greatly.
I am still improving in many areas of my life but at this point of my life, I am more similar to the person I always wanted to be than I was 15 months ago.
I set very serious goals for myself on the 1st of January 2020. I have been living intentionally every day of 2020. I look forward to look at that page at the beginning of June and see what I achieved. I will definitely share it! I encourage you to have a look at the Bullet Journal method website and to get started. You will see examples of elaborate journals which are beautiful but do not be put off by this, you do not need to be an artist , just give the journal your personality and most importantly: live every day of your life intentionally!
This post is day 1 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit 100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.