Fourteen assignments submitted, a few breakdowns related to statistics, and one MA dissertation to write, that’s my masters degree in a nutshell. I started with good intentions at the start of the year, easing myself back into posting, but here we are again, university took over and now I have no lectures to attend I want to get back into blogging. To start that process again, I thought I would write out my intentions for the next five months or so, hold myself accountable again in starting a spending ban, and work out how the hell I plan to write 15,000 words!
MA Dissertation Writing
My initial plans for how I would tackle my MA actually went pretty well in semester 1, up until deadline season hit and then it went completely out of the window. This coupled with the offer of two week extension on assignments due to the ever present covid situation, saw me already behind before my second semester had even begun, and so those healthy habits disappeared altogether. Now my only focus is writing my dissertation, I am hoping to regain some normality and finally sort out my life routine. I have just under five months to write 15,000 words, my data collection is already done, so in theory if I can write 1000 words a week, I will be right on track and not get too overwhelmed – hopefully. Alongside my MA dissertation writing, I also need to focus on writing a funding proposal which is coincidentally due at the end of January also, but I have enough time to do that, and fingers crossed not burnout, as long as I manage my time.
Exercise and Healthy Eating
Again, I finally got back into running until I had a deadline a week and my brain decided to guilt trip me if I were to do anything that wasn’t working on my assignment. As for food, I relied on UberEats and freezer foods for the majority of August, not quite the hot girl summer we were looking for. Regardless, I want forget that and prioritise both healthy eating and exercise again from September onwards. My aim is to run 3x a week using the Couch to 5K app, (and actually get to the end this time!!), do a JustDance workout 3x a week, (they’re so much fun and so tiring), and try and reach my protein and carb goals during the weekdays, all of which will help my mental health and productivity at the same time.
August was an expensive month. Having the excuse of ‘it’s my birthday’ and a treat yourself mentality never go well together, and this is always at the expense of my bank account, hence the spending ban. Not only am I not buying beauty products – as is my usual ban – but Amazon, UberEats and any clothing retailers are off the cards too. My beauty stash is overflowing as ever, even though I’ve cleared out and used up loads of products while I’ve been gone, so no purchases there, unless I run out of something I somehow don’t have a backup for. The plan again is to use up and many items as possible, have clear outs to friends, and this time actually write about my empties, rather than collect them for six months only to throw them away. Amazon Prime is such a threat to my bank account, it’s just so easy to shop because I’m bored, for things I don’t even need, and they arrive next day, which is good for no one, especially not the environment. My aim is to note how I don’t need to use it, and hopefully teach myself to shop more sustainably, and actually get out of the house more if I do need something.
An UberEats ban is pretty self explanatory, it’s expensive and it’s usually not healthy, and I do actually enjoy cooking outside of assignment season. As there are only two of us currently in my student house, I’ve been abusing the freezer space, which just won’t be a luxury come the end of September, so I’m spending this month using up what is in my freezer. This means that I only really need to buy fresh vegetables, and maybe some meat, and so I am giving myself a budget of £20, with any change being transferred to a ‘rainy day’ fund for when I need a takeaway or something else come October. Not only will I be saving money, but I’ll also be forced to cook properly. When I do cook it tends to be in batches, so I plan to make some winter favourites for those days I just can’t be bothered, and put those in my limited freezer space.
So what does that mean for my actual day to day life? Well, I’m pretty flexible, as long as my MA dissertation writing is on track. I want to be aiming to get up at 9am, doing my planned exercise and eating properly. As per lockdown one, I will also have Wednesday’s and weekends off working, unless I’m behind or feeling particularly motivated, because burnout is no good for anyone. I also want to write a blog post once a week, and try to post on Instagram three times, but I’m not going to push myself because I want to enjoy it again.