Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “goals”

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    Looking for love - Mar 4th, 2015
    Dating is hard. Dating in your late 30s and early 40s is hard. Dating as a widow is hard. And trying to do all three at once is a massive challenge! (I imagine that had I been blessed with children, dating would be nearly impossible!) [more...]

    Focused in February - Feb 1st, 2015
    I’ve decided to dedicate February to getting back into a good, healthy routine. The idea is this: If I can re-focus enough of my energies, I can spend more of my days feeling accomplished and less of them feeling scattered and lost. [more...]

    Life laughs - Jan 19th, 2015
    Sometimes I feel like the world is laughing at me; like life is laughing at me. Sometimes I feel like my entire life has been one failed attempt at happiness after another—though with short bursts of joy before tragedy strikes! [more...]

    A dress-down skirt - Jan 11th, 2015
    When I was back home in America on my holidays, I was offered a couple of dresses that didn’t fit just right. But as the previous owners were happy for me to experiment on them, I gladly brought the garments back to Scotland with me. [more...]

    10 to-dos for 2015 - Jan 2nd, 2015
    I really do love the start of the New Year, because it’s a great opportunity to start fresh. To that, I generally love the end of the year, too, as it’s a great motivator to finish one year’s tasks before moving on to the next. [more...]

    20 and 15 in 2015 - Jan 1st, 2015
    In addition to my general New Year’s resolution to be more optimistic and hopeful, I have set myself a few goals to reach over the year. I’ll talk about some of them from time-to-time, some might never be talked about but will be written down, and some will remain within my own mind, known only to me. [more...]

    A hope-filled start - Jan 1st, 2015
    Welcome to 2015! It’s a new day; a new year; a new opportunity for happiness and joy! And as always, I’m choosing to start the year off with hope! [more...]

    Reflections of 2014 - Dec 31st, 2014
    The end of a year can only mean one thing: An obligatory end-of-the-year reflections post! At the start of the year, I had grand visions of joy and laughter. Things were going rather well and I felt confident that it would be a year of mostly good and happy things. [more...]

    Groovy new shoes - Dec 27th, 2014
    As any runner knows, shoes are an important part of the kit, but I’ve always been a shoe-deny-er, hating to part with my hard-earned money for something as silly as a foot cover. Which probably explains why my two pairs of running shoes are six and seven years old, and each have hundreds and hundreds of miles on them—far more than their recommended distances. [more...]

    A year of PhD dreams - Nov 16th, 2014
    Yesterday marked one calendar year since I matriculated as a research student in the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University. It’s hard to believe that more than 15 years after first thinking about a PhD, I’m finally making progress on one! [more...]

    The harm of not running - Nov 13th, 2014
    Today’s journaling prompt was to write down five things I do to harm myself, and to talk about what I can do to take better care of myself. It was, like many of these “self-reflection” prompts, a bit hard to look at myself critically. But I did, and what I realised is that one of those harmful things is most damaging of all—even though the harmful thing is based on non-activity. [more...]

    Beating Beethoven’s record - Oct 23rd, 2014
    I woke up at 6.30 on Sunday morning. The rain was dumping down like mad and I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to start the day. I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I was, to say the least, feeling a bit underwhelmed. [more...]

    Shooing shoes - Oct 8th, 2014
    Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finally bought myself a new pair of black heels—nearly five and a half years after my last pair was purchased. I admit that this is something that should have been done a long time ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until recently. [more...]

    Ness, again - Sep 29th, 2014
    Yesterday was the 2014 Loch Ness Marathon, with 2,478 people crossing the finish line at the end of the gruelling 26.2-mile course. I was one of them, crossing under goal time by more than five minutes. (Yay, me!) [more...]

    Pride to the power of 10 - Sep 24th, 2014
    My friend, LA, introduced me to The Bliss Scandal so I decided I’d sign up and see what it was all about. To be completely honest, I wasn’t interested in taking most of the challenges. But that’s OK because I think that’s part of finding your bliss: Knowing when to say “no”! Anyhow, today’s challenge was one I was excited about because it was one I needed. And I needed it because it gave me an opportunity to think positively about myself. (Something I’m struggling with right now.) [more...]

    Inaugural success - Sep 6th, 2014
    Today was another race day. This time, it was the inaugural Scottish Half Marathon near Edinburgh. The course follows part of the Edinburgh Marathon course, so I had some familiar views along the way. And I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed the entire experience. (Well, except for my slow time.) [more...]

    A change of course: Loch Ness, again - Jul 1st, 2014
    After two failed attempts to run a full marathon in 2013, I decided that I would run only half marathons in 2014 to work on my time for “shorter races”. Yes, I was adamant that 2014 would be a year of halfs and that I wouldn’t run another full until 2015. [more...]

    Another half done - May 26th, 2014
    Well, that’s another half marathon done and dusted. Sadly it wasn’t my best showing, but I showed up—and I finished!—so it counts! [more...]

    Running excuses - May 23rd, 2014
    It’s time once again for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which means it’s time once again for me to make some lousy excuse for why I will have a horrible time. (Running time, not emotional time.) [more...]

    Escaping the comfort zone - Apr 23rd, 2014
    Life begins where your comfort zone ends. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Success, happiness, excitement, love … it’s all found outside of our comfort zone. [more...]

    An unexpectedly sweet day - Apr 17th, 2014
    For the last few weeks, I have been struggling to overcome my desire to eat loads of candy and sweets as part of my Lenten sacrifice. If you’re a regular Just Frances reader—or if you know me at all—you will know that giving up sweeties is a fairly major undertaking. [more...]

    Your challenge: Build up, don’t knock down! - Mar 27th, 2014
    I woke up this morning and checked my Facebook feed whilst waiting for my snooze-cycle to end. Only what I read angered me so much that I couldn’t stay still for the full 10-minute “bonus rest” and I found myself getting up and pounding out a quick-and-angry reply to the poster. But the anger and rage remained as I went to the kitchen to make my coffee. So today, you get to read a rant. (Yay!!) [more...]

    A new PB! - Mar 9th, 2014
    Wow, oh wow! I just don’t know what to say other than that. Just ... Wow!! (Don’t worry; I’ll manage to find more words, too.) [more...]

    Ready to run - Mar 7th, 2014
    I’m heading to Inverness later today for a fun and exciting weekend of running. And for as much as I’ve been dreading it, I’m kind of starting to look forward to it now. (I’m sure I will regret it all come Monday though.) [more...]

    40 days for my soul - Mar 4th, 2014
    Tomorrow is the first day of the Lent and I am once again finding my soul humbled at the grace of God and my Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ. [more...]

    It’s a wrap! - Mar 3rd, 2014
    Last month I set myself a simple goal of doing some shopping at a charity shop or two. And I failed miserably. In fact, it was such a failure that I didn’t even manage to walk through the door of a shop, let alone spend money there. [more...]

    Finding money - Feb 18th, 2014
    A year ago, I was excitedly talking about applying for PhDs and how I wondered how I would ever afford to actually study if I was accepted somewhere. My first offer wasn’t a funded position so I knew in my heart that it would never happen. But the next two offers included studentship, making my PhD dreams more realistic, indeed! [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    De-can’t-ing - Feb 5th, 2014
    I can’t. You can’t. We can’t. But why can’t I, you, we? Maybe it’s not because of the impossible, but rather because there’s so much power in the word “can’t”. And that’s why I’m working to de-can’t my life. [more...]

    A year of halfs - Feb 4th, 2014
    This is a hard post for me to share because once I say it I have to follow through with it. But here goes: I am not going to run any full marathons in 2014. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on improving my speed for shorter races—all with a goal of a sub-2:00:00 half marathon. [more...]

    Monkey-ing around - Feb 2nd, 2014
    Sock monkeys, sock monkeys, and more sock monkeys! When I made my first sock monkey last year, I didn’t really envision myself making another. But last summer I broke out the needle and thread when I was sick and created a second monkey. Then a couple of weeks ago, I found myself creating a third. [more...]

    Prioritising me - Jan 31st, 2014
    When I wake up tomorrow it will be February; the shortest month in the calendar year and my birthday month. Yes, by the end of the month I will finally be a 40-year-old woman. I’m not freaked out about that (yet!) because age is only a number, but I do admit that my birthdays have been (in general) times of personal reflection in recent years. Only this year, the reflection has begun a bit early. [more...]

    Counting every penny - Jan 18th, 2014
    It’s time to start counting pennies again. Only this time, every little penny will count so much more than they have for the past decade. [more...]

    Thirty nine before 40 - Jan 13th, 2014
    My 30s are nearly over. Yes, in just 39 days my age will tick over from 39 to 40. I’m not stressed or upset about that because I don’t believe that age represents oldness, but I admit that I have spent a bit of time reflecting on the ups-and-downs of the last decade. [more...]

    Two halfs, to start - Jan 5th, 2014
    I set myself a challenge in 2012 and 2013 to run a race each month, but failed to achieve success because of illness, race cancellations, and life’s chaos. When it came time to think about my 2014 running goals, I realised that I would be unlikely to succeed in a race-a-month challenge for a variety of reasons, but I knew I needed to set a goal of some type. [more...]

    A new me for a new year - Jan 1st, 2014
    It’s a new year, so it’s time for a new me. OK, not a new me, but hopefully an improved me. Yes, it’s time to take charge of my life and fix a few things. [more...]

    2013: A year in (distorted) review - Dec 31st, 2013
    As 2013 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the year’s ups and downs. I’ve been thinking about the good points and the bad points and all of the points in between and I’ve been trying to think of how to recap the year. [more...]

    PhD dreams: Month 1 - Dec 18th, 2013
    Today marks one calendar month since I began my PhD. And since I promised an update, here I am to tell you about it. Well, about the highlights at least. [more...]

    PhD dreams: Week 1 - Nov 22nd, 2013
    It’s been a calendar week since I formally matriculated as a PhD student and a “work” week since my first day as a PhD student. So—as promised—here’s a wee recap! [more...]

    PhD dreams: Day 1 - Nov 18th, 2013
    Well folks, it’s happened. It’s finally happened. I have finally started my PhD. Well, I have finally had my first full day as a PhD research student at least. I haven’t actually done any writing. Yet. But that will come soon enough! [more...]

    A matriculated update - Nov 16th, 2013
    Well, I suppose I should give a bit of an update as I’ve not said a word since leaving America. I've just been too frazzled and jetlagged to write. [more...]

    It’s finally here! - Nov 4th, 2013
    Excitedly, I have received my new UK visa today—meaning that I have all of the official bits of government-issued ID to allow me to return to Scotland to start my PhD programme. Yay!! [more...]

    A little closer - Nov 1st, 2013
    Today is November 1, which is the amended date for the start of my PhD programme in Scotland. Yet I am still in America. [more...]

    Signed, sealed, delivered - Oct 17th, 2013
    Today I sent off my visa application papers. A couple of days later than I’d hoped, but the delay meant that I had everything I wanted to include in the package. [more...]

    Apply and wait - Oct 11th, 2013
    I have finally applied for my new Tier 4 student visa. Yes, finally. It's something I had expected to do more than a month ago, but plans don't always work out the way we want them to! [more...]

    Frustrations and silver linings - Oct 1st, 2013
    Today is October 1, which was my target date for beginning my PhD studies. Only I'm not in Scotland at the moment because I've not sorted out my visa. It's a little frustrating, but I have found several silver linings to it all, so that's OK I suppose. [more...]

    ATAS girl - Sep 27th, 2013
    Remember how I told you that I had to manoeuvre through an additional obstacle before I could apply for my new Tier 4 student visa? And remember how I said I was ever-so-slightly frustrated about it? [more...]

    On being happy - Sep 25th, 2013
    In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an increase in conversations around happiness and depression so I thought I’d throw some of my own words into the mix. You know, because the Internet needs more opinions! [more...]

    Education is Central - Sep 20th, 2013
    I spent a lovely day on the Central Washington University campus today with my lovely niece, Virginia. It was so wonderful seeing the campus all spruced up and ready for the new crop of students (classes begin next week) but it was also wonderful walking around my alma mater more than a decade after graduation. [more...]

    Changing challenges - Sep 14th, 2013
    I have had the worst luck with my 2013 Race a Month Challenge. In fact, I knew a couple of months ago that the odds of success were heavily stacked against me. And as my efforts to make up for lost time haven't worked, I have finally decided to give up. Well, I have finally decided to change the focus of my challenge at least. [more...]

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