November leaves

Monthly Goals | November 2015

Can my main goal for November be ‘pretend it isn’t November’? 


OK, well, I guess I may as well set some proper goals for the month, then: but first, a quick update on the goals I set myself at the start of October

November goals and October recap

01. Get up earlier in the mornings

Hahahaha! Oh, Amber-of-October, you poor, innocent thing! AS IF you were ever going to start getting up early in the mornings! I mean, some days the SUN doesn’t even bother getting up at this time of year, so what on earth would make ME do it?

Er, nothing is the answer to that one. Nothing will make me get up early, apparently. I totally failed at this, and to be completely honest, I failed mostly because I didn’t really try that hard. Because I HATE mornings. Particularly when it’s cold and wet and still dark outside. I’ve been trying and failing to meet this particular goal for my entire life now, and I’ve never managed it: I mean, sure, when I worked in an office, I HAD to get up early, but now that I don’t? Ain’t gonna happen.

02. 10,000 steps per day

OK, so I DID do this one: the Fitbit doesn’t lie, people:

Fitbit steps for October

Fitbit steps for October

I did it, but, yeah, it was tough. And pretty stupid, really, if I’m totally honest. Because you see all those green stars on the chart? That’s why I did it. Well, that and the fact that I’d told the internet I’d be taking 10,000 steps a day, EVERY day, and I’d already failed at the ‘getting up early” goal, so I had to succeed at SOMETHING, didn’t I? Guilt is really the only thing that got me out of the door every day in October, though, and I have to admit, I got a bit obsessive about it, and started to really, really resent the time I was having to spend out running, or on the treadmill, or whatever, just so I could hit this fairly arbitrary target. The Fitbit does make me a lot more active, I’ll give it that, but 10,000 steps take a surprisingly long time to complete, and because it was a really busy month work-wise, I found myself getting quite stressed trying to fit it in every day.

I think my main takeaway from this exercise (no pun intended), is that I’m probably always going to struggle with exercise, mostly because I don’t seem to get the same benefits from it that other people do. Anytime I talk to someone who’s started a new exercise regime, they’re always all, “Oh, it’s hard, but it’s SO worth it for the endorphin rush, don’t you think?” And then they start banging on about how they’re sleeping better, they have so much more energy and their skin’s just FANTASTIC, and I’ll just be sitting there thinking, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ Because I don’t get the endorphin rush – ever – and after 30 days of daily exercise, I don’t have any more energy than before, my skin looks exactly the same as it did when I started, and I’ve actually been sleeping really badly. WHERE IS MY ENDORPHIN RUSH? Why does everyone else get all these amazing benefits from exercise, and all I get is stressed from trying to fit in 90 minutes of activity every day  – activity which I have to assume will have long-term health benefits (which is why I force myself to keep on doing it), but which seems to have no benefits AT ALL to me in the short term? Which, in fact, just makes my life more difficult, because it takes up so much time?

Er, I don’t know the answer to that, by the way. I wish I did. I just know this is one goal I’m not going to try to repeat!

03. Finish my book

I totally did this. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

As for November, meanwhile, let’s see…

November in Scotland


Despite everything I just said about the Fitbit, I do have to concede that it works, in the sense that it does motivate me to be more active. I also have to admit that without it, I know I’ll instantly slip back into my old habits, and just in case you think I’m mistaken about that, yesterday, as you know, was November 1st – i.e. the first day I didn’t have to meet my 10,00o steps/day goal – and here’s my total for the day:

Fitbit November 1st

And if you’re thinking that’s not too bad, I also have to confess that at least 2,500 of those steps were taken between midnight and 1am, when I was still out busting some really dodgy dance moves at our Halloween party. So, you know when people say it takes 30 days to make a habit? They’re wrong. Or, at least, they are in my case, because as soon as I don’t have a target to meet, I will go right back to sitting on my ass aaaaalll day long. I really want to try to stay active, though, so this month I’m going to continue using the Fitbit, but my goal will be 70,000 steps per week, rather than 10,000 steps per day. That still amounts to the same level of activity, but it eliminates the daily workouts element, which was the biggest issue for me: hopefully that’ll take some of the pressure off, while still motivating me to stay active, but… we’ll see.


We’re getting into the time of year when my style starts to change a bit. I really dislike wearing tights, as I’ve mentioned before, so I tend to drop the skirts and dresses in favour of trousers, which are less interesting, but much easier (for me) to wear when it’s freezing. The problem is that most of the trousers I have at the moment are lightweight ones, which aren’t really suitable for autumn weather, so my challenge this month will be to find some trousers that’ll see me through the winter. I already have my eye on a couple of pairs, so we’ll see how that goes, too.


I’ve always been the kind of person who has her salary spent the second it hits her bank account, which means that when something crops up later in the month, I never have the spare cash for it. Which is stupid, really. So, my goal for November is to still have some money left at the end of the month: you know, like a proper grown-up?

(Edited to add: when I say I spend ‘my salary’ the second I get it, I’m referring to the portion of my salary that’s left over once I’ve paid bills and put money into my savings account, which I do every month. I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t save anything or pay bills, I was talking purely about the small amount that I allocate to non-essential spending!)


This is a tricky one, because after our holiday, we just don’t have the spare cash to do much to the house right now. I’m sure there must be some low cost/no cost updates we can make, though, so I’ll try to work out what those might be.   Oh, and for a more specific goal: clear out the closet in the bedroom – the one that’s basically just become a dumping ground for anything that doesn’t have a designated home. Should be easy enough, right?

What are your goals for November?

  • I have two big goals for the month. The first on is to start doing OOTD posts again. And the other one is to start doing pilates again, since I’m one of those people that do feel so much better when working out.
    I must say I’m a bit jeaslus of you being able to spendyor money like that. If I ever have a income again it will be going straight to the savings account so that we can buy a bigger apartment. Or at least the biggest part of it will have to go that way.
    Thanks for sharing, I love reading other peoples goals./love Ida

    November 2, 2015
  • I’ve been missing my homeland of Wales big time! This month will be spent running around like a maniac getting the house ready to sell – so I can move back to the land of song.
    As I type this the front door is being replaced, and it’s freezing! Wish I’d got homesick in the Spring, it would have saved me typing in gloves 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your insights, interesting stuff!

    November 2, 2015
  • Louise


    I totally sympathise with the exercise issue – I also feel no positive benefits, only negative ones (sore muscles, complete exhaustion, etc)! I try to go running occasionally, but apart from it allowing me to be by myself for a while, there appears to be no other real benefits. I have however, found an activity that I do absolutely love. I started to take adult ballet classes, and although the amount of cardio is limited, I do feel exhausted afterwards but in a good way! I feel great both during class and afterwards (I guess that would be the endorphins?!), and if I can’t go for any reason then I do feel gutted about it. Perhaps you’ve yet to find the right activity? Hope you manage to achieve your goals for this month! 😀

    November 2, 2015
  • Catherine


    I almost never comment. But I’ve just read your blog from yesterday where you talk about how it feels not to have a comment on a blog and I feel very guilty! Please be assured that I read all your blogs, even the holiday ones. Thank you for sharing.

    November 2, 2015
  • Catherine


    PS: I don’t get endorphins either, no matter what I do. It’s very annoying.

    November 2, 2015
  • My goals are massively to get lots of work done on the blog in advance to mean I can take a proper week off at Christmas. I’ve not taken an actual week off completely the whole time I’ve been blogging – not when you count always trying to get photos of something or other or making last minute tweaks to posts etc here there and everywhere. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do two weeks off, but one would probably do my mind some good. But as you know, you’ve got to work twice as hard to have a holiday!

    November 2, 2015
  • At the moment I’m doing T25, it’s only 25 minutes a day, as I can’t allocate more time for working out. I love it, it’s intense and fast, but in half an hour I can start working. Good luck with your goals for this month x

    November 2, 2015
  • The Other Emma


    I’m going to ease myself gently into the monthly goals thing and join you on the Finance one. My OH is super organised with money and always has cash left at the end of the month whereas I just buy ALL the things especially if they are shiny or sparkly (or striped or polka dotty)

    November 2, 2015
  • Yay for the book and steps! Just the book alone should count for a whole years worth of goals, i think.

    My november goals are to have all my Christmas shopping done and finally finish some blog posts on my trips, one being from spring… so behind!

    November 2, 2015
  • I’m finding I really like these goal type posts, and it’s nice to see you’ve done another. I posted my own similar not too long ago, and most of my goals relate to my blog. I’m working on posting more often and getting better with outfit posts. But I’d have to say the one thing that should be on the top of my list is to get better with my photography, and finally get my camera figured out.
    I think it helps to have goals on a somewhat regular basis. ?

    November 3, 2015
  • I’m totally with you about getting up early. I just cannot do it, not a minute before I absolutely have to. Unless something wakes me up and I can’t get back to sleep, which usually makes me very angry.
    As for exercise, I wouldn’t say it gives me endorphins. There are, for some reason, exercises I enjoy like Zumba and spinning. I hate weight lifting, though, with a fiery passion. Ironically, that is probably what my November goal should be – more strength training. Ugh.
    I’m really enjoying your blog!

    November 3, 2015
  • Miss Kitty


    I totally get you on the endorphins – I have never felt them happen yet. But I keep exercising because I prefer the way my body looks with toned muscles rather than soft flabby ones. Not that you seem to have that problem, lucky you! And I totally get the morning thing as well. If I didn’t have a job I would be sleeping until lunchtime. Roll on Christmas holidays!

    November 3, 2015
  • Erin


    Another goal for November for you: Obtain a Rubin Christmas sweater:|FENNEL

    You’re welcome 😉

    November 3, 2015
  • Hello Amber,
    One of my goals is to visit your excellent blog more often… and more especially comment them (usually I never do). It is quite relaxing (sometimes I laugh quite a lot) and I can practice my English too. Sounds great doesn’t it? Let’s see if I can make it. Have a lovely week ; -))

    November 3, 2015