Goals and Reflections

As the year of 2018 began I scrolled through so many goals posts and New Years resolution posts it just made me depressed. I ended the year 2017 with a couple of colds one after the other and started the year 2018 with yet another cold, so I didn’t have the energy for much else than watching Netflix and drinking my new favourite Pukka tea. I thought to myself every day that I need to now make the new diary and start planning this year, but the task seemed pointless when it was already the 5th of January and everybody had already started working on their goals rather than just thinking about them.

Goals and Reflections - byLiiL

Then I read the blog post by Rebecca from roses about how she also started the year with a cold and how she decided not to let it bother her, and I realised that is exactly how I should be thinking about it as well! New Years is for many the time to start over, but I don’t think I am starting over, I will be continuing with the goals I set last year and building on them with maybe a couple of new ones. But the funny thing is that I didn’t wait until new years to set those goals, I’ve thought of them earlier and started working on them. On New Years I like to reflect on how I did with the goals I set the previous year and then see if I need to refine anything for the coming year. This doesn’t need to be done right after the year changes, but whenever I feel that I need to do it. In the words of my partner “New Years is just one day among the rest of them” the only speciality of it is that our culture has decided to follow this calendar system when the year changes on a certain date. There are other cultures where they might follow another way to follow years and when they change.

Goals and Reflections - byLiiL

It is, of course, easier, after the long holiday break, to get back to business if you have goals, and it is great to make plans to go to the gym to lose all the holiday weight. However, the way I see it, it is quite awful to start working on all those plans straight away with the highest productivity at a time when it is dark and damp and the only thing you want to do is sleep and eat those delicious comfort foods you can get delivered to your door. I feel much more motivated and alive in the spring when nature is coming to life and there is more light. That is the time I feel at my most productive and inspired!

So if you feel left out, like I, from all the goal setting, don’t worry. There are still over 300 days to set goals for this year and many more to set goals for your life! And if you have any trouble to reflect or make goals you should check this post by Anuschka Rees.

Goals and Reflections - byLiiL

REFLECTING ON 2017

You can see what goals I set for myself in 2017 here.

My year of 2017 was tough and demanding in many ways, but also one of the happiest I’ve had so far! I got recognition as a freelancer and due to getting out of my shell and actually talking to people and networking I got more work, was able to gain my main income from freelance work and got great contacts for the future! This was hard but very rewarding! I used my money smartly and only on things I felt I needed. I got engaged, which will mark this year deep into my heart and I met my godson who I will love forever!

The goals that I did achieve were:

  • The reading challenge of reading 24 books, which I exceeded by reading 36, more on them in another post.
  • I kept most of my plants alive and learned better to understand what they need. I also finally got a book about plants for Christmas!
  • I made great leaps in understanding sustainability not only in fashion and textiles but on a much wider and global scale. The biggest thing I learned is that the problem is much more widespread and rooted into our culture and the humankind and it will take a lot of hard work to change our culture into a more mindful and nurturing towards our planet.

I still need to work a lot on German, yoga and photography!

Goals and Reflections - byLiiL

MY GOALS FOR THE YEAR 2018

  • Holidays and Trips – I have several trips scheduled for this year either for work, seeing family or just a holiday. My goal is to actually make them all come true and be a sustainable traveller at that.
  • Family and Friends – Spending more time with family and friends who are close to me. We live quite far away from our families and so need to make extra effort to see them and keep in touch with them. I know that I feel better after talking to my family and friends and I want to share the same feeling with them!
  • Being healthy – In my body and in my mind. When I get busier with my work I seem to lose touch with keeping myself healthy, maybe that is why I’ve got so many colds in the past couple of months? So as I want to progress with my career I need to remember to take care of myself and listen to myself. In other words more yoga, meditation and walks outside alone or with a friend!
  • Sustainable life – make at least 3 changes for a more sustainable life. Only 3 because I realise that I want to properly change my lifestyle to accommodate the changes and because 3 is attainable.
  • Learn German – I am sure this will be on my goals list until I will be fluent in it!
  • Social skills – As I saw already some development in my social skills I would like to develop them more and be more comfortable around people.
  • Time for creativity – I realise that the reason I didn’t achieve some of my goals is that I didn’t give them the time to actually be creative with it and trying things out. So now I need to give myself time to be creative with photography, writing and any other creative endeavours I come up with!

Goals and Reflections - byLiiL

2017 was great! I am now more confident with myself and my career. I couldn’t be happier with my partner who supports me in anything I do and loves me unconditionally. I have a great life and I am striving to make others lives better. So now I hope my 2018 will be even better!

 

What are your goals for 2018? Have you made goals? What do you wish for 2018?

With love,

Lii

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8 Articles To Make Your Life Better

How To Upgrade Your Life In 22 Minutes – Neuroscientist research-based way of setting an intention for a better day, each day.

Indecisiveness Is Standing Between You and The Life You Want To Live – A post about making decisions and changes with the end goal in mind.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

7 Morning Habits For A Better Day – Including the intention for the day, there are 6 other habits that can make it better.

11 Home Remedies To Help Eliminate Acne Scars – Easy to do and understand steps to help eliminate acne scars and take care of your skin. I don’t really have acne scars, but I still found several things interesting and something that I want to try!

Why I Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste and You Should Too Now It Has Been Classified A Neurotoxin – F toxins writes about fluoride-free toothpaste and why you should leave fluoride off your healthcare routine.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

An Esthetician Explains: The Correct Order For Applying Your Skincare Products – Finally, we have an answer when we should be applying moisturiser and when the serum!

Dry Skin Brushing – Reduce Toxins and Cellulite In Just 60 Seconds – Wel you won’t reduce it in the first 60 seconds, but f toxins explain how routinely dry brushing it can have positive effects for you.

Things You Have To Stop Telling Yourself – Excellent post describing things that people say to themselves and advice on how to stop saying them.

https://byliil.wordpress.com/

 

Share any articles that you might think would be beneficial for us all in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

Sustainability Causes And How To Support Sustainability

I got recently asked to share and write about what causes I care about and why, and I thought it was an interesting idea which I don’t know why I haven’t written about before. I hope it is obvious from my blog that I care deeply about sustainability, how to make my lifestyle more ethically sustainable and how to inspire others along the road.

Sustainability in itself incorporates a broad spectrum of different causes; there is no one cause that could handle all that is happening around the globe from climate change, to ocean pollution, animal abuse and inhumane working conditions. I do think all of this is part of the sustainable framework. Causes that fall under sustainability are so numerous it can be difficult to pinpoint which is a good place to start. According to “Before the Flood” documentary the biggest polluters on our planet that are driving the climate change are burning fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture, on the other end numerous reports are sharing that ocean pollution is killing the marine ecosystems.

Before The Flood Documentary And Review - byLiiL

DOCUMENTARIES TO UNDERSTAND SUSTAINABILITY

To help understand what needs help there are several documentaries that also spread awareness and if you haven’t seen them then I definitely recommend them!

  • Before the Flood – Climate change, how it is affecting our planet and what can be done to prevent further temperature rise.
  • Racing Extinction – Animal extinction, what is affecting it and a little bit about how it can be reversed.
  • Chasing Coral – Although this concentrates mainly on coral reefs it addresses how climate change is affecting our oceans and what will happen if it continues at the current rate.
  • Plastic Ocean – (I haven’t seen this yet, but it is on my watchlist) About the plastic pollution and how it affects our oceans.
  • The True Cost – How fashion industry has an effect on climate change, environmental erosion and inhumane labour conditions.

Sustainability Causes And How To Support Sustainability - byLiiL

CHARITIES AND CAUSES TO SUPPORT SUSTAINABILITY

Here are some of the causes that I am inclined to support, spread a word around and follow.

  • Marine Conservation Society – A UK based marine conservation society that concentrates working towards healthy, pollution free and sustainable seas.
  • Conservation International – Is a US-based international conservation programme: “Our long-term goal is to safeguard the world’s essential ocean and coastal biodiversity and most productive ecosystems in order to maximize the long-term ecological, social and economic benefits for people and nature.”
  • Oceana – In an international advocacy organisation that is focused on ocean conservation. Their vision is to win over policy victories with countries that are leaders in marine life governing.
  • RSPB – Bird and other wildlife conservation, mostly based in the UK.
  • Soil Association – Soil Association is a charity and an organic certification based in the UK. It works towards providing sustainability by providing a good framework for organic farming in food, textiles and beauty items, and providing those small businesses with support towards making their organic business work.
  • Labour Behind the Label – An organisation concentrated on changing the way garment industry workers are treated across the globe, especially in areas that make most of our clothing. They campaign for change, spread the message to customers who in return can push further, lobby with legislation makers and put pressure the companies that still allow this. Making employees working spaces safer can transfer the number of toxic chemicals used in making garments.
  • Rainforest Action Network – Is a US-based but internationally working organisation working on preserving forests around the globe, protecting the climate and uphold human rights.
  • Trees For Cities – Is a UK-based charity working on planting trees in the UK and internationally into urban areas to clean the air, revitalising areas and improving people’s lives.

There are many other charities and projects that could use help and these were just a few that I felt I wanted to mention.

Sustainability Causes And How To Support Sustainability - byLiiL

In addition, I really want to mention two businesses that I am very impressed about. Ecosia is a search engine, which in reality is an extension to google, but it generates ads money to the company which they use to plant trees around the world! And Done Good is a browser extension, which can be used while googling or browsing websites. If there is an ethical alternative to the items you are looking at it will provide a pop-up alert on the side of the browser to let you know about it. In addition, it alerts you if the company supports the current US president or sells any of his products. Both of these extensions are free to download and use, but the Done Good is currently only available in the US and Canada.

Sustainability Causes And How To Support Sustainability - byLiiL

HOW YOU CAN HELP

I think when it comes to sustainability and protecting our planet we should start with our own actions; stop using single-use plastic, stop littering, using more renewable energy, recycling. That is already a great start and many people don’t need to do more. But if you are passionate and want to commit to making our planet better not only for us but for the next generations to come there are additional things that you can do:

  • Spread the word about the issues and how to overcome them.
  • Support causes that you find important in fighting the climate change and other global or local problems.
  • Donate money to a charity or organisation that is working on these issues.
  • Donate your time by organising fundraising events, documentary viewings, information sessions or even just gather within your local area to discuss how you can make a difference there. Eventbrite is offering a discount to non-profit and fundraising groups who organise their ticketing and registration through their website. It is a great resource to have!

 

Just writing this post got me excited to help out with ocean conservation and thinking about whether I should organise an event as well to spread the word or even have a documentary screening in my local area!

What causes do you support? Share them in the comment box below, I would love to hear about them!

With love,

Lii

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. All the opinions are my own.

The FINE Deodorant

Like everybody else I was long on the hunt for the natural deodorant that is aluminium and alcohol-free, is not drying and actually works. It sounds like an impossible task and I really felt as though it was! I tried a bunch of them from the high street to ordering one from MADARA, but nothing seemed to tick each box. There were several others online, which nevertheless of the great reviews I was afraid to order due to their higher price and no promise for it working for me. Your armpits, as well as any other part of your skin, can behave in a different way from everybody else and although something might work for your friends and family, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. I thought I had to settle for something that wasn’t exactly working for me but was the best option from everything I had tried until my friend brought me a sample of Fine cream deodorant.

The FINE Deodorant - byLiiL

I had never heard of this brand or their deodorants before, but my friend reassured me it was her favourite deodorant brand since she had tried it. I was excited to try the product but quite sceptical whether it would work for me and what a surprise it was! After only a first application I lasted without extra application for at least 2 days. There wasn’t even the slightest scent of odour, my armpits were feeling moisturised, dry and comfortable. Once I finished the sample sachet I knew I had to get the real deal!

The FINE Deodorant - byLiiL

FINE Deodorant is a natural, organic and vegan deodorant designed in Berlin, Germany. Their cream deodorants come in two scents; vetiver geranium and cedar bergamot. I’ve only tried vetiver geranium, which I absolutely loved, but am quite interested in the other scent as well. What for me was the most exciting thing is they are alcohol and aluminium free, how amazing is that! The idea for Fine deodorant came from the need for a natural deodorant that is healthy and it works, and that is exactly what they created. Funnily enough, they share this idea even in the name:

FINE is Italian for “end”. And this is exactly what FINE does: it finally puts an end to undesired odors from sweat that are often paired with feeling uncomfortable. And last but not least it ends your search for a clean and efficient deodorant. FINE also means “great” and “beautiful” in English of course. And that is FINE in one word!

The deodorants come in glass jars with a wooden spatula and they have the original scent in a tube as well if you prefer that. FINE is not tested on animals, it is GMO-free, Nano free, Parabens free, Gluten free, Petrochemical free and it does not include any synthetic preservatives, fragrances or fillers. They list all the ingredients used in their products on their website and even explain about their ingredients, although that is in German.

The FINE Deodorant - byLiiL

If you are not familiar with the cream deodorants, they might seem funny as it is actually a cream that you spread into your armpits with your fingers. I use a pea-sized amount, after a shower, that I massage into my armpits and enjoy the wonderful smell of vetiver and geranium that smells clean and invigorating. It dries in an instant and you do not get those white marks on your tops when putting them on!

One of my favourite things about this brand is that they offer sample sachets for you to try their product before committing to the quite heftily priced product (30mg is around €28). If you got interested, and I think you should have as my life completely turned for the better after FINE, you can find their products on their own website, which although is beautiful is not yet quite perfectly developed for the English reading customer (you are still able to order easily, but the terms and conditions are in German). They also have several other shops selling them in Berlin, all around Germany and in several online shops around Europe. In the UK you can find FINE in The Method, an Edinburgh based lifestyle store.

 

Have you heard of FINE Deodorant before?

With love,

Lii

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small

It took me working for small businesses and starting my own to really understand and appreciate the work that goes behind running a small business. It is not easy to motivate yourself every day, to believe in yourself and in what you are doing, in addition, to actually doing everything and working through the layers of bureaucracy.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

1. THEY ARE MORE SUSTAINABLE

It, of course, is not a given that all small businesses are sustainable, but the chances are they are more likely to be sustainable. Small businesses often source locally, use less packaging, use fewer air miles through their production cycle and produce in small batches. In addition, with the growing concern for the environment, many businesses start off with the idea of being more sustainable and helping to make the world a better place.

2. HAVE UNIQUE AND CREATIVE PRODUCTS

Small businesses are either making their own creative products/services or curating a selection for their customers from other businesses. In any case, their offering differs from the mass market that mostly looks the same. When it comes to fashion I’ve noticed that the every shop on the high street seems to be selling the same things over and over and there is no individuality. When shopping from small fashion businesses you will stand out of the crowd. Other small shops are great for individualistic gifts that nobody else might have found.

3. I KNOW WHERE MY MONEY IS GOING

Unlike that of with big brands, small brands do not have several layers of supply chains, management levels, stakeholders groups and all the other additional stuff that you do not see but are paying for with your money. When you are shopping from a small brand you can quite easily see what their values are and know that the money you are giving them will pay for their living and them keeping up the business.

4. THEY GROW THE ECONOMY

Small businesses grow their local economy. The money that you are putting into the business will either support the owner of the business or the business itself. In most cases this means the money goes back into the local community through living costs, employing local people or sourcing from local other businesses. In addition, they are a competition to the big companies and the ways they do business.

5. I’M SUPPORTING DREAMS

Running a small business or any size of a business is hard work and there aren’t many people who are prepared to do the work unless it is their dream and something they enjoy doing. So when you are spending your money on that business you are essentially helping to support the business owners dream. Later on, other young entrepreneurial spirits will look at that business owner and get the motivation to start their own business and the dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

6. IT DRIVES INNOVATION

Small businesses drive innovation and push the economy and the market forward. We’ve seen the rise of small tech companies that drive the innovation in apps and products. It is funny, as it is the big companies that have the funds for this.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

7. I GET BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE

Small businesses know that to get customers they have to treat every customer excellently. It is the loyal customers and their word of mouth that will support their business. Small business owners are thankful when you spend your money with them and will do their best to give you the best experience. They listen to feedback and respond and it is much easier to communicate with them.

I don’t always shop at small businesses, but I do try my best. Last Christmas I got most of the presents from small businesses and they were the best and most unique presents that I gave. And although I am spending more money when I shop at a small business, I get more joy of knowing that I supported somebody with their dream.

7 Reasons Why I Choose To Shop Small - byLiiL

Pictures are from this pinterest board.

Do you shop at small businesses?

With love,

Lii

Can You Fake Body Confidence?

One of the things that I want to write in this blog about is body confidence and empowering women. I find joy in being able to help people to achieve their best, to feel better and really take charge of their life. I study the subject and I converse it with others, but then I feel a pinch of guilt. Can I really be talking and promoting body positivity and self-empowerment if I don’t feel like it myself? Is it lying if I don’t feel confident myself? Is it misrepresenting the message that I am trying to present? Is it being an imposter?

Can You Fake Body Confidence? - byLiiL

Throughout my childhood, I was doing a lot of sports. All of my evenings were filled with some sports or musical hobbies and you can imagine that I was skinny. This image of myself got so ingrained in my self-image, that when I stopped the competitive sports and exercising every single day and my body started to change I got very self-conscious. I had always been known as the skinny girl and now suddenly I had curves and I had gained weight. Not only did I not feel like myself, but I didn’t want anybody to see me because it was like failing their image of me. I am lucky to have friends who don’t care what I look like and a boyfriend who adores me, it helps a lot with the body image that I have of myself. However, I still can’t help looking into the mirror occasionally and not seeing what I feel like.

The one thing that I have noticed has a big influence on why the change in body image is so slow is the lack of examples out there. I used to love browsing through fashion magazines and watching 90s and early 00s tv shows, which are filled with super skinny models and actresses and that is the body type that we think as “normal”. I didn’t see a person who had been skinny and then gained weight, without the following judging comment of how that person had gained weight. It is seen as a failure to be a woman in the society.

Can You Fake Body Confidence? - byLiiL

I know today there are a lot more positive body image examples and I am trying to focus on them. Partly the reason why I want to write about it is to help myself as well. I find it so inspiring to see women of all sizes and different histories who are making something out of themselves, who are being brave, who are being gracious and who are confident! Why wouldn’t I share that with others? I know what the staples for a positive body-image are. My mother used to make me go in front of a mirror and tell the mirror how beautiful I was, that helped the teenager who apparently had some problem with the body image when her body was changing. I still talk to myself in front of the mirror, but I do cringe. I try to tell myself what I find beautiful about myself and I still cringe. At yoga when we are told that we should cherish our beautiful bodies, I have to force myself to think of all the things my body does. And you know, it really does. I can tell with confidence that I love my body, but still I find it stopping me from so many things, such as wanting to buy clothes or even trying on clothes, going to public spaces to do any kind of sports, I try to hide when I am at a public gathering and make myself as small as I can. And I know I shouldn’t do any of it. It is like my body-image has affected my self-image and it is hard to build back, but I am doing it, although most days it feels like I am faking it till I make it.

I am no longer trying to get back to my teenage weight and body style, there is no point it that, I am a woman now and I want to look like a woman. Now I just want to keep myself healthy and feel good in my body. Most days I do!

 

Do you feel body confident?

With love,

Lii