January, For Me

Wowe – I can’t believe it’s already the end of the month and time to start looking back for this year’s first monthly roundup post!

Upon writing this, I had a quick look back at last year’s January reflection and honestly surprised by how much things have changed since (e.g. from working full time to going through exam stress) and how some things haven’t changed at all (like my obsession for GymShark, oops.)



  • ❄️ It won’t stop snowing.
  • 🐨 I had a quick catch up with Enyiie, she’s going back to Australia after spending a semester in Sheffield. I’m going to miss her sunny Australian personality!
  • 🌟 Clair mentioned me on her blog and it made me cry a little bit.



  • 🤓 As of posting this, I’ve completed three exams, one project and I only have one more exam then I’m free!


  • 💻I secured a big web development project
  • 📱I secured two social media management / digital marketing projects
  • ⚡️I worked with Kyle to help promote his great work on helping freelancers thrive. If you’re interested, you can check out the guide here and use the code PWL20 for 20% off!


  • 💪🏼 I’ve spent a lot of time at the gym this month! Slowly transitioning from home workouts to gym workouts where I’m able to lift heavier.
  • 😭 Bought some more Gymshark for more motivation
  • 🥑 I started Intermittent Fasting with a 16-hour fast and 8-hour eating window!
  • 💤 Worked on my evening routine – post on this soon


  • 👩🏻‍💼 Updated my website and CV a lot to make sure they capture what I can do and provide some value to others
  • 💫 Along with all the success in securing freelance work, I also failed a lot with countless rejections from places I had applied to last November but I’m seeing this as an opportunity to learn and keep going!


  • The Spring/Summer Code First: Girls community course has begun! I hit my 2 years of working with CFG at the end of this cohort, I say this all the time but it has been a blast and I am SO thankful.
  • 💖 Helping out new instructor community members with advice from everything I’ve learnt over the last 2 years. Also recruiting new instructors for the Sheffield courses – welcome to the family Tasneem and Simon!
Python CFG 2018
Python CFG 2018


  • 🎤 I secured a few speaking gigs this month! In the next few months I’ll be talking at Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield about a range of different things from advancing community, blogging and wellness.
  • 🌸 One of these talks include a keynote at a college on International Women’s Day 2018 – I’m so honoured and can’t wait! Role models are key, I hope I can inspire some young girls to do whatever they want to do in STEM and beyond 🔑


1) Seeing rejections as opportunities

I tweeted about this, made an Instagram story about it and mentioned it above… But just to repeat: rejections suck.

But are inevitable.

I had my fair share of rejection over the years so I felt like I should be immune to the negative feelings associated with it but surprise, surprise, still hit me in the face. Mid-January, I let these feelings take over and I spent a good few days doubting myself, putting myself down and being hard on myself for not being “good enough”.

As I said in my previous post, shifting my thoughts to more positive ones hasn’t been easy, but everyone’s love and support along with my meditation and gratitude practise have helped me get through them. I also started reading more positive, motivating self-help books that have helped with the rewiring of my thoughts!

I’m choosing to look at rejection as an opportunity and not the end of the road.

2) Hitting the ground running on my health and well-being goals

I wanted to switch up my routine a bit this year, most significantly, I wanted to go to the gym more often to increase my weights (because weights at home are a little on the light side now.) Previously, I would just go on the weekends because I live quite a way from the gym but I’ve made more of an effort to fit in the gym in my day. It helps that Matt lives quite close by and the fact that he comes along now too. It’s been fun working out together!

January Gym-usage stats 🙌🏼
January Gym-usage stats 🙌🏼

My workouts are a lot more challenging with heavier weights and the walk down is added LISS which is a bonus. I’ve felt stronger and leaner this month which I’m happy about. Also, I’ve become much more confident in the gym despite some days when it was full of people I had known from school or university. 😆

In addition to this, I’ve really taken my sleep seriously and have made some sleep gains over the month! I’m averaging 7 hours and 30 minutes now, which is a huge improvement over my previous 5-hour averages. I’m hoping to continue this over the year! I hadn’t realised how much sleep impacts my health and well-being goals.

Also, I started doing intermittent fasting, more on this in a future post but so far, so great!

3) Powering through exams

I made it through exams. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered previous exams were. I’m not sure if this is because I felt more prepared this time around or if I’ve learnt to reduce and manage stress better this year (after a year of positive rituals!)
I’m thankful that my exams were spaced out which gave me more time for my revision and have time for myself and my projects.


January in photos!
Gym, WHY IS IT SO COLD, gifts, Cherry, CFG!


📚 Reading

Books: As part of the evening routine that I mentioned above, I have committed to spending some time reading. This month I read “The Happiness Advantage” – Shawn Achor. I love this book because:

  • It reminds me how far a positive attitude will get you. Shawn shares many stories on this!
  • It reminds me how exactly you can utilise that positive energy in life and work
  • It reminds me that happiness is a choice and that I want to always choose to be happy 😊
  • There are loads of fun science facts about the brain and its plasticity – reminding me that you can learn anything despite age/gender etc
  • It reminds me that happiness does not come after success, instead, happiness gets you to success!


  • And Then We Saved – An inspiring blog on making the most out of your money, getting out of debt and starting to save (something I need to remember to do and not blow all out on…)

💙 Health & Well-being

I bought more Gymshark (I know, I have a problem) I got the new Seamless Energy set in lilac and Nikki B’s Limited Edition Set in all black and a red sports bra! I did spend an awful lot on Gymshark (as usual) so I’m going to limit myself in the next few months.




Nourish – My new favourite healthy fast-food place!

🎬 Film & Music

Jumanji in IMAX. Technically watched this at the end of December but I need to include it. Hands down is the BEST movie to experience in IMAX. Definitely, recommend it!



⚡️ I WILL…

  • Take it slow
  • Appreciate every moment of the last semester of my whole Undergraduate career!
  • Actively express gratitude: Keep thanking those who have helped me as much as I can.
  • Remember to show kindness to everyone, and not bother with those that dislike me. I like y’all too. 😙


  • I’m going to the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in London. Crossing my fingers on the awards! I’ve been shortlisted for “Best Intern 2018” 🏅
  • Exploring Manchester and Leeds for career-related stuff
  • It’s a special month 💖
  • Starting my final semester as an undergraduate – I’m taking some fun modules, including a personal favourite: Human Anatomy 💀


24 responses to “January, For Me”

  1. Wow, it certainly sounds like you’ve had a good month and got a lot done! Ignore the rejections and keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Pauline, I truly admire your positivity for your rejections. I’m going to start using your advice to get me through it, since I’m going through it myself lately.

    1. Thank you for your support and love Brandy!

  3. My fiancé’s stepsister recently posted on her Instagram that she bought GymShark outfits. I live by my VS leggings… might have to check out GymShark one of these days.

    Also, I’m glad that your January was a good month and that you started off the year in a good, positive way. Can’t wait to hear more about your thoughts on IF!

    1. Post coming soon I assure you! Love you Eena, thanks for stopping by!


    1. You’re the cheerleader everybody wants 😉


    I’m glad you able to take these rejections as a learning curve. I remember when I was first applying to jobs when I was graduating and getting constantly rejected. It definitely took a hit to my confidence. But you learn and you grow and you keep at it 💪💪💪 You got this, hon!

    Congratulations on making it through your exams – I know 10000% you passed with flying colours. Don’t even tell me otherwise, girl.

    Good luck at the awards! I hope you win 💖

    1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT 💖 I’m going to keep on going, eye on the prize ⚡️

  6. Whoa, you have been so busy I have no idea how you manage to do all of this in one month! I am glad that you have taken the rejections as a positive thing and can use them to grow and get that position that is right for you! 😀

    1. Thanks so much Kassy! 💖

  7. Like, how? How did you get so much done this month? You’re a powerhouse!

    I’ve been reading your blog from afar for while and I finally got the courage to post. You’re personality is infectious and now all I want to do is get stuff done, lol.

    1. This comment warmed my heart, thank you for stopping by Joy! I’ve loved seeing what you’re up now on my social media feeds. The love is mutual! 💖

  8. What a great month! Glad to hear things have been going so well! Makes me want to work harder! KEEP IT UP!

    1. Thanks so much Megan ⚡️You got this!

  9. SO much accomplished already, and so many amazing things to look forward to! How are you liking intermittent fasting?! Ben has been wanting to try it for a while now, and I was super on board but then read some stuff about how it can mess up your cycle (for women), which scared me. BUT, I know that every body is different, so I’m super curious to see if you like it, because I still want to try it!
    I’ve also found that the more I focus on being grateful for what I have, the more I end up having to be grateful for. Gratitude is everything!
    Keep killing it!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

  10. Girlll you and your GymShark. It’s bad enough I get GymShark ads on Linkedin now because of you. Hahahaha.
    You are sooo close to being done with college you can almost tasteeee ittttt. Enjoy it. It’s definitely a transition, for good or for worse 🙂
    Keep on trucking along! I’m kind of burnt out by my extra-active January, so I really need to take my own freaking advice and “slow down” this month XD

    1. HAHAH, don’t pretend you don’t love it 😉

  11. I’m glad you’ve had so much positive feedback on your “How To Start A Blog” post, and congrats on the freelance work you’ve been getting! That’s exciting that you’re doing more public speaking too!

    I think that’s great that you view rejections in such a positive way. They’re always hard to receive, no matter how many times it happens or how much you prepare yourself for them. Seeing it as a learning opportunity is a good way to go!

    Oh man, I need to work on my sleep too. I’m amazed that your previous average was 5 hours though! I struggle through the day if I get less than 6, but I often don’t get enough as well. Averaging 7 hours and 30 minutes is good! I’m hoping to eventually get there myself.

    And wow, you had a lot of exams in January. I’m glad that they didn’t feel as bad this time around. Having them spaced out helps a lot! Good luck on your next one, and I hope you have a good month!

    1. I used to struggle so much – the only way I got through was probably excess coffee I was drinking when I worked in the office. 😂

  12. That quote of the month is such a good attitude to have, especially when you’re coming to the end of university. The job market is so tough these days that you’ve got to be resilient.

    Congrats on having such an amazing month, Pauline! Your monthly round-ups are some of my fave posts to read because they’re always so inspiring. I love seeing you smash your goals and face everything with such a great attitude. There are definitely going to be loads of offers after uni, so don’t let the rejections phase you. You got this!

    It’s great to see you smashing those health and fitness goals. Hope it’s all going well and you’re still enjoying it. I love your new Gymshark stuff!

    Hope February goes well for you!

  13. WHAAA “happiness does not come after success, instead, happiness gets you to success” I’m so glad you put that in, I’ve been needing a reminder of it!

    I’ve always taken each rejection to learn more skills that will get me to where I need to be – sometimes a company will reject for no reason at all (no feedback even), other times if I’m not the right candidate at that time. It never means stop trying, no matter how negative people like to look at it. I actually used to look at things a lot more negatively, so I definitely get the loop we can unintentionally place ourselves into. Congrats on securing some freelance work though!

    I am actually surprised you get 7 hours of sleep since you are super involved in everything, and work out! Good for you! These days if I want to work out / read, it’s all done during sleep hours. :(((( I had to skip reading last night because I was so tired after work, it was already 4am. But I did do my pushups and situps.

    Have a great February, Pauline!

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