Why You Need a 5 Year Plan

Have you ever thought about what the next 5 years holds?  Or what you would like to achieve?  It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s sensible to have a 5 year plan.

Around 2009 I realised I needed to start planning for the future.  My temporary job with the council went permanent and I panicked and handed in my notice.  I decided that I didn’t still want to be working there in 5 years.  So I hatched my 5 year plan.

I knew I wanted to train as a nurse, but I was desperate to travel a bit first.  So after an amazing first summer in the USA, I applied for college.  Fun fact: I actually interviewed for college over the phone, while sat in my underwear on the floor of my cabin at camp.

From 2009 until now (2017) I’ve spent 4 summers working in America, 1 year at college, 3 years at university, and 2 years living in Bristol.  But I got to where I wanted to be in 5 years.  It was 2009 I made the decision to change, and I qualified as a nurse in 2014.

Throwing it back all the way to 1999, I remember my aunt telling me aged 11, that life would fly by now.  I thought she was mad.  How can you convince an 11 year old that the summer holidays actually don’t last forever?  She was right though.  High school was over in a flash, and the years just keep getting faster!  Plus, I never forgot what she said.

At the very end of 2013, I started hatching my next plan.  *Prepare to find me a little creepy*  I wanted a boyfriend.  So online I went, and found my now partner of almost 4 years.  He’s not just part of the plan though, he’s my absolute rock of another half.

Then we made plans (led by me) to embark on a journey living in another city.  Which was a fun 2 years!  Now – if I haven’t mentioned a million times already – we’re saving for a house.  That’ll be the end of 5 year plan number 2.

Planning My Future

Which leads to here.  I have laid out my next 5 year plan already.  Time’s marching on and the years go far too fast.  I could quote so many different people here; “In a years time, you’ll wish you’d started today”, “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life” and so on.

The point I’m trying to make is, if you have a goal, it needs a time limit.  Don’t keep saying you want to or need to do something, make a change towards it happening.  Always wanted to quit your job and go travelling?  Start saving!  Would love to retrain in something else?  Look up courses!  Learn a skill?  Start practicing!  Even the small goals need a time limit.

Start making your plan today.  Where do you want to be in 5 years?  What do you want to be doing?  If it’s not here, then get out your notepad and start making a plan!

Best Summer Sale Shoes

It’s that time of year, all the summer sales are on, and everything we paid full price for is now reduced in the sale! I take FOREVER to choose shoes.  I am all about comfort, and I’d rather be comfortable than look good.  Luckily, this year I’ve found some shoes which do both!  I’ve put…

Start of the Autumn Shop

Well, that’s September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland.  Not that we get much of a summer anyway.  However, it’s time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion.  Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn’t 14c and raining outside in July.

Since next year we’ll be moving out for good, I swore I would start throwing away excess clothes, and replacing the old stuff.  So on Saturday we went shopping and I picked up a few items, I wouldn’t normally buy.  Sometimes you need to try things on to see if you like it!

Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland. Not that we get much of a summer anyway. However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion. Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Posing at Luss, Loch Lomond

There was sales everywhere, and it was payday weekend, so Glasgow was mobbed.  New Look had 25% off everything in store and online, so it was really busy.  I was lucky enough to nab the last in my size of a beautiful red coat I really wanted.  It comes in 7 other colours too, but I’d always wanted a red coat so there was no contest for me!

Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland. Not that we get much of a summer anyway. However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion. Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Red Coat – New Look

I’m a big fan of dresses and tights in winter (especially as the dark nights close in and my chocolate intakes rises 95% and my jeans don’t fit anymore) it’s been a while since I’ve bought a new dress.

Although I feel my wardrobe can be a bit ‘dark’, I can’t help but love floral dresses.  I bought this simple dress from H&M to wear over tights on a night out.

Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland. Not that we get much of a summer anyway. However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion. Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Floral Dress – H&M

In the spirit of trying new things, I picked up a little pinafore style dress in Topshop I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to like.  Unfortunately, I loved it!  That was another £32 out the bank.  It’s perfect on it’s own with tights or bare legs, and likewise looks stylish with a t-shirt or knitwear.  Check how the model layers it here.  I opted for a long sleeve white top underneath.

Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland. Not that we get much of a summer anyway. However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion. Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Pinafore Dress – Topshop

Ever the fan of a soft, cream colour jumper, I had to pick up this beauty too.  The sand coloured sweater in each of my photos is a pretty crew neck, it goes beautifully with jeans, or even a skirt.

Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland. Not that we get much of a summer anyway. However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion. Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Sweater – Topshop

I’m always searching for versatile autumn/winter fashion.  I favour being warm and comfortable every time!  Looking forward to topping up my wardrobe over the next few months.

 

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Well, that's September here, and summer is feeling truly over here in Scotland.  Not that we get much of a summer anyway.  However, it's time to start looking forward to that autumn/winter fashion.  Instead of being freezing with my legs out, pretending it isn't 14c and raining outside in July.
Autumn Fashion

Spend a Few Days on the Isle of Arran

Due to the fact we live an unpredictable climate – with frequent rain and dull weather – we often choose to holiday abroad.  However, we’re saving for a mortgage this year, and spent the last 2 years living in England.  So we decided to have a ‘stay-cation’ to Arran!

I live on the west coast of Scotland, very near to Loch Lomond and not too far from some popular Scottish islands.  Marks aunt and uncle have a beautiful holiday home on the Isle of Arran, and were kind enough to have us to stay for 2 nights.

We took the ferry from Ardrossan to Brodick which only takes around an hour.  Then drove around to the house – taking in the incredible views along the way.  The weather was incredible both days we were there, which is just so lucky for anywhere in Scotland!

Beautiful Water
Beautiful Water

After a quick catch up with family, we decided to head out and see some of the island.  Driving from Blackwaterfoot to Lochranza, Mark made the mistake of telling me we could stop anywhere for photos.  So we probably stopped 4 times in the space of 40 minutes, but the photos were so worth it.  Like many of the Scottish islands, the coasts have white sand and pebbles, creating that beautiful blue/green hue that you see in tropical locations.  I previously found it so hard to trust the images online – does Scotland seriously look like that?  Yes!

Lochranza Castle

Once we finally arrived in Lochranza, we visited the ruins of the castle on the waters edge.  The castle dates from the 13th century and is small in comparison to others I’ve seen, but anything that old and still standing deserves a visit.  It has signs on the inside showing what each room was used for when it was functional.  I personally thought the tiny little room they used as a jail was black and terrifying, naturally Mark tried to put me in there.

Lochranza Castle
Lochranza Castle

A little further along the road, sits Arran Distillery.  Being a big whisky fan, the plan was always to drink a lot of whisky.  The tours were fully booked but we were able to book up for 4pm the next day.  So back along the pretty road we drove, to have dinner with our hosts.

Goat Fell

We had decided on a whim (or rather – I loosely agreed) to climb Goat Fell at a decent time on the Wednesday morning.  Packing ourselves into the car around 9am, we headed out in comfortable 16c sunshine to buy Mark a hat.  Can’t have him burning his wee heed and ruining my holiday!

Goat Fell is approx 2,866ft, and it was pointed out to me that the car park is at sea level, which means you really hike that 2,866ft!  It’s a fairly easy walk to start with, and there was plenty of people of all ages.  The further we walked the rockier it became, the last hour is up some very large rocks, and there isn’t a clear path.

Halfway up Goat Fell
Halfway up Goat Fell
Goat Fell
Goat Fell

Possibly due to the weather, but it was the busiest hill walk I’ve ever been on.  I hadn’t planned on going all the way to the top, as I start to get the fear when there’s steep drops.  Though the more children I seen managing it, I felt like I had to.  Plus there was dogs everywhere running back and forth – they must climb twice the distance people do.

Goat Fell Summit
Goat Fell Summit

The views from the top were worth the 2.5 hour walk up.  Perfect weather and clear skies allowed us to see the surrounding islands and other hills.  I went overkill with taking photographs, but I was trying so hard to capture the breathtaking views and colours.

View from Goat Fell
View from Goat Fell

We spent around 30 minutes at the top, and it took us 2 hours to climb back down.  The down part was HARD on the legs.  I was extremely grumpy and ready to be down, but I would do it all over again for those views.

Arran Distillery

At 4pm we were booked in for a stiff whisky in the form of a distillery tour.  Much needed by the time we finished our 5 hours up Goat Fell.

I love a distillery tour.  Every whisky is made differently and I enjoy hearing about the history of each distillery.  There’s something about the feel of the brick and wood interior, that makes me relax into the tour… or maybe it’s the free whisky.

Arran Distillery
Arran Distillery

We were shown a short film on the history whilst enjoying an Arran 12 year old.  Arran distillery is still fairly new, opening in 1995.  We then headed over to the still room which I always enjoy as the big copper stills are so impressive.

To finish off the tour, we were taken to the visitor bar and tasted an Arran Gold whisky liqueur.  I’m not usually a fan of drinks like that, but it is made with Arran 10 year old whisky and it was delicious.  I picked up a bottle in the gift shop for sharing out at Christmas or Hogmanay.

Our short 2 days in Arran was only a taster of what it has to offer.  We’re hoping to go back in a few weeks and do some cycling and see more of the island.  I highly recommend a visit to Arran if you’ve never been, and I hope you are as lucky as us with the weather!

Sunset in Blackwaterfoot
Sunset in Blackwaterfoot
Sunset
Sunset
Isle of Arran - Like many of the Scottish islands, the coasts have white sand and pebbles, creating that beautiful blue/green hue that you see in tropical locations.  I previously found it so hard to trust the images online - does Scotland seriously look like that?  Yes!
Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran - Our short 2 days in Arran was only a taster of what it has to offer.  We're hoping to go back in a few weeks and do some cycling and see more of the island.  I highly recommend a visit to Arran if you've never been, and I hope you are as lucky as us with the weather!
Isle of Arran

Written by Laura McLuskey