It’s the first of February so I thought it was a good time to check back in with my intentions for Flourish, my One Little Word for 2019. 

At the start of January, I shared my word here. My intentions for my word included focussing on my health, my relationships, our new home & my true self. Throughout the month, I fleshed out my intentions for my word in much greater detail & what I have come up with are actions under each topic. I won’t share them all in one go here but I will share them as I go along & make progress with them. 

I also set out other ways that I can connect with my word regularly so it doesn’t get lost as the year goes on. The 3 things I hope to do to stay connected to my word are:

  • Quarterly check-ins where I ask myself if my word is working for me or if I need to adjust my goals. I’ll also be checking what goals I have met. 
  • Monthly quotes or images. 1 each month to guide my plan for that month. 
  • Read from a themed reading list. Obviously I’ll be reading books just for entertainment but in between I’ve a list of books that encourage me to flourish in different ways. 

The quote I’ve chosen for this month (above) is “Flourish – to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favourable environment”. Last month I focussed on my word overall and my plans for it. This month we’ve gotten the keys to our first house and I’m focussing on turning the house into a home. In other words, flourishing in a particularly favourable environment. 

Finally, in January I started writing something in a diary each day about how I’ve worked towards my word that day and in the whole month, I only missed 1 day. I’ve enjoyed this process so I’m going to continue it throughout the year.  

If you’re interested in choosing a One Little Word, it’s not too late. Pick a word that works for you and start today. 

Finding my 2019 word definitely wasn’t as easy as usual. Normally my word kind of finds me. My process every year is to start looking at what I want from my word around the start of December. Then I usually have a look on Pinterest at lists of words to see what jumps out. I usually find around 5 or 6 that stand out and then I look at dictionary definitions for the words and quotes involving the words. It may sound strange but then over the month of December I just tend to see the word popping up in different places. As I said, it kind of finds me. 

Eventually my word for this year came to me & here I am on the 2nd January and I’ve finally found it. My word for 2019 is Flourish. Grow and Thrive stood out to me too and I think they’re perfect supporting words.

I looked up the word Flourish in a few different dictionaries, some of the results I found were:

  • to thrive in growth
  • to grow or develop successfully
  • to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way

The areas of my life I want to Flourish in 2019 are:

  • My health. Mental, physical & emotional. I definitely haven’t looked after my health very well the past couple of years. I need to pay more attention to my mental and emotional health but I definitely need to work on becoming physically healthier. I lost almost 3 stone a few years ago and in the past 2 years I’ve put half of it back on. So my goal for my physical health is to reach that 3 stone weight loss I was so close to before. In turn, feeling physically healthier will help my mental health.  
  • My relationships. They take work and I plan to work on all of mine in 2019. You have to nourish something to see it flourish. 
  • Our new home (hopefully!) We had a bid accepted on a house in early December so all going well, we’re hoping to turn it into a home in 2019. Something tells me this will play a big part in my OLW this year. 
  • My true self. This sounds so cheesy. I even feel a bit uncomfortable saying it but I think because I’m not a typically extroverted person, I tend to feel like my natural instincts are wrong rather than just different. So this year I plan to spend my time focusing on what I really want rather than what I think I should want. In doing that, I hope to learn to say yes to more things by saying no to things I really don’t want to do. 

The word Flourish also plays well with my plans for The 100 Day Project for 2019, but more about that later. 

So that’s it for now. I’ll be posting updates on my word here and on Instagram throughout the year. Mostly because I know that’s the best way to keep me accountable when it comes to my word. 

Have you chosen a word for 2019? I’d love to hear more about it. 

If you would like to check out Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop, you can here. You can also find out more information about One Little Word here. The link is also in my side bar. Finally, if you want to check out my previous posts on this topic, click on One Little Word here or under the Series tab in the menu bar. My previous words have been Less (2018), Focus (2017), Balance (2016) and Stronger (2015).

I just wanted to share a final update of my One Little Word for 2018. My word for the year was Less.

I’m very aware that the word Less is in itself a negative word but a huge part of my goal for 2018 was to have less negative thoughts. There’s really no point in pretending there has been a huge change in that area for me. I’m naturally a worrier which means my natural reaction is to think worst case scenario. It was naive of me to think that I could just change that mentality without any work. That will definitely need to be added to 2019 with some more in-depth plans.

I also planned to spend less money in 2018 which was a huge part of my plan in order to save to buy a house. We had a bid accepted on a house early December so that was definitely a successful part of my OLW for this year.

Something else that worked well for me was that I got rid of a lot of physical things. I definitely wanted to have less possessions by the end of 2018. I incorporated my 100 Day Project into my OLW and it resulted in me getting rid of A LOT, which was great.

I’m really happy with what I’ve gotten out of my word this year. There’s plenty of other things I wanted to do with my word for 2018 & I’m sure some of it, I’ll be able to carry with me into 2019. I’ll share my word for 2019, along with what I plan to do with it early in the new year.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2019?

If you would like to check out Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop, you can here. You can also find out more information about One Little Word here. The link is also in my side bar. Finally, if you want to check out my previous posts on this topic, click on One Little Word here or under the Series tab in the menu bar.

I want to start by saying it’s August (already, how did that happen?) and it’s the first time I’m checking back in here about my OLW for 2018 but that’s definitely not because I’ve lost touch with my word. In actual fact, if you’re reading this and you also happen to follow me on Instagram, you’re probably bored to tears of me and the word Less. This year, as you may know, I decided to combine my OLW and my 100 Day Project. So for 100 days between early April and mid July, I decluttered my life of, mostly, physical belongings. Throughout those 100 days and really the year so far, I have spent less money, particularly on material things, which in turn means I have managed to save more. All things I hoped to accomplish as part of my One Little Word for this year.

One of my favourite people to follow on Instagram over the past 5 years has been Elise Blaha Cripe and last year she split her OLW into quarters or seasons. To be honest, I can’t remember right now what her word for 2017 even was, but I remember thinking it was a good idea to break it up and keep it fresh. For the first few months of this year, I tried to look at my word as a whole, then for 100 days, I focussed on Less physical possessions. Then I spent 2 weeks at the end of July not thinking too much about my word at all and just enjoying myself. I went to Wexford in the South East of Ireland for a week and enjoyed the sunshine and a slower pace. Then I came back and enjoyed a week of over indulgence, including too much food, too much alcohol and probably even too much sleep. I suppose for those 2 weeks, I was living with less normal life and thats good too.

For August and the rest of my summer holidays from work, I’m going to focus on things that make me feel less stressed in the hopes that when the silly season (no not Christmas, in education September is the silly season) starts again, I’ll have some helpful and practical tips for feeling less stressed, worrying less and thinking less negative thoughts. I’ll list some of the things I plan to do and I’ll keep you posted about how I’m getting on, probably more frequently on Instagram than here.

For my OLW in August, I plan to:

  • Stop to enjoy the moment more
  • Read more with intention. As in quality over quantity and that goes for books, articles, even Instagram posts.
  • Eat meals with intention (so much of our meals are consumed in a hurry)
  • Get enough sleep
  • make my bed every day
  • Eat healthily at least 5 out of 7 days
  • Light candles
  • Listen to podcasts that make me feel good
  • Meditate
  • Write down what I am grateful for
  • Criticise myself less
  • Buy myself flowers
  • Worry less about what others think of me
  • De-clutter
  • take better care of my skin
  • Get fresh air
  • Engage with hobbies
  • Stop comparing myself to others

Are you taking part in One Little Word for 2018? If so, how is it going?

If you would like to check out Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop, you can here. You can also find out more information about One Little Word here. The link is also in my side bar. Finally, if you want to check out my previous posts on this topic, click on One Little Word here or under the Series tab in the menu bar.

Reading… ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo. Oh my goodness. Everyone should read this book. Everyone.

Watching… Breaking Bad. Yes, finally. I’m on Season 4. It took me a while to get into it, I found it a little slow the first couple of seasons but I’m pretty hooked now. Also delighted that Power and The Affair are back!

Listening to… The ‘Jen Gotch is OK, Sometimes’ podcast with, you guessed it, Jen Gotch. This woman is hilarious. If you’re looking for a clear, focussed podcast on mental health and business development, this podcast is NOT for you. If you’re looking for a fun, hilarious and at times scatty podcast that talks about starting a multi-million international company, as well as mental health in a relaxed way while still taking it seriously, then this podcast is for you. 

Happy about… Peony season. Those and Calla Lilies are my favourite flowers.

Surprised by… This AMAZING Irish summer. I can’t believe how long we’ve had this sunshine and these high temperatures. Long may it last. 

Focussing on… The 100 Day Project, still. Only 7 days to go. The same as last year, I get so into the project and I feel like starting another project as soon as this 1 is over. 

Eating…  A lot of BBQs. Too many Soleros and some yummy salads. 

Planning…  My friend Jade’s hen weekend for next March. Really fun and also very intimidation at the same time. I don’t arrange trips for 2 people, never mind a whole group.  

Enjoying… The World Cup. There has been a lot of surprise exits. Who will go on to win it? Brazil? France? Possibly England?

Looking forward to… a week in Fethard On Sea in Wexford later this month. I’m hoping the weather keeps up. 

We’re almost 3/4 of the way through The 100 Day Project. I thought it was a good time to check back in with how my Project is going. Realistically, I planned to check in at the half way point but then 22 days went by in a blink. In some ways I can’t believe I’m already 3/4 of the way through and in other ways I can’t believe I’m only 3/4 of the way through.

What I’ve learned from the project so far is that what drives me is the challenge. Most days I enjoy it & I look forward to it but there are days when I need extra motivation and the challenge of completing the 100 days on time, works. I’ve also learned I’m probably always going to have too many things and that I’m striving for a more purposeful life in terms of what I own rather than a minimalist life.

Other people’s interest in my project has been fascinating. Some people comment or send me messages of encouragement. I love when people say that it has pushed them to clear out things in their own lives. I’m also sure it’s driving some people mad to see it popping up every day, but as Jill (@jhives) on Instagram said “it’s easy enough to scroll on by” or in my own, less tactful words, feel free to unfollow. What I have found most interesting is people’s ownership of my project. The 100 Day Project is a fairly flexible concept in itself but the basic rules are to attempt to do something every day for 100 days. My project of 100 Days of Less has no rules besides that. I think it’s great that people are interested enough to comment and say they don’t think certain things really count, etc. At first I was mildly irritated by it but then I thought of a TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In it, she said that she spoke to a woman who read one of her books and came to tell her what she wanted her to write about in the sequel. Chimamanda, when speaking about the woman said that “she had not only read the book, but she had taken ownership of it and felt justified in telling me what to write in the sequel.” She went on to say that she was charmed by the reaction. So for the last 27 days of my project, I’m going to take the same approach. For every person who tells me I’m running out of ideas, I’m going to remain charmed. Believe me?! No, I’m not sure I do either.

On that note, I’ll sign off. See you at the finish line.

Reading… ‘The Year of Less’ by Cait Flanders. I heard a bit about this book on Instagram so decided to give it a go & it hasn’t disappointed. I’m amazed by how much of her possessions Cait has managed to get rid of.

Watching… Dexter. I’ve only 1 episode to go and it got a bit silly in the last season but I’ve enjoyed it over all. I also watched season 1 & 2 of Divorce and loved it. Sarah Jessica Parker is fashion goals in everything she does.

Listening to… ‘There Are Other Ways’ podcast with Fiona Barrows. Oh my god, I could talk about it for ever. It’s soooo good. Fiona talks to different women in each episode who are living life a little differently to the “norm”. It’s thought provoking and entertaining and as a woman, it’s so inspiring.

Focussing on… The 100 Day Project. 28 days in & loving it.

Pinning… healthy food recipes & calligraphy fonts.

Eating… lots of cauliflower rice & trying a new oat, banana & peanut butter cookie recipe. Although, we were at a wedding this weekend and ate & drank all of the wrong things.

Scrapping… nothing right now. I have January & February done. I was hoping to get a start on my March spread before April was over, but no such luck.

Looking forward to… a trip to Madrid next weekend!

Yay, week 1 of The 100 Day Project is complete! 7 days down, 93 to go. A week in and I’m still really excited about this project. I wake up each day and I think about what I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it and also how I’m going to document it. I’m also really enjoying checking out other people’s project on Instagram. I was getting this creativity FOMO (even though there was kind of a certain level of creativity to some of my photographs) before the Project even started so on day 1, I decided I was going to draw a little picture to represent my project each day. I might not actually draw it on the day and I haven’t decided if I’m going to share them all but the plan is to have 100 mini drawings by the end of the project. Drawings 1 to 7 are above.

My favourite projects include the two wonderful hosts. Elle Luna’s animations are amazing. Did you see Day 4? Wow! Lindsay Jean Thompson’s project is great because it seems so doable and then you read her lovely words and realise, not so doable because she’s an amazing writer. Her day 5 was my favourite and her day 7 is so inspiring. Like she even needs to be mentioned because I’m obsessed with her project every year but Elise Cripe’s project is so good. I love love love her unicorn print from Day 7. I can’t wait to see it finished and find out what she does with it. Allie Lehman’s project is another 1 I’m really enjoying. She’s blogging everyday for 100 days. My favourite post so far was Day 2 Anticipation. My absolute favourite project so far this year is my dad’s. I’m really loving checking in each day to see what he’s doing and I’m really excited he’s taking part. His bookmark on Day 5 is my favourite so far.He’s going to be getting a lot of bookmark and jewellery requests from me. I’m really excited that barbells.and.baking decided to join me in 100 Days of Less. The girl is putting me to shame with her clear outs. She went very big on Day 1 and hasn’t slowed down. You can follow her Project on her Instagram stories. Finally, I’m enjoying checking out anyone who is doing any sort of calligraphy, typography or hand lettering because I’m really interested in learning more about that.

Things I’ve learned 7 days into this project:

  • I will never ever be a minimalist.
  • I have serious anxiety at the thoughts of getting rid of certain things including books and notebooks.
  • There are things I’ve kept because I like them or think they look nice and to justify it, I’m holding on for dear life to the William Morris quote “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.
  • I am very far from an artist and I’m “drawing” (or colouring in) with pens for goodness sake but I’m enjoying those tiny pictures so much.
  • Even though my project is not creative, it is making me want to create things which is a great outcome.

How’s your 100 Day Project going? What have you learned after the first 7 days?

the100dayproject.org

I’m taking part in The 100 Day Project for the second year running this year and my project is going to link in with my 2018 One Little Word. For my 2018 project, I plan to do ‘100 Days of Less’.

I kind of felt a little bit like I was cheating because the project is generally supposed to be 100 days of creative habit and where last year’s project was kind of creative with blogging, this year’s isn’t at all but it’s what feels right for me and I’m sure the creativity will come with trying to photograph my project (hey, I guess it’s 100 days of really bad iPhone photography too!) After listening to Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thompson’s interview with Michael Beirut where he said that your 100 day project can be anything really once you do it for 100 days (yes, even brushing your teeth!), I felt much better about my 2018 project.

For 100 consecutive days, I’m going to try to create a more minimalistic life. The things I intend on having less of by the end of this project include makeup, clothes, books, shoes, unnecessary plastic objects, handbags, craft supplies and photographs. I also plan to clear out my emails, phone storage, work files, social media “friends” and hard drives. Finally, I plan to worry less, stress less, think less negative thoughts, eat less unhealthy food and spend less time doing things I don’t want to do.

Now, the difficult part is how I’m going to share my project. I haven’t fully decided and there isn’t always a pretty way to share photos of this kind of thing but I think I’ll post as many Instagram pictures as I can and share some parts of my project (most likely process pics and videos) to Instagram Stories. I’m also going to create a video using the 1 Second Everyday App and most likely blog a few times throughout the 100 days with some progress updates.

I love this project and I have been looking forward to it starting again for ages. Sure it’s not always easy and I tend to hit some road blocks but I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want it to end last year.

If you are interested in learning more about The 100 Day Project, check out Elle Luna  and Lindsay Jean Thompson on Instagram.You should also check out Elise Blaha Cripe on Instagram because if you’re having thoughts about giving up, her enthusiasm is amazing! Also check out her podcast on her previous experiences and plans for The 100 Day Project here and here and here and here.

If you want, you can read my posts from last year’s project here and here and here and here! Okay, I’ve said the word here waaaay too many times now.

This year’s The 100 Day Project starts on Tuesday 3rd of April but if you don’t see this on time, you can join in and start your 100 days anytime.

What are you doing for the 100 day project?

I’m going to talk about my new favourite app but I want to start off by saying this post is not an Ad. What? You didn’t think it was anyway? Oh, ok.

I went to Bratislava last August & while I was there I made a 1 Second Everyday video. I ‘mashed’ it and attempted to upload it here, to no success. I decided it was too big so I bought an app that made it smaller (or maybe I used iMovie, I really don’t remember, it was 6 months ago!). Anyway, I tried to upload it again & it didn’t work. I asked my dad to change the upload limit on the site so that I could upload larger files, and he did. That still didn’t work, so I gave up.

Then ‘snowmageddon’ happened and I got bored so I went back to it, but of course, still no luck. Finally, I did what I should have done months ago. I asked my dad for more help. I left it with him for a few hours and TA-DA!!! I’m going to take this opportunity to say it seriously sucks that I’m not a really successful blogger because if I was, my dad could work for the blog & sit at home doing it. A job that you can do from home with limited interaction with real people. Hello fellow introverts!! The dream right?! So eh…sorry about that, Dad! (And for anyone who wants to know what he did to fix it, you’d have to ask him!)

Anyway, back to 1 Second Everyday. I decided I was going to record my year starting on the day of my 30th birthday. I thought it would be a good idea to get some practice using the app first and so I decided to record our week in Bratislava using the 1SE app. I did that and I’ll share it in another post soon.

The idea behind the 1SE app is that you record 1 second of your life every day for an entire year and the result is a short movie to remind you what you did with your year. You can do it two different ways. Either a Timeline or a Freestyle.

A Timeline allows you to use 1 video everyday and it keeps track for you using a calendar template so you can see at a glance if you’ve taken a video for each day. If you miss a day, it allows you to add a picture instead or even choose a video from a different day. They’ve since updated this feature so you can now choose 2 seconds from each day.

The Freestyle option allows you to add as many 1 second video clips as you like to your accumulated movie. Freestyle is much more suited to shorter projects such as holidays or trip because you most likely want more than just 1 second for each day.

The purpose of the 1 Second Everyday app is to record a second of your life for an entire year but it can be used for so much more than that. As I said previously, my intention was to record my year, 1 Second Everyday, from the day I turned 30. I did that from 24th August – 31st December. Some days for me it felt like a bit of a chore or I’d forget until last thing at night & my videos would have bad lighting or they would clearly be something thrown together. I decided, on January 1st 2018, I was going to switch from a Timeline video,where I was disappointed in myself if I missed a day, to a Freestyle video. Using the Freestyle option meant I could record the moments that really mattered to me & skip out on the days that were dull & didn’t include much worth recording. So my video at the end of 2018 might not have 365 seconds (roughly 6 minutes) but it will include the things that mattered to me. Sometimes that might be several seconds in a day and sometimes it will skip a few days here and there. I’m enjoying the project much more now and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

That’s not where it ends for this great app. Recording your life for a year is just 1 way to use it. You can also use it to record trips, holidays, projects you’re working on, the growth of your children or your pet’s daily activities. Pretty much anything that you want to be able to look back on with a short movie once it’s over.

I’m currently using the app to record my own year and a year in the life of my dogs. I’ve been sharing Chief & Lady’s 1SE projects month by month over on Instagram. My handle is @Paparali if you want to check them out.

I plan to take part in The 100 Day Challenge for the second year in a row, starting April 3rd and it’s my intention to create a 1SE movie of that too. The options are endless & I love thinking of other ways to use this great app.

As you might have heard (or experienced) we’ve recently had our first heavy snowfall in about 8 years in Ireland and it’s been dubbed ‘Snowmageddon’ as well as ‘The Beast from the East’ and ‘Storm Emma’. I decided to make a 1SE video over the last few days of fun in the snow and I’ll share it over on my Instagram account as an example of how this great app works.

I’ll be sharing some of my 1 Second Everyday videos here soon. Keep an eye out for them.

If you want to purchase the 1 Second Everyday app, you can do so in your App Store on iPhone for the small fee of €5.49 (or something close to that) and I think it’s possibly free on Android. To find out more about 1 Second Everyday, check out their website here.

I hope you try this app & enjoy it as much as I do. Happy memory keeping!!!!