I had a look back over the things I wanted to Focus on in 2017 and I won’t lie, some of them are going horribly wrong. That being said, some are definitely working, or at the very least, improving. 

Some of the things that are working:

Saving more money:

Ok so I’m not going to be saver of the year anytime soon but I have made a positive change. I used to save the odd bit of whatever money I have left at the end of the month but now, on pay day, I transfer a certain amount into the savings account I set up in February. 

Focussing on my own shit:

I talked about this a little in my last OLW post. Part of focussing on my own shit was thinking about where I was going career-wise. This is kind of a cheat because it’s not something I actively worked on, but I have been offered a new contract in work which will make it easier to plan for the future. There’s still a lot up in the air that I hope is clarified soon so watch this space. 

Spending more time with people & books & less time on devices:

Ok this is a small change. I’m probably not spending much less time on devices but I’m definitely reading more and I’ve also started working on my Project Life albums again which is a nice device free, creative (ish) thing to do. 

Growing my hair & getting it back to a healthy condition:

So these two things have yet to actually kick in but I have been using Olaplex and I’ve started taking Biotin to strengthen my hair. Fingers crossed I see a difference soon. I’ve also made the decision to dye my hair brown after the summer to see if that helps. 
Some of the things that are not working:

Losing more weight:

This is going horribly wrong. I have a great week, then I reward myself with food and have a terrible weak. I read a quote the other day that said “you haven’t come this far, to only come this far” and my friend sent me a picture that popped up on her Facebook Memories from 2 years ago and there’s a huge change so hopefully, they’re the things that will motivate me to push on through. 

Being productive & not just busy:

All I’ll say is I put the PRO in procrastination.

The here & now & letting go of the small things:

I’m the biggest worrier and over thinker so these two are proving really difficult, but I haven’t given up. 
Are you doing One Little Word for 2017? If not, is it something you might consider?
I found this picture on Pinterest. Check out silhouetteonlinestore.com You can keep up to date with my OLW ‘Focus’ over on Pinterest. my name over there is @paparali. You can also check out my other OLW posts here

Next up in my ‘Favourite Things’ series is blogs. There are a few I love and check in on regularly so I thought I’d share them here. 

 

Enjoy It

http://www.elisejoy.com

Elise Joy’s Blog ‘Enjoy It’ is my absolute Favourite. Elise lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters. She owns a brand called GET TO WORK BOOK which provides tools for goal setting. You can check that out here. She has also sold many other things through the shop on her website. She used to post on her blog every single day. She doesn’t anymore but checks in with a new post every now and again. I absolutely love her posts and there’s a huge back catalogue of posts covering many things from her family life, to goal planning to DIY and homemade projects. She also has a brilliant podcast about small business and creativity, amongst other things. You can check that out here.

 

The Band Wife Blog:

http://thebandwifeblog.com

Laura Gummerman is a band wife who lives in Nashville. She recently had a baby girl and has two adorable cats. Lately she has been sharing posts about her lovely daughter Lola and her pregnancy but there’s also plenty of posts about her home life, her tour life, her style, her home and cats, cats, cats! Laura is a staff writer and project assistant for the ‘A Beautiful Mess’ blog which I will mention next. She has a really fun casual style of writing and she’s very funny. 

 

A Beautiful Mess

http://abeautifulmess.com

A Beautiful Mess is run by two sisters, Elsie & Emma.It is an entire lifestyle company. They share lots of home decor projects and craft projects as well as recipes and more. They also have a couple of photo editing apps and a couple of books. They sell lots of pretty things and you can check out their shop here. These women work hard and have turned what was once just a blog into a huge and very successful business.

 

Becky Higgins

beckyhiggins.com/blog

Becky Higgins is the creator of the  scrapbooking brand Project Life. I’m a huge fan of this memory keeping method and you can find some of my posts about it here. You can find out all about the concept and shop her products over on her website but you can also read posts about Project Life, digital scrapbooking,  “cultivating a good life and recording it” and lots more!

 

Ali Edwards

https://aliedwards.com/blog

Ali is a designer, blogger, workshop instructor and an author. My interest in her started a few years ago when I first learned of the concept of One Little Word, which I have posted about and you can check those posts out here. Since then I’ve also (kinda) taken part in her ‘A Day in The Life’ project. Ali is an avid memory keeper and her blog has lots of posts about Project Life and other creative projects.

 

My Tiny Mind

http://mytinymind.com

My Tiny Mind is something quite different from the rest of the blogs I’ve mentioned. It is a blog belonging to a middle aged, middle brow (his words, not mine) man who shares his opinion on things from Trump to his generation to local charities. He also discusses life long learning and random topics from what he calls his ‘Man Drawer’. Mostly though, he shares reviews of books and his travels which are definitely worth a read.

 

Some other new blogs, belonging to friends of mine, which are worth keeping an eye out for include:

National Steographic

Small Matters

Building Our Home

All of the pictures above where taken from the relative blogs. 


Reading… The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes. I forgot how easy and fun her books are to read. I did not forget how funny she is. Her sense of humour is just brilliant.

Watching… Still hooked on Grey’s Anatomy. I’m almost at the end of season 9 now. What the hell am I going to do with my evenings when I catch up?

Listening to… TED Talks on my Podcast app while I drive. I’m learning all sorts of things in mostly 16-18 minute time slots.

Drinking… more water….finally!

Focussing on… getting back on track with my weight loss. I’ve been seriously slacking since December. Losing & gaining the same few pounds but I’m trying to be a bit more disciplined again.

Enjoying… some May sunshine in Ireland. Hopefully it lasts through the weekend!Although he hates the sun, my partner in crime, Chief, can’t help but sit out there with me when I’m reading.

Pinning… my own blog posts!

Considering… a trip to Bratislava in the summer.

Focus on Your Own Shit

I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of April and this is my first follow up post to my 2017 OLW post. I’m thinking not having a regular means of keeping in touch with my word and getting it down on paper means I’m less able to share how it’s going here. Despite this it’s actually going quite well.

I thought I’d start off by sharing what I plan to get from the word Focus this year, so here goes. In 2017, I plan to focus on:

  • My own shit! Excuse my language but I need to learn to focus on myself and where I am and want to be. I think there’s a thing that comes with age (and I’m turning 30 this year!) where we all start to think about where we should be and what we should have or be doing. I plan to focus this year on working out where I want to be in terms of life and career and not worrying about comparing myself to other people.
  • The here and now. I’m a worrier so I can spend too much time in the past so it’s important I learn to focus on the present.
  • Being content with what I have and on having less. I think it’s very easy in western society to constantly want more. The newest and the best things. This year, I want to de-clutter and focus on spending less money accumulating crap I don’t need. That doesn’t mean never buying things but it does mean quality over quantity.
  • Being productive and not just busy.
  • Losing more weight. I have a goal and I have been slacking on that majorly. 
  • Letting go of the small things. This is a big ask for someone like me who is very detail oriented. It’s the kind of goal that gets carried over because if I’m being realistic, this won’t change over night. 
  • Saving more money. By more I mean any at all.
  • Growing my hair and getting it back to a healthy condition.
  • Spending more time with people and books and less time hiding behind devices. This is very aspirational in today’s society but even if it has improved slightly by the end of the year, I’ll consider this 1 a success.
  • Being happy!!

I found this picture on Instagram. Check out keelyrust to find it. You can keep up to date with where I’ll be sharing words around my OLW Focus over on  Pinterest. my name over there is @paparali. You can also check out my other OLW posts here

Saved from: weheartit.com

Saved from: weheartit.com

So I may have gone totally AWOL on my word for 2016. It was a total mess. I exercised balance alright, but in two halves not as a whole throughout the year. For that reason, I’ll be carrying Balance over into 2017 with me. I still wanted to have a new word for this year too so I considered a few but one word has continued to jump out to me since early January. So my word for 2017 is Focus.

Usually it takes me a while to decide on my word but this year it has seemed pretty clear from the get go what it would be. I usually look up dictionary definitions of the words and searched for quotes on it on Pinterest. I wasn’t blown away by the dictionary definition but I didn’t let that put me off.

 {FOCUS; (noun) an act of concentrating interest or activity on something}

Last year I  signed up to Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop. I really stuck to it for the few months but then it seemed to trail off.  I haven’t signed up again this year but I do plan to go back over some of the lessons from last year that really stood out to me. Other than that I plan to record my progress a little bit here and on my Pinterest and Instagram account. The thing I love most about OLW is that you can use it and document it however you like.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2017?

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.

 

OLW #5

Jana Kingsford www.MumsJugglingAct.com (pinned by www.naturallysassy.co.uk)

This month I’m asking myself questions to keep me focused on my One Little Word for 2016. All along I’ve been wondering how I can find balance, like it’s something I’m going to stumble upon. So when I saw this quote on Pinterest, it got me thinking that balance is something I need to create. The first question I’m asking myself this month is ‘how can I create balance in my life?’

How do you create balance in your life?

image

exilelifestyle.com (via Pinterest)

While I’m still aiming to do something productive and something for pleasure every day in March and it’s going fairly well, I’m also off work for 2 and a half weeks for the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter breaks. I have to remember that what I’m striving for is a balanced life and that extremes in any situation are rarely a good thing. So in other words, it’s okay to eat a piece of cake but it’s not necessary to have cake everyday. It’s okay to be Irish, spend time with friends and get a bit drunk on St. Patrick’s Day (warning: major cliche alert) but it’s also good to spend time at home, enjoying my own company and getting early nights.

I’m still working towards a balanced life that comes naturally, how’s your One Little Word going?

OLW

This month I’m attempting to practice something to do with my One Little Word, every day, for the entire month. Now I must admit that the rest of the One Little Word world completed this task in February but I was a little behind on my homework so I’m doing it for March instead. My word for this year is Balance, as you may know, so for this month I’m planning on practicing two things. I hope to find more balance by doing something productive and also doing something for my own enjoyment every day. I’m hoping for progress with my word, not perfection. I’ll post my progress at the end of each week in March.

I found this picture on Pinterest. Follow JC Penney to find it. You can also check out other quotes I’ve posted on Pinterest for my OLW. my name over there is @paparali. You can also check out my other OLW posts here

 

OLW #2

One of the things I really struggle with is the work/life balance. It seems to either go completely one way or another. I can be a complete workaholic & spend my weekends working and late into the nights or else it’s the complete opposite and I’m living a little too much. Going out more than I should at the weekend and mentally not turning up for work as much as I could. I’m trying to find a happy medium on this one. I agree with the idea of ‘work to live, don’t live to work’ and fully believe nobody, on their death bed, wishes they’d worked more. However, I think that’s a bit too simplistic. The majority of us have to work in order to have a good life which makes both work & life very important. This quote really stood out to me because in order to fill our souls with adventure, we have to work to fill our pockets, therefore I think it’s important to work hard & enjoy what we do in order to have the adventures.This year I hope to find a healthy balance between the two.

I found this beautiful image on Pinterest and you can go to kaylanicole.me to find the poster designer.

My Bedroom

Reading… Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). Book number 3 for Galbraith. I’m only about 60 pages in and it’s a little slow but I’m hoping it turns out as good as the first 2.

Watching… Rookie Blue. I’m almost finished the final season and I’m getting a bit emotional. My favourite characters are Nick and Oliver.

Listening to… Adele’s latest album. It’s not living up to 21 but it’s growing on me.

Pinning…hair pics and gender equality quotes. See, you can be girly and a feminist.

Trying… soaked porridge oats with natural yogurt and fruit for breakfast. It’s making a nice change and tastes quite nice.

Drinking… less alcohol than this time last year. Trying to cut down a bit on all things bad for me. Don’t ask about the diet coke!! Please.

Considering…a trip to Amsterdam in the summer.

Scrapping… I still have catching up to do with my Project Life album from 2015 (ahem, and 2014) but I created my cover page for 2016 last week and now I’m working on my January spread. Keeping on top of it this year, I swear…kinda…hopefully!

Enjoying… spending time in my bedroom. I’ve had trouble getting to sleep lately so I’ve been going up to my room earlier than normal and trying to relax for a while before it’s time to sleep. I love the brightness of my bedroom even at this time of year. Also, it’s kind of pathetic how much new cushions make me happy. (see the middle cushion above from Penneys)

Cooking…lots of turkey dishes. Burgers, meatballs, tacos.

Planning…blog posts for the next couple of months.

Hating… The really cold, miserable weather but I’m looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Taking….the Ali Edwards’ One Little Word 2016 workshop.

Looking forward to…a great year ahead.