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.

My One Little Word for 2018 is LESS.

I went back and forward between a few different words this year and I decided to keep hold of them as supporting or accompanying words. When I really thought about it, they all led to different elements of my goals for LESS. So my supporting words are: simplify, clarity and intentional.

As you can see from the image below, the things I plan to do less of in 2018 are:

  • Have less negative thoughts (and yes, the fact that Less is a negative word, hasn’t escaped my attention!) I also aim to worry less. One of the things that creates negative thoughts and worry for me is internalising things that bother me. I plan to communicate in a more clear and open manner and hopefully that will help with the worry and negativity.
  • Spend less money, on unnecessary material things, in particular. As a result of spending less, I obviously hope to save more money.
  • I also plan to clear out on a lot of the material things I already have including clothes, shoes and beauty products. Nobody needs the amount I have.
  • Drink less alcohol and eat less unhealthy foods. In return, I plan to exercise more, get more fresh air and lose more weight. Easy right?!
  • Spend less time doing things I don’t want to do. I hope to have less things and more experiences. Some that cost money and some that don’t. I definitely want to spend less of my time during the day, when I’m not in work, watching TV.
  • Finally, I am the queen of procrastinating, so in 2018, I want to do less of that and make better use of my time. That doesn’t mean there won’t be time spent doing nothing but when I do, I want it to be intentional.

So that’s my plan for 2018. Let’s see how it goes.

I’m not sure how I’m going to document my OLW this year but I’ll be sure to share it when it comes to me. I’ve always decided at the start of the year and it never really works out so I’m going to see how I get on with my word for a few weeks first. As always, 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 2018?

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 - Focus

I may not have been great at posting about my 2017 One Little Word but I still exercised it a bit more than I did my 2016 Word. My word for 2017 was Focus. I wanted to focus on my own life & career. Decide what I wanted to do with myself a bit more. This time last year I was pretty miserable in my work but now I’m a lot happier. It’s partly changes that were made & partly settling into changes that had been made the previous September.

Another thing that I focussed on was saving more money. Or as I said last year, any money at all. I’m happy with it but I plan to up the ante this year. I also cut my hair up pretty short and stopped dying it in September in an attempt to get it back to a healthy condition so with a bit of luck that won’t take too much longer. Before I go any further, hair, I know! First world problem but hey!!

One of the things that didn’t really change was how much I worry about things out of my control. That’s getting added to my list for this year’s Word. Another thing I planned to do in 2017 was build on the progress I made losing weight in 2016 & lose more. That did not happen. I spent the year losing & gaining the same half stone. This year, I vow to get back on track with that.

There’s plenty of other things I plan to do with my Word for 2018 & I’ll share my word along with what I plan to do with it in my next post.

Are you taking part in One Little Word this year? What’s your word for 2018?

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.

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. 

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?

I took part in Ali Edward’s ‘Day in the Life’ for the first time this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it on March 29th with everyone else so I did it on April 1st instead. I’m planning on incorporating the photos from the day into my Project Life album but I’m not sure how yet. I wanted to share all of my pictures here so other people can see what a day in my life looks like. As I was off work for the Easter holidays my day was spent at home which meant a lot more natural light than my work days would have. I used my iPhone 6 Plus to take all of my pictures. Next time I hope to have prepared a little better and take pictures of me using a timer rather than just selfies. I took all of my pictures using the Snapchat app so that I could save them and then add the time stamp to them and save them again. This meant I could move about my day a little quicker without having to pay too much attention to keeping a record of the times for each photo.

So here’s my day:

09.04am

09.04am | Messy bed // No work today as I’m still on Easter holidays from work // I was up until 3am last night so 9am isn’t bad.

09.15am

09.15am | Snuggles with Chief (for a little too long) // I like to do this on days that I’m not in work because I don’t have time on work days. He loves an ear rub // Lady was busy out the back garden barking at the neighbour’s cats.

09.52am

09.52am | Breakfast time // Soaked porridge with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and berries // I also took this time to scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

 

10.33am

10.33am | Brushing my teeth // Pyjamas and slippers // I have to use a soft toothbrush because my gums bleed very easily.

10.45am

10.45am | Pain Killers // My back is not as good as I thought it was so some paracetamol will help with the pain // Hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow 

11.01am

11.01am | Organising my craft room // It’s a slow process but I’m getting an hour or two in each day while I’m off work // Trying to purge a lot of craft supplies // I’m also checking back over my files to see if I can minimise what I need to keep.

11.18am

11.18am | Purging & organising stickers // relocating my stickers from one of my Ikea Alex units to one of my Raskog carts with my Project Life kits // I find I forget to use them because they’re not kept with my kits. Hopefully this will remind me to use them more.

11.44am

11.44am | Purge complete, still organising // It’s taking a little bit longer than I thought.

12.37pm

12.37pm | Stickers on the bottom shelf of my two Raskog carts under my Project Life kits // I organised my Project Life kits alphabetically yesterday and added labels using my Brother label printer and black card // the black sack is for recycling.1.26pm

01.26pm | Time to put my make-up on and get dressed // Yes, I’m aware it’s the middle of the day but what’s the rush when you don’t have to leave the house.

1.51pm

01.51pm | OOTD // All black, everything.

2.13pm

02.13pm | Time to leave the house.

2.37pm

02.37pm | Lunch and a chat with my friend Jade // In a pub in the village I live in // Cajun Chicken on Ciabatta.

3.32pm

03.32pm | Hood is up because it’s raining // Irish weather is unpredictable // The sun was splitting the sky yesterday.

3.49pm

03.49pm | Food shopping // picking up some food for lunches and dinners over the weekend // I also got some flowers to brighten this rainy day.

4.04pm

04.04pm | Came home too these two guilty faces // The stuffing was pulled out of one of the cushions.

4.30pm

04.30pm | Flowers // cutting the stems of the flowers and putting them in vases // I’m also tidying the kitchen and putting the food shopping away.

5.01pm

05.01pm | Dropping in to Dad and Marian // I wanted to drop something in and stayed a while to chat.

5.07pm

05.07pm | Dad’s dogs // Chilling in their crate even though they don’t have to. 

5.28pm

05.28pm | Hair up // out of my way because I’m ready to sit down and finish off March’s One Little Word prompt before I check out April’s lesson.

5.39pm

05.39pm | Vision board for One Little Word // flicking through some magazines to find pictures that represent balance for my One Little Word vision board.

6.25pm

06.25pm | Spending time with Chief and Lady // I can work on my One Little Word prompt anywhere so I’m doing it in the living room so I can spend time with the dogs // even if they would prefer to just snuggle together and fall asleep // Chief fell asleep looking out the window // Lady is happy once shes snuggling near Chief.

07.05pm

07.05pm | A tea dinner with my Dad and Marian // A perfect Friday, rainy day dinner.

7.50pm

07.50pm | Nose biter // chatting to Dad and Marian while Klaus bites Dad’s nose.

8.28pm

08.28pm | More snuggling // the picture is blurry because the lighting is poor in that room but she’s too cute not to post it // I sat with Lady and Chief for another little while and watched the soaps.

9.43pm

09.43pm | Sweeping the floor // someone tell me how 1 woman and 2 dogs can make such a mess in 1 day // something tells me Lady brought a lot of this in from the back garden.

10.02pm

10.03pm | April’s One Little Word Lesson // sitting on my bed for a few minutes to check out this month’s lesson // reading the PDF, I’ll watch the video tomorrow.

10.19pm

10.19pm | Some more tidying // back to the craft room for another while // working through a box of miscellaneous things like thread, pens and notebooks.

12.41am

12.41am | Bedtime // technically not the same day but my bedtime is rarely before midnight // taking my make-up off in bed.

12.46am

12.46am | A little reading before I sleep.

 

Did any of you take part in Ali’s ‘Day in the Life’? How do you plan to document it?

 

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 #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.