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.

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.

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?

I’m late posting my Project Life cover page for 2018 but it has actually been done since the middle of February. I went for a simple approach this year. The colours are not coming up properly in the photo but they’re more of a purple-pink than pink. The kit I used for this spread is the Prismatic Edition. The gold alpha stickers are Sentiment Thickers. Unfortunately I’m not sure where the small ‘#OLW’ stickers are from. As with the past couple of years, I have included my One Little Word for the year and what I plan to do with it into my spread to remind me to check in with it regularly.

12×12 albums with monthly spreads have worked for me the past couple of years so I’m doing the same this year. If I have anything out of the ordinary in a month, like a trip or a wedding, I’ll create a separate spread for that.

Are you working on Project Life in 2018? How do you use this scrapbooking technique?

 

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.

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

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?