22 in 2022

I’m here to share another list of things I want to do. This is my 22 in 2022 list and it’s in addition to my 40 for 40 list which you can see here.

22 in 2022 Pin Image. The image shows wooden number blocks depicting 2022, there's a notepad, clips, glasses and a plant surrounding them.

Before I share I’m going to answer a couple of questions that I imagine you may be wondering (& the questions I asked myself when I decided to write this list)…

Why do I need another list?

I probably don’t but I love a list (if you’re new here you can find evidence of that here, here and here!). As the new year arrived I realised there were some things I wanted to do in 2022 that weren’t on my 40 for 40 list. Having these random things floating around in my head is not good – I either forget them or they distract me from other things. So I decided to see if I could come up with 22 of them and make it a thing.

What’s the point of this list?

I think I originally heard about this idea from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast. A list of things you want to do in a year – the number of which is based on the year (so 19 in 2019, 21 in 2021 and so on). It’s a fun way to mark the year and do some of those random things that I might not get around to.

Accountability is so important for me getting things done so I decided to turn the list into this blog post and share the list on Instagram to help me stay on task!

I’ve already completed some of them so I’ve marked those as complete. Here we go…

My 22 for 2022 List

  1. Grow sweetpeas
  2. Try crochet again
  3. Monthly highlights collage/mosaic (the first one is HERE)
  4. Catalogue my wardrobe (already regretting this one… ha!)
  5. Release the Spring Journal
  6. More old school blogging
  7. Make a Roo Pouch
  8. Monthly reflection – favourite photo, best thing, what I read/watched/made etc (I might even turn this into a journal)
  9. Visit Sandringham
  10. Hyde Hall with G
  11. Arvo Tea or an adventure with my friend S
  12. Catch up with my friend D
  13. Make waffles again in the waffle maker
  14. Projector movie night
  15. Continue with 1SE
  16. Joy jar – aim for weekly entries (and I’ve roped in the husband and kiddo too…can we keep it up?)
  17. Pot up the houseplants (they really need some love)
  18. Join the Confident Creative Club COMPLETE
  19. Take part in Fiona’s Year of Writing
  20. Try The Breakfast Club COMPLETE
  21. More cocktails (maybe at the Cozy Club?)
  22. Make more packing cubes COMPLETE
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So there you go – another random collection of things. Things that I hope will make my life better and bring me joy. Not resolutions or goals. Just things.

What do you want to do in 2022? If you’ve got a list – do let me know as I’d love to be nosy and have a look!

22 in 2022 List as an image for pinning.

My 2022 Word of the Year – Simplicity

I have chosen a 2022 word of the year. And that word is SIMPLICITY.

Today I’m going to share why I chose it and what it means to me. I’ve also got some tips for diving deeper with your chosen word, a journal that may help you connect with your word and links to my previous writing about chosen words for more inspiration.

Simplicity - my 2022 word of the year. A graphic showing a zoomed in photo of the dictionary definition of simplicity.

Finding my 2022 Word of the Year

I played around with a few words in December but didn’t feel ready to settle on one. I contemplated something around play and playfulness as well as explore and adventure. And I also added simplicity, simplify, clear space, less and ease to my list of potentials. Then I took a break over Christmas.

In early January I was ready to come back to it and I think, in the end, simplicity chose me. It kept coming up in conversations and online content and I was intrigued by where it could lead me. I did some further brainstorming and research and then made the decision to make it my chosen 2022 word of the year.

What does it mean?

For me simplicity is all about keeping things simple and getting to the heart of the matter. I want to focus on what really matters and make things easier where I can. I’d love to do some decluttering and create some space in various areas of my life and I think simplicity can help me do that.

I have a tendency to overcomplicate things and overthink them and I definitely have too much stuff. I need some simplicity in my life.

Here’s a couple of quotes about simplicity I found that resonated with me:

  • “Simplicity is the soul of efficiency.” – Austin Freeman
  • “The key to finding a happy balance in modern life is simplicity.” – Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper
  • “Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

I am excited to see where simplicity might lead me in 2022.

Diving deeper into my word

After choosing a few words over the years I have developed something of a system for getting to know my chosen word. Here are some of the things I do:

  • Take some time to journal or list what it means to me
  • I look up the dictionary definition and write it down along with any synonyms that help me understand my word further
  • Then I look for quotes, affirmations and inspiration relating to my word (usually with a simple Google search or having a look through Pinterest)
  • I also try and check in with it with some regularity – I sometimes do this with:
    • blog posts
    • journaling about how my word has come up in my life
    • continually seeking out inspiration about my word

As I was beginning to do this work this year I decided to create a journal to keep me connected to my word throughout the year. It has space for getting to know my word and collect quotes and inspiration as well as 12 check-in pages (each one has a space for observations and a different journal prompt around my word). I’ll be using this journal throughout 2022. And I thought you might find it helpful too…

Word of the Year Companion Journal - digital version
Word of the Year Companion Journal - Paper version

My Word of the Year companion journal is available in my Etsy shop so you can use it to connect to your chosen word if you wish. You can see the paper version here and the digital/eBook version here.

My Word of the Year Collection (and Monthly Mantras too)

I enjoy creating these posts each year. And love seeing my collection of words that are important to me build up over time. You can read more about my previous chosen words here:

That’s a lot of words and each time I’ve picked a word it has helped me explore life through a different lens and often taken me on a different path that I initially anticipated when I chose it.

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Have you chosen a 2022 Word of the Year? And how will you be connecting to it throughout the year?

Reflections on Curiosity (my word for 2021)

Today I’m sharing my reflections on curiosity which I chose to be my word for the year in 2021.

Curiosity - my 2021 word of the year pin image showing a hand pointing at a question mark alphabet magnet with other letter magnets above

I’ve just sat and read through my initial blog post which introduced the word, why I chose it and what I hoped it would do for me. And then I read my update from August about how it was going. Now I’ll share some final thoughts as we close out 2021.

Does Curiosity still mean the same to me?

Back in January I shared what Curiosity meant to me…

“For me, curiosity is all all about:

  • Exploring
  • Experimentation
  • Keeping an Open Mind
  • Creativity
  • Less Judgement
  • Wonder
  • Joy”

I’m glad I took the time to think about the meaning of it. I didn’t refer to the above list all that often through the year but I think this list still rings very true to me.

Almost a year on I’d also add that curiosity…

  • relieves/removes pressure
  • is playful
  • gives me space
  • and freedom

I feel like it’s been successful as a guiding mantra for 2021.

Where did Curiosity lead me?

I shared some thoughts in my August update about this but looking at the year as a whole I think Curiosity led me to…

  • Creating seasonal guided journals
  • Opening my Etsy shop
  • Creating other items such as self care kits and affirmation cards for my shop
  • To continue working on Find the Good Everyday as often as I could
  • Being more experimental with content I create and share
  • Trying new things in terms of my health and wellbeing
  • Being more gentle with myself when things didn’t turn out how I expected
  • Trying to be less judgemental – of myself and others
  • Feeling my feelings rather than trying to block any I deemed negative
  • Be more open to ‘putting myself out there’
  • Hosting journaling workshops and Instagram lives
  • Pushing myself and my comfort zone at times
  • Exploring new places
  • Taking chances

Final Reflections on Curiosity

I feel almost sad to be coming to the end of the year. There are no written rules to say I can’t keep Curiosity as my word for 2022 but I think I’d like to explore the possibility of something fresh and new.

I am sure Curiosity will continue to be an important word to me and help guide me at times of uncertainty. I think the benefit this year (in particular) was that in itself Curiosity isn’t fixed or determinate. And I needed that in 2021 when the world was uncertain and the rules kept changing and we weren’t entirely sure what was coming next or how we would get there. Curiosity gave me a pass to explore and experiment and let it grow as we went along. And as I start to ponder a possible guiding word for 2022 – that’s something I will consider. I want to choose a word that allows me space and freedom. Let’s hope I can find one just as good, if not better, than curiosity!

More on Word of the Year

So that’s my reflections on curiosity. This wasn’t my first rodeo for Word of the Year and I’ve shared previous words in these posts:

Did you choose a word for 2021? And if so – where did it lead you? And have you picked a word for 2022 yet? I’d love to hear what it is!

Reflections on my 2021 Word of the Year Pin image showing a dog with his head under an old wooden door being nosy.

My 40 for 40 Project

I turned 40 recently which means it’s time for a new project!

My 40 for 40 Project pinnable image featuring a cupcake on a cake stand with sprinkle covered chocolate 40 decoration on tip.
So what is my 40 for 40 Project?

It’s a list of 40 things I want to do while I’m 40. This isn’t my first time doing this project… and I’ve shared a few of them on this blog:

I have a year to try and complete all 40 of these things. This year has some repeats of favourite activities (like my annual soundtrack, seasonal celebrations and a random me-day!) and some new ones too. A lot of sewing made the list this year. And lots of fun.

I’ve already made a start and ticked a couple of things off! (Can you guess which ones?).

And here it is – my 40 for 40 List

  1. Reiki training
  2. 40 Soundtrack
  3. Sew myself some clothes
  4. Sew the rainbow quilt
  5. Try stand up paddle-boarding
  6. Volunteer
  7. Something fun with the kiddo
  8. Something fun with the husband
  9. Afternoon tea with my friend Sarah
  10. Try and escape room
  11. Learn to say “um” less when speaking
  12. Keep track of everything I read
  13. Family holiday with Reggie
  14. Family Trip Overseas
  15. 40 x Strength and Resistance Workouts
  16. 40 x Yoga practices
  17. Try another NRAS course or similar
  18. Visit Saffron Walden
  19. Make the sewing with stretch dress
  20. Wild/open water swimming
  21. Watch 12 new to me movies or TV shows
  22. Read 40 books
  23. More mindset training
  24. Visit Scotland
  25. Random me-day trip/adventure
  26. Seasonal celebrations – mark each season
  27. Ride my bike
  28. Host a workshop
  29. Go to London
  30. Visit Kent
  31. Day or Week in the Life
  32. The elusive Spa Day
  33. Take a creative class
  34. Organise all my craft supplies
  35. Finish my sentence-a-day journal
  36. Sewing Club – finish silver level
  37. Sewing Club – Gold level
  38. Write a letter to 50 year old Katie
  39. Try hot stones reflexology
  40. Get a facial
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I’m sure I’ll post an update here at some point and I will also share some of these things as I do them over on Instagram.

Have you ever done anything like this? What would be on your list?

39 Before 40 Final Report

It’s time for my 39 Before 40 Final Report. I set myself the task of achieving 39 things between my 39th and 40th birthdays and today I’m going to let you know how I got on.

You can see the original list here and I also did an update part way too.

My 39 Before 40 Final Report

39 Before 40 Final Report

1 Blog 25 18 times COMPLETE

I didn’t quite manage the 25 I originally intended but I’m happy to call this one complete with 18 posts written and published over the year. And that year included a chunk of national and local lockdowns and home learning for my son… I did what I could!

2 Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products COMPLETE

I am so pleased that I opened my Etsy shop this year and have already reached 40 sales! I’d love it if you popped over for a look. And I overachieved here – releasing more than 3 products.

3 Mindset Training COMPLETE

I have realised this year that mindset is a constant work-in-progress and it’s something I want to prioritise regularly going forward.

4 39 Soundtrack COMPLETE

I love this one and recommend you give it a go! I pick one (sometimes 2) songs each month that I’ve been listening to or that remind me of something we’ve done or even shows/films we’ve been watching. Here’s the 39 Soundtrack on Spotify.

5 Document Christmas Learn Cross-stitch COMPLETE

You can see the little rainbow I stitched here.

6 Sewing with Stretch course COMPLETE

I started the course and got 2 of the 3 items made which is awesome. There is one more item from the course to make – I have the pattern and supplies ready to go and it’s on my 40 for 40 list!

7 Take Reggie on “holiday” COMPLETE

Reggie is our greyhound. We took him away to Norfolk for 2 nights in an Air BNB and we all enjoyed it!

8 Go to Skye COMPLETE

I’m so happy we got to do this in the Summer. I loved Skye and would love to revisit as there is so much to see and do. I shared a few snaps on Instagram here.

9 Ride a Horse Do a 20k step day COMPLETE

I didn’t get to ride a horse but I did do a 20k step day when we were in Skye (visiting Dunvegan Castle, the Coral beach and the Fairy Pools) and I felt that definitely deserved a place on this list!

10 Visit Norfolk COMPLETE

We did this in May and took Reggie.

11 Plan an epic 40th COMPLETE

We had dinner out (with cocktails!) at the newly opened Cosy Club, I treated myself to some new clothes and we went away to Kent for a few days – it was really lovely.

12 Spa Day Personal Shop (With a Stylist) COMPLETE

The Spa Day got cancelled again! (We originally bought the Spa Day package in November 2019. Hoping it will happen while I’m 40.) Instead I got an online shop with a stylist to help me pick some new items for my wardrobe. It was lots of fun.

13 Day in the Life COMPLETE

I took part in this in March. I blogged about it here and also created a photo book too.

14 Take a creative course/class COMPLETE

I did this virtually. I finished the Bronze level of my online sewing club and moved along to the Silver level. The items I made were:

  • Lay flat drawstring bag
  • Some cushions – envelope back and zipper closure
  • Drawstring project bag with internal zip and handles
  • Mug Bag
Sewing Projects from 39 Before 40
15 Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community COMPLETE

Instagram is my favourite social media platform and I enjoy creating content and spending time chatting there. I’d love it if you popped by for a visit!

16 Europe city break First 100 Days Journalling Project COMPLETE

This was a pandemic related switch.

17 Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list COMPLETE

I really enjoy sending my monthly newsletters. I create a freebie to send out each month. It’s usually journalling prompts or a worksheet to help you find more good in your everyday. It makes me happy each time someone signs up! If you don’t already get the newsletter you can sign up here.

18 Visit Bury St Edmunds/Suffolk COMPLETE

We visited Bury St Edmunds and stopped there for lunch and a walk on our way to Norfolk in May.

19 Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target COMPLETE

So pleased with this one. You can learn more about Find Your Happy here and purchase a copy here. Every purchase makes me so very happy! I really appreciate each and every one.

20 Be Published and Paid NOT DONE

I was so convinced that I would do this but it just didn’t happen. I found more enjoyment working on items for my Etsy shop than I did pitching for work. So I embraced my word for the year – curiosity – and I followed my nose. This may be something I come back to in the future but it wasn’t the right time this year.

21 Submit the kiddo’s high school application COMPLETE

This was done back in October and we were very pleased to find out he got his first choice school in March.

22 Family Movie Night with a Theme COMPLETE

We watched Harry Potter, made Butterbeer and had HP related snacks! (M&S sell chocolate frogs and other wizard treats!)

23 A Me Day for Whatever I like (follow my nose!) COMPLETE

I originally intended to take myself off for an adventure but instead I read a whole book (that I’d been eagerly awaiting) in a day!

24 Do some work on the house NOT DONE

I had a list of things we wanted to do but it didn’t happen. We started looking into a new kitchen and other things we wanted done but were never quite motivated to crack on with the projects. Hopefully soon!

25 Solstice and Equinox adventures COMPLETE
  • Winter – made a wreath
  • Spring – purchased a beautiful Willow wreath
  • Summer – went on a lovely walk with the family
  • Autumn – got my hair done and worked on Autumn items for my Etsy shop!
Celebrating the seasons for 39 Before 40
26 Find fun ways to use glass jars COMPLETE

I ended up playing with glass jars for my Crafternoon in aid of Mind.

27 Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind COMPLETE

I did this in November. I really enjoyed hosting and would definitely consider doing it again.

28 Food bank donations COMPLETE

I set up a monthly financial donation to our local food bank at the end of last year.

29 Share my RA story NOT DONE

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in March 2020. I’ve had a blog post drafted about this for a while and I had planned to share it around the time of RA Awareness Week in September but I don’t feel quite ready to share yet.

30 Read Untamed COMPLETE

I read it, loved it and recommend it!

31 Monthly RAKs – big and small COMPLETE

I didn’t always do these monthly but I did at least 12 over the course of the year. I really enjoyed this one. It was fun coming up with different ideas. I did giveaways on Instagram and through my newsletter and chose someone who purchased from my Etsy shop to win a £5 voucher.

32 Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?) Try Second Nature COMPLETE

I changed this one to trying a 12 week programme around nutrition and mindset. It was good – I learnt a lot and have recently started a repeat of the 12 weeks to build on what I learned the first time around.

33 Bring back a meat-free-day each week Try More Meat Free Recipes COMPLETE

I didn’t keep track of this so I don’t know if I managed a meat free day every week. But we did try more Meat Free Recipes and make sure we add some to the meal plan every week.

34 Review this list monthly and make plans COMPLETE

I didn’t use any ‘formal’ way to review but I regularly checked the list to see how I was getting on. And this 39 Before 40 Final Report counts right?!

35 Aim for 30+ rejections pitches and learn from them NOT DONE

As I said for Number 20 – this didn’t happen. I did send some pitches and followed them up. But in the end I found more enjoyment and satisfaction from working on items for my Etsy shop so I focused my time on that instead.

36 NLP Training Taster COMPLETE

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I did this in January. It was interesting and something I would consider exploring further in the future.

37 Be a guest blogger/tutor/speaker COMPLETE

I was a guest on the Creative Productive podcast and also did an Instagram Live with the host Sarah (@stationerymagpie). I was a guest tutor for the Bring Back Paper membership. And I did an IG Live with Alexis all about Instagram and how I use it.

38 Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo COMPLETE

This was fun and we’ve made more since. Maybe we should make some for Christmas presents this year?

39 Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc) COMPLETE

We did this and we are continually working on getting him set up for success.

Summary

So that’s my 39 Before 40 Final Report. In summary:

  • I’ve completed 35 items on the list – really chuffed with that.
  • Of those 35, 7 were changed from the original list for various reasons and I am okay with that.
  • 4 were not completed but I’m at peace with that.

I’ll be back soon to share my 40 for 40 list which I’ve already made some progress with!

A Word of the Year Update (Curiosity)

Back at the start of the year I shared my chosen word/theme for the year. My chosen word is CURIOSITY. And now it’s time for a word of the year update.

I talked about why I chose CURIOSITY and what it means to me in this post. So how’s it going?…

Curiosity - a Word of the Year Update. Pin with an image of colourful alphabet magnets. A hand is pointing at a question mark shape.

A Word of the Year Update

Good things it’s led me to
  • Seasonal journals – I created Spring Goodness as a practice run and then Love Summer to sell in my etsy shop. An Autumn version will be coming soon!
  • Creating my etsy shop – trying not to get to hung up on what’s right and just experiment
  • Looking at nutrition and wellbeing from a curious perspective to try and lessen my all-or-nothing mentality
  • Getting back into sewing and making new things – I took a Learn to Sew course Autumn 2019 and loved finally being able to use a sewing machine. Over lockdown with a focus on home learning and not having enough space for sewing it fell by the wayside but I’m gradually getting back to it now
  • Trying different planning methods – it’s good to try new things but in this case I realised bullet journalling really suits me and I started a new bujo last month (I’ve previously blogged about bullet journalling here and here).
  • I’m more aware of the word Curiosity and tend to notice when it comes up in conversation or discussion – it helps me tune in and learn more about curiosity!
Any negatives?

I do wonder if I use the excuse of curiosity to keep exploring new things rather than cracking on with existing hobbies. And if sometimes it lessens my focus?

But all in all I think it’s been a great word for me and I am glad I chose it.

Plans for curiosity for the rest of the year

I want to continue to use it as a lens and theme for the year. Something that I think about when new opportunities arise and also when issues and challenges come up in daily life… looking at things from a point of view of curiosity rather than judgement helps me to be more open minded about how I deal with problems. At least that’s what I hope!

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Did you pick a word for 2021? If so – how’s it going? Has it had an impact on your life?

Curiosity - a Word of the Year Update. Pin with an image of a dog sticking his head in a gap under an old looking wooden door.

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Today I want to share some Summer Bucket List Ideas with you.

A graphic titled What’s on my Summer Bucket List? with icons for 6 different Summer activities

What is a Summer Bucket List?

It’s a list of activities to do over the Summer season.

Some people have life-long Bucket Lists (a list of things to do before they kick the bucket.) There’s even a film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman called The Bucket List.

I love creating seasonal bucket lists – they help me to make the most of the season and to celebrate what’s unique about each one.

We usually display ours somewhere the whole family can see it. This reminds us of what we want to do and gives us ideas when we’re stuck for ideas.

So onto the ideas…

Summer Bucket List Ideas

  • Make a Summer plan (draw up or use a calendar, mark out any plans you already have and then start filling in gaps with your Bucket List items)
  • Have a picnic
  • Visit the beach/seaside
  • Go camping
  • Eat in-season produce
  • Try tie-dye
  • Water balloon/gun fight
  • Get (or give yourself) a pedicure
  • Meet friends at a park or garden
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Make summer themed cocktails and/or mocktails
  • Play mini golf
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Have a barbecue
  • Make a Summer fruit salad
  • Go swimming
  • Take a walk in a shady spot
  • Create a summer playlist
  • Go out for ice-cream
  • Collect seashells and sea glass
  • Try a new summer activity like stand up paddle boarding or surfing
  • Visit some stately gardens (they usually have a great cafe for a meal/cake!)
  • Make ice lollies
  • Read a book set in Summer
  • Make some summer themed art

Make the most of Summer

There are even more Summer Activities suggested in my LOVE SUMMER guided journal which you can purchase from my Etsy shop.

I’ve created the journal to help you make the most of the Summer season and as well as creating your Summer Bucket List it will help you to:

  • think about goals and intentions for the Summer
  • plan out fun summer activities
  • create a summer happy list – of all the things you love about Summer
  • come up with a self care plan for Summer (including a list of Summer specific self care activities)
  • make a Summer playlist (there’s even a Find the Good Everyday Love Summer playlist)
  • capture and document your Summer memories

The journal comes with a Summer themed self care kit. You can read more about the LOVE SUMMER journal and self care kit and buy your own here.

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For other seasonal activity ideas and buckets lists – take a look at these posts:

What’s on your Summer Bucket List this year?

Summer Bucket List Ideas Pin showing an image of a rainbow windmill in some sand at the beach

39 Before 40 Progress Report

Hello. It’s time for a 39 Before 40 Progress Report. This is a fairly long one so you might want to grab a cuppa. Read on to see how I am getting on with the 39 things I want to achieve by the time I turn 40 (in October 2021).

My 39 Before 40 Project Progress Report text overlaying a background image of a woman holding a sparkler

39 Before 40 Progress Report

1 – Blog 25 times IN PROGRESS

I’m up to 11 posts (including this one). 14 to go with just under 6 months remaining. That’s doable! I’m aiming for 2-3 posts each month.

2 – Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products IN PROGRESS

I have something coming very soon. A Summer Guided Journal and Summer Self Care Kit. I also hope to release an Autumn themed project in September.

3 – Mindset Training IN PROGRESS
  • I did Sophie Cliff’s Master Your Mindset course in November 2020
  • I also did Sophie’s First 100 Days journaling project
  • And I am currently working my way through Jamie Varon’s Live with Intention course

I think mindset is a constant work-in-progress and I am grateful that these trainings have helped me to continue working on it.

4 – 39 Soundtrack IN PROGRESS

This is such a fun one. It’s shaping up to be a list of songs that hold specific memories this year rather than a collection of my favourites. Previous annual soundtracks have been a mix of both. You can see what I’ve picked so far here.

5 – Document Christmas Learn Cross-stitch COMPLETE

I didn’t get myself organised enough to Document Christmas so I changed it to Learn Cross-stitch which I did in February. You can see the little rainbow I stitched here.

6 – Sewing with Stretch course

No progress on this yet. I’ve not been doing very much sewing at all lately. I am still hopeful to make a start though – perhaps over Summer.

7 – Take Reggie on “holiday” IN PROGRESS

Reggie is our greyhound. We have something booked. Just a short overnight break quite close to home to have a practice run and get him used to travelling and staying somewhere else with us.

8 – Go to Skye IN PROGRESS

We’ve got something booked for later in the year. Fingers crossed it goes ahead!

9 – Ride a Horse

I have no immediate plans to do this. It may get swapped for something else. Or I might just get something booked and do it as things start opening up again.

10 – Visit Norfolk IN PROGRESS

This one is tied in with number 7 (taking Reggie on holiday!)

11 – Plan an epic 40th

I’ll wait a bit longer before I make any plans for my 40th in October – who knows what the rules will be by then?!

12 – Spa Day

This is booked for the summer and I am really hoping it will go ahead as it’s been a long time coming. My friend and I originally had a spa day booked for March 2020 and it’s been postponed a few times already.

13 – Day in the Life COMPLETE

I took part in this in March. I blogged about it here and also created a photo book.

14 – Take a creative course/class

Hoping to do this as the world opens back up. I’d love to do something in person rather than online.

15 – Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community IN PROGRESS

I’m getting there with the 1k… please come and follow me if you don’t already. And I’ve been trying to share posts and stories that help people feel part of the Find the Good Everyday community. I love having chats with people in my comments and DMs there.

16 – Europe city break First 100 Days Journalling Project COMPLETE

I switched this up as I don’t think a Europe trip will happen this year. I changed it to a project I’d already started at the time and have since completed.

17 – Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list IN PROGRESS

I really enjoy sending my monthly newsletters. I create a freebie to send out each month. It’s usually journalling prompts or a worksheet to help you find more good in your everyday. It makes me happy each time someone signs up! If you don’t already get the newsletter you can sign up here.

18 – Visit Bury St Edmunds/Suffolk

We may do this as part of our take Reggie on holiday, on the way to Norfolk. Or it may be a seperate day out. But I plan to do it over the next few months.

19 – Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target COMPLETE

I am so chuffed to have met my mid-range target for sales. I do still have some copies left though with no immediate plans to reprint the paper copies. You can learn more about Find Your Happy here and purchase a copy here. Every purchase makes me so very happy! I really appreciate each and every one.

20 – Be Published and Paid

I’m working on this by pitching to publications.

21 – Submit the kiddo’s high school application COMPLETE

This was done back in October and we were very pleased to find out he got his first choice school in March.

22 – Family Movie Night with a Theme COMPLETE

We watched Harry Potter, made Butterbeer (here’s our recipe!) and had HP related snacks! (M&S sell chocolate frogs and other wizard treats!)

23 – A Me Day for Whatever I like (follow my nose!)

I haven’t done this yet due to the lockdowns and schools being closed but I hope to schedule this in before the Summer holidays and take myself off on an adventure!

24 – Do some work on the house

I really want to get some work done on our kitchen but we need a surveyor/engineer to have a look because it involves knocking down a wall… the first step is to make some phone calls and find someone to come and have a look.

25 – Solstice and Equinox adventures IN PROGRESS

I made a wreath for Winter Solstice and purchased a beautiful Spring Wreath for the Equinox. And I enjoyed spending time outside on both of those occasions too. Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox to go!

26 – Find fun ways to use glass jars COMPLETE

I ended up playing with glass jars for my Crafternoon.

27 – Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind COMPLETE

I did this back in November. I really enjoyed hosting and would definitely consider doing it again.

28 – Food bank donations COMPLETE

I set up a monthly financial donation to our local food bank at the end of last year.

29 – Share my RA story

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in March 2020. I’ve got a blog post drafted about this but it doesn’t feel quite ready to share yet. I might share it around the time of RA Awareness Week which is coming up in September.

30 – Read Untamed COMPLETE

I read it, loved it and recommend it!

31 – Monthly RAKs – big and small IN PROGRESS

I wasn’t as consistent with this to begin with and got a little behind. I’ve got one month to “catch up on” and will continue them monthly. Most recently I gave away a Gratitude Journal on Instagram and a Happiness Toolkit to a newsletter subscriber. I’ve done some RAKs offline as well.

32 – Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?)

Haven’t tried this yet. I think it will be a week to begin with and I’ll see how I go from there.

33 – Bring back a meat-free-day each week

I’ve got meat-free dinners on the menu plan each week but I don’t always make sure I’m meat-free for lunch as well so I need to revise the menu plan to reflect that. One of our favourites is this Smoky Chilli recipe by Jamie Oliver.

34 – Review this list monthly and make plans IN PROGRESS

I’ve not been “formally” doing this but I do have a paper version pinned up and I check/update it every few weeks or so. Plus I’m writing this 39 Before 40 Progress Report!

35 – Aim for 30+ rejections pitches and learn from them IN PROGRESS

This was in relation to pitching to publications. I realised recently that the wording was putting me off so I’ve changed it to sending pitches rather than waiting for the rejections. Part of pitching is undoubtedly receiving rejections which is why I chose the wording originally – to accept that it was going to happen. But I prefer the pro-active wording of tracking the number of pitches I send rather than the responses (or non-responses) I get back.

36 – NLP Training Taster COMPLETE

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I did this in January. It was interesting and something I would consider exploring further in the future.

37 – Be a guest blogger/tutor/speaker COMPLETE (but would love to do more!)

I was a guest on the Creative Productive podcast – the episode went live in November and you can listen here. I also did an Instagram Live with the host Sarah (@stationerymagpie). And I was a guest tutor for Jocelyn at The Reading Residence Bring Back Paper membership in January – chatting all things journalling.

38 – Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo COMPLETE

This was fun and we’ve made more since. Here’s a photo of some we made.

39 – Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc)

I’m not sure I am ever going to be emotionally ready for this one but we will be working on this over the summer months ready for September.

39 Before 40 Progress Report Pin image featuring a cake with sparkler 40 candles

Summary

So that’s my 39 Before 40 Progress Report. In summary:

  • I’ve completed 13 items on the list – a third complete at the halfway point.
  • I’ve made a start or have things planned for another 13 things.
  • Which leaves 13 things still to start and get ticked off.

If you’ve read this far – bonus points to you! I know it’s been long but I share my birthday projects and progress for accountability and I appreciate you, as the reader, helping to hold me accountable!

I’ll be back with another update, once I’m 40, later in the year!

My Spring Activity List

It’s time to share my Spring Activity List as well as some extra ideas to consider if you create your own list!

If you’ve been around a while you’ll know I’m a huge fan of celebrating each season and partaking in seasonal activities to make the most out of each one.

If you’re new here, HELLO! Lovely to see you. I hope you enjoy this post. I’ve shared more Seasonal Activity Posts at the bottom of this one. And please consider signing up for my newsletter where I regularly share seasonal prompts and other ideas to help you get more joy in your everyday!

My Spring Activity List pin image including a photo of my Spring Wreath

My Spring Activity List

Some of these activities aren’t specifically related to Spring but they are things I want to achieve this season.

  1. Get outside daily for a walk and out for a longer walk at least weekly
  2. 3 Random Acts of Kindness (one each month)
  3. Get something booked for a night away with the doggo (and the husband and kiddo too!)
  4. Catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for AGES!
  5. Keep a Spring Journal…and look at creating a Summer version that people can buy and fill out for themselves
  6. Get my hair cut, my brows sorted, a pedicure and have reflexology treatment (I’ve missed them so much during lockdown!)
  7. Find dog friendly places we can go to eat (pubs with beer gardens, cafes with outside seating etc)
  8. Have a Ploughmans lunch!
  9. Finish the Live with Intention course
  10. Leave the county to visit somewhere else (I’ve only left my county once since March 2020)
  11. Have a weekly Artists Date/Me date – try to come up with some Spring themed ones!
  12. Start sorting out my craft supplies

Extra Spring Activity List Ideas

If you’re keen to create your own Spring Bucket List these ideas might be fun too…

  • Plant flowers or seeds
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Go in search of lambs and other cute baby animals
  • Visit an open garden
  • Create a fairy garden
  • Spring clean and declutter
  • Celebrate Earth Day on 22nd April
  • Have a picnic
  • Visit a play trail / larger play area
  • Paint pebbles and rocks
  • Fly a kite
  • Visit the zoo or farm
  • Feed the ducks
  • Eat in-season produce
  • Try Couch to 5k
  • Write a poem or story about Spring
  • Redecorate a corner of your home with a fresh Spring feel
  • Read or do art outside
  • Watch the sunrise &/or sunset
  • Go rainbow hunting!

I have a Pinterest board all about Finding the Good in Spring – you’ll find heaps more ideas there!

Seasonal Activities

Check out all my previous Seasonal posts here and specific ones for each season at the following links:

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Wherever you are right now – I hope you can find ways to enjoy the Season you are in!

My Spring Bucket List pinnable image including pink blossoms

Creating Helpful Habits

Today I want to talk about creating helpful habits. This is something that’s been on my mind for a while.

For many of us, our habits have changed a lot over the past year. A lot of us have been spending more time at home than usual and our routines have been turned upside down and inside out! As we begin to emerge from lockdown life it’s a great opportunity to be mindful about our habits and which new ones we want to create.

In my recent Find the Good Everyday newsletter (I send them monthly – you can sign up here) I chatted about deciding which way we want to ease back into non lockdown life…

Creating Healthy Habits quote by Katie at Find the Good Everyday which reads “We have the opportunity to emerge from the crazy year we’ve just had and be purposeful in our steps going forward. Let’s not just slide or fall back into life as it was before. Let’s decide how we want our lives to look and start taking the steps towards that. And let’s enjoy those steps as we take them.”

So I thought I’d round up some posts I’ve already written about building habits and share some tips and ideas for creating your own helpful habits.

Tips for Creating Helpful Habits

I think a good place to start is to decide what helpful habits you want to develop (or revisit) and then work out how to fit them into your days.

A good way to do this is to think about the things you want to start doing, stop doing and continue doing. Have a look at this post from a few years ago where I worked through these prompts. Come up with your own version of each list to work out where to start.

You could also come up with a list of habits you don’t want to return to and come up with ideas that you can replace them with. And then what habits you had in place before lockdown that you want to return to.

I shared some tips for building and sticking with new habits in this post. Have a look at the infographic below to see what strategies might work to help you with your helpful habits.

Building daily habits infographic sharing tips

And then make a plan – know which habits you want to work on, decide on a plan of action for them and find a way to keep yourself accountable.

Remember to start small – don’t try and change too many things at once. Pick 1 – 3 things to work on at a time. And once you’ve got those working start adding others.

Books that can Help with Creating Helpful Habits

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I’d love to know if you have any tips for creating helpful habits? And please do let me know if you try any of the suggestions or books above and how you get on with them.

Best wishes for building helpful habits that make your life happier!

Creating Helpful Habits pin image features a beach with writing drawn in the sand. An arrow points right to Old Habits and another arrow points left to New Habits.