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!
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!
Did you pick a word for 2021? If so – how’s it going? Has it had an impact on your life?
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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
Some of these activities aren’t specifically related to Spring but they are things I want to achieve this season.
Get outside daily for a walk and out for a longer walk at least weekly
3 Random Acts of Kindness (one each month)
Get something booked for a night away with the doggo (and the husband and kiddo too!)
Catch up with friends that I haven’t seen for AGES!
Keep a Spring Journal…and look at creating a Summer version that people can buy and fill out for themselves
Get my hair cut, my brows sorted, a pedicure and have reflexology treatment (I’ve missed them so much during lockdown!)
Find dog friendly places we can go to eat (pubs with beer gardens, cafes with outside seating etc)
Have a Ploughmans lunch!
Finish the Live with Intention course
Leave the county to visit somewhere else (I’ve only left my county once since March 2020)
Have a weekly Artists Date/Me date – try to come up with some Spring themed ones!
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
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…
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.
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.
Curiosity kept popping up for me towards the end of 2020. I saw a few quotes I liked about it and it kept winding its way into conversation around me. I attended (virtually) a couple of different year end review workshops and did some work around vision boarding and goal setting and curiosity popped up each time.
So before 2020 came to a close I decided that it was a good word to guide me in these strange, uncertain times and officially* chose it as my 2021 word. (*wrote it down, saved related images to a Pinterest board and told my husband.)
I think the reason it resonated with me was because I’m quite a curious person anyway (also known as: nosy and enjoys exploring) and it feels flexible. It doesn’t feel at all demanding or set in stone. The word itself allows for exploration, experimentation and an open mind. Which is exactly what I think I need this year when I really have no clue how the year is going to pan out:
Will we get to travel again?
How long will lockdown last?
What will happen next?
The Meaning of Curiosity
Firstly – wouldn’t that ^ be a great book title? That would draw me in straight away!
For me, curiosity is all all about:
Keeping an Open Mind
Here are some quotes I found that helped me get a feeling for what curiosity means to me:
“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse
“The sky tells me there are no limits and curiosity tells me to explore.” – Duncan Sham
“Be curious not judgemental.” – Walt Whitman
“When you replace judgement with curiosity, everything changes.” – Robyn Conley Downs
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker
I’d like to display my 2021 word somewhere to remind me throughout the year. And I wonder if it’s time to create some new Word Pebbles for the latest words I’ve collected!
Have you chosen a word for 2021? If so I’d love to know what it is. If you haven’t and this idea intrigues you it’s definitely not too late!
Get kiddo ready for high school (uniform/kit, equipment etc)
What This Project Means to Me
As I’ve talked about before – the purpose of this list/project isn’t to give me more stuff to do. It’s to plan some fun activities as well as ones that can improve my life. And to document it all along the way. Having a project like this can make life feel more meaningful and whimsical. And I will amend and update the list as necessary as the year goes on.
It’s 6 weeks since my birthday and I’m pleased to report some of these activities have already been completed or are in progress.
I’ll be sure to provide updates as the year goes on! If you don’t already – follow me on Instagram where I can be found most often online.
Find Your Happy is a book filled with 21 journalling prompts. Each prompt should take around 10 minutes and has been included to help you think about the things that bring you joy and happiness… and how you can get more of them in your everyday life.
There’s space for your writing on each page (if you purchase the digital eBook version you could print the prompts out to complete by hand, fill it in on your device or write your notes in a separate notebook).
You can also choose how to work through the prompts:
Do 1 a day for the next 3 weeks
Do 1 section (containing 7 prompts) at a time and allow around an hour & a half
Dip in and out when you feel inspired
There are some other suggestions in the book too. I do recommend you do them in order as they are designed to build on each other and take you on a journalling journey.
How did the workbook come about?
I’m a long time journaller. I’ve tried many types of journalling over the years and if you’ve been around a while you’ve probably heard me talking about:
Getting my thoughts down on paper is how I deal with life! I make lists, I write down my thoughts and feelings, I weigh up pro’s and con’s of major life decisions, I keep track of what’s happening in my life.
Journalling helps me in so many different areas!
But I know not everyone has had the chance to build a journalling habit. Or perhaps you’ve been a journaller in the past and have fallen out of the habit.
I decided to create a workbook for journalling prompts to help people bring more joy into their everyday lives. I’ve purposely set the workbook up so that each prompt can take 10 minutes. If you want to you can spend more time but I can appreciate how hard it can be to find time for a new habit so I’ve kept it short.
I had a lot of fun putting the whole thing together and I am so pleased with how it’s turned out. Of course – it has a rainbow design (because rainbows feature very highly on my happy list!)
Feedback and Reviews
I’ve already received some wonderful comments about the workbook and I want to share them with you…
“I bought and downloaded your workbook, it is amazing! You’ve done a lot of hard work on it. Can’t wait to print it off and start working on it! Thank you.” – Amy
“Find Your Happy is a rainbow of joy in a bit of a cloudy 2020! I loved the collection of prompts, and Katie has clearly thought out the journey the reader goes through when using them. If you’re looking to get into journalling, or need a refresher, Find Your Happy is a must buy.” – Emma
Is Find Your Happy for me?
Are you keen to give journalling a try?
Have you journalled in the past and you’re keen to get back into it?
Do you feel like you spend a lot of time making the people around you happy and run out of time for the things that bring you joy?
Are you keen to make positive changes to your everyday life to bring you more joy and happiness?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes- I really think you might enjoy Find Your Happy!
Today I want to share some tips and ideas to help you with figuring out your values. I defined my values back in 2015 and they are still steering me and my life decisions 5 years later! You can read more about my process here.
Why Do I Need to Know My Values?
Values can help give your life meaning.
They can help steer your direction and decisions you make.
Knowing your values gives you some roots and grounding to help you grow as a person.
Making decisions and commitments becomes easier because you can weigh them up against your values.
Your values almost become part of your gut feeling – they help alongside your intuition.
I wholeheartedly recommend taking the time for figuring out your values – it has changed my life!
Figuring Out Your Values – Getting Started
Set some time aside to do this. Ideally you want an hour – maybe longer. If you can – find some peace and quiet. Prepare your favourite drink, maybe light a candle and gather up some paper and a pen.
Savour the list. Work through each word. Say it in your head and maybe even aloud. Does it mean anything to you? If it sparks a feeling highlight it. If it doesn’t leave it be. And if you’re unsure what a word means look it up. Work your way through the whole list. Try to highlight at least 20 words.
Sometimes thinking about the antonyms or the opposites of the words can be helpful. Thinking “I definitely don’t want to be that!” about the opposite of the word may help you figure out if it has meaning to you.
And also if there are words on the list that you are turned off by – have a way to mark them – the antonyms of these words may hold value for you.
Another thing to remember is that it’s your interpretation of the word that counts! (For example: Understanding is one of my values – and I chose it because of its many definitions. For me it means empathy and also learning/figuring things out. But it may have another meaning to you.)
Figuring Out Your Values – Picking the Right Ones for You
Once you get to the end of the list have a look at all the ones you’ve marked or highlighted. Do some of the words mean more? Give them an extra mark!
Now write each of your highlighted words on individual slips of paper. Post-it’s can work well or just scrap paper. Add a star to any that really stand out for you.
Can you group any of the words together? Do they hold similar meaning to you? If so – which word best encapsulates all of the ones in a group?
Try to prioritise or order them in some way. Which ones feel more important?
Tips for whittling the list down – take each word in turn:
Can you think of examples of when this value has been important in your life and steered you?
If you choose this word what would that mean? Can you actively live life according to this value?
Remember – these are your values – try not to be influenced by any external judgements of the words you choose. We are all different and how awesome is that?!
You can have as many values as you like. I have 5. I’d suggest aiming for 3-6 as more than that may result in less focus on them.
Once you’ve got a few picked out – sit with them for a few days. Pin them up somewhere you will see them each day. Do they feel right? You can always come back and tweak.
An activity I did to expand on my Values was to create a sheet for each one.
On it I listed:
What the word means to me
Characteristics of the Value
Examples of the Value
And Non-Examples (what would be going against the meaning of the value)