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.

Curiosity – My 2021 Word

Today I want to talk about Curiosity which I’ve picked as my 2021 word. I’ll talk about why I chose it and what it means to me.

Curiosity - my 2021 word (pin image)

This is not my first time picking a theme/focus word…

I do love to collect words! These themes or mantras work well alongside my personal values and my core desired feelings to help guide me when I need focus and as a reminder of what’s important.

Curiosity – Why I Chose my 2021 Word

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:

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

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!

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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!

Remember to stay curious!

My 2021 Word - Curiosity Pin Image

My 39 Before 40 Project

I’m in the last year of my 30’s! And I am working on my 39 Before 40 Project. 

Today I want to share the list with you. 

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a project or list of activities to complete between one birthday and the next…

So let’s see what I have planned before my 40th! Depending on the state of the world some of these activities may need to be amended. But here’s the starting list…

My 39 Before 40 Project

My 39 Before 40 Project

  1. Blog 25 times
  2. Release 3 FTGE (Find The Good Everyday) paid for products
  3. Mindset Training
  4. 39 Soundtrack 
  5. Document Christmas
  6. Sewing with Stretch course
  7. Take Reggie on “holiday”
  8. Go to Skye
  9. Ride a Horse
  10. Visit Norfolk
  11. Plan an epic 40th
  12. Spa Day
  13. Day in the Life
  14. Take a creative course/class
  15. Instagram growth – reach 1k and grow my community
  16. Europe city break
  17. Grow the FTGE newsletter and mailing list
  18. Visit Bury St Edmunds/Suffolk
  19. Reach my Find Your Happy Sales Target (please consider buying a copy!)
  20. Be Published and Paid
  21. Submit the kiddo’s high school application
  22. Family Movie Night with a Theme
  23. A Me Day for Whatever I like (follow my nose!)
  24. Do some work on the house
  25. Solstice and Equinox adventures
  26. Find fun ways to use glass jars
  27. Host a Crafternoon to raise money for Mind
  28. Food bank donations
  29. Share my RA story
  30. Read Untamed
  31. Monthly RAKs – big and small
  32. Try dairy free (for a week? Or month?)
  33. Bring back a meat-free-day each week
  34. Review this list monthly and make plans
  35. Aim for 30+ rejections and learn from them
  36. NLP Training Taster
  37. Be a guest blogger/tutor/speaker
  38. Make Hot Chocolate bombs with the kiddo
  39. 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.

39 Before 40 pin

38 Things Final Report

I am now 39 (and have been for over a month – where has the time gone?) so it’s time for a 38 Things Final Report!

38 Things is a list I created of 38 activities I wanted to do while I was 38. Some things on the list were affected by the pandemic and lockdown so were changed. 

You can see the list in its original format here.

I shared a progress report and a plan partway through the year.

So first up let’s look at what I completed…

38 Things Final Report

38 Things Final Report

Completed Items
  1. Visit Hobbiton 
  2. Take my son to the place where he was born
  3. Visit Wellington Zoo
  4. Meet some Kiwi dogs (that belong to Kiwi friends!) 
  5. Look for beach treasures on Wellington’s South Coast
  6. Soundtrack of 38 – I love putting these together and listening to them. I choose a song from each month of my birthday year.
  7. Summarize the decade 
  8. Celebrate hubby’s 40th
  9. Celebrate the kiddo turning 10
  10. Make plans for my 39th (pretty low key but I had a lovely cozy day!)
  11. Figure out Pinterest (as a blogger) – I’m not always consistent but I have an idea of what I’m doing now!
  12. Host Kiwi Xmas 
  13. Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour with friends and see the Gringotts extension – I went twice!
  14. Take part in and record A Day in the Life
  15. Finish reading the Harry Potter books with my son
  16. Spa Day – my spa day is still postponed but I did treat myself to a haircut, reflexology and pedicure over summer instead (like an extended spa day!)
  17. Take a creative class – I did a Valentine’s Mandala Dot Painting class in February
  18. Get a dishwasher (so pleased we got this done finally!)
  19. Spend time outside celebrating each Solstice & Equinox – love this reminder to follow the seasons
  20. Visit Silverstone
  21. Finish rainbow-ing the back fence and gate
  22. Submit NZ Story to a publisher/agent – I did send an enquiry – it was unsuccessful but that’s okay – I tried!
  23. Make reusable kitchen towels
  24. Do some kind of learning/course on writing – I took part in the Freelance Summit in June and took several courses and attended webinars about freelance writing
  25. Take a make-up lesson 
  26. Document our New Zealand trip – I wrote a blog post. Would have loved to make a photo book as well but didn’t get to it. 
Amended Items
  1. Go to the Isle of Skye – this didn’t happen due to the pandemic so I changed it to Get a Logo for Find the Good Everyday
  2. Collage I changed this one to Home-Learning with the kiddo during lockdown. 
  3. Visit the V&A Museum – I changed to Take Part & Record a Week in the Life.
  4. Make candles/soap – I changed this to Learn to Sew with Stretch Fabric and took a knicker sewing class in July plus I’ve purchased a course to continue learning.
  5. Ride a horse – I changed it to Rehome a Dog 
  6. Visit Norfolk – didn’t make it as far as Norfolk so I changed it to Mersea Island instead!
  7. Finish NZ Story – I changed this to Work on NZ Story as part of Camp Nanowrimo
  8. Blog 50 times – I changed this to 35!
Incomplete Items

These are the activities that didn’t get done… 

  • Get Published and Paid (carrying over to the next list)
  • Visit the remaining Tiptree Tearooms
  • Move to a mostly whole foods diet
  • Reach 1k IG Followers (carrying over to the next list)
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This 38 Things Final Report has been a while coming and it feels like such a long time ago. Overall – I am pleased with how it went – especially with the extenuating circumstances that are 2020!

Coming up – I’ll share my 39 Things Before I’m 40 list. I’ve already ticked some things off!

The Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook

Hello! I want to share more information with you about Find Your Happy (the first Find the Good Everyday product) which is now for sale.

You can purchase the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook here. It is available as both digital and print editions.

Find Your Happy journalling workbook printed out

What is the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook

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!

If it sounds like it’s something you want to try – you can purchase the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook here.

And please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. The quickest way to reach me is by email using the Contact form or send me a Direct Message on Instagram.

Best wishes for Finding Your Happy!

Figuring Out Your Values

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.

Values Brainstorm with Questions

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.
  • Start with a list of possible values (I’ll be sending a list of values out to email subscribers this week so sign up to receive your copy. If you’re reading this later – drop me an email).
  • 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.

What Next?

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)

I found this helpful to get to know each value even more. You can see my values and the sheets I created for each one here .

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Good luck!

I’d love to know what you come up with – please drop me a message or leave a comment if you find this activity helpful.

And don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list to receive the list of Values and other monthly freebies.

Figuring Out Your Values - pinnable image

38 Things Plans

Today I want to chat about my 38 things plans – how I intend to finish as many of the activities on my list as I can before my birthday in October. Specifically the activities that need more thought and consideration.

Earlier this week I shared my progress with my 38 Things list – the things I’ve completed and others that I am confident will be done. You can read that here.

You can see the list in its original format here.

38 Things Plans image

38 Things Plans

These activities need to be reviewed and plans put in place if I want to complete them by my 39th birthday…

Finish New Zealand Story (Memoir)

The plan with this is Camp Nanowrimo in July – I need to figure out a goal for July to make good progress. I then intend to edit and polish over August and September…

Submit my New Zealand Story to at least 1 publisher or agent

…and submit a query before my birthday in October.

Move to an 80% whole foods diet (most of the time)

At the moment I’m tracking my food using an app. I don’t want to go down the “diet / must lose this much weight every week” route so I’m recording what I’m eating to be more mindful and to collect data. I then hope to start making some swaps (particularly for snacks) to more whole foods.

Go to the Isle of Skye

I want to feel hopeful that this will happen but it’s not looking likely. I may change it to something more local for this year and aim again next year.

Get published (& paid!)

I’ve been doing lots of training and learning around Freelance Writing lately and I now want to start pitching ideas to publications. If you or someone you know needs some help writing newsletters, blog posts or something else – get in touch!

Celebrate son’s 10th

This one will happen (we wouldn’t just forget his birthday!) but at the moment it’s a little fuzzy how we can and will celebrate. I’m thinking a garden tea party – perhaps one with local friends and another with family. There will definitely be cake and presents!

Make plans for my 39th

Again – fuzzy on the details and I think I will leave this until much closer to the time to think about.

Figure out Pinterest as a blogger

I did some good work around this late last year following an awesome training day with Grow & Glow* (AD – affiliate link) but I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. I might need to do a refresher and try to get a routine in place to be consistent with my pinning!

Blog 50+ times

I got behind with this with no posts in January or April. But this post is my 26th since my 38th birthday. I’m hopeful I can get another 25 published before my 39th…

Reach 1k IG followers and aim for 2k!

This is a slow one. I’m currently sitting at just under 650 followers. I’m not sure that this one is still my aim. I think I’d like to look at increasing my engagement instead. I’ll make some notes of what my engagement is right now and try to increase this over the next few months.

Come and give me a follow to help me achieve my 38 Things Plans!

Visit the Essex Tiptree tea-rooms I haven’t been to yet (Billericay, Colchester and Saffron Walden)

Lockdown definitely affected this one! And I think the Colchester tea-room may have shut down because of it. I hope to make it to the other 2 as they reopen. We did order in an afternoon tea from Tiptree when they were shut so that can be in lieu of visiting Colchester!

Make my own candles and/or soap

I’d asked a friend who makes soap to give the kiddo and I a lesson but that hasn’t happened due to lockdown. I may see if I can find a simple kit so we can try it at home over Summer.

Have a spa day

This was scheduled for March but got postponed due to lockdown. It’s currently rescheduled for November which is after my birthday. Instead this will change slightly and be completed once I’ve had my hair cut, brows done and pedicure appointment after lockdown!

Visit Norfolk

I’m still hopeful for this one – it’s only a couple of hours from us so may be possible as lockdown eases. The original intention was to stay overnight but it may end up being a day trip.

Do some kind of course/learning on writing

I’ve been doing bits and bobs with this but don’t want to mark it complete and then stop learning! So I’ll be keeping this on the to-do list and making a note of all the training I complete.

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It’s been great doing this review and coming up with my 38 Things Plans. I think it’s important to review goals and plans regularly to make sure they are still appropriate and achievable.

What I’d like to do this year is have 38 things completed (not necessarily the original items). And then think about what I will carry over to my next list…which may be 40 before 40 rather than 39 at 39.

What would be on your list? How have you dealt with plans and goals that have been affected by lockdown and COVID-19?

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*Grow & Glow Affiliate Link

I’ve been a member of Grow & Glow since May 2019 when it begun. It’s a community for online creatives. G&G provides heaps of training and advice in all areas of having a presence online. I really enjoy being a member. I wouldn’t be recommending it if I didn’t think it was awesome!

Grow & Glow | A Hub For Creators & Creatives

38 Things Progress

I’ve been meaning to share my 38 Things progress for a while now. Today I want to share what I’ve achieved and the items still in progress.  I will also have a follow-up post sharing my plans for the remaining items. 

38 Things aged 38 is a list of activities that I want to do while I am 38. My birthday falls in October so I have 4 months to go. Some things on the list have been affected by lockdown so I need to decide if they are still achievable. 

You can see the list in its original format here.

39 Things Progress Report

So first up let’s look at what I’ve managed to complete and tick off…

38 Things Progress – Completed Items

  • Visit Hobbiton – this was one of the many highlights of our NZ trip
  • Take my son to the place where he was born – we saw friends from our antenatal group too!
  • Visit Wellington Zoo – a firm family favourite
  • Meet some Kiwi dogs (that belong to Kiwi friends!)
  • Look for beach treasures on Wellington’s South Coast – we were able to stay right on the coast which was amazing!
  • Summarize the decade (I did this in my Bullet Journal rather than as a blog post)
  • Collage I changed this one to Home-Learning with the kiddo during lockdown. I wasn’t excited to collage when I had time to do it so I changed it
  • Celebrate hubby’s 40th – there was cake, presents, decorations, singing and videos of his nearest and dearest wishing him a happy birthday!
  • Host Kiwi Xmas – we‘ve been doing this annually since 2016
  • Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour with friends and see the Gringotts extension – loved it!
  • Take part in and record A Day in the Life – you can see that here
  • Visit the V&A Museum – this one was unlikely to happen so I changed to Take Part & Record a Week in the Life. You can see the blog posts about it here and I also completed a paper scrapbook for a keepsake as well.
  • Finish reading the Harry Potter books with my son – we did it!
  • Take a creative class – I did a Valentine’s Mandala Dot Painting class in February
  • Ride a horse – I don’t think this will happen this year – I might carry it over to next year. So I changed it to Rehome a Dog (which we’ve done and he’s settling in)
  • Visit Silverstone – husband had a (running) race there in November and we all went
  • Make reusable kitchen towels – and we are using them!
  • Take a make-up lesson – it wasn’t a ‘formal’ lesson but my lovely friend Liz gave me lots of pointers and I’ve been watching some online videos as well. 

38 Things Progress – I will get these done!

These activities are in progress and I am confident they will be done…

  • Soundtrack of 38 – I’m adding a song each month
  • Get a dishwasher – we are in the process of getting quotes for the plumbing and electrics to be done
  • Spend time outside celebrating each Solstice & Equinox – 3 down, 1 to go
  • Finish rainbow-ing the back fence and gate – Have you seen the rainbow fence of dreams hashtag on IG? It’s all been painted once – some bits need a second coat
  • Document our New Zealand trip – I wrote a New Zealand Happy List. I also want to create a video made up of 1 second snippets (I’ll use the 1SE app in Freestyle mode). And I’m keen to get a photo book 

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That’s 18 things complete and another 5 items in progress. I’ll be back soon to share more about my plans to complete the remaining 15 items.