{My year of happy} June update and my July project – refresh

My June project’s theme was to nourish myself in 3 main areas – more sleep, more walking and eating better.

The sleep was excellent – I ended off the month on an average of 7 hrs 45 minutes. It is exactly what I said before – if I don’t track it or intentionally go to sleep more, my sleep is awful.

My goal was 4 walks and I managed 3, so not bad, but could be better. I feel really good about one of those walks though because it completely nourished my soul.

The eating better? Yes and no. I chose better meals on the whole, but I could have done much, much more. It’s just so darn cold to eat salads at home during winter. I don’t mind in an airconditioned office but at home I don’t want to see a vegetable straight from the cold fridge.

Onto July…

This month I’ve set a theme of refresh for my life.

  1. We’re going on a family holiday and I want to use the time to completely relax, read some unputdownable novels and rejuvenate my spirit.
  2. I intend to take at least one walk every day with whoever’s game, no matter the weather 🙂 I’m putting this here for accountability.
  3. I’ve been doubting my value in friendships recently and God’s been whispering to me that I am still enough (word of the year – 2015!) so I want to spend time writing down these truths and meditating on what He says about me. I feel like this is the perfect time to get filled up on His Word, just before my birthday month.
  4. We’re coming up on one year in our house so I also want to take the occasion to refresh areas of my home by doing a bit of decluttering, reorganising, sprucing up, etc.
  5. Our house also needs its upstairs outside windows cleaned. Desperately. What is the point of a house with a view if you can’t see properly through the windows, right?!
  6. Then, I think I will try one last time to get my book back from a PR company who has not returned it for a whole year. After that, I’m going to let it go.
  7. And besides all that, I have some birthday parties to throw to celebrate another circle around the sun for all 4 of us.

How are you going to refresh during July?

6 questions to ask as you do your half-year goals review

As many of you know, I do a monthly goals review every month before I set goals for the new month ahead.

I find that it helps me take stock of what went well and why, and what I need to work on.

We’re now half way through the year and my question to you is this – are you on track with your goals?

For now, go through these questions with me about the 6 months that have just passed, and answer them honestly.

1. When I think about the last 6 months, what do I feel? Am I excited, disappointed or apathetic about my progress?

You want to get an overall sense of the feeling of the half year. Was it too busy? Did you get big things done? Was it a period you just want to put behind you so you can move on?

2. Which areas of my life are working well, which are neutral and which are not doing so well?

This is to drill down into the areas making up each category so you can fix the not-so-good areas if there’s something you can do about them.

3. Why? Or why not?

For this one, write a little bit about the reasons you feel the way you do about each area.

4. What do I need to let go of or are there places I need to lower my expectations of myself?

These could be actual goals or projects, or unrealistic expectations.

5. What can I do differently to make sure the next 6 months move me closer to my goals?

These are the things you know are true for you.

Some of my ideas are:

  • First work on my own goals and then scroll social media.
  • Schedule important project work.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.

And the last question…

6. How am I living out my word of the year?

If you chose a word for the year, are you living it out intentionally? Do you think about how to incorporate it in your daily life? Is it just not working for you? If yes, here’s your permission to change your word.

Over to you.

My challenge to you is to answer these 6 questions honestly to take stock so you can have a successful second half of the year.

{my year of happy} April update and May project – physical space

So as some might remember, my April project was to look at what was not working for me and to fix those things.

Before I tell you about that, let me give you some fabulous news about my no-spend month for books. I did buy 4 titles from my list before our holiday because I wanted a good holiday read. But I still ended up only spending 66% of my allowance this month. It’s the first time in years I’ve come in under-budget so I’m doing the happy dance.

Personal email

I got completely up to date with my email. It needs a tweak now so I’ve put it on my weekly goals list for next week to spend 30 minutes saving documents to sort it out

Blogs in my feedly

This one I’m particularly proud of. I started off with 80, deleted 20 and could probably delete about 15 more. I also reordered them all and deleted some categories so that I have fewer, more descriptive categories.

Podcasts

Here I started off with 20 and I now have 12 I’m subscribed to, and 4 occasional ones.

I was also supposed to go through my instagram properly but I’m doing that more organically, like if I notice I’m following an account that I’ve already commented on from my other profile, I’ll just pop into the other profile and unfollow from there.

I was on such a roll that I also went through my Kindle sorting the entire thing out. The good news is it’s super sorted but the bad news is I had many more books unread than I thought I did, so am working through those now. And until I get where I’m happy with the number of unread books, I’ll be continuing my no-spend on books.

So that was April and I’m very happy with all of that sorted.

What about May?

In May, the OrganisingQueen intentional calendar (which you can get here) says:

It’s time to focus on your physical space. How can you make your space more inviting? How can you make your physical environment work better for you?

  1. I’m going to get up some blog posts this month focussing on physical spaces.
  2. I need to buy some Queen-size winter sheeting.
  3. I want to buy a few throws for use in the lounge. Is there anything better than cuddling up with a warm blanket, tea and a book? No, I think not.
  4. There are two things on my car that need sorting out.
  5. Our fridge is leaking. We just put a mat underneath but I need to get a fridge person in to look at it.
  6. Before any of those things can get done though, I need to sort out our budget after our holiday 🙂

What’s on your list for May?

5 favourite posts about…. how I do my goals!

If you’re a longtime reader, you’ll know I’m fairly passionate about goals, but not only for nerdiness’ sake, but because I’ve seen and tested them in my own life for over 20 years.

Here are 5 of my favourite posts on goal-setting (and goal getting), basically how I do goals:

How I choose my goals for the month

My favourite night of the month, Goals Night

I started doing my goals like this, and it continued into this year

A mind-shift to change your thinking about goals

Weekly goals

Which is your favourite post?

Really easy goal-setting

The thing with life (and with goals) is that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you like.

I try to not overcomplicate things so this system is, hands down, the easiest way to set goals for the year.

Have a notebook and pen handy, some quiet space and a nice cup of tea.

  1. Think back over the year that’s been and write down what went well and what didn’t. This could take up to an hour or longer, depending on how the year went.
  2. Then look forward and think about what you want for the year ahead. I like to really spend time getting clear on my vision, fleshing it out fully. This is also when I think about my ONE word for the year.
  3. Take a goals form (you can also use a notebook) and in each of the areas of your life, like Family, Health, Spiritual, Business, I write down 1 – 3 broad goals. My free Let’s Do This guide works well too.
  4. Now check each of those goals and make sure they align with your One Word or theme and more importantly, that you’re excited by them and that they feel authentic with who you are. E.g. One of my values is balance so if I have too many goals, I start to feel out of control and therefore, inauthentic with who I am. So if this happens, I go back to the drawing board to simplify some more.
  5. Make sure that your goals are within your control. E.g. with my business, I can only control my actions. Yes, I do set the intention to have x clients bringing in y money but the things I can control is how much marketing to do, in which ways, how often, etc. I can’t actually control the clients’ behavior. Does this make sense?
  6. Then choose 3 – 4 goals to work on for the first 90 days, schedule the work and get to it.
  7. A suggestion is to add one or two quick wins to get started so that when you achieve those goals, you’re motivated to persevere with the harder ones.

That’s it. Easy as that, your system is set up. Now you just need to schedule your goals and work your system.

Have you set any goals for 2017 yet?

If not, let this be inspiration for your weekend organising project. It’s never too late 🙂

What I learned during November

Oh November!

It’s the month when people all over South Africa feel that fatigue from work and start counting down the days to mid-December when things should officially quiet down.

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This month I learned that:

I really, really, really didn’t enjoy the lead-up to my Spanish dance exams

I passed but I didn’t have much joy in the process. It was trying on my emotions and on my physical body with my right ankle playing up a lot of the time.

Interestingly, people kept asking me, “why are you doing this?” and my usual answer of “because it’s fun and I love dancing” didn’t always feel true 😮

I knew right up until the end though that I’d done my very, very best and that’s all anyone could ask.

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I love, love, loved running the 5 Love Languages of children workshop

I had an awesome group of women who identified both their love languages and those of their kids.

I plan to run another one next year – look out if you’re local – otherwise, no need to wait – book your session on Skype for only R400.

The cooler weather does wonders for my temperament and productivity

I think back to last year and the unbearable heat, and it’s clear to me that’s why I was so uninspired.

This year, I’ve had full lists of things done in the house, and it’s only because I have energy due to the rains cooling things down.

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Were all babies born in Oct and Nov?

We had 1 party in March, 1 in July (our kids’ one) and 5 in Oct/ November. That’s crazy.

On the subject of parties, I’ve decided I’m done keeping a gift shelf. I’d much rather get what I need when the time is right.

It’s never too early for Christmas music 🙂

I cracked quite early in November…. first with only my absolute favourite (O Holy Night), and then with a couple of songs every night, until the 19th when I played TWO complete CDs. Glorious!

Do you like Christmas music?

I had a great reading month

My most notable book read/ listened to was Rob Lowe’s Stories I only tell my friends. It was exactly what a memoir should be for me – warm, funny, heartfelt and not too heavy even in the not-so-pretty bits. Interestingly it was the exact opposite feel to Love Warrior.

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And now, for my December goals…

My intention for this month is to finish this year well by choosing joy and peace.

A few of my goals:

  • Enjoy the time with my family over Christmas/ New Year
  • Take a half day to close off this year properly and prepare for 2017 by setting goals and intentions
  • Do my filing (seriously, my filing has not been done in well over a year!)
  • Get all the kids’ school stuff done – stationery, school shoes, etc.
  • Eat delicious food and
  • Potter to my heart’s content
  • Enjoy the socials I’ve arranged with friends

Over to you!

What did you learn during November?

What are some of your goals for December?

PS If you haven’t yet read my Christmas post, it’s here if you’d like to have a look. I updated it with a link to a fabulous blog post which is also so worthy of a read.

PPS Pics in this post are from the Shining Year workbook which I completely endorse.

A little end-of-year update

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My one big goal for November is done.

I did my Spanish exam. I’ll find out whether I passed tomorrow evening but I did say to friends that I have done my absolute best – I have never in my life practised this hard for anything and I’m proud of all my efforts.

I also had probably 5 times as much fun as I did in the June exam which is all good.

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But moving on…

On Saturday 19th I host this year’s 5 love languages of children workshop and I can’t wait. My prayer is that those who have signed up will leave having a deeper understanding of what makes them and their kids “tick”.

When I first went to a workshop, my mind was blown because I had insights about me, D and our kids! It’s so fun.

It’s not too late to sign up and yes, you can pay on payday if things are a bit tight now 🙂

Email me!

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What I actually want to talk about are two things:

1. word of the year

My word of the year is joy and I’m not sure if it’s because I have this word, or the circumstances require that I had to have this word to cling to but 2016 hasn’t felt very joyful on the whole.

There have been joyful moments, sure, but my joy level has been lower this year than in a year with another guiding word.

Just when I was about to give up on this word and choose another (in August!), I received a gift (framed printable word art) from a friend with the words “choose joy”. That made me smile, I can tell you.

So I’m choosing joy.

But I’m already thinking about a word for next year. I’ll confess that I feel like I need to set the bar reallllllly low 🙂

I will write another post at the end of the year properly summarising JOY but for now, please tell me about your word for the year.

Has it been a fitting word for you? Have you wanted to abandon it too? Is your word still guiding you?

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2. 2016 goals and intentions

My monthly goals have been going really well though despite unexpectedly buying a new house.

I think it’s because I’m focussing on only a few main life areas instead of all 7 or 8.

So I’m getting really excited about analysing (!) this year and doing my extensive reviews (aren’t you glad you don’t have to read all of that?!) and planning for next year.

Clean slate and all that jazz 🙂

How are your 2016 goals looking? Are you ready for a clean slate too?

(I need to write about planners/ diaries/ bullet journals for next year soon!)

PS if you’re not following Organising Queen on Instagram, you might want to take a look. I post there daily and it’s really fun!

Andddddd….. October goals

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October is the point where people definitely think, “what’s the point?”

There is a point. Trust me.

If you get just one thing done every month, that’s 3 things this year.

3 things more than you would have got done!

Now if you’re even the slightest bit more ambitious than that, you can end 2016 well.

So forget about the first 9 months in the past and look forward to the rest of the year.

Answer this question:

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What would have to happen this month for October to feel like a good month?

  • a date with friends
  • sorting something out at home – organising
  • buying something for your home
  • making a budget
  • increasing your bond repayment
  • making plans for Christmas

Write down 3 things (goals) for October and stick that note up somewhere. Even better, write those things on 1 – 2 post-it notes and put one on your bathroom mirror and one at your desk or in your bullet journal.

Will you do it?

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Now onto some of my goals for October:

  1. Learn and perfect the dance for my Spanish dance exams – I have 5 (very short) weeks left… but I do know 1/3 now.
  2. Book December leave and decide where we’re doing for Christmas, etc.
  3. Decide if I want to do a workshop this year – either on Love Languages or Bullet Journalling
  4. Schedule socials for the rest of the year
  5. Buy new bed
  6. Do whatever it takes to sell house

Care to share some of your goals?

PS Theses photos are from last year – there are almost no jacarandas in Johannesburg due to the drought 🙁

Happy Spring! And my September goals/ August review

Well, friends, it’s the 1st day of September, so Happy Spring!

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Spring always surprises me because even though we might feel like it’s still too cold or winter hasn’t properly passed, no one gave the trees that memo because they’re all blooming.

I only had my phone with me at the library the other day but I was overcome (in a good way!) at all the amazing and beautiful blooms in the grounds.

Just gorgeous.

It’s a reminder also that things change. Just when you think you can’t do another day of _____, a new season is right around the corner.

What is fascinating to me is how quickly things change. Just a few days ago I drove by a tree in our neighbourhood that still had magnificent winter branches and today, more than half of it is already green.

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Let’s review (some of) my goals for August:

  1. Sell old house (please pray – the pray without ceasing praying – for God to send people who will love that house and who can afford it)
  2. Organise handyman to put up shelves and get all our photo frames up The existing list of things was much too long and we could only afford a certain number of hours.
  3. Write the paying off the house post – this may be more than 1 post, depending on how much I have to say.
  4. Participate in #AugustBreak2016 on Instagram. I think this is my third year and I love it. I enjoy the prompts, the community and it’s a good time of year for me as I’m feeling reflective (it’s my birthday on Saturday!) and the weather is still cool enough to wander around getting nice photos.
    Yes, and it’s been SUPER fun. Go have a look at my Instagram.
  5. Organise July photos and select photos from Ballito holiday for printing.
  6. Write for 20 minutes a day. I did this but only during the week. There were a couple of days I missed due to headaches but I’m calling this done because I think it got me back into the habit of writing.

September goals | www.OrganisingQueen.com

A few goals for September:

  1. Sell old house – this one is staying on the list until done. Please continue to pray for my peace of mind. The scripture I am clinging to is this one: John 14:27 My peace I give you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. If you pray, I’d appreciate your prayers too.
  2. Take a weekly walk with the kids to explore our new neighbourhood. The “problem” with having a house we love so much is that we don’t want to leave it at all. But I dragged (bribed) the kids to go for a walk with me on the weekend and all 3 of us said it was one of the weekend highlights. It’s about creating a new habit and takes just 20 – 30 minutes. I’m all about making things super easy.
  3. Try the new barre class at least twice this month. I can only make it to the one weekly evening class but it is early so will require the effort of driving to work in my own car, and leaving early to get to the gym in time. I feel like I have to give it at least a good shot to know if I’ll like it because while I did ballet for 13 years, I kind of hate yoga and pilates.
  4. Survive at work with an under control inbox. Aug and Sept are some of my busiest months with lots of travel…
  5. Explore the possibility of hosting a Love Languages workshop.

That’s not all, but that’s all I’m sharing 🙂

Would you like to share something on your list for September?

How did your August go?

PS I’ll be writing more about my monthly review process on Monday, so look out for that post.

July review and August goals

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July was interesting 🙂

It felt a lot worse than it actually was.

But actually, when I stopped and did a proper review writing it all down, I realised that I actually got a lot done.

This is the point of doing a monthly goals review – to stop and notice the things you did do, instead of only the things you didn’t.

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Just a few highlights:

  1. we had a wonderful family holiday in Ballito – lots of good food, walks, times of connection and reading
  2. we moved house (!) – I think if we did nothing else this is AWESOME 🙂
  3. I met up with 5 different friends, all one-on-one
  4. I read 8 books, none of them audible books. I bought 3 books on Tuesday morning because this month is a normal working month, not one where I take 2.5 weeks holiday.
  5. I got my hair done. My appointment was moved out due to the holiday and move, and you know how you can’t WAIT to get your hair sorted again? Yes, that was me 🙂
  6. My tax was done!

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A few goals for August:

  1. Sell old house (please pray – the pray without ceasing praying – for God to send people who will love that house and who can afford it)
  2. Organise handyman to put up shelves and get all our photo frames up
  3. Write the paying off the house post – this may be more than 1 post, depending on how much I have to say.
  4. Participate in #AugustBreak2016 on Instagram. I think this is my third year and I love it. I enjoy the prompts, the community and it’s a good time of year for me as I’m feeling reflective (it’s my birthday on Saturday!) and the weather is still cool enough to wander around getting nice photos.
  5. Organise July photos and select photos from Ballito holiday for printing.
  6. Write for 20 minutes a day.

Over to you.

What are you going to read, what are you going to listen to and what will you do to keep yourself sane this month?

And a very happy birthday to Terisha who started out as a reader and has now become a friend!

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