Tag Archives: New Year Resolution

Balance #OneWord2016

04 Jan 16
Megan
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Last year I chose one word to guide me through the year… Enough.

I’ve recently found out from The Bloggess that there is a #oneword2016 Challenge and seeing I was already planning to choose a single word, I’ve decided to participate. The one word you choose is meant to be something that will help you focus on your main goal for the year.

Enough did that for me last year. There were many times when I felt I needed to do more or buy more items. Most of these times I remembered my word and felt better about only doing what I could or reducing the items I had rather than adding to them.

This year, I want to keep up the focus on the benefits I’ve received from Enough but focus more strongly on being able to increase (or at least better BALANCE) my activities.

I’m going to continue focusing on moving towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life with a strong focus on finding ways to BALANCE my needs and wants. I’ll continue to try and single-task, try to get a good BALANCE of health, work, and social activities, and relaxation into my day/week.

If you haven’t worked it out yet, my word for 2016 is BALANCE.

I haven’t planned out the whole year but I have a lot that I want/need to achieve in the next 6 months so I’m focusing on that and trying to break it down into monthly and weekly activities…

In the next 6 months I need to:

  • Complete my current consulting jobs for different local Council’s here in SA:
    • Biodiversity Trails – due end of January
    • Environment Action Plan 2016-2019 – due April/May
  • Complete my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment – due by end of May
  • Publish Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Picture Book – we’re so close but it seems to take so long to get it all together!

On top of these tasks, I have several appointments as part of the ongoing management of my health and I want to have regular time with family and friends and build up my casual work a bit as well.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on so it’s going to be an effort to find ways to balance everything and continue to pace.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you an update on how I’ve been going with the No Buy Challenge the last few weeks. Let’s just say now that I’ve realised there were a few things that should have been on the exceptions list that I forgot, so I’ll be updating that tomorrow.

Do you have one word that’s going to guide you through 2016?


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

24 Dec 15
Megan
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It’s Christmas Eve and celebrations have begun for our family.

During this time of celebration and busyness, don’t forget to look after yourself. I know that, for our family at least, it is definitely a very busy few days and so over the last few years I’ve had to learn a few ways to manage this.

Don’t forget to pace yourself. For me, this means no more than one or two social events each day (if 2, then one has to be a very low energy event) but even this is much more than I normally do so I’ve decided that I’m going to take a break from here until the new year.

2015 in review

Over the last year I haven’t done as much posting as I have in previous years, it has been the year of Enough. This has meant focusing on getting life more balanced and accepting what I have and what I can do, not what I don’t have and can’t do.

The top 3 most popular posts this year have been:

Two of these were written in previous years but are still quite popular today.

During the last year I have begun working again (even if only a small amount each week) and it’s been nice to be bringing in some income of my own. I’ve also been working with my husband and close friends to get the Foggy Frog picture book finalised (we should be ready to publish early in the new year).

I haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and reflect properly on everything that has been achieved this year or what I’m hoping to achieve in the new year and that is another reason why I’m planning to take the next week off. When I get back I will hopefully be able to outline better what it is I’m hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

In regards to our 20 week no buy challenge, I don’t believe I’ll have any troubles with temptation as I’ll be focusing on my health and socialising for the next week or so but I’ll report on weeks 4 and 5 in the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I hope you all manage to find at least something small to be grateful for and to bring joy to you holidays.

Defining the Best ME: A 6 month update

03 Jul 14
Megan
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At the beginning of the year I shared with you my aspirations for 2014 to define the best me (my equivalent to a New Years Resolution).

As we’ve reached (or actually crossed) the half way point for the year I thought I’d take a moment to share with you my progress with these aspirations.

Although I didn’t have set goals, I had three key areas of my life I was going to focus on:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual/Emotional/Wisdom

For the first few months my 3 weekly posts focused in on each of these topics through Mental Mondays, Wisdom Wednesdays, and Physical Fridays. Although I’ve stopped dividing my posts up into these categories I’m still considering these areas in my day to day and long term planning.

So, where have I gotten to so far in Defining the Best Me?

Mental

I started the year off without any clear idea of where I was heading with my mental activities. My job, before becoming ill, provided lots of mental stimulation as did the study I was doing at the same time. Since becoming ill though I hadn’t even read a book, let alone done anything that required strenuous thinking.

My Mental Activity end of June 2014

  • I began the Foggy Frog Campaign and ran a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds necessary to publish the picture book ‘Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang’. This was a brand new experience for me and used a lot of my mental capacity at the time of the campaign. I’m still working towards delivering the picture book and I’m now almost half way through the basic hand-drawn pictures that are forming the basis of the illustrations for the book (another new experience!).
  • I have begun reading daily again. I got new glasses which allowed me to read more than a few sentences without my eyes going blurry. I’m reading some fiction but mainly books on building a business, being the best I can be personally and professionally, environmental and sustainable activities, and simple living.
  • I’ve started working on a business model around the Foggy Frog campaign. LiveKen has been developed as a face for all our information, education and empowerment work assisting individuals to live simple, sustainable, meaningful lives with or without chronic illness.
  • I’ve started studying again. I’m working on one unit towards my Bachelor of Education (Primary), although I’m having to assess whether I’m going to be able to complete this degree due to my health issues and the university not being flexible about delivery of the practical units. I’m working towards a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I’m participating in a few short courses around starting my own business and illustrating the picture book.
  • I’ve joined a writers group. I went to my first meeting last night. I really enjoyed it and will attend again, although I think I’ll need to leave early as I’m struggling today mainly due to how late the course went. It’s a group where we read and critique each others writing and participate in writing challenges each month.

Physical

At the beginning of the year I wasn’t really doing much at all in terms of physical exercises or activities around the house. When I did do anything I found that I was paying for it for days or even weeks afterwards with increased symptoms.

My Physical Activity by end of June 2014

  • I’m walking or riding daily. Either a 15 minute walk or a 4 minute ride on my stationary bike every day.
  • I can do around 10 minutes of Yoga daily. Just basic stretches, it forms part of my morning routine along with feeding the fish, changing the cats’ litter tray and meditation.
  • 3 days a week I include some body weight exercises from the Exercise Physiologist. Although I had built up to doing 2 sets of these on the days I was doing them, I’ve had to cut back in the last month due to increased symptoms and extreme fatigue (I think this may be partly due to winter and partly due to an increase in my incidental daily activity levels).
  • I’m doing some cleaning every day. I started with a small amount of dishes every day and a load of washing twice a week, now I’m adding some sweeping every day (how much depends on my energy levels).
  • I try to get out of the house at least every 2nd day. This may be just going to sit in the park up the road. Once a week it’s a trip to town for appointments followed by some time at my mum’s house.

Spiritual/Emotional/Wisdom

This is an area that I’ve found to be more and more important to me as I move through this journey. I have done a lot of reading around this area and have incorporated many new skills in my daily life.

My Spiritual Activity by end of June 2014

  • I meditate daily. At least once a day (in the mornings), and some days many more times, I sit with my eyes closed and just focus on my breath or on the sensations in my body.
  • Mindfulness. I try to incorporate mindfulness into everything I do. For every activity I’m doing I try to be single-minded and focused on that one task for a set time and then take a break. While doing an activity, I’m attempting to be mindful of my thoughts, urges, and the messages my body tries to send me.
  • Simplify. This is key to where I am now in my journey. I’m doing everything I can to simplify my life, simplify my possessions, and identify exactly what is important to me. I will be sharing my journey through this process mainly over on the LiveKen blog but occasionally I’ll write about it here as well.

Defining the Best Me

I’ve listed a lot of things that have changed over the last 6 months above in each of the categories I’ve been focusing on but I haven’t yet stated what this all means in terms of defining the best me I can be. That’s mainly because I’m still experimenting and exploring.

I can say that the best me, with or without my chronic illnesses, is someone who lives true to her values. I’ve shared my thoughts on values before and will share more in the future but I believe my core values are:

  • Community is essential (Family and Friends, and the wider community)
  • Simple and Sustainable
  • Mindful and Meaningful
  • Authentic, Genuine and Respectful

As you’ll probably notice, these values also line up with the LiveKen values as well.

How are you going with your New Year resolutions or aspirations?

Have you been working on defining who you are this year as well?

The path to being the best me

01 Jan 14
Megan
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“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”– Jerry Gillies

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Happy New Year everyone!

As I mentioned before the new year, 2014 is going to be the year of find me. I knew what areas I wanted to focus on for the year but I didn’t have a plan in place for doing it.

I’ve decided to focus on specific words each month to help me move through this in some semi organised way while still having flexibility in the outcomes.

Focus Words

Jan – Reflection
Feb – Limitation
March – Inspiration
April – Passion
May – Action
June – Clarification
July – Elimination
August – Creation
September – Connection
October – Imagination
November – Progression
December – Celebration

This means that this month will be focussed on Reflection. I will take the time to objectively look back over what I have tried to determine what has worked and what hasn’t. I will reflect on what in my past has led me to where I am today and I will outline how I will move forward to being the best me I can be.

I wish everyone a happy and fulfilling 2014. May we all be the best we can be this year!

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Do you use focus words to help you develop plans and ideas?

Do you take the time to reflect on what has worked for you and what hasn’t?

Ditch New Year’s resolutions for 5 yogic tricks & get immediate results

31 Dec 13
Megan
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Some great suggestions here for balancing your body and mind, and have a happy 2014.

Defining the best me – The Spiritual

24 Dec 13
Megan
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“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”– Carl Jung

shades of blue

As I mentioned in my previous post on Aspriations for 2014. The new year is going to be all about defining the best ME. To do this I will be focussing in on 3 core topics for the year and aiming to answer certain questions and experimenting with different activities, treatments and adventures to define what “the best ME” is and to live my life accordingly.

The third (and final) core topic that I will be focussing on is the Spiritual.

Over the past 8 months I have been focussing a lot more on meditation and yoga. I’d like to explore both of these further as I feel that they are helping a lot with increasing both my physical and mental health. The focus of the Spiritual topic will be on creating a greater bond between my physical and mental self.

In the new year I will be aiming to answer the following questions about my spiritual self:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • How has becoming ill helped me move along this path of healing and connectivity?
  • How can I use yoga and meditation more effectively to pace myself and work on my physical and mental health?
  • How can I be more mindful during my daily activities?

I will be trying not to focus solely on my bad health next year, however I feel to begin focussing on the positive aspects of my health as it is at the moment I do still need to answer some questions about my illness and how it affects me spiritually.

On top of answering these questions I will be continuing my practice of daily yoga and meditation. I will be aiming to increase the time I can spend practicing yoga as I absolutely love it even though I can’t do much at the present time.

My goal for 2014 is to practice yoga and meditation daily and nurture the connection between mind and body through daily mindfulness practice.

Posts related to defining the best Spiritual ME will be posted under a new regular column called Wisdom Wednesdays

(c) Megan S, December 2013

(c) Megan S, December 2013

So, please join me in the new year to discover more about defining the best Spiritual ME.

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Do you have any spiritual related goals for the new year?

Are there any features of defining a best ‘ME’ spiritually that you feel I have missed and should add to my thoughts?

Defining the best me – The Mental

23 Dec 13
Megan
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“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”– Jerry Gillies

shades of blue

As I mentioned in my previous post on Aspriations for 2014. The new year is going to be all about defining the best ME. To do this I will be focussing in on 3 core topics for the year and aiming to answer certain questions and experimenting with different activities, treatments and adventures to define what “the best ME” is and to live my life accordingly.

The second core topic that I will be focussing on is the Mental.

I have been unable to work since becoming ill in April this year. This has removed a big part of my mental activity from my life. I also struggle a lot due to the brain fog and fatigue and this has meant that even outside of work I have not been very active in using my mental facilities. I blog and ocassionally can read (but not very often) and I can do a little bit of sewing or other activities that uses the creative side of my brain.

In the new year I will be aiming to answer the following questions about my mental self:

  • What activities can increase my sense of wellbeing and fullfilment?
  • How can I increase my mental activity and fight through the brain fog?
  • What are the best ways of me to increase my capacity to a level that I can work in some way in the near future?
  • How can I maintain my positive outlook and avoid becoming depressed?

I will be trying not to focus solely on my bad health next year, however I feel to begin focussing on the positive aspects of my health as it is at the moment I do still need to answer some questions about my illness and how it affects me mentally.

On top of answering these questions I will be continuing my experiments with creative activities such as sewing, card making and writing poetry/fiction.

My goal for 2014 is to develop my creativity further and move towards being able to return to the workforce in some capacity. I would also like to publish the picture book I have been working on that helps us to explain our pain and brain fog to others in simple terms.

Posts related to defining the best Mental ME will be posted under a new regular column called Mental Mondays.

(c) Megan S, December 2013

(c) Megan S, December 2013

So, please join me in the new year to discover more about defining the best Mental ME.

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Do you have any mental health or activity related goals for the new year?

Are there any features of defining a best ‘ME’ mentally that you feel I have missed and should add to my thoughts?

What creative activities do you particpate in?

Defining the best me – The Physical

22 Dec 13
Megan
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“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”– Henry David Thoreau

shades of blue

As I mentioned in my previous post on Aspriations for 2014. The new year is going to be all about defining the best ME. To do this I will be focussing in on 3 core topics for the year and aiming to answer certain questions and experimenting with different activities, treatments and adventures to define what “the best ME” is and to live my life accordingly.

The first core topic that I will be focussing on is the Physical.

Since becoming ill, I feel that I have lost what I thought defined the best me in terms of my physical health, fitness and abilities. I feel that I have been taken back to the beginning and have to work on building myself up slowly.

In the new year I will be aiming to answer the following questions about my physical self:

  • What activities can I do within my new limits?
  • Can I add new activities into my life without increasing symptoms and crashes?
  • Which physical activities increase my sense of wellbeing and fullfilment?

I will be trying not to focus solely on my bad health next year, however I feel to begin focussing on the positive aspects of my health as it is at the moment I do still need to answer some questions about my illness and how it affects me physically.

On top of answering these questions I will be trying new treatments if possible and exploring opportunities to increase my physical activity within my limits. I will continue to experiment with pacing and setting boundaries and will provide updates on each of these experiments.

My goal for 2014 is to find the perfect balance between physical activity and rest that allows me to live with optimum health.

Posts related to defining the best Physical ME will be posted under a new regular column called Physical Fridays.

(c) Megan S, December 2013

(c) Megan S, December 2013

So, please join me in the new year to discover more about defining the best Physical ME.

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Do you have any physical health and fitness goals for the new year?

Are there any features of defining a best ‘ME’ physically that you feel I have missed and should add to my thoughts?

Defining the best ME Nonet

21 Dec 13
Megan
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The following nonet has been written as part of Paint the World with Word’s “Be Inspired Challenge”

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Defining the best ME

In the new year I will discover with
An open heart and open mind
The best ME I can become
Aware of my needs
Physical, Mental
And Spiritual
Connecting
Mind and
Body

(c) Megan S, December 2013

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2014 Aspirations: Defining the best ME

19 Dec 13
Megan
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“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”– Aldous Huxley

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At this time of year, people are starting to set resolutions and goals for the new year. Given that my health seems to be so variable and I have no idea what I’m going to be able to achieve next year, I’ve decided to be a bit flexible this year.

Instead of goals and resolutions I’m going to focus on bring the best ME I can be. Having gotten this ill has given me an opportunity to think about the direction my life is going. It’s made me realise that getting back to feeling like I’m living a purposeful fulfilling life is going to be a long slow process. Because I want to get back to that feeling as soon as possible so that I don’t get to a point where I’m feeling so worthless that I get depressed, I’ve decided that I’m going to start myself on the journey of finding myself in the new year.

I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do this but right now I know the three key aspects of my life I want to focus on as I begin this journey:

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Spiritual (the Mind/Body Connection)

In future posts I’ll go into more detail about what I want to focus on and how I’m going to move forward in being the best me I can be by answering the question:

Who am I?

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What do you want to achieve in 2014?

Do you set yourself goals or resolutions for the new year?