Tag Archives: Our Values

turning thirty

Turning Thirty: Reflections, Visions, Plans

11 Jun 15
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I turned 30 last weekend.

Those of you who follow us on Facebook or Twitter would be aware that my husband’s 30th was only a few weeks earlier. We decided to do a joint party on my birthday (it was Saturday) and invited friends and family to join us. We had an amazing day with close to 50 people joining us to celebrate.

I put a lot of effort into planning the party so that it would be aligned with my values and life goals.  By that I mean that I attempted to plan the party to be as close to zero waste as possible, and to be focused mainly on spending time with family and friends.

I created a large stack of cloth napkins which did get used, however when the cake was cut paper napkins were still used to distribute it.
cloth napkinsThe napkins I made were from leftover material in my sewing collection, mainly the scrappy bits too small for anything else.

Most of the food was homemade finger food with cocktail pies, pasties and sausage rolls purchased from the local bakery to supplement the food supply.

Reusable and compostable We used as many reusable items as possible and what wasn’t reusable I aimed to make compostable (cornstarch cups, bamboo plates, paper straws).

Although I did my best to pace myself in the days leading up to and the day of the party, it was still a much busier week than I would normally have and I have spent the last few days recovering. I’m starting to feel better now (Wednesday – 4 days after the party) but pain levels and fatigue levels have both been rather high the last few days.

Before I go further with this post, I just want to apologise for the large gap between posts lately. Both Janelle and I have been very busy working to put together the Back to Basics Workshop which will be starting in the next few weeks (You can still join if you’re interested).

Turning Thirty: Reflections

Large life changes are always times to reflect on where you have come from and consider where you want to go moving forward. Turning 30 is one of those times.

Looking back over my life I have always had pretty clear ideas of where I though I would be by the time I turned 30. Although some of these things have come true, my life is nothing like what I had imagined (as you’d expect).

My childhood and teens were spent making friends, spending time outside and getting to know the world around me. As I moved into my 20’s it became more about getting to know myself and becoming clearer about where I wanted to head.

During my 20’s I married my long term boyfriend, we bought our first house together and moved in, and got our own pets.

Early 20’s were focused on finishing study and starting my career as well as focusing on my health by exercising regularly at the gym.

Late 20’s my vision of myself, my career, and my health all changed when chronic pain and fatigue became a part of my life. My goals had to change to fit into my new reality. I could no longer be the ‘gym junkie’, the active outdoors person I was before…

Turning Thirty: Visions

Although part of my vision has stayed the same, I still want a family and to work in community engagement and sustainability,  most of it has now been modified.

How do I see my 30’s going?

I will have a family (biological or adopted) and will be working in community engagement and sustainability field by consulting and providing services through this site.

I will find balance between work, social, and me time. This will include time for meditation and rest and some form of exercise (at this point walking and very basic yoga).

By finding balance and pacing well, I will recover to a point where I can enjoy travelling with my husband and family.

Our life will be as simple, sustainable and meaningful as possible.

Turning Thirty: The Plan

To make my vision come true I will need a plan. The plan is to answer the following questions:

What would make my/our life meaningful?

I’ve already begun answering this question by completing the 100 Goal Challenge last year, but through participating in our Back to Basics Workshop I’m going to review those goals and reassess what is meaningful to me.

I will also have discussions with my husband about what is meaningful to him so that we can make our future plans together.

How can I simplify my life?

A simple lifestyle is key to living well especially with chronic illness. By identifying areas in my life that I can simplify I should create more room to do the things that I meaningful.

Steps I’m already taking towards this are:

  • Hiring a cleaner. Over the past few months I had been doing the cleaning myself again. To begin with I managed to keep up and do a good job, but I’ve found that as I’ve begun adding other meaningful activities into my life (like work), I no longer have the energy to do the cleaning as well. For the cost of $75 a fortnight it is worth having someone come in and clean for us.
  • Simplifying my wardrobe. I’m finally getting to a point where I’m happy with my wardrobe. Through my decluttering efforts I’ve removed over half the items in my wardrobe that were not comfortable, didn’t suit my lifestyle, or were worn out and stained. My next post I’m going to share in detail what is left in my wardrobe.

How can we be more sustainable?

Because sustainability is one of my key values, this is a question that I’m constantly asking myself. I’m attempting to move us from single use and disposable items towards ones that can be reused over and over. Buying quality items that last (instead of large quantities of items) is also key to aiming for a more sustainable house.

This area is one that causes a bit of tension in our house though as my husband doesn’t necessarily understand my strong focus on this value. I’m not saying he doesn’t believe we should do our part to help the environment, it’s just that he thinks I take things too far a lot of the time. For example, he rolls his eyes each week when I take out my keep cup to use when we get takeaway drinks, and he doesn’t feel comfortable using my cloth bags for vegetables or asking the butcher and baker to use my containers (instead of plastic bags).

Another part of being sustainable is to be financially secure/independent/whatever term you’d like to use. This is something that I’m spending a lot of time researching at the moment. Security is one of my husband’s biggest values and so making sure we have enough money to live the lifestyle we want to and achieve our goals is very important to us.

Financially speaking we want to make sure we have enough saved for retirement (so we don’t have to rely on a pension that may not be around), we want to be able to travel and buy nice things when we want to (we have a large lego collection, good quality camera and camping gear, and my husband maintains his bikes), and we want to be debt free.

In general we are doing well in this area (our mortgage is our only debt) but, given I’m pretty much not working at the moment (I don’t bring in any regular salary), I’m not having money put into Super for me and we basically have to live off my husband’s salary. To me setting ourselves a financial plan for the next 2-5 years and belong is a key step to achieving our goal to live a simple, sustainable and meaningful life.

Next week I’ll be sharing my simple, sustainable, and (almost) minimal wardrobe with you.

Do you have a clear vision for the future and a plan to get there?

Have you got a financial plan in place to help you achieve your goals?



Workshop Opportunity – Back to Basics

29 Apr 15
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Are you looking for a simple, sustainable & meaningful life?

We’ve taken the plunge, and are planning to share our journey with you and help you start your own journey via a 6-week online workshop.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • What makes life meaningful for us?
  • Identifying our values, passions, and life goals
  • What does it mean to be sustainable?
  • Are our current lifestyles sustainable?
  • Developing an action plan towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life.

What do we get?

This 6-week workshop will begin 1 June 2015 and will consist of regular emails with guiding questions and activities and group discussions via Facebook.

At this stage we are also planning to run at least one webinar during the 6-week period.

Everything will be available for you to access in your own time, and you will have lifetime access to the LiveKen Community via our closed Facebook Page.

How much is the workshop?

The workshop costs a minimal AUD$25  AUD$19.95** and you can sign up using the link below.

** We’ve reduced the cost to make the course more accessible for you.**

Once you’re payment has been received, you’ll be sent a link to access the Facebook page and you can introduce yourself to the other participants before the workshop commences on 1 June 2015. mid-June.************We’re working extra hard to make the course contents as exciting and useful as possible. As a result we’re postponing the start until mid-June. This gives you another few weeks to sign up for the workshop*****

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and hope to see many of you online in June.

I feel best

I feel best when… My Manifesto

14 Apr 15
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When you live every day with chronic pain and fatigue it can sometimes be difficult to remember what it’s like to feel good, to feel ‘normal’. It’s important though to not focus just on your symptoms but to find at least something each and every day to be grateful for. Something that will make you feel as good as you possibly can given everything you’re living with.

I feel best when…

I feel best when I’m making a difference. When I’m able to find a way in which I can contribute something of meaning to the community. I currently do this by sharing my stories here on the blog and through other social media outlets. By sharing I hope to help others to live simple, sustainable and meaningful lives of their own.

I feel best when I’m able to pace myself well. At the moment that means:

  • only working 1-2 hours a day, up to 4 days a week
  • finding time each day to do some stretches and yoga
  • maintaining a step count of around 5,000 steps a day
  • ensuring I get adequate rest throughout the day

I feel best when I’m adequately hydrated. Remembering to drink enough water can be difficult when I’m at my most foggy, but I try hard to remember.

I feel best when I eat a balanced diet. Eating enough nutritious fruit, veg, nuts and meat, mainly eating home cooked meals with fresh produce and avoiding alcohol, dairy and gluten all help to keep me healthy.

I feel best when I have a project to work on that I’m passionate about. At the moment, my passion project is to try and build the sense of community on my street. Although I feel connected to my wider community online, I feel like I don’t really know my neighbours that well.

I feel best when I’m part of a connected community that supports one another and works together towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful lifestyle.

I feel best when I’m surrounded by supportive friends and family.


Nutrition and Diet – Keep it Simple

07 Apr 15
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You are what you eat

That’s the saying…

It’s World Health Day today and the focus is on safe food. As a result, the WEGO health activist writer’s challenge is focused on nutrition and diet today.

Last month we talked about eating locally and how you can support your local farmers, and today I’m going to talk about how I eat for my health

Even before March 2013, when my life went upside down with chronic illness, I was on a path to becoming the healthiest I could be. I have suffered from allergies, eczema and asthma my whole life and about 6 months earlier I had gone to an allergist for testing.

At this point my diet changed. I removed all dairy and gluten, and I noticed that my eczema disappeared.

Then the pain and extreme fatigue started.

My diet didn’t really change that much in terms of the types of food I ate but my ability to spend lots of time cooking did change. As my illness progressed I also began to add supplements to help with management.

I now take fish oil, magnesium, calcium, iodine and folic acid, Vitamin D and Vitamin B regularly. Combined these are helping to reduce my pain levels and increase my bone density (which was found to be extremely low last year).

Thankfully my husband is around to help make meals and this means I’ve been able to maintain a healthy diet while managing my energy levels. As I’ve recovered slowly, I’ve been able to make more meals myself although I still have to pace.

When I’m cooking myself I’ve found a variety of meals that are simple and easy to make. These include lentil burgers, pad thai and steak or sausages and veg during summer, and soups during winter. Many of these meals are also generally made in bulk so that after cooking one night we have leftovers for another dinner and usually a lunch or two.

By cooking in bulk I keep it simple. I use fresh produce as much as possible and I get support from family and friends when I need it. As previously discussed, we do grow some of our own vegetables as well. When there’s greens in the garden and I’m home, I tend to get lunch straight from the garden.

Do you focus on your nutrition to maintain your health?

Have you had to change your diet for any reason?

100 Goal Challenge

100 Goal Challenge: Life Enjoyment

19 Feb 15
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Like Megan’s last post, I will be sharing with you my 100 Goal Challenge. This challenge came about for Megan last year when she was reading a self-help book that focused on getting the reader to conduct activities that would help to identify your passions in life. The book is titled It starts with Passion by Keith Abraham and the idea behind it is to “do what you love and love what you do”.

The key to this challenge is that by writing down your goals, whether achievable tomorrow or maybe in the next few decades, you have identified the direction in life you want to take and inherently giving yourself something to strive for.  That drive in life is what makes you jump out of bed in the mornings instead of just rolling over wishing you could sleep for another few hours.

This will be once again a long post and I have, like Megan tried to break it done into categories to make it easier to work through. My 100 Goals are not just physical things that I want to do or achieve but also about creating and working towards the mindset and person I want to be, which I feel is just as important. What follows is my 100 Goal Challenge in no particular order of importance.

My 100 Goal Challenge List


House and Garden

  1. Buy a house

    A plant from our garden – many more to be added

  2. Have and maintain a garden
  3. Make people feel welcomed and relaxed in our home.
  4. Clean regularly – something I need to do after I finish writing this!
  5. Build a garden from a patch of dirt.
  6. Grow a herb garden
  7. Cover the walls with our lives and adventures (art that is personal)
  8. Grow a fruit tree
  9. Renovate (or even build?)
  10. Grow a veggie patch
  11. Knock down a wall!

    All ready for some plants!

  12. Build a wall.
  13. Have a proper compost pile
  14. Have a house full of laughter
  15. Set up a rain water tank to recycle water
  16. Have a functional and usable home
  17. Spend more time in the garden to enjoy it.
  18. Share my home with friends and family
  19. Grow a hedge of fruit trees (espalier)
  20. Set up a veggie patch with aquaponics


  1. Visit each continent

    Plane wing from our last overseas trip

  2. Travel to India
  3. Go diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  4. Put my feet in as many seas as possible!
  5. End every holiday with a restort to relax.
  6. Go on local holidays a few times a year
  7. Climb a Mountain!
  8. Don’t go on fast tours – stay in destinations
  9. Go and see the Northern Lights
  10. Honeymoon!!!!


  1. Cook and bake more for the enjoyment

    baking some cupcakes

  2. Try new recipes every month
  3. Eat less meat
  4. Learn how to cook Indian
  5. Make healthy snacks
  6. Learn more vegan and vegetarian dishes
  7. Cook a pavlova.
  8. Eat more fruit and veggies
  9. Learn how to make more raw dishes
  10. Drink more juices and smoothies, every few days!

Me playing some tennis

Fitness and Exercise

  1. Maintain and increase my current level of fitness
  2. Get to 10 000 steps most days
  3. Go swimming weekly
  4. Play a sport socially – always!
  5. Be able to do 10+ push-ups without dying
  6. Have a six pack once in my life
  7. Get up before work to do exercise
  8. Improve my tennis game – win more often!
  9. Compete in obstacle courses (True Grit)
  10. Try out running, as a habit.

Education and Learning

  1. Never stop trying and learning new things

    Graduation a few years ago

  2. Educate myself on finance
  3. Get further certification / degrees
  4. Research and implement further sustainable living
  5. Stay open minded to ideas and technologies
  6. Teach myself about soils, fertilizers and composting.
  7. Learn more about photography
  8. Learn nutrition
  9. Learn massage and body movement
  10. Learn aquaponics
  11. Learn about myself and further my interests
  12. Education in business management
  13. Improve on self-confidence, projection and conversing

Mind Development

  1. Listen, learn then form opinions

    spending time alone to reflect is productive

  2. Approach everything with an open mind
  3. Respond do not react.
  4. Be more patient
  5. Speak to my sister every week
  6. Be more assertive
  7. Value my own opinion
  8. Spend time alone every week
  9. Focus and remember the positive
  10. Do not be afraid to disagree
  11. Become more patient and giving with my parents
  12. Be present where I am
  13. Voice my opinion, especially when I don’t agree
  14. Become aware of time constraints and be realistic in planning


  1. Own a house
    just waiting to be ridden!
  2. See parents once a week
  3. Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – ‘not yet’ is not an answer
  4. Visit my sister a few times a year
  5. Have children
  6. Learn to ride a scooter (maybe a motorbike)
  7. Fix my own computer once or twice
  8. Laugh and enjoy the people around me
  9. Hold dinner parties regularly
  10. Catch up with friends more often
  11. Save where we can but not at the expense of living
  12. Go on more dates

    our cat – being sneaky

  13. Use less chemicals
  14. Declutter my home
  15. Declutter my life
  16. Go Abseiling / rock climbing
  17. Skydive
  18. Go in a hot air balloon
  19. Find a work / life balance
  20. Have more family pets (especially a dog)
  21. House at least one Guide Dog
  22. Read more – fact and fiction
  23. Get Married!


Alright so that is my 100 Goals! It was hard to get started but once you do you’ll find that it just follows out. I’m also sure I’ve probably missed things but its written down for now and as I grow and change so will my goals.

Now the challenge is set! Go and get a pen and some paper if you have not already and start writing down your 100 Goals.

We would love to hear how you went so please let us know if you try the 100 Goal Challenge or if you have any suggestions for future posts.

100 Goal Challenge

100 Goal Challenge: My Life To-Do-List

05 Feb 15
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[dropcap color=”orange” background=”green” style=”rounded” size=”small”]E[/dropcap]ditors Note: This post was first published on My Chronic Life Journey in March 2014. This is my response to the 100 Goal Challenge. I found it to be a great way to identify what is important in my life and to help me take the first steps towards a more simple, sustainable and meaningful life. I highly recommend the process to everyone.

As discussed in last week’s post about Finding Your Passion, the first steps are to undertake the 100 Goal Challenge and use your answers to identify your Driving Emotions.

I shared my Driving Emotions and their definitions in the previous post and as requested I’m sharing my list of 100 Goals with you today. I apologise in advance for the lengthy post (I’ve tried to break it up with images so it’s not just text). I hope the goals inspire you and help you in creating your own Life To-Do List (100 goals).

Looking through them I think I can break them down into my Defining the Best ME categories (Mental, Physical, Wisdom) and some fit into more than one category.

My 100 Goal Challenge List:

  1. Start/Run my own business
  2. Have 2 children/start a family
  3. Develop/run educational resources/sessions for business, community and schools/unis
  4. Visit the Great Barrier Reef
  5. Visit Tasmania
  6. Work internationally
  7. Travel to Europe/UK
  8. Do 30 minutes walk/run/ride daily
  9. Daily yoga
  10. Daily meditation
  11. Travel to Africa/See wild Gorillas
  12. Participate in 12hr Rogaine (I did this when I first got ill – before I realised how serious it was – and would love to have the energy/low pain levels to do it again)
  13. Contribute to charity regularly
  14. Publish Foggy Frog Picture book

    The dummy book for Foggy Frog...

    The dummy book for Foggy Frog…

  15. Work nationally
  16. Have annual holidays
  17. Build own house
  18. Annual income of $100,000 (This one I’m really not sure about, I’d be happy with earning just enough to live off, but the process said to dream big so that’s what I tried to do)
  19. Retire with enough financial security to continue annual holidays
  20. Celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary (It’s our 3rd this year)

    On our Wedding Day Photo (c) M. Vovers, 2011

    On our Wedding Day
    Photo (c) M. Vovers, 2011

  21. Continue to learn something new each year
  22. Learn to sew my own clothes

    Patterns I've bought but not sewn yet

    Patterns I’ve bought but not sewn yet

  23. Live as sustainably as possible
  24. Complete my Bachelor of Education
  25. Help others live sustainably

    The last campaign I ran before getting ill in 2013. Focusing on riding and travelling to work.

    The last campaign I ran before getting ill in 2013. Focusing on riding and travelling to work.

  26. Help others understand chronic illness
  27. Have monthly dinner parties with family and friends
  28. Have monthly games afternoons with friends (board games)
  29. Clean out old and unused things and give to people who will use them
  30. Set up my own space for sewing, drawing and studying
  31. Plant and maintain veg garden

    Our veggie garden last year

    Our veggie garden last year

  32. Find a mentor(s) to help me achieve my goals (I’ve found one business mentor already since setting this goal, but I feel that I would benefit from a team of people I can go to for advice/support)
  33. Schedule time weekly to reflect/review my goals and achievements
  34. Achieve work/life balance (need to work out what this actually means to me)
  35. Have a weekly ‘date’ with E
  36. Pay off our mortgage
  37. Only buy quality items
  38. Save 10% of my income
  39. Organise a financial plan
  40. Teach my children how to save, invest and create wealth for themselves (need to teach myself this first so I know what I’m talking about… still not too clear on investments and wealth creation)
  41. Teach my children to live sustainably
  42. Ensure I have regular health checks
  43. Read every week (would love daily if possible)
  44. Learn to live a fulfilling life with my chronic illnesses

    Retrieved from Facebook.

    Retrieved from Facebook.

  45. Swim regularly 1-2 x a week
  46. Visit T in Hong Kong
  47. Develop networks to help make my ideas reality
  48. Visit Japan
  49. Teach my children to cook
  50. Schedule time to draw
  51. Learn to belly dance
  52. Get a family dog
  53. Participate in a yoga/health retreat
  54. Find a hobby E and I can do together (used to hike regularly but I’m not up to that at this stage)
  55. Learn to be more assertive
  56. Get monthly massages
  57. Learn to play the guitar better
  58. Write 2 blog posts a week
  59. Spend a day by myself every 6 months focusing on reviewing and renewing my goals and plans
  60. Find a weekly routine that works (I feel very flustered lately as I can’t settle into one routine with things changing all the time)
  61. Write a will
  62. Go on a 4 week holiday by myself
  63. Write regular articles for other blogs/websites/media sources
  64. Learn to cook more delicious and healthy dairy and gluten free meals
  65. Spend time in nature regularly

    A bird bath on a community walking trail near work.

    A bird bath on a community walking trail near work.

  66. Enter writing competition and win
  67. Organise an annual event to raise awareness of, and funds for research into, chronic illness
  68. Act as a mentor for someone
  69. Have quarterly girls nights/afternoons/days with my closest friends
  70. Get Foggy Frog into libraries, schools and homes around the world
  71. Keep a gratitude jar and read the contents yearly

    My gratitude corner (bedside table)

    My gratitude corner (bedside table)

  72. Create a neighbourhood/community sustainability group to catch up and share ideas
  73. Be present and mindful every day
  74. Develop a morning and evening routine
  75. Keep a regular journal
  76. Incorporate physio recommended exercises/stretches into daily life
  77. Declutter my life
  78. Spend a weekend away with E every 6 months
  79. Learn more about business mangement and marketing
  80. Deliver a TED talk (about my work and education programs?)
  81. Smile every day

    Christmas 2013...

    Christmas 2013…

  82. Learn to deal with conflict
  83. Write every day
  84. Frame our pictures and display them in the house
  85. Interact with people who support my vision
  86. Make a firm career decision and pursue it
  87. Be well regarded and respected for my work
  88. Develop a realistic business plan, implement the plan and follow through
  89. Assist 10 people to live a fulfilling life with a chronic illness
  90. Get my superannuation strategy working for me
  91. Maintain a healthy weight
  92. Have regular skin checks
  93. Have monthly goals to focus on
  94. Build a team around me to help me reach my goals
  95. Be around for my children as much as possible
  96. Visit my Uncle in Vietnam
  97. Buy local as much as possible
  98. Focus on experiences not possesions
  99. Eat vegetables with every meal
  100. Focus on the good things in life

    I found this little guy while walking with a friend Christmas Eve 2012...

    I found this little guy while walking with a friend Christmas Eve 2012… He made us smile, we took photos but left him for others to find and enjoy as well.

 What I’ve learnt from creating my 100 Goal Challenge list

The following are the key important things I’ve pulled from my list:

  • Helping others/Educating and Awareness Raising. As I go through this list I can count over 10 items that relate to helping/teaching others about different things.
  • Having a support team and strong relationships with my family and friends.  Again multiple items on the list focus on spending time with or identifying others who can help me/I can help them.
  • Sustainable living. In terms of how I live my life, my financial security, and how I interact with others, having a positive impact instead of a negative one is key.
  • Structure and Simplicity. In order to manage my illness and remain as healthy as possible I should aim to have some structure in my daily/weekly routines and I should simplify as much as possible. (This will be a focus of a future post)

Have you completed your 100 Goal Challenge?

If so, what have you learnt from reviewing the goals you’ve set?

If not, has my list helped you identify a few more things you could add to your own?

Where are we now? - We're at the start

Where are we now? The start of the LiveKen Journey

14 Aug 14
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If you’ve been following us over the last few weeks you’d know that we are working towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life and we are wanting to share this journey with you.

About a month ago Janelle and I shared with you where we both came from and what our previous experiences had been, but where are we now?

What have we been doing and where are we going?

To put it bluntly, we’re at the start of this journey…

We have begun the research and experimentation we feel we need to do to work out the answers to the questions:

[checklist style=”green”]

  • Where are we coming from?
  • Where are we wanting to get?
  • What do we need to do to get there?
  • Where are we going to find support and guidance?


This research includes reading inspirational stories (see the links below in – Where are we getting our inspiration?) and reading books and articles that describe what it is we are trying to achieve and how others have achieved it.

Although we’ve begun researching and taking actions, we are still at the very early stages of identifying what a Simple, Sustainable and Meaningful life means for us. We are trying to work out how we are going to achieve our goals while taking into consideration the other people in our lives; our partners, our friends, and our extended family.

We will be working to clearly define our goals over the next month or so and will be sharing this process with you here on the blog.

As mentioned above, we have already started taking action to move towards the lifestyle that we want:

[checklist style=”green”]

  • We’ve begun decluttering our homes and our schedules.
  • We’ve almost completed the illustrations (just need colour) for the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book. The first step in our Foggy Frog Campaign for invisible illnesses.
  • We’ve started being more sustainable, with homemade cleaning supplies and a veggie garden set up.
  • We’ve begun identifying our expenditure for our budgets so that we can have a clear picture of where we are starting from.


Where are we getting our inspiration?

I think that for as long as I’ve been in the workforce I’ve had a niggling desire to make these changes, but the final push for me was my chronic illnesses.

Since being ill, I have been inspired by many people including Leo from ZenHabits, Courtney from Be More with Less, and (more recently on a financial note) Mr Money Moustache

Both Janelle and I also receive inspirational posts regularly from Mind, Body, Green.

We are inspired to follow our passions and ignite our dreams so that we can live the best life we can and make a positive impact on the world.

Our background is in environmental science and sustainability is one of our strongest values, but the journey we are on is one that anyone can take and that can be adapted to suit your own dreams and values.

Where are we wanting to go?

This is something we will answer next week, when we begin to question what a simple, sustainable and meaningful life is for us.

We’d love to hear what you see it as for you as well.

LiveKen sets Targets for 2014/15 – Looking Forward

31 Jul 14
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Over the last few weeks Janelle and I have been having a think about what we’d really like to achieve in the next 12 months and how that can fit in with things here at LiveKen. As a result we’ve set ourselves and LiveKen targets for 2014/15.

LiveKen Targets for 2014/15 (as a business)

We  obviously want to make sure LiveKen is a viable (read profitable) business.

[checklist style=”green”]

  • Increase readership here at LiveKen. It’s a new site so we don’t expect miracles but we do want to bring in new people who are interested in what we have to say.
  • Publish the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Picture Book.
  • Raise a minimum $1,500 through donations towards the Foggy Frog Campaign, which I’ll go into in further detail in future posts. $1,500 would allow us to develop a educational workshop for schools about life with an invisible chronic illness.
  • Look at options for adding adverts (looking into Google Adsense) to the site and for joining affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates.


We will be making sure that with each of these options we align with the LiveKen values. For example, through affiliate links we will only recommend products that we have reviewed ourselves and believe will be helpful.

On top of this we would like to develop a small support/action group, beginning with our friends, that focuses on simple, sustainable and meaningful living.

This group is still in it’s infancy (currently comprises of the 2 of us) but we have so far come up with the following activities that we will be involved in:

[checklist style=”green”]

  • Shared gardening areas. We have space in our garden to have a veggie patch while Janelle doesn’t, so we will be sharing gardening tasks and produce from the garden.
  • Sharing practical tips for living a simple, sustainable and meaningful life.
  • Homemade cleaning supplies. We’ve started with laundry detergent.


Shared Veggie Beds

One of two veggie beds already set up in the garden. There is space for more when we feel confident looking after them.

Our (Joint) Personal Targets for 2014/15

In our personal lives, we will be working together to set up budgeting for both of our households and working to declutter and simplify our own lives and houses.  We will also be working with our partners to really determine what is meaningful to each of us so that we can work out how to focus our energy there.

We will continue to share our journey here on the LiveKen blog in the hope of inspiring others to do the same.

My Personal Targets for 2014/15

Thanks to my chronic illnesses, the targets I have for myself may seem almost insignificant to those of you who are healthy, but for those of you out there who are facing the difficulties of living with chronic illness here are my personal goals for 2014/15: [checklist style=”green”]

  • Continue to work on finding a balance in life and work towards returning to work.
  • Build up to being able to walk/ride at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Complete my current unit for my University degree (last assignment due next week) and then focus on completing my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment by April 2015.
  • Go on a wonderful holiday with my husband to somewhere we can just relax on the beach for a week or two.


So, there you have it. Those are our aspirations and targets for this financial year. Next week we’ll be sharing what we hope you will get out of joining us on this adventure in 2014/15.

Until then, use the comment box below to let us know what you think of our goals and targets here at LiveKen.

What targets are you aiming for in 2014/15?

What would you like to see more of here on LiveKen?

LiveKen Values and what they mean for you!

17 Jun 14
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Here at LiveKen our purpose in life is to help others live more sustainable and fulfilling lives. As we said in the previous post we believe that if we all work together we can create a world where people respect their bodies, each other and the environment they live in. To do that we have some clear values that we live and work by here at LiveKen. In no particular order they are:

  • With the Community for the Community
  • Make a positive impact (be sustainable and aware)
  • Respect yourself and each other
  • Be genuine and transparent
  • Love what you do and do what you love
  • Never stop learning

Let’s take a closer look at each of these and see what they mean to us, why we do it and how it is important for you.

With the Community for the Community

Every thing we do here at LiveKen is done with the Community’s best interest in mind. We also include the community in the development of everything we deliver to make sure that what we’re developing and delivering actually meets the needs of the Community.

Who is the Community?

When we’re talking about working with the Community for the Community, who do we mean by the Community? The simple answer to that is that we mean you, the complete answer is a bit more complicated than that.

Our Community are those who:

  • are feeling overwhelmed by life and looking for a way to simplify it
  • suffer from a chronic illness, such as Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, MS or any other lifelong illness that interferes with their ability to live a ‘normal’ life
  • Have multiple symptoms that interfere with life, such as constant pain, fatigue, and brain fog, but no diagnosis
  • are simply struggling with life and unsure where you are heading
  • are looking for guidance on living a more sustainable, fulfilling life

If you recognise yourself in even one of the statements above then you are part of our community and we welcome you to join us in identifying the issues and finding the solutions to solve them.

Our initial services are focusing specifically on those with health concerns and chronic illness but other services are on their way shortly, so please join us for the ride. Sign up to our newsletter to get monthly updates on what we’re doing, useful links, and special offers.

Make a positive impact (be sustainable and aware)

With every decision we make we consider the impact of that decision on our lives, the lives of others and the planet around us. We aim to make our impact on the world a positive one. Creating a legacy that helps others to live fulfilling and sustainable lives that have a positive impact on those around them.

By joining us at LiveKen, you are making the first step in the direction of a positive life change. You are making the decision to consider your health, those around you and the environment you live in when you make decisions.

We know that at times all of us will make decisions that don’t have a positive impact, but when this occurs we will learn from these experiences and make better decisions the next time.

Respect Yourself and Others

In the past we have lived our lives by pushing ourselves to the limits and trying to do as much as we can. For some of us, this has led to chronic illness and an inforced need to respect our own bodies. Because of this, and the negative experiences many of us have had since being ill, we are hyper-aware of the need to respect ourselves and each other.

You never know what other people are going through so try not to judge them. By trying to empathise with, and respect, each other and our own bodies we are able to listen to understand and not just to respond.

Be Genuine and Transparent

We only talk about things that we have experience with and an understanding of. We approach our products and services with open hearts and open minds. That means we are open to constructive criticism and will consider others’ thoughts and opinions on what we are delivering.

Through this blog we aim to be transparent about how we are working, what we are hoping to do, and what we’re able to do for you.

In many ways we are learning as we go. We do not claim to be experts in our field, instead we claim to know enough to help you and to find ways to discover what we don’t know so that we can help the best we can.

We will be honest when we don’t know the answer and, when ever possible, will direct you to the appropriate people if we know someone who is better able to help you.

Love what you do and do what you love

All of us here at LiveKen are starting out volunteering our time to get these projects of the ground because we believe in them and believe they are important to get out in the world. If you don’t actually enjoy what you’re doing then we will be asking you to stop doing it, if that means leaving us then so be it!

Because we actually believe in these projects, our aim is to provide as much as we can for free. However, we can’t live off air alone so we’ll be offering fee for service offerings to cover business expenses.

Never Stop Learning

To be able to Understand, Inspire and Empower we need to have that first step in place; we need to understand. A big part of understanding is actually knowing what is going on, as such continual learning through courses, conferences, interviews, reading and experimenting is key to LiveKen philosophy. We will be sharing what we learn through our blog, our courses and our other products and services.

So, there you have it! These are LiveKen’s values. We believe that these values fit well not only with staff and volunteers but also with our clients. If you believe in working with the community to develop services to assist the community, respecting yourself, others and the planet we live on, and continually learning to improve your own life and the lives of those around you then you have come to the right place!

We will begin sharing posts on how to live a more sustainable and fulfilling life, especially if you’re suffering from a chronic illness, over the next few weeks so please join us by signing up to our newsletter and getting regular updates.