As is often the case I’m a little late to the party, but yesterday I stumbled across this post on A Beautiful Mess.  


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This is such a wonderfully simple idea and it is really resonating with me.  As the year draws towards its end, and the mayhem of the holiday season draws closer, it’s tempting for me to ramp up the busy and the crazy and try to do a million things in no time whatsoever.

But I don’t want to play that game this year.

I also suspect The Husband would divorce me if I did!

I’ve been off my feet for nearly 7 weeks now with this chest infection and, to my amazement, we have survived.  I find it disconcerting that the guys at the local pizza delivery know our order by heart and either discount our bill or add extra cheese because we’re such good customers.  And that I’m super thrilled with myself if I make a bowl of chilli (mainly, because it’s not pizza!). But…the house didn’t fall down, the kids don’t have rickets, and we haven’t choked on dust bunnies.

So, although I’m most definitely on the mend (and thank you all for your kind thoughts and good wishes) with only a few more days of meds, I think I’m going to give myself a little more breathing space until the year end.

No massive lists.  No “I must achieve 732 critically urgent tasks before 10.37am tomorrow morning”. No “I will lose 10lbs, make 4 dresses and landscape the garden before the end of the week”.

I only exaggerate a little bit.  I can be as mad as a badger when the list making bug takes me.

Instead, I’m going to give myself 4 simple activities that will, hopefully, be enough to stave off the crazies, but will also enrich my life, and therefore my family’s life, over the next couple of months.

The rules of engagement are as follows:

1. Choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. Choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish.

2. Do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example…. instead of “lose 10 pounds”, choose something like “eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day”. Get what I’m saying? Positive actions instead of just the end result!

3. Choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! They can be daily, weekly or one time experiences.

4. Choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! It can be a small or large reward- it’s up to you.

5. Blog about your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year!

I found it really easy to decide on my 4 Simple Goals.

1. Eat whole

I’m really not joking about the pizza.  And I miss cooking.  I’ve also been doing a lot of reading whilst I’ve been laid up and investigating the best way to eat to support my health.  I’m itching to get back into the CrossFit box, and to avoid a recurrence of this chest infection any time soon.

Time and time again my path has brought me back to the Paleo and Whole30 protocols. So my goal is to aim to eat whole food every day, without refined sugar, dairy, grain or legumes.

I hasten to add that I will NOT be following this over our anniversary weekend. At Northcote I shall be eating everything that gets put in front of me…and probably surreptitiously licking the plate too!  Oh…and there’ll be wine too! 😉 And we have a birthday tomorrow.  I know how good the foods going to be then too.  I’m making it (modest, much?).

Seriously though, I think this goal will not only start me back on the path to healthy, but also force me to get cooking again, which will be so rewarding in so many ways.

2. Get moving

Words I never thought I’d hear myself say include “I’m missing working out”. I’ve always been the poster girl for idleness, until I stepped inside my CrossFit box (see what I mean! “my” CF box!  What’s going on?)

I’m giving myself another week to clear my meds and then I’m getting back there. I’ve already met with my trainers and we have a strategy to get me working out very gently at the beginning to start building up my stamina again.

I’ll admit to being faintly horrified at the prospect of being considerably less fit than I was when I started there…but confident that if I practice this goal 3 times a week, I’ll make swift progress.  Hurrah!

3. Practice creativity

What?  Creative?  Surely this whole blog is about creativity?

Well, yes…and no!

I always see myself as a maker of things rather than a creative.  It’s an odd distinction that even I probably can’t fully articulate.

I make things that other people have created.  I use patterns and recipes and directions to make clothes and food and a home.

But I have ideas.  They are milling around my head like tourists in London in August.  And I want to explore them.  Even if it’s just sitting with a sketch book and doing some godawful drawings that no-one else will ever see.

Just to see where the process takes me.  Just for the fun of it.  And for playing with pencils and colour.

4. Organise

We are planning a wholesale redo of our home over the next year or so.  In my head it’s called “Project Shabby to Chic”.  Our home has been very much lived in over the last 5 years but not overly lavished with TLC.  So, with both kids at school now, it’s time to do some building work and make this place a fabulous space for us all.  It’s a project I’m really looking forward to.  I have some great ideas for this little house of ours, and am thoroughly enjoying browsing the interwebs and shelter magazines for ideas and inspiration.

However…before I can get to do that I need to clear boat loads of stuff, particularly in the sewing loft, so we can actually start ripping stuff out and putting it all back together again in a much more useful and appealing way.

It’s daunting prospect.  There is a lot of stuff up there.  It’s a giant mess.

So…I’m breaking it down.  Every day I will do one little bit of organising.

Clear a shelf.

Empty a drawer.

Pack one box of books.


I’m quite looking forward to seeing how I get on with this.  I’m not making any other lists.  Nor am I going to force the issue.  I may fall flat at the first hurdle. This might be a roaring success.

I’ll report back on a weekly basis…more for my benefit than anything else.

But I do know that today I’ve pulled up some recipes and printed a menu planning sheet so I can be organised for my food shop for next week.  I’ve done a little sketching whilst out having a coffee and come up with a cute idea for Boy that I can’t wait to try.  And I’ve cleared out a 5 drawer unit of kids craft supplies that I’ve mean meaning to organise for nearly a month (it took 30 minutes!).

I haven’t decided what reward I’m going to treat myself to if I make it to Christmas without my usual flurry of mayhem.  I’m already seeing the fruits of my lack of labour and that might just be enough.  I’ll give it some thought.

Whaddya think?  Am I on to something here?