Friday, 24 February 2012

52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life - Weeks Six & Eight

Week six: Goal setting and priorities

I am not one for planning too far in advance, I like to live more in the moment and take each day as it comes. I do however love to set myself goals. I am very realistic in my goals and possibly border on the conservative, but as part of my self-development journey I strive to be the best possible version of myself. When I reach a goal, I like to set another. I have discovered in the past that setting goals often sets the path for working towards bigger dreams. It reminds me that no matter how challenging, achieving goals induces motivation and more drive, and once I achieve a goal the rewards are priceless.

After discussing with my boys what we see for our family in weeks three and four of the SYL12 challenge, I realised we shared the same motivation for a relaxed and calm home. I strongly believe we are what we create, and our home is what we create. So if we strive for relaxed and calm, relaxed and calm it will be. Now as easy as that sounds there is work and awareness involved. Obviously we still feel anger and stress at times, but learning to leave that at the door when we step inside is something we work hard at. And the results are ours to enjoy.

In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere we enjoy I have set a goal to achieve a proportionate work/life balance. As I have previously mentioned, I have always worked fulltime, since I left high school in fact. It is all I have known in my entire adult life. I have noticed, particularly over the last few years, that my drive leans more to the ‘life’ side of the work/life balance scale than it has done in the past. I used to assume work as a fact of life, something we need to take responsibility for, and something we need to put as much effort into as all other aspects of our lives. I still think this is true however, my interest leans much more heavily into the family side of life now. When I was single I didn’t mind working 12-16 hours a day, doing overtime on my days off. I worked like that for a good decade in the casino industry, and I quite enjoyed it. Now however, I don’t mind admitting my motivation to work so hard has slowly but surely diminished and I crave to spend more and more time at home. This leads me to my goal of establishing more of a work/life balance, tipping the scales over more into the ‘life’ side.

I have already started to put this into motion by recently reducing my work days to four and a half days a week rather than five. The impact of working half a day less is remarkable, even only two weeks in. This in turn creates more balance in time spent at home and the knock on effect there is amazing. I now have half a weekday to get all those jobs done that need doing and I never make time for being at work all day, every weekday – getting tradespeople in to get things done on the house, making those business hours phone calls I don’t usually get to make, housework. A small step with huge results. And I feel this is only the start of me balancing life a little more over to my family and home side rather than have it teetering in the middle with work.

My second goal relates to my passion, writing. I only rediscovered my passion for writing last July when I started my blog. Since then I have opened a whole new part of my mind and soul that has been craving creativity. As part of this recent realisation I have decided, quite quickly, that I intend to make writing a bigger part of my life. After taking the plunge and submitting my very first magazine article (which by the way will be featured next month) I decided this year was going to have a heavy writing influence. My goal for 2012 is to write one magazine article per month. I may or may not submit each month’s article, however I will write 12 articles this year. It doesn’t seem a lot on its own however I also write my blog, write a monthly blog post for We Heart Life and manage the social media for a small local business. Writing seems to have taken over my world over the past six months, and I love it!


Week eight: Happiness defined

I found this week of the challenge the easiest. I have been actively striving towards a consistent state of happiness for many, many years. And although as Deb mentions, no-one is happy 24/7, no-one is in a permanent state of sheer happiness every moment of every day. I am however a big believer that we create our own happiness. Yes I have moments of feeling flat, maybe even moments of feeling blue, but I accept those moments without completely succumbing to them, and move on as soon as I allow myself (which is usually very quickly). I am happy as I choose to be happy.

Making a list of things that make me happy is too easy, and as you will notice it ranges from the trivial (coffee) to the simple.

My son’s smile.
♥ Chinwags with my boys on a Friday night after a long week.
♥ Cooking.
♥ Blogging.
♥ Writing.
♥ My morning coffee.
♥ My Friday night coffee.
♥ Saturday mornings.
♥ No alarm on the weekends.
♥ Supermarket shopping.
♥ A full pantry and fridge.
♥ Fresh flowers on my dining table and kitchen window sill.
♥ The smell of my son’s cheek.
♥ Seeing my husband and son talk boys stuff.
♥ Summer.
♥ Days at the beach.
♥ Email from my Mum.
♥ My Mum’s beautiful artwork (of which I have on my walls).
♥ Anything Finnish.
♥ Spending time with my brother and his family.

I could go on. I think it’s safe to say it is the simple and smallest moments that bring me most joy. These simple moments are what make me truly happy. Practicing them daily is easy, it’s how I prefer to spend my time.

What moments bring you most joy? What stands out on your list of things that makes you happy?


  1. Such nice and positive thoughts cuz! :) Very glad you found your passion for writing.

    High on my list there are at least:
    - Morning coffee when there's no rush to get anywhere
    - Reading a book that shows you how beautiful life can be, that makes you truly think, and/or sucks you right into the story so that you can see a totally new world
    - My bed with pretty, fresh (Marimekko!) linen
    - Laughing so hard you cry
    - Seeing people's faces lit up when they see someone they love
    - Sunshine
    - Smiling
    - Beautiful photos

    Actually, might be worth it to make my own list for myself to read through every once in a while! There are so many little things that make life beautiful. Thanks for reminding me again! x

    1. Thanks cuz!

      Morning coffee with no rush is THE BEST! I love that too. Marimekko linen? GET OUT! I want some of that. Marimekko definitely puts a smile on my face, every time.

      I think your own list would be wonderful, it looks lovely from here. :)

      Thank you for reading Kaisla. xox

  2. I think that's the secret to happiness - making the commitment to finding it in the simple, everyday things.
    :-) xx


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