Where are you at?

I have mixed feeling about the month of June. In Australia it is the first month of winter which is my least favourite season, but it also contains the winter solstice which is the shortest day (least hours of daylight) for the year which means it only gets better from then on!

Also on the positive side, is that it is half way through the year and provides a nice backdrop to take a full assessment of where I am at in terms of achieving my goal for the year.

Before I share my progress I just want to encourage you to do the same, even if you feel like you forget about your goals back in February. It is never too late to set a goal and never too late to get back on track if you have found yourself off course.

Goals don’t have to start and end at particular times of the year and just in case you need some inspiration that goal setting works here are a few of my favourite quotes on goal setting:

Goals - Brian Tracy

Goals - Seth Godin

Goals - Mo Farah

My progress for 2016

My goal for 2016 is to create space in my life for creativity and calm. For regular readers of the blog, you might be thinking “yes we know, you mention it all the time!”. For me though it is important that I say it, write it and think about it regularly. Caught up in the day to day hum of family life it is very easy to forget what I want to achieve for the year. If you forget where you are heading it is very easy to go off course.

I have my goal printed out and pinned on my notice board where I work. I read it daily and remind myself of why I want to achieve this. Then through the my work here on the blog, I am able to talk about my goal and through my monthly reviews I analyse and assess my progress. It is the combination of these activities through which I stay focused on my goal and achieve success.

As you will note in the table below though my success is not perfect and I am completely okay with that. When talking with other parents about why they don’t set goals, once you scratch the surface a little, the real reason we discover for most people is they are scared of failure. They worry if they set a goal and put it out there and then don’t achieve it, then they have failed.

If you go back over my end of year reviews on the blog or even my monthly reviews, you will find that many times I do not achieve all my goals (I used to set many, until I changed to a sole focus in 2015). But you will also see I did achieve many of them too and I choose to acknowledge both my successes and failures, but I won’t dwell on my failures. I will work out why I failed and learn from it. This is exactly the advice I give my kids and am sure many of you do too.

I am very happy with how I am working towards my goal this year. To achieve my goal I detailed five habits I needed to establish and four of the five I am meeting, one requires lots of work and it will be my focus for the remainder of the year.

HabitConnection to goalMonthly progress
37 pieces of clothing per season
Decision fatigue is a real thing - less clothes to choose from will free up mental energy! I am going to simplify my wardrobe to make choosing what to wear easier and having less items in my wardrobe will give me back needed physical space. One of the best things I have done this year to free up time and mental energy for decision making. I can highly recommend trying this process. It doesn't have to be 37 pieces of course, setting any number gives you a boundary to work with.

You can read my full write up about this habit here - How to simplify your wardrobe.
33 consecutive complaint free daysComplaining spreads negativity and I have so much to be grateful for. It is hard to be calm or creative when your mind is full of negativity. I have half heartedly worked on complaining less before, but to become a habit I need to track and measure it.Achieved on May 16. It took much longer than I thought, mainly because I didn't have a solid plan on how to approach it.

Learning to not complain is a great way to increase positivity in your life and that of your family.

You can read how I finally achieved it in this post -
Monthly review – planning and persevering
33 consecutive days of meditationI have dabbled a little with meditation and it makes a huge difference to the noise in my head. It makes me feel calmer, but I am yet to do this regularly. Doing so will help create an inner calm in my life regardless of the chaos around me.Meditation was one of those things I thought was all a bit "woo woo" and I thought I didn't have time for. I am very happy to admit I was so very very wrong on this.

I love meditation and it is certainly helping me achieve my goal of creating calm in my life. Not only do I feel calm during and after I meditate, but I use the practice of meditation in my daily life when I feel myself getting anxious, angry or upset.

You can read how I built my meditation habit here -
Monthly review – building a meditation habit
33 items decluttered from the house each weekOn the surface our house looks relatively clutter free, but there are over flowing cupboards and drawers. Decluttering will give me a greater feeling of space and calm.Less is more is the best way to sum up this habit!

By focusing on decluttering regularly and not just doing a couple of massive decluttering sessions through out the year, has meant three things:
- The clutter is not building up to points where it is driving me crazy.
- I question every item I bring into the house and seek out an item to leave the house when a new one comes in.
- By talking about it and doing it more, the rest of the family is getting on board with it too.
3 hours a week for creativityTime for creativity never made it to the top of my to do list as I didn't give it the value it deserved. If you want something to happen you have to schedule it. This has been the hardest habit for me to develop and as noted last month, I made the decision to wait to work on this until after June so I could give it the focus it deserves.

This habit and that of not complaining are definitely harder habits to develop and such need more focused attention because of the cognitive demand they cause.

I have also developed some new approaches and routines around my work over the last couple of months that I am hoping will set a foundation for me to find space for creativity through out the week.

I would love to hear where you are at with your goal/s or if you have just decided to set a goal let me know in the comments below!