Weeks 16-20. {52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life}.

Oops. Big, huge, mothereffing oops! I was going so well, but my SYL posts fell off the wagon, along with my gratitude journal. I was torn between catching up, or just joining back in, but I feel like Deb has every week planned to follow on from the last, a method to all the madness, so in an effort to catch up, this will be a collaboration of weeks 16-20. It most likely will be boring to read, but for my sake, for the sake of the exercise, and the sake of trying to figure my life out, I have to get this all down.

Week 16 Challenge : Identify 2 or 3 things that must be done each day. Build breathing room into your day, every day. Focus.

Off the top of my head, 2 or 3 things that have to be done each day would include work (on work days), caring for Nick’s needs, doing a quick pick-up around the house. Some days this doesn’t happen, and I can tell the difference. The hairs on my neck practically stand up. I’m not sure when I became obsessed with tidiness (not to be confused with cleanliness), but I am. It’s undoubtedly a good thing that I didn’t have those 5 children I thought I wanted. I’m sure “tidiness” and “5 children” do not belong in the same sentence together.

I’m in the process of trying to develop a weekly routine that involves chores, work, downtime, family time, me time and it will come together, I know it will. But getting there is quite the battle. Work currently seems to take up most of my time. I’m working on it and making sure that my time is managed well enough that no area will feel lacking. As I type this I am sitting at work trying not to fall asleep at the computer, so clearly I still have some work to do, and am currently making a mental note to ensure 8 hours sleep each night! I am clearly also not yet focused, as I currently have twitter, Woogsworld, Home Life Simplified and Facebook all open in other windows.

And just to show how unfocused I really am, I’ve already blogged about week 16, but forgot to categorize it so it didn’t come up in my search.

Week 17 Challenge : Decision Making.

I almost laughed out loud when I read, “Dealing with the problem of over-thinking” on Deb’s post for week 17. Um, have my family and friends contacted you? This is speaking directly to me. I do tend to over think everything. And I mean everything – from avocados to what to wear, to what school to send my son to. I can see things from many angles, I can argue many sides of an argument. That makes decision making torturous, some most times. I can’t even decide what to talk about for this. I have been known to make split-second decisions, some which work out well, others not so much, and I have also been known to stew over decisions. Where to send our son to school is one that I have been chewing on for quite some time. I though I had it all figured out, until our plan was foiled by the Catholic school we applied to being full of it’s own parishioners. Now it is all up in the air, and I have no clue what to do. Public? A different Catholic? Montessori? All very different choices. And then there’s the decision on WHEN to send him! He’s a June 30th baby, so right on the cut off date. We could hold him back a year, wait til he’s more mature, before sending him to prep. I wish I had a crystal ball. I don’t feel the pressure of this decision just yet, but soon enough, push is going to come to shove. And then what? Most likely stress, tears, and a lot of asking others’ opinions! I’ll keep you posted, and refer back to Deb’s advice on decision making in the months to come!

Week 18 Challenge : Be aware when you start procrastinating, figure out why, and how to tackle it.

Oh boy. I’d like to say that I procrastinate because my degree/background is in journalism. There is nothing like a tight deadline to get the juices flowing, to make things happen. However, I think my procrastination comes from pure laziness. Some things I have put off for too long – like my fitness. Really, I should have started when I was 18 and left home, unfortunately it took me another 16 years, and about 30kgs (up and down over those 16 years) to figure out sitting around on Facebook or watching TV was not going to make me fit or healthy. I also am not keen on making phone calls. In all honesty, I hate calling people! So I put it off as long as I can because I don’t want to do it, but always end up having to anyway! One day I might learn if I just do it, then it is over with! I’ll keep this one in mind this week, and see what happens. I’m planning to tidy the house tomorrow, let’s see what I can do to put off doing that as long as possible!

Week 19 Challenge : Routines. Reflect on areas of your life where routines can help reduce stress.

This is quite a timely one. I just sat down with a notepad last night, to try and figure out how work, tennis, running, personal training, family time, me time, chores, rest/sleep were all going to fit into 168 hours! This is how my ideal week looks:

Work 6:30-2:30.
Run 3-3:45.
Pick up Nick 4:00.
Night time routine (dinner/Nick/TV/bed).

Drop Nick off 8:00.
Housework 8:15.
Shower, get ready for work 9:15.
Work 10-6.
Night time routine.

Tennis 9:00.
Afternoon with Nick. 1:30 on.
Personal training 6:00-7:00.
Night time routine.

Work 6:30-2:30.
Run 3-3:45.
Pick up Nick 4:00.
Night time routine (dinner/Nick/TV/bed).

Drop Nick off 8:00.
Housework/other chores 8:15.
Shower, get ready for work 9:15.
Work 10-6.
Night time routine.

Run 7:00.
Family time.
Tennis 2:00-4:00.

Grocery shopping.
Family/free day.

I’m hoping this kind of week isn’t too far away from being a reality. It leaves time for everything – work, family, me, tennis, exercise, chores.

Week 20 Challenge : Revisit your goals and catch up.

I talked a lot about my health goals in this recent post. I’ve been so focused on this goal, that I’ve let the others slide.

Here are the others:

Financial Goals

  • Save min. $100 per week
  • Don’t withdraw from savings account
  • Starting adding to Nick’s account again, even if only $10 or $20 here and there
  • Save min. $11,000 by the end of 2013.
  • Before spending money, ask, “Do I/we really NEED this?” (this might be pointless, because I am the Queen of Justification. Time to get honest with myself!)

We have been doing fairly well at this. However, the $11,000 by the end of 2013 is not looking very realistic.

Emotional Goals

  • Show affection daily
  • Give thanks and gratitude daily
  • Have at least 1 fun family outing each week
  • Have at least 1 date night every 2 weeks
  • Eat dinner together (we already do this most of the time but I think it is important and needs to be remembered)
  • Turn the TV off and have a drink on the balcony
  • Cut back on computer/phone time during the evening (I was going to say NO phone/computer of an evening, but then remembered goals should be realistic and attainable. I don’t have the willpower yet to go cold turkey. I will have to do it slowly).
  • Be spontaneous!
  • Complete 52 weeks of 52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life!

I feel like I am failing at every single one of these, though I know I’m not. I am not overly affectionate with my husband, I am thankful, but have stopped actually giving thanks daily, we haven’t been having many date nights or big family outings, our evenings are full of TV (and I can’t seem to separate my phone from my hand), we did spontaneously book 2 holidays, but they were so far in the future, they’re still not here yet (can that still be considered spontaneous?!), and I’ve fallen way behind on my 52 Weeks!

I think catching up on my 52 Weeks has shown me exactly what areas I need to work on now. So long as my running doesn’t suffer in the meantime! I actually am feeling incredibly tired today, and have woken up the last 2 mornings with a sore throat. I don’t need to be told twice, I’ll go to bed early tonight and get some rest. The next 6 weeks are going to be quite hectic, there’s no time for getting sick!

Linking up with Deb for her 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life Challenge:


6 thoughts on “Weeks 16-20. {52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life}.

  1. Doing a few weeks together is better than not doing them at all so give yourself some credit for what you have done – good work !
    I am a great procrastinator for things I don’t want to do – like tax returns ! Now that they are done I am kicking myself because I would have known ages ago how much money we have put away that we DON’T have to pay the tax man and I could have relaxed a little earlier over our financial situation !
    Routines / being organised is definitely one that works for me (or doesn’t depending on whether or not I am organised !!!) – it takes time but once it is in place it is so much easier to get things done.
    I tell you these things so that you know that you are not alone – we all have areas of our lives that we need to work on – some areas more than others – you’ll get there in the end because it is a goal that you have set for yourself. You may not achieve everything exactly as you planned but you are going to be so much better off because of the effort that you have made along the way.
    Love, hugs and positive energy.

  2. Wow you have done well to catch up! I want to respond to the school issue – this was a huge issue for me too. I ummed and arred for AGES! The kindy (preschool) teacher told me that schools change with the principals and it shouldn’t be a huge deal – if it doesnt’ work out the kids will adjust to changing schools (but of course I think but my son has seperation anxiety – I don’t want to change him once he has started).
    Anyway I ended up choosing the local (well not the closest but the 2nd closest) state primary school and he is doing great. He started term 4 last year, so into his 3rd term now. It’s a nice small (270 kids) school and he is really enjoying his friends and learning).
    My advice would be – yes it’s a big decision – but it’s not the end of the world if you get it wrong – different schools will suit different kids, so if the one you choose isn’t right, try again.
    AND – I think the importance of education/effort spent with kids by parents is just as important as the school.

  3. Anyone that even attempts SYL impresses me! At this stage it all seems a bit onerous for me… perhaps that is indication that I need it!

    Thanks for popping by my blog, I appreciate your visit and your lovely comment.
    Cheers! x

  4. Great work on being able to catch up – life can definitely get in the way. I’ve loved reading your summary of the past few challenges to, it’s been a great refresher for me. I’m with you on the phone call thing – I don’t know why I hate making them?
    PS: Sarah Wilson had a great blog post last week about leaving work at 5.30, something I’m personally trying to get better at doing without feeling guilty (http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2012/05/what-would-it-take-for-you-to-finish-work-at-530/#more-4236)

  5. Well done on catching up! I think you’re right, it all does flow on from one challenge to the next. I have to put my hand up and say I am also one who hates making phone calls! I put it off as long as I can too which is silly isn’t it? I’m working on being able to just get it over and done with and stop wasting energy worrying about it!

  6. I am another anti=-phone call chick – it is one of my big hurdles in life – feel terrible about it too. sometimes it is simple stuff like calling an office to ask a question and other times it is personal stuff (a friend moved to Victoria at Christmas and i have not talked to her once on the phone as i prefer text and email)

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