Morning Pages: An Update

MPsI thought I’d drop in and give a quick update on my current cycle of being back in to using Morning Pages as a mind-clearing device.

I’ve been using the website I mentioned in my earlier post, morningpages, and so far it is sticking.  I had a brief moment tonight when I realised I hadn’t already written my 750 words for the day but that was as a result of a number of other things coming up and grabbing for my undivided attention today.  Otherwise it is going well and I’ve been having no trouble remembering to do it.

It is a ridiculously simple interface, for a ridiculously simple task.  But if you’re a bit of a gold star junkie, or a stat-freak like me, then you might appreciate a little something they do for you.  If the “don’t break the chain” habit is something that you use to motivate you, then there’s a little help for you here.  If you like to see how many words you’ve committed to the digital paper, then it does that too.  Or if you like goofy little badges of encouragement, they’ve got you covered.  After my very short six days here’s what my practice looks like. I’m hoping for another badge tomorrow commemorating my first full week back at it.  I’ll let you know if I get it.

I highly recommend this for its simplicity if you need a digital solution to doing Morning Pages.

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To Journal or Not To Journal

That is the question.  For today.

First off, my apologies for going AWOL this past week and a bit.  We headed off on a road trip to see family on the Friday before last, and when the kids and I got home the following Monday I finally came down with the lurgy that had been threatening.  Solo parenting and nasty-lurgy time don’t tend to encourage the mental capacity to blog once a long day is done, hence my vanishing act.

Today I am back, and with a question…

Do you keep a journal?  If so, what kind?

A long time ago, when still working full time, I used a task list / appointment set up in a day-per-page diary.  It served me well at that time and I realised how much I had been missing that helpmate at the end of last year. So I thought I’d give an expensive, pretty, day planner a go as a method of planning and tracking, mimicking what I used to do.  Sadly it bit the dust about half-way through the year.
Unfortunately I knew I still needed something, as keeping on task has become harder and harder as the kids and I go about our daily lives.  Things get missed, turn up as a surprise last minute panic, or get put off indefinitely.  My head was about to explode with the lack of productivity (yes, I may be one of those people) and focus.

A while ago I stumbled across the Bullet Journal and was taken with the simplicity of the idea, but never went so far as to put it in to practice. At the point I first saw it, I hadn’t realised how much I missed the analog organisational tools and was still trialling a number of digital options.  Then it faded from memory until a couple of months ago.

It’s implementable in any spare notebook you currently have on hand.  Hurray for not needing mega-bucks planners!  Far more flexible and creative than a store-bought book (as flexi or creatie as you can be bothered to make it).  And best of all, I really think it’s going to be something I can stick with, most of the time.

There are a few groups online that you can connect to and get inspiration from – and by crikey it’s worth it for the beautiful and individual ways people use the basic ideas.
Over at G+ there’s the Bullet Journal community and at Facebook there’s the official page of the Bullet Journal creator.  Don’t forget to search Instagram for some wonderfully inspiring glimpses into other people’s journals, try this search to see what you think.

As I type this I’m in the process of preparing my journal for December and I’ve discovered that a bit of inspiration from other creative types is all I’ve needed to up my game from simple daily lists, scrawled in random pens, to actually taking some time and effort in laying out the month ahead.

I can see this happily marrying both sides of my brain… and hopefully aiding with a jump in focus, concentration and productivity.  Not to mention indulging my love of paper products and colourful pens.  I may have happened to mention that a good quality dot grid notebook would make a wonderful Christmas gift this year.  Fingers crossed that the powers that be were listening at the time I was speaking.

In the meantime, here’s some inspiration for you to check out.

~ Boho Berry
~ Passion Themed Life
~ Bulletjournaljoy


Vision Board 2015 – the concept

Hey ho!  It’s been four years since I last wrote about my vision board.  It has happily lived on my dresser for much of that time, so every morning I wake up and see the images before I start my day.  But today I thought to myself, it’s about time I overhauled it.  I created a digital one for myself that is my current laptop wallpaper, but I’m thinking I’d like to get something big and bright back out on show for myself.

It’s fair to say that my current board is overwhelming to do with relaxing holidays in the sun, preferably involving water of some sort.  It works.  We have an annual family holiday which meets that goal.  I will be keeping that in the new incarnation of my board too, since it is so important to us all.  There was a minor component around being fit, running specifically, and around having a nice home.  Those areas have fluctuated since creating the board, so it’s time to give them a bit of status too.

I no longer buy magazines very often, although I do have a few strays hanging around home at the moment.  I will be trawling through those for appropriate images today and clipping out any that strike me as a good match for what I want to achieve.  I have a new, supersized batch of paper just waiting for me to get my glue stick out, then tomorrow I shall pop out to the local art supply store and pick myself up a new foam board upon which to mount the whole shebang.

To achieve some of my ideas I am going to have to go digital, as I simply don’t have printed options around the house.  It will be interesting to see how much needs to come out of my computer and just how well that turns out.  I can see myself creating the words to go with the images, I’m just not sure how the printed paper will hold up to use on my board.  Let’s just see how we go and then re-evaluate once I’ve given everything the once over.

In the meantime, this board is going to focus on getting fit, finding the perfect home and keeping a strong connection to our preferred holiday option of tropical, sunny, hot and wet.  And while I’m thinking on it, I think I might make another, smaller board for the family.  In this case using our own photographs to highlight those things that I’d like to see us doing more of.

Yep, it’s a creativity and future-planning day here in the Oh Waily world.

What about you?  Do you envision your future?  Do you have visual reminders of what you’d like in your life?
If so, I’d love to see… if you’re willing to share.

Small changes

Quote 2Can small changes really make all the difference?

I’m inclined to believe they can.  I’ve been doing Morning Pages for the past week – only skipping yesterday and today – and I am finding myself drawn to more creative things.  I’ve been wanting to do some sewing with Miss Oh Waily so we’ve been to Village Beads to pick up some nice wooden beads for fairy heads and very cute they are.  Yesterday, I stopped by Warehouse Stationery to check out their easels as I have been inspired by the way a couple of new-to-me blogs (Happiness is Here and An Everyday Story) use them and the universe clearly liked that idea as they were having a rare sale (according to the WS lady who served me) on easels !!

Then this morning we had a busy time out and about at the fruit & vege market in town.  Mr Oh Waily had worked through the night, only returning home at 6am, so this gave him a chance to get something approaching a regular amount of sleep.  When he did wake I was able to take a solo trip to the library.  I enjoyed every warm step of the walk, and it reminds me why I love living within a 10 minute walk of two library branches.  Very spoiled.
What this trip reinforced for me is that I’ve also been finding that I may be in recovery mode regarding my love of books and reading.
By choosing to not attend to t’other blog and it’s ongoing needs, as well as choosing a book purely to enjoy rather than review, I seem to be finding the idea of reading a lot more pleasant.  It’s a simple and obvious thing, but I had been ignoring it largely over the past year or so, with dire results to my attitude.

Perhaps it is the sunshine and the warmer days all contributing to a better mental attitude, or perhaps I’ve just finally reached a tipping point where doing small things are starting to snowball into bigger things.  In my case the small things have been a daily thirty minutes spent writing my Morning Pages, and choosing to be a part of an online community that is designed to make small, but significant changes in our lives.   Vincent is clearly correct and great things are done by the bringing together of many small things, and clearly the small steps are currently suiting my needs.

This afternoon will be spent in attending to another range of small steps – some reading, some tidying and some quiet, personal time – all designed to recharge, refresh and inspire for the coming week.

How about you?  Do you find that small changes create great results in your life?