• The Happiness Project: And Why I’m Building My Own

    The “>Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

    Gretchen Rubin is an Author of several books including The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, and Happier at Home. Her weekly podcast Happier has her discussing happiness and good habits with her sister Elizabeth Craft. #anditsprettygood
    Both her books and podcasts have won her numerous awards, and I personally; really enjoy her stuff. #makesmepause #makesmethink

    The Happiness Project: Review

    Described on Amazon as “Drawing on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world examples, Rubin delivers an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.”

    And I mean, that is a pretty damn good description. And it’s probably what kept drawing me back to it.

    It wasn’t just fluff.
    Or hardcore science.
    She connected her experiences through her learning, with anecdotes drawing correlations to famous or obscure philosophers and theorists. And it is super relatable, informative and reflection prompting.

    Her stories where candid, and unnervingly authentic. There where moments where I had to pause and reflect on why I had such a visceral reaction to her reflections as they scared me at how honest she was being.

    Thoughts like “you can’t say that out loud,” or “crap, I’ve thought that before” had me putting down the book while I worked through almost PTSD flashbacks of where I hadn’t been kind enough, had rushed through a journey to get to the other side or had put others before my own wellness.

    “Happiness is selfish and misguided.”

    The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, pg 217

    This line, towards the end of the book. This line hit me a little hard. Because while I had been reading, taking notes, researching the occasional theory she referenced, I don’t think I was immersing myself in it, the way it was intended.

    For I think I was viewing the dedication of a whole year on her own happieness as selfish.

    And yet the minute I was confronted with this thought.
    I was able to break it down.

    Lines that Hit Me Hard

    ‘I wanted to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my energy and health; to create a more serene environment in my apartment; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of boredom; irritation and martial conflict; to support causes that i thought important; and to have experiences that would enlarge me.’ pg 171

    Now money is a funny one, but this, this is helping me look at my earnings in a new way. I have never had an issue with ‘I work hard, I occasionally deserve x y z treat.’ But this was a more healthy and profitable headset.

    ‘Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.’ W.H.Auden, p79

    In reference to this quote, Gilbert stated, ‘starting my blog, for example, made me feel anxious, but deep down, I knew I could do it and would very likely enjoy it.’ Which is quite similar to my feelings on what you’re reading now. To balance the emotion that this may never be read so does not need to be perfect, with the fear that it may be read and thus I judged by its quality, I struggle to sometimes press publish without trying to cram further #deepdive connections and reflections.

    My Take Aways

    Monthly Break Downs – I <3 these as an easy reference, a slowing down moment and a readjusting my expectations of the coming chapter.
    February for focused on

    • Quit Nagging
    • Dont Expect Praise or Appreciation
    • Fight Right
    • No Dumping
    • Give Proofs of Love

    Examples from her Community – Printed in a different font, with alternative kerning, these where easily identifiable and had an innate ability to make me expand my own thinking on the subjects. From people writing in to Gilbert about their own personalised Happiness Project, to their versions of the 12 commandments, these where sporadically placed enough that the book was still on Gilbert’s project, but strengthened by her community.

    Activities at the Back – Questions, prompts, an interview and a guided how to create your own project; this was a #gorgeous way to finish the book, with actionable steps.

    My Happiness Project

    While I am not ready to share my finished premise for my own happiness project, I did write about creating my personal commandments HERE based on Gretchen’s ideology. These where written a couple years ago, and while still prudent, will be getting an update for this new year.

    “>CLICK HERE to jump on Amazon and grab your copy today.

    And if you can’t, try your library, borrow my copy, listen to her podcast, research her stuff and just enjoy what she has to offer. This book will easily stay in my Top 10 for many years to come.

    Comment below your thoughts, on The Happiness Project, even if you just research it on Pinterest. I highly recommend you do.


  • I Want You To Express Yourself.

    I want you to express yourself

    There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.

    It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. . . .

    Jonathan Fields, How to Live a Good Life”

    Your true self

    Your, dance around in the kitchen, (or in my case above at the beach), yell at a footy match, say no to things that don’t align with your morals kinda express yourself.

    It can be hard, and there are definitely times when you should hold yourself back.
    Like telling a family member what you really think at Christmas, may be one to avoid.

    Or if you believe your boss is a twit, calling them that, again, while you might want to express yourself, may not be the best time or place.

    But when thinking about you as a person.
    Not you as a partner, parent, employee, team member or voter.

    You as you are.

    What do you do to let that beautiful person shine?

    Expressing Yourself can be a small thing, or something so big it can’t be missed.

    Express Yourself Examples

    • Wearing Bright Colours
    • Listening to X Y Z Music
    • Colouring in or outside the lines
    • Adding carrot to your Spaghetti Bog
    • Journaling your thoughts, emotions, reactions and memories
    • Creative pursuits like playing music, acting, painting, etc.

    If you need to, think of it as a Marie Kondo moment and consider, does this spark joy.

    And if it doesn’t harm others, cause you pain nor break the bank, then what a wonderful thing.

    In my quest to become a better version of me, I began to unearth moments where I was expressing for the wrong reasons.
    I was expressing to meet the requirements, attitudes, perceived notions, norms, expectations etc, of my surroundings.

    And now I am pretty sure it was all in my head, which doesn’t make it any less real, but there really was no rule saying that as an Art Teacher, I had to #dresslikeone, nor be easily identifiable as one.

    And yet I did for years. Because it felt like an expectation that to express, I had to be bright and zany, pay homage to famous art pieces, or ensure on Photo Day I looked that little bit out there.

    Don’t get me wrong. I still rock some of those outfits, because they where boss.

    However, since then, and probably forever more, I have and will shed a lot of unneeded baggage that was determining my actions unconsciously, through my inability to stop, consider my motivations, and consciously step forth.

    Joseph Chilton Pearce is someone I’ve been reading about and I wanted to share some of his thoughts on the matter. Now I don’t know if I agree with everything he says and believes, but I did find him a very interesting individual.

    To Live a Creative Life, We Must Lose the Fear of Being Wrong

    Joseph Chilton Pearce

    And while the above quote says a Creative Life, I think it relates to Expressing Yourself as well.

    We fear people may not like our

    • Clothes
    • Opinions
    • Cooking
    • Car
    • Art that doesn’t look like what they perceive it should

    And that can be so very utterly debilitating.

    And honestly, just not needed.

    Again, as long as your expression is not offensive nor harming others…
    Why do you allow their thoughts on the matter to effect you so?

    Here are a couple of mine. They may be expressions for now, not forever, but they make me happy when I do, see, wear or invest in them.

    And that is enough for the moment.

    Some of my smaller moments of expression include

    • One of my lunchboxes is a kids one and has the Justice League on it
    • My nail polish is always bright
    • I always experiment with my hair. It is about to be dyed a soft pastel pink this week!
    • The language I use. Very colloquial & slang based. However when needed, I slip in to knowledgeable / content based to assimilate with my surroundings
    • My art. It is always to express a feeling, mood or need. It is generally never to share with others. Just to let out all of my feels
    • My shopping bags can have a footy team to animated character on them
    • My workspace is covered in posters, photographs, pens with quotes, fairy lights and colour. You can’t walk past it without feeling the happiness.

    And you know what?

    I find I am at my healthiest when I am expressing myself authentically.

    Whether that be busting out the ukulele and jamming to relieve the tension of the day, or purchasing a personalised diary and covering it in stickers that make me smile. It makes me happy and bleeds out the toxins of a tough day.
    I want you to express yourself darling.

    Loudly. Proudly. Unabashadely. Authentically.

    Much Love Darlings,


    PS – Comment below some of the ways you express yourself and how they make you feel 🙂 Have I missed some obvious ways? Have you changed careers to fully express the inner you? Tell me all about it x

  • Relentlessly Me

    You could describe me as intense. Or passionate. Or relentless.

    Actually many, many times, I’ve been described as all of these words.

    And in the past, it would always upset me.

    Twenty years of me wanting to fight those words, refute the statements that would slip through peoples teeth, whether positive or as a slight reprimand to my form of expression at any given time.

    Whether it be in friendships, at work places, in teams, workshops, or my own family, I can be a lot. #thisiknow

    And one part of me is ok with that. Because I like who I am.

    But there are so many negative connotations that go with those words; that it makes me pause,

    It makes me think of angry people, obnoxious, bull headed, rude and aggressive people.

    Or is that just my own #innerdemon narrative running riot?

    Whatever the case, I’ve decided to own the word


    After reading this short piece,


    Relentlessly loving,

    Relentlessly myself,

    Relentlessly compassionate,

    Relentlessly brave,

    Relentlessly devoted,

    Relentlessly alive.

    (I don’t know remember where I read it or who wrote it or else I’d tag it)

    I felt lighter.

    Relentlessly Me

    I like to be organised.
    In control.
    Aware of my surroundings, the goings on, whats coming and whats been.

    I will always be over prepared and dressed, no matter the situation.

    Chill would not be a word to describe my view on many…. if any things.

    And I’m learning to be OK with that.

    So, I’m attending a conference in October with 120 other participants. I know the lady who is organising it, and twice now I have offered to create documents that will help both me and the other participants.

    Because I am good at it. And I like to feel prepared.

    At work, the emails or documents I send out are aligned to my personal brand. Colour coordinated, fonts aligned, kerning to die for. #relentlessly

    When I do something, I do it my way. #lifesthemesong

    That doesn’t mean I don’t bend.
    Show respect to others where it’s deserved or be a bully

    What it means is I don’t compromise me.

    I live by my commandments #readaboutthemhere

    And I think thats pretty damn cool.

    What are you relentlessly?

    Persistent? Patient? Calm? Confident? Motivated? Moving?

    So, do you own that part of you?

    Or do you repress it under some inane ideology that you have to be like everyone else.

    Because I love you being relentlessly you.

    And I want you to ensure you share that beautiful side of you with the world.

    For we need you.

    In all your relentless glory.

    Keep doing you boo.


  • How Are You Working on You?

    I am the master of my fate:

    I am the captain of my soul.


    I like who I am

    But I like who I am growing into more

    Even writing this I am scrunching my nose up at how #hippydippy it sounds. But its the truth. I work on ME, every week.

    Whether that be going to the gym for my physical health, talking things over for my mental health, reading books that extend my understanding of the universe or cooking new things to extend my culinary skills #ihavenone

    I am always working on me

    Don’t get me wrong.

    I slip up, whoopsie, lose sight of my goals and slip back in to bad habits.

    I’ve put in place my own form of check in’s to keep myself in line and honest.

    My monthly reflections are a good way to pause and realign. My partner will call me when my behaviour is unacceptable #beingabitch.

    Now my bad habits, they’ve been around a while. #thatswhytheyrehabits

    And they can be summed up as…

    Just moved out of home Shannon

    • had no sense of identity past being the loud one
    • was irresponsible with money
    • invested in friendships that where poisonous
    • was not a good friend at times to the people that mattered
    • did not allow myself the opportunity to grow and learn. I would instead turn to #trashytv

    **Now don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t 100% of the time. But it was enough that I grimace looking back.

    As opposed to when I’m working on me which looks like,

    Nearly in her thirties Shannon

    • works bloody hard and loves her job
    • works just as hard on her mental and physical health #findthatbalance
    • doesn’t compromise herself for others
    • is learning to say no, or even #nottoday

    Parts of me that I am working on

    • my temper or more to the point, how I manifest my temper through swearing
    • holding grudges #nothealthylady
    • my physical health or how I use #junkfood as a coping mechanism

    So big question is…

    How are you working on You?

    Well for me, I

    • write one word reminders on my wrist to align for the day
    • read beautiful books that help me articulate my wants
    • surround myself with vibrant, curious, passionate people
    • express myself. Painting, verbally, through prose, music, #itdontmatter
    • if it will cost more energy than it’s worth; learn to say #no
    • don’t spread nor be apart of nastiness

    You’re Turn

    Tell me what you are working on for you?

    Because after uploading this pic; I think I should add getting a tan to the list!

    Comment below and let us help one another grow

    Much Love Darlings

    Shannon x

  • Monthly Reflections Help Me Realign

    I was not a diary person.
    I wish I was.
    They are so pretty and customizable
    And you’re always being told the power of

    • journaling
    • reflecting
    • planning

    And I wanted that. I wanted to get good at the discipline of recording my thoughts and adventures in one place.

    So I got all up in my #giddyup and the first time I tried, I bought a Passion Planner.

    Now if you’ve never seen one, I highly recommend you check them out. Their products are beautiful, their community is tight, and they are always working on the next #thing to help your #productivity #mentalhealth #reachyourgoals

    But I was #terrible at it.

    What took me a long time to realise, was I was using the diary on my good days.

    You know the days, the days where you’ve kicked #butt

    But I wanted to use the diary as a tool for growth.

    To do that, it meant I had to record and have staring back at me, those moments that were hard. Or where I #messedup. Or where I chose not to live by my values.

    And that was hard.

    Still is hard.

    At that point, I just thought it was something I should do. So I read a heap of tips on keeping a journal and started experimenting to find what worked for me.

    The year ticked over and in 2018, I bought an Erin Condren.

    Less goal and reflection driven, but still a beautiful blank opportunity of,

    You can tailor this to how you want

    **their sticker packs are #devine!!

    So I tried again. But silly as it may sound, I made a plan on how I wanted to use this product.
    How I wanted it to become apart of my life.

    I set myself goals of

    • a weekly driving word
      • breathe accomplishment pause achievement conscious growth
    • reflecting every month on
      • words written
      • health
      • moments of joy
      • moments of growth
      • looking forward to
    • creating to do lists / appointment reminders
    • reflective comments about my adventures

    And you know what?

    My diary makes me happy.

    Even the moments that make me squirm. And are uncomfortable.

    Because now I have data. I can see that in x month, I didn’t take myself outside and unplug enough. Or that I had too much on and stretched myself too thin.

    I can see and plan for friends birthdays. Plan months ahead with reference to my partners FIFO timetable and my school weeks.

    Do you keep a journal? A record of your growth?

    Do you have a strategy for keeping you on you?

    Comment below what works for you darlings,

    Shannon x

  • Diversifying Yourself Is Not Naughty

    Diversify your portfolio. Maximise your skills. Outsource your weaknesses. Cilos. Marketable Output. Synergy.

    Bring to mind some smarmy business exec and send shivers down your spine?
    Only me? #don’tfib

    In a world where our side hustle is expected, our passions monetised and our time calculated, it is hard to know what and where, hell even when; to focus on you.

    But if there is one thing alone I could encourage you, it would be to


    Diversify your interests, your tastes, your tribes.

    Your abilities and desire to learn.

    Your skill set.

    Trying new things is not you cheating on or letting down the old. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you ungrateful. It does not make you look #flippityfloppity.

    Diversifying your skills and interests is insurance.

    Its a means to always be learning and growing as a human.

    Does it mean you’ll make more $$?
    If you want it to, why not?

    Does it mean you’ll make more friends?
    How can trying new things, not allow you the opportunity to meet new people and form new bonds.

    Story Time

    Recently I attended two classes held by Work-Shop Adelaide and they where fantastic. Run by Jaharn from Your Creative Start, (who was #amazeballs) the two classes where on

    Launch Your Creative Business Like a Boss
    & a
    Instagram Masterclass

    And truthfully I totes ummed and ahhed about attending.

    Because it involved an investment of finances, time, travel and energy. And after a week back at school, I felt my energy bucket was empty, my travel bucket was hesitant and my finances bucket was finding every excuse to say no.

    But I decided that even if I only took away one thing, it would be enough.

    And honestly, I took away so much.

    Not only did I meet some #bosswomen, learn a heap and start making some more concise action plans, I grew in my confidence as to my WHY, and was able to fill my energy bucket in the process. #alwaysawin

    And even that in itself, that ability to see the diversification of #takehomes I got out of that day was a win for me.

    Time to Take Stock

    Before you rush off and sign up to the first class you see, take a moment to decide whether this investment you are about to make in yourself, aligns with the different goals in your life. (Not sure what your goals are? CLICK HERE for some tips and tricks on identifying and sticking to your own #bossgoals)

    Think about whether all of the little investments you are making in YOU are for you as a person, or you the employee.

    There is nothing wrong with investing in you the employee….

    But when do you feed your soul?

    When do you allow YOU to come out and play, and not just MR/MRS YOU.

    Here are some of the things I have been investing time, money, effort and energy into over the past 12 months

    Diversify Me

    • How to write a book – I watch countless YouTube vids, read more books and blogs then I should ever admit, because I want this to be a potential career for me one day. So I had better know my stuff! I’ve attended conferences, organised meet ups and grow my community to keep learning through various social media’s, because I enjoy being tapped in.
    • French – my school has a French exchange program and I would love to jump on board as one of the educators #salut
    • Sign Language – because why the hell not! I can do the alphabet and some very basic terms, but would like to broaden my skill set in this to be a better and more inclusive person
    • Hello Fresh – we signed up to this to not only watch our portion control, save some monies and eat healthier. But because I am a super lazy cook and this has made me learn and push my culinary abilities more then any cook book I’ve ever picked up
    • Self Improvement / Growth – I am devoting time to being uncomfortable. Sourcing where my negative emotions are coming from and attempting to identify what I can do to alter those narratives my gremlins replay for me. Ive got the books, podcasts, mentors, time and energy. And I am working every day on being a better me. It is damn hard at times, but isn’t that the point?
    • Ukulele – I bought myself one as another form of self expression and to help me with ‘unplugging’ in times of stress or uncertainty. And it has been the most beautiful therapeutic things for me
    • Marketing & CopyWriting – I want to get good at this. But, like, it changes! How beautifully horridly annoying and energising. To want to learn and get good at an area of the world that never stays the same nor sits still. So I watch, read, listen and then experiment with my own platforms. I analyse the data, talk to people and gauge their reactions, learn some more and try again. #pivotlife

    Notice home some of those listed are just a bit, like, whatever?

    I haven’t started a Uni course. I’m not volunteering for hours on end. I can’t dedicate hours every week to each and every pursuit, and nor do I want too.

    I am just taking small little steps where I am able, to work on me.

    And it really does feel good.

    In his commencement speech to Stanford in 2005, Apple boss man Steve Jobs said

    If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

    Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005 CLICK HERE to watch #itsprettycool

    And to me, this is a perfect example of someone capably #withhindsight being able to identify where they chose to diversify their skill set and knowledge, which was then able to support them in a situation later on in life.

    Only just the other week, I attempted to #perform #coughcough at a staff show with a colleague and ukulele for a bit of fun. Never once, when practising and releasing my feelings upon this tiny instrument, did I think I would perform in front of others.

    And while a little terrifying, it was a hilarious and rewarding experience.
    It created new conversations with people I may not have had before.
    It tightened my relationship with my colleague.
    And it pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and share something about my self with my workplace

    Your Turn

    Diversifying your skills is a liberating choice you can make at any time, that allows new experiences and opportunities in to your life.

    It may get uncomfortable at times.
    It may even be hard.

    But oh my darling, it is so very worth it.

    Comment below what you are doing to diversify and extend yourself in this beautiful world we live in.

    S x

  • Why Energy Management is more Important than Time Management.

    Doesn’t sound right, does it?

    We are constantly being told that if you’re not busy, you’re not trying hard enough. If your calendar isn’t bursting, what are you even doing.

    And while that is all horrifying to me #recoveringbusyaddict, I want to ask you…. have you ever consciously considered your energy management?

    What is Energy Management?

    Energy Management is where you consciously make choices about your energy availability / output, dependent on the task or the jobs you have prepared for the day or week.

    It is where you realise that while a task may be physically easy, such as ringing your parents, what it demands from your energy is not worth pursuing today, as your reserves are already low.
    Sounds like a tomorrow job. #putyourhealthfirst

    I am not suggesting you slow down or don’t show up. I am not saying punk out on your responsibilities nor make excuses.

    What I am asking you to consider is

    Are you giving your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental self the opportunity to process, recharge and reflect?

    Or are you just go, go going?!

    Let me ask you,
    You ever woken up in the morning already exhausted at the jobs, problems, opportunities, and events in front of you?

    That means you’re energy bucket is empty dude! What the even?!

    Sometimes unplugging helps you to recharge, sometimes plugging in does.

    However what I need you to realise is, you need to manage your energy.

    No different to eat your veggies, get enough sleep, now add manage your energy.
    Basic healthy #adulting stuff.

    Things that can Take Little Time Investment, but be Major Energy Vampires

    • Taking on jobs, clients, roles or commitments that serve other peoples goals and not your own. Join your kids sports club to help out but now you’re running around more than they are? Took on a client that paid well but turned out to not align with your values and so caused you more stress then the gains you received?
    • Calling or visiting family or friends that you don’t feel make a return investment on you or yours. You know the ones. The ones that always talk about their lives, their struggles and how you couldn’t understand. It may only be an hour lunch, but it can leave you feeling drained and emotionally spent for days.
    • Not checking out at lunch. Or, not giving yourself a break during the day. It’s no big deal. 30 minutes where you keep working. That means you’re a productive ninja don’t it? Nope. Not allowing your body the time it needs to recharge and reflect is not only damaging, it negatively impacts on your productivity. #takeabreak

    Here is a pretty cool thing for you to consider

    Energy isn’t Measured in Time

    Took me a little to get my head around. But it’s not wrong.

    Energy is measured in results. And I am not talking gold star, trophy results. I am talking finally book that plumber and your tap is fixed.
    I am talking about something that once done, fills and replenishes your energy.
    Doesn’t deplete it.

    Minimal Time but Major Energy Boost

    Dependent on where you are, these will either fill or deplete you.
    Ever noticed some days being around people fills you up and energises you? While other days, the thought of making eye contact with another human sends you under the table?
    The below ideas are just like that. It depends on where you are in your adventure.

    • Errands chunked together. You know you’ve got 3 birthday’s to send cards for in April? Send them all at the same time, while popping next door to grab your groceries. #makingothershappymakesyouhappy
    • Observed a colleague having a #win? Leave them a post it note. You feel good for being a sharer of love, they feel noticed and appreciated.
    • 5 minute mental check in with yourself. Think before getting out of the car, while standing in the produce aisle, while in the bathroom. It don’t matter. Check in, high five yourself on your accomplishments so far, even if that looks like remembering to take the bins out, ensure you know what to do next and that you’re not running on autopilot, then get back out there you!

    Focus On You

    • Be defensive about #metime. See what it’s called? Me Time. That doesn’t mean time spent in service for others. It’s spent in service of you #fillyourbucket. Whether reading, running, getting your hair done, consuming or creating. Replenish your energy bucket. By filling it with you.
    • If you’ve had a big week, sometimes that girls night can be more energy than what you’ve got left in your bucket. And if the thought of communicating that with your mates leaves you wanting to stick a fork in your eye, sometimes it’s easier to bail.
    • This is not a bad thing. This is an investment in you. Your energy bucket needs replenishing, and sometimes Netflix can do this more then being with your friends, especially if you’re a #fixer who likes to expel energy to support others buckets.
    • Communication. What works for you? Need to get in contact with x family or friend? Ring them? Text them? What works for you. Do it, tick it off your list, and know you reached out first because you’re just that good.

    Look After Your Energy Management Boo

    In case that didn’t permeate because you where too distracted; thinking who could I possibly be if not the one to fill others buckets.
    I’ll try again.

    Your Energy Bucket is Just as Important as Other Peoples

    Am I getting through yet?

    If you know you need a period of time on Sunday’s to prep, recharge and get ready for the coming week.

    Protect that time & refill your energy bucket.

    If you know that you can only manage seeing your family for a certain period of time? Stick to that period then bail.

    Protect yourself and your energy bucket.

    What refills your energy bucket?
    Leave us some ideas in the comments below.

    Have a fabulous day Darling,
    Shannon x

  • How to Write SMART Goals that Stick

    This is your year. Your month. Moment. Your time to shine. You’ve decided to finally put pen to paper and write down some of those scary goals that’ve been rattling around the old noodle for the last #muchtoolong
    But you’ve tried writing down your goals before, or goal setting, or whatever it all bloody is, and it didn’t work. #beenthere
    So what makes smart goals?

    You’ve got goals, you always have had them.
    Don’t we all? Goals size / shape / manoeuvrability change person to person, but they’re there, whether written in coloured gel pen and stuck to your fridge or not. #youknowminearealsoglittery

    So I did some research, asked some people, and for the past couple years have been employing this method and would you believe it, but #hotdamn I’m ticking off goals left, right and centre.

    Yours could be super easy to say and remember right?
    Get Rich. Get Skinny. Have an Amazing Partner. Boss AF Life.
    Maybe not so easy to achieve, but they’re goals right, props on starting somewhere.

    But like….
    Are they actual goals? Or just things you say in December / January then completely forget about by April.

    Are yours super general? Broken down with military precision? Have you really stopped and thought about what makes a successful goal?

    How do YOU make it work for you

    Start Small. Write Down Your Goals

    Now please. Off you go. Grab a notebook if you’re a #peoplepleaser or a post it note if you’ve got no idea.
    Just give it a crack though. Write down your goals.
    Couple prime idea starters include
    Wealth Health Family Friends Career Passions
    Or if you’re really stuck, head on over to my post on How To Write & Stick to Achievable Goals CLICK HERE

    Great, you’ve got your goals…. now what do I mean about SMART goals?

    What are SMART Goals?

    I first discovered the idea of SMART goals while working in the Australian education system. We used them to initially support students with special needs to break down their big goals into incremental and more achievable goals that we could align evidence and support to. #bitclinicalright
    Around this time was when I was realising that I was a bit #poo at this whole achieving my goals thing. Great at writing and articulating them #orsoithought but terrible at the actual execution.

    Break it Down for Me

    Makes sense right? Be as specific as possible, and not all wishywashy. Not sure what I mean, well what about… Lose Weight vs Lose 15 kgs

    How will you measure your success? I mean losing the 15kgs would be amazing? But also, making your healthy lifestyle choices a sustainable choice is super different to shredding for two months then it all coming back in the next two months as you haven’t embedded sustainable and measurable practice. Going to the gym three times a week and packing your lunch every day = measurable.

    Can you go to the gym three times a week? Or would twice be better, and walking the dog another time be best? Have you said you’ll lose the 15kgs in a month? Or given yourself an achievable time frame. #spendthetimetothinkonit

    You’re dedicating all of this time to losing weight. But what in your life are you setting aside, or modifying to support you on this journey? Are you giving up TV to use that time to go to the gym? Have you told your mate to stop bringing you a jam donut every Friday for morning tea? Are you being realistic with your own capabilities?

    T – TIMELY
    When do you think you can achieve your goal by? Too big? Do you need to break it down into smaller, more achieveable timely chunks? Weekly or monthly check ins? Do you need a #goalsbuddy where you support one another to succeed? With out a time bound clause, your goal is nothing more then wishful thinking.

    How to convert to SMART Goal writing

    Lets use an example of one of my #og goals to put through the SMART paces.
    Original Goal – BUY A HOUSE


    S – Well my end goal was to buy a house, but to do that I needed a few things first. To know what I wanted in terms of size, bedrooms, location, who where good builders, if I was eligible for government subsidies etc. I needed a deposit. I needed a stable job that would assure my income. By thinking it over and considering my options, I decided to change my original goal to SAVE FOR A DEPOSIT as it was more specific and the others could be worked in to supporting this one.


    M – Now that I had my more specific goal, I was able to make it measurable. I broke down how much I made a fortnight, researched what the market value of what I wanted was, budgeted out compulsory payments like rent and electricity, made allowances for the #funstuff and then told myself I would have a deposit saved by x time in the future. I created two monthly checkins and ensured I planned for little #wins for myself whenever I reached them. 25% of my deposit was a night at the movies, 50% of my deposit was getting my nails done. Small; but #worthit


    A – I made sure I was really honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses around this goal. I have struggled to budget in the past, so looked at my strengths and identified that I was #stillam super competitive. So I downloaded an app that I set the notifications on for and monitored my spending every month to make sure I was meeting my targets. I made it attainable by working to my strengths and personalising the process.


    R – I knew my desire to live in my own house, and not one I was paying rent to others was higher then my desire to have a super massive deposit. I knew I did not have the option of outside assistance such as parent donations nor guarantors. So when setting my measurable time line, I added three months. Both for a #realitycheck and so that this process didn’t completely take over my life.


    T – I had my hopeful end date. And I had my theoretical dates for those goals that came after save for a deposit. These where not as hard and fast, as just because I wanted to find my perfect piece of land, doesn’t mean the universe was going to supply. But by having these time bound markers, they helped me stay on track, accountable and with my end in sight.

    You Do You Now
    But… SMART

    Look at your goals
    Turn them SMART
    Easy as that
    In doing this process, you might face some uncomfortable truths that some of your goals are hard. Or that maybe they don’t fill you with #glitterybutterflies like they once did.
    You’re talking to someone who a year ago would have jumped at any opportunity at a career progression. Yet right now, is looking the other way and instead focusing on making her/me a bloody strong and amazing individual that isn’t defined by her job title. This is a goal that was only recently redefined, and once done, #glitterybutterflies returned.

    You do you. Make you happy. Work on your growth.
    And if you come up with any super #amazeballs goals that you would like to share, pop them in the comments below.
    Lets help one another to rise with our amazing goals and dedication to self improvement.

    Happy Days Bohemians,
    Shannon x

  • 3 Small Couple Goals You Can Start Today

    Let me start off with….
    This is a journey. An adventure. A rollercoaster. A dance. Hell sometimes it’s a rumble.
    And we are all in. Constantly learning.
    And in some cases, that means making mistakes, pivoting and learning from them too.
    I’m not perfect. He certainly isn’t. But we are doing some pretty cool things you might not have thought of, so let me share. #yearsoflearning #moreyearstocome

    Here I am writing a post about making couple goals, when only the other day, I let my own goals, blindside me to my partner, which started a #humdinger of a …….. conversation

    I sent him a screenshot of a website I wanted us to use, to take an enneagram test. If you don’t know what they are, #great, cause my post on them will be up about them soon.
    And I was all, this is a great opportunity to get an outsider look into ourselves and our relationship, so we can then start great dialogue #blahblah #wankywank have a laugh, compare results #yadayada

    Him being the him that he is, checked out the website, which also promised to heal your chakras, mend your relationships, and cleanse your soul…. which then maybe made him lose his na na.
    Like, how could you be so silly kind of tangent. #ugh #hindsighticanseeit #butatthetime

    And I laughed.

    Because while that may be my jam. It isn’t his. And in his mind, here was Shannon, dancing off, spending our hard earned money on #voodoo to tell us essentially horoscope fortunes #itisn’t #itdoesn’t #waybetterthanthis

    The point I am making is.

    I was blinded by my goal of making us better communicators. That I forgot to communicate properly. #facepalm

    Action You Can Start Right Now

    Share Your Personal Goals. Ask Them About Theirs. Now Make Some Together.

    Might have noticed. Big goal setter here. Like, write them down, don’t move them from the fridge except for your quarterly check in, kinda goal setter. #notcrazy #mymotherhadmetested
    And when we first met, my partner was not. Like not even a little bit, too cool, go with the flow Mr he was.
    But after six years. #worehimdown
    I have my goals.
    And he has his own goals.
    We have couple goals. And it is damn nice.
    And our goals aren’t those #savemoney cheapo goals that you could find on a bumper sticker.
    They are SMARTAR goals. And even saying that aloud makes me all #smarmy and #we’rewinning
    Because it took a lot of conversations. But it was and is worth it. Because when things come up, whether opportunities, events or whatever, we can have a conversation as to whether the x y z will help us reach our personal or joint goals.
    Start the conversation. Ask your bae, what are their goals. You may just be surprised.

    Acknowledge When They Win. But Acknowledge Your Wins Too

    Bit of a motivator. Like a whoo girl, but, like, better. #howtosayimclevernicely…
    And so when I see B win, I am all over it. Hell some days it’s remembering to take the trash out, I will high five him. Other days it is him besting his deadlift PB. Or learning a new thing at work. And you know why I know these things?
    Because I am invested, I care, and I ask. #effort #putintheeffort
    And what I didn’t realise, was if I didn’t tell B; he presumed it wasn’t important and so wouldn’t ‘pry.’
    Now this took me years to realise. #slowlearner
    I didn’t used to #noreally like tooting my own horn and saying when I had had a win. But for B, at the time, that would be the only way he would learn of it. Because in his world, if it was important to me, I should share it with him. And not wait around hoping he may ask me. #makessenseiguess
    Tell your partner when you have a win. Sometimes you may have to explain why it is a win. That’s cool. The more background, the more information, and the more they see how amazing your win is. Just make sure you invest the same back into them. Be their #whooperson

    Tell Them What You Are Grateful For About Them

    We saw this in a movie when we first started dating. And #boyohboy am I thankful for it. Because it started as a game. Before going to sleep, say a couple nice things to one another.
    Like not lots, or every night #calmdown
    But, enough. Then we’d forget and the world would keep worlding, and suddenly something would happen, and one of us would start “You know I’m grateful for how you….”
    And it’s nice. It’s easy. Sometimes they’d be funny, or physical, or actions, or little/big things.
    But my golly no matter what, does it hit you in the feels and keep you #rosiecheeked for days.
    Tell your partner what you are grateful for about them. Don’t drop it on them and expect then can rattle off five things about you in return with no warning #beenthere #doesn’twork
    Give them prep time. Give them wait time. Tell them its important. Then share the love.

    Take it slow cowboy

    3 small things you could do today with your partner.
    Easy enough.
    The thing is though, you need to be conscious to do them. Don’t just smack your partner around the head with a ‘I’m grateful for how you x y z,’ and expect them to articulate all the wonderful reasons why they love you back in the next handful of seconds. Don’t set them up for failure. #dontbethatguy
    Hell, your partner might even wonder where this #flimflammery came from. Talk to them.
    Small, conscious, steps. Made together. These are the things that make a big difference.
    Good Luck

    Got a couple, better, smaller, more achievable goals couples can make together? Post them below and share the love darlings!


  • Why You Should Go Back to Writing Analogue

    What do you mean?

    Journaling. Pen and paper. Post It Notes. Letters. Cursive.
    The strategic, time optimising, digital queen within me shudders at these archaic terms and their inability to have their data analysed at the click of a button, or filed away to be easily searched because of their meta data.

    So why is this so important to me?

    My entire working life has been about progression, optimisation, accreditation & growth. And I am bloody good at it.
    You know what though, that started to bleed into my other life too. The life half of work / life balance. My to-do and shopping lists could be found in Google Keep. My correspondence with friends and family was becoming more reliant on texting and emailing rather than phone calls and physical catch ups.
    It wasn’t bad… but it wasn’t good either.

    Then one day I was attending a conference and the dreaded email arrived the night before. The speaker has requested you don’t use technology during their sessions. #caveman #archaic #whydothis
    Analogue only.
    I felt like I had been slapped in the face. What kind of moron would unplug me from a device that made me so much better? I could google any references they made. Type at the speed they spoke. Take photographs and write annotations to best help me remember.
    The cheekiness of this nearly put me into shock.

    So I raided my old pencil cases, grabbed some coloured pens and highlighters and went to the conference.
    And you know what, it’s now the only way I conference.

    I made connections with other members. I drew pictures and diagrams. I took notes and made action plane. I made eye contact with the speaker and allowed myself think time with the points they made. #thinktimeguys #actualthing

    It made me stop and think about some of the other areas in my life I had become disconnected from because of my ‘digital connectedness’…..

    Actual Observations by Others Cleverer Than I

    In his book The Revenge of Analog, Real Things & Why they Matter; David Sax states, “the revenge of paper shows that analogue technology can excel at specific tasks and uses on a very practical level, especially when compared to digital technology. While paper use may have shrunk in certain areas since the introduction of digital communications, in other uses and purposes, paper’s emotional, functional, and economic value has increased.”
    The emotional line is what really made me stop and think.
    Because he’s right.
    For me, I truly connect with my writing more so when I see it written down in my own handwriting. So while, “the process of technological innovation isn’t a story of a slow march from good to better to best; its a series of trials that helps us understand who we are and how we operate,” that understanding made me realise, that to connect with something, I need to be more involved in the process.

    And truly, you can google this. So much information, so much data and insights and sciencey things. Like it’s not just me. It’s a thing #validated

    Now that all sounds a bit much right. You’re talking with someone who loves a good file path, or the ability to Ctrl+F, to search and locate, to immediately transcribe and have my notes accessible on any device anywhere as long as I’m logged in.

    The part that got to me and that I realised I had slowly been discovering for myself was, journalling or analogue note taking or whatever, was so calming for me as to nearly be filled with dopamine.

    What Do I Do?

    I started leaving little notes around the house for my partner, saying what I was thankful for.
    I would pop into colleagues classes, and surprise them by leaving a postit saying how impressed I was with their communication, or how they supported x y z student to achieve success through a b c. (then another dopamine rush would fill me when I’d see them pin these to their noteboards)
    I write individualised thank you notes in my chicken scratches and hope like hell the recipient can read them.
    I bought an actual diary. Which I write in every day. And at the end of each month I reflect in. And it feels good. #stickershelp #goodpens #stationarywench

    Analogue note taking helps me slow down. To think through what I am consuming and creating. It helps me be a better me.
    And I think if you try it, it’ll make you a little happy too.

    Have you discovered a reawakened love for analogue note taking?
    Share your thoughts below darlings and lets revel in our love for highlighters, nice paper and journalling.