Goals for 2019 – Starting Today!

Your speed doesn’t matter,

forward is forward…

A new year, a new start. I seem to be going in circles with my goals. Last year I posted a similar post about not converting any inspiration into creative energy.  About just floating around aimlessly, bobbing left and right, always tired, always planning but not doing, like some sort of paralysis. 

Well, let me tell you: not much has changed yet. My day is still not focused enough.  And I’m still losing time left and right, especially with a whirlwind toddler going on two. I feel like all that energy she has is sucked right out of me, lol.

But my motivation is very high again. Even if it is at a snail’s pace, I am leaning and growing. I have some good techniques and plans, I should be able to put in place to make my life easier and more productive.

And to keep track of my progress, I have revised my little list of goals for the future:

  1. A clean home: I want to revive my de-cluttering habit plan. I have told myself, I don’t mind and it’s normal to have a messy house because of the little one, but I know it bugs me to see the clutter. To feel more relaxed and comfortable in my house, I believe I need to get rid of the clutter. And in reality, de-cluttering is a pretty good activity to do around a toddler. Not only is it one of the few things you won’t mind them trying to be part of (ever tried to read a book or draw next to a toddler, ugh), but it will also teach them a good lesson.  
  2. More energy: I wrote about this topic multiple times, but did I do the things I suggested to myself? No. So, it is back to the drawing board. A big part of this will have to be exercise, which (with the winter months coming) will have to be mostly indoors. I do have my eye on yoga. That is also something that can be done with a toddler, although that might end in something comical. Second part of it is getting enough sleep. That one has been hard for me. My little one stays up quite late, but I have to get up early for work AND want to do things after the kid is in bed. However, with her starting a pre-K program soon, this will likely get better. And lastly there is diet. Including more fruits, vegetables and fiber into my diet as well as losing some weight should contribute to having more energy.
  3. Be creative: I ave not been doing as much of my creative activities as I would like in the past months. I want to paint and draw more but also get some crafting in. This will really come down to being successful with the other goals
  4. Better blog: my goal is to be more consistent with blogging, take inspiration from my favorite blogs to improve my writing, and review some old posts to potentially overhaul them and bring them back to life. I have made a plan for posts and created an idea pool to draw from. I also want to improve the pictures to be more appealing visually.
I think this is a good list. I see a lot of other people post more specific goals with numbers attached to them, like how many post reads. Others want to improve their follower counts on social media. I didn’t really want to go there because I feel, if I improve on my goals above, I likely also improve in the numbers.
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I have learned about myself that if I pressure myself too much with dates and numbers, I will just freeze or lose motivation, and achieve less in the end.
I am doing this for my and your benefit not for a review at work, lol.
But I still want to hold myself somewhat accountable and track progress.
I plan on writing more details on my goals as I tackle them and in little review posts.
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I hope you, my reader, enjoyed this post. Please feel free to give me some feedback (P.S. I also like emojis as moral support…)
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#Mermay Recap and Summer Dreams

MerMay 2018

Yes, it is June, and yes, I did participate in Mermay – if only a littleย  ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a few things brewing, including some crafting for the babe, gardening and reviving habit plans. But the main focus is still my art, if we are talking creative activities. Of course spending time with my family and caring for my little one always comes first – at least for me.

It is almost summer now, and sure feels like it with many warm days and even some water fun for the babe already.

This weather puts me in the mood to paint summer and travel related things. I have couple topics I want to explore:

  1. Fernweh:
    I love travel. I have done a lot of travel and will do more in the future. But I also know that I cannot go everywhere I want to. At least not right now, and maybe never. But I always love to dream and look at pictures of other people’s travels. So I want to paint all this under the Fernweh topic. Fernweh is a German word and means the longing for a far away place.
  2. Childhood Memories:
    Today I was reminded of a wonderful summer childhood memory of mine by an Instagram post of a friend. This gave me the idea to paint my own childhood memories. Little stories. I may make them as paintings or as little comic strips. I kind of envision them like illustrations to a children’s book. This topic is not strictly summer related, although I have a lot of nice summer memories that I could start with and work my way through the season.

But I know, I know, I need to find some sort of routine to make time for the art. I have been struggling with that. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I am interested in too many things, and have not been able to say no to myself. I want to simplify my life and that means I need to let go of some things I want to do, at least for the time being. And this is a big reason I am trying to get back to habit plans.

But more about that in a future post. As a closer, here my Mermay pieces:

MerMay 1 - My cup of tea
MerMay 1 – My cup of tea

MerMay 2 - Sea Cuties
MerMay 2 – Sea Cuties

MerMay 3 - The fox and the siren
MerMay 3 – The fox and the siren

MerMay 4 - Rebel Mermaid
MerMay 4 – Rebel Mermaid

MerMay 5 - Frida de Mayo
MerMay 5 – Frida de Mayo

Mermay 6 - Gala of the Ocean
Mermay 6 – Gala of the Ocean

Post Migration Done!

It has been done: I have migrated my old posts from Blogger over to WordPress.

I used this tutorial to do so, and it has worked smoothly:

http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-switch-from-blogger-to-wordpress-without-losing-google-rankings/

And that’s all I had to say todayย  ๐Ÿ˜€

My Blog Moved

Hello all, I have moved my site and blog to WordPress. I am still playing around and setting everything up.

I am already planning and writing new posts for you <3

Some of my old posts I may move to here once I have figured out how to do that.

 

Finally: My New Website

I have finally done it and created my website. Now I have a hub to link all of my shops and social media accounts.
In the interest of time, I used a template from W3School, an online tutorial page for web development. It’s a lovely recourse and their templates are free to use.
At some point I will make it all my own design, but with a little babe time is sparse ๐Ÿ˜€
So, without further ado, check out my page:ย http://www.livelovemaria.com/

Un-Thread – TGIF

This truly is an un-thread. I am trying to make sense of this tangled mess of thoughts about blogging and other social media.
So what happened?

The progression of thoughts – to whom it may concern:

I had a baby. Yep. If you have kids that may say everything right there. Now, it has been 9 months, so it’s old news. But it is getting more and more time intensive. Do I miss the days I could just feed and lay her back in the crib, ha!
She now is crawling, pulling herself up and teething which makes her sleep worse. Overall that means she needs more of our time and attention.
I tried doing something while she is playing in the living room. Nope! I got like 1 minute, then she will be across the room  trying to eat dog toys or cords.
Her room is safer but of course she does not want to be in there if I am not, and I am limited in the resources I can use.
I am trying to interest her in being in the high chair for a while and play while I draw at the kitchen table.
Though, I really cannot complain. My husband, who is taking care of her during the day when I work, is also spending time with her at night and making dinner so I can get some art done.
Speaking of art: this leads to the news. I have done about half of Inktober and that really got me excited about doing art again.
As usual I have grand plans, which are likely too grand for the amount of time I really have for art in a day. I have to use the weekends in the morning.
But I am determined! I have even set up a Patreon page for my art.
Check it out:

All good and well, but this is really where my dilemma starts: what to write where and how often?
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Patreon besides this blog, I am at a loss.
At the moment, my plan kinda looks like this:

  • Patreon: I will post my WIP art, sketches, behind the scenes thoughts, which I won’t put anywhere else. Any finished pieces a few days before elsewhere and offer special prices ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Instagram: Any of my finished art pieces a few days later than Patreon. But I also use this for other pictures like my crafting, photos of nature walks, etc.
  • Twitter: Same as Instagram, but some random funny thoughts and retweets, of course.
  • Facebook Page: I really don’t know about this one. It feels awkward to post there. Maybe just finished pieces and shop links.

So this leaves me with figuring out this blog. I know I am kidding myself if I think I can post something multiple times a week, but maybe I can at least get 3 to 4 posts into a month.
Topic-wise I am thinking of these:

  • 1 Craft post about any sewing, crochet or other crafty things. This means Thread Thursday is gone for now, because I just don’t have enough time.
  • 1 Nature photo post
  • 1 Summary post of all the art I did that month. I may make this 2 posts depending on how it going. 

I am known for lofty goals, so we will see. Please bear with me ๐Ÿ˜‰
Oh yeah, and I am also working on a webpage. It’s gonna be pretty simple, and really just a hub to connect all the links.

So that’s my plan. I hope you come back next week for a new post, and below all of the Inktober drawings I made. Let me know which one you like best.

Productivity & Habits

Last year I wrote a post about productivity: To-Do or Not To-Do
In this I describe how I have discovered Trello as a platform for my to do lists and some different methods to tackle them as a Kanban system. I have had great success with this at work but not so much in my personal life. One of the main reasons being that I forget to look at my list when I am at home. When I am at work, I am at my PC the whole time and therefore have it in view, but at home I try to limit screen time as much as possible, which means I forget about my to-dos ๐Ÿ˜€

Recently I have started to combat that with a simple little white board in the kitchen. It’s in plain sight pretty much all the time and it is working so much better.

I do use the 3 item to-do concept for it though and use Trello for my backlog list.
The 3 item to-do list is really true. Essentially, the concept states that anything beyond 3 items will hinder your productivity.
Read more here:

Using this concept, my new white board, Trello, and Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits book, I want to accomplish the following things:

  • Establish and sustain some new positive habits: I want to do this the Zen Habits’ way, which will take at least 6 weeks for each habit. although I believe it is possible to introduce another habit before the end of the 6 weeks to run in parallel. I highly recommend Leo Babauta’s book (linked above) to help through the process of mastering change and forming new habits. I think I will start with a simple exercise routine as a habit as this plays nicely along with trying to have more energy. (see my recent post: 5 keys to more energy)
  • Hobbies / Arts / Crafts pool: Make and sort a backlog list of projects  of things I want to do, sorted by priority. This will then be part of basis to pull from for my 3-item to do list. My goal is to always have one of my to-dos be from this category.
  • Cleaning and household projects: I also need a list of these by priority, so I can add one of them a day to my 3-item to-do or maybe do 2 or 3 on the weekend. 
  • My side hustle aka Jamberry: I want to be more efficient and spend less time. I am utilizing the Maeven app and plan on doing a power hour each Sunday.
  • Journal: At some point next week I want to also do a morning journal. as this is part of the Zen Habits steps, I believe it will come naturally. But I think this is also an important item to be consistent and reflect on your day and make plans.

In my 3 item to-do I do not want to include my habits. Why? Well the idea of a habit is to do it automatically like brushing your teeth. And you don’t put that on your to-do, do you? ๐Ÿ˜€

I also talked to my partner about these and he even participates in the 3-item to-do on our white board. He says it helps him complete the tasks, because he is annoyed seeing them up there ๐Ÿ™‚

If you think this might work for you, give it a go and PLEASE let me know how it worked for you!
If you maybe already have a great system how to organize and be productive, please share. I always love to hear new approaches. And any feedback in general is very welcome.

I hope you enjoyed this post and come back for more!