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The world revolves around Westie puppies

The world revolves around Westie puppies

Ten months ago, my Mum, Cooper and I found ourselves in a sleepy suburb outside of Brisbane, surrounded by a squeaking pack of tiny Westie puppies. It was a far cry from where we expected to be in December 2020. I for one fully intended to be at a nice crisp German Christmas market, sipping on mulled wine and impulse buying sparkly decorations that I had nowhere to display.

But, surrounded by these white creatures that more so resembled tiny polar bears than Westie puppies with their eyes barely open wasn’t entirely bad either.

 

For the love of dog

One look at all of our past content here and on YouTube, and you’ll spot a mile off that Cooper and I are “dog people”. Not part time or casual dog people. Oh no. We are those all-in-totally-obsessed-heart-eyed weirdos who quite literally would follow a wagging tail along the road, through a shopping mall, down a commuter platform and onto a train if it meant we could have just one pat.

If that sounds insane to you, maybe you better go find another post to read 😛

As long as Cooper and I have known each other, we have loved dogs. In fact, I recall the first time I thought Cooper (my co-worker at the time) was “sweet” was when he stooped down to kiss one of our mutual friends’ dogs on the head when he met it.

“That’s so sweet,” I thought…and looked at him kinda differently after that.

Jumping forward a few years, we had two blue cattle dogs in our lives. One, Stephanie, my beloved childhood pet who moved with me to a small rural town in NSW where Cooper ended up befriending her and giving her a roaring good time in her twilight years.

 

 

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And the second, Harry (pictured above), another bluey who was quite simply the best dog you could ever, ever know. He loved us and we loved him with all of our hearts. Everyone loved Harry – he was a popular family member with all relations and friends. He had his own identity and personality. When you imagine the “man’s (or woman) best friend” analogy of a dog and their human living their best life, together, Harry is the dog in that picture.

That rainbow bridge, I tell you, it’s a wonderful place with all our four-legged mates chasing their tails and their tennis balls, just waiting for us on the other side.

But of course, there’s that time in between. And ours was spent living abroad and travelling. We were always dog spotting and stalking puppies in the park – well, everywhere really (pubs, trains, cafes, courtyards, the workplace…). The time was never right for us to get a dog when we lived in London. We did however, sign up to be Trusted Housesitters specifically to get our dog fix and give love to fur babies in the absence of their own humans who wanted to get away on a holiday somewhere.

 

Which brings me back to being surrounded by Westie puppies…

Since we had to leave London for now, and with so much loss experienced over the past year, we decided that it was time to bring in new puppy joy. (Well, when I say ‘we’, I mean I kept shoving the newborn picture of our future Westie pup in Cooper’s face until he said ‘yes’ :).

We couldn’t get a bluey again based on our apartment living requirements, so we set about searching for a breed that we feel is quite similar in personality: the West Highland Terrier. Maybe it was sentimental – Westies had been the first breed we pet sat for in London; or maybe it was always meant to be, but we decided to give raising a Westie a go.

That day surrounded by Westie puppies, we made our choice: not the loudest pup, and not the quietest – the one in the middle who did seem content enough with us gently picking him up and having a chat with him about his future.

 

What did we learn about Westie puppies?

Well let me tell you, Westies, they’re not the same as cattle dogs 😂 In fact, we’d clocked early on – at about 9 weeks old – that our little Westie puppy, London (named after our beloved adopted home in England) had no intention of listening to anything other than what pleased him. Our vet even said to us, “yeah, he’ll never be obedient like the cattle dog”.

‘Westitude’, we later discovered on a Facebook Group full of Westie owners – is an actual thing. Defiant, belligerent, obstinate.

But oh my God, he’s just the cutest little defiant, belligerent, obstinate thing we could ever know!

Also, we are kind of in love with him, which is evident by the fact he has nine places comfortably laid out to sleep at home (in a one bedroom flat!). We also bought a doggie cam so we could check on him and make sure he was ok and not fretting when he was a little pup. Additionally, London  has the luxury of attending doggy daycare during the week to keep him happy and social.

 

Best things we did to help our West Highland Terrier puppy as he grew up

If you’re considering the journey, go for it. These are the funniest little dogs you’ll ever meet! Actually hilarious! But here are my top tips based on our own experience:

  • Crate training was a new concept for us, but it’s the BEST thing we did. Even though London isn’t bound to his crate anymore, he still makes his way inside for his own peace, solace, warmth and rest.
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  • The first eight weeks might be tough: they’re babies and need the same care human babies do. They also wake VERY early and need to know you’re there to help them with potty or nurturing.
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  • Give your puppy the time he/she deserves. I think it’s easy to forget they’re still so young and really do need proper care. They love interaction and play, so spend time with them.
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  • Ensure plenty of toys and stimulation are available for your puppy, especially if you’re going to be out.
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  • But with that said, please please do not get a puppy (of any breed) without thinking through how he/she will spend their days. If you’re going to be out a lot in the future, will you provide daycare or walkers – what’s the plan?
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  • Best treats we discovered are chilled carrots (he LOVES these) which are especially great when your puppy is teething; and peanut butter on a Lickimat (available on Amazon and at pet stores).
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  • Our doggie webcam was so inexpensive on Amazon and well worth it so we could monitor in his early days how he was coping when we were at work.I spotted there was a two hour window in the afternoon when he started to panic and suffer from separation anxiety, so arranged for friends to drop in and play with him during that time while he was very young.
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  • Get proper breed-related advice on how to feed and care for your pup: Westies tend towards sensitive stomachs and allergies, so do your research to ensure you are prepared and can prevent these things if possible.
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  • Educate yourself: there’s a WEALTH of wonderful training information on YouTube. If you’re getting a puppy, spend time teaching yourself how to care for him or her. They deserve it, and your future self will thank you! Two of our fave trainers’ channels for this are Zak George and Michele Lennon.
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  • Learn to go with your intuition. If a cry is more than a cry or you sense there’s a difference between anxiety and tantrum (and there is), take action on it accordingly.
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  • Westie puppies are very social, so after vaccinations, ensure you’re getting your pup out and about to play with other dogs. Puppy preschool is a good option, as is doggie daycare in the long run. Dog parks are in every city, and you can find breed-specific or location-specific pooch meet-up groups on Facebook.
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  • The world will revolve around your Westie puppy, because he/she demands it to be so 🙂

 

 

A future world with our Westie

As London grows, he is gradually shedding some of the puppy Westitude. He wants to hang out with us more and do dog things … like we remember dogs do. He’s brought so much fun and laughter though, and reminds us yet again of the value of dogs: they are pure joy.

He is certainly part of our pack now. Or perhaps, it’s us who are in his.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds: adventures with London in London, perhaps?

👉🏻 Read our popular post about pet care while you’re away, and house sitting as a way of travel or to take care of your own fur baby.

Do you have a question about raising a Westie puppy, or have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below. 

Saying goodbye to a loved one

Saying goodbye to a loved one

Saying goodbye to a loved one takes many forms when you’re an expat and traveller. But should we take a chance for ‘goodbye’ lightly? There’s a song I’ve been listening to on repeat recently by a great group out of Glasgow, Chvrches. The track is called Asking For a Friend and is the lead song from their 2021 album release Screen Violence. A lyric near the beginning strikes me every time: “I’m no good at goodbyes”. Those few words resonate strongly and have reminded me lately about the value of “‘goodbye”.

As I write this and reflect, I realise I should add context before continuing with my story. This is the first post on our site in well over a year. While the world stood still this past year thanks to a nasty virus that’s taken over our lives and plans, it seems our website also got the memo to pause on proceedings. We have been plagued by errors and technical issues that rendered much of the back-end useless. But without the motivation to create, it didn’t matter anyway.

Say goodbye, without saying goodbye

This leads me back to my “goodbyes”, or lack thereof. I’ve said a lot of “see you laters” in my life. Perpetually chasing the next travel plan and living as an expat necessitates this strategy. Plus, “goodbye” has always felt so final. I’ve never been one for dramatic departures. I’d rather make it swift, rip it off like a band-aid, so to speak (then have a good cry in the airplane toilets and not to make a scene). I never wanted a fuss made, especially if I was on my way to where I needed to be. It’s just part of life’s rich tapestry, as my Dad would say.

2020 gave me more perspective on all of this though, and has made me wonder, is there more value in a proper “goodbye” than I’d previously given credence to?

Ignoring an opportunity for a heartfelt goodbye is perhaps underplaying how important it might have been for the person on the receiving end of my goodbye. And, perhaps it was sticking my nose up at a privilege that I should have been grateful for. After all, we hear stories each day of heartbreak where we can safely assume that the loved-ones involved had no chance for “goodbyes”. That, my friends, is ever so sad.

No chance to say goodbye to people or place

Last year… oh wait, I lose track of time… Going on nearly two years ago, we sat at an apocalyptically empty Heathrow Airport. We were forced, for a number of reasons, to leave somewhere that was without a shadow of a doubt, home. We had to pick up in Australia and start everything all over again. When we left England, there was no opportunity for goodbye. COVID was in full flight, the entire world was shut down.

We could not say goodbye to our loved ones there, nor our life. As dejected as I was sitting at that deserted airport late in March 2020 (eerie given Heathrow is usually heaving with commuters and people hurriedly shopping up a storm in Harrods or if you’re me, Accessorize), I never imagined in my wildest dreams that we’d still not be allowed to go back even now. I’m in Queensland, Australia, and still now we have no clear roadmap on how to travel freely around Australia, let alone internationally.

It all makes the fact we could not say goodbye even more difficult to take. It does not get easier. People have explained to us that we still mourn our life in London because we did not get to say goodbye. There was never an end. No closure that we can acknowledge.

Power of goodbye

Saying goodbye to a loved one, for good

There was a poignant goodbye in 2020. An actual moment saying goodbye to a loved one, forever. One painful moment, but one that was better to have happened than not.

It was Wednesday 6 May when my Dad said he wanted to tell my brother, Josh, and I, that it was “time for him to say goodbye”. He’d been lying in a bed for weeks. His body slowly, painfully and cruelly deteriorated. A once active and proud father, business owner and globe-trotter himself, now rotting away from cancer – unable to move, eat, drink, live. Stubborn to the end, his body held on – too long.

On that day, Josh and I sat with him on his bed. In a very odd twist, we both smelled death in that room that day. We both described it like that to each other later on. I can’t tell you how we knew, but we did. It was a telling and foreboding sense – very hard to process and accept as ‘true’, but it was clear to us.

By this point, our Dad had real trouble talking. He’d all but lost his voice and had zero energy. But he told us that he now needed to go, and that he wanted to say goodbye that day. In floods of tears filled with love, gratitude, regrets and fear about pretty much everything coming from that point on, we did just that. We said goodbye to our ultimate loved one, and for me, I faced my first permanent, real, and excruciatingly raw goodbye.

It’s October 2021 and I can only just bring myself to think about this moment. It was the last time I saw my Dad in this realm. I know he’s still around, but that’s a story for another time.

Hello, what’s next? 🙂

I stand by my original sentiment on “goodbyes” – they suck. Especially when they’re directed at people, places or experiences that mean the world to you. There is something to be said about having them though.

Since researching this topic and becoming aware of times when I’ve avoided goodbyes in the past, I have discovered some helpful resources and discussions. One is here, on The Five Reasons to Say Goodbye, and another from The American Psychological Association on why goodbyes are so important, whether it be to a person or a stage in your life. I now know I’m not alone: it’s difficult subject matter to talk about sometimes, and even harder to act on. But the awareness that we should go deeper, is really important.

We’re currently still stuck in an unrealistic and unreasonable travel ban throughout Queensland and Australia. I do hope we’re all rid of it soon (I’ll be very happy to say goodbye to many COVID rules, if I’m honest – get vaccinated, people – seriously). I’m hopeful we’ve got many “hellos” in our near future, and while they may be brimming with tears, they’ll be happy ones, as we are reunited with the people and places we never got to say “goodbye” to all those months (years) ago.

If you come across this post, drop me a line in the comments. How do you see it? I’m, you know, asking for a friend

Finding hope in uncertain times

Finding hope in uncertain times

I’ve been living in fear and anger lately, without much hope in uncertain times. We’ve had to leave our home in the UK, only to be treated like we don’t belong ‘back home’ in Australia. We couldn’t say goodbye to any of our friends or even to our life of the past six years – just had to jump on a plane and hope for the best. It’s been very sh!t.

COVID-19 has impacted a lot of people in many terrible ways. Some people don’t understand, they remain lucky and unscathed; the most they have to complain about is that the gym is closed. Others find themselves in situations where they can’t see sick or dying family in hospital or at home. Cooper and I had our lives torn away from us, and I haven’t seen light or hope, if I’m honest. Grief.

Finding hope in uncertain times

I know I don’t want to live like this. So, as we sit in mandatory 14 day isolation in a hotel in Australia, I’m finally getting to a point where I feel like I want to make the best of it. Acceptance.

This has been many weeks coming though. If you’ve followed the stories on this blog, you’ll know we’re now in our fifth week of isolation.

We got caught in Italy when lock-down was announced on 10 March.

Then we witnessed the health crisis unfold in the UK, although we were watching from a distance in our beautiful little corner of Bedfordshire with our friends Andy and Helen who we met through house sitting adventures.

 

Hope and acceptance amidst impossible decisions

We found ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. If we stayed in the UK, we did have accommodation and I had employment. But, Australia is harder and harder to access now (closed borders, very few international flights in), family is here and we seem less affected by Coronavirus (so far). Is it a better bet? After what we’ve witnessed, we worry that many here are too complacent – that Coronavirus will explode after Easter. I hope that prediction is wrong.

A friend recently gave me some advice about dealing with impossible decisions. She said, “sometimes you just have to make the choice, commit to it and make it work“.

Now that we’re here, we’ll make the best of it, even if ‘it’ means taking things month at a time.

There’s also a school of thought that my friend Leanne (publisher of Get it Magazine) and I have been focusing on. Time is something we have gained through Coronavirus isolation. Read our April Get it e-news for our tips on the ways you can use your time to improve your business and your life 😄

We have to hold onto this 👇

“Now more than ever, hope can actually become our power source.” -Deepak Chopra

 

Finding hope in uncertain (and isolated) times: our fave tools

No matter what’s going on in your life, in the end, hope comes from within. And it’s something we have to practice accessing – we can’t take it for granted. (just like you shouldn’t take your time, fresh air, fresh food, nice bed, and HEALTH for granted – think about that today 🙏).

So, from within the confines of our forced lock-down in Australia, here’s what we’re leaning on:

Hope in Uncertain Times, 21 day meditation experience (FREE on the app at time of publishing)

Gratitude practices

– Yoga – we love Adriene and Benji on YouTube

Home fitness classes including Barre, Pilates and Boxing on Popsugar Fitness TV

– Positive social media, like content coming from pages like this one from our friend Madonna Williams of Zen Soul Life

– Gabby Bernstein’s ‘Miracles Now’ card deck

Finding hope in uncertain times - Gabby Bernstein Miracles Now cards are helping our sanity

Find out more about what we are and importantly, are NOT doing, in this post about managing Coronavirus anxiety.

 

Helpful advice

Throughout this disaster that we know will end, although no end is in sight, I know more than just Cooper and I have retreated ‘home’. A wise friend and lifestyle coach Linda Stewart-Brown, reminded me that going back to your roots isn’t a bad thing, and to not feel like I’m peddling backwards. She says:

There are some things that need clearing up and finalising, in one way or another. Doing this, one step back, as you might see it, also means the next step is definitely forward! A strategic retreat and then transformation and clarification to be able to move ahead more quickly and with greater success. It is difficult to see right now, however, in 18 months, or less, this will all be 20/20 hindsight for which you will be very grateful.

 

I learnt a little something in this mental health and life coaching training too, that talks about a nice evening ritual. The course mentors encourage us to visualise our future at night. If you’ve got a partner, talk about it before bed. No worries if you’re on your own – pull out your journal and write as if you’re in that future moment.

Feel the health, travel, fun, freedom and abundance that’s on the way.

 

We hope you’re doing ok in these uncertain times. Let us know in the comments about your experiences, or find us on social media to say hi. We’re in isolation, after all – happy for your company 😉

And if you have any helpful ideas or resources to share, do feel free to link them below.

Walking: easy wellbeing for self employed

Walking: easy wellbeing for self employed

Working, travelling, and staying fit: how to manage wellbeing for self employed? It is possible, but you need to be mindful about it.

For digital nomads with wanderlust in their veins, health sometimes takes the backseat as we try to wrangle our lifestyle and stay on top of career goals. There’s constant challenges – where to stay and work, and how to make money!

Wellbeing for self employed: the simple trick

Being exposed to different climates and environments can take its toll if we aren’t careful. Wellbeing for self employed and digital nomads means keeping fit. But, this can be hard because we usually don’t stick to one place long enough to invest in a gym membership.

What can we do if we want a toned, healthy body that we’re proud of?

It’s simple, we can walk.

Wellbeing for self employed in a city means taking a break for a half hour stroll

Walking burns a ton of calories

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, we need least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. If you break this up into small chunks, it means you can exercise for 30 minutes five times a week and get the full benefits. But you need moderate to high-intensity kind of aerobics to pull it off.

Walking offers just the kind of cardio you need — easy to do, and even easier to modify depending on your time and level of physical fitness. If you keep a leisurely pace, you can burn around 70 calories per mile. The more you increase your speed, the more you can burn. If you walk at a brisk pace, you can burn anywhere from 300-400 calories an hour.



Here’s a calculator that can help you count the calories. If you want more accurate results, you can always use a pedometer or a Fitbit bracelet that will measure everything.

If you’re quite out of shape right now, walking is a great idea because it allows you to start things at your own pace. You can then slowly increase intensity as you grow stronger and get more stamina. You might even be forced into walking as you globe-trot if you choose a style of travel like house and pet sitting.

Walking has a lot of health benefits

Walking doesn’t just burn calories, it also speeds up your metabolism. Even your passive metabolic rate can rise. This means that when you’re resting, you’re still using more energy than before, and your body starts melting fat quicker.

Regular walks are also great for improving your cardiovascular health and your immune system, and helping your overall muscle tone. Your leg, lower back, and core muscles will particularly benefit from this type of exercise.

Wellbeing for self employed and digital nomads is really important - get outside for a daily hike or walk wherever you are in the world

Hiking destinations are perfect for digital nomads

Want a surefire way to make yourself stick to an exercise regimen and finally get in shape? Take a hiking trip.

For a digital nomad, this can be a great experience that provides the perfect opportunity to blog about something extremely interesting. It also means you’re taking a big step for your health and you won’t be making any more excuses.

There are plenty of options to choose from, like the short and fun Inca Trail, to the memorable Camino de Santiago that can take up to a month to finish. The Camino is renowned for being a deeply transformative experience that lets you experience Spain the way you never have before. It’s very good for people who plan to work the entire time because you’ll generally have internet access for most of the hike.

Other good options would be The King’s Trail in Sweden, the Yosemite Grand Traverse in California, and the Bay of Fires in Australia. If you want a huge challenge, then take the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in the United States. It’s one of the longest and most beautiful of routes, but it’s difficult and it can take half a year to finish.

Not a fan of hiking? No worries…

If you really aren’t a fan of hiking, city breaks are the next best alternative. Sightseeing often means you have to cover a lot of ground on foot. Since you are too busy looking at said sights, you will not even notice how many miles you are covering.

Some of the best cities to walk in include Prague and its magnificent castles, and Boston with its historic routes. Also, you’ll want to get lost in Paris and its endlessly charming streets, then there’s Venice where walking might be the only option, but you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Walking is great if you find exercise boring

If the main reason you’re not in good shape is that you find the whole idea of exercise kind of dull, then walking is a great choice for you.

Why?

It’s easy to multitask as you stroll. Put headphones on and listen to your favourite soundtrack, audiobook, or podcast, or take your camera with you and get some work done for your blog. You can take some stunning photos while you explore the city you’re currently in.

This option is perfect for a digital nomad or the self-employed who need unique and interesting ways to capture a journey, whether it’s in your backyard or further afield.

How to manage your time

Same as always, do it by setting a goal.

If your life is too hectic, organising a specific time when you can go and take a walk each day can help immensely. If you want, you can use a walking exercise as a rest from work. Determine a schedule that lets you work a few hours non-stop, but then take a half an hour hike to clear your head, get your focus back, and get inspired again.

Enjoy the ease of walking! This simple aerobic exercise can help you get in shape, and if you’re a digital nomad who craves to be inspired, it also offers you the opportunity to further indulge your wanderlust by exploring every destination on foot.

 

About the author:

Rebecca Brown is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.

 

Every day is a fresh start

Every day is a fresh start

I love January! I think I like it more than Christmastime, although both come with their own set of rituals, demands and expectations. It’s important to remember that we can make a fresh start any time, which I’ll cover here, but as it’s the New Year…

Every day is a fresh start, but 1 January is extra special

For some reason, New Year has always served as my reset point; my joy-and-motivation initiator – my reminder that every day is a fresh start. Certainly, that may be cliché, but I’m sure others see it the same way.

I also know I’m not alone in scrapping the whole ‘resolutions’ and ‘goal setting’ business. January 1 is a holiday, my uncle Doug and cousin Liz’s birthdays. The only pressure I want to experience is the cork popping out of a bottle of bubbly!

How to do January (or any time, for that matter) stress-free but with maximum impact then?

I’ve been practising for a few years and have simplified my start-fresh ritual.

Here’s what I’ve learnt:

Read

A book, that is. I’ve spotted a pattern throughout my year – when I’m perpetually emailing or mindlessly scrolling Facebook each evening, I’m less happy than the times I’m engaged in a good read. I’m more of a non-fiction gal myself, but it doesn’t matter what your preference is. Find time to read. It’s too easy to fall out of the habit of reading books, but the practice has proven health benefits including improved memory and reduced stress.

Tip: Not sure where to start? Ask for recommendations on Facebook or talk to friends. Take it one step further and join a book club this year (there are countless options, both on and offline).

Listen

We are blessed with thousands of free interesting, inspiring and motivating resources at our fingertips. If you’re short on time, try the Blinkist app that summarises popular books into 15-minute sessions; or start a routine of listening to a Podcast once a week. Breathe and Calm are fabulous apps that will get even the most resistant amongst you into healthy meditation and mindfulness habits. The most accessible of course, is YouTube, with more hours of content than we can consume in four lifetimes. Much of it is even very good!

Tip: Sign-in to YouTube with your own unique account, so you can personalise your experience.

Talk

Make this the year you engage a coach or mentor. Since I opened up to this, my life has changed. I used to think I had to do it all on my own, but now I know for sure that surrounding myself with guides is wise.

To clarify, I see a ‘mentor’ as someone to look up to; whose footsteps I’d like to follow in, and who shares helpful advice. A coach, is usually someone who talks you through questions that help you come to a conclusion or solution that’s right for you.

Tip: Don’t worry if you’re not sure who these people might be in your life. If you’re on the lookout for a mentor, you’ll know when they appear. Or try Google – coaching is big business now.

Thank

Lean on gratitude as a tool moving into the New Year. Set an intention to consistently recall the things you’re grateful for. By giving energy to the good, you’ll attract more of it.

Tip: Start a habit of writing down five things you’re grateful for each morning and watch what happens.

Write

Pick a tool, any tool – pen and paper, or an app like Evernote. Write down the things you want. It’s that easy. Think big; limitless. The power of putting it on paper is renowned, and for good reason. Many of us have seen the things we write down come true.

Tip: Don’t be too manipulative or specific. Instead, write down how you want to feel. For example, ‘I want to feel respected and be abundantly compensated for doing what I love’. Often what you ‘want’ comes in a form that you hadn’t imagined, so be open to the possibilities.

 

How do you see it? Let us know in the comments about your New Year’s rituals that work.

 


				
					
Is your life goals list making you miserable?

Is your life goals list making you miserable?

It began with something called a ‘happy planner’ that promised to keep me on track with my life goals list. The year, that is – I started off so well, planning ahead in my bright yellow hard-covered book that’s trimmed with gold and artistically decorated with beautiful landscape photography.

All my goals, neatly listed, poised for New Year’s success. Maybe you relate?

The un-happiness of a life goals list

I spent time working through my planner’s activities which included noting intentions, and rating my happiness in various areas of life with a view to taking action on anything that felt lacking. On a glance back, I see I also filled in the ‘reverse bucketlist’ pages, where instead of writing down all the things I wish to achieve, I listed those things I was already proud of accomplishing (a very nice activity, if you need a boost today).

While I did initially make the most of my ‘happy planner’, it has actually been sitting on top of a pile of half-read books since May!

The bright yellow HAPPY cover serves as a reminder each morning of the possibilities ahead. But in the evenings, it came to prompt panic over all I’d intended to do but not yet acted upon.

According to the internet, this is now a thing – ‘FOMOMG’ (fear of missing out [on] my goals).

What on earth is FOMOMG?

What to do then, if we feel like we’re not where we intended to be now? That is, if we haven’t saved the money we wanted to, got the job, bought the house, discovered the romance, finished (or started) a project we’d hoped to have in hand.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like we’re missing out, and some might agree it’s especially so at this time of year. Keen to not fall victim to this so-called FOMOMG, I resolved to lessen the pressure I admitted placing on myself.

Types of goal setting, not goal-setting or indeed not giving a f*ck!

I’ve been reading some of Sarah Knight’s work – she’s the author of the No F*cks Given guides and presenter of a TED talk on the ‘magic of not giving a f*ck’ that’s reached over four million people. Clearly, many are curious to know if it’s ok to shed our excess ‘stuff’, and Sarah’s now famous for spreading the word on how to let go of things you really don’t need to care about.

Akin to decluttering your home, we’re encouraged to do the same with our minds. You can start this today by writing down a list of all the things that are taking up space in your head, then carefully considering which items you don’t need to care about. Really. For example, are you worrying that you’re not as caught up in your career as your friends are (well apparently, according to Instagram)? Let it go. It’s likely to work out the moment you begin to clean up your thoughts and focus on the things that truly matter.

Life goals to set for yourself: choose wonder not worry

I’ve also been dipping into Amber Rae’s Choose Wonder over Worry (another one stashed in my bedside pile of books). She helpfully points out that it’s not the things we don’t care about that are hard to let go of, but it’s letting go of all those things we DO want to achieve, plan for or create, that is so hard. To choose ‘wonder over worry’, means doing just that – letting some of the stress and pressure go, and focussing on the thing that is the most important to you.

Looking ahead, it’s time for me – and you, perhaps – to find joy in the moment. Embrace, don’t stress, over your dreams and goals.

Make time for a festive break; consider the good in your world, and your achievements; play with your kids or pets; focus on ONE thing you’re looking forward to pursuing next year. Let go of the clutter and embrace with me the understanding that setting goals is one thing, but realising those goals can change is the real key to happiness.

How do you see it – do you set goals anymore, or focus on intentions? I’d love to know – please drop me a line in the comments. 

 

First published in the December 2018 issue of Get it Magazine, getit-magazine.com.au