General ramblings

Change Making in 2017

Happy New Year!
Phew, it’s been a while. Apologies for the complete lack of posts during December. My blogging ‘mojo’ was very intermittent during the last half of 2016, and has probably in all honesty been a very accurate reflection of my general mood and mental health. Taking some time out in the run up to Christmas ended up being a really constructive thing to do – it was so lovely to just stop and spend time with hubby and the boys, and not be constantly pushing myself to be publishing posts, and to be busy for busy’s sake.

The kids went back to school today, so some form of ‘normality’ has resumed and Christmas suddenly seems a long time ago. In fact, even New Years Day feels like weeks ago, and I feel somewhat tardy in not getting a New Year post out until now.
This time of year is always an interesting one, so full of good intentions and grand ambitions. Despite not being ‘here’ on the blog throughout December, I failed to completely switch off and the ideas factory in my head refused to take any time off, leaving me mulling over thoughts for the year ahead around what I want to achieve both personally, and here in my own little corner of the inter web.

I’ve set myself lots of challenges in the past, such as our original Make Do and Mend Year (buying nothing new) that resulted in this blog, but I’ve never really given much thought to ‘goals’. Or maybe I have but I just never really called them ‘goals’. However, recently I have embarked on a Personal Performance Coaching Diploma, and as any of you who have any experience with coaching will know, there is an awful lot in there to learn about goals, and how powerful they can be. Coaching is simply about helping people get from where they are now, to where they want to be. The simple act of thinking about what we want from our lives, who we want to be, and what we want to do, is the first step in that process and something that many of us fail to ever really stop and do.
Many of us (myself included) are guilty of spending more time planning our holidays, than we do our lives.

I guess it’s about being more intentional, more deliberate, more conscious, about what we want. Getting clear about what our values are, what really matters to us, and then putting steps in place to make sure we keep moving in the right direction.
All of which fits so well with my recent realisations about myself as a consumer – it’s about doing stuff, buying stuff, living life, with intention, based on our true values, rather than just being swept along and ending up doing stuff and buying stuff that doesn’t really sit well with the kind of world and life we want to create.

Somewhat inevitably, I have a plan for 2017 that I hope will help me to move towards one of my big goals of ‘living more sustainably’ which I’ll fill you all in on later this week. I really hope some of you will join me in that goal and that it will be a journey we can undertake together.
But in the meantime, for anyone who like me struggles a little bit to really pin down exactly what it is they want from life, and who might now be curious to figure out how to find their direction and set course for destination awesome, I want to leave you with this brilliantly simple tool: Be, Do, Have.

Take three sheets of paper (or one sheet and split it into three columns), and write BE at the top of one sheet, DO at the top of the second, and HAVE at the top of the last one.
And then start to brainstorm. Write down all the things you want to BE eg. happy, calm, courageous, joyful. All the things you want to DO e.g. go zero waste, start a blog, write a book, run a 10k etc. And then all the things you want to HAVE e.g. a capsule wardrobe, solar panels on your roof etc etc. (I’ve picked mostly sustainable examples, you they don’t have to be!)
Keep the list with you over the next few days and keep adding to it as thoughts pop into your head.
If you are anything like me, this will be a revelation. Actually giving some time and thought to the kind of person I want to be, the things I want to be doing, and (less importantly I found) the things I wanted to have, really helped to get clear about the actions I should be taking to start achieving those things.

I just started to write a sentence apologising for the fact that this post might seem a little off topic, but then I stopped myself. I don’t think it is off topic at all. I think it’s pretty crucial. I’ve written before about my very firm belief in the incredible power we all possess to change the world. To create ripples. But we need to know what we are trying to change, what alternative we are creating, if we are to make it happen. Living intentionally, consuming intentionally, interacting intentionally and kindly with others, is all part of A Make Do and Mend Life. I am possibly a little late to the party in realising that I need to get really clear in my own head exactly what my intentions are, but this stuff has really helped me, and I hope it helps some of you too.

Do let me know if you try the Be, Do, Have exercise, and if you find it helpful!
And if this stuff has got you thinking and you want some help getting clear on your values and the things you want from life, then please do drop me line ( or leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

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  • Reply Consuelo Simpson January 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Seeing something written down, or sometimes just the act of writing things down, brings clarity to an over thinking brain! It’s a great system, I am keeping the sheet of paper in my diary to adjust as things become clearer. Thank you and best wishes for 2017!

    • Reply Jen January 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Great idea to keep it with you to add to Consuelo! Very best wishes to you to for 2017 🙂

  • Reply Karen Mawson January 4, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I shall definitely be undertaking your brainstorm, my youngest started school in September and since then I have been needing to think about what I want out of life, January seems a good place to start. It might also help to find a balance, I have become obsessed with wanting to work towards zero waste, and being an anti plastic bore! But it can be stressful and puts pressure on family life, and maybe every little step is a good step and not to deny my children everything just because it comes in a non recyclable bag!

    • Reply Jen January 5, 2017 at 9:47 am

      It’s all about baby steps Karen! I have a tendency towards ‘all or nothing’ thinking, which can be unhelpful at times. Every time we make a different, better choice, we need to give ourselves credit for it, and not beat ourselves up for any perceived ‘failings’ 🙂

  • Reply Lucy January 4, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Very interesting exercise, thanks Jen. It does show a thing or 2 about me….struggled with the Have!! But too much on the Do list – think I’ll need to rejig to make it just about what I like to do, and then screen any plans against that!

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      So pleased you found it useful Lucy! Yes, I also found I had very little I actually wanted to ‘have’ on my list, but lots of things I want to do and be!

  • Reply Helen January 4, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Great idea to brainstorm ‘Be, do and have’! I hope you find your path this year, Jen.

    • Reply Jen January 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Helen! Best wishes to you too for 2017 🙂

      • Reply Helen January 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm

        Thank you!

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