Lifestyle

Setting goals for the New Year

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Now that the New Year is here, it’s time to put your goals into action! In our previous post, we talked about how to plan for new goals and resolutions – but now it is time to start working towards your goal. Planning is important, but putting your plans into action is another challenge. Follow these steps to make sure you stay on track and maintain your goals throughout the year:

 

Set manageable goals

As we mentioned in our post on planning for New Year resolutions, one of the most important parts of setting a goal is to make sure it is manageable. Goals are supposed to be set benchmarks or targets that you want to reach by the end of the year or a certain period of time. In order for them to be successful, make sure that your goals are actually achievable, and something that you can work towards and stay focused on. You shouldn’t have to be changing or adapting your goals because you don’t have the time or energy to work on them. When you set your goal, make sure you have the resources, means and motivation to achieve your goal. You need to make sure you have time to work towards it, and support from friends and family to see it through.

For example, if your goal is to get organized, make sure you are able to set aside time each day or week to work on a section of your home. Do you have a full-time job or activity that will prevent you from working towards your goal? Is it a goal that you can accomplish in one year, or should you dedicate more time to it?

 

Have realistic expectations

When setting a goal, know that it is something you are not going to achieve overnight, or probably even at the end of the month. Goals are usually set for a year, or even longer, for a reason. They take time and dedication to see them through. Prepare yourself for a long road ahead and be realistic about how long and how challenging it may be to accomplish. Don’t expect to see a noticeable change or result at the end of the first week. Visible changes will take time, so remind yourself throughout the process that results will happen if you keep working and stay focused. Goals are not tasks that you can accomplish right away, but rather year-long or more commitments that you will need to spend time on in order to see results.

If your goal is to get organized, it’s important to realize that it won’t take a few quick steps to accomplish. Getting organized and maintaining your organized home or life requires time and effort. For example, it’s almost impossible to tackle your entire home right away. Instead, start with small, simple tasks (like the junk drawer or kitchen pantry) and work up to larger projects. By being realistic about the process of getting organized, you will be more successful in achieving your goal.

 

Make goals attainable

It’s important to be practical about the timeline of your goal. Don’t underestimate how long it will take you to see noticeable changes. It is unreasonable to think that you will have your whole house organized by the end of the first month. Not only is it a lot of work to complete, but problems or life events may come up during the process which can delay your timeline. Make sure your goal is attainable – give yourself enough time, or more time than you would expect. This way, you will have a better chance of achieving your goal and prevent yourself from becoming discouraged or stressed out when your planned timeline comes quicker than expected.

It may also be helpful to work with a friend or family member to achieve your goal. Trying to complete it on your own may not be practical for you, so consider finding another person to work on this goal with you. Setting a goal as a team works great for home organizing. Not only will this help you attain your goal, but it will ensure that everyone in your home continues to maintain your organized state beyond your anticipated completion date.

 

Remember: small, consistent changes create big everlasting results

When you are working towards your goal, stay focused and know that each milestone you hit and each small change or task you accomplish helps you work towards your final goal. Producing small results on a continual basis can help you stay on track without overwhelming you during the process. For example, during the month of January, Calm Order is posting small organization tasks you can accomplish each day to help you get your home organized. Although one month doesn’t cover every small task that needs to be completed, the idea of organizing one small section or area at a time will eventually lead to a home that is completely organized. Take the idea of doing one small task each day and continue it throughout the year or time period you have set for yourself.

When you set a goal for this year, make sure that it is manageable and attainable. Be realistic about your progress and what you will be able to achieve in the time you have set for yourself, and remember that small accomplishments will lead to big and lasting change when your goal is finally realized.

Outdoor living: Simple, colourful, and inviting

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The forecast may not look great for the weekend, but it is sure to warm up as we get further into July. Until then, it’s time to get your outdoor living space ready for you to relax and enjoy! Whether you only have a deck or a huge backyard, there are a few key tips to keep in mind when you’re putting your outdoor space together. There are many different decorations, accessories, and objects you might be enticed to buy, but keeping your style simple and practical will not only create a welcoming feel but also keep your outdoor space from becoming cluttered and disorganized.

Multi-functional pieces

When you’re picking out furniture for your space, consider pieces that can serve multiple purposes, especially if you are working with a small space. For example, a bench seat can also be used to store cushions, and coffee tables can be used to set food and drinks out as well as store toys or smaller cushions. An ice chest can also be used to store ice and keep food and beverages cold while also acting as a side table.

Keep décor minimal

Sticking to neutral pieces will extend their longevity, but colour can be brought in with cushions and throw pillows to make the space more vibrant. When you’re purchasing cushions and pillows, make sure that you purchase fabrics that are durable and don’t over-purchase throw pillows. Only buy the number of items that you actually need. Remember, all of these items will need to be stored over the winter and in bad weather.

Consider what works with your space, and what works with our weather. For example, wrought iron furniture is durable but heavy, and might not be easy to move and store. Whicker is weather resistant but some pieces can be bulky and may not work with your space. Sectional couches can maximize space while still offering a lot of seating, and may be a good option if you don’t have room for multiple couches and chairs. Weather resistant carpets are a great way to protect feet and keep your patio or deck clean while also bringing some style to your space.

Add some greenery

Make use of your natural outdoor surroundings and add a pop of colour with planters or a small flower bed. Planters come in all shapes and sizes, so you can use one that fits your space, whether it’s around your backyard or a simple pot on an outdoor coffee table. If you’re tight on space, you can create a “hanging” garden but planting flowers or herbs on a wall-mounted planter on the side of your house or shed. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that these plants will have to be watered and looked after all summer. Try to keep all of your gardening tools close by with a gardening caddy or storage bench. This way, you will have easy access to regularly used items like watering cans and gardening gloves.

Let there be light

Lanterns or string lights can provide much needed light to a space, especially when you’re enjoying a beautiful evening outside with friends and family. String lights and lanterns can also provide a decorative element to your outdoor space, and many can be used as decorations inside during the off-season. String lights are also relatively easy to store, and can be wrapped up like Christmas lights to prevent tangling. Try making your own storage system or purchase a storage container like this option.

Your outdoor space can be warm and inviting without over cluttering your yard. By using simple and practical pieces with a few pops of colour or greenery, you can transform your deck or patio in time to enjoy the warm weather ahead!

Get ready for Spring!

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It may have taken a long time for the snow to finally leave, but it's safe to say that spring is finally here! The weather isn't quite warm enough for outdoor activities, but there are plenty of other indoor activities that can still help celebrate the upcoming season.

To help get you and your family ready for spring, why not try out one of these seasonal activities that can easily be done with a few household ingredients:

Baking

  • Use up your leftovers: Do you have a lot of Easter chocolate leftover, and aren't sure what to do with it? This recipe from Bake. Eat. Repeat. uses popular Easter egg candies on top of a haystack to make a festive treat! Not only is it easy to make, this recipe requires no baking at all, and is easy for children of any age to help with.
  • Snacks that are healthy and fun: Strawberries are a versatile fruit, and a great snack for kids to take to lunch or have at home. This spring, why not add a little something extra? Consider trying these pastel-coloured strawberries from Salt & Lavender that are covered in chocolate for a fun treat or dessert. Kids can easily help out by dipping them into sprinkles or dipping the strawberries themselves. For something simpler, Kid Friendly Things to Do has a recipe for lady-bug themed strawberries that only require some melted chocolate and mini-marshmallows.
  • Butterfly pretzels: It may be too soon to see a real butterfly, but consider decorating your cupcakes with chocolate covered pretzels and round candies to resemble a colourful butterfly like this one from Who Needs a Cape. Or, you can use your creative skills to assemble these pretzel butterflies from Butter with a Side of Bread with a variety of colourful candy melts and plenty of sprinkles!

Arts and crafts

  • Garden decor: This craft is easy for children to help with, and after it's done it can be used to spruce up your garden or flower bed. All you need are a few rocks, a brush and outdoor paint! Check out the full instructions at Crafts by Amanda.
  • Food into art: Bow-tie noodles have another use besides a meal option - they can be used to make a variety of springtime objects for an artistic rendering of spring. Crafty Morning shows how you can use these noodles, a few markers and glue to create butterflies, flowers and more.
  • Bird feeders: Bird seeds, water, and gelatine make for a fun craft from Messy Little Monsters. Use whatever cookie cutters you have to make the seeds into fun shapes, and hang them with coloured ribbon. This is also a great activity for kids to get involved in - not only can they enjoy making the bird treats, they can also have fun waiting to see who eats them as well!

There are many different activities that you and your family can do to celebrate the season without having to break the bank or buy extra materials. While these activities are spring-themed, they can easily be pulled out throughout the spring and summer whenever bad weather hits the city!