Get Clear About the Life You Want – A 10 Year Vision

Things are so different from this time last year, and yet kind of the same. I spent a lot of time last year soul searching and working out what on earth I wanted from this gift of a life. Before last year I’d never really looked beyond 27. It’s not totally surprising with my Mother passing away at that age. It loomed so large, everything after it would have to be a breeze. It’s not, of course, with life being as much as a roller coaster as before, but now it has the faintest outline of a plan.

Get clear about the life you want and run like hell at it - Susan Petersen via Style for a Happy Home // Click though for more

Last week something sparked my memory back to that time of soul searching. Vanessa Carnevale popped up a writing prompt about 10 years from now on her google plus page and I was transported back to August last year. Her writing was all about you being 10 years older and what are you doing in that moment. The light bulb went on.

Last year I read this quote on my friend Megan’s blog: “A lot can change in ten years if you are clear about what you want (and don’t want).” – Tanya Geisler and I decided to write a vision for 10 years from that day. It might seem a little woo-woo, but at the time I was willing to give anything a go to see what I might actually want from life. It feels like a very privileged thing to think about, but I only get one shot at this life and I’d like to be proud of what I make of it.

The vision was about my life and where I saw myself. It was really interesting what came up when I let my mind wander. I had a nice, but modest home – in a coastal/country suburb; I was blogging and writing and had a little stack of books with my name on them on the floor; and I had a little family. These are pretty basic things that people want: home, job, family. But it helped me to get clear about working towards it a little bit every day.

I have tendency to feel like things need to be achieved right now, this instant. Once I dream it up and turn it into a plan, I want to execute that plan right away. Having a ten year basic “this is what I want by 37″ (it’s 9 years away now), gave me the permission I needed to not freak out that I couldn’t get that all done right away.

The beauty of the vision is that it’s not a step-by-step, it’s just an end goal. There are thousands of paths ahead of me that I can take and still end up there. In a way, that’s so freeing. Just because what I try first off doesn’t turn out as planned, doesn’t mean the whole dream is gone. It’s still a step closer to it, and to figuring out the how of making that dream a reality.

I was um-ing and ah-ing about writing this post and then Kelly Exeter’s blog post popped up in my twitter feed on Friday night asking the all important question: do you know where you’re going? I clicked through thinking that the answer would be ‘no’, but then I read the post and I realised that the answer was actually ‘yes, I sure do’. It asks two sensible questions, one about money and the other about what your day will look like. Go read it, if you haven’t already. It’s a good one. Thanks to taking the time to do the ten year vision last year, I knew the answers.

You might be thinking ‘that’s all well and good to have a vision, but how can you execute it, if you don’t have a plan?’ Good question! I do it by keeping it in the back of my head every time I make a decision about my business or my life. When I decided to take up running I thought about what I wanted for my future and decided that running was a good fit. When I plan out what I want for this blog, a big part of that is all leading to that goal.

I watched a clip a couple of months back of Ben Silbermann’s keynote from Alt Summit last January and he talked of the importance of a North Star. Something overarching that you’re always working towards. He talked about how it’s great to have forward progress, but it’s hard to know if you’re achieving anything if you don’t know what you’re trying to reach. Another light bulb went off. That’s what the vision is to me: a north star.

If you’ve found yourself a little lost like me, then maybe a 10 year vision will help you. It’s not too hard to do. Take a notepad (or your phone) and write down the date 10 years from today. Then take 3-5 minutes, or how ever long you like, to picture what your life looks like on that exact day. Jot down the bits that really stick out to you. What are you doing? Where do you live? Who is there with you? What can you see out the nearest window? Just let your mind wander and you might just see what’s most important to you, and even what’s not.

Whenever I feel stuck, and like there’s no progress being made I like to think of my favourite quote of all, “Get clear about the life you want and run like hell at it” – Susan Petersen, Freshly Picked. Then I remember that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Are visions something that work for you? What keeps you on track?

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun Australian Products for Kids

Hello! Happy Saturday! I have another gorgeous Aussie flavoured round up for you this week, and it’s a great one! This one is for the kiddos in your world with Australian products for kids! There’s so much great stuff out there that it was hard to choose what to include, but I think there’s a little something for each age group. Most of these are more in the higher price range this week, but all seem made to last. Here are this week’s picks!

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Fun Australian Products for Kids on Style for a Happy Home

  1. Ride On These are handcrafted and individually screenprinted ride on’s for your wee one. I love that they’re both functional and pretty! Buy It HerePin It Here
  2. Sock Monkey This guy is cuddly and cute too! A perfect companion for kids of almost any age! Buy It HerePin It Here
  3. Bean Bag This is a great product for your kiddos to grow with. Who doesn’t enjoy having a bean bag all of their very own?! Buy It HerePin It Here
  4. Melbourne Tram This wooden tram play set is such a sweet toy and is great for Melbourne lovers. Definitely one that would last many years of play. Buy It HerePin It Here
  5. Cute Cushion This Sunday Sundae cushion would be great for little ones and teens alike and would be a great addition to any bedroom. Buy It HerePin It Here
  6. World Map As a geography lover, I just adore a wall map and this is a great removable wall sticker that would look great in a kiddo’s room! Lots of colours to choose from too! Buy It HerePin It Here

Do you have a favourite aussie product that’s for kids? Are any of these on your wish list?

You can follow my Kiddos Pinterest Board for more inspiration! And you can also follow me here, if you’d like!

Mini Makeover: My Home Office

Last week I was feeling overwhelmed by the layout of my home office (and all the things that had accumulated on the flat surfaces) so I decided to give my space a mini makeover. Sometimes a mini makeover requires new stuff to be purchased, but this one really just needed me to rethink the layout of the furniture and find a place for all the things that were taking up bench space. This is less of a how-to and more of a what-I-did, but I hope you might still find some inspiration for your own space. x

Mini Makeover: My Home Office, a tour of Dannielle's office/studio, on Style for a Happy Home

Before I started my mini makeover, the printer and the in-trays were on the sideboard on the left wall and the wood desk was next to my white table with the right edge at the wall. It worked for a while, but it started to feel overwhelming with the two desks next to each other and the table top mess just seemed to spread out. I had my desk calendar and the iMac on the wood table, and it felt like I never had any space. For reasons I don’t totally understand, I start to feel claustrophobic when things pile up and I just wanted a change without spending any money. So here’s what I did:

Moving things around

I had an inkling that if I just rearranged my office layout, I could use the floorspace better, so before I started moving all the things, I started by making a floorplan in Photoshop and moved the furniture around in there to see that things would fit. Here’s how you can make your own floorplan. I measured the room and the desks/sideboard and worked out that I could give my white desk a bit more space if I turned the wood desk around. It was a pretty simple solution, but it has made a bit difference.

I also decided to make the wood desk a hub for the extra computer (iMac), the printer, the external drive and my in-trays. This moved them all closer to the power outlet and has left some room for the laptop to sit when I’m crafting at the white desk. I also use the space under that desk for storing boxes and things that I might use for later blog projects. Because no one sits at it, that space helps me to keep the rest of the floorspace clear.

Mini Makeover: My Home Office, a tour of Dannielle's office/studio, on Style for a Happy Home

The Workspace

I do most of my work at the white desk, which isn’t really a ‘desk’ at all. It’s an ikea dining table that I added rolly wheels to the bottom of and sits over a smaller ikea desk that I use just for the drawers. Yes, that is a little crazy, but the old desk was just too small, but also too good to throw out. The long term plan is to put that little desk back in use when I move into a space that I’m not sharing, and I’ll invest in some other drawers to put under the table. For now it’s a great solution, to needing a bigger desktop and needing the drawers underneath.

Once I moved the wood desk I could move the white desk over a bit so it sat more in the centre of the room. It still gives me enough space to get to the wood desk and now there’s a space for my step ladder which I use for all my photos that are taken from above. I’ve never had a spot for it before, and it’s great for it to have a place where no one is tripping over it.

I also had the brilliant idea to turn the desk calendar, that was taking up way too much space, into a wall calendar using some laundry pegs and some Sellotape brand ‘Sticky Dots’. That calendar is the editorial calendar for the blog and it works so well being able to always see what’s next whilst I’m working at the laptop. The mini Post-its are the perfect size for the squares and I love that they have are close by and I don’t need to go searching for them when I need a new one.

Because I take photos for the blog at the white desk, I keep the wall space behind it clear, which can feel a little bit dull some days, but I love that the other walls are covered with inspiration.

Mini Makeover: My Home Office, a tour of Dannielle's office/studio, on Style for a Happy Home

Staying Inspired & Keeping it Neat

A big thing that I need to keep in mind for my office is that I need to stay inspired so that I can create the best content I can for the blog. I am still freelancing, but I’m working towards making the blog more of my income, and to do that I need to make sure that I’m feeling inspired to work on it. I do this by having things I love up on the walls and even some of the things I made as blog tutorials (like the letters and the fabric hoops).

I use my whiteboard more as a motivation board than anything else, and I keep my vision board in the centre to (hopefully) keep me on track. I’m a bit of a bowerbird so I love all the little things I’ve collected that make me smile. Most of them didn’t cost much, but I enjoy seeing them in this space.

I’m messy by nature so keeping things neat is a challenge for me. I do love it when everything has a home, I’m just prone to letting it go for a while and then having a cleaning frenzy. Having cupboards and drawers on the sideboard (that’s under the whiteboard) really helps as does the bookshelf and the filing cabinet. I also have a wardrobe that is full of boxes and tubs that are labelled to help me find things when I need them.

One of the things I’ve learnt about being a crafty blogger is that lots of things come into your space that help you create some really cool stuff, but you have to keep on top of where all of it will live after it’s been blogged. It’s definitely a work in progress for me, but some things are given to family and friends when they’re no longer required or someone asks for them. Some will eventually be repurposed, which I love to do too!

Thoughts on the project:

I love being in this space again. I didn’t completely tidy all the things for this photo shoot, because I wanted to show that some things do sit a little out of place, but they work for me right now. The big lamps I bought for winter photography sit between my sideboard and the white desk because that’s the safest place for them, where no one could trip. A portable fan lives in there when it’s not in use and a portable heater at other times.

It’s not really the perfect space for a crafty office/studio with it’s carpeted floors, and the furniture doesn’t match, but sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got and I’m super thankful to have a space as big as this one to work in. My little bag biz started on the kitchen table and I remember what it was like with less than a quarter of this space. It’s not a ‘dream office space’ but I love it a whole lot.

It’s not always how it looks, but what it helps you achieve, hey?!

What is your favourite thing in your home office?

In case you’re looking for your own: the desk calendar is a Sasco Deluxe Desk Planner available from Officeworks. All frames are IKEA Ribba in various sizes. Bookshelf is from the IKEA Billy series. Hoops are from Spotlight.