"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

March & April 2019 Goals


Following on from sharing about the big goals I'm trying to work towards over the next few years, I thought I'd share the little goals I plan to focus on every couple of months, however mundane they may be. I enjoy blogging about my goals because it helps give me the motivation and determination to see tasks completed and goals achieved. Declaring my goals gives me accountability and fuels my desire to succeed. It also helps me enjoy the process of working towards a goal and celebrate the small victories along the way; I'm learning to be proud of my progress.


I'm not confident I'll be able to accomplish everything I want to over the next two months as I've got a bunch of new symptoms on my plate, but I will sure try my best. Here's what I'm aiming to achieve:


Clean out kitchen cupboards and reorganise

Why I want to achieve this goal: I'm not proud of it but my kitchen shelves have turned into a pigsty. Before illness I used to be an organised neat freak and I want to get as close as I can to being that person again. I want to see everything I have at a glance without needing to pull several things out to get to something. I want to make writing grocery lists easier, and cooking more enjoyable.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? The design of our apartment's kitchen storage is frustrating and challenging. Case in point: there is a tiny cupboard which is only good for storing things like long life milk. I'm still struggling with maximising cupboard space three years in. Out of frustration I've adopted an ''Oh well'' approach and things get shoved wherever they fit. The way some cupboards were designed means I have no choice but to stack things in front of other needed items, so having an organised and functional kitchen feels like an impossible challenge.


Our infamous milk cupboard.

How am I going to accomplish this goal? Search Pinterest for inspiration and try out some different storage solutions for small spaces. Shopping for kitchen storage that ''sparks joy'' will also help motivate me to create and keep more visually appealing cupboards.

My reward: New kitchen decor from Kmart and Ikea.


Investigate new symptoms

Why I want to achieve this goal: I encountered some new, uncomfortable and persistent symptoms towards the end of last year- drenching body sweats, flank pain, and shortness of breath with minimal exertion. Initially, it was diagnosed as a UTI, then a virus turned post-viral syndrome. For now, it's being labelled as part of my fibromyalgia, which I don't feel it is. All of this is hard to deal with on top of my other problems so I want to find the cause, and hopefully a treatment or cure as soon as possible.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? Negative test results so far mean that doctors aren't taking this as seriously as I'd like them to, and they don't understand how uncomfortable these symptoms are to live with daily. My regular GP seems confident to chalk these symptoms up to fibromyalgia and hyperhidrosis, which is a problem because I know my body best. This is my thirteenth year living with fibromyalgia, so I'm well acquainted with what symptoms are ''normal'' for me. I know what pain and symptoms are most likely from a flare-up and when things are really out of the ordinary, like now.

What is my life?!


Also, conflicting advice is a problem that strikes again. My integrative doctor has recommended I see my rheumatologist for these symptoms to rule out rheumatoid arthritis because it can cause sweating and fevers. This frustrates me immensely because my GP told me that it's muscular when I questioned if it could be arthritis coming back (I've been in remission for the last 18 months). I'm at my wit's end and have reached the point where I don't want to see doctors any more. I've had enough.

How am I going to accomplish this goal? See my rheumatologist and gynaecologist to have arthritis and endometriosis medication side effects ruled out. Attend my echocardiogram appointment as recommended by my GP just in case we happen to ''Catch the beginning of something''.

My reward: I think I deserve a box of doughnuts or a celebratory cake after sorting out this nightmare.


Catch up with one or two friends from church

Why I want to achieve this goal: I haven't had much contact with anyone from church so far this year because I've been focussing on dealing with new symptoms, but I'm beginning to feel depressed so I need to hang out with some uplifting people for my mental health's sake. I want to get to know friends better and make my social life more of a priority.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? Brain fog and mental fatigue crushes my confidence and makes holding a conversation incredibly challenging at times. Usually I have an attention span of 10-15 minutes before my brain slows down and I have trouble recalling words and processing what people say. It's embarrassing. There have been many times when conversations have given me intense mental fatigue and eye pain which is very difficult to cope with. CFS is frustratingly absurd and I don't think I will ever come to understand it.

How will I accomplish this goal? Ask someone I've been meaning to catch up with to meet for a coffee on a week where I have no other energy demanding activities.

My reward: The obvious reward here is coffee... well, a chai latte for me because I'm trying to do low caffeine.


Clean my shower  

Why I want to achieve this goal: My shower is getting grotty and we have an upcoming rental inspection, so it needs a good clean.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? Cleaning my shower is a chore that sucks the most energy from me, so I'm not motivated to get it sparkling clean.

My spirit animal. Image via Pinterest.

How am I going to accomplish this goal? Concentrate on one section each day instead of cleaning everything in one hit- wall tiles one day, glass screens the next, followed by floor tiles.

My reward: Spend a gift voucher on some new bathroom decor.


Complete 3-4 craft projects

Sneak peek of bookends I made for my sister.

Why I want to achieve this goal: I want to make some beautiful birthday gifts as well as some cute Easter cards if I have the time and energy. I've just finished a birthday gift for my sister using some lovely Kasiercraft goodies I got during their boxing day sale, so now that's done, I want to focus on completing a gift for my mum. It was supposed to be finished for her birthday in April last year but the project turned out to be more work and way more challenging than I was expecting. I've had to take a long break from the project as it was doing my head in. I feel like a terrible daughter, so I'm determined to get it finished and make it as beautiful as I can for her birthday this year.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? Cognitive dysfunction because of fatigue can make crafting challenging, and sometimes it's hard to get motivated.

How am I going to accomplish this goal? Craft in 20 minute blocks whenever I can.

My reward: Check out a craft store I haven't been to. There's a paper craft store I've been meaning to check out just 15 minutes drive from me. Having a peruse through will be a nice reward once I've finished all my planned projects.


Change blog name and template

Why I want to achieve this goal: I've been wanting to change my blog name for a few years now as I'm not the only Chronically Creative any more. I'm now one of several bloggers and Instagrammers with this name and it no longer feels like my own. Now it looks like I'm copying others and I don't like it. I don't want to be associated with these people, I enjoy travelling in my own lane and doing my own thing. So it's time for a name change, a new look, and a new direction.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing? Feeling like it's to late to change names and ''re-brand'' after so many years. I'm terrified of making mistakes when it comes to changing things over and fear I'll permanently stuff up my blog as I'm unsure of how to change my domain name. (Google instructions are very confusing and I don't know if some of them even apply to my account.)

How am I going to accomplish this goal? Run blog name ideas past some friends, find a new blog template that best reflects the new name, and pray before I make any changes.

My reward: Pizza and board games night with a friend.

Fingers crossed I still have a blog come May.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sparkle Christmas Cards



I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to get a post up before Christmas detailing the cards I made and sent out in December. Chronic illness is a real pest like that, it never lets me do all the Christmassy things I want to do. It was a Christmas miracle though that I could even make 18 cards and get them sent out just in time, let alone write about them, so I did pretty well considering.

So today I'm excited to share my Christmas card-making adventure with you. Yes, a Christmas post in February! I'm a mess but let's just roll with it...

Back in August when Kaisercraft released their first Christmas collection for 2018, Sparkle, I fell deeply in love. The pink, the glitter, the blooms, the marble, the rose gold- what a stunning combination. I knew this was the collection I wanted to create some Christmas magic with, so when it went on sale in mid-August I used a bad pain night to my advantage and got my online order in at 12.30 am before everything sold out; which it did, apparently before 7 am. (You gotta get in early because us crafty bitches mean business.) 

Getting the gorgeous craft supplies you want at half price is a great consolation for terrible pain, I reckon. If only retail therapy was covered by health insurance. It seriously needs to be a thing.

While I had planned to make my cards before December rolled around, important things kept demanding my energy so I didn't get started on them until the first week of December. It was a stressful time but also a fun and rewarding one. Making and posting Christmas cards became a priority because it had been a few years since I'd done it because of moving house, and I wanted it to be a little thank you to some special people who helped me last year.

I was blessed to have my mum clean for me so I could focus on finishing my cards. Without her these cards probably wouldn't be possible. I also had to sacrifice a lot to get them done and missed out on doing so many Christmas activities, but I think it was worth it. Luckily I finished them in time and got them sent out at the end of the second week of December. Phew. The sense of achievement I felt when I popped them in the post was unbeatable. I felt like I had just defeated Goliath.

 I was so impressed with myself and proud of what I made despite intense mental fatigue. While I would have loved to have come up with more elaborate designs with more textures and layers, I didn't have the time or energy to experiment; I had to keep them simple, but stunning.

At first I didn't quite know what to do with the papers. I found them intimidating because most of the designs already had a lot going on so I wasn't sure how to go about layering. After some trial and error and having a look at what others had done on Instagram, I quickly got in the groove and the ideas kept flowing. I am still bursting with them! All products used are Kaisercraft unless otherwise stated.


Reindeer Radiance

Materials used: Francheville A6 Cardstock- White; Sparkle Radiance 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; Sparkle Paper Pad; Decorative Die- Reindeer; American Crafts Christmas Glitter Speciality Paper Pad.

I've had this reindeer decorative die in my stash for quite some time now but haven't made good use of it until now. I guess I was waiting for the right moment and for some inspiration to strike, and the Sparkle Collection provided it. When I saw the beautiful rose gold marble paper, I knew I had to try pairing it with the reindeer decorative die; and it's the perfect match. I added a strip of the Sparkle Shiny paper so that the reindeer doesn't get lost in the marble paper and is the focal point of the card.


Glint Glam 

Materials used: 12x12 weave cardstock- Tutu; Sparkle Glint 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; Sparkle Paper Pad; Decorative Die- Christmas Pine; Rhinestones- Black.

It's a tough pick but I think this is my favourite out of the six cards I made. It's a simple one to throw together so I love how it turned out looking more glamorous than simple. I found the poinsettia paper the most difficult to incorporate in a card but I love how it looks as a backdrop for the Christmas Pine Die Cut. I also love the strip of the gorgeous Vivacity paper (glitter side) as a layering base; it's so pretty and magical! 

For an easy sentiment (I had no time for stamping), I used one from the Sparkle Paper Pad and attached it with foam squares. For the tree I die cut two using my Cuttlebug and stuck them together with foam squares, then glued the base down flat on the card. Using foam squares gives the tree a 3D effect which helps it stand out from the busyness of the poinsettia paper. Black rhinestones hide the spots where the foam adhesive pokes through, which I incidentally found helped tie everything together nicely. I didn't cover the whole tree with rhinestones as I didn't have enough but I kind of like it that way; it's quirky.


Bauble Aglow

Materials used: Sparkle Aglow 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; 12x12 weave cardstock- Snow; Rhinestones- Silver; Decorative Die Script Bauble; Sparkle Clear Collectables.

When I saw the Bauble Script Decorative Die Cut from Kaisercraft in Spotlight, I knew I wanted to use it with this collection somehow. This was the first card I came up with and the one that took the most work. The die cuts are intricate and delicate, making them difficult to glue down. The glitter cardstock I cut them with also didn't help the situation. My fingers were covered in glue trying to wrangle glitter paper into place; as much as I love working with glitter it was a bit of a nightmare. I ended up piling the glue on and wiping away the excess with a baby wipe.

When arranging my mentally planned layout for this card on my desk I thought it looked great, so I went ahead with it. But once everything was glued in place I didn't feel as happy with it. I haven't put my finger on what's not right yet, maybe it's the alignment? I questioned if I should have put the tree die cut in the centre and flowers on both sides, but picturing that in my head didn't look right either. In the end I sent them as is because I didn't have time to experiment. Then I saw the card sitting on my auntie's kitchen mantle and I suddenly liked it more. It looked better and prettier up on that mantle which made me feel better about sending it. If I saw this card in a shop or on display at a market, I'd probably buy it, so it's not that bad. I still want to experiment with this decorative die though.


A Vivacity Christmas

Materials used: Sparkle Radiance 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; Francheville A6 Cardstock- White; Sparkle Paper Pad.

I used the flip side of the marble paper (Sparkle Radiance) as the base for this card. This was such a fun, quick card to throw together. I love how the strip of glitter elevates everything and how the fussy cut poinsettias add a cute finishing touch that's perfect for a dreamy Pink Christmas.


Glistening Reindeer

Materials used: 12x12 weave cardstock- Tutu; Sparkle Glistening 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; Sparkle Paper Pad; Decorative Die- Reindeer; American Crafts Christmas Speciality Paper Pad.

To keep things easy, I used the same layout as Reindeer Radiance for this card. To switch things up, I used the gorgeous pink and rose gold snowflake paper. I was contemplating on whether to use a rose gold coloured reindeer as well but I think the gold glitter stands out more and exudes elegance.


Reindeer Joy

Materials used: Kaisercard 12x12 weave cardstock- Coal; Sparkle Illuminate 12x12 Scrapbook Paper; Decorative Dies Words Joy; Sparkle Paper Pad.

This rose gold reindeer paper is to die for. Initially, I planned to combine this paper with some others in the collection but decided it made a beautiful card all on its own. I attached the paper to black cardstock and to make the card pop I used Kaisercraft's die cut sentiment 'Joy', which I cut from the rose gold paper in the paper pad. I glued the top half of the sentiment to the card and left the bottom unglued so it stands out and doesn't look too flat. It's such a cute and simple card to make, which I see being my go-to when a last minute Christmas card is needed.

I think the Sparkle Collection may be my favourite Kaisercraft Christmas release to date. I recommend getting your crafty hands on the entire collection if you can. It's absolutely gorgeous and such fun to create with. I stocked up on the collection during their Boxing Day sale- that's how much I love it!

Now I'm looking forward to sitting down and having a stress free play with these papers with no time constraints. I have a few more ideas I'm keen to try, and I'd like to take these simple layouts to the next level.

Which card is your favourite?

PS: I'm experimenting with font because Blogger is a wally, so bear with me. xx

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Redefining ''This will be my year"

Image credit: Fit Girl's Diary

Since illness interrupted my life, New Year's Eve has always been tough on my mental health. I approach the holiday with dread rather than excitement and hope. It's fraught with overwhelm, panic, anxiety and disappointment. I'm reminded of another year lost, the things I couldn't achieve, and opportunities I had to let pass me by. Suffice to say I kick off a new year already feeling defeated.

Several years ago at the start of a new year, a church leader prayed for me. They prophesied that that year would be my year- I would go back to university and achieve all that I wanted to. It was going to be great. I believed things would be exceptionally better for me that year so it crushed me when it turned out to be one of the worst years of my life.

Ever since then I've been hesitant to expect great things, and I've become fearful of goal setting because I feel like I'm only setting myself up for disappointment and heartbreak.
But at the beginning of this year, I had an epiphany in an Aldi car park that changed that for me.

I flopped into 2018 feeling worse for wear. Endometriosis pain was becoming difficult to manage, and I was trying to find answers why the disease was causing some terrifying symptoms I had never experienced before. I knew things weren't right with my body and I knew the disease had come back worse and was growing in places it hadn't before. As a result I also knew I'd probably end up needing another surgery to remove the lesions (turns out I was right), so health-wise I knew this year would not be my year either.

As I was driving to Aldi for some groceries, I felt overwhelmed at the thought of battling another year of chronic pain and fatigue. Facing another year of the same hard struggles was depressing and terrifying. And I felt powerless.

Another year of struggling to keep a clean home and suffering for having any kind of fun. Another year of feeling like I'm dying after cooking a healthy meal. Another year watching my life slip through my fingers. Another year sacrificing for my health and saying no to things I want to do. Another year stumbling through bad days peppered with pain, physical fatigue and debilitating cognitive dysfunction. Another year navigating the healthcare system and searching for better treatments. Another year dealing with health professionals who don't understand fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Another year enduring post-exertional malaise after the simplest of tasks.

How am I going to do this? I don't want another year of this, it's too much. And I am so, so tired.

But then as I was sitting in an Aldi car park trying to muster up the motivation to do a grocery shop I had a thought... 

What if it could be my year in other ways? What if I'm looking at things wrong? 

I realised that since getting sick I've always defined how good a year is by my health, and usually it's bad, so it's no wonder I'm feeling disheartened at the end and beginning of every year! I have been so unfair to myself, and if I keep judging a year on my health, then no year will be any good.

So I decided to approach 2018 differently and redefine my definition of ''This will be my year.''

Unless God healed me I had to face that I wouldn't be better this year either. In that moment of acceptance, I found a strength and joy I hadn't felt in years, and I realised I wasn't entirely powerless and that I still had choices.

I can be strong, brave and kind. I can be open to what God wants to share with me and be a blessing to others. When a song I like comes on my car radio while I'm on my way to a medical appointment, I can turn up the volume, sing (out of tune) and choose joy at that moment. I can be thankful for the small victories and celebrate them even if it's as dull and minute as unloading the dishwasher. 2018 can be a great year if I change my attitude and outlook. It will be different to a healthy person's definition of great, but that's okay.

I've taken a hiatus from New Year's goal setting for quite some time now because years of unattained goals left me feeling dispirited. But after my epiphany, I felt empowered to establish a better relationship with goal setting. I finally felt ready to overcome my fear of goal setting and felt a surge of excitement about setting some realistic goals again. 

The past few years were a complete write-off. Focusing on recovering from depression caused by pain medication and surviving side effects of some alternative treatments was all I could do. So it felt about time to apply some structure and direction to my year and have goals to aim for so I can optimise my better days.
Laugh at my photography guys, because it's hilarious! At least I'm trying though, right?

I grabbed my Kikki.K Goals Journal and got to work. While working through the journal I discovered that I need to do a better job at making and achieving goals more fun and rewarding. This is paramount when living with illness.

While I set my goals with intention, I promised myself that I would treat myself with kindness if I didn't attain them because I am no longer evaluating my year solely on achievements and health status. By not imposing specific time frames for my goals, I've taken the pressure off myself. Giving myself just one year to complete several goals is unrealistic for someone managing chronic illnesses around the clock.

Prepare yourselves for my Bitmoji to regularly appear in posts.

Here are the things I've been trying to prioritise in my life this year and will continue to over the next few years: 

Finish organising craft supplies and decorate my craft corner

Why I want to achieve this goal:
I want to get back to making beautiful things and enjoy a fun, functional (and pretty!) workspace. I want to work on craft projects knowing where all my supplies are.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Fatigue, pain, overwhelm and lack of storage space. Going from having a whole craft room to a small corner in an apartment bedroom is way more challenging than I thought it would be. Also, lack of finances has been a hindrance in getting the storage items I want to make the space look amazing.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Sort through things in 15-minute blocks on good days and focus on one section at a time to minimise feeling overwhelmed.Temporarily store supplies and tools in labelled packing boxes until I can make my craft area a financial priority. Find new ways to store things and pack away things that aren't frequently used and store them in our car park storage cage.

My reward:
I'd love to have a crafternoon with friends but due to CFS and its impact on my brain I'm unable to talk with/entertain friends and craft at the same time. It sucks but I'll just treat myself to some craft things from my wish-list instead. New craft supplies are great motivation! 

Finish current read  

Why I want to achieve this goal:
I've been trying to get through 'The Oath' by Frank Peretti for many years and I want to finish what I started and move onto other reads I have received.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Mental fatigue and brain fog make reading regularly challenging and impossible at times. Pre-illness I found reading enjoyable and relaxing and now it's stressful and feels like a chore. Sometimes reading is too frustrating and I have to put my book down for long periods of time. Because of these challenges, I struggle to find the motivation to read.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Make reading more pleasurable. I enjoy my morning turmeric lattes, so it makes sense to work my way through a paragraph or two (when possible) while sipping away.

My reward:
I'd say buy a new book but I already have more than enough to get through, so I shall have a movie night with my favourite snacks.

Stop being bothered by what others think of me

Why I want to achieve this goal:
Some awful experiences I had at a church I previously attended have been holding me back from the life I want to live for far too long.

When I was at one of the lowest points with my health, and suffering from depression as a result, I gathered up the courage to ask someone from church for some support. I was feeling isolated and just wanted a friend to have coffee with, so I went to reach out to someone on Facebook who I thought was my friend and someone I could trust and confide in, to find they had deleted me. It made me feel a million times more alone, and it devastated me. I thought they were my friend, and I felt so ashamed and stupid I got it so wrong. To have that happen when I was in the thick of depression and a health crisis was soul-crushing. That was the last time I tried asking for help in that church. I shut down, lost all of my confidence, and hid away.

Not long after that incident a bunch of people from that church also deleted me from Facebook around the same time. I noticed this because I have a pretty small friend list (it's obvious who's missing from my feed) and a few people who I was friends with popped up as mutual friends. Now I don't have a problem with people not wanting to be friends with me on Facebook anymore, heck, I delete people too. But what hurts is when those people choose to stay friends with all of your family members. Yeah, that stings. It feels much more personal and you know they probably have a problem with you and don't like you very much. Stab in the heart. Ouch.

Distraught, I blubbered to my mum through tears: ''How can I keep going to a church where nobody likes me? How can I keep going to a church that doesn't care I'm sick? What did I do wrong? I want to know if I've done anything wrong so I can fix it.''

The answer was I didn't do anything wrong; they let me down when I needed help, support and love the most. And I couldn't continue going to a church that treated me like I was worthless and persisted in noninclusive behaviour.

I didn't leave that church because a group of people were insensitive on Facebook, many other happenings wounded me, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

My negative expeiences with people in that congregation impacted my life in many ways. The harsh reality that I was alone in that church and that no one cared I was going through hell broke me for many years. It made my depression and anxiety worse and shattered my confidence. I'm now filled with self-doubt, I overthink and overanalyze conversations I have with new people I meet, and I worry the support that I desire now and then just makes me a burden to people. Even after six years since leaving that church I'm still trying to heal.

My social life has suffered for far too long, so I want to worry less about other people's thoughts and judgements of me. Worrying about what others think is debilitating. I want to gain self-respect and mental freedom, and I want to stop hiding from social situations out of fear people won't like me.

Made with Canva

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Negative experiences that have scarred me. Having social anxiety also doesn't help because it makes me feel that people are negatively critiquing me.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Find a new church that's a better fit for me. Ask for prayer. Remind myself of who I am in Christ and remember that it doesn't matter if a group of people don't like me because eventually I'll find one that does. I can't be perfect and I can't be everyone's cup of tea, and that's okay.

My reward: 
Buy a nice journal to record reflections and progress. 

Source: Pinterest

Find a new church and attend as much as possible

Why I want to achieve this goal:
To reduce feeling isolated, heal from past negative church experiences and build my confidence back up. I want to see God move in my life, make great friends and be a blessing to others. I want to surround myself with people who support my dreams and will encouarge me to grow.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Fatigue, brain fog, social anxiety. It's frustrating that I'm not yet well enough to go every week, but if I can aim to go every 2-3 weeks, I'll be happy with that. That's a huge improvement on not going to church at all.

My reward: 
Coffee dates with new friends.

Get another opinion on my painful feet 

Why I want to achieve this goal:
A few years ago my feet started hurting more than they should. They looked twice their size, and it became painful to walk or stand for periods longer than 10 minutes. I gave hard orthotics a physiotherapist recommended a try, but I couldn't walk in them; it was too painful with fibromyalgia. Then after a podiatrist told me that soft orthotics were the only way to go at the expense of $600, I gave up searching for pain relief. I don't have $600 to risk on custom orthotics that may not work or could flare up my fibromyalgia pain!

Hoping the pain would go away I've been ignoring the problem, but whatever is wrong with my feet is now impacting on my shins and knees, so I need to get another opinion. I'd like to find a podiatrist who understands my financial situation and will find other options that might be more fibromyalgia friendly. The goal is to make walking and standing more comfortable, and receive help choosing more supportive footwear.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Conflicting opinions from healthcare professionals. A physiotherapist was convinced that aside from having flat feet, rheumatoid arthritis is causing most of the pain. My rheumatologist disagreed with their opinion and referred me to a podiatrist who told me the same thing the physiotherapist did! (Apparently my feet are deformed from arthritis.) Who the heck do I believe? This is all so frustrating that I can't be bothered with this problem anymore; I have much more troublesome symptoms to manage, so my feet come low on my priority list.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Find a podiatrist who understands my financial situation and is willing to find other ways to improve pain. If podiatry doesn't help, demand to have scans done. I don't think arthritis is my problem, but I question if flat feet explains everything.

My reward:
Buy some new supportive shoes (following podiatrist's recommendation) with a gift card I received for my birthday.

Watch less TV 

Why I want to achieve this goal:
I've been watching Home & Away religiously for well over a decade. It's a 30 minute (sometimes 90 minute) commitment four nights a week. Last year the show became boring for me but I kept on watching, out of habit. I want to ditch it from my life and save my mental energy for the more fulfilling and rewarding things that bring me joy.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
The temptation to sloth on the couch all evening. Sometimes I don't feel like doing anything other than plonking myself in front of the tv.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Make the couch off limits at 7 pm unless it's a terrible day and I can't manage anything else.

My reward:
Time to spend crafting.

Strewth I'll miss Alf Stewart though.

Keep trying to get endometriosis pain under control

Why I want to achieve this goal:
I want to know why endometriosis is now giving me terrible arm, shoulder and leg pain, amongst other wacky symptoms. I want to improve this pain so I can stop living in fear of my menstrual cycles.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Wanting to give up because I'm just damn tired of it all. Needing to see healthcare professionals regularly for the pain and having to explain everything over and over is exhausting. I'd like a break. Also, treatment is freaking expensive.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Find a better gynaecologist, try pelvic floor physiotherapy and consult a pelvic pain specialist.

My reward:
After every endometriosis related appointment, have something nice for lunch.

 Get finances in order

Why I want to achieve this goal:  
To feel in control again. Medical bills and groceries are killing my budget (I swear the price of fruit and vegetables has skyrocketed in the last two years) and I want to see if I can make cutbacks somewhere to generate savings. I also want to look at investing more into craft, to help me build up my portfolio and make tracks starting a business one day.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Sitting down and doing a budget isn't a fun way to spend precious energy.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
I'd like to get a copy of Scott Pape's 'The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need' and put his advice into practice. It will be interesting to see how it works with so many medical expenses.

My reward:
My new favourite treat, a jam croissant.

Get back into yoga 

Why I want to accomplish this goal:
I had to stop exercising when I moved out of home to allow my body to recover from the move. I miss the sense of accomplishment a 5-30 minute yoga workout gave me and I'd now like to get back into it, even if it's just for a few minutes a week. Improving my balance would be awesome too.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Not always having the energy for both daily activities and exercise is a big issue. Things like cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping feel like running a marathon to my sick body. Adding exercise into that mix is like trying to swim in winter clothing.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Try to set aside 2-3 days a week to focus on one yoga pose. Create a better morning routine and stick to it when possible.

My reward:
For every 15 days of exercise enjoy Nutella doughnuts. The irony of this reward is not lost on me! But hey, if it gives me the motivation to get back into a little exercise then so be it. #willdodownwardfacingdogfordonuts #girlsgottadowhatagirlsgonnado

I want to feel like a unicorn again. Image credit: YogiApproved

Get back to making beautiful things

Why I want to achieve this goal:
Now I'm starting to get my workspace and craft supplies more organised I want to get back to doing what makes my soul happy and make things that bring joy to others. I want to get better at craft, learn new techniques, experiment, and build up my portfolio in the hopes of becoming an Etsy seller. I feel like selling a few handmade gifts now and then is a nice little goal to work towards which will give me a sense of purpose.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Fear and lack of confidence. Because I haven't been able to craft on a semiregular basis, I feel like I've forgotten how to craft and I kind of feel lost. I'm not a confident person and I doubt if what I make is good enough to sell, even though people keep telling me it is. I'm also terrified of selling to someone to hear I've disappointed them.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Create a space I want to craft in. Dedicate time each week to keep my workspace and supplies organised. Have a look at Pinterest and YouTube for inspiration. Invest in tools and supplies that excite me. Try to ration my energy better so I have more times when I do feel like crafting. Aim to work on 1-2 projects a month.

My reward:
Buy a craft magazine occasionally and visit craft markets.

Write with wild abandon 

Why I want to achieve this goal:
I've been holding back with my writing.There are topics and things I've been through that I haven't written about for fear of oversharing and offending people. If I keep living in this fear and keep writing to please, I'm never going to take this blog to the next level. I need to take risks with my writing because I want this blog to be a solid stepping stone for writing and publishing a book.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Fear of judgement, feeling like I'm a terrible writer, and anxiety. I wake up in the night with panic attacks whenever I post something that's deeply personal. Mental fatigue is also a hinderance, it makes writing challening and often impossible.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Focus on writing about issues I'm passionate about instead of worrying about what people want to read. Remember that if a post helps one person feel less alone, then it is worth being vulnerable.

My reward:
Tea with my favourite biscuits. (They are the Woolworths Free From Gluten Scotch Finger Biscuits if you're curious. I'm addicted! However I should point out they are also free from dairy and eggs, so won't be to everyone's taste.)

Become a pen pal

Why I want to achieve this goal:
To get back to sending snail mail again, gain a sense of purpose, and be a blessing and encouragement to someone.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Low energy and brain fog.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Consider joining a pen pal group on Facebook. There is an endometriosis one that looks cool, though I will have to be very careful.

My reward:
New pens, paper or Ephemera.

Get back into adult colouring

Why I want to achieve this goal:
For mindfulness and relaxation. I also want to improve my colouring of stamped images for cardmaking.

What is holding me back? What obstacles am I facing?
Being a novice. The crazy skill level on Instagram is intimidating and makes me feel like I shouldn't even bother because I'll never be that good.

How am I going to accomplish this goal?
Remind myself that it's all about relaxation and having fun. Most good colourists are professional artists, which I am not, so I shouldn't be comparing my efforts to theirs.

My reward:
Enjoy tea with a slice of cake after completing a page. 

My first attempt at adult colouring.

FYI: It has taken me many years to get to the place where I am today. If you're not in a place to set goals just yet, that's okay. Just because you're focusing on surviving and doing the best you can for your health doesn't make you any less of a rock star, so please don't compare yourself to me. You are still worthy and important without goals and achievements.

Also, this is not a sponsered post. I genuinely like the structure of the Kikki.K Goals Journal and recommend it.

 I hope to be back next year with the goal of attempting small monthly goals.

You can follow my goals progress and daily achievements on my socials- Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (emily-creative).


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