19.5.15

The Welcome to Now Project: Week 1

Thanks so much for your encouragement with The Welcome to Now Project and welcome to all those who have decided to join in - I'm sure it'll be worth it. Yesterday was a positive start for me and I feel full of motivation to get moving with the 4 areas. So here are my plans for week 1. It's all about dipping my toes in and then taking the plunge.

1. The-once-and-for-all-declutter. This week I'm teaching 3½ days so I won't have much time to declutter. However, on my full day off I'm going to go into the loft and remove the large, easy to clear bits of clutter (unused furniture, cardboard boxes etc.). The reason I'm going to attack the loft first is because it's probably the most cluttered area of the house and according to feng shui (which I'm beginning to read about) it's best to tackle those areas that are most disorganised first. I also have half empty boxes from our 2012 house move so I'm going to consolidate those boxes. My visit to the loft will also be about assessing what's there so that I can plan what to declutter next. Afterwards I'll visit the tip/recycling centre with the debris and also my favourite charity shop as my son has returned from uni and has willingly edited his clothes (he has more clothes than anyone else in our family). On work days I'll aim to do a 30 minute declutter each evening in the kitchen attacking drawers, cupboards and any paperwork that's lingering. At the weekend I'll spend a few more hours with my husband streamlining our kitchen crockery, pans and glassware. 

2. Be Fabulous. My mornings will start with a drink of hot water and lemon and a short meditation (2-5 minutes). These are habits I've been forming over recent months that I want to establish as daily practice. Hopefully, healthy morning habits will lead to good choices throughout the rest of the day such as drinking plenty of water. This week my aim is to walk for 25 minutes a day either with my husband during his lunch break (he works from home) or after work before we eat. Walking is gentle exercise but also a really good way to unwind. We walk most days but not everyday so this week I'm going to be more disciplined. I'm going to increase my running sessions from 2 to 3 times a week but I'm going to make this 3rd run a short one (15 minutes) to avoid injury. I'll also try and plan some healthy meals for later on in the project. I'm working on ways of reducing sugar and have already ditched artificial sweeteners, diet drinks and tomato ketchup. 

3. Finding Focus.  I'm not the most organised of people and often keep my to-do list in my head. For week 1 of The Welcome to Now Project I'm going to try to write manageable to-do lists and power through these items before I allow myself any time online. I'm going to put my laptop to bed earlier and and give myself at least an hour to unwind before bed.  

4. Try Something New.  I'm going to read a book about mindfulness meditation Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, find out more about feng shui and plan something fun for the weekend. I'm not quite sure what but I I know there's enough mint in the garden for our first mojito of the year.

Have you any plans to get started with decluterring or build new habits this week? Is there anything you can't wait to cross off your to-do list? Please share and don't forget to reward yourself and allow time for rest too. 

Welcome to week 1 of The Welcome to Now Project. I'll be back with an update later in the week and will be using instagram to track my progress too. 



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20 comments

  1. Wherever you go, there you are is a wonderful book. Enjoy!

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  2. I've started having lemon in hot water again recently. It's approaching winter over here, and I'll take any help I can to avoid my own children or my students sharing their germs with me! I read Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying over January and went crazy with decluttering (yet still I find things to declutter!). Tomorrow is my day off, so I have some tidying planned, and also a massage! I teach flute at the moment rather than teaching in a classroom (much better hours for working around my kids, and part time too!), but when it starts to get cold my muscles tense up and my old RSI injury and my back start to cause a lot of discomfort. I've been in two rooms just this week where the heating hasn't been working and I've been so sore by the end of the day! So getting back to having regular body work is a priority of mine for the winter months. Both Osteopath (who manages my idiosyncratic spine!) and massage for relaxing my muscles and mind :) I was really enjoying walking to collect the kids from school, especially with our 19 week old puppy (!), but then I got an eye infection last week, and this week I have what I suspect is my husband's case of laryngitis brewing. His came on in the middle of a concert he was conducting on Saturday evening. It was rather entertaining listening to him introduce pieces and do his comedy quiz items with the audience with a very quiet, croaky voice! Mine is most likely to hit on my day off (much better planning!) where I can sit around drinking lemon and water and eating healthy all day (except for the chocolate...I crave it when I'm sick!) Something new for me (it arrived on Sunday) is a new album I ordered off Amazon by Laura Cantrell. I'm looking forward to having a proper listen, and hopefully the Kate Rusby album I ordered will arrive this week too. Often as a music teacher I don't want to listen to music if I've had a noisy day, but I love these two ladies! Right, epistle over! Bring on the fun :)

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  3. What great aims, it all sounds super-organised so you've obviously been thinking this through carefully.
    After 9 years in this house and decluttering about half of what was in it once we'd properly settled (we had no furniture for the first 3 mths and it was absolutely doable, but then I over-nested), I keep needing a new round and finding more… That's why I love inspiring sites like yours!

    I'd love to know how you're getting on with your "new" garden a year on - I am thinking of getting rid of the grass/moss on one side of the house and making a knot garden (I do enjoy trimming box, very meditative and only 1-2 times a year!) with herbs and just a few flowers I now know do well here...

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  4. Following on from my aims/hopes from yesterday's post, I also intend to eat a lot more healthily. By this I mean improve my eating habits, not exactly improve what I eat. I have realised that I don't enjoy my food any more as I eat/snack between meals and am therefore never really hungry at meal times. I started off my day today with one slice of granary bread toasted with a sliced tomato on top. Day one (today) I hope to not eat again until lunchtime by which time I will be really looking forward to my lunch. This in turn should help me with weight loss, which is another target. For me it works much better if I set a timescale such as yours, i.e 4 weeks, rather than plodding on indefinitely. I also hope to return to the level of walking me and hubs used to do which was 3 miles a night for 5 nights of the week. We live near a Forestry Commission wood and they have some great walks already mapped out and this is how I lost 2 stones in weight 2 years ago. Unfortunately day to day life took over and I didn't prioritise this walking so it fell by the wayside (as things do in busy family life). (Mrs LH)

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  5. what a great idea. I have bought a new compass and am slowly Feng Shui-ing the house. our bedroom is one of the biggest no no's. It has exposed beams across the bed. eek... it will all be done when the builders arrive but in the meantime it has to stay as it is

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  6. I too have made a start:
    1. I have finished decluttering my wardrobe and now have a beautiful pared back collection of clothes all of which I like and (almost) all of which I wear...see point 2 also.
    2. I have joined Weight Watchers to keep me accountable in losing 7kgs in the next three months. Gone forever. And then I can wear ALL of my clothes.
    3. I am in the depths of the most seasonally busy part of the working year and I will not lose myself to my work. I will eat well and continue to exercise. Stay focused and prioritise to get as much work as I can get done during work hours and use my weekends to completely unwind at home.
    4. This weekend I have accepted an invitation for a girls afternoon tea with champagne and cakes at a friend's house. This weekend I will also treat myself to two yoga sessions.

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  7. This comes at a good time for me. I have been quietly following your posts for a while. I found you when I was undergoing lots of changes and was looking for like minded people. Thank you for the work you put into the posts, they, along with your previous ones, offer advice and encouragement to people like me who need a ' nudge'...!

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  8. sounds like a good plan...this is the first month I've written out (and blogged) goals for myself and even though I may not reach all of them, I've definitely been more intentional and made some good progress.

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  9. The JKZ book is one of my absolute all-time favourite Mindfulness books. It's one I have lent out several times. One friend loved it so much she couldn't return it so I bought myself another copy! I saw JKZ talk in London a couple of weeks ago - he's truly an amazing man. Mindfulness wouldn't be having its moment now if it wasn't for his work.

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  10. What good timing! yesterday I was contacted by a friend asking if I'd like to join her and two others running the Run for Life this year, in memory of our mutual friend who died of breast cancer last September. Of course I said yes, and this will get me started on the running (which has been on my 'must start again' list for too long.
    Also yesterday youngest son came round and helped me sort through all sorts of electronic equipment left in his old room and no longer needed - all now offered and accepted by various people on Freegle.
    Next up - thinking of a 'something new' project. Though I've just finished one of those and am part-way through another.
    Sounds like you're already making a good start Claire!

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  11. After your chucking out session....all you have to do is remember, one thing comes into the house,then one thing must go out of the house.Its so easy.I don't know why people hang on to stuff. My sister wouldn't agree though,ha ha. I also believe that you do feel more calm if you aren't surrounded by clutter.

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  12. I also think some people just say they are going to declutter [I don't mean you.] cos its the latest fashion thing to say...as with what I call " fashion speak". yeah,yeah,yeah.grrr.One yes is enough.
    As with most things,its just down to common sense. Good luck with the project.

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  13. After your chucking out session....all you have to do is remember, one thing comes into the house,then one thing must go out of the house.Its so easy.I don't know why people hang on to stuff. My sister wouldn't agree though,ha ha. I also believe that you do feel more calm if you aren't surrounded by clutter.

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  14. Clare do you know how Laura is from no more spending, I am concerned that she hasn't posted for a while and I do hope she is well.

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  15. Hi Jo. No, I haven't heard from Laura recently although I believe she's started working again. Hopefully she'll be back soon as I miss her too and have been thinking of her.

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    1. I'm glad someone asked this, as I had been wondering the same thing. Do hope she is ok.

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  16. With all this warm weather, I've been trying to focus on reading for 30 mins every morning out on the patio. It allows me to start the day off in a good mood and can end the day without saying, another day I didn't do anything for myself.

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  17. From Margie in Toronto - I'll be following along with great interest as it will be a real motivator.
    .DEcluttering - I've been working on this seriously for the past year but had recently run out of steam. I bought Marie Kondo's book and it has me back on track. Clothes have been thrown out, donated, and reorganized - can't believe how neat all my dresser drawers look. I'm about 2/3 of the way through my books - and while I'd made a good effort with the paperwork a few months ago that is still the bane of my existence. Baby steps I guess.
    2. BE fabulous - already lost 40 pounds & down two sizes by sticking to 1200 calories a day - lots of fruit & veg, small amounts of protein throughout the day and very few carbs. Feel great and it is easier (although I'm a stress eater & today was a bad day) - but things will be better tomorrow and I'll be back on track.
    3. FOCUS - I'm normally very organized (friends might even say I'm a tad anal) but I feel as though I've lost the plot a bit lately so I do want to get back on track - a daily walk, less TV and an organized and clean living space will help with this.
    4. SOMEthing New - I'm off to Iceland tomorrow - somewhere very different from where I live so I think that counts!
    Good luck everyone.

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    1. Sounds like you are doing really well. Thanks for getting in touch and have a wonderful break. Iceland - how exciting!

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  18. I'm really glad our ancestors didn't de-clutter on a grand scale - there would be no artefacts, no letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, kitchenalia and every other 'alia' that had passed its use-by date, simple things which they would've taken very much for granted but which today tell us about the past. So take care you don't ditch the baby with the bathwater in all the de-cluttering. Just think, there would be no Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising had not the owner, Robert Opie, kept a chocolate wrapper as a child. As with minimalism about 15 years ago, de-cluttering is big business now with books telling us how to do this (as if we need to learn how to segregate stuff into out-and-out rubbish, things for charity shops and things worthy of an auction house) ... just take care not to rid yourself of a lifetime's collection of memorabilia for the next generation to discover. That Kondo woman must be raking it in.
    Margaret P

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Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. Keep in touch xo

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