What is 2016 going to look like for you?

have a vision

I have VISION and I intend to follow it! Will you join me?

Having a vision is far more important to happiness than setting resolutions on New Year’s Eve. I’ve never been one for resolutions but in the past I never really went into the New Year with a clear focus on what I wanted to change or what I wanted to achieve.

Being in a relationship that didn’t allow me to have my own goals or achievements meant I stopped thinking about the future. I just lived each day as it came and all I wanted was for each day to be better than the last.

Looking back, New Year’s Eve has always made me feel optimistic about the future, yet I never knew what my new year would look like. I guess I had an idea of what I wanted for my life but felt it hopeless to dream about the future and the things I wanted for my family when I quite honestly knew it would never be that way in that situation.

Going into the new years eve of 2010/2011 I felt slightly more optimistic about the future than I had the previous 2 years, though the lead up to it was not great. I had had issues with my partner and had taken our then 18month old son away for a few days. He begged for us to come back and promised the world to us of course. We returned home and as a family went into the family fireworks to enjoy the New Year celebrations. It was a great night and it was preceded with a few great days. Little did I know that I had fell pregnant with our daughter during this time.

By the following New Year we had separated, our daughter just 3 months old!

After the separation I had a vision for how I wanted things to be with their dad and was still full of hope that we could put the domestic violence behind us. I think I wore rose coloured glasses. I hoped that we could have a connected family, that we could get along, communicate and parent sided by side even without being in a relationship. I guess I just didn’t understand the full impact of family violence.

My hopes could not be a reality in our situation.

By 2014 I had come to terms with this and had started focusing on myself and the future I could provide for our kids. My new year’s thoughts revolved around making life easier and better for us, about earning money and pursuing my dreams.

The ending of a close family friendship early that year turned things upside down a bit for me initially. I didn’t really have a set vision for my life anymore and I didn’t know where we were headed. I looked for opportunities to help guide the way. Later that year I decided to do further study and started my handmade business Remake It in the hope I could earn a bit of extra money. I thought I had it all sorted.

But by the middle of the year I began to feel the pressure of enrolling my son into school for 2015. It was something I just didn’t want to think about. The decision was too hard and I had to make it on my own. Would I get it right, did I want to live where we were for the next 6 years, would this be our life and so on, where the questions I asked myself. I talked with my counsellor about it but I couldn’t gain any clarity and months went by. Then I started looking at what I want for my life, our life, the life of my kids. What was important to me, what did I need to fill the gaps in my life. How could I get what I needed and achieve what I wanted.


I realised I needed to talk with my family about what support they could offer and I discussed moving to better our position, to provide my son with a better education. And this was when I started looking at New Year’s resolutions differently. It was about having a vision and setting goals or intentions to achieve that vision.

I looked at lots of things online about goals, intentions, making commitments and resolutions. The future was still a bit uncertain and I didn’t really know how the move would go but I decided that I needed to make the commitment to moving in order to make the changes for our life that I had visioned. I committed to having a red hot go at my handmade business for 12 months and I had the goal of making a small income from it by the end of the year.

It was quite surprising for me to read the initial goal I had written back at the beginning of the year to realise I have achieved that goal. My commitment paid off, and whilst I don’t actually make a living from it I am pleased with where I have come. I have made the most of our move, I have made friends despite thinking I hadn’t and I have had a fulfilling year volunteering my time at school.

I have a vision and I am working toward this every day now.

For 2016 my aim is not to just set a goal and achieve it but to actually pursue my vision and purpose in life more directly. I have looked at what I want to change about the future and I intend to set out to make those changes.

I’ve had so many things going on this year, I really spread myself to thin at times and I know with my plans for next year nothing will be to different but I want to be a more present and mindful parent, I want to make more connections and I want to succeed at my study and be able to spread happiness through life and this blog.

I have set the intentions, I have stated it to myself, I have written it down and before the New Year even arrives I will start working on them.

Here are the 3 things I have used this year to help get clear on my vision for 2016. I don’t get anything out of sharing them with you, I just think they are great, they have made it easy for me to think about what is important and I wanted to share them with you.

  1. Commitment – by Alexandra Franzen
  2. new years resolutions/goals – by 30 handmade days
  3. new years resolutions – kids – I did this because its more detailed than the adult version with a section to review 2015 and even though she calls them resolutions they are noting like the standard resolution such as ‘loose weight’ that most people tend to make.

I hope you enjoy them and remember …

Don’t set resolutions this new year, have a vision it will help you find happiness within!

Until next week…

Be Happy!






Why understanding my core values & beliefs helped shape my happiness

And how you can identify yours.

Week 2

I’ve really struggled getting started writing this post, I’m not sure why at the moment but I’m sure I will have clarity by the end. I have heaps of notes down about how knowing my values and beliefs has impacted my life but I am not sure how to bring it all together. Yet I don’t think that is what I’m struggling with most. Anyway…


They are the drivers in your life whether you think it or not. They are often so ingrained in us once we are adults that we just go about our lives not even realising they exist.

Both our values and beliefs come from our parents, family and childhood. This doesn’t mean to say that you will have the same set of values as your parents or a particular set of values because you were raised in a certain way, but it is likely that they will be similar or polar opposites from my experience.

Everyone has different values, sometimes we share a value with someone and that is why we connect and sometimes it’s our beliefs that allow us to get along. We all have a top set of values that show up in almost everything we do in our lives.

Do you know what your values are?

Values are things like acceptance, compassion, equality, respect, authority, honesty and the like. Whereas belief are things like: A child should be seen and not heard; or a woman’s place is in the home; or you are not smart enough to be a doctor. I would describe them as, beliefs are the thoughts and values are the feelings and they more often than not go hand in hand.

After leaving the relationship with the kids dad and moving into a new house I realised I had completely lost myself. I didn’t know what I enjoyed and I didn’t find joy in things. I had stopped doing anything that I had liked to do and I more importantly didn’t know what it was that I believed in.

I found the Pinterest app for my phone and that started the ball rolling with finding joy again. I loved that I could pin things for later reference and one of my early pins was about finding your core values. This is the link I pinned, http://jennyhoople.com/blog/how-to-find-your-core-values/

I pinned it because I didn’t know what my values were, I had entered the relationship with a mixed set of values and beliefs. I wanted to be a stay at home mum but I didn’t want to be a slave to the kitchen, I wanted to contribute to the house but not just in a motherly way. I loved raising my son and being his teacher but I didn’t see this as something I would do forever.

Once I became a single parent all those values and beliefs no longer seemed relevant. I had to make our life better, I couldn’t just sit around and have someone pay our way but everything was muddled up, how could I make the right decisions for mine and the kids futures if I didn’t know what I value and believe.

The exercise was a little unclear at this time, I didn’t really know how to pin point my values. I was still really foggy from the separation and the trauma but I think it always remained in the back of my mind, as many things came up that made me begin questioning my values and beliefs.

One such thing was a session at support group based around Tony Robbins theory of the 6 human needs. It wasn’t until looking at the homework question later on, that got me thinking about it more. Our peer educator asked us in the work sheet to “discover your priorities in life & how you can best fulfil them in a sustainable way.” She asked a few questions all relating back to the 6 needs and the final question was about which 2 needs are most important to you.

I think the core needs link to your values and beliefs as without them you can’t determine which need has a greater importance to you. I wasn’t able to determine the answer but I did take it with me to counselling and talk over it further.

It wasn’t until doing the parent manifesto program that I mentioned last week that I was actually able to pin point my values. It wasn’t that easy and when faced with a list like this I found it pretty hard to narrow it down. Parent manifest and most other people or programs with information on personal values suggest to pick 5-10 values. Jodie Benveniste reminds you to pick them based on what you DO value rather than what you think you SHOULD value.

personal-values-examples-list-download core-values-example-list

I saw this to mean that even though I got bought up influenced by the value of conformity say, that I actually value assertiveness. That even though I was in a relationship where Power was the greatest value at play, my values are deeply embedded in Respect and Equality.

When I finally finished this exercise (that was meant to be simple) a week later I had a top 10 list that looked like this;

  • Awareness
  • Compassion
  • Confidence
  • Equality
  • Honesty
  • Patience
  • Reciprocity
  • Respect
  • Self-development
  • Supportiveness

I have since come to realise that this list for me is by no means fixed and there are things like independence, family, connection, commitment, contribution, persistence, open-mindedness and communication that come into play for me when dealing with life situations. Maybe I should change up my list but there is nothing on there that I want to take away.

The flexibility of my values comes down to my beliefs!

Some of my beliefs that have had significant impact on my life is that ‘women are equal.’ I think I believe in this because I was raised mostly by my mum who had fought for this as a young woman with studying and following a career rather than doing what was expected of her by society with the general belief that a woman’s place was in the home.

I value Equality because of these beliefs and from seeing that it can and does exist in both scenarios.

In relationship I particularly value communication. I do not believe that children should be seen and not heard so I get really annoyed when they don’t talk to me or can’t tell me how they feel because I want to hear them. Likewise with their dad I found it particularly hard when I knew something was up but he wouldn’t talk to me about it. I always get along with people who are good talkers and I find it a real struggle to make conversation with shy people. I believe that things, often important things get lost in a lack of communication.

A strong work ethic is something I have developed, I work hard no matter where it is I have made a commitment, be it a job, volunteer position or at home. If I have made a commitment to my family or friends I stick to it and I believe you should always put in 100%. I probably need to work on the commitment to myself though.

“Knowing my values and understanding my beliefs has allowed me to find myself again.

It gave me clarity around why I found things annoying, it made me understand why I thought the way I thought and behaved the way I behaved. Getting clarity on my values made me realise why and how I had gotten myself into a domestic violence relationship and it made me relieved that I had gotten out of that relationship for the future of my kids.

It hasn’t always made things easy though as I have a couple of really strong values that often conflict with each other and put me in a situation where I don’t like to be. I then feel down and have to work hard to pull myself out of that slump.

The positive is that now I can use my values and beliefs as a guiding light for turning that slump around.

I had good intentions of making a pretty poster for my wall and until today had never finished it but I do have my values in the parent manifesto book, in a journal and on the computer. I often look at them to remind me of what is important, to understand what is driving me in a particular situation or to remind me of what I need to improve on and I have added to the list as new values arise.

Having this list of values and knowing my beliefs has stopped me overthinking negative feelings or situations. It helps me to keep moving forward in difficult times. I think I have really only mastered this skill this year and its only because I have had issues with an intimate relationship and friendships that I have learnt to use it to turn the negative feelings into a positive via my values.

Have you gained any clarity about what your values are or those big driving beliefs?

I think it’s also important to recognise any negative beliefs you might have as well. If you have been in a domestic violence relationship often your partner will have put you down with comments about your weight or looks or even your values and beliefs. Don’t hold onto those negative beliefs, make sure when you assess your values and beliefs that they are your own. Don’t shy away from them, stand up and believe in them as they are;

What make you who you are!

What make you valuable!

What makes you worth knowing!


Are you ready to find your values?

If you are ready to identify your values you can use the list above as a starting point. If you’re not sure what a word means then looking it up in the dictionary can help. Ask yourself questions about situations that have occurred in your life. Dig deeper into them and look at what is at the core of it, like I have to understand why I think women are equal. Or for example with patience, it’s on my list because I am forever telling the kids to wait and not be in such a hurry, because I am able to wait in line or for the things I want calmly, because when I was at uni the international students would come to me for help and I was able to show them patience and because I wish I had more patience with my kids.

If the list is not extensive enough you can find more online and you can add your own words like I have done with awareness, confidence and communication.

When it comes to your beliefs consider what things where like when you were growing up, the things your parents used to tell you or the way they expected you to behave. Look at what you currently do in your life, with your children are you hard on them about certain things. Do you have people that rub you up the wrong way, why did you have an issue with the way they treated you or the way they behave. What is it that gets you down and what is it that you think when you are down. These things will likely be your beliefs.

I found it helpful to write everything that came into my head down and then over the week I went through them to narrow it down. I looked at what was really important to me from the list. I crossed out the one that didn’t get me fired up, that didn’t make me feel motivated, and that didn’t make me smile or feel good. You could write them on an A4 piece of paper and stick them on your wall for a few days and see if the really resonate with you as you go about your daily task. Don’t let it take over your whole being but perhaps at the end of each day take 5 minutes to reflect and think about what showed up in the things you did.

Remember it’s not set in stone, it’s not a tattoo, if you think something is not right then it can be changed and you might find like me that your values are flexible and ebb and flow depending on the day.

I hope that finding your values and understanding your beliefs can help you move forward in your life.

Until next week…

Be happy!


How happy are you?

launch date announcement

Happiness is…within you!

If you or someone you know suffers depression, anxiety, has experienced family violence or trauma then you will find something in my story that you identify with.

I am Erin and this is where I will share how I found happiness within ME!

this is me-erin


I look forward to having you along for the ride!


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