Looking back on the Year Of

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On one level, my 2017 Year of Making Things Nice failed dismally.

One of the aims was to generate content for this blog. “I will produce a suite of before/after posts, generously imbued with beautiful photos of process and procedure. Blog traffic will steadily flow in, comments will be positive, questions will be asked, and the weekly stats will hit a record high for my little corner of the e-world.” That, I believe, was January’s internal monologue.

Alas, there were only 11 posts on this topic – 12 if you count this one. It was not my best year. The record belongs to the 28 posts of the Year of Efficient Eating, my first year of blogging back in 2012. Novelty is a strong motivator.

Unfortunately, these 11 posts were not particularly inspirational either. I can’t argue for quality over quantity. The stated aim for this year defined ‘nice’ in terms of potential – taking something that was not living up to it and making sure it did. It seems I didn’t apply that to my blog.

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Red

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Did I make anything nice?

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Yes, as it turned out, lack of blog posts aside, Making Things Nice was a useful mantra for 2017 when I moved again into a home of my own.

It’s an old house, with a lot of its old charm intact. The floor layout is of its time. The kitchen has to be seen to be believed. The west-facing enclosed rear verandah is not insulated. The shower-over-bath arrangement is a little dangerous. There is a list.

Yet I love the place and it’s desire for colour. (I tried to take some photos to illustrate, but the spaces aren’t styled to be photogenic, you knIw, like you see in magazines or on TV. Instead, I’ve included photos of the colours I’m loving.)

In settling in and working out how to make these spaces work, I took the opportunity to think about how I get things done. A little light reflection on Shuffle Days and Whirlwinds was supplemented with a new strategy I heard on the radio – Kanban or, as I prefer to call it, Times Threes.

Understanding and documenting overarching process was the blogging outcome rather than detailed step-by-step instructions of specific projects.

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Purple

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Is the format for Year Of changing?

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There are some rules for my Year Of format, and they deliberately exclude detailed plans, timelines and ticking off milestones towards a goal. The format is supposed to be exploratory and reactive. Change will not always run smoothly. Direction will twist and turn.

However, if the aim is to also generate interesting and informative blog posts, perhaps I should take note of the numerous how-to-blog articles that recommend a bit of planning and structure.

Perhaps the centre path will win the day.

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Green

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