There are two blog posts that I’ve been looking forward to writing for the last few weeks. The second one is my annual review. That blog gives me a chance to reflect on the year gone by, the ups and downs, the breakthroughs, the transitions and the beautiful moments. But the first one is this one. The Best of Live Simple 2014. This is where I can look back through the blogs that I’ve written and decide which ones I’m most proud of, so that I can share them with you and give you my reasons why they’re important.
2014 has been transformative for me, Angie and Lucas. We’ve achieved a lot of what we dreamt about on that balcony in Switzerland, and the blogging this year reflects that. One of the things that I feel I will look back on with pride is how the blog has documented the entire process of laying out a vision, developing a strategy, and then fundamentally changing our lives forever. It hasn’t been easy or straightforward, and our path to living simply still seems to get quite complicated. But we continue to make progress – even if it’s tiny steps at a time. The blog shows the struggle and the difficulty, but from the feedback that we get, I know it has inspired people to make their own changes, because they can see from us that it is possible – it just takes planning, dedication and time.
So, without further ado, here’s the best of Live Simple 2014:
Get fit slowly
This will be just as relevant as January ticks around in a few weeks. A lot of people out there will be making the most of the festive period with a ton of bad food and a lot of alcohol to wash it down, only to kick-start an intense training regime in January…which will fizzle out by the end of February. You can be smarter than this by making fitness a habit. Start slowly, address your imbalances, work with a (good) trainer to understand the correct form for strength work, and set out a long-term vision for your health.
Not technically a blog, but this was a really important development on our website. One of my first objectives when we returned from America was to actually lay out what Live Simple means. Over the course of a few weeks, me and Angie brainstormed a ton of different ideas and interests which covered the way we eat, train, and the other aspects that contribute to a healthy (in our opinion) lifestyle. And then we wrote it all down for you…
Breastfeeding – A survival guide for new mums
The most views. The most comments. The most loves. This was a blog that really spoke to people, and Angie’s honest and open exploration of her breastfeeding experience connected with women around the world.
Finding your minimum effective dose
One of the training adjustments that I had to make in 2014 was to reduce it. Mainly, this was because of a crazy work schedule and Lucas not really sleeping. At all. Ever. So, I went back to Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body, as well as Body by Science, and re-focused on the moves that have the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time. *SPOILER ALERT*- Sprints and deadlifts. Done.
My take on BBC’s Horizon – Sugar v Fat
This blog got traction from all over the web, as it took on the findings from a BBC show which pitted two twins against each other in a health challenge – one ate only sugar (although he didn’t really…) and one ate only fat (although he didn’t really…..). It led to a really interesting TV show, albeit with (in my opinion) a lot of flaws, and got people thinking much more about the effect food has on your body, which has to be a good thing. (I used a lot of brackets there, didn’t I?)
3 tips to help you quit your job and follow your passion
The internet is filled with people trying to help you do this. People who figured out long before I did that a life of corporate drudgery was meaningless nonsense. I wrote this right at the time I resigned from my corporate job. Before I handed in my resignation, I actually felt like a bit of a sham in some ways. Here I was blogging about living simply and finding your passions in life, and I was still working for a big corporation day in day out! Resigning was a huge mental boost for me, and was one of the moments when Live Simple became real.
This post also has one of the biggest lessons that I learnt from 2014. Life is short. So many people forget that. This blog can help you figure out what you really want to do with your career. Let me know what you think about it!
How to declutter sentimental things
Decluttering has been one of the most effective things we’ve done to make life simpler. At one stage, we wanted a bigger house and more stuff. Having decluttered, we now realise we have a ton of space and essentially have no need to move house anymore. But, for most people, decluttering grinds to a halt when sentimental things are involved. This blog will give you some concrete strategies to help you disassociate the ‘thing’ from the memory. It’s not easy, but it is possible.
Finding the light in the dark
This was a breakthrough moment for me in 2014. By changing my perspective on a seemingly negative situation, I was able to change the situation itself. Since it happened, I’ve been actively trying to apply it to more in my life, and it’s been having a huge effect.
Reflections on year of fatherhood
If there was one blog that I poured my heart into this year, it was this one. Being a Dad has been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, and I’m sure it will dominate my reflections in my annual review. In this blog, I look back on a year of having Lucas in our lives, from the terrifying start to the ‘we can do this’ end.
Somewhere on the line between Before and After
Whether you’re looking at weight loss, entrepreneurship or financial freedom, you’ll find thousands of ‘Before and After’ style success stories on the internet. What you never really see is that bit in the middle, where you’ve made the initial shifts, but there’s still a long way to go to fulfil the dreams and ambitions that you began with. That’s where we are. Somewhere in the middle. It’s not often you read about people in that position, so I really wanted to write about it to give people hope. Our transformation hasn’t happened over night, but it sure is happening…
What I’ve learnt in 100 blog posts
I was so chuffed when I realised I was about to hit 100 blog posts. I could have just done a ‘best of’ (like this!!!) to mark it, but actually, writing a blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. It has surprised me in many ways; the fact that I mainly write about mindset; the fact that I’ve written so much personal stuff; the fact that I’ve always got ideas to write about! It has played a lead role in our transformation, and as I look back over the 100 blogs, I couldn’t be more proud.
That’s it! That’s my pick of 2014. It’s quite a different selection compared to the best of 2013, but I think that reflects the humungous changes we’ve gone through this year.
I certainly hope that you’ve enjoyed reading our Live Simple blog in 2014. I love writing for you, and with the huge list of ideas I’ve got for 2015, I’m hoping the blog will continue to get better and better….
Photo: Angie and Lucas enjoying Echo Lake in New Hampshire, summer 2014.