END OF YEAR REFLECTIONS
Before you jump into planning exciting things for the new year it can be wise to look back at the year just gone and remind yourself of the resolutions you set 365 days ago. What were the major highlights of 2015 for you? And what were the pitfalls? Did these happy moments happen by chance or were they the outcome of your own hard work? Not everything is within our control of course, but we can always learn from experience. If you set a list of goals for 2015, how many of those goals did you achieve and how many did you completely forget about!?
MONTHLY ACTION PLAN - ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Rather than planning for the whole year ahead you could split your resolutions into monthly achievable action plans. What would you like to have accomplished by the end of January?
Break your action plan down into categories such as Career, Health, Love, Adventure or Education. Take it one month at a time and actually achieve your resolutions. This way, they can always change and develop. You won't feel pressured into sticking to goals you made at the beginning of the year. Your action plan should be precise and obtainable, with a focused list of realistic tasks to achieve.
MAKE A LESS/MORE LIST
I like this a lot! It's a very simple idea I first spotted on Pinterest. Make a table with two columns. One column for LESS and one for MORE. And using one word answers fill in your table with a list of what you'd like to do less of in 2016 and what you'd like to do more of in 2016. Print it out and pin it up so you can be reminded daily, or write it down in your diary/journal/phone. See my 'Planning & Organising' board on Pinterest for examples of the Less/More list.
FOLLOW A DECLARATION OF INTENT
Also found on Pinterest was a 'declaration of intention' print with blank spaces to fill in and make personal to you. The designer Emily McDowell says "Intentions are stronger than resolutions. They say to your subconscious, 'This is how things are gonna go around here from now on'". You can purchase this beautiful print here then personalise it to suit your new year intentions and frame in your home.
WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR YEARLY PROJECTS
If resolutions aren't your thing but you'd still like to try something new next year then you might benefit from following a project with a time scale and set instructions/ideas. For example, if you'd like to write more (either creatively or for your blog) you can search for prompts and perhaps write one short story every month. There's the 52 Lists Project for those of you who love compiling lists. A prominent creative project is to take a photo everyday for a whole year. Or if you want to develop your illustration skills, do a small sketch or doodle every day of the year. Project Life is a popular way to journal, using photos, graphics and text in an easy to build ring binder. But you can document your year and capture memories in any way you like.
SET YOURSELF A CHALLENGE
If you're the competitive type and want to test yourself throughout 2016 you might be interested in following or writing your own challenge. I started thinking more about challenges when I spotted the 30 Day Minimalist Challenge on Instagram. Throughout a set period of time you follow a daily task set out to improve your life in one way or another. I've seen people devise their own money saving challenges by putting away a small amount each week with a target for the end of the year. You can set yourself a challenge that runs over the course of the whole year, a couple of months or a few weeks. Anything goes. Whether it's a fitness challenge to abide by, or a blogging challenge to blog every day for one month (I did that once). Resolutions shouldn't be a drag to stick to, setting shorter challenges can be fun!
MAKE A SELFLESS RESOLUTION
Why not call an end to self-centered resolutions that only reward yourself? Make a promise to pay someone a (honest) compliment everyday, be kinder, leave encouraging comments on your favourite blogs, start donating to a charity or throw your own charity fundraiser. The options are limitless. A good friend of mine really wanted to raise money for charity this year and get family and friends together in the process. Her fundraiser was really successful! But your selfless resolution can be a very small and simple act. I think we all could benefit from being be more supportive of each other online and in person.
START A BULLET JOURNAL
A bullet journal is a easy way of keeping track of all your to-dos and appointments. It uses a method called 'rapid logging' which helps you identify what’s important and get rid of the things that aren’t. You can then focus your time and energy more effectively. I'm going to be sticking with one throughout 2016 and you can read more about the bullet journal system here.
I hope this blog post was helpful and I've inspired you to create your own exciting resolutions. They should be fun, rewarding and achievable. I will say throughout this post I have focused on a lot of doing. Remember it's also a good idea to promise yourself you will do-less. If the thought of setting challenges and goals for 2016 feels so overwhelming, make a resolution to do more of what you love, relax and stop putting so much pressure on yourself. I hope you all have a wonderful 2016 and that the next year brings you health and happiness. Thank you all for making writing this blog so enjoyable! <3