I hope you had a festive holiday filled with joy and laughter! It is hard to believe we’re less than a week away from 2018. Our Christmas eve and day were spent differently in comparison to past years. Corey and I spent our holiday cozied up in our new home, just the two of us. This was surprisingly difficult for me – at times, I felt like I was missing out elsewhere. After the excitement of opening gifts and making breakfast together, I was at a loss of what to do. We bundled up and went for a walk outside (luckily the sun made the freezing temps somewhat bearable!), which was a great reminder of what Christmas is all about. At first, spending the holiday just the two of us was odd for me. Corey provided great perspective: he reminded me that spending Christmas together in our new home was important to us and something we really wanted. While it was isolating at first, we shifted gears to total relaxation and simply enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful way to spend Christmas – together.
Christmas having a slower pace this year allowed me several quiet moments to sit, reflect and concentrate some of my thinking on 2018. I’m excited to share 5 ways I plan to prep for 2018 – I know we often have the intention of goal setting for the New Year ahead, but it sometimes falls to the wayside. One thing that works for me is actually setting time aside to sit by myself, think and write everything down.
I am a big believer in reflection and meditation. While this is my intention every year, I rarely give myself ample quiet time to simply sit with my thoughts. It is important to reflect on experiences (good and bad), challenges, setbacks, relationships and growth from the previous year. Furthermore, it is crucial to reflect on goals, ambitions, hopes, and changes you’d like to achieve and focus on for the New Year. A journal helps reflection come to life – taking time to write fleeting thoughts down on paper. Throughout the year, use the journal as a check point to see which areas could use more love and attention and where you’re thriving.
(2) Create a Bucket List
This is perhaps my favorite thing to do. While I sometimes go a bit over the top with my list, it is highly motivating putting together an organized list of all the things you want to accomplish in the next year of your life. Resolutions and lists can be overwhelming especially if you feel obligated to make them a reality. The purpose of bucket lists are not created to feel pressured, but rather to feel inspired. Keep this in perspective as you brainstorm unique and new experiences to try in the New Year. A few of mine include: travel to 2-3 countries, enroll in a photography class, Photoshop online course and rescue a puppy.
(3) Mood Board
For all you visionaries out there, this one is for you. Many of us are inspired through photos – ones that let our imaginations run wild and free. Pinterest is a great tool for this – try gathering your favorite quotes and inspired visuals spanning travel, style, color, fitness, design, art, photography. Keep an open mind and stray from making it look perfect. The purpose of this exercise is to encourage stepping outside your comfort zone and seeking out individual curiosities.
(4) Practice Gratitude
Each morning and every night, I spend five minutes writing down what I’m grateful for. The Five Minute Journal has completely changed my perspective. This journal focuses your attention on the good in life and uses the science of positive psychology to improve happiness. Each morning, I write down three things I am grateful for, three things that would make today great, and one daily affirmation. Every night, I write down 3 things that made today great and three things that could have made today better. Being grateful has changed my disposition – focusing on what I have, not on what I don’t have. Dedicating 10 minutes of your day to cultivating gratitude will help you appreciate more and complain less.
(5) A Day Dedicated to YOU
Believe it or not, this one is most difficult for me. I find it easiest to be busy which makes relaxation and ‘doing nothing’ tricky. I plan on taking a full blown self-love day sometime in January to fully reboot before setting 2018 reflections and goals into motion. This day can be anything you want it to be – spa, workout class, saddle up at coffee bar with a good book, outdoor adventure – dream up something great for yourself…and do it.