Each year I try to set myself intentions and purpose for the year ahead. I try not to call these “resolutions”, because I personally find that wishfully setting strict new habits for myself is really just setting myself up for failure, as I strive to make it perfect from the get-go. As soon as I trip up, I consider it a failure, and stop trying. Drastic, I know, but instead of insisting on these resolutions, I’ve taken a softer approach over the years and setting these “intentions”. A bit woo-woo perhaps, but it works better than what I’ve tried to do in the past.
By the end of each year I go back to my list and assess how things have gone — no expectations involved. It’s just an exercise that makes you appreciate where you have tried a little bir harder the year that’s passed, and where you might need to try a little harder. Or even try again. Who cares, really — these lists are for you and you only. Build them in a way which feels achievable, and something you genuinely want to change or work on. Winning the lotto doesn’t count.
So, how did I go?
Well, let me start by saying I absolutely tried my best. Apart from the arrival of our daughter, 2018 has been a little bit of a b*tch of a year. There, I said it. I’m not going to bore you with the detail, but I am well and truly ready to turn a new leaf, and looking back on 2018’s intentions, I know I still have some work to do, but still pleased with the little wins that came my way this year.
Be more present, even in the every day.
I would give myself a half win for this. I’ve always naturally been very present in moments (it’s where I find lots of inspiration), but 2017 – 2018 probably got the better of me here, and I was trying my best to fix that. Stepping away from the computer helped, and working with a good old pen and paper. Having lunch away from your desk. Having a conversation with a friend without your phone near by. Reading books at night instead of scrolling instagram. Taking in the moment instead of trying to “capture the moment” with a phone. I need to work on this more, but it’s heading in the right direction.
Stop being late.
In 2017 I developed a nasty habit of always running late. For meetings. For friends. For myself. It was driving me insane, and I hated that rushed feeling and knowing I should have left earlier. I definitely got better at this in 2018, and two things helped with this. Setting my watch to 15 early, and “blocking” out my calendar on Friday mornings every week, for the week ahead. If you’re stuck at a desk all day, like I was, these calendar invites make it easy to stay on track and time limit yourself on tasks that can unnecessarily run over time.
Say no to drama, and dramatic people.
I hate drama. At least drama that’s created when it could have been avoided. Last year I found myself getting sucked into other people’s drama and catching myself in the middle of it, finding that I really didn’t understand what the problem was. Your colleague stole your sandwich? The cab driver was rude? Last year was packed with real problems that needed attention, and getting caught up in petty things that really do not matter, are just a waste of time. It was a hard circle to break, but I can safely say I got there towards the end of this year. It’s hard to maintain, but I am determined to!
Learn how to meditate.
Ha. Ha. Ha. I think this has been on my list for 4 years running now. This surely MUST be my year. If you have any tips, please help a girl out.
I used to do “morning pages” (Tim Ferriss explains this very well — have a Google), and I found that it was a great way for me to clear my head in the mornings. A bit like making your bed. I’ve tried to pick this back up again this year, and I’ll give myself 3/5 stars. This also includes blogging, which I really, really want to pick up the pace of, which I’m intending to do this year.
Pick up freelancing again.
Win! 2018 has ended with several freelance clients (new and old) coming onto the scene again, and I feel so grateful to be able to do a little bit of freelance work while I am on maternity leave with Rosie. My new website and brand is launching soon — keep an eye out.
Call my friends more often.
I’ve honestly tried to focus on this more during 2018, but truth of the matter is, I haven’t been much better with this. I often miss calls from friends because I’m at work (or now, with newborn), and I rarely call them back because I feel like I’m interrupting their day. Silly, I know, and something I need to work on, because I treasure my friends dearly. I intend to change this in 2019.
I’m currently setting my intentions for 2019. I won’t share them here until this time next year, and I suggest you do the same and keep yours to yourself until you can assess them the following year. This is an exercise I find works better in private, at least for me, but if you want the support from loved ones then write yours on a note and stick it on the fridge. I write mine down and pop them in the next year’s calendar at the beginning of December. Hopefully it’s a reminder of how far you’ve come. And if not, don’t worry. The only difference between one year to the next really only is a day.
Wishing you all an amazing start to 2019 x