As one year draws to a close and another begins, we all reflect on what we would like to improve on. The natural break at the end of the year is the perfect time to think about life, where we’re going and how we’re going about it. What do we want from life? Are we living the way we want to live? Am I content? Call it a resolution, a mantra, a theme, a goal… we’re all contemplating that next step on our journey. Even without a clear plan, sometimes we intrinsically know what we need. For example, if you’ve been dithering and procrastinating in work you might choose to turn over a new leaf or jump into a project that really excites you. You may already be working on those things that are getting you down without even knowing it.
I never really had a yearly plan until I created one a couple of years ago on an Excel spreadsheet. My idea was to note what I wanted to improve (my lack of patience for one) and what I would do to achieve those things (getting back into yoga was one of the options). I’d then review my progress on a monthly basis and record it on the spreadsheet. Even though I didn’t faithfully record everything I did month by month, when I revisited the spreadsheet much later I realised that I actually had improved myself (for example, my temper was nowhere near as bad as it had been a few months before). Of course self-improvement is something we’ll always have to work on (I still need to remind myself to take deep breathe every time something annoys me) but it was a revelation to notice the changes in myself.
That’s why I’ve thought about creating a plan for 2016 to keep my curiosity, creativity and best intentions going through the dark days of the year when my optimism is waning. It’s all about being positive – I don’t want to feel guilt for something that’s essentially just an idea for now. Nothing is fixed. If a brilliant opportunity comes up, I will jump in headlong rather than dithering. These are my plans for 2016, for now.
Travel – Visit friends and family
We’ve already booked a trip to New Zealand in March which I can’t wait for. I’d also like to visit a friend in Budapest, meet up with my brother in Stockholm, explore Berlin with friends (and see my dad at the same time), and go to Scotland (Hogmanay would be amazing). Of course we only have limited annual leave, so as long as I can meet up with some of my friends and family who live abroad I will be happy.
Work – Increase productivity
This year I’ve noticed that I’ve slowed down a bit in work. I still take pride in a job well done, but it’s almost like there’s too much of a safety net and I’ve become a little complacent. I want to be more proactive in my current job. I could also do with something exciting, unexpected and challenging to shake me up a little. That’s why I’m currently looking around at other opportunities on offer including setting up my own business (part time). Let’s see where it takes me!
Life and home – Settle down (for now)
We’ve been living in upheaval for the past 2 years, never completely settled down. All of my things have been in boxes pretty much since I moved out of my parent’s flat 10 years ago to go to university. Since then I’ve moved almost every year. I’m at a point in my life where I’d quite like to settle down for a bit. I’m not talking 10-15 years, just having a home in the next 3-5 years would be nice. So this year I’m determined that we will sell our current house and find somewhere to really live, where I can have a space for myself and set up an office/craft/yoga room. I need to settle into a place and into myself again.
Hobbies and myself – Let that creativity flow
I feel like I’ve discovered so much about myself in the last year through my activities outside of work. I started volunteering, began a foundation training course in yoga, created this blog, and experimented with crafts and crochet in particular. I’d like to continue with all these things because I’ve loved rediscovering my creativity and where it’s taking me. This year I would like to experiment more with photography (my mum is giving me her old pro DSLR), I’d like to draw and paint more often and always have at least one crafty project on the go (I’m guilt of finishing a project and then it takes time to get me going again). I’d also like to expand my culinary skills by trying my hand at brewing and infusing – for example by making mead or my own cider. I want to spend less money on beauty products and try making more of my own (especially a natural deodorant that works). Most importantly, I want to practise meditation more frequently and be able to zone out more easily to let that creativity flow freely.
Do you have any resolutions or plans for 2016? What are your priorities or wishes for the year ahead?