I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to a year which, I personally feel, will be a great one. 2013 was fairly turbulent for me, but I’m looking forward to making this year a really exceptional one. I know that’s fairly cheesy, but this year for the first time in ages, I think it might actually be true.
So to aid me in making this year excellent, I’ve been thinking about how I can intentionally influence my time and space on this earth. This year will be less about letting things happen to/around me, and more about making things happen. This way, I can make sure the things that happen are all good things. This may be naïve, but I’m going to give it a try, and here’s how:
Be more organised
This year I will never miss a birthday! I’m going to use all the technology I can to aid me in this, from high-tech to low-fi. A relatively low-fi tip I have heard before goes as follows:
- Make/buy a card for everyone who you need to send a card to for the next year (I may change this to 6 months, so it’s not so overwhelming!)
- Either write it, or leave it blank and don’t seal the envelope, then write the latest date the card must be posted by in pencil under where the stamp would go.
- Keep the stack by the front door
- When you leave the house in the morning, check whether anything needs to go to the post box that day.
This will be the year I am organised enough to give this a try!
Keep one weekend in 4 COMPLETELY FREE
NOT EVEN A LITTLE SOMETHING PLANNED, NOTHING WHATSOEVER.
I am an introvert. This means I need time by myself to recharge, or I get really cranky/useless. However, I also love seeing my friends and family and always prioritise this over spending time by myself, which I tend to think of as ‘wasted time’. However, this is clearly not the case (see above). I need to reassure myself that it’s ok to need time by myself, moreover, that this should be scheduled into my diary so it doesn’t get pushed out by other more fun things to do.
Therefore, I’m going to keep one weekend in 4 completely free to allow me to have some time to recharge, and do some spontaneous activities with my husband who also tends to get neglected with all this family and friend time. I’m also going to rebrand ‘alone time’ as ‘recharging time’, so as to make it sound more like the legitimate use of time that it is.
Find out what colour my parachute is
I bought a book called “What Color Is Your Parachute?” amidst a career crisis I had recently, and I haven’t managed to finish it due to overcoming that particular career crisis. Whilst this is good in one sense, unfortunately I still don’t know what colo(u)r my parachute is. I would like to find this out.
I’ve been given some great books for Christmas, and I still have a backlog of unfinished books from last year. I will make time to read these this year, mostly by putting the Internet Machine AWAY earlier in the evening and picking up a book instead. I used to read an awful lot so I’m keen to get back into my old habits.
Make a scrapbook of each week
This is related to the general resolution I have for 2014 of being more intentional with my time and energies and consciously appreciating each moment, rather than worrying about the next. To this end, I will make a scrapbook (nothing fancy, mind) with one page per week. I will put a photo, or photos, of at least one memorable or enjoyable thing I did that week. This will encourage me to do one memorable or enjoyable thing each week, if only to put it in the scrapbook!
Take more photos
See above – I feel sad when I have no recollection or markers for vast swathes of my existence. Having pictures helps me remember and feel good about things that I have done, plus they are essential for creating my scrapbook. I don’t want to become an annoying photo-maniac-paparazzi type, but just take care to document what I’ve done with my time in pictures as well as words.
When staying away with work, eat sensibly and take advantage of exercise facilities
When I’m away with work, I have a great opportunity to change my habits for the better. For example, choosing a healthy dinner, rather than the most exciting one. If there are exercise facilities, I can make sure to use them rather than slipping into my home routine. Basically, when I’m establishing a new routine, I can establish a good one that will make me happy in the long run.
We only have a small flat, and by most (Western) people’s standards we don’t have very much stuff, but it’s still far more than we need. I’ve been reading an excellent blog called Loving Simple Living and it’s really challenged my view on the things we possess and our perceptions of them. Whilst I don’t think we are brave enough to sell all our belongings and move to China like the author Lorilee, she does have some great tips, testimonies and inspiration to get us started.
That turned out to be quite a list. Congratulations if you are still reading, and wish me luck on sticking to these bad boys!
Have a sparkly, shiny new week everyone,