Every year, usually on Boxing Day or the 27th December, I sit down and start my year planning. Over the coming days and into the new year I try to use the time for rest wisely, taking more time to re-evaluate and slowly get myself organised again. This year is a little bit different for me as it’s the first year I’ve gone into without really having a definite sense of place, so I’ve tried to set myself up holistically, and with open arms, rather than by designing a template for what I think it should look like.
Thinking of the progress made
When 2018 began with a panic attack on New Year’s Day, all the optimism I had managed to build up the night before seemed to crumble.
Last year I was struggling, having graduated university with no plan, no drive, and no purpose. I was fresh into a temporary job, frantically preparing for a four-day exhibition beginning just two weeks into 2018. At the time, it was all I could think about. I’m so glad I was in the position to do it, but I still wonder how I made it all the way through in such a fragile state of mind. It garnered the kind of results we, as a company, had hoped for and, on a personal level, I learned a lot of valuable skills in that job. I also conquered some huge walls I had steadily built around myself during those dark months post-graduation.
Right from go, 2018 proved that it was going to be a year of tough lessons and perseverance. Considering my position a year on, I’m feeling a bit more open to the idea of going into 2019 with little in the way of expectation. I’m a self-employed copywriter searching for opportunities to live better…and that’s really all I know.
When it comes to planning, I’m either all about structured boxes and lines, or pure creative freedom. 2019 is my second year in a bullet journal and, since I’ve decided it’s better not to worry about making plans immediately this year, I’ve never been more glad of having one. Back in April I wrote a blog post about why you should start a bullet journal, and in it I discussed the joys of an inconsistent structure and layout.
A blank bullet journal is incredibly intimidating, but once you get over that initial fear, it’s yours to own. No two pages of mine look completely the same in one way or another and my weekly spreads have only recently become a bit more uniform themselves. A couple of months ago I tried a layout shared in an Instagram story by Cat, of web design and branding studio Gatto. I discovered her method of separating projects really worked for me. Ever since, I’ve used my own rendition of it, allowing myself enough room and creative license* to dedicate portions, or whole pages, to making lists I’ve probably written at least once before.
*Forget beautiful illustrations if, like me, you’re better with words than imagery and it really bothers you that you can’t turn your bullet journal into a visual work of art. Be proud of it, and own it as an extension of your personality!
I always harp on about goal setting and I’m not done yet in 2019. Rather than do the usual New Year’s resolution-thing, I’ve gone further than ‘eat less chocolate’ (mainly so I don’t have to eat less chocolate) and followed advice by going really specific with my goals. There’s an absolutely awesome book I want to recommend called ‘It Works: The Famous Little Red Book That Makes Your Dreams Come True'. With a title like that you’ll be surprised to learn I read ‘It Works’ in about fifteen minutes.
In the most concise manner possible, the anonymous author of ‘It Works’ teaches us to drill our goals right down to their very core. We need to understand our desires inside out. What they are in detail, how we’re going to achieve them and, most importantly, accept that they’re likely to change. My bullet journal has got a page devoted to boxes representing various areas of my life, which was inspired by Amanda Rach Lee on YouTube. Each box will have its own specific goal tied to it, but I’ve left some room for amendments if need be. The Famous Little Red Book also encourages you to write yourself a running list of your desires, one that you may continuously review, so I’ve got that in my bullet journal as well.
How are you preparing for 2019? Are you trying to go in with an open mind this time around?