Is this the year we keep our resolutions?

I mean, probably not, right? But I guess it’s the year that our start-of-year intentions could develop into real, positive change for the years to come.

IMG_9606More than ever this year, I focused on making resolutions which would help me to form good habits and hopefully achieve some of my big goals for 2015.

The beginning of January is traditionally a pretty awful time, and I’ll admit the return to work and University (with the associated pressures of my ridiculous reading list and apparently relentless rota) seemed pretty overwhelming and all of the positive changes I had planned to make started to seem like a huge drain on time that I don’t have.

But I am so determined that this year is the year, and I’ve done my absolute best to stay on track by getting real with the organisation and planning to succeed. I’m going to share what works for me, but however you end up making your big (and little) plans for this year – just make sure you’re intentional about making time for the best year ever. Let’s go!

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At the beginning of January, I made sure to write out my New Year’s Resolutions (a grand total of three) and really think about the steps I could take daily, weekly and monthly to achieve them. I also made a ‘long term list’ of a couple of things I want to get done this year, mostly boring stuff like sorting out a tax rebate and regulating my work hours.

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I try to keep these in the back of my mind all the time, and especially as I plan for the week ahead. I’ve started doing this on Sunday evenings, and try to carve out just fifteen minutes to go through my schedule for the week, and make sure I’m on top of everything. I jot down separate lists of my ‘to read’ ‘to blog’ ‘to write’ and ‘to do’ activities – including my University reading, my next two planned blogs, and general things that I don’t want to forget. On Thursday, I highlight the incomplete items so that I remember to get them done by the end of the week (and if I don’t get them done, I remember to roll them over to the next week).

Next, I read over my goals and resolutions and look at the actions that will contribute to achieving these things. For example, I make my meal plan and grocery shopping list (since one of my goals is to cook and eat more healthily) – which I do in the margin of my diary next to each day. I also include a little checklist of ‘daily activities’ which are often as silly as drinking herbal tea, or doing some yoga, which I then tick off every day that I actually manage to do them.

I make such a point to drink green tea because, aside from the many health benefits, the ritual of preparing and drinking the tea is sometimes the only time in my day that I get to actually sit down and take some time for myself. Likewise, my ‘yoga’ sessions, which currently consist of me making up ‘yoga moves’ to atmospheric music (currently favouring Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’), flailing my arms about and generally just letting go and having fun – is just an excuse for me to get my body moving and let my mind have some space to think and rest. The point is that this works for me, so I’m making these little actions a priority and not letting other pressures get in the way of these valuable little moments.

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Organising is definitely a tool which helps me to feel more in control of my week (and my life!) and because it works so well for me I made a ton of other lists to help me boss this year. I’ve used my big journal to make lists of things that Rob and I want to do in Amsterdam this February, to keep track of my ’52 things in London’ challenge, to plan and schedule upcoming blogs, to plan my University reading across all four modules, to plan my meals, and – my absolute favourite – to write down ideas for people’s Christmas and birthday presents when I have them so that when the gift-giving occasion rolls around, I already have some ideas good to go. This may be way too many lists, but it works for me, and it’s helping me to be intentional about forming positive habits this year.

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I hope this was at least a little bit interesting/inspirational for you – and if organising isn’t your thing, you should definitely try making up your own yoga moves and doing some passionate interpretative dance moves. It’s so cool.

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Okay, I know, I know. I’m off to drink some green tea…

PV x

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