One of my favorite parts of each year is the end. No matter how wonderful or terrible the year has been, I am always pulled into the allure of a new page, a blank slate, or a fresh start. I understand that time is a construct and that the year is a wheel that keeps on turning over and over, but there is something undeniably exciting for me about making new year’s resolutions and challenging myself to make little changes in my life. Maybe it’s just because it gives me an excuse to be optimistic— I’m the sort of person who often needs one— or because I feel that there is something magical about so many people across the world coming together in some small way through the act of trying to manifest change, even if they are little personal ones.
2018 was a wonderful year for me. I changed my lifestyle, checked things off my bucket list, and yes, achieved some of my resolutions for the year. I also got inspired for the coming year, and had an opportunity to reflect on my year and actually see how much I grew.
While this blog has been largely travel based, I also want to produce content that inspires others in little ways, and encourages them to be creative and stay motivated. I thought I would share some of my ideas for building resolutions and motivation for the new year.
Here are some of the lists and projects that I use and ways that I try to stay motivated for the coming year:
What am I grateful for?
What were the best moments from this year?
What were the worst moments— and how did I grow from them?
What did I learn this year?
How did I change for the better?
List of favorites— favorite film, book, podcast, etc., from the year (I like to be able to look back on these later— it kind of helps put the year in perspective)
Maybe some of these will blend into each other, depending on your year, but I always find some reason to add another sub-list (because I just really like making lists).
Goal Setting and Future Planning
Resolutions: These are of course things that I attempt to incorporate or remove from my life.
I think the important thing about making resolutions is making them feasible.
For example, I want to become vegan, but I know that cutting out all animal products at once will only turn me off to the idea and make me hungry— so I plan to begin by eating more plant based meals, becoming vegetarian, and eventually building up a knowledge and stash of resources over the course of the year to help me comfortably reach my goal.
Start and Stop Lists: This ties into what the majority of resolution lists will have, but can be used more specifically for habits and lifestyle choices. I also like to make a “Continue” list to help encourage myself to continue good behaviors, even when my new habits may clutter my mind space.
For example, I want to start making time to write every single day, and stop biting my nails.
A Year From Now: This is a rather popular exercise and I love doing it. You make a list (and sometimes a doodle) of yourself in this moment (the beginning of the new year), and then make a companion list of where you want to be in life in one year’s time.
For example, right now I live in Hawaii, and by the end of the year I want to be living in Europe.
Timelines: These can be rather daunting for some and encouraging for others. Sometimes it is nice to have a visual and specific timeline of the things that you want to accomplish in the coming year.
For example, I want to leave Hawaii by the end of February, I want to have (self) published something by June, and so on.
Creating Accountability: Most times if you keep your goals completely to yourself it can be easy to give up on them. If you can have a support system— friends, family, or even make a session with yourself once a week or each month— that can help you focus on your goals and keep track of how far you’ve come, you may find it easier to keep on top of things. (I am part of a group message dedicated to such a thing.)
Vision Boards: I love making vision boards! It’s a great way to use images and words to help manifest the things that you want in a way that is creative and hands-on. If you’re not crafty, Pinterest is great for making vision boards, so that you can keep all of your ideas and goals in one virtual space. (You can also make them private if you don’t want the internet world to get in on your personal goals.)
Those are a few of my ideas for staying motivated and inspired through the new year and beyond. I wish you all a happy new year, and may it be filled with creativity, inspiration, and maybe even some travel!