This time last year I committed to two things. To my surprise, both turned out to be far more sustainable options than my usual last minute random NYE resolutions.
The first of these commitments was to choose the word active to be my compass for 2017, to help me to focus on completing projects, starting new ones, trying new things and making the most of opportunities.
The second was to start a happiness jar. I hoped this would encourage me to be more present in my life and to pay attention even when things got busy or difficult.
I aimed to think of one thing each week that had made me smile, write it down on a post-it note and then pop it in the jar. All year.
When I opened my jar of happies on New Years Eve I found 54 post-its – clearly a longer than average year!
Friends and I took turns to read them aloud as midnight approached. Each note reminded us of what sorts of things make me smile, many of them to do with my garden, the dogs and the people I love. They brought the year back into focus, although it was rather reminiscent of listening to a story I know, but have half forgotten. So many ‘ah yes’ moments, laughter and even a little sadness.
2017 was certainly a busy, sometimes overly active year and, whilst blogging (and writing in general) took a bit of a hit as a result, many things were achieved personally, professionally and creatively.
Selecting a word for the year and gradually filling my little jar of happiness made me feel positive about the year as it unfolded, and I’ll be taking both ideas forward into the years ahead.
My jar has been emptied and awaits its first post-it for the year.
For a multitude of reasons, I’ll be focusing on resilience as my word for 2018.
I could have chosen fortitude or exercise or creativity or fun – they all popped into my head as possibilities last night. But resilience carries with it the notion of strength that could provide me with the framework for everything else this year. It encapsulates a level of both mental and physical robustness, the ability to bounce back, to cope with change, plan for the future and enjoy the present.
And that’s what I need this year: more bounce, more plans, and a whole lot of enjoyment!
How about you?
Whatever you choose, I wish you the very best of years.