I always have such good intentions for the new year. You know the usual: I’ll be organized this year. This is the year that I’ll finally get around to completing that project I’ve been planning to do for forever. Somehow or another it always strikes me as a fresh start and a time for positive changes. I like the rhythm of it, I suppose.
That being said, I always (and I do mean ALWAYS) forget that it is coming. The holiday season comes with all of the hustle and bustle of family and friends and memories, and before I know it I’m facing a new year and scrambling to get myself starting strong.
Not this year.
This year will be different.
Or at least, I’ll be prepared in advance, so that will be a start in the right direction!
3 Ways to Prepare for 2018 Now
Buy a planner. Or a journal.
I do love bullet journaling. I’ve done it for a few years now, and it is the perfect way for me to keep my scattered thoughts together. It is hard for me to find a planner that is compatible with how my brain works. Bullet journals are a handy way to manage scheduling, to-do lists, goal setting, meal planning, and taking notes as thoughts pass through my mind without a lot of fuss. And I’m here to tell you that you can bullet journal simply without all of the bells and whistles, because this mama just doesn’t have time to decorate her planner! (Although there are days when I wish I was up to being that kind of creative).
If you do go the bullet journal route, use the next couple of months to sketch out what you might like to have in it and how you’d want to organize it. Sticky notes are a great way to make a “rough draft” and mark the pages how you think you’d like them if you are worried about committing too far in advance.
Begin to think about your One Little Word.
A friend of mine inspired me to give this a try two years ago, and I’ve really enjoyed it. The premise is a simple one. You pick one word that you will reflect on all year round. It may be a word that will challenge you, inspire you, ground you, remind you, focus you…you get the picture. The word is up to you! During the year, you can work towards your word, reflect on your word, journal about your word, and more. Ali Edwards, who started the One Little Word project, even has courses that you can take and communities that you can join. You can learn about Ali Edwards, who made this official, here. I’ve never personally tried her products, but they sure do look exciting!
Curious about what you can do with it? One year my friend Jess made graphics for her word each week and shared them on her blog. She chose the word “be” and found Scripture each week that gave the command to “be___.” It was so inspiring! (I may borrow that word for a year…!)
I also have enjoyed listening to podcasts by EliseGetsCrafty, where she talks about her One Little Word and what she does with it. She and Ali Edwards have chatted about it the past few years, and listening to them gives you some awesome ideas for what words you might want to consider and what sorts of things you could do with them. Check them out: 2014, 2015, 2016
At this point I’m still considering a handful words: grow, discover, play, and delight. Chances are, more words will come into my mind before the year is over! But at least I won’t spend January 1 trying to impulsively decide on one.
Consider your goals for the new year.
Remember back in school when your teacher taught a lesson on ‘the importance of goal setting’ and then made you sit down and write out a goal (or three) for your self-improvement? Or was that just me? I hated that lesson. I’m a naturally driven person, but if I have to come up with a goal on the spot it can be hard for me. I prefer to mull it over, think about it, and make sure I have the right goal to work towards.
Goals are different than resolutions. Instead of resolving to be a certain way or never do a particular thing again, you get to say, “I’d like to become.” For me, a goal embraces more of the grace that we are given to learn and grow while making mistakes. My resolutions, on the other hand, die an early death because I simply cannot maintain ‘perfect’ that long!
You goals could be for personal growth or your own character development. They might be habits that you want your family to develop (hello, eating more home cooked meals and watching less tv!). You might even have goals about your physical shape, a project you want to accomplish this year, or something that you want to learn. The world is your oyster.
Here are a few goals that I’m considering for 2018:
- Finally finish those pesky incomplete projects so that I have a blank slate for creating
- Commit my favorite Scripture passages to memory
- Learn to play well
Are there any things you would add to this list to prepare for 2018? I’d love to know!