A few days ago I shared my word for the year on Instagram and gave a little peek into my yearly planning process. A few of you mentioned that you’d like to see a longer blog post on what exactly I did during those hours I spent staring at piles of notebooks and writing, writing, writing (I promise, there was more to it than that, haha).
I knew that I wanted to sit down and do some deep thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in the New Year, and with a glorious two weeks off of school for Winter Break, I actually had a lot of time to do this.
The first thing I did was I reviewed how 2018 went for me, month by month. I used my planner, journal, and Google Photos to help me write about each month’s accomplishments, challenges, and memories. I won’t share it all (trust me, it’s not that interesting), but these are some of the key patterns I noticed.
The first few months of the year were very busy and quite overwhelming. I was involved in a lot of things at school and struggled to manage it all.
I had a busy summer working on my blog and photography, which helped me to clarify how I wanted to spend my senior year and made the transition back to school a little easier. During first quarter, I dropped two classes and found it easier to say “no”.
The last few months of the year were probably the smoothest of the year. I settled into a rhythm with my new planning system, minimized the amount of time I spent on schoolwork, and had more time to spend with friends and family.
To cap off this review of 2018, I also put together a video featuring photos and videos of my 2018 memories! It’s a sort of highlight reel, a time capsule, if you will, that captures my entire year in a few short minutes.
My word for the year
It was finally time to look ahead to 2019.
Last year I picked a word for the year - “action” and let the phrase “err on the side of action” guide me.
After seeing all of the unnecessary stress that I experienced at the beginning of 2018, and how much it helped to minimize my commitments, say “no” more often, and streamline my routines, I settled on a word for 2019 pretty easily.
I wanted to continue this pattern of making life simpler for myself so that I could pour more focus into the things that mattered most.
My vision for the year
After I had my word picked out, I repeated the same process I did last year. I free-wrote on different aspects of my life and described how I wanted them to look in the coming year. I wrote in the present tense because when you visualize something, you should act as if it is already set and done!
The categories I used were: health and fitness, intellectual life, emotional life, character, spiritual life, love/relationships, social, financial life, school and extracurriculars, blogging, and quality of life.
I’ll just share one of the categories to give you an example of what this looked like.
“Intellectual life: In 2019, I carve out time to read books because they are relaxing and enlightening. I listen to podcasts as a convenient way to keep myself entertained and educated even when on the go. I share and discuss what I learn to cement the knowledge.”
Filling out the Artist of Life Workbook
I wasn’t expecting to receive the Lavendare Artist of Life Workbook for Christmas but then there it was under the tree, in all of its pretty, mint blue, leather-bound, gold-stamped glory! I was so excited to fill it out, and even though I had already done a lot of the exercises on my own, it was still valuable to clarify and re-state the things I’d written.
I wrote about my theme for the year (reminder: simplify!), what I could do to live my theme, how I wanted to feel, what I wanted to invite into my life, and what I wanted to let go of in 2019.
I put together a vision board (and set it as my computer’s wallpaper) and did the current me vs. future me exercise, in which you draw and write how you look, feel, think, and act currently, and how you want to look, feel, think, and act exactly a year from now.
To clarify, I don’t expect this year will cause all of my hair to turn gray at the premature age of 18, I just want to dye my hair a grayish, ashy blonde color, haha.
There were a few more pages and exercises after that: defining your values, evaluating your mindset, writing a mantra, committing to self care, designing habits, etc. You’ll have to buy the book yourself if you want to know about all of the useful things that this book is chock-full of ;)
Not gonna lie, it took a long time to fill everything out and it got very tiring at some points, but it was so worth it. The process really motivated me to make the most of the New Year.
Finally, there was a long section on goals, appropriately titled “2019 goals af”. So without further ado, my goals for 2019!
Sell as many of my belongings as I can - in order to have less stuff weighing me down and to make money for my gap year.
Start running in the morning - to enjoy the outdoors, get in some exercise before the school day, and feel energized before the day even starts.
Start earning an income from my blog - to get myself on the road to making a career out of content creation.
Write an e-book - to earn money and get practice creating marketable content.
Reach 15K on Instagram - to push myself to create better content and engage more, and to expand my influence.
Reach 5K on YouTube - ditto!
Be able to converse in Spanish and Korean - to be able to communicate with more people in my travels, to understand the world better.
Win 1st place at FBLA Nationals - to prove my abilities in the field of graphic design, and, let’s be honest, to win the cash prize.
Go on my gap year - to discover myself and see the world.
I liked that in addition to your 2019 goals, there were separate pages and prompts for different aspects of your life: health, relationships, career, personal growth, creative, spiritual, home, money, adventure, and ULTIMATE LIFE GOALS (I feel like that has to be written in all-caps, don’t you think?) Here is a summary of what I wrote about for each goal category:
Health - Have freedom from food/exercise guilt, exercise at least four times a week, look for healthy options when possible (but not worry too much), and start running outside in the morning once it gets warm.
Relationships - Do something with friends at least once a week, call parents at least once a week while on my gap year, celebrate each friend’s birthday with a handmade card and thoughtful gift.
Career goals - Start earning an income from my blog, be more active on social media, stop wasting time on insignificant tasks, and put more effort into my videos.
Personal growth - Take a self-defense class, brush up on my Spanish skills, learn Korean.
Creative - Create beautiful travel videos of my gap year adventures, push myself in photography.
Spiritual - Do things that make me happy, like journaling, meditating, going on walks, spending time outside, and trying new things.
Home - Declutter my closet and my room and sell things.
Money - Save money for my gap year, be on top of tracking where my money goes, and start doing photography again.
Adventure - Visit Lithuania, Spain, Hungary, China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, etc… basically my gap year!
Whew, that was a long post! I left out a lot because 1. I don’t want to put you to sleep 2. It’s kind of scary to write about this stuff! These are my goals and dreams and it’s nerve-racking to put them out there for the world to see. But, accountability, right? Hopefully having you in on it will help me to achieve all of this.
I’m so excited for everything that 2019 has in store. Let’s make this our best year ever!
What is your word for the year? And/or your biggest goal for 2019?