Riding that wave of New Year content, I’m back with yet another reflective-esque post. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling so inspired reading everyone’s 2018 goals and plans that have been floating around Twitter lately! I’ve noticed a lot of people listing happiness as something they’re working towards for the year ahead, and honestly amidst the fitness regimes and health kicks, sometimes the simplest of resolutions are the easiest to introduce with the biggest impact.
These 3 choices I made during 2017 (some intentional, some not), ended up making 2017 shine that much brighter for me…
#1: Bullet Journalling
It was last April that I first hopped on the bandwagon of this hugely popular organisational method (read more about the why and how in my beginner’s guide to starting a bullet journal).
Whilst I’ve dipped in and out of it throughout the year, the act of keeping a bullet journal has brought me so much sheer joy. Though I’d originally started it to get my life together, I’ve fallen in love with the creative side of it. Where every other aspect of my life involves screentime, I think it’s getting to express myself in an analogue format that’s so satisfying. Yes, it can be laborious but I look forward to that time I set aside each Sunday to put pen to paper and see what colours, lettering and shapes I can experiment with for the week ahead.
“Where every other aspect of my life involves screentime, I think it’s getting to express myself in an analogue format that’s so satisfying.”
Bullet journalling also appeals to my fondness for nostalgia; a quick flip through its pages is a reminder of whose birthday party I attended that Saturday, the song I was obsessed with that week and what blog content I worked on that month.
Little notes that probably carry zero significance to anyone else, but to me they’re reminders of how I spent my time and energy – a comforting reminder of what I have achieved, contrary to what I may think.
#2: Doing less with more focus
One thing that became clear from my bullet journalling was just how much I was trying to juggle. Along with a full time job, blogging and time for friends/family, I was also trying to read more, exercise, travel, meditate, learn languages, attend hula hoop classes, discover new music, keep up to date with events I was interested in and heaven knows what else. Seeing it all mapped out on paper, the source of my constant frustrations became clear.
‘It got to a point where I was like “why half-ass two things, when I can whole-ass one thing?”.’
When you’re putting so much pressure on yourself to do or be too many things at once, there’s only so much energy and attention you can give to each thing. It got to a point where I was like “why half-ass two things, when I can whole-ass one thing?”. So instead of trying to tick everything off at once, I decided to pick one or two goals each month to work on and just focus on doing those really well.
For example, in August I challenged myself to posting a new video on my YouTube channel every weekend. I may not have been as active on my blog, but I allowed that to take a backseat whilst I focused on YouTube. In the run up to my holiday in September, I let my blog take a backseat again so I could go out running in the evenings. It’s taken me a while to figure this out, but
#3 Spending more time with actual people
For a while I’d had this fear of being eventually let down or disappointed by people, so I tended to cut myself off. I focused on my blog, on reading, on learning languages, on spending time by myself, I even travelled alone – but last year I decided to try living outside of my bedroom a little bit.
“I realised that no matter how independent you are, human interaction is so, so necessary.”
Whether it was making – and committing – to plans with friends, meeting up with fellow bloggers, eating lunch in the office kitchen instead of at my desk or just chatting with my mum over dinner, I realised that no matter how independent you are, human interaction is so, so necessary. Face-to-face conversation reveals our fears, our hopes, our dreams, we share ideas and experiences and get excited about future plans. Yes, you may not always like or agree with what other people have to say, but diverse views is what makes being alive so interesting!
Some of my happiest memories of last year are those with other people, and I can’t wait to make more in 2018!
How are you going to be happier in 2018?