On one hand it's a perfect opportunity to start fresh, assess our habits and try improve our lives. The perfect time to start that project we've been putting off for months, or pretending we definitely do enough exercise when the reality is far from it.
On the other hand, I think we all give ourselves a tough enough time already without setting ourselves up to complete and possibly fail at unrealistic tasks.
That being said, I thought I'd write a few notes about my New Year thoughts..
Let's start with the good things. I feel like I've worked my socks off in 2016 and aimed high. I don't feel like I could've put any more effort in to Yellowstone and my work so I feel accomplished with a happy and successful year (juggled with planning my Wedding). I give myself a tough time when I don't design new cards and prints every few months but I'm realistic and I know I only have 2 hands (and can only paint with one of them). So all in all I'm fairly happy with Yellowstone and it's year.
On a personal level I have definitely stepped away from my phone... which I became a little bit addicted to. I now very consciously leave my phone in another room in the evenings (sometimes), or at least limit myself to how long I'm on instagram.
So...the negatives... my eating and drinking habits are awful. Embarrassingly I sometimes go until 3 or 4pm without eating, or even drinking, anything at all! So this January it's in the forefront of my mind to plan ahead and make sure I eat breakfast and lunch at a decent time (lunchtime is not 4.30pm is it?!) and that I drink water throughout the day. I've started carrying my trusty camelback water bottle around with me and have noticed that I'm getting through LOTS more water already. As a side note, over Christmas I was drinking prosecco like it was going out of fashion so I've decided to cut out alcohol... for at least January. I'm going to be realistic because I'm going to Venice in February so I probably won't be able to resist the red wine over there.
All in all, I know I am enough as I am, and I don't want to promise I'll got to the gym (I won't) or that I'll stop eating pizza (I won't). But I think that eating more regular meals and drinking water will help my energy levels and should mean I'm much more switched on at work. I also had a fitbit for Christmas and it's making me much more conscious of how much I walk in a day. I've noticed I parked a little further from the shop yesterday, to get more steps in- which can never be a bad thing! I'm super competitive so I think it'll boost me to be more active on studio days where I rarely leave my chair.
My husband and I have also taken on a joint resolution. We are going to try alphabet dating! One night every week we will take it in turns to plan a date. This week Steve is planning 'A' and next week I'll be planning 'B'. It's a bit cheesey but we thought it'd make us plan some different activities and every other week we'll have a date planned for us which will be lovely. We have had a really busy year so some quality time together is just what we need. We've decided to ban phones on date night too...so no distractions.
So here's to 2017. Spending time with loved ones, looking after ourselves and to accepting who we are.
I spoke to the Yellowstone team about their resolutions too if you'd like to have a read?
My positive from 2016 is definitely that I spent more time with my family. I noticed I was so busy juggling my degree and work but since graduating and working full time at Yellowstone, I have consciously made more time to see them (whether they like it or not!).
For 2017 I have two resolutions that I'm hoping I'll stick to. The first is probably lots of peoples after Christmas- to eat better! To make healthy choices and get back in to good habits. And the second is to read more. On holiday in October I read for the entire holiday and it was brill. I realised how much I missed it. So I'm going to tackle a pile of books this year - wish me luck!
My positive from 2016 is graduating and finally taking the plunge and making a start on opening my own small business along with working at Yellowstone, I finally started to believe in myself and my work. I also more recently made a conscious effort to be much better with money - all that stuff you read about making your own lunch and not buying take away coffee saving you an absolute fortune is so true.
I'm not really one for making resolutions (I'm so bad at sticking to them) but carrying on with these things and really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone is what I'm planning for 2017!
2016 has been an amazing year for me, a new grandson, a daughters wedding, moving to a new home after 35 years in our family home and discovering yoga. An exhausting year but yoga, which I now have a passion for, has kept me relaxed & sane. Jane from Hedgerow Yarns has also got me back into knitting.
So in 2017 I intend to (as everyone else) eat healthily, practice yoga often, knit more & to be kind to myself (& others) while not missing out on any of those moments of unexpected fun & joy that may crop up over the coming year.
I am really grateful for the year that I have had in 2016- working at the beautiful Yellowstone, as well as working in a residential art school and with an organisation called ‘Arts for Health.’ I have also begun studying through The Open University, and I am really proud of myself for beginning this new journey. One of the things that has made me smile this year is treating myself to a pretty sage bicycle, with a basket, where I have been cycling along country lanes and gathering hedgerow herbs. I can’t wait to put my vintage box on the back for extra storage.
In 2017 I am aiming to focus more on self care, and to find my feet again with my meditation practice and further my yoga practice. I am also hoping to introduce more of my written songs online, and to upload little garden videos alongside my artwork. I am inspired to develop a small wellbeing blog, and to continue making my woven and wooden brooches.
Have you got any tough resolutions? Or are you just going to give yourself a break in 2017?