Happy New Year! A lot of you will be reading this on our first day back at work after our festive breaks, and hey – we made it through! I hope you had a good Christmas and a relaxing break. Quite frankly I’m wishing that I had two weeks more! I’ve been meaning to pen this post for a while, and it’s a bit of a tradition here on The White Journal. I’ve said it before, but I know there’s a lot of posts around that are talking about resolutions and goals, as well as people looking back on the past year. Personally I love these types of posts – I find reading about other people’s goals and ideas really inspiring and often give me thoughts for my own. I know that some people resent the ‘New Year, new you’ mindset, and that’s fine. I don’t think New Year is solely for that purpose, but it is a good time to reset and recharge, and maybe even the only time of the year where you’ll specifically put some time aside for that purpose.
I started last year with the ‘One word’ concept. (In brief, this is simply a single word that you’d like to focus on for the year – whether it encompasses the ideas behind all your goals or is another element altogether). Last year, my word was Push. This year, it is ‘Focus’.
They follow on from each other, I think. They are similar but I think focus is the right one for me – last year was about trying new things and different things, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and pushing forward rather than staying stagnant. I’d like to continue on that thread for this year, but I feel like I am more resolved in what I want to do, and who I want to become. This year, I’d like to;
FOCUS on me
It’s time to be selfish. Sometimes, selfishness is necessary. Self care is so important, and though it seems to be a bit of a buzzword nowadays, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Whether it’s relaxing in the evening with a book, taking a long bubble bath or even taking some counselling sessions, it’s unique to you and oh so necessary. I need to learn how to deal with my stress better, and that involves a lot more self care. I have a terrible habit of turning on myself when things go wrong and I need to look after my mind more. I need to focus on my mental state, and trying my hardest to ensure I don’t get enveloped in the dark blanket of depression again. For me, this will probably be the hardest goal I’ve ever set, but hopefully one that will be ingrained for years to come. I tend to feel guilty having to say no to things, to taking on too much freelance work, to putting others before myself and not listening to what I want. Selfishness doesn’t sound like a good goal, or a nice word. But I think we all need to step back and do it sometimes – for our health as well as others.
FOCUS on my body
Basically a sub-path from the above – only I’ve put it as a separate goal. (I could do the same for ‘mind’ but I’ve briefly mentioned that above and a lot of that is private stuff I’d rather not share on the internet). I had exercise on my resolutions 2016 goals and I’m happy to say I started Pilates last year. I’d like to continue classes in 2017 and really strengthen my core and correct my posture. I’d also like to find a moderate/vigorous exercise that I enjoy. Unfortunately this one will require a bit more motivation! I’ve put on a little too many pounds for my liking, and I’d like to reduce the tummy. Not only that, but I think if I do involve myself with more exercise, it will help my mental well-being, too. Starting seems to be my first hurdle, but one I’d really like to tick off the list.
(Ironically, I came home to a gym membership leaflet being pushed through my door. I’d hate to be a typical January cliché, but you never know).
FOCUS on my illustration
I’ve come to a bit of a realisation recently, that I call my illustrator and yet I don’t really share (or do) much illustration. I have some old pieces in my portfolio but I’m prolifically a graphic designer before anything else. I adore illustration and I’d really like my career focus to be on that instead. I plan on working my butt off and proving (to myself, and the world) that I am an illustrator, and I will make a living off it. I’d like to open my own online store at some point this year selling prints of my art, as well as setting up an online portfolio. For now, I’m posting arty exploits over on my Instagram if you fancy following along on this journey.
Focus is quite a broad term but I know it will be needed this year if I want to make bold strides ahead of where I am now. I don’t think it’s impossible, but it will need a lot of determination, motivation and help from others, too. I really hope 2017 will be a good year – for all of us – and we’ll look back in a year’s time and think, ‘let’s do that again’.