Cozy blankets, sipping hot tea, soft snow falling outside the window.
Winter nights set it and the year begins to end.
November and December are my favorite months of the year. They are months reserved for reflection, bringing with them a sort of comforting melancholy and nostalgia. While I love reflecting on the previous year, I also use this time to begin forming my goals for the upcoming year.
Generally speaking, my goals don't change from year to year. Instead of creating specifics, I strive for a general vibe, or how I want my year to feel. I divide my life into categories, and assign ideas for how to accomplish these feelings within each area of my life. In November I sat down to review my previous goals and refresh them for 2018, because I'm an overachiever and couldn't wait until January, or even December. I'm grateful I did though because I recognized a pattern I tend to fall into and was determined to change this year.
I always begin the year with a fresh notebook. The first page of this notebook is always dedicated to my goals and resolutions. But once my notebook is full I move on to the next one and my goals get lost among the paper. I wanted to come up with a creative solution for this because I am a visual person. I learn best by observing first, and if I don't write everything down, I don't remember it. It's safe to say then that if my goals aren't visible to me, they are quickly and easily forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.
I knew I had to compile my goals in a way that was visual, and with the ability to keep them out in the open. This also meant that whatever I did had to be aesthetically pleasing because my husband hates it when I leave things laying around the house. Another problem is that we live in 300 square feet in New York City, so I wanted whatever I did to be small and compact.
And then it hit me, a magazine! It's compact, looks great on the coffee table, and can easily travel with me. Plus it was going to require me to learn basic Photoshop skills and layout design. I didn't have too much time to research getting a one-off magazine printed, but a great alternative for me was using Artifact Uprising's softcover photo book. I designed each 8x11 page in Photoshop and uploaded it as a single image to Artifact Uprising.
I wanted to document the process to hopefully encourage you to get creative with your goals and to keep track of them throughout the year. Sometimes just making a simple tweak can make all the difference. And don't worry too much about not having the skills to create. I didn't have the skills to make a magazine, but I did it anyway.
I always choose one word for the year that encompasses how I want my year to feel, or what I want to be known for. This year I chose the word "romantic" because I feel it encapsulates everything I wanted to articulate. A romantic can also be described as a risk taker, dreamer, entrepreneur, heroine, pioneer, opportunist, traveler, wanderer, charming, mysterious, tender, whimsical, daring, visionary, wild, and poetic. If you don't know where to begin with finding your word, think about what vibes you hope you're sending out into the world. Find your word within that.
Inside the front cover, I wrote a letter to myself to remind me on the bad days what this year means for me, along with my personal values and life scriptures. I don't know about you, but I constantly have to remind myself of who I am, and I'm glad to have all of this available in one place.
There are nine "goals" in the magazine, each with it's own title page. I typed out some quick, basic thoughts I had on each so I would be reminded of some ways I am working on accomplishing each goal. For example, my travel goal this year says, "find travel opportunities from anywhere, everywhere." That means nothing to anybody really, but it reminds me to focus on travel and keep my mind open to what "counts" as travel.
Settled between each goal are what I have taken to calling "inspiration pages" because I couldn't think of what else to call them. These are pages I filled with inspiring photos, courtesy of my friends or free downloads from the internet, and quotes I love that fit into each category.
I want to quickly highlight this page in my magazine because I truly believe that this exercise is the most impactful self-care routine I've learned. I'm a huge advocate of self-care but not so great at executing it. So one of my major focuses in 2018 is this exercise titled "The Canteen Exercise." I originally heard of this exercise through Mike Foster, and created this graphic for it. If you're interested in learning this exercise or downloading the graphic, I posted an article all about it with a free download.
And finally, I included a page at the end of the magazine to reflect on the year. It's a place for quick notes, highlights, disappointments, feelings. This page is meant to be for memory sake, not for journaling.
So that's my goals magazine. I know this may be a little overwhelming for some of you. I certainly didn't realize the undertaking creating this magazine would be. I genuinely thought it would take me a few hours, and instead took me a few weeks. But I can say with confidence I am so happy I stuck with this project and I have a feeling I'm going to be extra grateful in the years to come. I love the idea of having one of these magazines for every year of my life.
I think just as much as remembering your year gone by, it's important to look forward with hope and expectation. So I hope this inspires you to think about your goals and resolutions differently this year. I hope it gives you inspiration to create something that is you, in paper form. I hope 2018 is your year. I have a sneaky feeling it's going to be.