With a new year firmly underway I am at last back at work after a very long absence. Beginning in November I was laid low with a nasty cold virus, and despite a few days here and there where I thought I was finally feeling a bit better I kept on lapsing into this awful state of being unwell - aches, pains, cough, fevers...only now, as the days of January begin to slowly lengthen I feel more like myself (with a lingering cough, a souvenir of my epic 8 weeks of feeling vile). I hasten to tell you that this is not like me at all, I do NOT do sickness, I will occasionally pick up a cold and then after a few rubbish days it has gone - I've never endured anything like this at all and went through tests and even an x-ray at the hospital to find out what was going on. It seems I'm a healthy enough person, who just happens to have succumbed to a virus that lowered the immune system, which in turn meant it was easier to catch other bugs and things.
It being winter here until about April, I decided to persevere with raw honey and apple cider vinegar drinks, doses of astragalus root to boost the immune system, and take care to eat foods that are health inducing instead of the Christmas stodge we endured for what seemed like an eternity. I think it's working.
So, I'm not too sorry to see the back of the Christmas period, and I'm embracing January as a fresh new beginning with lots of plans bubbling away for the coming months.
Saying that, I'm not a person who makes resolutions as I don't think life needs resolving - it's not broken, just needs a bit of guidance in the right direction to get back on track, and personally for me the sheer expectation that comes with creating new year goals just lays so heavily on me that I tend to give everything up within a week anyway.
So, I choose intentions. Which are lighter, easier, and more forgiving than tough resolutions. To make sure I stay on track with my intentions and dreams, I like to use planners and journals.
I am currently using two planners to help me map my journey through this year. The one on the left is by Danielle Laporte - a motivational speaker and author. Based on her book, The Desire Map, she invites you to choose your core desired feelings each day as a basis for making choices in life. The idea of working with how you want to feel and then choosing what you need to do to manifest those feelings is a really cool way of living with intention and creating a life you enjoy. It has certainly made me consider the choices I make each day, and become more aware of what I do with my time.
The planner on the right is the epic marketing guide by Claire Mitchell, owner of The Girls Mean Business. I worked with the 2017 version last year and despite not using it consistently, I increased my earnings, realised dreams and grew my audience. I can highly recommend Claire and her illuminating teachings which she offers within this planner, online in a private Facebook group, and through a private marketing portal with monthly challenges on to grow your biz - it's all completely awesome.
I also chose a word for 2018 - this year it's all about EASE. Moving through life without struggle, taking time to be mindful, to make the right choices, keeping it simple and good.
So with all of this in mind, I feel like I have a great tool kit to get me through!
Here are some of my intentions for 2018:
- Go to the coast as often as possible (we have already braved the wintery Yorkshire coast for a couple of days, it was glorious!)
- Create an online art course
- Create a new art workshop
- Write more
- Go to Italy
- See friends who live far away
- Lose a stone in weight by eating mindfully, committing to my yoga practice and walking more
- Get my bike out and go for rides with my family
- Practice meditation
- Declutter my house
- Read lots of books
- Swim in the sea
- Have my artwork published by new companies
- Practice gratitude
- Say no to things that don't feel good
- Grow my business
- Think about a new tattoo
- Learn Italian (I've downloaded the course on Babbel but need to spend some time doing it)
Have you set aside some time to think about what you would like to do this year?
Back in the studio, I'm busy working on some new commissions for Whistlefish (here's a little peek above), it's great to have a lovely job like this to kick things off - I'm feeling really positive about this new range of artwork and very excited about all the possibilities in store!