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Resolution Journals

My journals from 2013 & 2014

January’s just begun and so has the resolution making for 2014! Do you usually make resolutions for the year? I think most people really dislike making resolutions. The arguments usually go as follows: You can’t keep them. No one remembers them past January 2. You can probably fill in the blank with a lot more reasons not to make resolutions than to make and keep them. However. . .

I have come to enjoy making resolutions. 2012 was the first year I made a list of resolutions and really took it seriously, and I feel like I accomplished a lot! I like to think of my resolution list as more of a long-term to-do list. A few goals, written down, to work on is never a bad thing. I didn’t wind up completing all twelve items on my 2012 to-do’s or even my 2013 list, but I did complete many of them and was encouraged to do so simply because I remembered what they were! How did I remember? I made a resolutions journal, which I wrote about some time ago.

Here are my tips for creating your own:

1. Get a small journal or notebook you can carry with you. This past year I used a Jotter from Wit & Whistle. A small 3×5 notebook with a cute design works perfectly for me. I can carry it around and mark things off as I accomplish them.

2. Pick a number. Any number. Start small. For 2013 I did 12, and I am scaling back to 10 for 2014. Might I suggest starting with FIVE? Five goals to accomplish this year. You can totally fit that into your schedule over the next 12 months.

3. Decide on what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Reading, volunteering, cleaning, hobbies, whatever.  Designate one page of your book to each goal.

4. As you write out the goals, make them attainable and specific. Say you want to read more in 2014. A goal of “Read more” will have you making excuses all the way to December about the meaning of “more” (i.e. “Does one word more count?”). Saying you’ll read every best seller from last century will have you feeling overwhelmed. Think of what you normally do, and set your goal slightly ahead. If you read three books last year, you might formulate your to-do item as “Read six books by December 2014.” Follow it up with a list of possible books, and check them off as you finish them. To-do? DONE!

5. Leave space on each page to make notes about your progress or to fill in the date you completed the goal. Looking back to see what you’ve done will be more inspirational if you have a little of the story behind it.

Finally, remember that these goals aren’t set in stone – You made them, and you can change them! I make a note at the end of my list not to feel bad if I don’t get every single thing on the list accomplished. Focus on what you DO get done instead and reevaluate the incomplete items at the end of the year as you think about your next year’s list.

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?

I started this post back in 2011. Um. . . Crazy. Originally it was about three books I had bought in September of that year. I’ve bought WAY more than three books since I wrote this post. S also gave me a kindle since then, which has revolutionized reading for me. These books are still worth sharing, and you should still add them to your shelf —so here goes!

The Hidden People is a sketchbook by illustrator  Cory Godbey. Whimsical and fantastic creatures bring a smile at every turn of the page. My husband and I were super happy to be able to snag a signed copy from Cory at the Indie Craft Parade in 2011, and you can get still get your very own copy on Etsy! Since getting The Hidden People, we have also added Cory’s newest sketchbook, Menagerie, to our library as well. Again, it’s awesome, and you need a copy.

 

I picked up Make & Do from Mollie Greene back in yesteryear as well—via Etsy, where else? Sweet paper crafts fill the pages – which is probably why she has a new book coming out in June actually called Sweet Paper Crafts! It’s available for pre-order on Amazon. I made a mobile of dog cut outs from an idea in the book. It may not be practical, but a mobile of patterned paper puppies is super cute to have hanging around.

And of course, one and a half years later, I can’t remember what the third book was. It’s photo wasn’t saved in the draft. We will have to wonder together what the third book that I pondered writing about was. If you figure it out, let me know! In lieu of not having a third book to share, here’s a review of what I have been reading this year:

  • Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Amazing, convicting, though provoking. Been going through with a good friend over coffee in the morning. 
  • Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, Noel Piper – Five stories about five awesome women. Lilias Trotter was probably my favorite in the book, but all the women were inspiring.
  • Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney – Not very far through yet. I think I’m in the first chapter
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald – Wanted to refresh my memory since the movie is coming out. The story made me sad for all the characters in it.
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (did I even need to type it?!) – the 200th anniversary of the publication was this spring. To quote Kathleen Kelly, “Ah! Read it. I know you’ll love it!”
  • Under Wildwood, Colin Meloy – Very cool illustrations. Great sequel to the first book, Wildwood. SPOILER ALERT: It’s a cliff hanger.
  • Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis – Classic. Adventurous. Reading for the millionth time.
  • The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller – I would recommend this book to anyone—regardless of your marriage status. It’s about relationships pointing to Christ. Very insightful.

AND finally – I just can’t wait for the fourth book in the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson to come out! Dear Andrew, please hurry writing. I know your computer crashed and everything was lost. But I have to know what happens next!

Blogging was definitely not on my resolutions list for 2012, as you can probably tell. But I may be back, thanks to a little prompt from a really awesome sister.

For my first post of the year (in JUNE), I guess I’ll start off talking about my ACTUAL resolutions are for this year, and the process I’ve gone through to document those resolutions.

First, I usually don’t keep resolutions because I forget what they are by the middle of February. A mini sketchbook from Ugmonk has been just the ticket for me to combat forgetfulness—I can carry the resolutions with me to keep them fresh in my mind all the time.

Second, inspired by my friend Jeanne’s 25 by age 25 list, I decided that a numbered list of resolutions was the way to go—12 in 2012. I sketched a set of pages in the sketchbook for each one of the twelve resolutions.

Here are just a few of the resolutions I’ve made for this year:

1. Read the ENTIRE Bible by Dec. 31, 2012.
2. Read 12 books—aka one book a month—during this calendar year—10 books down, 2 to go
3. Participate in Greenville’s Mini Book Collective art exhibition at Art &  Light Gallery. —FINISHED!! I’ll have to post about this later
5. Donate 10″ to Locks of Love by end of the year (this is seeming to take FOREVER)

9. Knit/crochet 10 scarves for a local women’s shelter
10. Finally get rid of my ANCIENT laptop. RECYCLE is the plan!

And last but not least, number 12—celebrate 12-12-12 in style!

I decided it’s not important that I finish all these resolutions; the important thing to me is having a goal to work towards. Hopefully I can accomplish a few of these, but if nothing else, the year will have been time well spent.

 

 

 

Welcome to 2011! After a kind-of unplanned hiatus from the blogging world for a few weeks, I’m back and ready for the new year! I’m looking forward to a wonderful year, and over the next few weeks I’ll fill you in on the things I’ve been working on and creating the last couple of weeks. It was SO nice to have exactly 12 days off for Christmas. Now I’m back to work and back to blogging!

I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I think everyone says that no matter what they think of them. Maybe I’ll start calling them “New Year’s Renewals” because it’s usually a renewal of resolutions I made last year—eat healthier, snack less, work out more, manage finances better, keep up with the chores & the blog, etc. etc. etc. This year I have made one resolution in addition to my “renewals,” journal more.

I have my fair share of journals on my shelf. The earliest one I have in the apartment is from junior high. Where I went, what I ate, what movie I watched. . . .definitely detail oriented. Sketches of the tent and cabin layouts at camp. Stickers from Jill’s stash. Crushes. It is hilarious to read, and I can’t get through some of it without dying of laughter. I don’t journal consistently, and have some journals that are just filled with stories of life events that are in no way chronologial. I have sketchbooks and notebooks that also hold biographical information. And I have small stacks of notes I wrote during classes in high school (sorry, Mrs. E—I wrote notes in your class a lot. I sat next to my bff, it wasn’t totally my fault).

The other night I picked up the journal I started during the spring semester of my senior year of college. I wrote in it a lot that year, but since then, the book’s been on the shelf . . . only visited every once in a while for a major life event or to be packed in a box for moving. As I read through it, I realized just how much I had written in it that year and the four-ish years since I started the journal. Though I definitely didn’t write every day or even every month, it holds so much of my major adult-life experiences—graduating from college, my first week of work at the job I’ve now been at for 5 years, the first meal I cooked in my first apartment (spaghetti with meatballs), having friends over, the time six of us all got burned laying out by the pool, the announcement of marriage to myself (way before any engagement had taken place, but we just knew), good talks I had with friends, things about my parents and family I am thankful for. Besides not remembering that I even know how to make meatballs, I couldn’t believe how invaluable this information was to me. I had asked a lot of questions and wrote a lot of advice whilst I rambled about meatballs and movies. “The best is yet to come, right?” or “You can’t relive, only remember.” This journal is not just facts, it’s thoughts—questions, answers, dreams, realities. And at a time where I needed someone to tell me some things, I actually didn’t have to look further than that journal for encouragement. I already knew what to do—what the answers were. I just needed to remind myself. I didn’t realize past me would remind future me with a journal entry. It encouraged me to start writing again. Who knows what is going to be encouraging to look back on in the future?


I’d challenge you to start a journal. You don’t have to write every day. Sometimes a journal is just a place where you need  to voice what you feel when you can’t tell anyone else. It’s a way to talk and always be listened to. It’s a place where you can put down what you’re learning to remember it later. It’s a time capsule. It’s a journey. It’s your life. In the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing some journal tips and techniques to help jump start any New Year’s writers. Stay tuned!

Photo by gregoryhogan