Looking back at 2016 I have felt that it was not a bad year exactly (apart from the craziness that seems to have infected the world), but it was a bit of a drifting year. There were a lot of exciting things and a lot of happiness, but my anxiety did seem to come back with a vengeance and I didn’t feel like I was meeting my personal goals. I can’t even remember what my 2016 New Year resolutions were, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t achieve them.
Inspired by the awesome group Girls Gone Strong and their exciting Resolution Revolution, I decided that 2017 needed to have some more focus, some more direction, some action-based resolutions, rather than the traditional, over-ambitious outcome-based resolution I have always been guilty of making. With this in mind, along with some of the cognitive behavioural techniques I have been learning through my anxiety therapy, I purchased a super beautiful Happiness Planner to help create a positive plan for 2017.
Designed to help you achieve the happiest year possible, the planner is full of inspirational quotes, goal-setting activities and gratitude exercises. I started on my happiness journey by creating a personalised happiness roadmap, taking time to think through and jot down everything: the things that make me happy, the things that don’t my strengths and weaknesses, things I’m grateful for, my achievements and my dreams for the future. Having them on paper was a really crystallising experience, and is helping me to form my goals over the next year.
As with all goal setting, the planner helps you look not just at the longterm but at the shorter term too. Starting with your plans for the whole month, the planner breaks it down further into daily scheduling. The daily pages prompt you to start the day with a positive attitude, putting down onto paper what you have to look forward to and what your main focus will be for the day. Even more appealing to me, it has a little section for exercise and meals which I hope will be a good tool for keeping myself accountable. The to-do list section is something I already know I’m going to be making full use of, and the small schedule section will help create a clear overview of my day. You are then prompted to reflect at the end of the day, thinking about good things that happened, any notes and things you are grateful for before concluding with your hopes for the next day.
You can probably tell, I’m pretty excited about my new planner. I’m someone who finds it quite hard to see the positives every day, and I love that the reflective elements in the journal will push me to do that. I’m hoping that filling it out each day will give a new sense of focus and purpose and will help 2017 be as positive and productive as possible. Now, that’s better than a traditional resolution don’t you think?