Planning my hopes and dreams for 2018

Gratitude journal and unravel your year

At the beginning of the year I always like to undertake some planning to set some goals for the next 12 months and think about what I want to achieve.  This was even more important for me this year as it’s the first time since my early-20s that I’ve started with a complete blank slate.  With the exception of my time looking after Bodhi dog, I could effectively live anywhere, work anywhere and be completely selfish about how I spend my time.  I have found this to be both liberating and overwhelming in equal parts.

For some time I’ve followed Susannah Conway’s blog and instagram, and she often shares tools, courses and thoughts on blogging, goal setting, tarot and journalling.  At the end of the year I spotted an amazing free guide that she had launched called ‘Unravel Your Year‘.  It’s a downloadable PDF that you can use to reflect on the previous year and gather your thoughts on what you want to achieve in 2018.  I wanted to really commit to using it so I had it printed on Blurb for about £15 in magazine format as I knew I’d be more inclined to fill it in if it was beautifully bound and printed (superficial little sausage that I am…).

I actually did start completing it back in January but I’ve been dipping into it periodically whenever I have quiet time to reflect and plan.  Thinking about what I want to achieve in 2018 has been an enjoyable (though also challenging!) activity, but looking back on 2017 required the right mindset as it was such a difficult year.

I thought I would share some of my plans for the year and some of the ways that I’ve been using the planner.  At this point a lot of my hopes, dreams and goals are quite intangible, whereas the next section is to plan out a structure on a month-by-month basis (yes I’m aware it’s already March – eek!)

Here are some quick thoughts I’ve shared about 2018 as a whole.  I like sharing things like this – I know it may feel too personal for some but that’s always how I’ve preferred to use this space and connect with others, so I hope it’s okay.

What are you looking forward to in 2018?

Travel, creativity, adventure, sunshine, finding my path.

What are you feeling apprehensive about?

Feeling lonely, making bad decisions, getting older.

What life lessons are you taking with you into 2018?

The need to be brave.  Sometimes you have to have a hard year.  Follow your heart.

What area of your life fo you most want to develop in 2018?

Getting out of my comfort zone.  Building my confidence.  Knowing my worth.  Being creative.

What part of yourself do you yearn to nurture in 2018?

Finding my dharma and true purpose. Being authentic.

The next section asks you to fast-forward to December 2018 and imagine that you’re reflecting on the last 12 months and thinking about where you want to be…

… in your head?

Further forward in my career and feeling fulfilled.  Having used lots of creative energy.  Feeling more settled and knowing what I want.

in your heart?

To love and be loved.  To prioritise family.  To cultivate a few select friendships.

…in your soul?

To feel settled and aligned.  To have a daily practice.  To prioritise spirituality and self-care.

in your physical world?

To know what I want from ‘home’.  To feel physically strong and well.  To find balance between home and hobbies.

These are just two pages of the book – there are 62 pages so I’m definitely not giving too much away! The next section goes on to be more action focussed, thinking of ways I could (for example) bring more passion, mindfulness, connection and groundedness into my life.  Now I’ve planned these out I need to find ways to absolutely stick to them – I’m thinking of pulling them all into one sheet and sticking them up somewhere I can see them every day! I also need to start planning my time around these goals and thinking about whether the evenings, weekends and trips I’m planning will get me closer to the things I want to achieve.  I’ve done my reflections on February and it’s been useful to reflect back on what I’ve learned, what I’m grateful for and what my impressions of 2018 are so far (I wrote emotional, confused, unsure and lonely so I need to find that positivity and motivation to make 2018 the amazing year I know it can be.

Gratitude journal entries

In tandem with planning for the year, I also got a new Gratitude Journal printed on Blurb (this isn’t an advert for Blurb by the way, I get everything printed there!) I designed it on Canva (if you don’t already use Canva – get on it – it’s free and it makes everything you create look like a fancy graphic designer did it) and I added loads of extra questions this year, like my daily affirmations, my priorities, what I’m manifesting, and how I’m feeling.  I also added in loads of Pinterest-y quotes from inspiring people to help me get into the right headspace, and I switched up the questions every few weeks so I could keep it fresh.  I need to be much more disciplined with filling it in but I’m already starting to notice themes in the things I’m grateful for – fresh air, nourishing food, swimming, family, friends, yoga – and trying to make more space in my life for these.  I’ve also been adding in the moon phase and what that means – for example, the First Quarter Moon tends to be about courage, motivation and action and it’s interesting to see how my reflections and plans fit into this.

I’d love to know how you’ve been planning goals for 2018 and reflecting on how it’s going so far.  Do you use a gratitude journal? (It’s not too late to download Unravel Your Year too, it’s free and it’s such a great tool).