Happy New Year everybody! Hope your holidays went well and that this new year brings lots of good news and good things for everyone! This year we got a blessing in disguise that brought my family together, and so my small family of three suddenly became a family of six; being able to see everyone so happy and in good health really made my heart grow by the tenfold and it made me desperately want to work hard to make sure moments like this come more often.
You might be able to guess by taking a quick glance around here, that that determination has really been a driving force this last few weeks - taking the bull by the horns doesn't even come remotely close to how strong-willed and determined I am feeling these days, so where the last few years felt a bit like growing pains, this year I'm ready to work my ass off to make the best of it.
Seeing as how it's somewhat of a tradition to sit down and reflect during these times of the year, I felt compelled to write a little —warning: decidedly not little; go grab something pls— catch up with me post to talk about how this last year was for me, what my goals for this new year are and also a round up of resources in case you don't know yet what your new year resolutions are.
2017 man...where do I even begin with you? First off, let's review last year because there were a lot of good intentions set in place and a lot of good did come out of that year. Lots of good things happened actually: I got my first real job and my first pay; I got a good taste of what it feels like to find something you truly love and are passionate about, echosmith liked my work?! dfgfkskh; I met a lot of really cool people that I'm so lucky to have in my life. I did shameless maya's shameless challenge and my confidence sky-rocketed and I became assertive and proactive when it came to going after what I want and not relying on destiny, fate or my solar return chart predict wether or not I could do it. She didn't believe she could at first, but she faked it 'till she made it.
On the flip side of the coin, there were also a few events that we could've done without, the worst of them being the day my mom suffered a cerebral stroke or an ictus this november. She's doing a lot better now and thankfully there's no permanent damage, but it made me realise that there's not nearly as much awareness about this disease and how to act on time and that if I hadn't been awake or if I hadn't recognised the symptoms she could've easily left us. These kinds of experience brings a lot of pain and fear but they also bring around growth if you let yourself learn from them.
This year I want it to be all about growth, in every area of my life. I want to grow as a human being and I want to grow in my relationships and in my work. This is the year I'm turning twenty-seven and I want to be ready to make the most out of the last three years of my twenties.
Growth in myself: this is the year of doing more things that make me uncomfortable, learning new things and making room for self love and chasing after the things I want. I'm leaving behind my people pleasing and being silent so to not bother anyone. My life is worth being heard.
Growth in relationships: one of the biggest things I learnt last year was how much of a difference it does to experience life with a good support network vs. all by yourself. I've never been one to have many friends and, sadly, I couldn't bring with me many of the friendships I made throughout my school and university years to my adult-life, but life compensates y'know? I am so grateful for the few friends I have and I can't wait to walk alongside them and see what the future has in store for all of us. You guys too ps, just in case you didn't thought so.
This year I want to invest my time and money into creating worthwhile relationships and memories, I want this to be the year of being reunited with my family and spending christmases together after twenty years, I want this to be the year of celebrating more birthdays on our coffee shop, I want this to be the year of hosting dinners with friends and toasting over simple happy days, I want this to be the year of long group walks around the neighbourhoods with our dogs and to have secret santas and to say "good morning, how have you been?" to the chinese store owners.
This is the year of good, healthy and balanced relationships, hot damn!
Growth in my work: Last but not least, I also want to grow in my work. Last year I had the incredible opportunity of working on Ichiko Bento and it really showed me what it felt like to do something you truly love for a living, to jump out of bed excitedly because you just can't wait to get to work, to go above and beyond what was required of you because you want to go the extra mile and work hard. I want that to be how I feel like when it comes to my work until the day that I die.
This year I want to truly focus on investing in my education and honing in on my skills, I want to truly find my niche and work in projects that my clients can be proud of and I want to continue with this blog. Recently my style/aesthetic have changed a lot and I'm leaning towards more soft feminine colors so I had to give the entire website a fresh do-over so everything is new! new! new! How dreamy is that moodboard, right? I can't wait to use pinks and oranges more often!
If you've been here since last year, you might remember that in february I said that I didn't do new years resolutions in january because I don't believe in them, or rather, I think that making overly ambitious and unplanned new years resolutions in january is setting yourself up for failure, this stands true to this day, but there's a twist now!
See, resolutions are a trap, they are a trap because even though we know we're setting ourselves up for failure we still go ahead and say something unrealistic like "I'm gonna go to the gym everyday for the next three-sixty-five days of my life" like...bro, you once ate three bowls of instant ramen playing overwatch at 3AM who u fooling?
Goals on the other hand, are nice, realistic and you can tick them off your bullet journal and break them down into mini sub-goals spread throughout your year, like "I'm gonna limit my ramen intake to one per week" or "I'm gonna walk my dog two times a day", see? Not so scary, or intimidating, or so impossible that you're ready to quit three days into the year.
Taking this into consideration, the least that I could do after writing that text-wall of biblical proportions above was to give you a bunch of goals and resources to kickstart your year, divided neatly and linked properly for ease-of-use. Enjoy!
LEARN SOMETHING NEW!
Repeat after me: this is the year in which we nourish our minds and souls like we do our bodies! Your brain is gonna be there at the end of the day wether you want it to or not, so you might as well fill it with useful stuff instead of letting it catch dust, right? This post is not sponsored but I recently signed up to skillshare and I found it to be a great resource so I want to give you this link so you can get three months of premium for 0.99€ to spend on learning something new. With that being said:
This year I want to...
Learn hand-lettering: Inspiration: Jasmine Dowling / Cocorrina / Kinlake / Euni + Co. / Light of Leni / Wilde House Paper — Courses: Casual Hand Lettering by Kinlake / Lettering for Designers by Jessica Hische / Hand-lettering by Cocorrina
Learn design: Youtube: The Future / Flux / Adobe — Websites: Behance / Dribbble — Courses: Branding Process by Cocorrina / Fundamentals of Photoshop: One, Two, Three & Four by Meg Lewis / Learn the Ins and Outs of Illustrator by Brad Woodard / Pen & Pencil Magic: Illustrator Basics by Dylan Mierzwinski
Learn a new language: Apps: Memrise / Duolingo / HiNative / Eggbun— Websites: Italki / The Langblr Tumblr Community* — Korean Websites + Blogs: Korean Class 101 + Youtube Channel / Bitesize Korean / Eojetbam-Studies (my side-blog!) — Japanese Websites + Blogs: Japanese Pod 101 + Youtube / Learn JP * just add "target language" langblr for more specific posts
TRY SOMETHING NEW!
Mind covered, it's time to actually get our hands dirty. There's so many new cool things to do in this day and age that I'm surprised we still spend so much of our time in front of our phones.
If you like reading and writing, how about opening up a blog? You can write about virtually anything now and it's a great place to express yourself and meet people! Or maybe you have more skill with sharing stories through images, in which case you could dabble with having a youtube channel.
Maybe this can be the year where you reinvent yourself, perhaps you could try a capsule wardrobe for a season and see how you like it, or try creating your own skincare routine? Nowadays I swear by korean skincare and even though I don't do the whole ten-step routine I've definitely seen such an improvement on my face from before!
Hmm what more what more? That's the magic of it, isn't it? You could try your hand at millions of different things, like gardening, knitting, dancing, painting, meditating, baking, etc., just go out and get your body moving, it's good for the soul <3
Mind and body taken care for, let's get creative and do things out of our comfort zone. There are many different ways you can challenge yourself, doesn't have to be something you saw online, maybe you're shy and it's difficult for you to look at people in the eye, so you could challenge yourself to making eye contact at least three times a day, or maybe you have an unhealthy obsession with ramen and you need to challenge yourself to not eating so much of it *ahem*
Last year I did the Shameless Challenge by Shameless Maya and I challenged myself to do one thing a day that my otherwise shy, reserved and unassuming self would never do, and it changed my life, it gave me confidence and it made me realise that my life is worth being heard you know?
This year I'm returning to that challenge and I'm also doing the 100 Days of Productivity Challenge where you have to do at least one productive thing every day for one hundred days. For this challenge I'm focusing on my health, creative work and my art skills and also my korean and japanese. Not to freak anyone out but in five days I walked 26.2k...damn girl, talk about kickstarting your year right!
If neither of these challenges sound appealing to you though, don't fret! You could do a social media detox, or maybe challenge yourself dancing if you're scared of it's too sexy, the end of the line here is that the good things in life are at the other side of your comfort zone, which one you get out of you realise it was really small to begin with.
LOVE YOURSELF <3
Last but not least, nothing can start right if you aren't in the right space with yourself. Lately I've been seeing a lot of people online trash talk about themselves like it's some sort of competition, and I get it sometimes you have to make lighthearted jokes from terrible situations to keep yourself sane, but some of the things I've read are anything but lighthearted.
Let's make of this year a positive environment for ourselves to thrive in, okay? Let's say good things about ourselves and, let's do more things that make us happy this year and cut ourselves some slack, there's no need to be perfect, just good enough. I know that sometimes it gets hard to keep going, but there's so many things worth fighting for, please use them as strengths to lift you up instead of anchoring you down. Let's do great this year together, deal? <3