The days between Christmas and New Years Eve are put there for us to use as days of reflection and time to look through resolutions, goals, achievements and plans. Or at least, that’s what I think. And the first week of January is also a great time to do some journaling, mind mapping and thinking about these very important issues in your life!

New Calendar

A new year is like a new page in a new journal. You can go about it as usual or think about the changes you want to do in your life…

    The doors of the year open,
    like the doors of language,
    onto the unknown.
    Last night you said:
    we must draw signs,
    sketch a landscape, hatch a plot
    on the unfolded page
    of paper and the day.
    Tomorrow we must invent,
    the reality of this world…

    Octavio Paz

One year has passed and now one full year ahead with 365 days just for you to make something out of! So, let’s create!

I got a new calendar from my grandmother this week. It’s a thick leather book from a German company where every day is a whole page to write on.

I’ve taken on the Art Card Challenge (please join us!) and I will do one art card each day for at least for 30 days during January. Then we’ll see how that felt. I’ve already cut some cards and I’m eager to start. Kirsty’s advice for taking on a daily challenge is to start small, and I totally agree with her. I’d rather do one creative thing each day than five and feel overwhelmed by it all and giving up during the first week. I think this is manageable for me, but of course I don’t know yet. Though I still think I did something creative 95 % of the days during this year, they were not counted or measured in any way. Or? Maybe I’ll do a post about the items I’ve crafted during this year? I have tried to post about them though I’m very behind right now.

But my mind is jumping around with joy and excitement about the New Year and I think about all the things I want to do… I wish I could add to the list of Dailies My new calendar makes me want to do a daily drawing similar to the ones I’ve seen by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel at flickr (her journal pages are like small pieces of art)! The new year seams so long it makes me feel like taking on every challenge there is!

I want to do so many things each day; meditate, exercise, art journaling, blog, take a photo each day (of my daily walks or a self portrait), write in my diary and do some kind of craft too! But of course a daily promise about all these things is impossible. My New Year’s Resolutions will be more mellow but hopefully manageable and doable. Some of them are:

* Feel like a journalist and do more writing, hopefully each day or at least a couple of texts/articles/posts each week!
* Incorporate exercise and movement in my daily life!
* Use Nozbe to keep my goals on track and continue doing Next action! I recently registered and I think this is a great site that helps me focus on what to do before I go into my daily surf hibernation…
* Keep reading about happiness and doing my own happiness project!

I’ve already started a Happiness project, but more on a philosophical level than in reality (because happiness hasn’t felt doable either this year). I feel filled with hope about new adventures now though. I will make a page about this project on my homepage with links and some of the exercises I’ve thought about (and done) from various places! I think we all are on this trip towards more happiness (why would we otherwise read all those self-help-book?) in our life. Now is the time to name it and “start” doing something that takes us there faster and with more efficiency! Everyone needs a Happiness Project, and they are not very difficult to maintain. If you are interested I’ll let you know when that page is up. (I’m adding it to my To do-list at Nozebe as a Next Action right now! ;-)

Months of 2008

Oh, another goal I’m adding to my list is this one: Plan more fun things so that I’ll have them to look forward too!

Plan is the most important word in that resolution. You’ve got to plan fun activities for yourself if nobody else is doing it for you, right? I want to take action and start doing instead of feeling nothing is happening in my life. By fun things I mean I want to plan ahead and add sentences to my new calendar like “fika with Inger”, “trip to XXX place”, “going to the museum/park”, “visit the knit caf? for several hours”, “party with friends”, “date with handsome guy”, “creative course at XXX” and “making papers with mom in the kitchen” etc. According to Gretchen having something to look forward too is very important for your feeling of happiness. This might seam to contradict the Buddhist saying about “being in the now” but when Gretchen wrote about this she said it’s not. Why? Because it might not be the actual event that makes us happy (it might rain on the trip) but the anticipation before the event! If you’re interested read her post A key to happiness: having something to look forward to! It was an eye opener for me, because I had to look back on 2007 as a whole and notice I have had nothing planned at all during this year. Strange, but true. Nothing! Everything has happened without me acting, with me feeling I could do nothing about my circumstances (which I couldn’t) and without me making future plans to change my situation! No trips, no parties, no adventure! That revelation was sad to see but that’s why I’m adding this to my new year’s resolutions:

* Plan more fun things to look forward too!

Blue hand bound book

Strange as it is I have two pages left in my writing diary so I’ll be starting the next one in the new year! I’m going to use this turquoise one that I’ve made myself at a book binding class. It has cream colored blank pages (♥!) that now has round edges (because I got a very cool corner punches for Christmas)! Buying another Moleskine made me calm down about them and it still stands unwrapped in my book shelf waiting for its turn. When I don’t need to feel that longing after a new one I can enjoy other kinds of notebooks more. I made a couple of hand bound books but so far I have been holding of using these precious blank books because they are so unique! But no more, 2008 here we come!

Saved wrapping paper

I’m also about to finish my art journal, because yesterday I did several pages at once. I filled my spreads with some of the beautiful wrapping paper I saved at Christmas Eve. I hope you did the same if you have an art journal? I always save some of the papers, but this is the first time I’ve gone totally wild with it. So much fun cutting into that stuff! I also saved some of the labels, post cards and envelopes I’ve received and a couple of very beautiful paper bags with golden butterfly prints on that I got in a store. So new year will mean new calendar, new diary, new art journal and new challenge! Plus new shoes and a new coat that I bought at Christmas sale this week. I’m tired of looking like a bum. And all of those days to fill with happiness, yum!

Below are some inspirational links to the articles I’ve been reading this week. All of them are about setting goals and making resolutions etc. Some are about writing because of my own resolution to write more, but you can skip those if you’re not interested in writing specifically. I hope they help you if you’re in the same mood as me. New Year Anticipation Mood.

I guess I need to stop writing on this post now?

Happy New year darlings, thank everyone of you for being there/here/somewhere!