2018 Inspiration and Planning Ideas

I’m a planner and I love to know what’s ahead of me. Granted, I realize that’s not always possible, but having some vague plan in mind, tends to lessen my anxiety so I go with it.

I recently bought myself a new planner. Nothing fancy, as much as I love how they have all the stickers and the sticky notes and all that, I just don’t think I would actually use them. So I just went to my local Walgreens and picked up a Blue Sky, monthly/weekly planner. 

When I start to plan for the new year, the first thing I like to do is reflect on the year that just passed. As you can see in my- 2017 Memory Jar Review post.

I go back through my memory jar, my instagram posts and my blog posts and see what I accomplished. I also review my goals list and check off the things I accomplished, and narrow in on the things I still want/need to work on, or continue to implement. 

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Because even if I did accomplish a specific goal in 2017, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t carry over into 2018. For instance like personal growth- and working on my anxiety, that’s a goal that’s on going, bettering my mental and physical health is always a goal every year, as it should be. 

After I reflect, I review my old goal list, and check off, or add to it. And then eventually I’ll probably make a new list. 

After that I will look at the many many things on my list and realize that it is VERY overwhelming!

So this year I’ve decided that from that big list I will pick 4-8 things that I want to ABSOLUTELY accomplish this year. And so that way my brain knows what it needs to focus on. Categories can help- so for instance- Health/Self-care, Relationships, Career.

After that, this is where my planner comes into play. 

I like these planners (Blue Sky) because they have the monthly calendar and then the weekly where you can write in things per day.

However in hindsight, I usually end up needing more space, no matter what. So I’ll either use post-its or a separate sheet of paper/notebook or notepad for daily To-Do Lists or if something I’m working on needs a little more planning. 

I’m debating getting just a desperate notebook for To-Do Lists, because I feel like I make them so often, I end up with all these sheets of paper all over. So we shall see. 

It’s only January, things are definitely going to change as we go along.

I’ve started to do like weekly to do lists, and goals, and also I think eventually I may try monthly. Let’s be real January is a total hangover month. I’m still on 2017 time, so everything is trial and error at this point for me.

And that’s totally okay, because you don’t need a new year, to make a change. I kind of feel like I implemented some new things into my life last year around fall time, because I felt inspired to do so with the new school year starting up again. So you can always renew, revamp, and reflect. There are no rules. 

Last year I said my “mantra word” was CHANGE, and ALOT changed around me, and I adapted and am continuing to do so, and although I feel I made some changes for myself too, I want to continue to grow and change on my own this year as well. However, I’m going to add another word to my mantra this year and that is DETERMINATION. There are certain things I want to do, that are big, BIG CHANGES I want to make in my life, and in order to do them, I’m going to need that fire, that determination. So I’m going to aim to up that factor in my life this year, because let’s be real, we all get in our lazy funks. It’s winter after all, and there’s a huge snow storm outside. So nothing says “it can wait til tomorrow…” more. But here I am trying to stick to my Monday/Thursday posting schedule anyway, while the tv is calling my name- waiting for me to catch up on all the shows I’ve missed over the past few weeks. Determination, Michelle, DETERMINATION.

Another thing I find that inspires me is looking up videos on YouTube. Some of those ladies make the most inspirational planning videos! And they just give you the pep you need to get planning.

I’ll link a few below, that I’ve watched this year for inspiration. I’ve definitely pulled from them when doing my planning.

I also like to have a visual to display so that I can see it. I never shared last years with you-(it was just a bunch of fun images with the word CHANGE), but after a while, it ended up getting buried in a corner of my room when I was reorganizing, but it’s back up and I’m going to add one near it to display images of my 2018 MAIN GOALS and the word DETERMINATION! 

vision board 2018

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So to review the steps I use to plan:

Step 1: Reflect on the past year

Step 2: Review 2017 Goal List/Write a New One

Step 3: Narrow Goals Down (to the most important you want to focus on)

Step 4: Buy/Use a planner/To-Do List (to keep track of everything)

Step 5: Find inspiration (if you need help planning your goals)

Step 6: Choose your mantra word (the theme for your year)

Step 7: Create a vision board (to keep visible as a reminder of your goals for this year)

Step 8: Breathe & Believe in yourself ❤

MY MAIN BIG GOALS FOR 2018

*Get healthier- mentally/physically/emotionally

*Take the next step in my career

*Save money for my best friend’s wedding festivities!

*Get my permit/take driver’s ed (yes I know I’m way behind on this, in life- but hey I live in NY, technically- I don’t NEED to drive) 😉

*Work on relationships

*Self-publish a body of work (not on this blog, but elsewhere)

*Write my Pilot episode

Now that I have this locked down, I can go through and plan how to accomplish each one, step by step. I haven’t done that just yet, but…I will. The year is new, the year is young. 

Happy 2018! Now let’s crush it! ❤

Tell me how you plan for your year ahead in the comments below, and if you have any other YouTubers you find inspiring!

-<3-

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edit or otherwise.*

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Memory Jar Review

NYE

2015 was difficult for me, for some personal reasons, but it was also a year of growth for me. And the more growth I see in myself, the more I am sure I will see being reflected on this blog. Last year for 2015 I started a memory jar, I had seen the idea floating around online and it seemed like something that would be right up my alley. I’m the girl who takes too many pictures. I’m the girl who yells at those who don’t want to take pictures with my famous saying; “Hey, we’re making memories!” I’m the girl who used to spend her middle school years scrapbooking. You can sense a theme, I’m sure.

2015 memory jar

2015, thanks for the memories.

So on New Year’s Day as I sat down to read through all my 2015 memories from my memory jar (pictured above,) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I feel I have grown as a person. From the girl who graduated college about 3 years ago, who has had an ongoing battle with anxiety and breaking into the work world, to the girl who has begun to round a corner this year. And I am thrilled. I may have a long ways to go in finding my career and in other aspects of my life, but my hope for 2016 is to keep this going and to keep growing and learning new things about myself. Learning what I am capable of and to always strive for more, strive to better myself and become a well-rounded person overall.

***Listen as you read: REVIVAL by Selena Gomez (oddly enough this is the song I gravitated toward playing as I edited this. Coincidence? I think not. I got you SelGo. 😉

It’s important to reflect on all the good things you do have, rather than to dwell on all the things you don’t have or all the bad things that happened.

So I bring you

*My 2015 Highlights* (in no particular order.)

The biggest change I have made is taking measures to help deal with my anxiety issues and remaining grounded in difficult life situations, and understanding that feeling emotion is okay and so is showing emotion. I’m not going to dive into specifics, but I have seen an improvement in myself.

Looking at my religious faith with stronger eyes than I used to and attending church more freely. I say this not because I used to be forced to go, because I wasn’t. But I use the world freely because I feel a stronger connection to God, because my outlook on life is slowly maturing in understanding. I realize that I will question him sometimes, when things feel really bad but still trust in him and still understand that the gospel readings are there to show insight. And in some way or another they will relate to your life and can help guide you.

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Photo By: Robert DeSantos Jr.

My 2015 started the same way my 2016 started; with a New Year’s Day dinner with my family. (2016 we even added a game night, we had a blast and laughed a ton!)

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My god daughter has created her own nickname for me, and it stuck. To her I am “Shem.”

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The year also started off with a reunion dinner with some old friends!

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My brother got engaged! (Yes I was in attendance, I was in charge of the photos as I snapped through shaking hands/legs and happy tears!)

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My future sister in law asked me to be a bridesmaid, and we found her wedding dress! (Yes I was also in attendance, I was in charge of capturing the experience for my brother to watch later on down the line.)

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I got back into video for a short bit, as I directed, edited and shot a yoga video for my cousin’s holistic class. It came out pretty awesome and her presentation was a hit because of it!

michelle leigh writes turned 2!-READ POST

I re-decorated my own room.

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– Joy Williams ❤

Took mom to brunch for Mother’s Day!

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I went on a few job interviews, some went better than others, and some job opportunities were a lesson learned.

I got an intern position at a local newspaper and have been there for a few months. Although it’s newswriting, I am learning to be in a work environment, and part of a team. I am also learning to deal with new situations that aren’t exactly in my comfort zone. With responsibility comes more independence. Seeing my By-line is always a nice feeling too. 🙂

I saw 50 Shades of Grey with some friends and became slightly obsessed, after reading all three books in a matter of a few weeks, I was eagerly awaiting this film.

50 shades

Jesse Lee Soffer (Chicago PD) favorited my tweet. I gotta say my celebrity twitter game was on fire this year. Marina Squerciati (Chicago PD) is like my bestie on twitter for live tweet Wednesdays. She answers me all the time!

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Dressed up in theme on several occasions; my goddaughter’s farm themed birthday party, my cousin’s 80’s themed birthday party, flapper inspired look for my birthday dinner. You guys know I love a good theme.

80's party

My good friend Jenny got engaged and asked me to be her maid of honor!

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Had a mother/daughter date night with my mom and our best friends.

mom dates

I’ve noticed I’m writing more, whether its news related for work, or my own creative stories. It’s been more consistent as of late. [SEE: Love Conflicted, A Broken Heart For Christmas, For Old Times’ Sake, What are you doing New Year’s Eve?] I also wrote two short scripts; both horror based; One was an extension of a zombie short I wrote a while back, called “Inhumane” and the other is called “Head Over Heels.”

Between all the upcoming weddings I have been to bridal showcases, and a taste testing, supporting special people in my life, in preparation of their big day.

Glenn survived on The Walking Dead! This was a whirlwind for me, because I am a huge TV junkie and I take my love of characters seriously.

READ POSTS:

The Walking Dead Went Too Far

My Glenn/The Walking Dead Theory

The Glenn Mystery Continues with New Revelations…

Send up Green Balloons for Glenn!

glenn alive

I found out my best friend is going to be an Aunt! Her brother is my brother’s best friend and we are all really close. At their Fourth of July celebration, they announced the exciting news. Later on she also found out she’s going to be a God mother too! Baby meatball is due soon! Welcome to the godmother club love! So excited for you! ❤

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Gym, Haircuts, Lunch & Shopping day with two of my favorite ladies; my Mom and my Aunt. I was obsessed with my short hair and am considering that once we hit spring, I may have to chop it off again.

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My best friend took me to this really adorable tea place in the city; Alice’s Tea Cup as my birthday gift. You guys know how I love my tea.

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My goddaughter gave me the sweetest, most thoughtful gift for Christmas. A tea mug, a diffuser, an assortment of loose leaf teas, and on the tea mug she drew some art work as it also read “World’s Best Godmother!” I couldn’t imagine getting a more perfect gift, from a more special person. Thank you babe!

I began spending more time with both sides of my family, which is really important to me. Sometimes time gets away from us, and we don’t allow room to spend time with everyone.

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I went to the mermaid parade with my mom and dressed like a mermaid. Can you see how I enjoy dressing up and being weird?

I went out one night for my friend’s birthday to an 80’s club and it was a blast. As you may know I’m not one for bars and clubs. I’m a “let’s watch a movie and eat junk food, stay at home grandma,” but some nights I’ll put the heels on and the makeup and act my age. It’s a rare occurrence, but it was a great time with great music, and great people.

I hosted a Girls Gala for Valentine’s Day.

I won a massive Trader Joe’s basket at a card party! And a few other things too, it was super exciting. Things like that rarely happen to me, but I was on a roll!

trader joe's basket

For my family birthday dinner, I had breakfast for dinner. I love breakfast foods!

Bethany Joy Lenz favorited and answered my tweet, and Joy Williams favorited and answered my tweets too! Seriously I’m such a fan of both of these women, so this was like huge for me! Lol.

I survived my first Jury Duty experience. (See you in 8 years mothatruckas!) 😉

Ugly sweaters and t-shirts in honor of my Aunt Mary, this Christmas. Everyone came out and really rallied in remembering a woman who truly made an impact on our lives with her crazy sense of humor.

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Photo By: Robert DeSantos Jr.

Rocked Blue Lips on the very last day of the year- New Year’s Eve. Dare to be different. Turn a few heads.

I’ve learned that I control my social media, my social media doesn’t control me. In other words, I post less frequently than I used to. And I’m ok with that.

Joy Williams’ “Venus” album kind of became my anthem, along with some really good Yoga music. (Helps with traveling anxiety if you’re wondering.) *I recommend- Woman (Oh Mama), Not Good Enough, What a Good Woman Does, and Welcome Home.

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Justin Timberlake became a DAD!

So there you have it. I know some things aren’t huge successes, or are not in direct relation to me, but I’m a believer in making the simple little things shine through. Those little things become the big things, and supporting others in my life means a lot to me too.

Looking back at all my 2015 memories made me realize how much can happen over the course of a year. I think that the idea of starting a memory jar is great, everyone should give it a try! I already started mine! It’s not too late, the new year is just beginning. Who are you going to be? What are you going to do? Where are you going to go? It’s all a mystery. Enjoy it!

Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

I truly hope 2016 is your best year yet!

-<3-