5 ways to start the year as you mean to go on

Finally convinced mum to get a Fir Tree for Christmas!


Clearly the red wine got to Mike mama ...

As always a perfect christmas spread by Mike Mama

Skyping loved ones!

Christmas Dinner with the Speakmans

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas full of love and food! I certainly did, - I maybe drank more red wine than I should have but hey ITS CHRISTMAS! I spent most of my time with family and it was cherished even more so with the lack of social media. Today was the first day I logged back into all my social media accounts and it felt good to be back. In fact the time away from it allowed me to gather my thoughts and focus on what I want out of my next year. This time of year is always a good time to reflect and plan before the year starts, so heres how I do it;

1) WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS - I call them goals instead of resolutions because   you want them to be long term things that you want to achieve over a stretch of time with handwork. Write down your small 'to do' lists too, there is something about the actual act of writing that gets me in the focus zone. Put your goals in order, and add to the list when new things pop into your head.  I always walk around with a note book and pen, and if you don't have that readily available the notes section on most phones does the job too - get into the habit of writing them down so those light bulb moments aren't lost or forgotten and make sure you are constantly looking over the goals you have set to remind you of what you want to achieve! There is nothing more satisfying than crossing out a goal you have achieved!

My two favourite notebooks of last year

2) Spend some time searching for a beautiful diary - I have an A5 Diary day per page along with my note book that I have on me at all times. It seems like a simple thing to mention but I know so many people that don't have a diary, and it makes me wonder how I'd ever function without one. I used to have a Filofax but stopped using it because it never used to have enough space to write down all the things I needed and I didn't really like the way it looked either. Simple things like taking the time out to choose a diary you especially love will make you get in the habit of writing in it more. I love this part of planning, it gets me excited thinking about all the dates and plans I'll be filling the pages with. I have a Paperchase obsession so for me spending an hour looking at all the lovely diaries and note pads is nothing!

New Diary for 2016 that my mum bought me!

3) Calendars! Since the existence of phones/computers and technology the idea of having a physical calendar has nearly become extinct. Luckily as one of my presents this year I was given a beautiful Shoe Calendar. It has all the days of the month in boxes with little images of shoes in some of them. Its always good at the start of the year to fill out the calendar with all the important dates (Birthdays, events, remembrance days for loved ones etc) So that when you have a quick glance over the month you are reminded of whats to come. Its always good to have the calendar in a poignant place in your room or house so you are always reminded. It's also a good idea to get these dates in your phone diary and paper diary so you have it everywhere.

All hail the Shoe Calendar!

4) Make time! - This year some of my smaller goals are to:

- Read more; I've always loved reading but my head usually gets consumed by shoes and fashion so I've decided to change this up by using a website my boyfriend told me about called Good Reads.com. They're great! They email you monthly with new releases and more personalised recommendations dependent on the ratings of the books you have last read. It takes seconds to create a login  and it saves you all the searching for that new book you want to read but don't quite have the time to search for. My Goal this year is to get through a book each month, which I feel is more than an adequate amount of time to finish one book. Or if you are anything like me - spend half an hour in Waterstones or Foyles  to search for that perfect book. To be fair I could spend hours in a book store but Good Reads sounds like an absolute god send for those of you that may not have the time to search!

Got my eye on this book for my next read!

- Reduce time spent on Social Media; Another small goal of mine (which I think the reading will replace) is to cut out social media at bed time. Ive been trying to get into reading mode for some time now and I have to say its a fantastic way to educate yourself while slowly nodding off at the same time. To do so i have devised a bed time plan where I'll be in bed for half past 10 and read for half an hour before a 6am wake up time ( 7 - 8 hours is just the right amount of sleep for me)

- Run/Mediation; I used to love running at school and before my dad had passed  away I had (for a brief time) got back into it. Of course the months and now years to follow, time became about family. I have decided to slowly integrate some type of fitness. So I have decided running will be my thing, along with some mindfullness meditation. Its good to take part in singular activity once in a  while to both free your mind and also gather your thoughts. The best way to make sure this gets done is to make a daily routine that incorporates this, which takes me swiftly on to my next point...

5) Daily Routines - Make daily routines the day before if its difficult to plan the whole week. If waking up early is a struggle make a list of things you need to do for the next day, the night before including most importantly, breakfast. So often people forget their breakfast, I HAVE to eat breakfast, and for this reason setting up a hearty breakfast the night before gets you star jumping out of bed and ready to take on the day.

Anyone who knows me well will know I LOVE a good list!

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