"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
A few years ago, I decided instead to give myself a word for the year, which I find a far less oppressive solution. You see, I like the idea of a new year being a fresh start and a chance to make some important changes or set out some goals, but without all the pressure that a list of resolutions imposes.
I've been thinking about what to choose for this year's word over the Christmas period and I've decided that my word for 2017 is 'balance'. The last few months of 2016 were exhausting and, until I had a little time off in December, I felt as if the weeks were racing by and I was struggling to focus on anything apart from work and a series of seemingly never-ending to-do lists. I love my job and I really feel like my career is going in a direction that I'm proud of but I want to make time for other things too, which I know will only help me to be more focused and balanced in all aspects of my life.
So how to bring more balance to my life? This year, I'm planning to really set aside some quality time with my husband and friends, exploring more of this amazing city/country of ours and putting my phone to one side as much as possible and really give all my attention to these moments, which can be so fleeting. At the same time, part of the balance I think I need will be learning to say no when necessary - that may take some work. I want to pay more attention to my health and focus on some me-time, by reading more, getting back into yoga and taking some time for crafts and baking (which I loved doing during my days off over the last few weeks!). I think it'll be an important lifestyle change for me but one I can implement gradually and which will make me happier, healthier and more productive in the long term. I'm excited!