“Please take advantage of this planner to start the New Year off with a bang!”
Happy New Year, friends! How is 2018 treating you so far?
Did you notice the title for this week’s journal is a little different? That’s because, in the spirit of the New Year, and as a thanks to you for being my reader, I’m giving you a free gift.
The 2018 Yearly Planner
It’s the 2018 Yearly Planner printable workbook for your 2018 intentions. If you haven’t journaled yet about your 2018 intentions, please do.
Use my last Journal for Wisdom Wednesday’s post to help you!
There’s no strings attached. You don’t have to follow any of my social media profiles, take any challenges, or subscribe to my list. Of course I welcome you to do that and I hope you do, but what I hope more is that you’ll have an amazing 2018 because you took the time to think and write about your goals. I care about my readers. I want to grow and I want you to grow. Please take advantage of this planner to start the New Year off with a bang!
There’s no usual prompt. I’ll get back to those next week. This week, your assignment is to print and fill out the planner workbook and set your spirit on fire!
As always, I would love to hear about any new insights you discovered while writing. Here’s your free gift:
If you would like to subscribe and get printables like this before everyone else, sign up here:
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Happy New Year!
“You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!”
Okay everyone, I got 5 responses to my Instagram challenge. I know, that doesn’t seem like a lot but honestly, I was worried with such short notice and not a huge following yet…no one would participate. So I am EXTREMELY excited about these five glorious people who chose to play along. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your years have been amazing and I can’t wait to see what 2018 looks like for each of you! Each of you get to be featured on my updated post here with your linked sites and shared with my social media followers. I am forever grateful and I can’t wait to do the same challenge next year and compare how many I get then vs. now.
Each of these women are amazing and so are their blogs. So please take the time to read them and get some awesome tips about life!
I’ve got to give some extra love to Nicole from Empowered Living with Nicole! It’s pretty hard to top her year. Nicole is a quadriplegic and this year she stood! Wow! You are an inspiration! There’s no telling what you can do in 2018! She also has some other pretty amazing things going on in her life. Check out her collage:
Live Like a Butterfly
This next awesome lady is Heather from Live Like a Butterfly. She’s been super busy this year getting promotions, hanging out with her awesome mom, and taking fun trips! I really love her intention for 2018. Check it out:
This lady is totally living life to the fullest and always getting her work-out on! Check out her journey and awesome tips on Striving for Balance. Her collage makes her 2017 look pretty amazing:
Kayla is going to be a mommy this year and she’s still being awesome and doing things out of her comfort zone! I love the way she looks at life. Check her out on Kayla B. Collection! Check out her year in review:
I did “The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge” with @thewiserlifeblog ⬅️ check it out to join in too! Each picture represents a piece of my 2017 (in order, left to right, top to bottom) 🖤 1. My favorite quote for the year: I love this quote because it really makes you take a step back and look at your life & ENJOY! In today’s society we’re always looking ahead at what’s next, what’s better, & planning for the future. What we’re not doing, is enjoying life as it’s happening – being present – and enjoying each step along the way. 🖤 2. A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone, and not only created my entire website/blog by myself -but went live! 🖤 3. A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This is a picture of my lil’ man at our last ultrasound appointment earlier this month. I’m so proud of this relationship because I’m becoming a first time Mommy, & my relationship with him has grown SO much as well. Just back in May of this year he was just a hope/prayer inside my head, & now I’m not only physically seeing him grow, but feeling him stretching, jumping, tumbling, and kicking inside my tummy ALL day long! It is absolutely incredible. 🖤 4. My favorite memory of the year: The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen (the picture does not do it justice) while on my Babymoon in San Diego, CA with my husband. The entire trip was my favorite memory this year. 🖤 5. A picture of me in 2017. Taken just two months ago at my cousins wedding. 🖤 6. My intention for 2018: I feel I have SO many aspirations for the coming year! I recently have felt overwhelmed just thinking of everything I want to do, be, and accomplish. This quote sums up how I feel I need to work through these aspirations. If I remember to be the best version of myself everyday, I’ll be just fine! Loved this Challenge! 🖤 You can do the challenge too, just follow ➡️ Ashley @thewiserlifeblog & get all the info! #thewiserlife
And last, but certainly not least, check out MJ on 40 and Up Health and Fitness. She’s been busy gaining more education, stepping out of her comfort zone to be more awesome, and getting her health on! I love how relaxed she looks here:
Again, thank you all so much for taking the challenge. I hope you play a long again next year!
Hey, friends! I wanted to do something kind of fun as a way for us to give a little review to our lives in 2017. That’s why I created The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge as a way for us to share and remember the awesome things that happened in 2017.
SO many things have happened to me in 2017. I had a baby, I completed grad school, and I started my new business/life change adventure! I decided a fun way for us to celebrate the awesomeness of 2017, is to create a collage, made up of specific pictures to represent a different piece of our 2017. Something that might look like this:
Each picture represents a different piece of my 2017 (In order, left to right, top to bottom).
- My favorite quote for the year: I love this one because it has really helped me jump over some hurdles in my life and understand the best way to make life choices.
- A picture that represents my proudest accomplishment: This year I graduated with a Masters in English and an emphasis in Pedagogy. Pedagogy is just a fancy word meaning the art of teaching. This picture was the day I did my portfolio defense. I was so confident and just relieved for it to be nearly done.
- A picture that represents a relationship that I’m proud of or that has grown: This one is a picture of me and my newest baby, A. I’m proud of this relationship and it has grown. Being a mother for the third time has been a struggle for me as I dealt with postpartum depression and adjusting to having a baby after 7 years from the birth of my last child. But she has helped me discover a new level of strength and love.
- My favorite memory of the year: This is baby A’s first Halloween. She had just started smiling and gave us a great big ol’ smile for the picture!
- A picture of me in 2017.
- My intention for 2018, which is to be a #GirlBoss!
What I would LOVE is for you to create a similar collage image using the criteria I used in mine. Then I will pick a few of my favorites and share them on my blog as a testament to the awesome year we both had!
Why Do this Challenge?
Well, for one, it’s just a great idea to look back on your year and really focus on the GOOD things. You probably have a lot of room for improvement, everyone does. But, there’s also a lot to be proud of this year! Let’s celebrate that!
Also, it’s free promotion for your blog or website. If I choose your image (how many I choose just depends on how many are submitted), then I’ll post it here on New Year’s Eve and link it back to your blog, website, Facebook page, or wherever you want me to link it! I’ll promote this updated post again on all my social media sites. I can tell you, I want to post as many as possible because I’m just so excited to see how everyone’s year went and to share that experience with others.
If you don’t have anything to promote, no worries! Just do it to celebrate yourself and share with everyone the good things that happened in 2017!
Okay, so what should you do now?
First, Gather Your Images
- Find a picture of your favorite quote or make your own (see how to do this below).
- Find a picture that represents your proudest accomplishment. This can be absolutely anything you are proud of for the year.
- Find a picture that represents a relationship from 2017 that you’re proud of or that has grown. Maybe you had a baby like I did, maybe your marriage got stronger, maybe you made a new bestie, or maybe you just really love your dog!
- Find a picture that represents your favorite memory from the year.
- Find a picture of you. Whether you love pictures of yourself or hate them, it’s important that we don’t exclude ourselves from memories. If you don’t like what you see then part of your 2018 journey can be to change it or learn to accept and love it. You are beautiful!
- Create an image that states your main intention for 2018. If you’re not sure how to create this, keep reading!
Next, Make Your Collage
The images can be in any order you want. If you’re not sure how to create the collage, just use Layout from Instagram on your phone, like I did. Download the app, and then choose the images from your camera-roll for the collage. Easy-peasy!
If you’re not sure how to create a text graphic, like the ones in my collage with the quote and 2018 intentions, just download any old free text-editing app from the app store. Personally, I like to use Canva or Fontmania. Super easy apps, and free! Create the text image, save it to your camera roll and add it to your collage!
Finally, Share on Instagram with Me!
Once you’re all finished I would love, Love, LOVE to see this tiny, but awesome glimpse of your 2017 Year in Review!
- Be sure you are following me on Instagram. I’ll follow you back. You can look at my 2017 Year in Review as an example.
- Post your collage on Instagram with a brief description of each image to explain your 2017.
- Include @thewiserlifeblog, AND #thewiserlife somewhere in your message so I will see your collage and we have a place to go and see them all together.
- Invite your friends in on the fun as well! You can do this by just including any simple statement like, “I did The 2017 Year in Review Instagram Challenge with @thewiserlifeblog!
- Comment on your image with the url you want to promote if I choose your image. If you don’t do this then I will just assume you don’t want to promote a site.
- Do this by Midnight, on December 30th!
If I choose your image, I will post it as an update to this blog post on New Year’s Eve, link it to your blog or website (if you have one), and share the updated posts on all my social media pages. How many I choose depends on how many participate.
Again, the deadline to complete this challenge is Midnight, on December 30th. Don’t hesitate to email me or comment below with any questions.
Okay, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Don’t forget to subscribe for freebies, discounts on future courses, and tips on how to live The Wiser Life!
Discover Your Purpose…10 Day Journaling ChallengeDiscover your life's purpose with my new 10 Day Journaling Challenge! What should you be doing in your life? I can help you find out!
“Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind.”
2018 is nearly here! There’s no better way to start the New Year than with a clutter-free space. Clutter can build up in many spaces like our closets, work desks, and cars. And I don’t just mean physical clutter. Our files get cluttered, our photos, and even our phones! All this clutter, clutters our mind. Don’t you feel so much better when a space is cleaned out so that what’s left is important and in its place? Clutter in our life leads to clutter in our mind. Clearing it all out can make room in our brains to handle the New Year with focus and ease.
To help you out…and honestly, to help me out, I’ve made a list of 10 areas to clear the clutter in your life so that you can have room for what’s to come in 2018. I chose the 10 most important physical and digital places to begin with. I think clearing these spaces will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to handle new adventures!
Your Kitchen Cabinets
Woah! Why start off so strong? Well, your kitchen cabinets are a great place to start because the kitchen is often the place where families spend the most time. If you’re like me, you’ve got an under-sink cabinet full of unorganized Tupperware or old cleaning product, 2-3 junk drawers of random crap, appliances you don’t use (such as that juicer you bought on a strict health-kick), plus coffee mugs and plastic cups galore! Organizing this space may take more time than the others, BUT it is so worth it. Finally, you’ll be able to find the exact Tupperware lid you need for lunch, and you won’t have to wonder if the screw-driver or scotch tape is in the junk drawer.
Your To-Do List
You might be a digital or physical list maker, but I have found many of us still love to use pen and paper. Recently, I have discovered the perfect way to make To-Do Lists thanks to this blogger. She suggests making long and short lists! Your short list is the list of things that need done relatively soon. And your long list is a list of things that are not so urgent but on your mind to get done. This is a great way to prioritize your time and effort, and keep track of goals. If you do have a list, organize it this way, and if you don’t have a list make one for the sake of organizing your priorities. You can go ahead and make one now to prioritize the spaces you need to clear of clutter!
Oh me, oh my. Are you one of those people who have a desk drawer FULL of working and not-working pens? Is your calendar still on last month? Do you have papers, books, reports, and magazines strewn about and find yourself looking through piles to find that email you printed last week? A cluttered work-space is no way to live. You are so much more productive if you take time to organize the chaos that is your career. You will feel so much better if you tidy the top drawer of writing utensils, throw away or destroy old papers, and give away some of those company stationery gifts or coffee mugs. I LOVE this pin that links to a post on Inspiring Work Spaces. Start 2018 with a clear work path!
Okay, maybe I was wrong when I said the kitchen cabinets would be your biggest job. But, don’t fret! You don’t have to do a total closet re-haul overnight if you don’t want to. The best suggestion I ever heard was to start putting the clothes you do wear away in a designated place for the next six months, say, after you wash them. Then, when the six months is up, whatever isn’t in that area gets donated! For example, start hanging the shirts you wear on the right side of your closet after they come out of the laundry. If your closet is really full, you may have to mark a line between right and left. After six months, whatever is left on the left side gets donated because you haven’t bothered to wear it for that long. There are also a lot of great Pinterest ideas about minimizing your wardrobe and still having a variety of options to wear. Check out this pin on wardrobe essentials!
If you have kids, this area of your life is most definitely a mess. I don’t even want to think about what is in between my back seats. Between all the chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers, candy and Elmer’s slime, I’m sure it isn’t good. When’s the last time you had the inside of your car detailed? I spent the money on that once and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. Doing it once a year is probably a great idea. But if you don’t have the cash, it just takes a little more time to do it yourself. Do the easy thing first and get all the trash out. Then, have your kids take all the toys except a couple, out of the side door. Or, you can always look up fun creative ways to organize their car activities! The behind-the-seat organizers are actually pretty nifty. Vacuum to pick up all the dirt and debris from foot traffic, and wipe down with some Armor All. Make sure you get under and in-between those seats but do it with caution! And again, there are a ton of fun ideas on Pinterest!
Your Photos and Videos
Is your smart phone running out of space? Getting photos and videos off your phone and to someplace permanent can free up a LOT of memory, plus make you feel a lot better. I use Shutterfly to save and organize my photos, and a private Youtube channel to organize my phone videos. Does anyone use an actual camcorder anymore? But there are various free storage plans you can research and use to store and organize your memories. I like Shutterfly because I can create photo books and gifts. And I like Youtube because I can log in on my TV to watch home videos when I feel like it. Getting these off your phone and into a storage space will gain you a sigh of relief.
Your Computer Files
Every time I go to find a file on my laptop I think, “Man, I’ve got to organize these!” Organizing your digital documents is great because it frees up space on your hard drive or file storage program. Personally, I don’t like to save files directly to my hard drive anymore. I use OneDrive from Microsoft because it’s free and online. If I ever get a new computer, all I have to do is sync it to OneDrive, so I never have to worry about anything important being lost. Get rid of old documents, move over any stray photos to the place the want to store them, combine folders and reminisce about your old college essay.
Your Pinterest Boards
Depending on how long you’ve been on Pinterest, this could also be a big task. But have you seen the new board organizing option? Now, you can go to your boards and organize them into sections! For example, my Being Healthy board is now split into Healthy Food, Movement, Smoothies and Weight Loss! I think this is awesome! However, I do wish there was a way to combine boards and organize them into sections from our home page because I feel like I have several that could fit into a one category. Get rid of boards you don’t pin to, and make new ones for projects you want to work on in the new year!
Your Social Media Friends
Do you ever see a Like on one of your posts and think, “Who the hell is that?” Then, it might be time to clean out your friend’s list. If your goal is to be ” friends” with whoever you come across in life, then great, leave your list alone. BUT, if you want your social media accounts to be more personal and include those you care and are curious most about, go ahead and delete stray people. Don’t feel guilty about it either. You can can always claim technical difficulties, or just be honest and say you simply narrowed your list to include only close friends and family.
Your Phone Apps
My phone actually looks like this. Is that weird? I go through every once in a while and delete apps I don’t use. I also like to keep them organized together with similar apps. I’ve set up a folder for media, blogging tools, games, retail, social media etc. This helps me to easily find apps when I need them. And, I think it’s a lot more appealing to the eyes. I also think it’s great that they all fit on the first screen so I’m not always scrolling right and trying to search for the app I want. If you’re not sure how to do folders like this on the iPhone, just hold an app until it jiggles and put it on-top of another app. This will combine them into a folder. It’s a good idea to delete unused apps, organize them together, and clear up some space.
What other spaces do you like to clean up for the New Year? How does it help you prepare for what’s to come?
Remember to check out my Getting Organized board on Pinterest. It’s full of super cute and easy organizing ideas for all your spaces!
Comment below to let me know how you get organized for the New Year!
“New Year’s resolutions are dead.“
Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!
If you’re not familiar with the Journal for Wisdom Wednesday’s series, every week I post a new prompt to help you on your journey of self-discovery. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual and self-help hoo-ha too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you.
Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done! Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!
P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my Discover Your Purpose… 10 Day Journaling Challenge. It’s written by me, for you, to help you find your purpose in life! If you still don’t find it, I promise you’ll be a lot closer! And don’t worry. You get the entire challenge all at once. It’s up to you to follow the rules. Plus, read page 3 for a fun extra! Just subscribe to my email list and I’ll send it now!
The Assignment: Writing Your New Year’s Mission Statement
Can you believe it’s nearly the NEW YEAR? What have you done this year? What haven’t you done? Have you made a New Year’s Resolution this year? Well, don’t. New Year’s resolutions are dead. I like to refer to New Year’s resolutions as negative intentions. This year I’m going to ask that you to NOT punish yourself with some wishy-washy goal that you probably won’t accomplish because it was ill-planned and subconsciously focused on something you don’t really want in the first place. This year you’re going to do something different and better! You’re going to write a positive intention along with a mission statement, and powerful mantra to increase your chances of success!
How to Write the New Year’s Mission Statement
First, I want you to write the main positive intention you have for this coming year…the one that’s most important. Maybe you want to lose weight, improve your marriage, or go to school. Pick your MAIN goal.
Let me give you an example of a negative intention, or resolution, so you better understand what a positive one looks like.
“I’m going to lose weight” is a popular negative intention.
It’s an intention, or resolution, I’ve had probably every year until now, and it’s one I’ve failed every year. Why is this considered negative? Because it’s vague, it implies there’s something wrong with me, and there’s no power behind it. Don’t write your intention to look like this.
A positive intention, then, would be something specific, kind to you, and empowering! Let’s turn the negative intention above, into a positive one:
“I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food.”
This intention is so much better! It addresses the real goal (getting healthy as opposed to losing weight), and it implements three specific actions to help accomplish this goal. Also, it leaves little room for failure because the goal is simple: getting healthier.
Yes, this intention is so much better! But it still won’t help you all by itself. You’ve got to put a plan behind those positive words! How will you accomplish this goal? Who can help you? What will determine your success? All of these questions should be answered before you can set out to accomplish your intentions. That’s why I created these questions to help you create your New Year’s Mission Statement.
Once you’ve decided on your intention, and answered the above questions, you can put it all together in a Mission Statement and keep it in a place you can return to for inspiration later.
Answer these questions:
What is your main positive intention for the year?
This is what we discussed above. Something like, “I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food.”
How can you accomplish this intention?
This is asking, what is in your power to do, to make sure you are successful? You’re getting more specific.
For example, “I’m going to take a monthly healthy cooking class at the YMCA, I’m going to hire a personal trainer, and I’m going to read 5 books about improving my relationship to food.” (It would be even better if you could name the books, but this is still great).
Notice how I was more specific by stating when and where the cooking class would take place, and what I would do to implement more movement and research on relationships with food.
Where can I get support?
This means, who are some people you know will help and encourage you?
For example, “My spouse will check in with me weekly and discuss my progress along the way, and I can research healthy-living Facebook groups for support.”
When you use a specific person for support be sure to explain exactly what you need from them, otherwise it can harm your relationship. You don’t want a person to nag you or make you feel down when you didn’t do something you meant to do. The more people or areas of support you have, the better!
How can I measure my success?
How you do this is completely up to you. What determines to you, that you have been successful? Is it a number? Is it how you’re feeling? Is it lab tests from your doctor? Is it a completed program or task?
For example, “I will measure my success based on a blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight check at my doctor’s office at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year.”
What is my mantra?
This goes at the end of your mission statement. It’s a powerful key phrase that’s short and easy to remember. It’s something you can repeat to yourself to help keep you on track. You want to keep your mission statement somewhere you can access and read it time and again but you probably won’t memorize it. Your mantra is your intention’s slogan. You may choose it based on a fear that’s been blocking you from your previous failed intentions.
For example, I have discovered I am afraid to lose weight because it protects me from something, so I chose my mantra to be, “Guts over fear.” Take some time to think of yours. Look at other mantras online for inspiration.
Put it Together and Say it Out Loud
Now, you want to put it all together into one cohesive statement, in the order of the questions above. It may feel awkward if you leave it worded as is, so feel free to revise it so that it looks better to you.
Example: I’m going to get healthier this year by taking a healthy cooking class, trying new kinds of movement, and working on my emotional relationship to food. I will accomplish this by taking a monthly healthy-cooking class at the YMCA, working with a personal trainer, and reading 5 books about improving my relationship with food. I can find support and encouragement from my spouse, who will discuss my progress along the way, and in a healthy-living Facebook group. I will measure my success based on my improvement of numbers from a blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight check at my doctor’s office at the beginning of the year compared to the end of the year. When I am having a hard day, or when I want to remind myself that I can do this, I will repeat the phrase, “Guts over fear.”
When it looks good, say it out loud 2 or 3 times just to sink it in. Save this statement somewhere you can access it when you need a reminder of your full intention. Also, repeat your mantra 2 or 3 times on its own so that you can memorize it and say it to yourself later.
Write or think about how you feel about your new mission statement. Do you feel like your intention this year is more specific and easily achievable? Is this better than setting a resolution like you may have done in the past? Do you feel more confident and ready to get started?
You might be thinking this is a lot of work to put into your New Year’s intention when before, all you had to do was think up a simple resolution. But I ask you, did you take that resolution seriously? Did you achieve it? If yes, then awesome! You probably don’t need this prompt. But if you’re like me and didn’t, and actually want to accomplish something you set out to do this year because you’ve failed most other years, then you have to put a little more mental work into the process of setting goals.
Don’t just write your mission statement and then forget all about it. Take this week to get plans in place for your success. If the above example was my new positive intention, then I would set up a doctor’s appointment, ask for recommendations on personal trainers, and be on the lookout for food-relationship books on Amazon.
Also, use this week to repeat your mantra several times so that you start to really believe it. Do it in the shower, before you go to sleep, while you’re driving to work, or when you’re waiting in line at Chipotle! Repeat it and repeat it again. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear. Guts over fear.
Maybe even take a picture of yourself and edit it with your mantra!
Write me in the comments below and let me know how it went. What’s your intention? How did it make you feel to write the statement? Do you have a plan in place? Like The Wiser Life on Facebook and Subscribe to our email list for notification of the next Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
If you loved this journal exercise, you’ll love all the ones before it!
Plus don’t forget to download your copy of the Discover Your Purpose…10 Day Journaling Challenge! It might change your life.