Well here we are then, the very last day of 2019…

The last chapter of the year passed in a fuzz of fairy lights, sparklers (at our wedding) and social commitments.   I have also had more rest than I’ve had all year and it’s been so nice!

I’m emerging (briefly) out of a deep period of rest to drop some words onto a page because I feel compelled to show up.

There are a lot of reflections and figuring out going on behind the scenes on my part.

So rather than share some sort of 2019 goal reflections or a highlights reel (although these are super interesting when I read other peoples) I thought I’d share my end of the year processes with you…

In December/ January (after you have had a BIG rest) you could… 

laptop and coffee and french toast

French Toast and reflections in my fave cafe

  1. Write a letter or three 

In the last week I have written a letter to my dear Grandad who passed away in September.  It talks of Christmases gone by and the simple things which fill my heart with joy to think about.   I’ve also started a letter to 2019, referring to each chapter in turn.

2. Choose a workbook to fill in

It’s helpful to have some journal prompts for reflection and to jog our memories too.  I love Susannah Conway’s Unravel your Year Workbook and fellow North East Creative Sarah from Simple Happy Life has a great one too.   I’ve been working through Kayte Ferris’ ‘The Purpose Kit’ too but I’ve not set myself an end of the year deadline on this one.

Paper Marbling back in Spring

3. Gather reflection reference books, tools and notebooks 

We are all different and I really believe there’s a not a one size fits all.

Just to let you into some of my planning tools, I have a home-made notebook I work through my Artist Boat processes in, a trello board, a filo fax, a creative dream journal, and a file for my ‘Get to Work Book’.

I also always take Julia Cameron’s beautiful book; The Artist Way into my reflection sessions too.

My pens of choice are sharpies, black fine liners and calligraphy pens my insta- friend Ebony told me about.

My one tip would be to test and adjust your systems to suit you and how you grow as regularly as feels right to you.

4. Be Kind (with a capital K) to yourself 

There are always lessons in a twelve month period known as a year.   365 days and theres bound to be some stumbling blocks and suprises.

The lessons are hard, they don’t get easier as we get older, we just get better at dealing with them.

But here’s the thing, time is a human construct.

You could count days into weeks, weeks into months, be at the end of a year staring back at all the things you achieved.

But if there’s no magic in that for you, try connecting to something else.

You can follow the moon cycle, your own cycle, start your monthly intents on the 3rd, the 10th or any other day.   Start your goals in the new school year, from your birthday, your child’s birthday, your wedding anniversary.  It doesn’t matter not really.

The Polar Express Christmas Window  – Our little Inspiration Island in December

Your life is yours to design. 

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that because we forget or get dis-enchanted or someone treats us unkindly, we get knocked back or deadly silence and we want to give up.   And give up we must momentarily to rest.  Because out of deep rest always comes a renewed sense of self, individuality, confidence, gumption (Yes I watched The Holiday over Christmas, do you know how old that movie is)?

To wrap up, in the words of Brene Brown;

“As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning….Belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance”

Here’s to getting honest with yourself about what you really want to share in 2020.

Hope you have a wonderful time seeing in our New Year!

Claire x

PS – My self-directed creativity and wellbeing course ‘The Artist Boat’ comes out at the end of January.  Sign up here for updates.

PPS – Look out for the next in the series of these blogs which will be about my new goals and how I feel about my 2019 ones.  Or have a route through the archives if you fancy.