Have you set a word or intention for the year? Instead of resolutions, the idea is simply to choose a word or phrase which will gently guide your year in the way you wish it to go. It’s not making hard resolutions nor is it setting unattainable goals. In the past I’ve chosen a word – seeming like the ‘right’ thing to do when everyone else online is – but very quickly forgotten it. So this year I took the time to find something which really sits well with me & hopefully, will bring me back to how I want to feel in 2019 when external influences take over. I’ve settled on two words which happen to work well together: Build. Calm. Here’s why:
As explained in my 2018 review, we didn’t really have any solid foundations last year & I really struggled as a result. After first coming up with ‘foundation’ (which didn’t feel like quite the right word) I came to realise that I simply want to build a slower, more contented life. Build to me does not imply any element of hurrying. It means taking time for things to settle, moving forwards slowly but steadily and providing a feeling of strength and contentment upon which to grow when ready. More specifically I’m seeing this as:
BUILDING MY BUSINESS
I’d like to build a community of friends and followers both online and in real life who I feel connected to and they in turn, feel connected to me and my slow living journey. I’ve started a whole new Instagram account – a clean slate – as a first step. So far, it’s helping me build confidence in my photography and just enjoy Instagram again – something I’d really lost at the end of the year. I also plan to finally start my newsletter and would like to build an email list to connect with there too. Finally, I’d like to start rebuilding my body of writing through more regular blogging and pitching to magazines again (once I get my confidence back…). But the key is: no pressure. I’m not aiming to be ‘Insta-famous’, I’d just like to grow and build in a way which feels good to me and therefore hopefully my audience.
BUILDING MY BODY
Oh my poor body – I’m so sorry for how I treat you and take you for granted! Whilst I wish I could look at my post-pregnancy body with 100% love and admiration for carrying Enzo, 14 months on I’m sad it doesn’t look or feel how it used to. I want to feel strong and healthy again with a few less aches and pains please! The simplest way to do that I know is to cut down on sugar and simply get back into exercise. So I’m going to build my way there bit by bit. This month I’ve been taking part in Adrienne’s 30 day ‘Dedicate’ yoga challenge online and have loved feeling my core start to regain strength again. I haven’t managed it every day but the important thing is that even when I miss a day I still pick it up again a day or to later and am forgiving of myself. I’m hoping to enter a race too this year – hopefully a 10k, but possibly a 5k if that’s what’s needed. I used to run a lot but after a half marathon that wrecked havoc with my knees, I’ve stayed away. I plan to build up to running distance again slowly because GOD I miss it. I need that mental head space & time to myself & feeling of pride back in my life.
BUILDING MY RELATIONSHIP
I know I’m not unique in my relationship taking a hit directly after having a baby, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Neither of us reacted well to not having a home of our own and coupled with learning to be parents, building our own businesses and finding time and energy to get through each day, being a couple has simply fallen to the bottom of the list. But we’ve acknowledged it, have started some good conversations and are trying really hard.
BUILDING MY SOUL
This to me encapsulates building and growing a more positive mindset. Being a member of Ray Dodd’s ‘Taking up Space’ community is helping me learn more about my mindset – why it is how it is and ways to help change it. I’m very definitely on a self-development journey at the moment and am opening up to more things than ever before, using language that’s new to me but feels really, really right. I talk about the need to ‘step into my light’ and ‘take up space’ more and am reading and taking steps to discover and be more the person I’m becoming: without apology or explanation (that’s the hard bit). I’ve started using oracle cards when I have a need to sit down with myself and explore my thoughts and feelings a little more and find it really soothing and thought-provoking to have a little dig around in my soul. It brings me peace.
Calm is more my intention for the year yet it relates so perfectly to build. Whilst I don’t see build as frantic or frenetic , I do need calm to remind me how I’m going to build all these things above: slowly, with little expectation and in a way which feels right. I think there are things you can do to create calm and slow moments which work for me. Nothing groundbreaking – just daily mindfulness or meditation (I’m still loving Headspace), gratitude, journalling and physically slowing down or stopping to take a few deep breathes. I am prone to getting angry & upset quickly and I want to deal with that in a better way.
So there you have it: 2019 – the year of building calm. If you’re looking for ways to slow down too, why not create a quiet 20 minutes to sit down with a journal (and thesaurus.com!) to see if a word works better to guide your year than a long list of goals and resolutions. Or do you have a word or intention for the year already? Share with me below, I’d love to hear other thoughts.
(Oh, & please do follow my new instagram – @veritygaida for more of my slow, soulful journey in our countryside cabin).