Thursday 5 January 2017

My word for 2017, plans, and some sketches

There may be some pretty big changes for me this year so I've been laying down some plans to help me stay focused personally and on my blog.

My notebooks are at the ready

My word for 2017 is — ACTION!

In order to see results, it's all about the doing, right?

My personal weekly plans are to — 
  • sketch daily 
  • meditate daily
  • show gratitude daily
  • do some form of exercise daily 
  • blog two to three times a week 
  • listen to at least one podcast daily
  • read daily
As mentioned in a previous post, I am trying the 365 daily sketch challenge again and, this time, I'm not going to be so hard on myself. I am giving myself permission to miss a day or two.  When I missed a day or two last time, I gave up altogether. I saw it as a failed project and my daily sketching fizzled right out to a once-a-week undertaking, if that. I recently watched some motivational YouTube videos which emphasised that giving up after missing a day or more is where so many people go wrong with 365 daily challenges. It dawned on me that, if I had continued with the 365 Sketch Challenge regardless of missing a couple of days, I would certainly have had a lot more sketches to show for my efforts than I do now.

I will also be participating in the Moment Catchers Project which involves a once-a-month outing to sketch on-location wherever that may be.  You can read more about it HERE in case you are interested in signing up for it too.

I will continue to contribute to the Sunday Sketches group which I love being a part of.

I have some other plans for future art projects but that will be discussed in a later post.

I have been meditating daily since January 1st and I am so happy to have this back in my daily routine. I truly believe that meditating brings calm and balance into my life.

I bought the Five Minute Journal app to keep me focused on daily gratitude. The Five Minute Journal is available in book form HERE but I love the app because I can set it to remind me to record my daily gratitude entries which is done twice a day. I love the daily quotes too.

My health has improved a lot over the last year and I want to maintain it. I will be sharing more posts on my vegan lifestyle and how it has helped me to lose weight and improve my health. I admit that I hate exercise but I am committed to doing some form of exercise on a daily basis. I actually do enjoy time on the treadmill. It's also when I usually grab the chance to watch motivational or art videos via YouTube.

Bradley, my son, introduced me to the world of podcasts in the latter part of 2016 and I have a growing list of subscriptions to listen to — mostly on minimalism, intentional living and expanding social and world knowledge. My blogger friend, Nicolas, recently shared some podcasts that he enjoys listening to. From what I can determine so far, the podcasts are done as audio dramas in a series. It makes me think along the lines of listening to a play on the radio. No doubt, you have heard at some point of how Orson Welles scared a nation back in 1938 with his realistic radio dramatisation based on the H.G. Wells novel — War of the Worlds. You can read about that HERE. I think I'm going to enjoy the audio dramas. Thanks, Nicolas. By the way, you may want to pop over and visit Nicolas' blog because he is a man of many talents and writes beautifully.

I have upped my reading goal on Goodreads to 25 for 2017. I think the goal was 10 books last year and I read 12 all up. I love to read but I find I don't get much time which I plan to remedy. OH, and I have discovered the eBook realm. I never thought I would say it but I'm loving eBooks! I can basically carry a library of books in my bag with no extra weight.  I love that I can adjust background colours, font styles and sizes too which makes it easier on my tired, old eyes. With my new minimalist approach, digital books don't take up space on the shelves either. I have donated hundreds of my books over the past couple of years and there is still lots more to go. Of course, my faves will remain. While I love eBooks, I still love the feel of a real book in my hands.

My Bullet journal will help to keep me on task daily. I have been using the bullet journal system for over two years now and I love it. It's the only planner I have managed to stay with. Prior to that, I would start a new planner with enthusiasm but would fizzle out by April. You can make a bullet journal as simple or as complex as you want. I like simple.  Here are a couple of pics of my bullet journal from last year. In September, I upgraded from the A5 size to the B5 size and I'm loving the larger format.

With the B5, I am able to use vertical columns which I find easier to work with and I can see a whole week of tasks at a glance. As I said, I keep my bullet journal quite simple. I place tasks at the top and, below that, I keep track of what I eat in a day.   Thank you, Rita, for putting me onto the perpetual calendar stamp set.

To finish off this very long post, here are more daily sketches for 2017 so far. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have already seen these.

I love this Essano Rosehip facial cleanser.
It's vegan and cruelty-free.
Ink and watercolours

I prefer this style of headphones over the ear-bud type as I feel this type gives better sound quality.
Sketched with Lamy fountain pen using water-soluble ink.

One of my fake-succulent plants. 
Ink and watercolour sketch

If you have made it to the end of this post, I humbly thank you for taking the time to read it.

Do you keep journals/planners for the weeks or year ahead? 
Do you choose a specific word for each new year?

Feel free to share your answer in the comment section. 


  1. I use to keep a planner but gave up when I started getting frustrated seeing i wasn't getting things done :p Now I seem to get more down, just in a disorganized way lol

    you seem pretty prepared for the coming year :)

    1. I say, go with whatever way works best for you. I was never any good with planners until someone introduced me to the bullet journal. The task app that nags me until I get the task done works well, albeit pesty at times. That said, I am noticing that I am getting the tasks done just so I can tick them off and stop being nagged. haha

  2. Those are some great goals, and I wish you the best of luck with them.

    I haven't kept a journal since I lost my sight. I used to be great at it, and wrote in it at least once a day (more often several times a day). Although, my journal was part diary, part commonplace notebook. I carried it everywhere and wrote down anything. Story ideas, poetry (or parts of poems) and things I wanted to make a note of about my day (sometimes positive, sometimes not) all got written in it. Well, I should say "them" since I had several notebooks filled with stuff. But when I lost my sight I destroyed every single one, because I didn't want others to read some of what was in them, and decided if I couldn't read them, nobody was allowed to. I haven't managed to find a way of keeping one that feels right since I lost my sight though, since things seem to be either too bulky, take too long to load things on to make it worthwhile, or would require me to be speaking my thoughts out loud regardless of who was about. So I'm still on the lookout for a way that feels right and works for me.

    I used to meditate daily, but it's become something I only do sometimes. I should start doing it daily again...

    1. Thanks, Tori. I'm hoping it will help me be more productive this year.

      I've always loved journals. I still have some journals spanning back to 1997 and, like you did, I plan to destroy them too as they were personal and only meant for me to get things out of my system. They aren't meant for others to read. I understand your dilemma re. having to speak your thoughts to a digital journal. If I come across one that might suit you, I will let you know. I don't keep personal journals any more as I focus more on my illustrated journals.

      I am loving the daily meditation! Nice to know that you meditate at times too. I plan to keep it as part of my daily practice. :)

  3. Aha! I finally got to see your new vertical bullet system in the bigger journal! Looks great!
    Wonderful goals list--and, yes, we shouldn't give up. I did that also after missing a few days when I was sick last year.
    Love your sketches. Sounds like a super start to this new year. Love and hugs!! :) :)

    1. Yes, I finally got around to posting a pic. haha Yep, that's my plan — to just keep plodding along regardless.

      Love and hugs xo

  4. This post is almost exactly the post I had planned to do in a few days!!! I just started a new bullet journal with a page set aside for my gratitude list, and was going to show it, and I bought a similar stamp set to use as well.... I finally came up with my word of the year as well. I was hoping to join in tomorrow with Sunday sketches, just read Nicolas' post a second time and I also set my goal for the year on Goodreads. I set it at 24 just like last year, since I listen to half the books on audible I can get more in. I was thinking that was a lot to commit to even though I did it last year and then someone commented that they set theirs at 100. (!) so it appears we have been thinking a lot alike. The moment catchers is new to me but I will check it out as it sounds inspiring. Thanks for the post, and even though it will now seem as if I am copying I still Plan to do my similar one soon. Happy new year to you!

    1. Great minds think alike. I think a lot of creatives do similar plans and goals as many of us are of a similar mindset so definitely not copying. I will pop over and check out your post shortly. I have also seen friends list over 100 books for their GoodReads goal. YIKES! I can't see me ever reading that many in a year. Good luck with your reading goal. Good luck with your other plans for 2017 too. It would be lovely if you would join us on Sunday Sketches and MomentCatchers. Hope to see you there.

      All the best for 2017! :)

  5. My word for the year seems to always pop up on it's own with in the first week of January. This year it is "courage."

    You inspire me with your output of art and blogging! So I definitely think you are probably harder on yourself. Isn't that always the case? It's harder to see our own strengths.

    I so love your journal illustrations and their vibrant colors. and thank you for the links to the apps and groups.

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words, Juana. I'm happy to hear that I inspire you. I agree, we can be our own worst enemies at times.

      A great word has 'chosen' you for the year. I wish you well for 2017. :)

  6. I'm impressed with all your plans for the year. And I am ordering a set of those stamps.

    I started painting every day a few years ago, and told myself that anything over 300 was a huge win. 300 days of anything in a year is major, and knowing that you haven't failed if you miss a day somehow makes it okay if life intervenes and you have to miss one. And, oddly enough, it seemed to make it easier to find the time, even on the busiest days, to manage one little painting.

    1. Thanks, Paula. Enjoy the stamp set — I love mine.

      Wise words and, yes, 300 is a phenomenal effort! I can't believe I was so hard on myself when I've attempted previous challenges. Not any more. :)

  7. Thanks (regarding letting me know if you come across a journal option that might work for me).

    I've meditated since I was a teenager. Used to be daily, and one of my goals for this year is to make it that the meditation becomes daily again.

    1. No worries. Enjoy getting back into daily meditation. :)

  8. I just noticed you are a bullet journaler, too. I've been doing it for two years now. I really like how I can customize it to just what I want to keep track of. I used DayTimer for a decade or more, but I'm not going back. Looks like you're happy with the bullet process, too.