Resolutions Fail Me
I love the new year. This time of year is full of fresh beginnings and excitement of things to come. But one thing that has never worked for me is the practice of setting New Year’s Resolutions. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can never seem to keep them up for even a week, let alone the full year. It’s always a bit of a disheartening start to the year. That’s why this year, I decided to try something a bit different by creating my 2018 Master Plan.
This spread was part of my 2018 New Year bullet journal setup, which you can see in its entirety here.
To me, resolutions have always been a promise to do something every day or so many times a week. For example, I would resolve to exercise two times a week or draw four days a week. I was promising myself that I would start a habit right away – without taking into account that habits take months of hard work to fully cement into place. And I would always set three, four, or sometimes even more resolutions all at once. It’s no wonder I never succeeded! That’s asking a whole lot of myself when I struggle to start and maintain a single habit for an extended period.
- Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors
- Loew Cornell Palette
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens
- Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens
- Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
Break it Down
Instead of trying to sucker punch myself into starting a myriad of new habits right at the beginning of January, I decided this year I would work smarter and not harder. I’m already focusing on habits all the time – I even have a full section devoted to habits in my 2018 bullet journal setup. In my 2018 Master Plan, I decided to set myself milestones for every month of the year.
None of these individual milestones should take more than five to thirty hours of work in a month (or roughly 730 hours a year), that’s not that bad! A few sessions of devoted work should have me knocking out my monthly goals without breaking a sweat.
Time Marches On
The reason I decided to format my 2018 Master Plan around one valuable goal each month is that I am a victim of time. I talk about it a bit more in my 2018 thumbnail calendar post, but essentially, I have a horrible concept of time. I am often startled when I find myself in a new month, and my big goals keep getting pushed forward as a result. Subscribe to get access to 40+ pages of printables, brush lettering worksheets, and more!
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If I have one preplanned goal laid out at the beginning of the year in my 2018 Master Plan, then I will be able to keep an eye on those slippery goals and grab them before the month disappears behind me. Like I said before, none of these goals will consume my month. Because they are not massive goals, I find it easy to say, “later” and focus on more pressing business. Keeping them safely tucked in my 2018 Master Plan gives me a point of reference as well as a deadline for each one, so I don’t slip.
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My 2018 Master Plan
I set up my 2018 Master Plan with the simplest layout. At the top of the page, I lettered out the spread header with watercolors (which you can learn how to do right here). I created six sections on one page and six on the next for each month. After I lettered out the months with my fude brush pen, I sat down and thought up one goal for each month, though I did add a few tiny tag along goals. Easy enough, right?
In 2018, I want to focus on creation. I’ve had a blast growing this site and working on creating posts, and I want to push my creation into overdrive in the new year. New digital freebies, printables, courses, and videos are in the works. I’m also excited to start focusing my attention on physical products like stickers and art prints.
For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’ve set a reasonable goal for myself. No longer am I trying to push myself into a habit that I’m ill prepared for. Instead, I can slowly lead myself to victory with my 2018 Master Plan for what I hope is a stunning victory. Each month will be a challenge, but totally within my grasp if only I reach for it. And that’s one amazing feeling to have at the start of 2018.