Getting Ready For A New Year: Bring It On, 2014!

Well, hello first 2014 blog post! I finally managed to show up here.

With one of my new year goals to reach at least 100 blog posts for 2014, this is only 1/100 for the year. Considering there's 365 days in a year, 100 shouldn't be too hard, right? But, I found out that even though I feel like I've blogged a lot last year, I didn't even get to 100.

So, yeah. I'm challenging myself to do more and to be a better blogger here at ShaiCoggins.com. That means I should be blogging at least 2x/week. Doesn't seem like much, but I know that this can still be quite a challenge for me. So, we'll see.

Anyway, apart from my goal to 'Create at least 100 Blog Posts in 2014' here at ShaiCoggins.com, I am working on 99 other 'Things I Want To Do in 2014'. While I do set goals at the beginning of every year, I don't normally set myself that many things to do. But, I decided to give parts of Leonie Dawson's 'Create Your Amazing Year 2014' workbook a try. And, one of the exercises was to list 100 Things To Do in 2014.

I came across Leonie's work late last year, and while I read some mixed reviews, I still decided to check it out. I bought the Life and Business combo workbooks. It's just that I do like working on some kind of a structure when setting new goals for the year, and I thought I'd give somebody else's approach a try. So far, I like some of the ideas, but there are things that I find myself skipping. These things often have that kind of effect anyway. We choose things that speak to us, and let the rest fall away.

Apart from this workbook, I've also been reading several 'Getting Ready for the New Year' articles, such as:

I've also been using Julia Cameron's 'Walking In This World' book over the last couple of years on and off. And, I'm working on some of the exercises here in my journal for 2014.

Apart from goal setting, part of what I do at the end of every year is to reflect on the previous year. I usually have my 'Highlights of the Year' post for this here on the blog, and I'll be sharing that in the next post. And, of course,  another upcoming blog post: my newest Word of The Year.

As part of my new year goals and projects, I've decided to do away with an official 365 this year. I found that I've never really been all that good with that challenge, so I thought it's time to explore other possibilities.  

Getting ready for my first attempt at #ProjectLife as a way to document 2014. No idea if I'll manage to complete this. But, if I can document at least parts of it, then I'll be happy. Much better than letting the days and weeks go by without trying to rec

That's why this year, another one of the '100 Things To Do in 2014' for me is to work on Project Life for the first time. This is, of course, inspired by Becky Higgins' work. You see, even though my family really enjoy the scrapbooks that I've made in the past, I haven't really had the opportunity to scrapbook lately. And, I don't know. I just find it to be quite a task nowadays to do full scrapbooks.

So, I've been meaning to try Project Life. But, I've felt quite overwhelmed with the idea of trying to record a full year in words + pictures. Then again, I thought, why not try anyway. Even if I don't get to have anything to remember every single day, I told myself that if I can at least have a good chunk of the year on record, then it's still a lot more memories to enjoy than if I didn't give this a go.

To keep me accountable and inspired, I'm hoping to share pages from my first ever Project Life album. Maybe once a month, I'll share some of these pages on this blog. And, I'm planning to post pics on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter/Flickr. If you're connected with me in any of these platforms, you can probably catch my mini installments when I get the chance to share them.

Another way I'm documenting 2014 is through this hybrid #planner / #artjournal / #journal / #notebook that I am putting together. Inspired by the #documentedlife community.

Partly to support my attempt at Project Life, and partly to explore another way of memory-keeping, I've decided to put together this hybrid journal/planner/art journal/notebook, inspired by The Documented Life Project community. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep up with the community's weekly art journalling challenges and such. But, my idea here is just to take regular notes on my day-to-day, so I can transfer some of them to my Project Life album whenever I work on it. I figured, it might be easier to jot down notes, thoughts, ideas, lists and memories in a notebook/planner/journal - rather than try to remember everything for the album.

Anyway, in this photo, you can just see some of the materials I'm using to put together the hybrid planner/journal. The official suggestion from The Documented Life Project group is to use a Moleskin weekly planner and transform that in to a hybrid. I decided to get a lined notebook instead (made by a company who uses recyclable materials!), a weekly planner pad, a monthly planner notepad, a bunch of washi tapes, and find other things from my existing stash. So far, I've used a tab puncher, my old gelli prints, labeler, and more. I'll try to share the completed hybrid notebook/journal/planner when I'm ready.

Also created a handbound journal to use for general note-taking and scribblings. Very rough attempt, this one. Haven't made one of these properly. But, happy I tried anyway. :)

And yes, on the first day of 2014, I've decided to take out my bookbinding tools and create this handbound homemade journal.

You see, I normally buy a blank lined notebook/journal from the store. And, as part of my New Year's Eve/New Year's Day tradition, I usually write in my brand new journal. However, I somehow forgot to get a new notebook for this year. And, that made me feel quite restless all of New Year's Day.

That's why I decided to make my own handmade journal instead. Although I have books that teach different bookbinding techniques, I decided to give this bookbinding approach by Linda Tieu a try. I don't think I strictly followed her instructions. I just used her idea as a guide and went with the flow. That's why my final product looks very rough. But, I like the simplicity of this approach. In fact, it made me want to try to do more bookbinding this year. But, I'll see if I have space for that in my '100 Things To Do in 2014'. 🙂

For now, I'm just excited to face the new year with new goals, new ideas, and new projects.

Now, let's go and make 2014 an incredible year!

About the Author Shai Coggins (MTeach, MSoc Sci App Psych)

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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