It's the final month of 2013.
My mind is still having difficulty processing that another year is almost over. Yet, I know it's here.
With all the holiday preparations underway, several end-of-year events happening, and many other similar activities - the closing of another year is definitely undeniable.
And, so, here I am, starting off a series of end-of-year blog posts, as part of my blogging tradition.
For this month, the word that comes at the forefront of my mind is "Better". And, I believe that this is due to a few reasons.
First of all, my family has had a bout of illness recently. And, all I can think about is wishing everyone will feel better soon. And yes, admittedly, I've been quite unwell this year - flu, back aches, muscle pains, etc. So, I feel as though I'm always trying to focus on the idea of trying to get better.
Apart from health, I like the idea of learning to improve on things right now, overall. Improve my fitness. Improve my relationships. Improve my work. Improve my skills.
No need for new things. No need for easier. Just better.
So, this is what I'll be thinking about as I start contemplating for the new year.
Yes, this is the time of the year where I don't just look back on the days, weeks, and months that has gone past. It's that season where I start thinking about what's ahead.
That's why I would normally be spending the next few days and weeks with a lot of brainstorming, planning, and soul searching.
Then, by the end of the month, or very early in the new year, I should be ready with a brand new Word of the Year (WOTY). Perhaps, with some ideas on new projects that I would be undertaking for the new year.
Over the last few months, I've been posting monthly themes as part of The Focus Project.
This project, of course, was inspired by my Word of the Year for 2013: Focus.
Someone asked me mid-way through the year how I was doing with my WOTY. They said that while they often start the year with the best intentions, they often lose steam mid-way through.
I had to admit that it's not easy to stay on track with these things. That's why I like associating projects and mini-projects with my WOTY.
For 2013, I've lost out on my attempts at 365 days again - both the daily photos and the daily lettering. I think I may just have to accept that I will forever be defeated by 365. I probably just don't have it in me to do anything on a daily basis for a full year. At least, not right now, when I have too many things going on in my life.
Well, of course, I learned this year that I can focus enough to do something daily. Like the A Week In The Life project, where I captured snippets of my life on a daily basis for a week. Or even writing about the same topic on a daily basis for a full month, like the 31 Days of New project. But, my daily habits need some kind of a shorter end-point at the moment. Not a year. One day, this might change. But, for now, I need to tell myself that it's okay NOT to do a 365. Whether or not I'd listen for 2014, who knows.
All I know is that if I need to do a year-long project, it will have to be on a non-daily basis. Like these monthly themes thing on the blog, for example. Yes, I managed to complete this. Yay! And, to round things up, I thought I'd share my past monthly themes for 2013 here:
There's something so satisfying seeing all these themes lined-up. Even in singular words, I can see the stories and the meanings behind each of them. Like one-word summaries of each month.
I'm not sure I'll do this again next year. I will have to think about it. But, I am glad that I did it this year.
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.