13 Things To Do Before 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and for once I am not referring to Christmas. Yes, while the majority of you are likely to be justifiably ensconced in a Yuletide fog, I am busy prepping for Game Time a.k.a. January 1st. Take my borderline-pathological love of symbolic fresh starts (new moons, new months, Mondays) and add the fact that my birthday is on January 2nd, and you've got a HIGH PRESSURE, HIGH OPPORTUNITY STORM ON YA HANDS. Given how much of a colossal disaster the majority of 2018 has been, following an unprecedented missed-midnight/lack of resolutions NYE doom combo, I am determined that 2019 not follow suit, and here is what I'm doing to prepare.

Brain-dump Journaling
This is something I've tried and failed to do all year, because I was trying to do it by hand. Rookie mistake tbh because I just ended up getting frustrated that my handwriting couldn't keep up with my brain. Having switched to a digital format I've found my typing is much more in line with my brain speed, and am actually starting to find the process cathartic and helpful. I would suggest starting off just rambling about whatever is in your brain, and try to eventually steer things in a more introspective, constructive direction. Even if you don't end up having any significant breakthroughs, just getting things out of your brain and onto paper/screen will clear out space for new ideas and a fresh mindset.

As a firm believer in the superstition of starting a new year how you mean to go on (as mentioned, last year I was jetlagged and accidentally slept through midnight for the first time in my life and 2018 has been an absolute shit show so try and tell me I'm wrong), I think having a clean, tidy and organised space by December 31st is vital. Even if it just gets messed up again a week later, the symbolic start still applies.

Make Many Lists
Goals - several tiers worth (post on those here)
Things/people/habits to leave behind (I burn this list before midnight, it's very therapeutic)
Things essential to your happiness (example of my own here)
Things you achieved in 2018, no matter how big or small
Sources of inspiration (this one is new for me but I feel it's going to be very important)

Start Important Resolutions Now
It's all fab investing in January 1st as a fresh start, but if there's something you can start now then do it. Starting early gives you extra time to start creating a habit you can actually stick to, and prevents you from accidentally using the new year as an excuse to procrastinate.

Make A Game Plan for January
I have gone in hard with my January plan, because that's just what I do, but you don't need to break things down super intensely if that's not how you function. If you're in the Northern Hemisphere January is notoriously depressing, so it's advisable to at least have a few things to look forward to, and regardless of weather it's important to have some sort of plan for how you'll keep up with your resolutions & goals and start the year off as productively as possible. At the least I'd recommend having a list of achievable goals for the month and two or three specific days or events to look forward to. I've also scheduled one or two times throughout the month to check in on my progress.

Tie Up Loose Ends
This can be wrapping up something that's dragged on at work, having a necessary closure chat with an ex or just finishing a creative project that's been kicking around half done for ages. Whatever it is that you feel shouldn't be carried over into 2019, deal with it now.

Make An Astrology Chart
If you're not into astrology, obviously disregard. If you ARE, get yaself some paper and start googling. Note down all the retrogrades, eclipses and moons of 2019 and form them into whatever sort of chart/list/diagram/calendar makes most sense to you. I will have breakdowns of each significant astrological event going up on my instagram story as they happen throughout the year (including a couple of overview ones in the next week), but now is a good time to create some sort of overall view of the year's astrological structure.

Take Time Alone
Being by yourself, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, is important in terms of allowing yourself time to re-centre before you start the new year. Even if you get your energy from being around people, constant company is a distraction, so make some time to consciously step away, have a bath, meditate, go for a walk, read a book - whatever it is that makes you feel centred and clear, so you can check in with yourself, your goals and what it is that you really want to create in the coming year. If you're bad at winding down, I have a post with some handy hints here.

Take Stock
Go over any goals, resolutions or intentions you set for 2018 and honestly assess how they went. Honestly reflect on which areas of your life went well, which fell behind/need some extra attention moving forward and which just aren't a priority to you anymore. As the aim here is to learn from both successes & shortcomings and use that information to improve, a certain level of detachment is necessary.

Start Reading
This is where I non-humble brag about having read 42 books so far in 2018 without it even being a goal of mine to do so, and then smoothly segue into an actual point. What I'm talking about here is not to just start reading in general (although that is also advisable), but to invest in a specific genre of reading material. Get your brain into gear by starting a new self-improvement/productivity/motivation/etc. book, and take notes. I keep my notes organised on Evernote so that I can refer back to them and actually apply the advice and tactics I've read about, rather than forgetting about them once I've finished the book.

Make A Vision Board
I have multiple blog posts (linked below) about my own kind of vision/inspiration/motivation boards, but I think 2019 is the year I finally make a traditional visual representation of what I want to manifest into my life. If nothing else it's a powerful psychological tool because it forces you to acknowledge what it is that you want out of life, and figure out how all those things work together to create a coherent whole.
Worst case scenario, you did some crafts. Best case scenario, literal magic.

Revisit Any Notes From 2018
Whether this is journaling, blog posts, phone notes, highlighted sections of self-help books or any other sort of writing you did throughout the year, go back through it and make a note of anything that jumps out at you. These could be intentions you set and forgot about, tips or tactics you found interesting but never applied or just a sentence you wrote down amidst a bunch of other nonsense that really hits home. Collect these somewhere you can refer back to (for real Evernote if u want to #spon me I am ready), and close the book on 2018 knowing you've got all the important messages you need to take with you in one place.

Figure Out What Motivates You
This one I have very little advice on, because it differs enormously from person to person, but the key to actually following through on the goals you set is understanding what motivates you and using that to propel yourself forward. Consistency is something I struggle with (as you will be aware, as a reader of this blog) and that often comes down to me just losing track of my motivation. This year I'm going to identify what it is that switches my brain into gear, and figure out how to channel that into consistent productivity. Prayers welcome.

These are the things I'll be working on over the next week and a half, but I've done a LOT of self-improvement/lifestyle/get your shit together posts in the past, the most New Year-y of which I've conveniently linked below. x0x0

New Year-Friendly Blog Posts

How To: Set & Achieve Your Goals
My Productivity Tracker - The Sims Chart
Detox Your Life In 10 Steps
Trick Yourself Productive
How To: Un-Rut Yourself
My Vision Board (Second VB Post, Third VB Post)

Kickstart Your Life In A Month
Plan Your Own Life
How To: Start Getting Fit
Purge Your Wardrobe In 10 Steps
8 Signs You Should Give Up On A Friendship
How To: Be A Morning Person
How To: Wind Down
The Importance of a Clean Environment
How To: Combat Writer's Block