Making 2017 Great

IMG_4645It was with a great sigh of relief that Christmas Day arrived and with it the summer holidays. The chaos, excitement and pressure of the festive season leaves in its wake the need for rest, revitalization and refocus for 2017.

I enjoyed the change of pace, and routine. My favourite day was one when I had no commitments or meetings or anything planned for the entire day! It felt so wonderful to be able to “potter” all day and not feel that I should be preparing for the next day, or next week or my next commitment!!IMG_4646

I was also able to catch up on some social activities that I had not been able to squeeze into those last hectic weeks of 2016. I saw family and friends, shared meals, walks and movies (The United Kingdom, LaLa Land and the Fencer) that had been on my list for months. I even read three novels (Music and Freedom, The Lion, and The Girl on the Train)!!

Any holiday would not be complete for me without a connection with nature, and I was lucky enough to visit North Eastern Victoria. It was here that I was able to put 2016 behind me and begin to focus on 2017!

IMG_4647As a child, my mother would always ask us to consider our New Year Resolutions at the beginning of each year. It became a bit of a family joke, with my brothers and I keen to move the spotlight from ourselves onto one of the others. She expected each of us to have some goal or direction for that year, it did not matter how silly or trivial it might seem to the others. Looking back I realize that our discomfort reflected just how hard it is to look ahead and plan for what we want to achieve.

In my travels at Christmas I came across two resources that have been instrumental in my planning for this year.

IMG_4651The first is a Goals Journal by Kikki. This is a small hard back book that guides you step by step to formulate your goals, plan how you are to achieve these, and keep yourself accountable by following monthly and weekly planners.

It starts by clarifying core values, prioritizing these, and asking how you would measure success in your life. It is presented as an ongoing workbook, where you describe your dream life, how you feel, your relationships, your career pathway, time you spend on yourself, your health, hobbies, and community involvement. It requires that you consider what an average day in your life looks like, how you are seen by others, how you see yourself, and how your core values influence your daily life. You are then guided to consider what changes are required, what resources or supports or information are needed, and what barriers are likely. This leads naturally to developing a course of action and encouragement to share this to keep committed.


I had to return to this a number of times until I was satisfied with the results. It was not a difficult task as IMG_4702the Journal is so clear and well presented that it leads you through step by step. It is challenging, but definitely worth the effort!

The second resource I discovered on Facebook. I clicked on a video about a simple way to be a happier person and was amazed by the results! I ordered and I am now the proud owner of “The Five-Minute Journal”. This is also a small hard back book that now sits on my bedside table with my Goals Journal, and I start and finish each day with both of them!

As humans we have the ability to choose what to focus on. When we are calm and still on the inside, we can cope with anything that comes our way! The Five-Minute Journal allows us to choose to focus on something positive, something we can be grateful for. This results in better sleep, reduction in physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change.

The Five-Minute Journal requires that you spend three minutes in the morning noting three things that IMG_4699you are grateful for that day, three things that would make that day great, and a daily affirmation. There is a daily quote from a high achiever for inspiration. At the end of the day you are to spend two minutes noting three amazing things that happened during the day, and how that day could have been made even better. This is described as the closest thing to a magic pill!

The idea is to set a positive tone for the day upon waking when you are fresh. This is when you are likely to gather the strength to push past resistance and maximize the opportunity for growth. At the end of the day, shifting focus to the positive and short-circuiting negative thought loops, no matter how the day was, will provide for better rest and recovery!

I have been writing in my journals for a couple of weeks now. I felt clunky and awkward to begin with, and struggled to think of things I should be grateful for and what my daily affirmation should be. I have improved over time, and my thinking about these positive notions has expanded. I thought of myself as a positive person, but it was as if I needed to practice at noticing and appreciating all the wonderful things around me that were part of my life. I feel that by exercising this positivity muscle, I have grown stronger and the effort required comes more easily and is more intense.

If you would like to share similar experiences and ideas, please contact Creative Family Law Solutions to begin a conversation.





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