I had planned to start the year strong, right from Day 1 of 365.
But sure enough, my January 1st was chaos. We woke up late (and tired) from the previous night’s celebrations, I couldn’t find my wedding ring, and we forgot Lucas’s diaper bag at home! My poor baby had to endure poopy pants in Church before we could wash him! (All’s well that ends well, though, and I found my ring later that night.)
If you’re superstitious like me, you’re probably also extra observant of how the first day of the year goes. Because you know what they say: Your state of mind or being on New Year’s Eve/Day is indicative of how the rest of your year will pan out.
Not that I believe this 100%, but it does give me a little foresight into what the New Year may hold. And sure enough, Day 1 was spot on when it comes to two things: That my life is currently in need of more structure and organization, and that shit happens—but it’s all going to be okay in the end.
On the days that followed, I tried to regroup, keen on kicking things into high gear. And though the first week of January wasn’t as productive as I originally envisioned it to be (hands up if you feel the same way!), I’ve learned to stop beating myself up for it and just continue to persist, even if it means starting over every day or every week. It’s only been Week 1 after all. Plenty of time to get better!
That said, I’d also like to share with you three New Year tools that I’ve found to be very helpful, as they’ve really contributed to improving my focus and productivity, and allowed me to make better sense of what I want to achieve this 2018. Here’s hoping these work for you, too!
1. Best Year Ever: An Intention-Setting Guide For The Best Year of Your Life (P495) from Eden Street
I stumbled upon this kit a couple of months back, when my friend and former colleague, Micah Sulit, posted about it on her online shop’s page. Apart from the adorable colors and typography, these three words pulled me in: Best Year Ever. It’s no secret that 2017 wasn’t my greatest year, so I’m determined to have 2018 make up for it.
A collab with life coach Aurora Mangubat-Suarez (also a former colleague and big boss!), the workbook contains questions designed to make you really think about your intentions for the year and what you can do to make them a reality. It also comes with gorgeous notecards for letter-writing exercises, and “rewards” that you can open after hitting certain milestones. Too cute!
2. Arriane Serrafico’s “Reboot Your Productivity” Course and #Braver2018Challenge
I’ve been taking up online courses from Arriane Serrafico’s The Purposeful Creative school since last year—from her Purpose-Driven Branding class to Budgeting for Creative Millennials—and I must say this girl is uh-mazing! She’s an all-around creative who specializes in mentoring other people and helping them achieve their goals (or figure out what’s been holding them back).
Last week, I was among the hundreds who participated in her #Braver2018: A 5-Day Goal Setting Challenge, with the objective of zeroing in on the passion projects that I really want to pursue this year. The challenge also helped me identify my one-word theme for 2018: More. I want to create more, do more, and be more!
The challenge ended last Tuesday, and it’s left me feeling more pumped than ever to start working on projects. If you missed it, don’t worry: She now offers her Braver Goals Bootcamp, a more in-depth course-slash-workshop on planning your bravest year ever and launching your passion projects. (There’s an early bird rate until tomorrow, January 12!)
3. My new favorite app: Moment
I found out about this from Jenna Kutcher, another one of my fave online gurus. (Her website and IG feed = just gorgeous!) She counts this free app as one of her must-haves, and now it’s one of mine, too: Moment keeps track of how much time you spend on your phone on a daily basis, including how many times you’ve picked up your phone, which apps you regularly use, and how long you stay on each one. And let me tell you this: It’s life-changing!
I installed Moment as soon as I woke upon January 6, at around 8 a.m. When I checked my usage at 10 a.m., the app said that I’ve been on my phone for 1 hour and 10 minutes! How crazy is it that I’ve only been awake for two hours, and half of that time’s already been spent on my phone?
Here’s a peek at my usage for the first few days, plus the apps that I’m mostly on. Huhu, so much time wasted on Facebook!
Since installing Moment, I’ve been consciously trying to avoid opening my phone during idle moments, like when I’m in transit, waiting in line, or even while eating, except if it’s for work. It’s still a struggle to stay off social media, but I’m learning to check it less—and it’s been great for my productivity! I highly recommend that you give it a try.
Do you have any goal-getting or productivity tools for the New Year? Please do share!
Here’s to a (more) productive 2018 for all of us!