Happy New Year!
We made it to 2017. I am so happy and grateful for life. Each new year we all have this amazing euphoric energy of joy, possibility, hope and wonder. I love this time. And in 2017 for the first ever, I am seeking to live and love with deep intention and action. I am declaring here publicly that 2017 is the year of transformation and growth. I am excited. The first major change for the new year happens today. Right now in fact. My Jamaican Vignettes is now a dotcom. Yes. You can see the new site right now, have a look.
Thanks so much to everyone who have followed, viewed, shared and supported my essays and blog posts. Thank you. Please do continue to support on new website. Please subscribe, the subscription is quite simple and you will only get emails on major announcements and updates. I promise I am not a spammer. Subscribe to My Jamaican Vignettes and receive our weekly newsletter. 2017 will be a fantastic year for My Jamaican Vignettes.
In late November, I started contemplating the major life changes I seek to make and how my steps can take me further in my journey and this new website is one my small step. In the middle of December I created a 2017 vision board that I shared here on this blog. My 2017 vision board will be my guiding visualisation tool to creating my best life.
I have identified five categories or areas in my life that I want to make significant changes to. And I believe that making these changes will be amazing. I happy to share my 2017 goals because writing, posting and sharing these goals is one way of manifesting them and a small way of accountability.
My 2017 goals:
Health and Wellness
2017 is the year I become fit and strong and healthy. Who is with me? This year I want to adopt healthy food and eating practices. I am overweight and I need to change this. In 2017, I am focusing on eating well, preparing meals that are nutritious. In January through to March, I will be cutting my meat intake and focusing on meals rich with plant-based proteins. I also cut my sugar intake, instead of juices and sodas, my beverage of choice will be water. In the next few weeks and months, I will exploring cooking more vegetarian meals and experimenting with juicing fruits and vegetables. And naturally these transformations and explorations will be documented and shared here. I hope that together we can learn techniques and new ideas on how maintain our healthy bodies, and minds.
There are a couple of major changes that must happen in order for the health and wellness transformation to occur. The first is a complete commitment on my part to changing my eating habits. And I believe this has happened. I am ready to see and feel changes in my body. I also need help from family and friends. By this I mean that my partner and those I eat and drink with, need to support me on my journey. Without the support of those closest to me, I am bound to fail. I need my partner to accept and support that our food choices and meals will be different. I need friends to understand that junk food and drinks is no longer an option for me. I will also need to adjust how I plan my meals, and how I cook my meals. My new food and eating plans will require careful meal planning and preparation. This meal plan and prep is something I am slowly getting used to. If anyone has any tips and tricks about weekly meal plans please share. I can use all the help I can get.
Additionally, I have started exercising. On Tuesday, January 3, when I return to work, I will also be joining the gym. I plan to exercise two times per week at the gym, on Tuesday and Thursdays. A little fun fitness challenge that I have set for myself is to run a 5K. in 2016, I walked two 5Ks and I believe I am up for running one. I have also been trying out yoga. I am pretty sure that I am doing all the poses wrong, but I am sticking to it. I am sure that with time, I will feel less awkward and the poses will become more fluid.
Slowly but surely I hope to see and feel changes in my body. I want to be fit and strong. I want have washboard abs, I hope to feel good in my body, I want to have toned arms and legs. I believe that the combination of continuous exercise and eating well will make all the difference for me this year.
Writing and Publication
In 2016, I started writing my fantasy novel, The Sixth Culling and this year I plan to finish writing this novel. I have created a simple, and hopefully manageable writing schedule and I am committed to completing this story. My attitude and approach to writing this story has completely changed since I started. I had the initial idea for the story in June, I wrote a basic skeletal of a plot overview in July and I started writing in earnest in November as part of NaNoWriMo. In November, I really thought that I had the whole plot, characters and storylines thought out. But I did not. I needed more research, more work in developing my characters, I needed to take my time to get to know these characters and their motivations before I undertake that huge tasks of writing. I needed more time to work through my ideas, my main plot points, the sub-plots and each character’s motivation and their roles. I feel far more equipped and willing to take my time to write this story.
Besides writing here, I have also been playing around with Medium, so far I have re-posted two stories, Taxi Ride and Witness. In 2017, I will continue to share and write on Medium. I will also be looking for other publication opportunities.
Money and Finances
2017 is the year of financial stability. I have major money goals for myself and my family. My primary focus right now is becoming debt-free. I am using the snowball method to clear my debt, I am so close to clearing my credit and canceling it. This is my first big step towards financial stability. In December, I started tracking my spending and I will admit that the Christmas holidays did affect my tracking system and I did make some purchases that I did not record. But January 2017, this new year is a fresh start for me. I created a budget and I have my spending tracker in place. I am also committed to not using my credit cards. I have decided to wait and save for any purchases outside of my general budget for food, and other personal necessities. I have created a sinking fund that I will be using over time to cover my wants. For the first few months of 2017, I am living in space of needs, and I am glad for this. There is enough in my life to cover my expenses, I have a comfortable and warm and relatively secure place to live. I have money to pay my bills, and in time, after I have cleared my debt, I will have more cash available to dedicate leisure, fun and new experiences. I believe it is necessary to be debt-free, achieve financial stability and save and grow and 2017 is my year to do so.
In 2017, there are a number of personal development experiences and activities that I am excited about. I am learning to drive, I can really truly drive, a little, I can steer, a move forward and navigate corners. I am excited about this. I have always wanted to learn to drive and now I am. My other major personal development goal includes learning to swim. And the next big thing to do is to finally learn Spanish, some level proficiency in speaking and writing in Spanish. These three new skills are wonderful and I am thrilled to be working towards them. However, the biggest goal though is for me to learn to let go. In my journey towards mindfulness, I hope to focus on my present life, to live well, be happy in the moment, I hope to always have the presence of mind to be thankful for all my blessings and to be willing and able to give and help others.
My Jamaican Vignettes
This blog is one of my favourite activities. This hobby is something I am truly passionate about. My Jamaican Vignettes is my primary creative outlet. I am able to tell my life story, share my experiences, and celebrate life in Jamaica. In 2017, I will be blogging consistently, on Sundays and Wednesdays, with special features on certain Fridays. I hope you will join me on this amazing journey towards joy, creativity, happiness and prosperity.
What makes 2017 different?
Absolutely nothing. 2017 is no different really than 2016 or 2015 or any other year that I resolved to do and be better. Except that now I am different. I am ready to be renewed. And I understand the patterns of behaviour and the ways of being and thinking and common elements that made me eat unhealthy foods, and avoid physical activities, procrastinate, worry, live in doubt, overspend and be frivolous. Today, I am here, ready to make small steps towards the changes I need to make in my life. I have the tools needed to do so. Since December, I have been surrounding myself with the tools needed to make positive changes. I am carefully planning my days, being certain that maximise my time, ensuring that while I dedicate time to fun, relaxation, reading and my family, that I also give myself time reflect, plan and take care of me. I am reading, writing and working. I aware of my triggers and the thoughts, people and activities that I push into a space of negativity. Each day, I actively decide what I need to do, and dedicate my time, energies and thoughts towards my goals. I am thankful for journey and I am excited about 2017.
I read recently on mindbodygreen that 81% of NY resolutions fail. That is a big number.
But it is possible to succeed. Did you guys make New Year’s resolutions? Please share one major change that you want to make in 2017 and how do you plan to make this big goal happen.
Change can happen with focus, action and dedicate.
Happy New Year. Let’s make 2017 our best year yet.