A new year. A time when it's natural to think what that will bring and to pause and reflect on the year that's gone. I've done my reflecting and published my year in photos here and here. While I don't set resolutions - like many people I find they don't last - I do think about what I want from the new year and how I can help make that happen by choosing a word to guide me.
Last year the word I chose was Focus; it was something I needed to do but even when I chose it I admitted it wasn't in the "make my heart sing" category and now I know I should have found a word that was. Although I did focus - I am back at work and I have achieved lots throughout 2015 - I didn't actively embrace my word. It was there, reminding me, nagging me even of what I needed to do, but I pretty much ignored it whenever I could. I didn't reflect on my word throughout the year, even though I'd set myself a regular task on my to do list, and I didn't even feel guilty when I sneakily ticked it off the list without thinking too much more about it.
So there was a lesson for me in 2015. If it doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't right.
That said 2015 was a good year, but having my word didn't feel the way it had the year before when I chose Active.
So this year I knew I needed to make a better choice. In my head I had "balance." It worked in lots of clever ways: work-life balance, blog-life balance, work-home balance and also for pilates, which I haven't done so much of during the latter part of the year (and should have) and is something I always need more balance for than I naturally have. And cycling too, that needs balance. See it was clever, it just didn't make me smile.
And so I knew to keep looking for my word.
I'm not sure how or where I got the inspiration for my word, but I did. And if you've snuck a look at the image in this post you'll not be surprised to learn that this year I've chosen Shine. Even typing it now makes me smile.
So yes, this year my plan is to shine.
And to try and shine in everything I do.
I realise that's quite a bold statement, but let me tell you more.
This year I want to build on the sewing machine mastery I rediscovered last year and focus on the quality of the items I sew, the zips I put in and in fact all of the crafts I set my sights on. I want to shine, not just do, if that makes sense.
I want to smile and share that shine with people I meet, those I know and those I don't. Smiling is good and it's a great way to improve other people's days and your own too.
I want to get things done, but I want to do them well. Whether that's at home, at work or here on my blog, this year I want to shine. That's particularly pertinent here on my blog as this week sees me take over co-hosting PoCoLo, an established and well loved bloggers link up.
And of course there's the weather side of shine. I know I'm happiest in the sun, so I'm hoping we have plenty of sunshine this year; if it's in short supply then I'd be happy for it to be shining when we cycle in the Loire Valley (the dates of which are still to be determined), that's not too much to ask now, is it?
So now I have my word, I have it visualised in that stunning Abbey window shot which I captured on a walking holiday in the South West of France in 2009 and what's more, this year I even have a soundtrack. Helpfully Take That have obliged there. It really is a Beautiful World.
So there's my intentions for 2016, what are yours?