Releasing 2014, and Planning 2015

As I write this, the latest video for my YouTube channel is going up, talking about things of a similar vein as this blog post; releasing 2014, and getting prepped and prepared for 2015. For the fourth year in a row, I'm using Leonie Dawson's Create Your Shining Year workbook, and I've also pre-purchased a Lunar Energy planner by Jessica at Second Reverie that I will be using in conjunction with it. I've always struggled to meld the goals for my tangible part of my world with the spiritual aspects of it, and I have a really good feeling that using the two workbooks together will allow me to get on track with both sets of goals.

Something else I talked about a lot in that video was reflecting on one of my biggest lessons of 2014, which finally managed to sink into my thick head last week: I, Jessica Johnson, have some serious control issues. Yes, I know, for many of you, this will NOT be a revelation. For me, however, recognizing that tendency within myself was huge, and I have a feeling that now that I'm aware of it, that I will be able to bring this quirk into check. (Anyone else think it's funny that I'm attempting to exert some control over my control issues? It's not lost on me...) What I'm trying to say is, no matter what issue you're working on, whether it be control issues, or being too loose and lax about things, getting that quirk into balance means exerting a control over it to some degree. For me, it will be about controlling my tongue and my impulses to make sure that certain things are "just so." Basically nothing went according to plan this year, and it messed with me in a big way. It's only just now that I'm starting to see how very important it is for me to learn to relax, and of course, the only way I'm going to get better at it, is to keep practicing.

I'm planning on making 2015 the year where I attempt to find some balance between exerting some control over my life with goal setting, review, reflection, and brainstorming where I make changes, and figuring out how to go with the flow more often. The way that I'm hoping to achieve this is with a concept from the Leonie Dawson workbook, Ritual Days. Ritual Days are where you assign a name and concept to each day of the week, and attempt to imbue your day with that energy. For instance, Switch-Off Sundays are about unplugging a bit, and getting grounded in your life, taking stock, and connecting with the people around you, or who are most important to you face-to-face, physically, without the use of technology (wherever possible). For 2015, I have assigned the following Ritual Days:

Switch-Off Sundays: I will attempt to get my family to spend less time in front of screens, and more time interacting with each other, or going outside, or engaging with toys and games that encourage the mind to think creatively or logically. TV time will be limited, and I'm hoping to make tablets a no-no on Sundays... it's so tempting to hand them over to the kids for a few minutes (or a couple hours) of silence, but face-to-face connections are so important. For myself, I want to cut back on mobile phone use, and cut out Facebook and email on this day.

Makeover Mondays: I am the kind of person who neglects physical self-care to a level that is kind of embarrassing... I place so much importance on reading educational books, or cleaning the house, or organizing things, but I put my own self-care very far down on the list. This is a CHRONIC problem for me, and even when my husband pushes me to go have a hot bath, or to take a long, relaxing shower, I resist. This year, I want to chance that. I get so much emotionally, physically, and mentally out of doing little things for myself, and yet, I hardly ever do it! Mondays are going to be the day when I actually decide ahead of time what I am going to give to myself on a physical level that day (full body exfoliation and moisturizing, or a full mani/pedi or myself, or a hot oil treatment, etc), and then, I'm going to DO IT.

To-Do List Tuesdays: Because let's face it, a house with 5 people in it is going to accumulate dust, dirt, and debris, as well as clutter, toys, messes, and a pile of things to tidy. I'm not the housekeeper of the century or anything, but I do like to keep the mess from getting out of hand. Tuesdays will be the day I make a list of things that must get done on a weekly basis (like cleaning the toilets and the floors of the main story of the house), and then each week I will pick one or two tasks that gets neglected to get done, so I can get it out of the way on a semi-regular basis (like cleaning the windows, or the oven, or giving all the kitchen cabinets a wipe-down, etc). Again, if I plan it, it will get done.

Strong-Start Wednesday: This is the day I plan on taking my son to the free Provincal program called Strong Start. It's basically a free pre-K educational program, where parents attend with their pre-K aged child(ren). Because of my pregnancy issues I never got Andrew into preschool, and I know he would benefit a lot from socializing with children his own age, as well as the exposure to some material that will prep him for school, which he will start in the fall. Most importantly, it will also get ME out of the house, socializing with other mothers, and possibly allow me to make a friend or two along the way. In the summer, this ritual day will get dropped, and changed for something else, but I'm not sure what yet.

Thriving Household Thursdays: This is the day I plan on using a family check-in. How's our diet been for the week? If it's been less than great, then this is a great day to plan the meals for the days head to something healthier. How is our family routine working? Are all the members getting enough sleep? Is someone falling behind on homework? Are certain jobs not getting done efficiently? Are there some bad habits creeping up on us? Today, if necessary, we will tackle them. And, if things are going well, this might be a good afternoon/evening to spend some time together as a family, playing a board game or doing puzzles, and reconnecting.

Healing Fridays: Are for healing. It's for getting back on track with healthy eating if I've fallen off the wagon, it's for going to bed earlier if I feel I need to, or for spending a few minutes in meditation aligning my chakras, or other things that are beneficial for my body, mind and spirit. It's also my last chance to get into my doctor before the weekend if I feel like I need to, and tackle any physical issues I may have been ignoring or putting off dealing with.

Sanity Saturdays: This is a day I will try to spend some time in solitude, reflecting on life, love and laundry, getting connected with my emotions, and basically dedicating to helping ME. Saturdays are pretty much the only night that we NEVER have anything planned too, so it's a prime night for me to go take my laptop or journal to a coffee shop after supper, and have a little quality me-time.

2014 will also go out with a bang: On December 30, I will be giving birth to our little girl via c-section, and while I'm not exactly pleased at how this birth story is going to end, I am excited by the fact that this pregnancy IS ending. I have tried to savor the experience as much as possible, but I'll be honest, I haven't really felt good the whole time, I've dealt with problem after problem, and that has taken a big toll on me mentally and emotionally. Finally having it over and done with will be a big relief, in so many ways. 2015 will start off fresh and new in so many ways... new baby, new routines, new body to get used to, and I'm hoping that with the Big Scary Pregnancy over and done with, fresh attitudes and feelings.

As you can tell, a lot has happened to me this year, and a lot is yet to happen as well. Winter Solstice is this coming weekend, Christmas close on it's heels, and then, we'll only have a few days to regroup before we prepare to expand our family for once and for all. It feels like a lot at times, and others it feels like not much is left. I hope all of you are looking forward to 2015 as much as I am, and I hope that the holiday season treats you well.

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