What Inspires Me

Free printable workbook: Make 2018 your most purposeful year yet!

Promo image 2018

I love the feeling of a fresh start that comes with the beginning of each new year. I see it as a chance to release the past and renew my focus on the things that matter.

As a creative life coach and an avid journaler, I frequently focus inward on my values, thoughts and feelings, but the start of a new year offers a a clean slate to remind myself of where I want to direct my energy.

So I’ve created a free printable workbook with gorgeous lettering, prompts and imagery to help you make 2018 a purposeful, inspired and magical year.

I see it as a sort of guidebook for the year ahead – a map to guide you through the year. Much like a manual for the year – with the values and goals you want to focus on, guiding you through the next 365 days.

It’s called the Magical Yearbook – a book can you can return to over and over again throughout the year to keep you inspired.

File_002 (8)

The Yearbook contains loads of prompts to guide you, on such topics as:

  • Goal setting
  • Ideal year
  • Guiding values
  • Spiritual practice
  • Self care
  • Limiting beliefs
  • Staying inspired
  • Creative toolbox
  • Visioning
  • And more!

File_001 (12)

You also get access to some tips for filling the Yearbook out with ease and joy for each of the sections, as well as prompts to help you close out 2017.

You can download the free Yearbook here:

2018 Yearbook Printable

Use the prompts and mini lessons below to help guide you through each section of the Yearbook. Enjoy!

Prompts to wrap up 2017

The Yearbook is focused entirely on all the goodness we want to create in our lives in 2018, so for that reason, I’ve left out any prompts about 2017.

I want the yearbook to be a guide for you through 2018 and I thought having notes about 2017 in there wasn’t necessary – and may even be counterproductive for some.

But I do think it’s important to make peace with the past, celebrate what you’ve achieved, and be honest about the things that didn’t work out. I don’t feel right going straight into the new year without some kind of ritual releasing the year that’s been.

Why? For me, it’s the feeling of awareness and a sense of closure. Awareness of what has happened this year, but more importantly, awareness about my feelings towards these things. For example, we still haven’t finished our tiny house build (but we are really close!) and that makes me a little disappointed. I don’t want to avoid this feeling, but rather make peace with it and use it to help me figure out how to make next year better.

So, with that in mind, I’ve created some journal prompts to get you thinking about the year that’s been. There are loads of great prompts online, I’ve just selected some of the ones I love and added a few of my own.

I hope these can guide you through a sort of closing ceremony for 2017, so you can welcome the new year with open arms.

  • What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.
  • Describe 2017 in one sentence:
  • This year I’m most grateful for…
  • My biggest achievement this year was…
  • This year I got really excited about…
  • This year I was most inspired by…
  • My greatest challenge this year was…
  • I need forgive myself for…
  • My biggest piece of unfinished business from this year is…
  • The greatest lesson I’ve learned this year is…
  • How have you grown as a person this past year? How are you different this year than last?
  • This year I wish I had done more…
  • I wish I had done less…
  • What was the best way you used your time this past year?
  • If you had more time to invest in this past year, what would you do with it?
  • If I could redo 2017, I would…
  • Write a letter to the you from the start of last year. What advice would you give yourself?
  • If 2017 was a book, what would the title be? Name some of the chapters.
  • Did you have a guiding word or guiding values for 2017? How did it serve you? How did it challenge you?
  • The biggest gifts of 2017 were…

Be gentle with yourself when going through this, it can be tough if the past year has been a difficult one. I always find a cup of tea, some nice music and a candle, incense or essential oils are comforting.

Notes to help you fill in the Yearbook

I recommend working through the Yearbook in order. It has been designed so that most of the sections build on the previous ones. Here are some tips for each of the sections:

Getting Started

Goal Setting

Guiding Values

Divine Connection

Looking After Me

Staying Inspired

Visioning

Enjoy your Yearbook, and if you know someone who would love it, please share it! Don’t forget to come join us in the Journaling Dangerously Facebook group to share your progress!

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now

tiny house corner

Every so often I share some of the things that are inspiring me. Here’s what I’ve loved this week…

Here’s a great journal prompt: What if you fully embraced it?

I love Allison’s musings on consistency

Have you seen Heather’s guided journal, Write Your Truth? That title really speaks to me!

These tips might help you find your visual style

Have you really stopped to think about how you’re using technology?

Loving this idea for art journaling inspiration: Mood Board Monday

Wow. I had no idea Jim Carrey was such an awesome artist – watch this short clip for some super inspiration!

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now

Every few weeks I share the things that are really inspiring me – at least, I want it to be every few weeks, but I don’t always get there. No matter. Here’s what I’m loving right now.

journey home

This post by Jamie called I’m Taking My Blog Back – turns out I’m not alone in being so over blogging as a marketing tool, rather than for self-expression

The always inspiring Effy Wild is offering this free class on how she makes her Sweet Trash Journals

Join Kristal Norton for her free series Soul Truths to get creatively un-stuck

Deb talks about the idea of the starving artist and how we can decide to be a well-fed artist. Here’s another really interesting post on this idea

Love this eye-opening post from Tammy at Rowdy Kittens about how much we let our phones distract us (it’s probably more than you think)

Are you afraid to call yourself a writer?

I just love how Tammy at Daisy Yellow writes out the alphabet to relax! These would make awesome journal backgrounds/collage papers

What are your immortality projects? This is a fascinating concept to explore in your journal!

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now…

on my table

Sometimes I share the things that are inspiring me when I’m not busy being mama. Here are some of the things I’m loving at the moment…

Read this if you have forgotten you are magic

Are you struggling with idea debt?

The stories I’m reading in Naked Money are truly inspiring and enlightening. You can still sign up for this free community project to explore what it means to make money as a creative

I loved this post on what it means to be an artist – with or without the support of your partner

Feeling overwhelmed as a mother? Maybe this is why…

Here’s 46 lists you can make when you are feeling overwhelmed

Also, did you enter the giveaway for Write to the Centre? It’s such a gorgeous journaling book!

What Inspires Me

A little inspiration

Every now and again I share some of the things that have inspired me. Here are a few favourites from this week.

journey

I was honoured to be featured in the Art Journal Love series over on Leslie’s blog, Words of Me. You can find more from the series on her blog (there is SO much art journaling goodness on there, including this list of 20 ideas to get you inspired in your art journal!)

I’m so excited to have my friend Deb join me in the 17 non-fiction books in 2017 challenge (read more about the challenge here)

I’m currently obsessed with this album

Love this flip-through of Rae Missigman’s art marks journal

There are some great art journal ideas in the Journal Friday posts over at Journal Fodder Junkies

Have you ever tried making a moonboard?

*  *  *

Have an inspired week!

 

What Inspires Me

What I’m reading this year: 17 books in 2017

a reading challenge

I love reading.

Well, more specifically, I love books.

In particular, I love non-fiction books – especially those of the spiritual, self-help and creativity variety. It must be the coach in me.

Plus I love a good memoir – especially one where the writer overcomes some kind of obstacle or grows in some way – and I especially love memoirs with a dash of travel or some kind of journey – the rainbow waythink Eat, Pray, Love, Paris Letters or Wild. I have a hunger for adventure and growth but can’t quite see myself making it through the entire Pacific Crest Trail (although eating my way through Rome or Paris is another story!).

I collect books like they’re going out of fashion (actually, some people think they are). I’m moving into a tiny house in the next month or two. And when I say tiny, I mean this tiny. There isn’t a lot of room for books. Really I should stop buying them and maybe even get rid of some (lots).

But I can’t. I can get rid of clothes and live off only a few main items (right now I’m living in really stylish nursing tops). I can get rid of kitchen items, linen I don’t use – even shoes and handbags are a non-issue for me. But books – it’s like asking me to give up little parts of my soul.

To me, these non-fiction books represent possibility.

They are tiny portals into a better version of my life, manuals with instructions for growth and change, portable life and spiritual coaches to help me become the me I know is in there and live the life I keep imagining.

But I have a bit of a shameful confession.

As voraciously as I collect these books, I don’t always manage to read them all.

In fact, most of them have underlining and notes in the intro and first chapter or two, and that’s it. I get distracted by the next purchase and abandon it.

Last year I read two books that really inspired me – I would go so far as to say they were life-changing: Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell and Unwritten by Jack Delosa. I couldn’t get enough of these two – they spoke to me with what I needed to hear right when I needed it. They are full of notes. I want more of this.

you are your heroes

I was recently inspired by Leonie’s list of books she read in 2016 and thought I’d create my own. I have a mini (or not so mini) library right at my fingertips just begging to be read. I want a challenge, some public accountability, I want to actually read these gorgeous books I buy.

Most of all, I want the growth, insight and inspiration that comes from reading these sorts of books.

Besides, I have hours of free time sitting around each day – either while feeding my little man or while he naps – and I don’t want to just spend it watching TV shows (my latest guilty pleasure – watching old episodes of Mad About You!).

So, the 17 Books in 2017 Challenge was born.

I know 17 books in a year isn’t a lot – some people read multiple books a week. And I can read fiction really quickly – it’s easy to get really involved in the story and it doesn’t tend to require a lot of mental energy. But non-fiction books that require me to think about my life and my beliefs are entirely different. I’m not a particularly fast reader – I like to stop and think, make notes, underline key points and journal about the book. It must be the teacher in me.

lifes best work

Plus, one year I set a goal of reading 52 books in a year and gave up after like 3 weeks. There was too much pressure and it took the joy right out of it.

This challenge is do-able to me, but will require a bit of effort. The perfect balance, I think. Plus we are already well into February – so that means I need to read a book roughly once every 2-3 weeks.

Here’s my plan:

  • Read the book over the 2-3 week period (or sooner, if I’m inspired to do so).
  • Share quotes and other insights that inspire me on social media using the hashtag #reading17in2017
  • Take notes in my journal
  • Write a blog post that loosely reviews the book, shares some of my favourite insights and some journal prompts based on the lessons and inspiration from the book
  • Choose the next one!

I invite you to join me – either with some or all of the books below, or with your own reading list.

My reading list:

I should preface this by saying these are not going to be the latest, newest reads. Some of these have been around for ages, but I’m only just getting around to reading them myself. There is no underlining theme or logic (although most of these books are about creativity or motherhood, or both) – these are simply books I’ve had on my radar for a while but haven’t made time to read.

I should also say that I think life is too short to read a book I’m not enjoying. If I give a book an honest go and can’t make headway, I’ll leave it and move onto the next.

In no particular order:

  1. The Rainbow Way – Cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood – Lucy H. Pearce
  2. Spilt Milk Yoga – A guided self-inquiry to finding your own wisdom, joy and purpose through motherhood – Cathryn Monro
  3. Write to the Center – Navigating life with gluestick and words – Helen Lehndorf
  4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing – Marie Kondo
  5. Burning Woman – Lucy H. Pearce
  6. Liberating Motherhood – Birthing the purplestockings movement – Vanessa Olorenshaw
  7. The Well-Crafted Mom – Kathleen Ann Harper
  8. Soul Vows – Gathering the presence of the divine in you, through you, and as you – Janet Conner
  9. Still Writing – The perils and pleasures of a creative life – Dani Shapiro
  10. Wild Women, Wild Voices – Writing from your authentic wildness – Judy Reeves
  11. Rise Sister Rise – Rebecca Campbell
  12. The Soul of Creativity – Insights into the creative process – Edited by Tona Pearce Myers
  13. Brave – 50 everyday acts of courage to thrive in work, love and live  – Margie Warrell
  14. Women Who Run with the Wolves – Contacting the power of the wild woman – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  15. Moods of Motherhood – The inner journey of mothering – Lucy H. Pearce

So far that’s all I have. I’ll likely find many new books I want to read this year, and I’m open to suggestions!

I hope you’ll consider doing your own reading challenge. I’d love to hear your current reads, recommendations and favourites in the comments!

Motherhood, What Inspires Me

An update and a little inspiration for you…

I’m six weeks into my new role as a mama and honestly, this is such a strange time.

So far, I am just keeping my head above the water. Each time I look at my little boy I feel overcome with joy and gratitude for the amazing wee thing that he is – except when it’s 3am and he won’t sleep, or when he’s been cluster feeding for five hours straight. Then I just try to keep breathing.

I know I’m so lucky to have a healthy, gorgeous little bubba – but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments I’ve sobbed uncontrollably because I’m just so overwhelmed by the fact that this little guy relies on me 24/7 and it never lets up.

I’ve been so lucky to have my own mum on hand to babysit while I nap, and my fiance to do some of the night feeds so I can rest. It’s tough work being someone’s entire world, but each cuddle, each time he looks at me, each new thing he does makes it all worth it. This post perfectly describes my experience.

File_000

So, while I’m stuck at home feeding around the clock, I’ve been watching endless films (seriously, I’m running out of new films now!) and also browsing online for hours. Here are a few of the things that have kept me going recently…

Did you choose a guiding word for 2017? Perhaps this powerful post will inspire you.

Despite not often having a free hand, I’m considering attempting the 30 Day Journal Project hosted by Lisa Sonora. The theme this time around is ‘Journey’, which I adore.

Speaking of Lisa Sonora, have you checked out her new video series? My faves so far are this video and post about keeping a studio journal, and this one where she shows us what art supplies are in her travel bag.

Is journaling – more specifically free writing – better than meditation?

Read this when you wonder if your story matters, or you’re feeling as though no one is listening when you write.

And for any new mamas our there feeling like me, read this hilarious article offering timeless practical advice for parents struggling to get their babies to sleep. Hopefully it will help to remind you that none of us know what we are doing.

More from me soon x