It’s probably a reflection of my age but I love an old fashioned written diary.  Not only do I use it for my calendar, but it also gives me great satisfaction to write down my to-do lists each week and cross the items off as the week progresses. I make notes in the back and as the year evolves my diary becomes one of my most valued assets - with a vast array of recommendations and tips, as well as a record of places I have been and things I have seen.

Each year for Christmas my mum gives me a leather diary in a new colour, usually with my initials on it.  My diaries from previous years sit in a vibrant, colourful stack on the shelf in my study and signify to me not only the passing of time but a little reminder of all the things that have happened in my life.

Taking a new diary out of its box each year gives me a renewed energy and enthusiasm for the year ahead; the crisp empty pages are a blank slate waiting in anticipation for the opportunities to come.  As the year starts I see it as the perfect moment to reflect on the year that has passed, take stock and set intentions for the one ahead.

For me, the years seem to pass with increasing speed and the juggle of responsibilities get more complex. I know that I need to organize my time to prioritise the things which are most important to me. I find that unless I schedule something in - be it a run or a phone call - it tends not to happen. So I make sure I take the same approach in how I look at the year - what do I want it to include and what do I want to leave behind?

I love exploring new things - places, people, food, art and culture and while I am naturally inclined towards relaxed, fun time with family and friends doing the things I enjoy, I also know I will benefit if I push myself out of my comfort zone from time to time. I review all aspects of my life - family, relationships, work, health, education and within each area, I think about what I love and enjoy and how can I challenge myself to improve and expand it.

There is nothing like sharing your goals to bring a little accountability into play and increase the chances of you actually following through so I thought I would share a few of the things I would like to master in 2019 with you:

  • A headstand - last year I mastered the crow but maintaining a headstand remains beyond me. I find the physicality of it quite symbolic - you really need to push your body out of its comfort zone and then use your core strength to hold yourself up. My girls are brilliant at them!
  • Learn to play Yiruma’s River Flows In You on the piano - I stopped playing the piano when I was 14 and have always regretted it. I love this piece of music, it brings an immediate sense of calm and tranquillity to the moment.
  • Remain present - I would like to build my levels of focus and concentration and really try harder to be present. I spend a lot of my family time thinking about work and a lot of time at work thinking about my family which does not really benefit anyone - least of all myself.
  • Create more vegetarian dishes - I love cooking (and eating), it is definitely one of my big passions but I tend to be quite habitual and stick to the dishes I know. Currently, that includes mostly fish and chicken dishes so I would love to expand my repertoire.
  • Learn how to send stylish consumer emails and understand digital design - I see things very visually and presentation is important to me. I have been so impressed with some of the skills Ines has brought to us at LeSalon and I would really like to grasp some of these techniques myself.
  • Expand my work-related social circle - I am not a natural social butterfly, definitely an introvert and would happily spend my time listening and watching without feeling any need to intervene but I do know that some of the best knowledge and growth has come through meeting new people and building relationships.

These are a few (of many things) I would like to achieve in the year ahead. Like everyone, I find some of it daunting and other things exciting but I am committed to pushing my own boundaries. Here’s to 2019 - wishing you all happiness, laughter, friendship, growth and accomplishment!