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2019 The Year of Hope

2019 Blog 1 Every year I set a word for the year. It is something I have been doing for a while time now after reading this in a business book. I used to do dream boards. I think these really helped when I was a lot younger, but after having the boys I have preferred to simplify the year goal-wise. Having a word for the year helps me to focus. I take actions and check that the choices I make are in line with this when the time comes. I do not spend a lot of time thinking about it. It is the first word that comes to me and feels right. A true gut-instinct. The word hope came so easily at the end of last year. In previous years I have had more grunter words, like ‘power’ and ‘unlimited’. Is 'grunter' a word....well it is now! Anyway, this year I want to change tack a little bit. It is no secret that last year was tough. I know that I did not even write my new year blog in 2018 until it was April! It was an up hill battle the whole time. This year while I know the fight is still going to be there I want to go at it in a different way. Not a ‘go-with-the-flow’ way because those words could not be further from who I am....but rather, when the rips hit – not struggle against them; float and allow the path to take me out to deeper waters, even though it will initially be scarier at the time. Perhaps I get to have the choice to do this because of what I went through last year. I have three major hopes for 2019: *Baby number three *Publish my next book – a complete baby & toddler cook book *Strengthen my mind These hopes are not exclusive. They are all part of our family’s jigsaw puzzle of life and they are all a priority. Having a third baby in among a book publishing and touring schedule is going to take stepping into the unknown (my specialty it seems) plus some major planning and adjusting. We have a lot of financial challenges to work through initially. This year we are also changing how my next book will be published.....for a lot of reasons. While I cannot go into this too much just yet, a big part of this is off what I shared in my last blog, and needing more control of the process to help with hope number of baby number three! I have included the hope to ‘strengthen my mind’ as my personal wellbeing goal. It is the same as if I had a goal to ‘build muscular strength’ except that muscle is my brain. In previous years I have attempted to do this, and significantly struggled. I saw in my goals for 2015 (the year Smushie was born and I finished my PhD) I planned to take an hour a week to myself. I nearly spat out my coffee reading this because it certainly did not even remotely happen but also I can see now how clearly it should have. I have learnt so much since then about juggling a demanding work schedule and self care...but I still have a lot to learn. I suspect this is something that you never stop needing to learn, rather you just keep reaching different levels. This year I certainly want to keep learning strategies to help with the mental pressures that my field of work brings while also being a mum with a young family. I am sharing this because while it is socially acceptable to have 'body goals' our 'mind' goals are discussed so little. Over the coming months and throughout the year I will keep coming back to these hopes. We have already blocked out four days in the middle of the year where as a family we will take the time to pause and reassess the year – this is something we have never done before. Already it has broken the year down into an initial six month stint. Perhaps in future years we will be able to reduce this even further but for now this is realistic for us. 2019 Blog 3 Along with picking a word for the year, I have also picked a symbol, which are roses. This also just came to me. I have loved flowers for as long as I can remember and roses are my favourite. I have some beautiful roses outside my kitchen window which I get to see every time I am in there. This is a lot at the best of times but working on my new cook book has meant more hours than usual there and yet this has been so therapeutic in the last few weeks. This photo is from my 'kitchen station'. The lovely chalk designs are from two little monkeys! In my next planned ink session (tattoos are a secret vice of mine) my next design also includes a rose. So this is the year of hope. I would love to hear what you are taking on this year! If you would like to be part of a group that keeps conversations around your wellbeing and your families wellbeing alive with a great structure check out my VIP Group and Mum Squad as this is exactly what these groups are about. xoxo Dr Julie

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