Monday, 5 January 2015

How to make 2015 a year to remember



It's the first one of my How To-posts! Well, the second one really, but the first one happened accidentally (months ago!) and not as part of this series. After a lot of thought, I am totally not going with any of the five topics I had in mind for today, but with something that happened yesterday and inspired me to change it all up.

My blog friend Samantha posted about the "Jar of moments", an idea I had seen on Pinterest and liked so much that I vaguely thought I would do it in 2015 as well. But on January 2nd I was struck down by a vicious 48-hour virus that had me shaking, aching, vomiting and worse for two straight days, and I almost forgot about it.  
However, yesterday morning, I found the most lovely surprise in my email inbox. A reader - Maren -  sent me a beautiful email out of the blue, simply telling me that she has been reading my blog for a year now, likes it a lot and wants me to keep it up. And my first thought was: "That has to go in the jar!"

This simple, yet so amazing gesture made me think of more ways of how to make this new year a memorable one. Here is what I came up with:

1. Collect special little moments. 
Yes, the jar is, of course, number one on here. I liked the idea from the moment I saw it, for the simple reason that we human beings have selective memories and tend to forget lots of things. Especially on days when we are feeling down it can be difficult to remember anything positive. Having a jar filled with happiness is just what the doctor ordered! It's such an easy thing to do, but I imagine it will have a big impact on our mood and gratefulness. Just imagine sitting down on New Year's eve 2015 and reading through all your notes of happy moments!

2. Little acts of kindness. 
Maren's kind gesture has motivated me to up my game when it comes to little acts of kindness. Just telling someone how much they mean to you can have a huge impact on that person!
Here are a few other things you could do:
  • Bring homemade goodies to work. I know January is the month for everything diet and no-treats-related; but if your co-workers are anything like mine (or me, for that matter), the sudden switch from treats-every-day in December to a barren lunch room is hard to digest (literally!). And if you are concerned for your co-worker's health, you can always make something healthy. ;-)
  • Donate blood. I have never done that, because I'm afraid. But working in health care and not donating really is a bit embarrassing, and I don't want fear to rule my decisions any more. So I've signed up for next month, first time ever. Eeks!
  • Hold open the door. It always makes me smile when someone holdes the door open for me, because it's somewhat old-fashioned, like a throwback to the times when men were doffing their hats for women. So quaint and polite!
  • Pleases, thank-yous, smiles. Give those out generously! Working with the public myself I know first-hand what a difference it makes. So go on, make your mothers proud! 

3. Photography project. I did a 365 project last year, and I loved it. I haven't decided yet what to do with the photos, but most likely it will be a photobook - they are great memory keepsakes! 

4. Or how about a videography project? Another wonderful idea is what Jess from This Analog Adventure did: She took a 1-second video every day of the year and put it together in this 6.5-minute video - what a great way to remember the year. It's not too late to start it!

5. Celebrate the everyday. Do you have a long stretch of blah coming up? No vacation to look forward to, no holidays, no special events? I hear ya. January is the most depressing month of the year, with nothing but work, an excess of holiday pounds, a deficit in our bank accounts and a whole lotta grey to keep us company.
How about you make an ordinary day extraordinary?
  • You could dress up for a dinner at home, set the table nicely with a table cloth, candles, real napkins (not the paper ones), open up a bottle of wine and have a romantic evening with your love.
  • Or how about going to a live theatre performance instead of the regular movie theatre? You can dress up if you want (can you sense a theme here? I really like dressing up), and it is a great change to a regular movie. 
  • You could also just escape for a day and drive out into the country, or explore a nearby city - whatever tickles your fancy. 
  • If you are on a budget or strapped for cash (aren't we all after the holidays?) you could host a game night at your house and ask your guests to each bring a dish or an appetizer.
The opportunities are endless! The point is to make an effort and try to spice up this most boring and depressing month of them all.

So go on, make this year special!

Do you have any more ideas how to make 2015 a year to remember? Share them in the comments!





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7 comments

  1. i really like the idea of the jar and i'm all for no.2! little acts of kindness are important.
    i've decided to start keeping a diary this year. it's nothing special, but i like the idea of keeping track :)

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  2. Funny you should mention these ideas... I was thinking I want to try and do my own sort of project like your #2 but I want to make it as anonymous as possible. There is an account on Instagram that I follow called Secret Blue Butterfly which gave me this idea. I am turning 40 in August and I want to do something meaningful but within my means. And a run streak is not my thing...
    I like the jar idea too. I am not sure I would keep up with it though.

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  3. I made a jar last year but then we didn't really remember it :( Oh well :) I did (as you know) start the 365 project, and so far I've been taking pictures of things that make me happy or what I'm doing for a day as a way of remembering. Great tips M!

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  4. It's going to be a great year, Miriam, I'm so glad you decided to "Do the Jar"! I think it's so important to do things like hold doors open and give pleases, thanks, and smiles - it can really make a difference in someone's day! As a barista, it really brings a smile to my face when someone is kind and friendly versus someone who is cranky and 'closed off'. I don't want to be one of those! So I'll be joining you in trying extra hard to be polite and friendly and caring this year :) New Year's Eve 2015 will be awesome!
    ~ Samantha

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  5. Great ideas! 2015 will be a year to remember for you and yours because you're going to make it so!

    A few years ago a friend gave me a perpetual calendar which has an index card for each day of the year. For 2013 and 2014 I wrote in just one line worth of stuff that happened that day or a song that was in my head or a feeling or whatever, and I'll do the same for 2015. It gets more and more fun each year because you see what happened on that day in years past. :) I see you loving that kind of thing!

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  6. I actually have something similar... my MIL gave me a mason jar for Christmas that says "Good Things" on it. We're supposed to write down good things that happen throughout the year, and hopefully by the end of the year our jar is filled up!

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  7. This is such a super idea, I will put it into practice! I think I'd like to date each note as well, so that it helps to jog my memory about when these things took place.

    Happy New Year Miriam! x

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