First of all: Happy New Year!!
Wishing you all a joyful and healthy 2023.

2023 new year planning, moleskine notebook,

Core Values as a foundation.

Recently, a friend told me about an exercise she got from her coach; picking her 5 core values out of a series of cards. All 5 of her chosen words made total sense, not only for her, but they were excellent core values to live by.
So I was curious, which would I pick?
No fancy cards are needed, just a piece of paper and this list by Brene Brown. Slowly I worked through several rounds of eliminations to finally arrive at the final 5, an outcome that was both surprising and totally predictable. There were some words that I very much expected to be in my top 3, that did not make it to the final round, and others that I didn’t think that much of initially that I wouldn’t trade for another one.

In theory, these core values won’t change (that much) throughout life, but as we go down the path of life, our priorities might somewhat evolve too. And while the world throws around some uncertainties, knowing about my core values feels like an excellent foundation to set my intentions and plans for the new year.

Making choices isn’t particularly one of my strengths. Life is like a huge buffet with all the tastiest foods and I’m here like a little mouse taking a small bite of everything. It’s a fun strategy until you accidentally chew on a stiff piece of calamari instead of pasta.

With my list of core values at hand, it was much easier to carve out a few priorities that I want to work on in 2023. As I didn’t overflow my planning with too many ideas, but just the things of greatest importance, there are not as many items constantly flashing “URGENT!” and taking up brain space. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be trying new things- I need that too- but I’m just keeping them as extras for high-energy days.

My word of 2023.
Every year I pick one word as a guide.
This year will be about ‘Consistency’.

Systems not goals.

Inspired by the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I’ve been working with habits and systems rather than big goals. For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing habit-tracking methods to give me an overview of what I’m actually doing and they seem to work as a motivator as well. The options are numerous, from fancy apps* to bullet journals, but I’ve settled for simple with a Moleskine life planner. I already dislike the rings, so I will have to look for a different solution in about 300 days, but since I had to order something online, I knew I’d like the Moleskine paper and fonts. At the beginning of each month, I can pick some habits to track- and the habits that I chose are based on the core values and my word for this year. At the end of each month, there is space for a review. For the days in between, I created a simple system with symbols to plan/review/think about things. I will also keep a list of books and maybe movies.

*I briefly tried the app called “way of life” in which you can track 3 habits for free. Every day you either choose green (done) or red (not done), and this data is then presented visually in charts so you can easily spot trends. This would be especially useful after using the app for months or years. The main reason why I’m not committing to an app is that I don’t want an extra reason to be on my phone and I like taking my time to work on paper. If I change my mind, the app will probably still be there 🙂

Curious about my core values?
I chose:
Creativity – Health – Integrity – Nature – Learning

What are yours?

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