How A Creative Creature Focuses On The Big Picture This 2018

For the Chinese, 2018 is the Year of The Dog. My birthday was exactly on the Chinese New Year of 1994, which was also the year of the dog. 12 years ago, I also felt lucky. Now honestly, I don't believe in Chinese zodiac, even if it's fun to read. But 2006 was a pretty great year. Back then, I achieved a lot for a kid: I graduated grade school top of my class, took a musical theater workshop for summer, entered my first year in high school, and discovered I had a knack for writing. Now's another "lucky year" to make use of before starting a new quarter of my life.

I'm getting closer to 25 more than I even know of. I'm that stage in life where I'm young enough to have crazy fun, but old enough to need a flexible but focused direction in life. Hopefully when I remember this time, I'll say "Oh girl, did I have a really good time back then," when my hair naturally turns into Targaryen white.

Lots of us have different ways to prepare for the future by making the most of the present. Some list down their goals and create a 5-year plan to get where they want to be. Others tick off boxes on their bucket list filled with places to travel or activities to try. But me, I visualized what kind of "Day In My Life" vlog I'd put up on my YouTube channel.  Where would I live? What kind of work would I take? And what art would I create? After answering these questions and more, I wrote down what I wanted. 


Plans I Will Focus On For 2018

If my younger self would write this blog, I'd give you detail per detail of my goals for this year. But after I watched this Thomas Frank video about not mentioning what I really wanted, I've pretty much kept goals to myself. The most I've told anyone about my dreams is mostly just inserts during a conversation I can mention them in. However, he also says in the video that it's not bad to give an idea of what I want.

So here are the general details I'll give my attention to this year:

  • Living a healthier life (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually)

  • Work hard enough for two main reasons: career and money (I'm being honest)

  • Build better habits (And keep them)

  • Be The Version Of Myself That I've Always Envisioned To Be

Now these are such general plans that make up an even bigger scope–The Big Picture. But I need a safe space to write down the goals and to make sure I stay on the road towards my true purpose. Fortunately, Belle De Jour has the 2018 Focus Planner, their minimalist organizer that has one purpose: to keep the user away from noise and zero in on what is important. (For me, it's the Big Picture.)


Minimalism (Or Too Much Of It)

The canvas cover is made of simple beige canvas with some sleek line art.  It stays true to its self-proclaimed minimalist branding. What I was missing from this planner though is the identification page with my important details. My last planner, Everything Is Possible, had a page with my personal details. I'm quite fussy about this because in the worst case scenario, there is barely any information to contact me by when this planner ain't with me. But I made up with it and wrote my name and details right behind the cover.

Seeing The Big Picture

In the first few pages, there's a guide on how to use the planner. The next few pages I followed were two reflection pages: My Vision and Focus For The Year. My Vision is where I wrote down my strengths, the things that sparked joy, and the Big Picture I want to show you in my "A Day In My Life" vlog.  Meanwhile, Focus On The Year takes in the little details that will set me for  the next 12 months.


Buzzwords For The Goal-Setter

With every month, there's a bunch of simple but eye-catching typography with a "Word Of The Month". Each word has a short call to action statement and a little advice on making the word an actual reality.


A Clean, Free Space Way To Manage Time

Both the monthly and weekly calendars give all the space in the world for writing (or sketching) all your appointments and events! Perfect for me because I love "designing" a non-linear layout when I have important events on a specific day.


Check Ups

And to make sure we're focused, there are review sheets at the end of each month. Once we complete the planner, there is a year-end page where we can reflect on how we did for the year.


So let's focus on what matters this year: our main purpose. Let it drive us into creating the best work, and hope it will follow.

How about you, what's your focus for this year?