2015 Recap + My Intention Plans for 2016

Hi lovlies! I’m writing this post from a little country town in the south of England, where Mike and I are visiting a friend for a few days. It’s absolutely gorgeous … but also a bit windy and wet, so I’m hiding inside with a cup of tea and taking a few minutes to reflect back on the year that was (as you do this time of year!)

And what a year it has been! (Although I do feel like I say that every year!!) A year never feels like much time to get things done, so whenever I look back I’m always amazed by everything that has happened.

A rundown of everything I'm grateful for in 2015 + an introduction to the Intention Plans I'm making for 2016.

Here are a few big changes I’m grateful for in 2016:

  • I left my full time job. Back in June, I quit my full time job. There were a lot of things I loved about my job, but also a lot of things I didn’t. Mostly, I often found myself bored. I’m one of those people that hates routine, so if I’m not learning new things or being challenged I get restless. My solution? I started doing temporary (‘temp’) work and I love it. Obviously now I’m travelling so I’m not working at all, but I think that when I return to the workforce I’ll try and continue doing temp work. I’m not 100% sure how this will play out in my future – right now there are a lot of question marks – but for now I’m ok (and happy) with that.

  • I started this blog. I’ve been blogging in some form since long before it was called blogging. (I think I started in 2001.) I love blogging because it’s a great way to exchange new ideas. It is because of blogs and other internet resources that I discovered minimalism, and to a slightly lesser extent, what inspired me to travel the world. The Internet changed my life and I love adding my contribution! (Oh – and just in case you’re curious, I don’t make a living blogging and the very tiny amount I’ve earned has not come close to covering my operating costs. I’m unfortunately not one of those bloggers who funds there world travels by writing about it! Although that would be nice!!)

  • I’ve made some strong friendships. I’m not exactly an introvert, but I sometimes struggle with making true friends (or I worry about losing my existing friendships.) However, this year I’ve been blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of the friends in my life, new and old. I’m truly lucky to have such generous friends, who love me even though I’m always running away to different corners of the world. (Thank you xxx)

  • I got married! It’s funny, for most of my life I never considered myself a ‘marriage person’ – right up until I got married! But I can honestly say that being married to your best friend is the most incredible feeling in the world. I’m really lucky that I found someone with a big heart, a big imagination, and the same big crazy dreams – and even luckier that this year he married me.

  • I’m travelling the world. Well, not sure there is much more to say! I’m currently in the middle of a seven month round the world trip; it is something Mike and I have been talking about almost since we met, so sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe it’s really happening!

NOW … LOOKING FORWARD

For the past couple years, I’ve been choosing a ‘word’ for each year using Susannah Conway’s free email course. Choosing a word is all about finding focus for the New Year (in Susannah’s own words, it’s ‘gentler’ than a New Year’s resolution and I agree.)

After 2012/13 (which was a period of massive upheaval in my life) I needed to rebuild, so in 2014 my word was Foundation and in 2015 it was Commitment. I was laying the groundwork for my dream life: paying off my debts, downsizing my life and sorting out my priorities.

As a result of hard work and good luck, I’m now in a very good position and I want to make the most of it – so I’ve chosen Intention as my word for 2016.

I want focus on living with intention, which for me means: listening to my heart and being true to myself; making time and creating space to do more of what I love; letting go of the rest (ideas, relationships, expectations, clutter) – anything that isn’t actively contributing to my happiness and wellbeing.

To help me with this goal, starting in January and continuing each month I’ll being post my Intention Plans on the blog. In the plan I’ll choose a monthly focus for each of the above (listen to you heart, do what you love, and let go of the rest) and I’ll also address the practical steps I’m going to take to make it happen.

(Psst – this idea was inspired by Catherine, who shares her monthly goals on her blog The Blissful Mind, which I adore and I’m sure you will too!)

In addition to living with intention, my two major goals for 2016 are to continue blogging and to plan a big Australian adventure for later in the year (but more about that later!)

Thank you everyone for all the support you’ve given this little blog since I launched in September. Here’s to another year of blogging and chasing dreams! What are your dreams for 2016? Let me know in the comments! x

Please comment

photo credit: Dapper Fox Design // Used with permission

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23 thoughts on “2015 Recap + My Intention Plans for 2016”

  1. I love this! Too many people live their life passively, waiting for things to happen to them. We forget that we’re always 100% in control. Of course, life happens and not everything can go as planned but we have the power to change how these events affect us. It sounds hippy dippy but I believe my life has changed since discovering intention-based living. More purpose, more clarity.

    I’m looking forward to following your intentions journey in 2016 🙂

    Reply
    • Haha, I think I’m getting more hippy dippy as I get older! I completely agree with you – yes, some things happen to us beyond our control, but we have a lot more control than we realise. Happy New Year to you and I hope you have an amazing 2016!

      Reply
  2. Hey Jennifer! You are really inspiring =) Quiting your full-time job is really courageous, I must say. Congratulations on getting married by the way! Oh, and I’m curious, what kind of temporary jobs do you take? Do you mean working in a boutique, a coffee shop, a restaurant, etc. ? I hope you have wonderful holidays xx

    Reply
    • Hello lovely! Happy holidays to you as well and thank you for your kind words.

      About work – I do all types of office administration work. I’m registered with an agency and they send me out on different assignments. (The agency I’m registered with is actually part of the company I used to work for, so most of my assignments are actually very similar to my old job!)

      But you can get all sort of temporary work through employment agencies. When I was younger I lived in New Zealand (in a camper van!) I worked with an agency and sometimes I did cafe work, sometimes data entry, all sorts of odd jobs. Sometimes they just need you for a day or two, or sometimes they need you for a longer assignment (it can go from a few weeks to a few months.) I’ve done this in Australia as well (this is actually how I got my last long term job.)

      It can be slow when you first start, but once you go on a few jobs (and get a good reputation) it picks up a lot. Most people do temp work while they are looking for full time work, instead of doing it long term – so the agencies are really excited when they get someone who is reliable and also sticks around.

      I hope this is helpful! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions xx

      Reply
      • Thanks for your answer! It helps a lot 🙂 Temporary work might be a great way for me, since I don’t want to be tied down to a full-time job, if you know what I mean. Not yet anyway, but maybe never. I want to travel, learn and experience all kinds of things =) Is it easy to find agencies on the web? xx

        Reply
        • Well, definitely in Australia and New Zealand – but I’m fairly sure it should be the same in most big cities. Sometimes there different agencies that specialise in different kinds of labour hire (for example, if you are experienced in hospitality instead of office work.) You may need to be a bit persistent to get your foot in the door, but once you do it’s usually smooth sailing. It’s definitely a good option if you want freedom, plus you get to try lots of new things (and you’ll learn a lot about what you really like doing.) It’s also a great way to network (so if you’re ready to be tied down to a full time job down the road you have some contacts!)

          Reply
  3. You’ve really had an amazing year, friend, and I admire your courage in all the steps you took– from getting married to quitting your job to going on your round-the-world adventure! I’m so glad we’ve connected and I think intentionality is a great word for both of us going into 2016. Cheers! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Hey Jennifer!
    Such a great year with some big steps into your “right” direction! Congrats!! I’m so happy for you!! 🙂 <3
    I love to read about your way and what will happen next year!
    Next year will be the first one for me I'm choosing a "word" for the upcoming year, too. Uhm, but I less chose a single word, but more a "quote" (?): less is more. And like you I'm inspired by Catherine and my own goal setting experiences over the past years and will try a similar goal setting for each month. 🙂 So exited how it will work for us!!
    Many greetings
    Sunray

    Reply
  5. I love this update, and your thoughts re: 2015 and 2016, Jennifer! I also love the concept of intention; what a great word to choose.

    Man, you HAVE had quite a year in 2015, haven’t you?? Do you by chance use a five-year diary (aka, sentence-a-day journal)? There’s a page for “Jan 1” a page for “Jan 2”, etc. You just write literally 1-2 sentences at the end of every day, which is super easy and only takes a minute. And then when you’ve gotten through a year, the “Jan 1” entry for the next year goes on the same page as the “Jan 1” entry from the previous year. So you can always see exactly what you were doing and remember who you were one year (and two years and three years…) previously. It’s a pretty cool way to look back and see your own growth. I definitely recommend it. (Although, come to think of it, blogging is another awesome way to track your own experiences and growth. I can’t believe how long you’ve been blogging for!)

    I should do one of these updates soon too. I do typically make a couple of New Years resolutions (or actually, I tend to call them “New Years intentions”!), but usually they’re just in my own mind. It seems like a really cool idea to share them with the blogging community for encouragement (and maybe accountability too!).

    Reply
    • Yes, I definitely think that sharing things with the blogging world makes me more accountable. It’s a bit like therapy haha, writing helps me work through things. I just got a new journal and I’m trying to do a sentence a day! But I haven’t left room to use it again next year, I always have so much gibberish in my head that I use up all the space!!

      Hehe, yes I have been blogging a long time now, although I haven’t been consistent. My first blog was called Follow Jen’s Life but I’ve long since deleted everything! I kind of regret it because my life was really interesting then (it’s when I was first started travelling and living abroad.) But I was never really happy with what I had so I just kept starting over (eventually leading to this blog!)

      Anyway, happy holidays to you! Thanks for commenting x

      Reply
  6. Wow, what a year it’s been for you! This is similar to me last year, when I went minimalist and quit my full-time job and started traveling (minus getting married, hehe). I remember what an amazing feeling that was and how it felt like the start of something huge. I’m sure 2016 will be even more amazing for you! Who knows, maybe you’ll find a way to make a living on the road :). I’m also looking forward to your new monthly intention posts! Have a very happy holidays Jennifer! xx

    Reply
  7. Jennifer – I loved following your journeys this year! You’ve really inspired me to embrace minimalism and to never stop dreaming. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

    Reply
  8. I love how so many people use Susannah’s guides at the end of the year! And I’m so excited for your intention plan posts!

    I’m also jealous that you’re in England right now because that’s where I grew up. Australia has always been quite low on my to-visit list, but lately I’ve been so obsessed with Australian bloggers and podcasters, that I think I would get along well with the Aussies! Haha.

    And lastly, I’m super excited to see what you get up to in 2016 <3

    Reply
    • When did you move to the States?! I had no idea you were English but at the same time it doesn’t surprise me (there is something about you – classy with gorgeous rose skin! ?) I grew up in Maryland but I’ve been in Australia so long now … I love it there. You should come visit one day!

      I love that you use Susannah’s guides to – it such a good exercise. And I’m excited to see your plans too, plus congrats on your big news! x

      Reply

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