happy 2016 :: a year of mindful living

Happy New Year to all of you lovely readers and friends! I hope the post-holiday blues aren't hitting you too hard, and that you celebrated the excitement and fresh start that a new year brings, whether it was quietly and in your pyjamas (that was me!) or out partying the night away.

I'm currently in Tokyo, after having spent time over the New Year at my grandmother's in Osaka. And although my posts may be a little sporadic during the next couple of weeks, I did want to acknowledge the start of 2016 before it became redundant, and to share my personal thoughts and goals for the coming year.

My theme for 2016 (and hopefully beyond) is simply this: Mindful Living. It may sound a little vague, but for me, it captures the small, seemingly insignificant steps as well as the bigger, noticeable changes that I hope will result in a more thoughtful lifestyle. It's hard to explain, as I don't intend to make any drastic changes in the way that I live, but I think that the adjustments, additions and altered decisions that I make about the smaller things will have more weight than I realise.

The biggest change I'm working on is to streamline my belongings, and restrict myself to a limited amount of spending money per month on material things that I don't absolutely need. In my head, my ultimate goal is to save that money each month rather than spend it, and buy one thing towards the end of the year that I'll treasure. 

Other goals include:
- When purchasing things that I do need or for gifts, to choose independent companies as much as possible to support small businesses
- Eat organic where possible and where it matters
- Explore and discover authors I love, rather than going straight for the fiction chart (it hasn't served me too well this past year)
- Write with pen and paper more often. I've been given two very special notebooks for my birthday and Christmas, and I want to make good use of them, as well as re-discovering the joy of handwriting, because I love it!
- Explore and discover recipes that I enjoy cooking, are healthy, and delicious
- Take good care of my skin (I do okay on this front already, but it's such an essential part of looking after yourself that I feel it can always be better)
- Have plenty of quality time with E without the distraction of screens and technology
- Give regularly to charity
- Travel and see the world!

There are many more to be added to that list, I'm sure, but it's a good start - and I'm determined to make this year the time for conscious and educated decisions, in all areas of my life. I'm lucky enough to have a pretty good one by any standard, so I owe it to myself to make the most of what I have. I hope you'll come along for the ride, and please share your resolutions and goals for the year, I honestly love hearing them. Let's make it a good one!

(If you'd like to, you can follow my adventures in Japan on my Instagram!)