10 Steps To Write Your Own 2019

A dark pink background with lots of fireworks and a lit up firework heart. Overlaid is the title: 10 steps to write your own 2020.

It’s Time To Write Your 2020

Another year done & dusted. How was it for you?

Looking back on mine, there are still things I need to process and properly deal with. Many of us will keep going and not take enough time to properly reflect on things or get our heads straight with where we are and where we’re going. Without a review of the year, it can be hard to gather hope & move assuredly into a new year. Maybe there were a lot of negatives, like bereavement and heartache and struggling, or a sprinkling of positives and big changes to adapt to. With so much “stuff” going on, looking 2019 in the face when you have chronic illness can become daunting and exhausting before it’s even begun.

I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions and I think there’s too much pressure and too many expectations involved. You’re still the same person. You don’t have to party like it’s 1999 to welcome in a new year or aim to become a whole new person. It’s sending the wrong messages; that we’re boring if we don’t have NY plans, and that we need to change because we’re not good enough as we are. That’s a load of rubbish.

10 Steps To A Brighter New Year

So, what can we do to move forward into a brighter New Year?

1. Review 2018

What have been the highs and lows, the regrets and the achievements? Have you dealt with the emotional impact of health problems, loss, financial stresses, trauma, personal problems or life changes? A lot of the time, we push things down, put on a smile and keep going, but it’s important to acknowledge, accept and process the things we go through. Please reach out if you need support, be that to a friend, an online support forum or Facebook group, the blogging community, a professional support service / charity, or your doctor.

2. Clear Your Physical Space

A tidy home is a tidy mind, or so they say. I do think there’s a degree of truth in this because when your living space is tidier and cleaner, you can feel a little more at peace. If it’s not not used, broken, unwanted or doesn’t fit, get rid of it, whether that’s selling on eBay, donating to charity, going in the bin or sending to recycling. Tackle parts of your home in small chunks so that you don’t overdo it and set aside small blocks of time (like 10 minutes here and there) or individual tasks (like sorting through one cupboard or one drawer, or going through one folder of paperwork) to make it more manageable.

3. Tidy Your Mind

An outline of a brain in black. To the left it's clear with text showing mathematical equations. To the right side are splashes of colours.

Give yourself some space and breathing room. Get a change of scenery. If you have anxiety, you’ll know how hard it is to quieten your brain, but getting things a little tidier up there, even if briefly, can give you the time you need to assess things, find perspective, feel inspired and work out what you want and how you feel. A little distraction can work for some, too, whether there’s a good book, a Netflix series or a walk in the park. Turn off electronics, step away from the to-do lists and get out of your own head for a while.

4. Garner Gratitude & Rekindle Hope

Thankful for & gratitude lists are quite common across blog platforms. Try your own; write down a list of things, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, that you are grateful for. What things make you smile? What are your blessings? What positivity or goodness is in your life? What silver linings can you see? What have you learned this year? How have you grown?

A new year comes with a lot of expectations. Get rid of those, put them to one side for now. This isn’t about making huge declarations or aiming for the stars, though there’s nothing wrong with either. But gather a little hope in your heart. If this year has been challenging, remember that you will have grown stronger, even if you don’t realise it. You’re tough enough to take on a new year. And the days that follow can be brighter, and those brighter days can be more frequent. Things change, we change, the world evolves. Embrace that and work with it.

Look for a little inspiration, whether that’s online blogs, music, Pinterest, people watching or getting out in nature. Fill your mind and your heart with positive vibes. Let those give you some spark for your fire to keep hope alive for a good 2019.

5. Get Organised

Knowing roughly what you’re doing can help take the sting out of uncertainty and confusion. Of course, things don’t always go to plan, but at least keeping on top of what needs to be done can put a little order into your life. Use a calendar for medical appointments and other things you might be hoping to do. To-do lists and sticky notes are great for making sure you remember the important jazz, big and small, whether that’s paying a bill, ordering a prescription, publishing a blog post or watering the plants.

A notebook with pen scissors and post it notes.

6. Sketch Out 2019

Look at the different aspects of life and wellness in general. Picture it as an overlapping set of circles that represent the varied parts of life. Physical health, mental health, finances, relationships and connections with others, work, spiritual/religious/moral, self-care, sense of achievement, fun & enjoyment, creativity…

Are there things you’d like to do differently, ways you’d like to change or areas of your life you’d like to adjust?

Are there things you do that you could do differently to make your life a little easier or a little more enjoyable?

Are there things you need help with? Things you have been putting off doing? Are there people you’d like to see, things you’d like to say, new things you’d like to try?

7. Focus On What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t

I’ve posted about this before. You are more than the parts of your body, the parts of your brain, the things that perhaps don’t work so well. You are more than just the things you can’t do. What are the things you can do, however small? Adjust your perspective and your expectations and take a proper look at the ability, independence and control you do have. Think outside the box a little and work with what you’ve got.

8. Let Up On The Pressure

As I’ve said, New Year can be laden with expectations and pressures. The chances are more than likely that you’ll feel like a failure if you don’t hit huge goals or stick to unrealistic routines, or that you’ll feel more tired and deflated just by thinking about it all.

Break it down; you can aim big, but there’s a lot to be said for making small changes and setting small goals. Make things more manageable and more realistic. Don’t put pressure on things being perfect or going exactly to plan. We know what happens to best laid plans… a pigeon will likely poop all over them. Go with the flow a little more, and give yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can. You are enough, just as you are.

9. Self-Care

There are a few great goals and intentions to carry in to 2019 that will put self-care back into focus. It’s neither selfish nor indulgent. It’s vital, and making sure your basic needs are met first is a good place to start. Get on top of your medications and supplements. Consider any new therapies or additions you’d like to make. How can you ensure you get time each day to yourself, and what do you want that time to look like? Focus on the now, on being present. After the basic needs of self-care are met, look at things to bring a little joy to your life.

Smile more, laugh with wild abandon, let go every now and then. Treat yourself more, whether that’s a cinema visit or a bunch of flowers. Don’t save the nice cutlery or tasty ice cream for the perfect special occasion that you never seem to get.

Perhaps mindfulness, yoga, art, being outdoors, a little travelling if possible, trying new foods, taking up photography or a myriad of other things are tempting you. Make 2019 the year to do them and to give yourself permission to enjoy a little more.

10. Write Your Own Story

Remember : There are a lot of things we can’t control in life and with illness. Learning to be okay with that is hard. But you can choose how you respond. You can also choose what to focus on in 2019. How do you want the year to look?

Embrace the uncertainty and the unknown. We’re all human. Most of us probably don’t have a clue what we’re doing, some just make it look like they do. Yes, we may have to adjust our expectations in line with our situations, our health, our finances and what’s realistic. Maybe we’re not where we’d hoped we’d be. So carve a new path, one that’s uniquely yours.

Redefine what’s important to you, not what you feel you ‘should’ be resolving to do. Take back a little control. You are the author of your own story, so write the next chapter of your life …

a digital image of a book open on a desk next to a cup of coffee. It's like a pop up book as inside is a grassy path with a 3D dog, girl walking and lamp post.
Black scroll divider.

I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy & bright 2019. Thank you so much for your support, comments and friendship over this year. It’s been a rocky one for many of us, but we’re tough cookies. We’re badasses. We can do this. Take good care of yourselves 🌷

Caz  β™₯



  1. December 30, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    All the best to you for 2019! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:59 pm

      Thanks lovely – I hope 2019 is a good one for you! πŸ™‚

  2. December 30, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Great advice as always πŸ’• wishing you and yours lots of happiness in 2019….. Elaine xx

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:58 pm

      Thank you lovely. I know things have been incredibly tough, but I do hope the New Year is a blessed one for you, and that it’s kinder to you Β β™₯

  3. December 30, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    I think getting organized and keeping the space you live in tidy helps a lot. All the best for the new year!

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      I do, too, I think it’s partly practical and partly mental clarity that it helps with. Wishing you a brighter 2019, I hope it’s a good one for you Viola Β β™₯

  4. December 30, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Great post, I could respond to each point with my own version of how important these things are but instead I’ll simply say that I don’t do resolutions because life’s hard enough at times without the pressure of striving to stick to these. But have a plan of how you want 2019 to be and make steps towards meeting your plan whenever possible. You’ve got this Caz, 2019 will be a positive and rewarding year for you xx ❀️

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      You’re absolutely right, life is hard enough sometimes without adding to the pressure and difficulties with resolutions. Thanks for the lovely comment, it means a lot. I hope 2019 is a good one for you, your recovery & your writing! πŸ™‚

  5. December 30, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Sounds like a great way to ring in the new year. I’m in.

    Have a fabulous day and a happy New Year. β™₯

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      I hope we can hold onto some of these thoughts going through the year, too. Thanks Sandee – I hope 2019 is a good one for you and yours! =]

  6. Mama
    December 30, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    This was such an important post. You offered good thoughts, reminders and encouragement. Thank you! I wish you a healthy new year with much laughter. All the best, Mama Duck :).

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:54 pm

      I’m really glad you thought so, thanks for the great comment! Wishing you a very happy New Year, I hope it’s a good one for you & yours πŸ™‚

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:54 pm

      I love your gifs – thank you! I hope the New Year is kind to you πŸ™‚

  7. December 30, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    Great suggestions for moving ahead into the new year. Best wishes to you

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you – I hope the New Year is a brighter one for you, Liz Β β™₯

  8. December 30, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Great post, self care has been a focus for me for a while but starting with 2019 it’s my priority. Wishing you health, happiness, prosperity, love and blessings to you and your family <3

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:53 pm

      I’m glad self-care is being bumped on your list to a priority. You deserve nothing less. Thank you for the kind comment – I hope 2019 is a good one for you, Masha! Β β™₯

  9. December 30, 2018 / 10:36 pm

    Very comprehensive Caz and excellent reminders! Wishing you a wonderful New Year, good health, continued success and enjoyment with your blog!

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked the post. I hope your New Year is a good one with love, kindness and positivity Β β™₯

  10. December 31, 2018 / 1:43 am

    Tough cookies indeed, Caz; and you’re the toughest and the smartest cookie of all.. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
    Great thoughts here, Caz. In regard to tidying up space – For the first time ever I have put away the Chrissy decorations.
    For whatever reason (I’m not really sure, yet) I have wanted to start the new year free of ‘left-overs’ from 2018… Hence a clean, tidy space, with a new pot plant and plenty of hope for the new year!
    And this is my wish for you, too…
    A clean and tidy space with no left-overs!
    Happy New Year.. πŸ™‚

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      I don’t think I deserve such high praise.. I feel I’m more of a slightly stale cookie, maybe tough and a little burnt around the edges πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, I really do appreciate it. I think the whole ‘fresh start’ on the year without the left overs and a little clean sounds like a great way to kick things off. Wishing you a bright 2019, I hope the year is kind to you! Β β™₯

  11. December 31, 2018 / 3:44 am

    yes – we all need encouragement to be the stars of our own lives πŸ™‚

    • January 2, 2019 / 11:04 pm

      To “be the stars of our own lives”, I like that! Wishing you a lovely, happy New Year πŸ™‚

  12. December 31, 2018 / 5:58 am

    Great advice Caz,
    Thank you and have a great new year too! Let’s write happy stories.

    • January 2, 2019 / 11:03 pm

      Yes, let’s write happy stories! Thanks, Darnell – Wishing you all the best for a brilliant 2019 πŸ™‚

  13. Suzanne Cox
    December 31, 2018 / 10:02 am

    Happy New Year Caz. Your post was fantastic and inspirational. Its so true that there is too much pressure at New Year. I personally make New Year plans rather than resolutions. x

    • January 2, 2019 / 11:03 pm

      Thank you, I’m really glad you liked it. There’s definitely too much pressure, and it’s a shame because it’s a tough enough time without all of that. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year – I hope 2019 is a good one πŸ™‚
      Caz xx

  14. December 31, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    It was a great post, but the best part is the last picture. πŸ™‚

    • January 2, 2019 / 10:59 pm

      I’m glad you liked the post and I love the image too, I downloaded it a little while ago & it’s one of my favourites πŸ™‚

  15. December 31, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    This is brilliant Caz! As always, you’ve made some keen observations and given us extremely useful tips. Sharing this on Pinterest and Facebook. Wishing you a new year full of love, laughter, and blessings galore! Hugs!

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:49 pm

      Aw that’s very kind, thank you Terri, and I’m really glad you thought the post was potentially helpful. Wishing you all the best for a positive New Year, I hope it’s a blessed, bright one for you Β β™₯

  16. Benn Bell
    December 31, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    All good tips! Happy New Year Caz!

    • January 2, 2019 / 10:52 pm

      Glad you thought so, and thank you. I hope 2019 is a good one for you, Benn! πŸ™‚

  17. January 2, 2019 / 3:08 am

    All excellent suggestions! I love how they are positive and help us set realistic expectations and goals. I’m going to do all of these!

    Happy New Year, Caz!

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks, Lindsay – I hope you have a bright 2019! πŸ™‚

  18. January 2, 2019 / 5:56 am

    Happy 2019 to you too!

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks! I hope you’re doing okay and taking time to focus on yourself during the blogging hiatus – Have a relaxing weekend πŸ™‚

  19. January 2, 2019 / 6:31 am

    Fulfills dreams, a lot of good will for 2019.

    • January 2, 2019 / 10:50 pm

      Thank you – The same to you, I hope 2019 is a good one! πŸ™‚

  20. January 3, 2019 / 10:12 am

    2019 wasn’t going to be a year that I begin with amazingly, but it has. I have excersise and meditated, cleaned my physical space and had a bath. This year is going of to a good start with no resolutions at all. I would like to keep up with what I am doing, and these are some great tips!
    A lovely post Caz, and I hope 2019 brings happiness to you and your family and friends.
    Erin | http://kittyjadeblog.com

    • January 5, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      Sounds like a good start with self-care and positivity and lack of stressful resolutions! Thanks lovely, I really appreciate your awesome comment. I hope the year is kind to you πŸ™‚

  21. January 4, 2019 / 8:07 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. It’s true we can feel under so much pressure – even down to what you did to celebrate the new year (we didn’t do much, but still had a good evening!) The new year is about so much more than setting unreasonable expectations and then feeling bad when you don’t meet them. Such a lovely post that focusses on the positives and the things that we really can do to make the next year a good one. XX

    • January 5, 2019 / 8:41 am

      You’ve summed that up perfectly, Kirsty. Thanks so much for the fab comment! I hope 2019 is a good one for you lovely Β β™₯

  22. January 5, 2019 / 7:35 am

    Love love love this post. All the best for 2019 x

    • January 5, 2019 / 8:37 am

      I’m really glad you liked the post, thanks Jo! Wishing you all the best for a good 2019 Β β™₯

    • January 6, 2019 / 6:01 pm

      I’m glad you liked that one too! πŸ™‚

  23. January 6, 2019 / 8:34 pm

    Such excellent tips. I’ll be using these.

    • January 13, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      Glad you liked them, thanks for the comment Rakkelle! πŸ™‚

  24. Mishka
    January 6, 2019 / 11:49 pm

    These are such great tips! There’s this state of mind you take on to survive in an illness, but that very state of mind can keep you from looking into the future because it can feel so fear based. Being prepared would certainly help alleviate some of that fear.

    Pre-illness I charted goals each year, very specific ones with relation to each aspect of my life and I usually had them all crossed off by the end of the year. Now my few goals are all self care and I had started to feel a little lesser about that, but truthfully that’s the new reality.

    This really is a great post! Thank you for sharing and hoping this year brings you better health and loads of happiness. 🌸

    • January 13, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      Fear certainly can play a big role, sadly. A change of perspective can be so empowering, even though it’s not easy to do until you try it and practice it regularly. I’m really pleased you liked the post, and thanks for the great comment, Mishka! πŸ™‚

  25. January 8, 2019 / 1:15 am

    Terrific list. So many “easy” things that only seem hard if you don’t try them…here’s to a successful 2019 for all of us

    • January 13, 2019 / 3:38 pm

      You’re right, they can seem hard until you put them into action, and gradually they become easier. Glad you liked the post, thanks John! πŸ™‚

  26. January 12, 2019 / 10:20 pm

    #7 is BIG! Focus on what we CAN do ~ yes! It’s easy to start looking at our limitations and focus only on them. But turning that thought on its head can make us feel grateful for the “haves” in life. Wonderful list as we make our way through the New Year, Caz πŸ™‚

    • January 13, 2019 / 3:37 pm

      Exactly, that change in perspective can be very empowering. Really glad you liked the post, thanks Christy! πŸ™‚

  27. January 13, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    great post! awesome list… I’d love to share on my blog when I get some time to write my ‘2019 new year thoughts’ ….especially loved your last line… ‘You are the author of your own story, so write the next chapter of your life …’
    heck yeah. πŸ˜‰

    • January 13, 2019 / 3:37 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Jenna! Thanks very much for letting me know – I hope you’re having a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

  28. January 19, 2019 / 11:00 am

    Let up on pressure. This is something I should always remember. I pressure myself too much which in turn leads to less output. Thank you for this.

    • January 19, 2019 / 5:20 pm

      Exactly. I think we all need the reminder every now and then. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad you liked the post! πŸ™‚

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