2011 marks a big year for me. I'll turn 40 in June. I know for some that's a dreaded milestone. I won't lie and say it's one of my most exciting and anticipated times in life but it's not one I'm facing with a sense of sadness. It's just part of life and I believe I simply have 2 choices. I can make the most of every bit of it, focusing on having gratitude for the life God has given me or I can sit and feel sorry for myself because I'm getting wrinkles and grey hairs and I pee now when I do jumping jacks. Or, to put it in a more practical perspective, I can be fun for my friends and family to be around or I can be a drag.
Since we're approaching the start of a new year, that time of year when we make promises to ourselves that this is the year we will reach perfection in every area of life, I decided better motivation for sticking to goals throught the year would be to tie it in with my big milestone. I probably won't think about New Year's Day beyond the end of January. I'll definitely think about turning 40 all year! Thinking over it, I settled on making a mini book chronicling the year I turn 40 month-by-month. The result is a combination of accountability and preserving memories. All wrapped up in a pretty package which adds to the motivation!
My cover. I finally found the perfect use for this scalloped-edged Karen Russell patterned paper I've been holding on to. Love when the happens; you rifle through your stash and stumble upon something that couldn't be more perfect. Much of the other product in the book was provided by Fiskars, and, through Fiskars, Cosmo Cricket, Bo Bunny, Jenni Bowlin, My Mind's Eye, and KI Memories. I'm grateful to so many companies that helped me pull together a very special project!
Inside front cover. A Maya Road Kraft envelope for tucking away some journaling about my thoughts about turining 40.
The first page for each month looks like this. Keeping the design consistent will make goal-setting simpler. Leaving the pages blank puts me at ease knowing I have a fresh start 12 times throughout the year. More motivation to achieve goals!
Second page for each month. I have 4 small shipping tags attached to each of these pages. Scripture memorization is a goal this year so I'll write verse on one of the tags at the beginning of each week. To keep this from being something that gets put aside, trying to choose the perfect verse that applies to where I am in life each week, I'll choose one from each Sunday's sermon. Double duty! I'll commit scripture to memory (which I'm terrible at) and have a way to keep each Sunday's message with me throughout the week. Favorite quotations are another way to incorporate this idea into a book.
The next 2 pages for each month are blank for adding photos, journaling, and memoribilia.
An idea borrowed from Ali. A section of a variety of Hambly transparencies separates the last page of each month from the start of the next. Even though the purpose is to create a separation of sections, I cut the transparency pieces smaller than the base pages to make the design and flow from one section to the next more cohesive.
And I wrap it up with the inside back cover. Originally I thought I'd add a section to record the books I read each month. As I thought more about it, I realized this would become stressful, trying to force completing books into each month when that's not how I read by nature. I read in cycles. Some months I don't find time to read much. Others I'll read 2 or 3 books. Keeping a yearly record rather than a monthly record works better for me.
The pocket for this tag booklet was made using the title page from an old Reader's Digest Condensed Stories book.
More photos and a list of supplies I used to make my New Year's Resolution mini book can be found on the Fiskars website.
You may not have a need for a mini book about turning 40 this year. But you might be turning 30. Or 50. You might be getting ready to have your first child. Or your last. You might be graduating from college. Or sending a child off to college. If you have a milestone year ahead of you, this concept can be adapted to fit it. Will you join me and chronicle your journey through it?