While many of us are still struggling to comprehend the events of 2020, believe it or not the year 2021 is now also drawing to a close. Whatever your personal circumstances it has doubtless been an eventful time, hopefully with many ups as well as downs as the months have ticked by. And now that we’re all staring down the barrel of 2022, perhaps you’ve been thinking about the year ahead and what you might like to achieve. Maybe you’re setting goals for the coming months, planning the holiday that’s been on hold for years, or just looking to take better care of yourself - new year, new you!
The beginning of a brand new year can feel like a time of new opportunities, fresh starts and an opportunity to be grasped. This is why so many of us choose to set out our goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions - a promise to ourselves that we are finally going to make positive changes in our lives, and become the person we deserve to be. The symbolic nature of a new year can be the perfect little boost to help realise these ambitions, and with the busy holiday period coming to a close it can be a great time to turn our attention away from external stimulus, and focus instead on a bit of self-care and love. We’ve come up with a few suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions that might inspire you, and in our next post some helpful tips for those who might struggle to stick to the programme.
The lost art of a handwritten letter used to simply be the best and most effective way that we could communicate with loved ones living further away. Thanks to modern technology this is no longer the case, and with phonecalls and instant messaging it’s easier than ever to keep in close contact with people all around the world. Though it would be wrong to dismiss the net positives this brings, there is also a lot to miss about taking the time to write to those we care about. Reading a letter that someone has taken the time and attention to craft is a deeply intimate and personal experience, and allowing a bit more time and space to get your thoughts and feelings down on paper can be a beautiful and cathartic experience.
If you’re interested in writing (and receiving!) more letters, the Kartos C5 Writing Set is exactly what you need. Beautifully designed, high-quality 90gsm paper will prevent feathering and bleed-through and is suitable for all pen types, and the set includes everything you need to show someone you care and brighten their day.
Like poor old Sisyphus rolling his boulder up the hill, for many of us getting properly organised can feel like an endless and futile task. Little piles of important papers and ever-expanding to-do lists can be hard to stay on top of, especially when your desk is cluttered or your bag keeps filling up with unnecessary bits and pieces.
Take a weight off your shoulders with a Filofax Lockwood Personal Zip Organiser. It’s small and lightweight so you can carry it with you always, and contains both a diary and a notebook to always stay on top of your tasks and appointments. A pen loop can hold your favourite pen so you’re always ready to take notes or write lists, and the addition of card slots can streamline your life even further by eliminating your need to even carry a wallet. Everything you need, all in one place.
We have written extensively in this blog all about the myriad benefits of journaling, but these things always bear repeating. Studies have shown that keeping a diary or journal can reduce stress, boost your mood, improve your memory, and even help out your immune system - no, really! With so many reasons to keep a journal it’s really a no-brainer.
The Amalfi Medium Refillable Leather Journal is just the right size to slip into any bag and carry wherever you go, uses excellent high-quality paper, and with refillable inserts is a sustainable journaling solution that will last you years. Made from real Italian leather and presented in a charming gift box, we really can’t recommend these enough.
“Everyone has a book in them”, or so the old cliché goes. Is this true for you? Well there’s only one way to find out! Make 2022 your year and finally get started on that book idea that has always been knocking around in your head but you’ve never quite got round to starting. Life’s too short to leave our stories untold, and a Parker Vector XL Fountain Pen is just what you need to tell yours. A smooth writer with a good-quality durable nib, these pens are practical and lightweight, so won’t lead to writing strain from hours sat at your desk letting the ideas flow through you onto the page. And, at a wallet-friendly price, starving artists needn’t worry either! Use with bottled ink or with ink cartridges, whichever is your preference, and keep track of ink levels with the transparent grip, so you’ll never run dry mid-sentence and lose your train of thought.
Those of you of a more romantic sensibility may wish to explore your creativity in other ways. Perhaps you don’t contain a novel, but are instead a poet at heart?
Try the BENU Euphoria French Poetry Fountain Pen, a beautifully flamboyant writing instrument inspired by the hedonism of the likes of Baudelaire, Rimbaud or Verlaine. Fitted with a premium Schmidt nib, these pens are expertly hand-crafted to ensure nothing interrupts a moment of inspiration, providing a smooth and reliable writing flow. Feel the wind on the wing of madness, and always be a poet, even in prose.
Those of us who love writing doubtless also love reading, but it can feel at times like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy all the books we’d like to. With so many other responsibilities and distractions, you’re certainly not alone if you’ve a stack of unread books on your bookshelf this very moment. This year make a commitment to make time for the thing you love - block off certain hours of your week to dedicate to books on your to-read list, or set yourself a goal of reading a certain number of books by next Christmas.
Better yet, don’t just read more, but read more deeply. Try not to simply skim through the pages, but sit and contemplate what you discover. Wrestle with the meatier concepts, think more carefully about the issues the book covers. You may even like to make some notes in the margins, or highlight passages to come back to. If so, LAMY’s st tri multifunction pen is a really useful tool. Switch between pencil, red ink and black ink to differentiate between different types of note-taking, and elevate your reading to a whole new level.
Show the world that an old dog can indeed learn new tricks! Learning a new skill is a great way to keep the brain sharp and improve your overall cognitive function, as well as enriching your life and teaching you a new hobby. You can choose anything at all - from juggling to skateboarding to a better onion chopping technique - but allowing yourself to take some time for self-improvement is a great way to look after yourself and your mental health this year. If you’ve ever had even a passing interest in calligraphy, allow us to recommend the Manuscript Masterclass Calligraphy Kit. It includes two easy-to-hold pens, 4 different nibs, quality paper to practice on, and a comprehensive instruction booklet that tells you all you need to know to get started.
Of course these are just a few ideas - there are so many different things that can become your New Year’s Resolution, and with them so many ways to improve your life in 2022.
However, it is a well-known reality of life that even with the very best of intentions, many of us struggle to stick to our resolutions for very long - life is very good at getting in the way of our plans. For those for whom the mere mention of resolutions is causing a slight sense of panic, our next blog post will offer a few helpful tips for sticking to your guns and living your best life this year.