It’s truth time. I, Sarah West Ervin, have never, in my 28 years of life, had a new year’s resolution. Not really. There was one year in elementary school when we learned the concept of the new year’s resolution. My pint-sized classmates and I were instructed to create three resolutions for ourselves and write them on a piece of paper that was pre-cut into a heart, or star, or some such generic shape by the teacher. I remember mulling over the exercise with a mixture of enthusiasm and confusion. I liked it, but I didn’t quite get it. Forced self-improvement and a yearly “refresh” were probably lost on eight-year-old Sarah. After that lesson, I promptly forgot those three resolutions and continued on into adulthood without ever giving the practice much serious thought.
Sure, there were years where I’d think, “Resolutions! I should do that, too.” But then I’d start thinking about something else and go about my life as usual. This year, however, on a whim, I decided to read Buzzfeed’s “9 Useful Tips To Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions.” After reading the article, the little lightbulb in my brain turned on below a thought bubble with the word “micro-resolution.” One needs only to set small, realistic goals for personal improvement. Perhaps even one micro-resolution each month of the year is the best bet for success. Just pick one simple habit you want to form, focus on it for a month, then once you’ve mastered it, graduate to your next tiny goal. It’s a simple matter of planning ahead and staying organized! And as anyone who’s completed a group project with me knows, I LOVE planning ahead and staying organized.
Challenge accepted, Buzzfeed.
I resolved to make one micro-resolution for each month of 2015 and enlist Brian’s help for solidarity. I was also quite proud of myself for coming up with the term “micro-resolutions” until a quick Google search revealed that LOTS of other people have come up with it too.
C’est la vie.
This new foray into new year’s resolutions also provided an opportunity to get crafty! I figured the best way to remember each month’s micro-resolution was to create a custom calendar for the year. And in keeping with the keep-it-simple tip for resolution-making, I decided to make it the world’s easiest DIY calendar. There’s a lot to love about this project, actually.
Why This Project Is The Best:
- It involves washi tape, and lots of it!
- The little discs for each day of the month are cut from posters, cards, postcards, business cards, and other pretty paper pieces that Brian and I have collected over the last decade or so. This makes the calendar extra-super-special, incorporating little notes and gifts from our friends and family. But you can also buy ALL THE PRETTY PAPERS from the scrapbooking section of your local craft store.
- The paper we used for the base was leftover from our wedding DIY projects. The specialness-meter is reading off the charts!
- Alphabet stamps. They are so cute.
- We ramped up the cuteness even further by turning each micro-resolution into an inspirational phrase. Who doesn’t love inspirational quotes?
- We also got to buy a jumbo wooden clothespin, and it was less than $3! A pretty clipboard also works.
- This project works well with multiple people for some good old fashioned togetherness.
- You cannot mess this up. And actually, the messier you are, the better, if you ask me.
- No measuring, no cutting, no glue, and no artistic skill required!
What You’ll Need:
- At least 2 rolls of washi tape
- 12 sheets of cardstock (we used 8×10)
- Large stack of paper ephemera for the discs (magazines, photos, and old cards work well)
- 1″ circle punch
- 2 sizes of alphabet stamps (Michael’s had some very inexpensive sets)
- Ink pad(s)
- Wooden clothespin or clipboard (to hang)
To Make The Calendar:
- Grab a friend.
- Make your friend and yourself a cocktail.
- Turn on some groovy tunes.
- Use your 1″ circle punch to cut 365 discs from your collection of pretty paper ephemera. This may take a while, hence the friend, cocktails, and music.
- Arrange 28-31 discs on each sheet of cardstock — depending on the number of days in each month, obv. Use the calendar on your phone as a guide, especially if you’re several cocktails in at this point. And don’t worry about measuring for disc placement — just eyeball it.
- Use little pieces of washi tape (we alternated two different colors) to affix the discs to the cardstock. Easy peasy.
- Use the sharpie to write the date on each disc. Again, rely on your phone calendar.
Once you’ve completed one sheet for each month, step back and admire your handiwork. You crafty devil, you!
To Make the Headings:
- Maybe wait until you have sobered up from your night of whole punching and washi taping.
- Use the larger alphabet stamps to write out the name of each month. Again, don’t worry about it being perfect, but make sure to leave at least one inch from the top for your clothespin or clipboard.
- Use the smaller alphabet stamps to write your inspirational phrase. Remember, this phrase corresponds to your micro-resolution. You can write the full resolution on the back of the sheet so you don’t forget. For example, Brian and I resolve to eat less sugar this year. So in October, we’ll try one dessert recipe each week that uses no added sugar, incorporating them into our regular meal planning. We wrote the full resolution on the back, then on the front of the October sheet we wrote “Later, Sugar!”
When you’re all done stamping, stack all the sheets, clip them together, and hang it up somewhere you’ll see it everyday.
To Track Your Resolutions:
- For each day that you follow your micro-resolution, mark the disc for that date. You can use a sharpie to write a big X or use another stamp and some brightly colored ink. Brian and I are using stamps that say, “Oh, Snap!” and “Hey, Girl!” Because we’re saucy.
- Congratulate yourself for following through, and remember not to beat yourself up on days you don’t. Nobody’s perfect! Except Dolly Parton.