Hello 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s the first day of a brand new year. I started today like I do most days – hitting the gym. The only difference was there were only three other people when I got there around 7:30 in the morning. I’m not big on New Year’s Eve celebrations any more – I was in bed by 11 last night after going to a soccer game in the evening. I prefer starting the new year doing things I intend to do throughout the year. Today so far, that has included exercising, swimming and relaxing at the beach for a couple of hours, reading {and finishing one book already!}, listening to music {while I read}, and now writing.

Since 2013, I have given up on resolutions but instead, chosen mottos or words for the year. They are reminders about how to live my year. They have worked some years {I totally got out of my comfort zone in 2013} but failed miserably during others {I was NOT kind to myself in 2016}.

For 2019, I toyed with a lot of words and sort narrowed it down to one. But then, I read Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead in the last week and two of my core values stood out to me resulting in changing my plan about just a word. I wrote down my values and how they would be seen in action. Then again, after I read another book on the last day of 2018, I floundered a bit. You see, I read Ikigai: Giving every day meaning and joy by Yukari Mitsuhashi. It’s more of a primer on Ikigai which is Japanese for the ‘value of life’. While I am sort of aware of some of my reasons for waking up in the morning, one theme stood out to me in this book too. Funnily enough, it had to do with the word I was originally toying with!

Anyway, both these books, along with my own contemplations in the past few months around meaning and purpose and how I’d like to be remembered after I die, all led me to set three intentions for this year for myself:


Courage and Making a difference are two of my core values. Courage ties in well with other values around integrity, authenticity, connection, knowledge, curiosity, fairness, and honesty. Courage is such a big part of me that I have the tendency to be dismissive of it. But I have been courageous for most of my life. Last year, I got the tattoo of a koi fish to represent that courage. To remind me that it is a big deal to do things when you are afraid.

Paying attention has to do with noticing my emotions, my feelings, my thoughts. Paying attention to my surroundings. And then acting. Call it mindfulness, call it noticing. Either way, it’s something I’m hoping to do when I experience things. And it is something that will help with acting courageously and making a difference.

Interestingly, both books I read talked about paying attention; with Brené Brown, it was to do with how we lead, behave according to our values, how we respond to people while with Yukari Mitsuhashi, it was to do with noticing how we feel when we are engaging in activities to find our ikigai. And so, it all makes sense together.

While I may be setting these intentions now, I honestly don’t see these as something just for 2019. This isn’t about ‘new year, new me’ either.

I turn 35 later this month and I have been doing a lot of reflecting on myself and life in general {perils of being an overthinker who has studied psychology and loves reading!} I guess I’d like ‘Living courageously and making a difference‘ to be something I strive for as long as I am alive.

I want this to be my guiding principle. I want this to help me do things that add meaning to my life.

So here I am, welcoming 2019 and in a couple of weeks, my thirty-fifth year, with open arms, and an optimistic and grateful heart.

Let’s see what’s in store…

Have you set resolutions, goals, intentions or words for 2019?

Do share!

***Linking with Corinne for Word of the year, Denyse for Life this Week, Leanne, Deb, Min and others for Lovin’ Life Linky***

Featured image by Carl Larson from Pexels

Second image by Murilo Folgosi from Pexels

Until next time,


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  • asurrealodyssey
    1 January 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Wish you a very happy 2019!!!

  • Shailaja Vishwanath
    1 January 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I absolutely love your core values and empathise with you on both the Psychology and reading bit that leads to overthinking. Honestly, I see them as strengths these days.

    I’ve been meaning to read Brene Brown for ages. Perhaps 2019 is the time for me to begin.

    Isn’t Ikigai absolutely beautiful? I so love the fact that it was among the last few books I read in 2018. I do believe what we read and when we read it forms a core focus of our way forward.

    Wishing you tons of courage and leaps forward in making a difference this year and every year afterwards. Also, advance birthday wishes, Sanchie ??
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…How to be a Happy MomMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      6 January 2019 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, Shailaja! And yes, I do think the overthinking is a strength and kryptonite simultaneously! 😛 Oh do read Brene Brown…her work is fantastic. Start by watching her TED talk if you haven’t already done so. I am intrigued by Ikigai and will be reading more on it. Hope you have a fantastic 2019!

  • Parul
    1 January 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Absolutely loved how you are planning to make 2019 count. I loved how beautifully you have tied the values you have with reading. I haven’t read Brene Brown yet and Ikigai too. So I’ll pick them up. When Brown visited Target headquarters, she spoke to Courage over Comfort and since then we use these a lot. I think what would make a lot of difference is when people start following this.
    Thanks for the reminder, Sanch!
    Parul recently posted…Goodbye 2018My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      6 January 2019 at 8:06 am

      I’m still a bit envious that Brene Brown visited Target. I’d love to hear her speak. She’s coming to Sydney later this year but it looks like more of a corporate event than just a general talk. And yes, Courage over Comfort is the theme in most of her books.

  • Mayuri Nidigallu
    1 January 2019 at 11:08 pm

    You’ve got me curious about Brene Brown and Ikigai, Sanch. Going to look them up.
    May 2019 be the year that leads your life in the direction you wish it to. Have an awesome one!

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      6 January 2019 at 8:03 am

      Brene Brown literally changed my life in late 2013, Mayuri. Hope 2019 is great for you!

  • Anthea
    1 January 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Happy New Year!
    I love the sound of these books – will have to add to my TBR list.
    Well done on going to the gym and starting your year on such a good note!
    Anthea recently posted…A Christmas recapMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      6 January 2019 at 8:02 am

      Definitely recommend them Anthea! Happy New Year to you too!

  • Leo
    2 January 2019 at 3:43 am

    Love the three mottos for the year, and I think it encompasses a lot, Babby. I haven’t read Brene Brown, though I have wanted to since another blogger friend intrigued me with her thoughts from one of Brene’s books. Maybe 2019 holds a BB book in the TBR. I’m very happy that you already started out 2019 on a good note, and hope the rest of the year falls that way as well. Happy New Year!
    Leo recently posted…Word of the Year 2019 – #HAPPYMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      6 January 2019 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Vinay, hope 2019 is good for you too. I watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on the Power of vulnerability back in late 2013 and it changed my life. Watch that and then go on to read her books. I do recommend it!

  • Harini
    2 January 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Happy New Year Sanch!!!

    I absolutely love your three mottos and you core values are similar to mine. Though I have time and again miserably failed when it comes to courage. That’s one of the things I plan on changing this year. Last year I came to a realization that I can jump off a bridge but I can’t seem to assert my views as much as I would like. I would also like to work on my confidence this year and I think it goes hand in hand with courage. You have now got me interested in both the books.

    I still am a resolutions girl. I have made resolutions this year too. One of them is to blog regularly :P.
    Harini recently posted…Best Books of 2018My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 6:13 pm

      It’s so good to see you back here! 🙂 I think courage is one of those things we need to keep working on, we might be more courageous in some ways than others. Woo hoo! Looking forward to seeing you blogging regularly!

  • Rajlakshmi
    2 January 2019 at 6:09 pm

    I absolutely loved the idea of adding meaning to life and making a change. It’s a beautiful thought and I wish you my best. I haven’t set any resolutions, just smaller goals. I have read so many wonderful reviews about the book Ikegai. Definitely in the reading list of this year. Wish you an amazing year ahead ?
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…12 New Things I Did in a yearMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks Raj! Smaller goals are much better as I think resolutions can feel overwhelming. I think making a difference has always been my core value given I chose the line of work I’m in but I guess I never vocalised it to myself until recently. Good luck with your goals and hope 2019 is fantastic!

  • Shalzmojo
    2 January 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I loved these three intentions and can see you flying through them with lots of passion and enthusiasm – way to go Sanchie!

    I too spent the last day of the year as any other and started the first of the year with a morning walk to break the jinx on my fitness laziness.

    Wishing you loads of love and happiness in 2019 and going to look up the Bene Brown book!!! xoxo
    Shalzmojo recently posted…#Gratitude – December tales to wrap up 2018My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks, lovely! If you’re reading Brene Brown, I’d recommend starting with her earlier books. First step is her TED talk on the Power of vulnerability. Hope you have an awesome 2019! And good on you for starting the year with a walk – makes such a difference doesn’t it?

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    3 January 2019 at 8:18 am

    I’m not a big fan of all the new year goals and resolutions stuff or the staying up late thing either! I was tucked up in bed before midnight! I’m like you I start the year as I mean to go on, I didn’t make it out for a run (too hot) and the gym was closed but I did finish my first book! I think every day is a fresh start and a good time to set goals, I’m much more of a short term forecaster! I love your values and think that every day is a good day if you live according to your values, with gratitude and an open heart! I hope 2019 is your best year yet (and that this is the year we get to meet IRL!)

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 5:11 pm

      I love 24/7 gyms for that reason – I can go even on public holidays. Yay for reading and I love the attitude of every day is a fresh start and good time to set goals. It’s something I’m trying to do. And yes, I do hope we get to meet this year. I’m going to make it happen.

  • Vinitha
    3 January 2019 at 9:32 am

    Loved your core values and how plan to implement them in the coming days. I once watched a TED talk by Brene Brown and it was inspiring. It’s time to pick up her books this year.
    Wishing you a great year ahead, Sanch. By the way, advanced birthday wishes. ❤️
    Vinitha recently posted…Welcome 2019My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks Vinitha for the kind words and the wishes! Oh Brene Brown changed my life after I watched her TED talk back in 2013. I highly recommend it.

  • Rachna Parmar
    3 January 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I loved reading about your core values, Sanch! Haven’t yet read Brene Brown but hopefully will do some day. I think making a difference is truly something that I have been living by every single year. No matter how small, making a difference to someone else also makes a lot of difference to you. Also living each moment more deeply is important. Wish you all the best for 2019.

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks, Rachna! I agree…I realised it had to be one of my core values given the line of work I’m in. But I think I want to do it a bit more intentionally and more than just at work. Hope you have a great 2019 too!

  • Soumya
    3 January 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to Brene Brown! I’ve been reading a lot of Ikigai but not the actual book yet, so I’m looking forward to read it this year.

    I love the way you have planned 2019! And there is no way on earth that you can be turning 35! Look at you, you should be in your teens <3

    Wishing you a very positive and energetic 2019, Sanch! Lots of love.
    Soumya recently posted…Action Replay + Gratitude List: 2018My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 4:37 pm

      Yeah I was curious about Ikigai after reading a lot about it. I’ve read one book and still have another to go. It sounds quite interesting as a concept. Haha…thank you, lovely! Milestone year but I’m not too fussed. I actually enjoyed turning 30 unlike most people I knew back then.

  • CorinneRodrigues
    3 January 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Ah beautiful! I did ‘Daring Greatly’ inspired by Brown a few years ago. I’ve always found you to be courageous, Sanchie, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. In doing so, you inspire others too and so make a difference. So I think you are well on your way towards this year’s goals.
    May 2019 be everything you want it to be and more!
    CorinneRodrigues recently posted…It’s Going To be Light #WOTY2019My Profile

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks Corinne for the extremely kind words! I need to see how you would apply ‘Daring Greatly’ – her older books need a re-read.

  • Balaka Basu
    4 January 2019 at 5:03 pm

    I loved reading Ikigai and do agree that all of us have a purpose in life. I like the three values that you mentioned. All of us are always scared of unknown things and it is very important to conquer our fears and live courageously. It is also important to be a patient listener and pay attention. We are so absorbed with ourselves that we often forget to listen to others. Wish you a great year.

    • Sanch @ Sanch Writes
      5 January 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks Balaka. The only way our lives become worthwhile is if we are adding meaning to it; otherwise you do wonder what the point of it all is.

  • Anouradha Bakshi
    6 January 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Courage and making a difference, what a beautiful way to start a New Year! Happy New Year

  • Shilpa Gupte
    6 January 2019 at 11:33 pm

    You ARE a courageous girl, Sanch! No two ways about it…And, i say this after learning more about you and the life you lead, away from family, handling Life all by yourself and that too so gracefully!

    May your motto for this year help you achieve all that you wish to and yes, live life to its fullest, as well as take better care of yourself.
    Wishing you a beautiful new year!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.My Profile

  • Joanne Tracey
    7 January 2019 at 9:54 am

    I’m not doing a word of the year this year – although I have in the past. Some have really summed up the year, others I’ve forgotten by January 5. This year I’m aiming to break it down into bite-sized things I can tick off – things that will keep me moving forward, that I can build on each month, month after month, year after year…well, that’s the idea anyway. Tune in on Thursdays lovin’ life linky & I’ll tell you all about it 🙂
    Joanne Tracey recently posted…That’s a Wrap – and a recipe for Ikan Bakar (Balinese Grilled Fish)My Profile

  • Leanne |
    7 January 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I love how intentional you’re being Sanch – and yet you’re not locking yourself into unsustainable expectations. I chose “More” for my WOTY and I hope I explain it well in my post – it’s all about being our best possible selves isn’t it? Happy 2019!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    7 January 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Happy New Year, Sanch and may these intentions guide you to an amazing year!

    SSG xxx

  • Ness
    7 January 2019 at 7:55 pm

    You are amazing. At least you seem to achieve something from all your thinking. I just end up in that feedback loop from hell Mark Manson talks about. Sigh.

    I’m sure 2019 will be wonderful for you. Happy new year!

  • Debbie
    8 January 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I really like the paying attention, to me it’s more than mindfulness. I’ve chosen time as my word for the year ahead and explained why in a recent post. All the best to you for 2019 #lifethisweek
    Debbie recently posted…Time – how to get more of it in 2019?My Profile

  • Natasha Sinha
    9 January 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Dear Sanch,

    More power to you! And 35 I feel you are doing fabulously, with immense courage in your heart.

    I am floored by the Ikigai concept and I’m so glad that was the last book I read in 2018. It has left such an indelible mark. Though I read the one authored by Hector Garcia. But now that you mention this one by, Yukari Mitsuhashi which I had also seen online, I’m tempted to read it as well. Honestly speaking I have overloaded my book shelf with so many books in the last couple of years, that I was hoping to not buy any this year, till I finished reading all the unread ones. But your suggestion is enticing.
    I’m definitely checking out Berne Brown. I read up about her after reading your posts and I am looking forward to watching her TED talks and reading her (the latter would mean buying another book. Phew!! :-))

    Fabulous goals these! All the very best. May you sparkle and shine.
    Natasha Sinha recently posted…Things That Make Me Happy: #WordlessWednesdayMy Profile

  • Denyse
    9 January 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Lovely post and I admire your words and intentions. I am still getting my head around how to write about mine.

    Brene Brown fan here too. Her voice, reading her books, has accompanied me to Sydney and back many times and also while I do some art. i have all the books in paper back form, and all on CD or via audible.

    I needed some strength and courage yesterday as I was having an additional mouth check at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and had some anxiety about what it might entail, so Brene and Dare to Lead accompanied me on the way down. I realised how much more I allow myself to be vulnerable (as I did yesterday) which I never would have back in my old days as a school principal.

    Thank you for linking up to the first week of 51 for #lifethisweek in 2019. Next week, the optional prompt is “Word, Intention,Nothing” …I have all three (joke!) and will blog over the weekend about why. Denyse

  • Natalie
    10 January 2019 at 9:35 am

    Happy New Year, Sanch! You choose a great guiding principle. I set goals for myself, no WOTY or resolution for me. All the best to you in 2019!
    Natalie recently posted…Wellness Post #1: A Fresh StartMy Profile