I love the start of the new year. Not the countdown-to-midnight per se, but the promise of a fresh new beginning, crisp new blank stationery (some girls have a shoe thing, mine’s stationery). It’s also a quiet time of year after the busyness of the Christmas holiday period. Down here in New Zealand, it’s summer. The days are long, the smell of BBQs is in the air and fresh produce and herbs stack up in the kitchen.

I’m not a big one normally for new years resolutions: they’re given a bit of a bad rep because they’re so often doomed to fail; especially the weight loss or exercise kind. However, people can and do change, they can make fresh starts and can work to improve on their flaws.

After reading The Happiness Project, a quote of Benjamin Franklin’s has stuck in my head:

“on the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it.”

So this year, I made some goals and one was to read 52 books in a year. Running my own business, being a mum to two young boys and keeping on top of life in general meant I relegated one of my loves (reading) to summer vacations. I didn’t wait until the new year to start reading again with a passion – I picked it up in November and have been averaging a book or more a week since. One downside was that I discovered I need reading glasses in the process!

What does reading books and New Year’s resolutions have to do with blog design? I think that I’m often too focussed and “heads down” to get inspiration, perspective and ideas from completely different fields in life. Reading gives me new things to think about, get passionate about and talk about with others. And, that’s what blogging ultimately boils down to: writing about something you’re passionate about and talking about it with others.

I’ve found that I get the best design inspiration too, when I’m not looking at online website design galleries!

If you’re curious about what I’m reading, head over to Good Reads.

Wherever you are, I wish you a very Happy New Year and may 2012 be full of hope and new things!

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