12 Stories You Should Share This Year

Here at The Cozy Keep, my hope is that every messageboard paves the way for a good story, whether funny, pensive, inspirational or more. As you look at the upcoming year, I'm sharing with you 12 stories that you should share this year (based on my personal cozy opinion) to foster a community of truthful, warm people.  If you follow these prompts, you'll have a messageboard prompt for each month of the year! Score! 

JANUARY - Words for the Year // For the first time last year, I decided to envelop my year with a word that would serve as an anthem of sorts. I stuck with the word small, wholeheartedly believing that accomplishing small tasks or goals one at a time actually takes you much further than trying to go big all at once. Although I didn't follow this anthem perfectly all year, it definitely remained in the back of my mind and reminded me to focus when I lost track. What words can you share for the year to keep you focused? 

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FEBRUARY - Love Languages // I love tex-mex and blue jeans and killing student loan debt. But I also love family and friendships. There is a lot of baggage around the word love, but the idea here is to focus on what you DO love, whether silly or serious, and let those joyful ideas resonate with you throughout this month. Instead of being super sappy for Valentine's Day (I'm not anti-Valentine's, just don't like giving into the commercialization of it all), fill your walls with words that remind you of things that constantly make your life full of love, whether it's tacos or technology, books or baes, jeans or jewelry. Love is not a one-day event, so don't treat it that way!

MARCH - Money Mindset // ALERT! Tax season is approaching! Ugh! The worst. My husband and I have completely shifted how we prioritize money now that we're debt snowballing to become debt-free. March is a great time to set your house in order and really do some deep digging on where your money is actually going. It is very much a view into your heart's posture, so decide now to give it the priority it deserves and share your story with close friends to keep you accountable. Messagboards ideas include:

  1. numbers for tracking debt and KILLING it
  2. number goals for giving to charity
  3. number goals for saving up for an experience, such as traveling, house projects, etc.
  4. percentage goals for spending on self vs spending on others

APRIL - Quotes of Spring Revival // Let the spring life come in! This is a great time to display quotes that breathe life into your home, office or other cozy spaces. Need some fresh ideas? Feel free to borrow one of the following!

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
— J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter
Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.
— Jonathan Byers, Stranger Things


MAY - Life Outdoors // This list is pretty simple. As the sun begins to hang around more, our bodies are aching for some vitamins and vitality. Especially in the United States, we've privatized our lives so much that we often neglect to hang around outdoors as much as we should. Make a list on a messageboard this month of all the activities you want to try outdoors, and use it as a checklist of sorts to stay fresh and alive!

 Calendar by  Rifle Paper Co.

Calendar by Rifle Paper Co.

JUNE - Travel Stories // Exploring is one of the most engaging ways for us to learn stories and make stories at the same time. Whether you're traveling in your own town or trekking globally, sharing your travels brings a thirst for knowledge and exploration to others. Invite them into your story, and make something cool happen! 

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JULY - Freedom Phrases // The following are some of my favorite phrases about true freedom. As you celebrate our nation's independence this month, how about going EXTRA deep and thinking a little more philosophically about freedom for the month! Brain challenge accepted!

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
— J.F.K.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
— Nelson Mandela

AUGUST - Never Stop Learning // Kids shouldn't be the only ones preparing to learn this time of year. For us to live a life of looking forward, we should commit to learning and growing just as much as the kids are. For this month's messageboard idea, share a list of skills you want to learn. And no haters allowed! If you literally want to learn how to cook an amazing grilled cheese, let it fly! Or if you're finally ready to tackle that DIY project overhaul, spell it out boldly. Let your walls remind you of your biggest dreams.

SEPTEMBER - Love People // As a Spanish-speaker, I have really enjoyed getting to know people of the hispanic culture, learning their stories and embracing their lifestyle. This month is Hispanic Heritage Month, and especially in Texas, we are embraced with the hispanic culture. But our country is so beautifully diverse with so many types of people who all have one thing in common - humanity. This month, I challenge you to let your messageboard share a story of loving people - whether it's a quote, a reminder, a prayer, a Scripture, a goal or more - speak it boldly over your cozy space and follow it as best you can.

OCTOBER - Let Things Fall // You know what else should fall this month besides the leaves? I bet there is a chunk of weight on your shoulders this month that is weighing you down. Maybe it's too many meetings. Maybe it's a disorganized house. Maybe it's a grudge. Maybe it's a to-do list that should transition to a to-don't list. Maybe it's a rude attitude or an apathetic spirit or a lazy body. Whatever it is, you need to decide what needs to fall, at least for this month. Spell it out on your messageboard, read it daily, and challenge yourself to let it fall. At the end of the month, reflect on your efforts and make the next step.

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NOVEMBER - Thankful for Struggles // Yep, that's weird, but normally we try to force ourselves to be thankful for good things this month and we often complain about the bad stuff. But here's the deal, light does not exist without darkness. We don't really know what joy feels like until we know sadness. When you struggle through something, you emerge on the other side victorious in another thing, whether you've grown in knowledge, in empathy, in faith, or something else. What struggles can you be thankful for? Have you experienced an illness that has allowed you to empathize with someone else? Have you experienced a low income that has caused you to spend more time with people and less time with things? Have you experienced a bad relationship that has allowed you to know how to navigate the next one? List your struggles and read them daily, then give thanks.

DECEMBER - The Giving Competition // This month, commit to a giving challenge that fully embraces the reason for the season. This is not the month to be perfect and glittery. However, this is the month to remind ourselves that we're all humans fighting the good fight, and we ought to give of ourselves wholeheartedly for the sake of the world. The list below shares some ideas for giving challenges.

  1. Give a compliment every day this month.
  2. Give a handwritten note to someone every day this month.
  3. Give a portion of your Christmas money to a charity you're compelled by.
  4. Give someone a free meal at least twice this month.
  5. Give a hand of help to someone every day this month.
  6. Give a prayer for someone different every day this month.

Here's to your incredible year and your incredible story. Go do big things. - Alli