7 Reasons 2016 Will Be A Wonderful Year
Monday December 21, 2015

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~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #75
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“For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

The Latin phrase annus mirabilis translates roughly to amazing year, miraculous year or noteworthy year, in other words, a year worth celebrating and commemorating. And as we are fewer than two weeks away from the commencement of 2016, the best way to incur success is to plan for it. So with the goal of cultivating our lives so that they are capable of producing experiences in 12 months time that warrant the label of annus mirabilis, I’d like to share with you what TSLL will be diving into in the new year to help you achieve such a momentous accomplishment.

The underlying premise of living simply luxuriously is to live a life that is unique to each of us, a life that taps into our talents, allows us to reach our full potential and eliminates the unnecessary, thereby allowing us to live a life of quality over quantity no matter where we call home, our age, our relationship status or our income. A fulfilling life begins with the choices we make each and every day, the habits that become second nature, the relationships we establish and choose to nurture, the experiences we select to partake in and the risks we understand we must take and find the courage to make the big moves.

1.Simplify Planning

As I have mentioned numerous times, captured and shared on my Instagram feed as well as discussed in my book, having a planner is like having my Linus blanket. It is my brain in many ways, as it not only keeps me organized, but keeps track of favorite quotes, books to read, potential blog posts, places to visit as well as keeps my goals handy as I enjoy checking in regularly.

And speaking of the book, since it was released last year, readers have inquired about a planner, one that aligns with the values and mission of living simply luxuriously, all the while incorporating the illustrations that have come to be the recognition of living a life of stylish simplicity. Well, as you will see below, the request is just days away from being granted and made available directly to you the listener/readers. And the good news is, it will be far less than the price of a planner notebook.

Beginning on January 1st, TSLL planner templates (pdf files) will be available for download right here on TSLL. Currently, daily planner pages will be available (as seen below), and you will be able to customize which illustration you would prefer to have on your pages. Each of the 12 simply luxurious women will be available (as included in each of the 12 chapters in TSLL book. At this time, the size has been designed for Franklin’s Classic planner (5.5″ x 8.5″) and can be printed back to back with room for margins. All you will need is a color printer (optional), a hole-punch, a planner (Franklin or any binder will do) and paper so you can print as many as you want. The price, you may be wondering, will be nominal. Currently, there are a handful of other templates (which you can see here) beginning with a 2-page monthly calendar for 12 months, capsule wardrobe planner, goals, favorite lists, and monthly cover pages. All of these will be available separately or in a package option. More details will be revealed on Friday January 1st here on the blog, so be sure to stop by.

And as always, I am looking for feedback. What templates do you prefer? What would you use? Updates and tweaks will always be made, and I am always ready to listen.


2. Cook Simply, but Well

Nigella Lawson recently shared in an interview that cooking is restorative, especially after a busy day, but only if the recipes are simple. I could not agree with her more which is why earlier this year I mentioned I would be creating a weekly capsule menu. The purpose, similar to a capsule wardrobe, is to offer a handful of recipes for main and side dishes that are easy to pair as well as prepare. The mix and match that allows for optimal nutrition, flavor as well as simple preparation. I am currently working on this menu and am excited to share it with you in the new year. (One cookbook that I will be using for inspiration: The Art of Eating Well).

3. Harness Your Strengths

A significant part of living well and reaching our full potential is getting to know ourselves, and once we do, it is how we move forward that will determine the quality of our lives. When we recognize our strengths, it can be exhilarating to discover the possibilities that await if we have the courage to put in the effort, but when we discover our weaknesses, the default is often to forget about them, sweep them under the wrong and focus on our strengths. And while I have mentioned before that it is best to invest in our strengths, rather than tend to our weaknesses, we must not ignore them completely. Rather doing the dirty work of why our weaknesses occur (fear of confrontation, defaulting to self-criticism, just to name a few) and finding healthy ways to combat them so they don’t get in the way of our strengths reaching their full potential, will be a focal point for me this year and rest assured, when I discover helpful tips, I will be sharing them with you. (One book that I will be using for inspiration: Super You: Release Your Inner Superhero).

4. Staying Informed

Well, do I have some exciting news to share with you. This past September, I reluctantly had to put on hiatus Au Courant Weekly which began this summer and went live each Saturday morning. Due to my teaching schedule, when school began, I was unable to produce the show on Fridays as I had done in the summer months. However, when this announcement was made, many of you emailed sharing with me how you enjoyed listening to it to start your weekend while you were walking, sipping your morning coffee or en route to your weekend plans, and looked forward to its return. It was frustrating for me to read these emails and know that I wasn’t able to provide something you enjoyed.

The wait is over. Au Courant Weekly will return, this time Sunday mornings on The Simple Sophisticate podcast with the show notes available right here on the blog. The first person I emailed before I decided for certain the weekly episode would return was Géraldine Lepere of Comme Une Française to procure her talent for the French Word of the Week segment. And without hesitation, she was on board! Needless to say, I was tickled, so be sure to tune in Sunday January 3rd for the first episode of 2016. After all, the new year will be welcoming in a new President for the United States, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. An amazing year of news and event awaits!

5. Back to Simple

The first post of 2015 focused on the new year being the year of getting back to simple (22 ways were shared), and while in many ways, this indeed did happen for me as well as guided many of the posts over the past year, the goal remains. From eliminating unnecessary clutter, size and worry, the idea of living simply will always be at the foundation of living simply luxuriously. (Two books I will be using for inspiration: Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World and The Complete Book of Home Organization: 200+ Tips & Projects).

6. Participate in Living Each Day

“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. ” – Michael Josephson

Here on the blog on Saturday December 26, I am going to be sharing the highlights of my past year in pictures, and as I have been compiling the list of images and memories that made 2015 the year that in many ways changed my life, the primary purpose was that I said yes to so many experiences that I didn’t have to, but am incredibly grateful that I did. The habit of participating in each day is an amazing gift we can give ourselves, our loved ones and our careers. I look forward to continuing this habit in 2016 and encouraging you with posts and episodes of the podcast to do the same. (One book I will be using for inspiration: Year of Yes).

7. A Better Understanding of the Mind & Body

Stereotypes, traditions and habits that have become comfortable can often be the ill we need to fix in our lives if we want to thrive. Whether it is assuming that we are not capable of something or relinquishing control over aspect of our health that are entirely in our control, gaining knowledge about how our minds and bodies work is yet another amazing gift we give the quality of our lives. Forever the curious blogger, I will continue to offer studies and information that help you understand why and how our minds and bodies work and how we can help them perform at their best.  (One book I will be using for inspiration: Too Much of a Good Thing: How Four Key Survival Traits Are Now Killing Us).

I cannot fully describe or explain how excited I am for the new year. There is much exploring, learning and growing to be done, and where it will lead, while that it is nebulous, what is clear is that it can only lead to an improvement in a variety of arenas in our lives. I do hope you’ll join me. Here’s to what has the potential to be each of our annus mirabilis!


~15 Ideas for a Promising 2015

~Prep for a Wonderful 2013

~11 Steps to a Fresh Start

Petit Plaisir

~TSLL Holiday Playlist 2015


1.Skating – Vince Guaraldi (from the Charlie Brown Christmas album)

2. Jingle BellsDuke Ellington & His Orchestra

3. Holly Jolly Christmas – Johnny Mathis

4. Here Comes Santa Claus – Ramsey Lewis Trio

5. The Christmas Song – Dexter Gordon Quartet

6. O Christmas Tree – Beegie Adair, featuring George Tidwell

7. Good Morning Blues – Ella Fitzgerald


8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Lester Lanin

9. Christmas in New Orleans – Louis Armstrong

10. White Christmas – Charlie Parker

11. Snowfall – Ahmad Jamal

12. Let It Snow – Diana Krall


13. Carol of the Bells – Dianne Reeves

14. Zat You Santa? – Louis Armstrong

15. Smooth Jazz Christmas Overture – Dave Koz

16. Skating – David Benoit (thank you for the suggestion TSLL reader Glenda!)


~Don’t see the song you’re looking for? Perhaps it is on a previous year’s list? Check out TSLL 2014 or 2013 Playlist.



7 thoughts on “7 Reasons 2016 Will Be A Wonderful Year

  1. I love how the page is laid out. I like that you have the schedule but also work out notes and a to do box that you can write phone calls you need to make. Hope it become available in a store to buy complete for the year.

  2. Shannon, love love love your blog and the podcast. I never missed a single post. You truly inspire everyone to be creative in every moment. I liked your planner design and want to ask about the downloads. In the podcast you mentioned that daily planner pages are available for download but i am unable to find the link. Can you please share. Thank you.

    1. Ankita, the planner downloads will be available right here on January 1st and from that point on they will have their own page under “Shop TSLL” on the menu. Thank you very much for your interest. I am excited to make them available!

  3. Bonjour from Paris, Shannon!
    Just want to give my own “pitch” for Geraldine of “Comme une francaise.” Living here in Paris, I need to stay “au courant” with the latest French way of speaking. I’ve taken two of her courses now (actually, just subscribed to my second course) and they are fantastic. One of the things I like most is that they are available for life! No cut off for lessons after a certain time has passed. And the quality is superior. I’m glad to hear that you have paired with her for your French word of the week. Her free weekly language emails are wonderful as well. I’ve learned so much! Love, love, love your blog. Next time you are in France, lets try to get together. I taught in the North Clackamas School District for 28 years before retiring and fulfilling my long term goal of living in Paris. We must meet for coffee!

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