A new year comes and we have such hope for what it could hold, the dreams we want to chase, the goals we want to accomplish. So we set out with huge ambitions and without a particular strategy or habits or practices or a method of some sort and often fall short. The first time you think, “oh it’s okay it’s just once” then slowly but surely we go back to our old rhythm and lose sight of what we were dreaming for this new year.
Well, if you are like me, you get tired of this cycle. You want to accomplish the goals you have laid out for yourself, achieve those dreams, live the life you’ve been dreaming of. Not to sound like a total, cliche cheese ball but it’s true! Every single one of us has something in our mind, in our heart that we want to conquer. This year my focus has been on balance. I want to balance my life in all aspects. Too often I’m spending all of my time on X without any thought of Y and then I end up playing catch up (messily) to try and even it all out. Basically, a disaster.
Balance is kind of like a mythical creature you often hear about but never really see for yourself so for me it means a life that includes:
Being dedicated to work (my day job) and fulfill all of the responsibilities that are required of me.
Sharing and keep up to date on this blog. I feel passionately about this space that I am creating and the relationships I have cultivated in the process.
Living a balanced lifestyle of going to the gym to make my body stronger, cooking healthy food, drinking water and taking vitamins to nourish my body but also just enjoying pizza or ice cream when I feel like it because life is short and I love those foods!
Exploring hobbies and passions that bring me joy while also focusing on and giving energy to the joyful things that presently exist in my life.
Getting more sleep.
Spending time being present with my husband.
Enjoying time with my beloved family.
Dedicating time to my friendships, which are incredibly important to me but often my homebody, introverted nature causes me to pull away from.
Strengthening my faith and my relationship with God.
Finding ways to serve others, help those who are in need, be supportive and kind – always.
Spending less money, saving more money. Being money conscious.
Really, it all boils down to this: I want to better manage how I spend my time.
Man, does anyone else ever feel self absorbed when writing their blog posts? That’s really what I’m feeling right now after writing all of these “I want” type of sentences. All of this is to say: I don’t have it all figured out. I’m human and I’m always working on my goals and bettering myself in order to serve others and live a fulfilled life. But here are a few habits, which you may find helpful, to achieve your goals.
Get an awesome water bottle
As I mentioned in my Friday Favorites last week, I got this S’well water bottle for Christmas. It has made a huge difference in how much water I drink! I love it because it’s sleek and stylish but most importantly, it holds a ton of water. It also keeps my water cold for 24 hours so the water is always refreshing to drink.
Go to bed earlier, wake up earlier
I can’t even tell you the embarrassing number of times Peter and I have vowed to go to bed earlier in hopes of waking up earlier to start the day. I mean, for years! By the time we got to Christmas this year we were drained, just flat out exhausted so having the week off from work allowed us to fully rest and catch up on sleep. And we didn’t want to lose out on that once the new year started! So we started going to bed around 10 and that has made ALL the difference. Now while I’m still groggy waking up at 6am #sleeplover I am well rested and ready to start the day.
Think of something small that will help you get out of bed
For me it is the first glorious cup of fresh, hot coffee. I put my slippers on, go downstairs and brew that coffee. Simple things, people!
Set down the phone
This can be really difficult. Just being honest. Not because I’m so obsessed with being on my phone or out of reality or wanting to know what’s happening every second. But because of this blog, keeping up with comments and engaging on social media. I only have so much time in the day to get everything done so sometimes I’m multitasking and honestly, I don’t really love that. Now I am focusing my energy on stepping away, enjoying those quiet moments and talking to Peter about his day or our dreams or memories or our upcoming trip. Just typing those moments totally breathes life into me.
Cancel the cable
Yup, we did it! We have done this before but I’m so happy we are doing it again. For us, it really comes down to a couple things. First, there’s really nothing on tv. We almost always (read: all. the. time.) find ourselves watching something on Netflix instead of cable. Secondly, because we rarely watch our cable channels we are totally throwing money out the window. So we cancelled it! That’s only as of today, though. February 1. Ha! But like I said, we’ve done this before and it has always allowed for us to focus our energy on our passions (New England Design Co, this blog, quilting, reading, art etc.) and staying connected.
Prioritize your tasks
This is hard for me. I am 1000% a procrastinator. Or as I’ve said in many an interview, “I work extremely well under pressure.” I just do! So for me, to prioritize and stay on top of tasks can be extremely difficult. This is a total work in progress and I am slowly figuring out how to prioritize and manage my time and workload (and life load – a thing I just made up).
Get a calendar
We have a calendar at home that we use for appointments, events, vacations, commitments etc. which has proven extremely helpful in making sure we are always on the same page. I’ve just started using a calendar for blogging during this last month and it has been such a blessing because now I am able to figure out what needs to be posted, how often I realistically will be able to post, when I need to take pictures etc. This really goes back to prioritizing my tasks and has been such a helpful aid in accomplishing this goal.
Share your dreams, goals, plans
Because once you do, they are real. Well, they are real in your mind beforehand, of course, but now they are out in the universe and you’ve made it known what you want to do. Share with someone who you are close to – your spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, co-worker. For myself, I’ve mentioned to Peter numerous times the goals and aspirations I have for this blog so every so often he will check in and see where I’m at, how I’m feeling, how I’m working towards making the dream a reality. This can seem intimidating because you feel vulnerable but I promise it makes such a difference in taking the proper steps towards achieving your goals.
Take time for yourself
For me this has started to look like quiet time in the morning. I make my coffee and immediately sit down in our sunroom to read my bible, devotional and journal. I now crave this time. It totally sets my mind for the day and gives me a half hour to be alone with my thoughts. It’s incredible the impact this has in other areas of my life, as well. Self care cannot be stressed enough.
I shared a bit about this on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago but I’ll give you a brief run down. One way that we are trying to be conscious is through spending less on our groceries each week. It was getting excessive and completely wasteful when we would spend all this money on food that we didn’t eat or would go bad because we didn’t have a use for it. Now, I have a set amount I want to spend each (it may fluctuate if I need to get toilet paper, cleansing products etc or if we already have meat in the freezer to use.) then I sit down and really find the most inexpensive way to feed us well for the week. We always eat dinner leftovers for lunch so I am always planning our meals for at least 4 servings. Then, when I go to the store with my list I write out the price of every single item. I total it all up before I check out to make sure I’m on budget and that’s it! This has honestly cut our grocery bill in half. I can do a full post with meals that we use that are healthy and budget friendly and how we make it work, if anyone is interested!
Find music you love
This one mainly goes for working out because I have found I am so much more motivated to go work out when I have great music to listen to. It completely propels me through my workout. Typically, I will lift weights and then do some cardio and during my Gilmore Girls obsession I would watch an episode on my phone while I did my cardio. No lie, I would go to the gym JUST to watch Gilmore Girls. No shame. I’m now looking for another show to fill this role but in the mean time, 100% music you love! I’ll share some favorite playlists/stations soon!
I may have rambled a bit here and there but these are ideas and habits that have helped me stay on track and continuously focus on my goals. I know we all struggle with maintaining our resolutions so if just one of these helps or inspires you, it will truly mean the world to me.
How are your New Years goals going? Share some of your tips and tricks below! I know we can all use a little extra motivation.
All outfit details below:
Bracelet: New England Design Co. here; Cape: Pendleton here (and on sale!); Shirt: thrifted, originally Old Navy (but similar here, here, here); Pants: Gap here; Boots: LL Bean here (my color is not available); Socks: Marshalls (but similar here); Scarf: Nordstrom (old but similar here, here, here ); Lipstick: BareMinerals here (on sale too!); Glasses: Warby Parker here