Welcome to 2018, Blogging Fam!
I am so excited about this new year, this fresh start. We’re not even a month in yet, but I’m finally starting to get the swing of thins, getting back to work and settling into a routine. If you feel like maybe you’ve fallen behind on your resolutions or just didn’t actually make any, no worries! It’s not too late. I really focused this year on starting off on the right foot, so I thought I’d share a few tips that have been really helping me and making me feel organized and successful.
- Make a morning routine and an evening routine.
Each morning and each evening, pick a few things that make you feel accomplished and excited for the day ahead.
My morning routine is quite simple. I wake up 30 minutes earlier than necessary (tough at first, belieeeeve me), meditate for 10 minutes, turn on a feel-good playlist, get ready for work, make a yummy breakfast, take my vitamins (yay, healthy!), walk Mikita for 30 minutes and then head out for the day.
My evening routine is a bit more extensive. After I leave work, I head to Whole Foods to pick up ingredients to make dinner. When I get home, I take Mikita out and get my meal started. While dinner’s cooking, I get a little workout in and usually catch up with my mom or my cousins. After dinner, I take a shower and get cozy on the couch or my bed with whatever book I’m reading, my phone and my Bible. I read for a while (currently You Are A Badass, and I just finished Restless) and then go on DuoLingo (I’m learning Italian!). My goal is to have my last hour of the night is technology-free. I use this time to study scripture and check in on my bullet journal for the day. Speaking of bullet journal…
- Use a guide to track your goals.
I chose a bullet journal because it holds me responsible each day to cross tasks off my list. My bullet journal consists of daily (vitamins, 65+ ounces of water, meditation, bible study, workout, etc.) and weekly (church, cleaning day, self-care day, etc.) goals. If you want more info on how a bullet journal works or what mine looks like, I’m going to do a post on that soon, so stay tuned!
- Have one day set aside each week to practice deep self-care.
We should all practice self-care every day, don’t get me wrong! But I mean this as a sort of “deep cleaning” day (literally and figuratively). I chose Sundays, but you should choose whichever makes the most sense for you! I start my day with SoulCycle and church at Fearless LA. I am trying to make it a point to only each fruits, veggies and non-meat-based proteins all day as a bit of a detox, so I stop at Whole Foods or a farmer’s market on my way home. Once I get back, I clean the whole apartment and do all my laundry. Sunday evenings, I take a long bath, throw on a face mask and exfoliate. I check in on my goals and talk to God about what He’s calling me to do this week. I still do my normal morning/evening routine on Sundays, but these extra little practices are what make my weekends so refreshing. Starting off each week with a clean slate like this really sets me up for success all week long.
- De-clutter. Mentally and physically.
Once a month de-clutter all aspects of your life. Clean out your junk drawer and your pantry. Throw out empty bottles from the shower or sink cabinet. Peruse through your closet and donate clothes that you aren’t wearing. Put photos from your onto your computer or onto an external hard-drive. Delete old apps that you don’t use anymore or don’t apply at this time in the year (certain sports apps, for example). Another great area to de-clutter that gets forgotten a lot is unsubscribing from emails that will make you shop more or stress you out. Those emails add up and eventually your inbox is flooded with sales and temptations to spend money on things you don’t really need. I keep a separate folder in my gmail for coupons I receive, and then unsubscribe from the mailing list so I’m not tempted to shop every time Lucky jeans are 50% off, which is like every week it feels like.
- “Invest” in some smart apps.(I put that in quotes because most are actually free!)
If you’re trying to be more money-conscious (who isn’t?!), use a budgeting app. I love Mint because it connects to your credit cards and allows for cash spending as well. Whenever you use your credit card, Mint adds it to your account in real time and categorizes it for you based on the retailer. The online version is better for a monthly overview, but the app is better for checking your spending on a daily basis and making sure it’s categorized appropriately. Both allow for you to choose a goal to save towards and helps you to get there. I love it!
Another great app I’ve been using is Calm for meditation. I was originally using Headspace, but after trying Calm per a recommendation from a friend, it was a no-brainer. Calm allows you to choose the sounds you want in the background of your meditation and each day guides you through a different practice and focus. It has a widget for your iPhone view (when you swipe right on your phone) that tells you what that day is focusing on and has stories to help you fall asleep at night. (Plus it’s almost half the price of Headspace!)
If you’re just simply trying to manage your time better, use a calendar app, or a planner (if you’re like my friend Ami, who has great handwriting.) Any of these will hold you responsible to tasks you need to get done and prevent you from over-committing or getting overwhelmed.
- Do things that make you happy.
This seems so, so simple and obvious, but I am so guilty of saying “yes” to things that I genuinely do not want to do. Another one of my resolutions was to stop that. I want my days to be filled with exactly what I want them to be filled with…music, good conversation, meditation, food (obviously), Mikita and genuine love. By this same token, say “yes” to new things. Try something that scares you or that you’ve never done before. Last year, my best friend, Emma, told me she wanted me to introduce me to her friend, Jill, in LA because she thought we would be good friends. I said “yes,” but, to be honest, in the back of my mind, I was hoping that it would fall through. I didn’t feel like having to go to dinner and talk to someone I didn’t know. What would I say/ask? I honestly thought it would be awkward. It didn’t fall through, praise God. That girl is one of my very good friends out in this big city now and I couldn’t love her more if I tried! Our souls were truly meant to meet.
If something isn’t serving you anymore, allow it to leave. If you are interested in trying something new, invite it in. Find/Make new playlists. Try a new recipe. Call an old friend. Take a few deep breaths. Be genuinely happy to be alive. Remember, not everyone has that luxury that we so often take for granted.
I am so looking forward to December 31st when I look back at this year and realize that I absolutely crushed it. Remember if you miss a day, it’s okay! That’s what the bullet journal is for. Jump right back in tomorrow, or the day after that. Resolutions aren’t about changing your life overnight; they are about working towards an end goal over the course of the 365 days ahead of you.
Feel free to leave some comments below telling me about your goals and resolutions for this year and I can’t wait to see what God does with your 2018!