my small improvements list for 2018…

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the idea of setting resolutions or goals for the new year felt so incredibly daunting and annoying to me this year, in the midst of my daily barfing, constant fatigue and pure will to simply survive this next stretch of the twin pregnancy (as well as all the months of crazy after the twins actually arrive.)  is it absolutely frightening to admit my word for 2018 is something along the lines of “survive”?!  ;)

but i do love the idea of a refresh, which january always seems to bring. the holidays are over, our house is somehow always recovering from some sort of infestation of sickness this time of year, and we are truly doing our best to deal with the brutal outdoor weather. but it’s also a new start! a time to take into account what worked and what didn’t during the last 12 months, and what we can maybe do differently in the next 12 months to improve and grow. and because the resolution list felt too daunting for where i’m at personally in my life, i decided to make a very simple and small list of improvements i know i can make, and keep.

since i’ve already started implementing a few of these over the past month or so, and since i’ve seen such a benefit in my personal life when doing so, i wanted to share them with you! hopefully they can benefit you in some way as well!

my small improvement list for 2018:

  1. i cleaned up who i follow on my social media.  i feel like this one can sound mean. and i don’t mean for that whatsoever. but take instagram for example, i realized this fall i was following over 350 accounts, and that is a lot of time every day scrolling and scrolling through countless photos and captions, many of which are indeed very inspiring or fun and enjoyable, but it was taking time away from being present in my own life. i absolutely love the app, and i still enjoy on occasion clicking over to accounts i like but don’t follow daily now to gain inspiration or an update. but i’ve found that i’m not on instagram as much now, because i don’t feel that obligation of keeping up with what 350 accounts are up to.
  2. every morning, i stretch. this one is something i’ve tried implemented in past years, but have a hard time sticking to. but in an effort to take better care of my tired body as i’m into my 30s now, i find it to be such a great way to start my day. don’t let the work out clothing in the photo fool you, i often sit on the floor in my pajamas and stretch. this is something that really doesn’t require anything other than you just getting down on the floor and bending a bit. even just 5 minutes, it makes a difference for me and wakes my body up in the gentlest of ways. if i’m really on the ball, closing my eyes and having a moment of meditation or prayer at the end is wonderful.
  3. i’ve stopped all the apologizing. without even realizing it, i’ve been in this camp of saying “sorry” for literally everything. not replying to an email of a few days, showing up late, whatever it is, even when someone else bumps into me on the street, i’m immediately feeling at fault and exclaiming, “sorry!” while still trying to be considerate, i’ve tried to change my approach to be more of, “thank you for your patience while waiting on my reply” or “thank you for waiting for us!” and even on the street, rephrasing to, “let me get out of your way.” at the end of the day, it’s how i feel anyhow, thankful for the people who have patience around me on the daily, and i want to voice my appreciation for them with that, instead of turning it on me and making it a big ordeal with “sorry.” i’m not sure if that makes sense, but it’s been effective when i’ve tried it, and i’m sticking with it.
  4. i keep cards and stamps in my nightstand, and i’m writing more notes because of it. i have always loved being on the receiving end of a handwritten note or card in the mail. i’ve kept so many over the years that have really touched me and meant so much to me.  and i always have the good intention of sending more out as the months go by, but one thing leads to another (usually i never have stamps!) and before i know it, nothing is ever written or sent. keeping them by my bed has helped, since sometimes as i’m falling asleep, that’s when i feel motivated to jot something down to someone, a thank you or just a thinking of you type of card. it doesn’t have to be long or fancy, but it always makes me feel like i’m a little bit on top of my life, and i hope it helps my friends and family know what they mean to me.
  5. i carve out a set time each week for me-time.  i’ve been doing this for a while now, and i swear, nothing gets me more excited to come back to my messy apartment or spend time with my kids than having a moment to regroup, refresh and focus on me.  i used to feel guilty if i’d take time to go get a manicure or enjoy a meal by myself, but i’ve learned over the years that it’s hard to help others around you when you yourself feel depleted. i’m not talking about a full day at the spa every week or anything, even just a half hour once a week, to take yourself on a walk or grab a cookie on your own, i swear it is magic! and i can’t recommend this one enough. while i’ve already been doing it, i included it in my small improvements for this year, because i know from past experience with my three kiddos as new infants that i never really took that time for myself in the early months, and in hindsight, it was when i really needed it the most. with two babies on the way, i want to make sure i’m still readily available for them, as well as the rest of my family during the week, and i think finding that time to sneak away and recharge will be helpful for this, and i’m hoping i hold myself to it after the babies are born.

anyway, there they are! very simple, very basic, probably things many of you already implement in your own lives! but even if they’re simple or basic or whatever, i feel really good about them. and i’ve loved how they have helped me so far.

would love to hear the small improvements you have been making in your own life that you have found effective!  happy new year, friends!

  1. i think i’m going to have to adopt some of these too, especially the instagram one! too much mindless scrolling…

  2. jessica basso

    LOVE all of those!!! Great idea!! I believe we could all try to implement more of that into our daily/weekly sometimes crazy lives. One thing that helps me is going through and decluttering/minimizing, it’s always nice to refresh the house and it usually makes you feel good after. (its amazing what kiddos can collect and how fast they do it)

    Much love to you all in 2018!!!

  3. Grace

    I also set up a little envelope/stamp area to motivate me to actually send things to friends and family! I am always writing little notes and then don’t have stamps, so I bought a years worth of them and it’s already making a difference.

    Not purchasing things I don’t need is the big one on my list for this year. I want to save more and enjoy what I have.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Abigail

    Really enjoyed reading about the resolution for “stop saying sorry.” I say it all the time for no reason, and it puts you at fault for a situation that was never problematic to begin with! Thanks for the new year thoughts

  5. Esther

    The me-time one, SO TRUE! I have a toddler boy and a 2-month old and I really make it a point to have a bath by myself once or twice a week, no phone, just a cup of tea and a good book. It’s so important for my mental health!

    Also, my boyfriend has learned to make really great cups of coffee, whipped milk with cocoa powder on top and all! So I finally learned to drink it. And it has turned into a daily break for us when the kids are napping, to just sit with a cup of coffee and talk. We work together from home and take care of the kids together, so we see eachother 24/7. Even then, we still manage to pass eachother by a lot of the time! Our coffee break makes time stand still for a while, where we just… talk, catch up, reminisce, make plans. It’s improved our post-birth relationship so much! They’re like little in-home dates and I already look forward to them every day.

    • TAZA

      love that so much!!! so sweet!

  6. Megan Curtis

    I love these! My “[email protected] or “resolution” is to SLOW DOWN! Take more time for myself, family and everything else! I’m trying to simplify so that it’s easier to focus on what’s most important.

  7. Megan

    I love these! Especially the one about limiting “sorries.” As a female attorney in the world of Big Law, I’ve made a conscious effort to do the same. And not just “sorry” but other self-limiting words and ohrases like “I think”… “just”…“actually”…or other qualifiers. Keep up the good work! You’re an inspiration and so beautiful!

    • TAZA

      yes! i hadn’t even thought about those other words but that makes such sense! going to work not the “sorry” and then once i’ve got that down a bit, adding these other words you mentioned. so true!!! thanks for sharing.

  8. Kinga

    I really don’t like this trend over every new year that YOU HAVE TO be better self in everything, you go gym, change diet and style but there is so much improvements that you quit after a week because all of this is overwhelming to manage… sometimes small changes in everyday basics are way more helpful and useful. Thank you for sharing yours I love them!

    closertosomewhere.blogspot.com

  9. Survive! That would be my word for last year.
    Though we didn’t have twins come in we had a baby with a genetic disease (easily managed but still something extra) and then my son was diagnosed with cancer in February. Did we survive last year? barely.
    Are we going to survive 2018? You betcha! There is no other option. :)

    • josh

      Good luck, Trisha!!

  10. Silvia

    Taza, you are simply the best! Better than all the rest! :)
    This will be a special year for our little family. We will mpve out from our home, we will live for some months at my parent’s house, then we will finally move to our new house, big and beautiful. What I want to do, is to have as much fun as possible, even if there will be difficult days, because it is a special moment for us and we will remember this year as one of the big changes of our life. Good luck for everything. xxx

  11. Oh. I LOVE #3….I might steal these phrases! .I used to be on time…but four kids lately…being on time is a miracle no matter how hard we try! (Someone always has to poop right when it’s time to leave 😝)

  12. Rachel Simmons

    Couldn’t agree more about a little “me” time, as a mother, this becomes a LIFE SAVER

  13. Alina

    This is so great and inspiring!

    I have a four month old, our second, and it’s more work that we imagined given our situation. So I just need to focus on surviving and be kind to myself about that- don’t push myself and don’t feel bad about that! (Ps I think you should add that to yours because “me time” will probably get so hard when the twins come but you shouldn’t feel bad about it! I know you know this but just do what you can.)

    I am feeling refreshed this week though because I finally started a daily gratitude practice. Running on zero sleep I’ve had so many hard days already but I can feel my mental state improving just thinking of things that I am thankful for. It works (just like EVERYONE says haha).

    Happy 2018 and best wishes for the whole family!

  14. Madiha

    LOVE THIS! Was just talking to someone about how daunting it was about writing resolutions. Instead, I was going to approach this year as what i can do to improve myself. This person pointed out that a resolution is something you will complete…but you need goals to work towards that completion (without them you tend to feel discouraged when you haven’t kept your resolution then). To be honest, I still find it daunting what I want to fix…probably going to use January as that period for me. Started a new job in Jan…so still getting situated.

    Happy new year to you!

  15. Setareh

    You have wonderful energy 👏👌hoom,Good choices ✌️

  16. Crystal

    I love hearing you share your true desires rather than the sometimes punishing ‘resolutions’ that people often take on because of what seems like feeling bad or guilty! I’ve chosen to focus on allowing myself to be as emotionally large, truthful, and unapologetic this year as I truly feel. I think I, like many women, am looking at the world around me and finding the desire to nurture my softness as well as truly taking on no more imposed smallness.

  17. Luxie

    Loved your post! I completely agree! I stop following social media influencers and bloggers last year and now only pop over every once in awhe and it’s been great. I just learned you guys moved, you’re pregnant and having twins! ConcomgratsAs a twin myself I can promise you it’s the best thing!

    • TAZA

      thank you! love hearing you’re a twin! we are really excited!

  18. Kenzie

    One of my goals this year is to run at least 5 times a week, I know that’s a lot but I really want to get better at it!I loved your list!

    • TAZA

      you are my hero!!! someday i hope to run ONCE! lol. i have a friend who runs every day though and i love that about her. it’s her one thing, and she sticks to it, rain, shine, the works. good luck!

  19. Mallory

    I’m embarrassed to say how many accounts I follow on Instagram, but let’s just say it’s a lot. Any advice on how to trim down? The task seems daunting. How do you filter folks out? I obviously had a reason to click the “follow” button, so how do you decide which to now unfollow?

  20. Sara

    I try to remember that most instances of “I’m sorry” can be replaced with “excuse me” or “thank you.” I’ve also noticed that when I stopped saying sorry (and often say nothing at all instead) its weird how many people don’t respond with an I’m sorry, excuse me, or thank you of their own. Its nice when we are pleasant to each other, but I feel like I am more in my head about being polite than most people are. And its actually okay to not be pleasant all the time, aka getting out of my head and stop people pleasing.

  21. Jas

    Love your list of improvements! Also such a cute picture of you in red! For a great 2018, I cut out a few habits that were not serving me well-cold turkey. That meant deleting apps or temporarily disabling (Instagram was one of them). I started keeping a planner, your whole day opens up when you eliminate the option to watch other people live their lives. I started to incorporate praying more and decided to commit myself to a bible plan at least once a month. Positive thinking through spoken or written affirmations and choosing to highlight the good parts of my day instead of blowing up a mistake that I had made earlier for instance, so being less critical. I made a goal to read more and invest in my career, interests and health. So far so good, life seems to have purpose now and there’s a lot less confusion and dialogue going on in my head with the apps gone. I’ve also made more plans to see friends and family in person!

  22. Marcelle Rogers

    I’m with about taking time out and Instagram. Since my children are married, I take one day off a week and spend half the day for me time, it’s so healing. I also choose not to scroll on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, instead look at a select few for a few minutes and leave it it at that as I prefer chatting with hubby, family and friends or simply a quiet time to read books. I like your positive spin on not saying sorry, great idea. All the best for the rest of your pregnancy x

  23. Alexandra

    I love this! TBH I too cleaned up my Instagram and stretch in my PJ’s. I am saving these and implementing them more into my daily life. x

  24. Nadja

    I love new years resolution. I’m personally working on being in spirit of gratitude as opposed to counting blessings (Pres. Uchtdorf’s suggestion!).
    I must note however, that there is nothing wrong in saying you are sorry if you are late. If you aren’t sorry, well, you should be! I know things happen sometimes but it is very courteous to say you are sorry for making other people wait. I just hate being late and have terrible memories of friend being late (some were late for 30-1 hr in many occasions and silly me waited for that long)!

  25. Charlene

    Live the card idea! I actually have a subscription service so I always have cards when I need them and I don’t have to run to the store and spend tons of money on a card. (eWillow.com)
    Also, I’m wondering if the Instagram bubble is about to burst and people will return to following and reading blogs.

  26. Katie

    I just wanted to say how lovely I thought this was. I get the feeling we are quite different in many ways of regular life, but I also think we could connect in many ways despite that. I follow your blog regularly and this post struck home and makes me want to send you a note in the mail. So excited for you for your growing family, and I appreciate your inspirational aspirations. Blogosphere universe love to you!

  27. Erin

    Where are your cute workout clothes from? And sending you and your your family wishes for a happy and healthy 2018!

  28. Amy

    Yes! Agree about “I’m sorry.” Also, it leaves the other person in a position where they feel obligated to say “oh no problem” even if they were bothered by whatever it was. Imagine how differently they’d feel if I said thank you instead.

  29. I love the “me time” because I have been so bad at allowing myself to sneak away without feeling guilty. My second is on the way so I definitely need to make this a priority this coming year!

  30. Niki

    Usually at the beginning of a new year I have some goals like, have more patience, be more sporty, enjoy the little things more, relax…etc.
    At the end of each year there was a sobering realisation how many of this resolutions worked – and how many failed.

    For 2018 I’ve no resolutions, not bc it was a intentional decision:
    On New Year’s Day I listened to the very core of my being, my mind was calm & relaxed and I recognized that I need to allow myself to take the time it‘ll need.
    But I really love your idea of doing small improvements! Thanks for this new approach ❤️

  31. Elsa lópez

    Hi, I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now and I have to say you have inspired me in so many ways… I have been a mom very recently, my baby is 2 months old, and I feel indentified in so many things you share. Thank you for finding the time to share with us, and hope you and your family a wonderful 2018.

  32. Marina

    I love to read this post! Positive and full of oh and ah on my part. We started ‘date night’. It feels like a big improvement to us. Wending best wishes to you and your familie!

  33. Gabriella

    Yes to all of these! I just cleaned up my IG following yesterday and it feels so good. My husband and I am actually limiting our “useless-phone-usage” to 30 mins a day. We’re settimg timers to activate every time we go online, to help us with that for now, though I’m sure we won’t have to do that forever. It’s just a good help I’m figuring out just how much time we’re actually spending scrolling through the depths of the daily news flood.
    I really need to get on that stretching bandwagon, though!

  34. I stopped doing list for this year. I have to finish last year’s list. Lol😁

    For this year….. Simply live the best I can

    Kisses from France
    http://Www.mapetitetribu.com

  35. Fern

    Love the ideas in here! One thing I started doing a couple of years ago was unsubsubscribing from emails I usually just ignore or delete. Spending 10 seconds clicking subscribe has meant less emails clogging up my inbox and it’s been really refreshing!

    Love your blog and looking forward to reading about your new adventures as a family of 7(!)

  36. I love those ideias, specially that saying less sorry! I feel like that’s what I do all day for no reason. :/
    The social media thing I’m working on.. And one of my things this year, believe or not, is too have more regular and good/healthy lunches! I often don’t have lunch or just eat something small, then I’m dragging the whole afternoon. I want to focus on having better lunches. Xx – Fernanda

    http://www.blogmeandthecity.com

  37. kate

    I like your ideas/improvements for this year (and really need to get into the habit of stretching) but I’m conflicted with #3. As someone who apologises a lot (I never realised until a male cousin pointed it out and told me I say sorry too often) I get your point but at the same time shouldn’t we be saying sorry in certain situations. Your eg. of someone bumping into you and you not saying sorry I totally get that since they ran into you but if you or I are running late isn’t it polite to say sorry? I mean, I actually am sorry if I am ever late. What about a combo of, I’m sorry, thank you for waiting? It says you’re sorry and that you appreciate them waiting for you? So tricky, especially as if it’s overused it can lose its meaning.
    Also, on the topic of my male cousin pointing out my over apologising , I find it interesting that a male pointed it out. Of course most men don’t go around saying sorry 24/7 and us women definitely do over apologise (as a general overstatement) so there is probably some room for us to cut down on the sorry’s but I still do think there are times when sorry is ok, like when we actually are sorry for something!
    Would be interested to hear your thoughts (and other readers too!)

  38. Alida

    Here’s what I did with Instagram: I kept everyone on there, but added my top 5 to my favourites bar. I usually only look them up on a daily basis, but all the other are still there, so no worries about who to keep or not. Great & managable list Taza!

  39. Jessica

    As a Mom with two very young kids, I so so agree on the Me-time!! It’s a hard lesson to learn at first, but once you make a little time for yourself, it totally IS magic!! I usually go to the chiropractor, and swing by the store while my husband watches the kids, one evening a week. It’s only an hour or so, but it’s a wonderful chance to recharge and feel (physically and mentally) whole again.

    http://www.jessicabroyles.com

  40. Lauren

    First of all, I just want to say how fabulous you look Naomi! Seriously! I hope you are well. I’m a twin and after speaking to my mum about twin pregnancies I’ve learned its no walk in the park but so worth it, obviously.

    Secondly, I love this post! I completely agree with ditching the resolutions and opting for little improvements instead. After reading this, I had a little social media detox of my own and it felt gooood. I think its something I might revisit every month or two because I’m so bad for just following random accounts when I see they’ve posted a nice picture or two.

    For my own little improvements, feeling good and self love are at the top of my list! I’m trying to get into a little morning ritual of: get up, make bed, stretch/yoga and then some time on the SheReadsTruth app and its really helped with boosting my happiness so far. I also want to try and share more love with others which means actually picking up the phone and calling my parents more or texting an old friend to see how they are. It’s also improved my relationship with my boyfriend as I tell him “One of my favourite things about you is when…” or “I love this about you…”.

    Loong comment but anyways, I wish your fam all the best for the new year! I can’t wait to see what it brings you!

  41. Lori

    Hey! I know how much you love YSL Touche Eclat – I saw they have some new color correcting pens for under eye circles… Just a heads up :]

  42. Brenda

    Great list! I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions, I usually make changes in the spring as it feels more like a fresh start then!

    Things I’m working on:
    -decluttering! we are finishing our basement and realize we are storing a lot of things we don’t use (or even remember we had!). Not limited to the basement but to my closet and kitchen too!
    -take me time! With an 18 month old and 22 weeks pregnant there never seems to be enough time for everything. But after having an hour to myself to work on my online business after a meeting was cancelled, gave me a boost I didn’t know I needed!
    -Stop buying items I don’t really need/ find alternate uses for items I currently have already!

    Hope you start feeling better soon! Love seeing your little bump :)

  43. Bridget Hunt

    I am sooooo guilty of the apology ALL. THE. TIME. too. This was a wakeup call. I do not need to apologize for EVERYTHING!

    You look so great. Hope you are feeling better every day.

  44. Alice

    I gave up coffee and Facebook. I gained better sleep, more time and less anxiety.

  45. Kelly

    Stretching is such a good one and I am obsessed with your gallery wall!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  46. Naima

    These are lovely decisions for your wellbeing and joy (and then, of course, the joy of those around you)! I always find it humbling and inspiring when women talk honestly about the intention it takes to stay healthy, grounded. Good luck to you! Onward!

  47. Hannah

    Love this!! Such an awesome post! I especially love the last one about taking time for yourself and the one about not saying sorry! It is so true that you need to be thriving and well before you can take care of others and help them do the same! I always feel so recharged after I get out for a little skate ski, run to the thrift shop or go and grab a mocha and a donut. And for the other thing that you talked about, I am constantly apologizing for accidentally bumping into someone, and sometimes I even get sneers from random people on the street/grocery store, etc. when I do. It’s almost as if they think they are better than me, when really I am just trying to be considerate. I also love the fact that you are focusing on intentions over goals! I absolutely love your little blog and your cute family! You guys are so real and always look like you are truly enjoying life! I hope you start feeling better soon! I got super sick with both my pregnancies and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.. it’s so, so brutal!

  48. Amanda

    I’m really liking your goals, and I hear you on over apologizing. I do it all the time, even when I bump into a chair! I am genuinely sorry when I’m late for something though. I’m not sure that’s over apologizing, since I’m wasting someone else’s time. I do like how you’ve changed your phrasing and your examples are so helpful. I think I’m going to have to copy this goal!

  49. Andrea

    I also cleaned up who I follow on instagram! A word of encouragement- I have 7 month old twin boys and a 3 year old daughter. My pregnancy sounds a lot like yours. As soon as those girls are placed in your arms, you’ll forget the constant-all-day-long sickness and chronic fatigue, almost instantly. Best of luck and lots of fun your way!

  50. Lauren

    Instead of resolutions I choose a word for the year and make a print to hang on he wall to remind me every day. Last year it was CONFIDENT and this year its UNSTOPPABLE! it’s easier to live a certain way for a year than to keep track of a bunch of goals. At least for me.

  51. Jessie

    I live in Canada where we say sorry as a reflex – but I think there are two kinds of sorry: the sorry we say instinctively (like when we bump into someone, or when we’re bumped into) and actual apologies (ie, saying sorry for being late. keeping someone waiting is disrespectful and so I think it is appropriate to be sorry for this).

  52. Sally Mae

    You look so beautiful!

    I hope you shame more about the twins soon. 🙂

  53. Sally Mae

    You look so beautiful!

    I hope you share more about the twins soon. 🙂

  54. I realized that with Facebook and Instagram, there is no keeping up. Now that I’ve accepted that I will miss stuff, I can enjoy them for what they are. Instagram shows me pretty and interesting things, but I limit how long I’ll scroll for: it’s easy entertainment, but nowhere near as rewarding as actually doing something like gardening or cooking. With Facebook, I hope that if there’s something one of my friends really needs me to know, they’ll tell me!

    I haven’t figured out how to get enough me-time yet. As soon as I’m off active parenting duty, my brain is full of things that need cleaning or tidying. Or even if the house is clean, I start to think of meals I could make to put in the freezer. Odd, that as much as I try to think ahead, plan ahead and get ahead, I always seem to be behind…

  55. Veronica

    Ciao Naomi, scrivo in italiano, per me è più semplice comunicare.
    Ti seguo da prima che Eleonor nascesse e…Adoro questo post e quando tu scrivi i pensieri di vita quotidiana normale e comune a tante persone. Ti apprezzo di più con questa sincerità rispetto ai mille sorrisi che spesso pubblichi come se la vita fosse perfetta senza mai un problema (tu e la tua famiglia non apparivate nemmeno reali!).

    Spero che ti arrivi il giusto messaggio di quanto ho scritto.
    Xoxo

    Veronica

  56. Carly

    Sounds like a great way to kick off the new year! Sorry to hear the pregnancy is rough. I’m also pregnant with twins. Things got much better for me around 16 weeks. Hopefully it will for you too.

    Carly http://www.AModernMomBlog.com

  57. I love this! I’m a mom of twins and I’m so excited for your growing family! And ditto on saying sorry all the time. I even apologized to a mannequin by mistake recently. Seriously. I thought it was only a Southern affliction but it seems to have spread to women abroad. Time for a cure! Happy New Year!

  58. Tairah

    love your post! But i also love your workout top and lip color..:) you usually leave a link to those things. Just thought I would ask incase it is a new shade of lipstick you are trying or just your tired and true ones. Thanks for your uplifting post. Hope the morning sickness wears off soon.

  59. Always believe small new year resolution goals specifically, improving our own habits can achieve early. And getting same in you. Best wishes!

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