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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!