Cheers to 2018, everyone! My New Year’s resolution? Drink more champagne in bed. Just kidding — though I admire anyone who does make that a personal goal. I’ve actually been thinking more than ever about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year – much more than years past. I think it has something to do with my recent half-marathon achievement — it felt so incredible to complete it, that I want more. More of the pride that comes with productivity and accomplishing my goals. More of the motivation to reach new heights in all aspects of my life. So below you’ll find my nine goals for 2018 — because ten? I mean, that would just be unrealistic. So here’s to a new year of productivity, accountability, and a brand new set of healthy habits!
// Make my bed every day //
It’s a task that takes no more than two minutes yet I rarely made the time for it. That is until I heard the impact making your bed can have in this inspiring commencement speech given by a United States Navy Admiral. The Admiral shared how the simple act of making your bed in the morning gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment. That tiny task then motivates you to continue to complete more goals and tasks throughout the day. The Admiral says, “If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.” I’ve been making my bed every day for the last few weeks and can tell you that it truly does make me feel more productive and ready to tackle the day ahead. Not to mention, it’s so much nicer crawling into a beautifully made bed at night!
// Meditate daily //
I feel like this has been a (failed) resolution of mine for the last two years — but THIS is the year. It’s too important to keep letting it slip. Getting in tune with yourself, your emotions, managing negative thoughts and anxiety — there are so many perks to prioritizing this practice. I’m going to start with 10 minutes a day and work my way up from there. I even purchased a full year’s subscription with Headspace which gives you certain topics and exercises to choose from. This post from Carly the Prepster is my motivation to make it through the first 100 days!
// Write in my gratitude journal daily //
This act of writing in my gratitude journal over the last few years has changed my life. For those of you unfamiliar, a gratitude journal (as described by The Secret) is where you write down things you’re currently grateful for, as well as your gratitude intentions. That means you write down your gratitude for the things you want in life, that you don’t currently have, but as if you have them. This practice has been so powerful for me. It’s a great way to rewire the brain and find some positive perspective. But lately, I’ve only been writing in my journal when life isn’t going my way and/or my mind is consumed with negative thoughts. What I should be doing is writing in my journal every day, especially in times that things are swinging my way! Shouldn’t I feel extra grateful for that? I think yes! So, now, even if it’s just two lines each for my gratitude and gratitude intentions (I usually strive for ten), I’m going to write it down, feel it, and express my gratitude.
// Build muscle //
If you read last year’s resolution then you know that 2017, for me, was to be a year dedicated to my physical health. I let exercise slide in 2016 with the start of ATD but in 2017, I wanted to refocus. The first six months, I hardly worked out. I was busy, scared, lazy — whatever the excuse, it didn’t happen. But, fortunately, in July I committed to running a half-marathon across the Golden Gate Bridge that November. A goal was what I needed to get me going — and it absolutely did. I trained for four months and eventually completed the half-marathon on November 5th. It was an amazing accomplishment for me (something I’ll be writing about shortly), but I realized that though I could run 13.1 miles non-stop, my grocery bags still felt embarrassingly heavy, my core still felt too weak. So this year, while I still plan on running weekly, I’m going to incorporate weight and strength training into my routine. I’ve already committed to a 3-month partnership with CorePower Yoga (I’ve heard the best things) and am meeting with a personal trainier on Wednesday. With that said, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be sharing a glimpse into my fitness journey on the blog! So let me know what you’d like to see. Workouts? Athletic gear? Recipes?!
// Meal prep //
Speaking of recipes, let’s talk about my favorite topic outside of fashion — food. When I decided to dive head-first into training for the half-marathon, I knew my diet would have to change to fuel my body. My fitness inspo and best friend, Jess, introduced me to her nutritionist who helped her improve her diet through counting macros. Neema and I both started the program and love it. Counting macros isn’t easy, but it’s definitely made an impact on our relationship with food and our energy levels. The hardest part though? Preparation. There have been too many days where I’ve attempted to wing my meals. As our Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, so wisely said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So this year, I will grocery shop and prep our full week of meals every Sunday.
// Produce 2-3 blog posts per week //
To be candid, in the beginning, it will likely be two posts per week, but I will definitely shoot for three! I really wish I had more time to dedicate to putting out quality, helpful posts. I definitely hold myself back from hitting “Publish” because I don’t feel a post is perfect — the pictures, the angle of the topic, the writing, especially when I’m in a hurry. But this year, I’m going to focus on done, not perfect. That might mean a quick blurb about my weekend or an experience I had, or more visuals and shopping links in some posts rather than paragraphs. Either way, I’m going to commit to being more consistent. You can expect blog posts from me on Mondays and Wednesdays, and if I have time, a fun Friday post to kick off the weekend! So hold me accountable and more than anything, give me feedback! Let me know if you like a post or want to hear more about a certain topic. You all did share that you’d like to hear more about hair and beauty, so you can definitely expect to see more of it in 2018!
// Call my family more frequently //
Living far away from my family has come with a lot of guilt. Guilt that doesn’t typically hit me until the workday is through. I’ve gone to the gym, eaten dinner, spent time on the blog, and finally settled into my (perfectly made) bed for the night. It’s like a punch to the gut when I lie there and think about all that I’m missing being 2,000 miles away. Outside of having a packed schedule, when I do catch a break, it’s usually 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there. In the moment, it just doesn’t feel like enough time to properly catch up with loved ones. In reality, a quick “hello, I’m thinking of you.” is better than silence so I’m going to make a point to just make the call. I also want to set aside a designated time each Sunday to chat with family, something I’d likely be doing anyway if I still lived in Kentucky.
// Make more time to do…nothing //
Over the holiday break, Neema and I spent 16 hours on the couch watching season 1 and 2 of Stranger Things. At first, I felt guilty. By guilty, I mean like a total bum! But then Neema reminded me that he’s never seen me take a break like that — at least since before we got engaged more than four years ago. After a year of prepping for the wedding, I started prepping for the blog, and since the blog has started, I never feel “okay” just kicking back. I feel like I should be doing something productive for my business, picking up around the house, planning our social calendar and vacations, or being physically active. I believe that having a set time to lie on the couch and binge-watch Netflix (Friends, duh!) will allow me to truly relax in that time period, guilt-free.
// Kick the clutter //
After living in the same apartment for more than seven years — you start to accumulate a lot of clutter. The book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been so helpful in understanding how the chaos of clutter can impact your life — and the freedom and energy your home gives you when it’s tidy and clutter-free! This year, I’m really focused on everything in our apartment having a “home”. That hair tie? It goes in the dedicated hair tie compartment on my dresser. The coffee filters? They have a dedicated spot in our cabinet, not sitting on the counter. If there’s no “home”, it’s getting donated or going down the trash chute.