The new year is approaching, and instead of waiting until that magical January 1 date, what do you say we all go ahead and start the process to better self care and a more intentional way of living today, yeah? You’ve heard itbefore, and it couldn’t be more true. There’s no time like the present to start creating your best life. I don’t mean to sound cheesy here, guys. But I do want to empower you every chance I get to do the work, put in the effort and see the dramatic results of a simple lived life.
It’s no secret that in today’s society, it’s becoming harder and harder to attain, which is why I take so much pride in this blog and the community of followers. We’re all in this together, and every post that I write and publish is truly something that I’ve either done and achieved results that have impacted my life, or I too, am working on the subject at hand. You’re never alone in this. And why I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions and the heavy pressure that they bring, I do believe in clean slates and forming new, healthy habits whenever we’re given the chance.
If you go, I’ll go. Ready?
15 ways to hit refresh before the new year
1. Adjust your relationships
Are the relationships in your life working for you or against you? Are there any that feel toxic or circumstantial? This is the perfect time to evaluate the people in your life and ensure that you’re surrounded by the energy and love that you need (and deserve!) come the new year.
If you need help navigating this subject, read this post on letting go of toxic relationships.
2. Take up a new hobby
It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the daily grind – whether that be our job or our kids, whatever your life may look like. Making time for a new hobby or activity will not only change things up, but it’ll offer a fresh perspective and leave you feeling inspired just in time for a brand new year.
A few examples of things you could try include: ceramics, jewelry making, painting, photography, a dance class, cooking classes. You can also sign up for services like SkillShare where you can learn a lot of new trades from the comfort of your own home – sometimes for free!
3. Get real with your health
Before the new year approaches, this is the time to really look at your health and get any and all check ups to ensure everything’s working properly. Head in for a physical and drop in to your dentist. Start the year off knowing that your body is working for you, not against you.
You can also try herbs as a means of daily maintenance. My sister introduced me to herbs a while ago and I love them (I take them every day) I prefer this brand, but there are so many on the market these days.
4. Get aligned by a chiropractor
In addition to checking in with your doctor and dentist, going to see a chiropractor to get aligned will leave you wondering why you don’t do it more often. So much tension leaves your body after an alignment, and it can actually be the release of heavy weight and stress you’re carrying around.
5. Begin a ritual for yourself
Instead of waiting until January 1 to begin a new tradition or ritual for yourself, why not start today? You’ll not only eliminate the “New Years Resolution” pressure (more regarding my thoughts on that in a future post), but a habit takes only 21 days to form – so by the time the new year comes around, you’ll be well into your ritual.
Some examples could include: writing in a gratitude journal, going for a morning walk with music and your coffee, reading a chapter of your book in the morning before you embrace technology or taking a hot bath before you start the day
6. Get to know your finances
I just posted on this subject the other day sharing how I handle my finances and also giving away my free spreadsheet that I use each month to track my budget. I’m passionate about this subject because I know the true value it brings to your life once you’ve given it the attention it needs. It’s one of the easiest ways to simplify your life and eliminate unnecessary stress that tends to swirl around the subject of money. Before the new year begins, get real with your finances and get friendly with your budget. This will ensure that you spend this brand new year living within your means, saving more, and worrying far, far less.
7. Declutter your home
This can feel overwhelming at first, but there’s no time like right before the new year to declutter your home (and your life, while you’re at it) I’ll be coming out with a TCC Challenge next week, so stay tuned as it’s all about decluttering and giving you guidelines to make it a simple process that you’ll only have to do once.
If you’d like a heads up as to when this challenge goes live, make sure you subscribe to the newsletter (over on the blog’s sidebar)
Visit the post on keeping a minimalist kitchen right here.
8. Analyze your personal style
Let this be the year that you stop spending money on things not meant for you, and train your brain to purchase items not only that you need (instead of want), but love (instead of like) Figuring out my personal style was one of the best things that I did for myself in 2017. It eliminated so much access in my life, and allowed me to get real and true with what it is that works well for my lifestyle and my body type. It can be so easy to look around at society and be told what we should we wearing, but that’s how clutter and regular donations happen. We’re buying things out of habit instead of buying things out of necessity.
I recommend starting a pinterest board titled “my personal style” and spend some time here and there collecting images that speak to you. Be it colors, textures, outfits, hairstyles, etc. do this without a filter – that’s the only way you’ll come to truly know your own unique style. Another trick is to evaluate your closet. Grab a notebook and a pen and take note of your most frequently worn items. What do they have in common? Is it the color palette? Maybe it’s that everything you own is soft or a specific kind of fabric. Once you become more mindful of what it is you love, your shopping habits will change and you’ll end up shopping smarter, not harder.
9. Talk less, listen more
This is something I’m constantly working on. It’s not that I’m a major talker, I’m not really. But when I tend to get excited, I can ramble a little too often or talk over another person. It’s a frustrating habit that I’m more and more mindful of every day, which is why I think it’s worthy of being on this list. Wouldn’t it be nice to start the new year off feeling like you truly know how to listen and empathize with those around you? I believe that the more we listen, the more we free ourselves of our own internal clutter.
Here’s a post I wrote on the art of empathy and becoming a better listener in case you’d like some helpful tips.
10. Keep a journal and start free writing
To accompany the previous point, when you start to take less and listen more, you’ll find it extremely helpful to have a place to dump your thoughts, especially the mundane thoughts that tend to circle our brain and leave us overthinking. I’ve found the best and most effective way to release myself of these thoughts and clear my mind for more meaningful conversations is to free write in a journal a little each day. Even if it’s just three sentences, that’s enough, You’ll see – once you start leaving things on paper and leaving more room in your subconscious, not only will listening to others become so much easier, but you’ll start speaking more mindfully and adding real value to conversations.
11. Organize your desktop
This kind of goes hand in hand with decluttering your home, but organizing your desktop/computer will give you the biggest sigh of relief you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this months ago. First thing’s first, buy a trusty hard drive and begin dumping all of your necessary contents on to it. Organize each thing by folder (home, business, taxes, photos, videos, etc) and ensure it’s placed in a folder with the year.
As an example: (2017 > business > taxes > clients)
The best habit you can get into is to set a reminder in your phone each month to do a routine backup. If you have a Mac, you can do TimeMachine, but I like to babysit my backups rather than have them be automatic. I do it on the 1st of each month.
Personally, I don’t keep anything on my desktop. I have google drive set up to hold all of my blog posts that I’m working on, as well as any personal images and images for this blog. Everything else (from past years and for my photography business) lives on my master hard drive and an external hard drive that I bring with me just about every where. I find I work so much better when my computer is free of icons, and I never run into the issue of having a lack of storage.
The hard drives I use and recommend: Master Hard Drive / External Hard Drive
12. Rid your bathroom of expired beauty products
Start the new year off knowing that you’re being safe and smart with what’s going onto your skin and into your body. I’m not implying that you have to go strictly organic and natural. I only do it about 75%, but one thing I’m good about is making sure I’m not using expired products. It may not seem like a big deal, but a slew of bacteria lives in beauty products that hang around too long (think of it like food)
Here’s a graphic that I made for how long you should keep certain beauty products should you want to pin for future reference.
13. Come up with a mantra
This might sound silly, but coming up with a mantra has been one of the best things that I’ve done for myself. It acts as a sounding board for when things start to get a little heavy or feel a bit out of my control. If you subscribe to the weekly newsletter, then you probably remember that not long ago, I talked all about this and shared my personal story on how my mantra “let that shit go” came about. As funny as it is and the fact that it has a curse word in there makes it that much lighter and almost always makes me crack a smile when I say it out loud or think it to myself. You may have noticed from this post that I even found a little wooden sign that reads it.
14. Embrace the top 3 method
This is such a powerful tool to get associated with before the new year arrives. Our society, for some reason, thrives on being busy and always being on the go – even though we all know that a hefty dose of balance and slower living is so crucial to our health. Using the top 3 method is a healthy approach to getting done what needs to be done in a 12 hour period, rather than creating unattainable lists that leave us feeling like we failed at the end of the day.
15. Quiet your technology
I highly recommend starting out with your phone. Set up the “do not disturb” feature that mutes any text messages alerts that come through at a certain time. For me, it starts at 7pm and goes until 8am. Don’t worry, you’ll still get the text messages – its just that your phone wont light up or make noise. This makes it so much easier to be less distracted throughout your days and evenings, and to truly focus on resting.
PS: did you know that with the new iPhone update you can now set automatic messages to be sent out when you’re driving?! I am ALL about this.
Next up is your mail – in all forms.
For email, sign up for the website unroll.me to unsubscribe from emails that you’re not even sure how you started to get in the first place. I do this about every few months, and it takes less than 5 minutes. It’s so worth it, and it breathes new life into the experience when it comes to checking my email.
For snail mail, take about 10 minutes out of your day and log in/contact all of your billing companies. Go paperless and thank me later. There is nothing better than being free of paper bills floating around the home. I set up folders in my email so that whenever they com through, I move them to their designated folder for easy accessing should I need it later on.
What do you think? Will you try any (or all) of these tips? I’d love to stay in touch with any of you who take the leap. As always, feel free to reach out via email at email@example.com, or stay in touch on Instagram. xx