We survived the first month of 2019, and I’m curious: how is everybody feeling?
The beginning of a new year is always a little imbalanced, at least in my little corner of the world anyway. It starts off seamless, and then of course life strikes – lessons implement themselves and we’re forced to handle them directly, intentions and resolutions slowly drop off, maybe some judgement creeps in there, and then we’re silently begging for either a do-over or for February to get here already so we can set January off to sea.
Or maybe, just maybe, we coasted and got through the first month of 2019 unscathed. I hope that was your reality.
January for me looked a little like this:
• I brought in the New Year with the flu (alongside so many others, it seems!)
• I came out the other side with some help, feeling better than I have in years
• I went to barre just about every day (still going strong)
• I cut out drinking for the most part – a glass of wine here & there if the occasion called for it. I’ve honestly never felt better.
• I read 4 books (I’ve posted them below if you’re interested)
• I created a morning and evening ritual (which I’ll be sharing here on the blog & podcast soon)
• I started meditating every day
• I started soul journaling again (and have something fun in the works regarding this, so stay tuned!)
• I attempted ceramics classes and learned that I’m awful at it, so I let that go, but so glad that I tried!
• I spent some time in Colorado (Boulder to be specific) and fell in love with that town
• I re-launched Season II of the podcast
Now that February is here, I’m approaching it gently. I’m taking it day by day, trying not to get TOO lost in tasks as I’m working on a few new projects within my photography business and here with The Calm Collective.
I always want to ensure I’m living a life of balance, and one that doesn’t revolve around making money, staring at my computer, and not having time to take Jasper for leisurely walks or make myself some really good food.
“Head down, work hard” is not the point of life. At least not for me, and it took me years to figure that out for myself, and I’m grateful to have that realization and to take it seriously.
So far this month I’ve connected with my college friends from out of town, I hibernated during the Polar Vortex that the midwest was hit with by staying inside and reading a book pretty much from cover to cover, I paired down my wardrobe to 40 items (including shoes – more on this soon), and enjoyed a LOT of coffee :)
Let’s jump into this month’s intentions!
Read 2-3 Books
Reading has become such a gateway to learning more, gaining more inspiration, and leading me to write and podcast more with total freedom. It’s opened up a lot for me over the past month, and as nerdy as it sounds — I’m so grateful to have finally gotten a library card! It’s saving me HUNDREDS of dollars as buying books is one of the main things I spend money on. (If I end up loving the book to the point of wanting to highlight it, and I know I’ll want to reference it later, I buy it after I’ve finished my library copy)
Right now I’m reading this. Such a beautiful and important read.
Speaking of being a nerd, I went crazy the other day after not knowing off the top of my head what automatic payments I had on my business credit card. I felt like I should have known this, or at the very least had it written down somewhere. I’m about to change banks, so I knew that I would have to alert those companies ASAP. What started off as simply creating a spreadsheet to keep all of that information in one place, turned in to so. much. more. All of my banking, expenses, etc are in one spreadsheet, each item I have hanging in my closet is in another (with checkboxes for if I wore it or not — if by month 3 I haven’t, I sell or donate it), a master grocery list of all of the things I buy on a regular basis (along with how much it costs so I have a concrete idea of how much I spend on groceries each week), a manifested wardrobe list (a reader gave me this idea and it’s awesome! When you’re coveting something, put it in the spreadsheet along with the cost, total up how much you’d be spending, and let it sit for a bit. This a) helps you to budget for it if you really want to buy it, and b) helps you prioritize your wants vs. needs) So, yeah. You get the idea. I went spread sheet CRAZY earlier this week but it was worth it. Once you do it, you’re set for life, since all you have to do is change the info here and there.
Say No When I Want To Say No
I’ve always been decent at this (ish), but this month I want to practice doing it without the whole song and dance of trying to make excuses as to why I can’t or don’t want to do something. As it’s been said before (I forget by whom), “no is a complete sentence”. Since we live in a people pleasing world, it’s easy to feel like we’re being inconsiderate, or for people to say we’re selfish if we take this approach, but just remember that nothing is personal — and that you’re entitled to live your life in complete and utter alignment. Now to be clear, I completely understand that we all have responsibilities and we can’t ALWAYS do what we want 100% of the time. That’s not the point here. We all have to do taxes, networking over coffee is helpful, and you should really consider picking your friend up from the airport.
Get my Etsy Shop SEO-Furnished & Add All Updates
It’s worth putting here because I’ve been dragging my feet on this for so long and I need the accountability. Etsy, if you didn’t know, is challenging. Because there are SO many shops selling much of the same, it’s really hard to stand out and to get your work seen. I sell my photography prints, and for a while was just doing downloadable prints, but I was getting a LOT of messages from shoppers who wanted to know if I could print it for them, or if I could get it framed for them. It comes down to supply & demand, so I decided to give the people what they want! So not only am I adding framed & unframed options to the shop, but a lot of new work is arriving this month as well.
The real doozy of it all?
Researching and then implementing SEO. Let me just say this: it is not for the faint of heart nor is it my favorite past time.
So that’s it for the month of February. It really comes down to moving slowly, treating myself gently, deepening my practice when it comes to living soulfully and in alignment, simplifying, and getting super clear on what it is that I want to offer both here, and with my other business.
Cheers to a new month. x