A Fresh Start

I just love the feeling of a fresh start that January brings — I also feel this way around the beginning of September as well even though I haven’t been “back to school” since 2008. I always feel like it’s just a great time to re-evaluate your priorities, routines, and schedule. Each year, I order a new planner and enjoy setting it up with all of our activities and commitments for the year. I originally wrote the first 2/3 of this post back in early January and planned to have it published around that time but with baby arriving, blogging has been squeezed into little pockets of free time while Fletcher is napping. :) So, here we go with our yearly intentions on February 8th!

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This year, the planner that I always choose had some extra “prep” pages added to the beginning and it was exactly what I needed to work through before starting 2019. I sat down last month and really poured my heart into evaluating 2018 — processing what worked and what didn’t work.

I wanted to share some of these prep pages on my blog — even if you don’t have one of these planners, it’s something that could easily be done in a journal as you prepare for the next twelve months.

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The lists that I made in the photo above were in response to the following questions:

What worked last year?
What didn’t work last year?
Ideas for new routines
Ideas for new healthy habits

Really sitting down to think about these four areas of my life was extremely helpful. Not only did it force me to look back and evaluate 2018, it helped me to notice patterns and systems that helped or hindered my day to day life. I also chatted with a good friend of mine about a lot of my reflections since she was feeling the same way about the past year of her own life. This was so helpful because not only was there someone that could say “me too” to a lot of how I felt, but we were able to springboard ideas off of each other in hopes of making 2019 a great year.

After completing the prep pages, the main thing that stood out to me was that there was a lot of feeling "overwhelmed.” I’m one of those people that can go, go, go, until I can’t — and then the brakes come to a screeching halt and the cycle starts all over again.

Pouring over these pages helped me realize what my triggers are — clutter, lack of boundaries, overcommitting myself, and not having enough down time or social time. Another thing that made me feel drained was not having enough life-giving activities (passions, hobbies, creative outlets, things that light me up, etc.)

Some of the things that were life-giving for me included regular dates with Andy, dinners / coffee with my auntie, spending time with friends, and prepping for my work day the night before (lunch packed, bags by door, clothes laid out, etc.). Working out, eating healthy, and doing something creative on the regular also falls into this category!

So, I think that needs to happen in 2019 is that I need to do more of the life-giving activities and really focus on not letting things get out of control (too many “yes-es”, going to bed with dishes in the sink, etc.). I feel like this sounds ridiculous, but my day just starts SO much smoother when I go downstairs to make my coffee and step into a spotless kitchen instead of one that has a full dishwasher and sticky counters.

Along with this prep work, I also wanted to share my focus for this new year:

Prioritize My Health + Happiness
I feel like I’m always saying I’m going to do this but for some reason, self-care (along with my mental / physical health) always gets put on the back burner whenever life is crazy (which, newsflash — it kind of always is). I’d really like to invest in these two areas of my life even if it means making sacrifices in other areas in order to make it happen. My gym membership reactivates in a few weeks after being frozen during pregnancy and I’m really looking forward to not only getting back into a gym routine but also utilizing things like the steam room in the women’s locker room. I used to spend 10 minutes in there after almost every workout a few years ago and it was seriously like a little tropical vacation leaving me feeling calm and refreshed.

Be More Intentional
2018 was filled with so many things and I often felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants. House hunting, moving, pregnancy, starting a new job, etc. was a lot in such a short time span and I often found myself eating meals on the go, multi-tasking, and overall just not having enough rest or friend time. I want to focus on slowing down, scheduling more time with those around me, not eating in my car in-between commitments, etc. I feel like having a baby has really made me rethink some of my priorities because now there is someone looking up to me and the actions that I take each day — I want him to know me as a mom that is calm and present, not frazzled and overwhelmed. Time flies by so much faster as you get older and I’d really like to prioritize being intentional with my days and in my relationships.

Speaking of which, I also want to be more intentional with reaching out to people. So often, I think about texting a friend to see if they want to grab coffee or an impromptu HH but then rethink it and tell myself they’re probably busy and it’s snowing again so do I really even want to go out that night? Time to stop overthinking and just send the texts to spend more time with those that I love!

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Be Mindful of Screen Time
This is one area of my life that has really been on my heart lately after coming across this article. The day after I read it, someone had posted something similar on Facebook about how smartphones are becoming our priority before our children and you guys, it just broke my heart. I want to make sure that I’m being mindful of using my phone when I’m around my people, so I deleted Instagram and Pinterest off of my phone to avoid mindless scrolling out of habit whenever I have a free minute or feel bored. I'll keep the apps on my iPad but really only use my iPad when I’m on the treadmill or having some down time during Fletcher’s naps — this will help keep my time spent on social media more in check.

What are some of your intentions for 2019?
Do you monitor your screen time?