New Year's Prep

 
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As 2018 comes to a close, I have started to look ahead. I have never been one to make resolutions, but instead, I try to set some goals for the year. However, this can become overwhelming and then I get anxious and before I know it I am sitting in my closet in tears with a bottle of wine. ( I mean no judging if you do this).

This past year has been the year of self-exploration. I began 2018 in a heat of depression and just feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin. So, I decided to take life by the reigns and find myself. It has taken balance for sure. I learned that there is a time to finish things and a time to acknowledge that life will go in if you don’t get to that. I mean if I could do it all- what would I need the hubs for!

But how do we find this balance? The holy grail of motherhood! Because if we always just go with the flow and never complete anything, then there would be clothes in the dryer for 3 weeks and my kid would never take a bath. But if we only focus on performance and completion, we’ll miss out on the beauty of life.

So, I have really learned to look at my calendar and ask, “What can I truly handle in the next week?“ We are all faced with different outside expectations, you know those things that do not have to get done, but you do them? Label them!! Make them in a notes section on your phone and then give yourself that freedom during those hard weeks to ignore them. Then, when you get through that season, pick them back up again. It is ok to say NO.

So, to go into 2019 feeling balanced and ready to take on the next season of life, I try to do some sorting and organizing while I have some time off. dance with the seasons of rest and of chaos, I have a few things I really like to sort out while I take time off. Perhaps you take a few days off of working out or cooking dinner or anything that is carving out a larger portion of your time, and instead, focus on these things. If you have any time off of work during the holidays, use it to the best of your ability and get some of these tasks completed!

PLANNER

Ok, I have gone back and forth between electronic and paper calendar, but one thing is true, I can’t operate my schedule without my planner. It has my work deadlines, Junior League commitment, dance teaching schedule, E’s events… Just find the method that works best for you! Some people use their planner to plan out monthly appointments and daily tasks, or prefer to use it as a to-do list. I try and also have some idea of posts and blogs that I would like to do in a month. I’m currently using this planner from Target and love how thin it is! Before you go into 2019, make sure you’ve got a plan in place to stay organized and scheduled. Some of my friends have even gone to fancy digital planners. This one is a favorite among my gang.

BUDGET

Ok, so my husband is a budget person. We have a spreadsheet that calculates it all out. I input my expenses and can see what we are spending on and where. So, we use that to budget for the next year. While I’m no financial advisor (and actually do not take care of the finances in our family) but read the Money Diaries book! But, just think about what your big purchases will be for the next year and start setting that money aside. For me, I allow myself a certain amount of free money each month that I can spend as I wish. Think clothes, Starbuck’s, girls’ night.

PHONE

Back that puppy up and clean it out! Dupes of every photo? Delete! Apps you no longer use, delete! Videos and texts and all the stuff you just keep? Delete!

PHOTOS

While on the topic of images- make sure you are printing your images to enjoy! Print some of those out! Remember prints? Those things you use to pick up from the drug store and put in albums? Yup! Those still exist. If you went on a fabulous trip this year, try to make a book with the images so you can cherish it for years to come. This is also the time of year to sort through any boxes of photos you have and you can try to sort them. Organizing images is never something you really think to do {or I don’t!} but when it’s all said in done, I think this is the task we will be most grateful we did! You reach for photo albums, not a planner, when you have guests over.

CLOSETS

This is a doozy. Clean out the closets! And this does not have to mean purging clothes, but by all means feel free to. But just step inside and decide if its working for you. Hang up everything. Fold everything. Put shoes back where they do. If you are anything like me, I accumulate a pile on the floor of the most worn clothing and tend to just recycle through it. This happens with my jewelry as well. But again, now is a good time to purge as well. My rule is if I have not worn in in the last year, it goes. Yup. If I have not reached for an item in the last year, I am just not going to. It is taking up precious real estate in my closet. Its also a good time to sort through the pantry and for me, the craft closet. Throw away old and broken toys, crayons, dried up play doh and paint.

DEVOTIONALS

I started delving into devotionals this last year and I can totally tell a difference. I begin each morning with quiet reading and it sets the tone for my day. So, on of the the most important things to me as I go into a new year is making sure I’m set with my devotionals. Being intentional in scheduling my quiet time has become second nature. What’s on my list for 2019?

Life Principles Daily Bible {for daily reading}, Beside Still WatersStreams in the Dessert .

I just finished Embraced and its the one I have been posting excerpts from.

UNSUBSCRIBE

This is also the best time to unsubscribe from e-mails that aren’t necessary. I get like 50+ adverts every single day from every retailer known to man. You can use unroll.me or just take 10 minutes a day during the holiday to go through and unsubscribe from anything you don’t want. The holidays are a great time to do this as you will typically get “Happy Holiday” emails from vendors your sites you don’t traditionally get e-mails from, which reminds you to unsubscribe!

SELF-AUDIT

Once you get through that never-ending to-do list you’ve put off for months (yeah it just keep growing) sit down and do a little self-audit. This time of year it is SO easy to be persuaded in setting Resolutions. We get these grand ideas of losing 50 pounds, going to bed at 8pm every night ( I wish), you name it. Well, news flash, that’s why you stop working towards those goals come February or March. You truly need to take time and think about what you really need and how that fits in with your lifestyle.

For me, I wanted to workout 5 times a week, but I work full-time, have a kid, teach dance and a million other commitments. So working out from home worked for me instead of the Pilates, bar and yoga classes. We’ve got to analyze what our needs our and align that with our lifestyle. Maybe a self-audit would be that you could cut one evening activity out of your life during the week and instead take that evening to go on a long walk with your kids or take a class.

For me, its always cooking. I want to make good wholesome meals for my family. Every year I promise to cook every night and meal prep on Sundays. Haha. It never works. So, last year my self-audit showed me that I could commit to cooking 3 meals a week. And you know what? For the most part of the last 50 weeks, I have triumphed!

During this self-audit, you don’t have to just focus on goals. Look at ways you can improve you and your life. Want to me more positive? Stop nagging or yelling at the kiddos all.the.time? Look to those things that rob your joy and work towards making them more positive!

HOW TO START?

Ya’ll, write it down! Use that planner or a list, heck go with the post-it method. Just memorialize your goals on paper and share with someone. Have someone to hold you accountable for what you want to accomplish in 2019. And do not forget to reevaluate. Life happens and goals may need to shift or change. Remember, its ok. Its not a sign or failure, its just self-realization and that is healthy.

 
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Sp, tell me what do you hope to accomplish this year?