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Hello, and welcome to 2014! There’s nothing quite like the start of a new year … new challenges and endless possibilities. Now that the crush of the holidays are over, it’s time to start paying attention to YOU. (Yes, you!) January is a great month for cleaning up some of the crap from our lives and getting back into somewhat of a regular, day-to-day routine. I know personally, since being laid off, I need to do a massive clean up and evaluation of my space, time, and energy! So to help kick us all into gear, I’ve put together a list of some suggestions on how to make 2014 your best year ever!
1. Don’t make resolutions. Yeah, you heard me! I never make resolutions because most of them are too broad and nearly impossible to reach! Instead I set small goals and create action plans. For example, if your resolution is “lose weight,” make your action plan “work out three times a week.”
2. Analyze your vices. We all have them, those nasty little habits. It could be something minor like drinking soda or biting your nails. Choose something manageable and try your best to break the cycle in 2014!
3. Get more sleep. We all need it! If you have trouble sleeping, try powering down all your electronic devices and dim the lights about an hour before your ideal bedtime (easier said that done, right???). Last year a friend also recommended a sleep mask! I thought the idea of a sleep mask was silly but she was right, it really does work, especially in our new bedroom which gets a lot of early morning sun.
Photo by Agata Stoinska; Source: Designs by Bonzie
4. Buy new bed sheets. When was the last time you treated yourself to new bed sheets? We just were gifted some off our registry in 2012, but if it’s been a few years consider spending the money on a lush new set. There’s nothing quite like brand new, just-out-of-the-dryer warm, soft, fluffy bed sheets.
5. Buy new pajamas. Are you starting to see a pattern here? We spend a third of our lives sleeping and even though we don’t remember it, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be comfortable. And remember how good it felt to get new pajamas every Christmas when you were a kid? If you’ve never tried them, silk pajamas are quite the luxury. Channel your inner Hef and treat yourself this year.
6. Clean up your DVR recordings. If you’re like me, you get super stoked about every single new reality show that pops up. If it involves kittens, home restoration, or any kind of cupcakes and/or wars, I record it. And then I can never keep up. The start of the new year is a great time to delete all the junk shows you’re not watching.
7. Make a list of books to read in 2014. I’m always wishing I had more time to read, so this year I’m making a list of FIVE books I want to read. I know this sounds low but I’m being realistic. I think I managed to read one book from cover to cover last year, which is really pathetic! Instead of watching junk TV before bed (see #6), I am going to try to read for a little bit each night. I received several books off my wishlist for Christmas and I’m excited to get through them.
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination (I’ve been trying to read this for almost 10 years, seriously. 2014 is the year!)
Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion
Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life
Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
8. Try a new type of workout. Yoga, pilates, Zumba, cardio barre, running, weights … maybe you’ll discover something new that you love!
9. Call up a friend right now and set a date to hang out. Remember phone calls and hanging out, IN PERSON? Like the old days? Start the year off by reconnecting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. I promise he or she will be super stoked to hear from you.
10. Start a gratitude journal. I did this in 2013 and, at the risk of sounding dramatic, it was really life changing! I just felt more optimistic and happier with myself when I wrote down positive messages. Some days were easier than other and yes, I wasn’t perfect and I didn’t do it every single day, but when I did keep it up I noticed my mood was different – better. This is certainly a practice I’ll be continuing in 2014!
11. Tell yourself “I love you” daily. Do you ever remind yourself how awesome you are? We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for all the great things we do every day. I challenge you to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself “I love you!” You’ll feel silly about it at first, but it’s incredible what a little self affirmation can do.
12. Make to-do lists. If I don’t make my weekly and daily to-do lists, I’m a mess. I’m all over the place. If you find yourself feeling frantic, scattered, and anxious, try spending a couple minutes every morning writing down all those thoughts swimming around your pretty little head!
13. Go somewhere new. Being low on funds or vacation time at work is no excuse. It doesn’t have to be somewhere major! Although Paris or Australia sound nice … a weekend or even day trip will do just fine! Pull out a map and draw out a 100 mile radius from your home, then explore!
14. Walk more. When we were looking for our new home, the walkability of the neighborhood was a top priority. We love walking to places instead of driving whenever we can. Plus it helps with that recommended 10,000 steps per day (a ridiculous number)! I try to go for a walk, either with purpose or just around the block, every day.