It’s a new year and it’s time to start it off right! Here are 5 tips to get your year off to a fabulous start! Inspired by the book/blog (affiliate links included) The Happiness Project, many of these tips are resolutions–lifestyle changes that I hope to keep forever and not for a limited period of time.
1. Be a goal setter
- Set specific goals for work. Remember that goals have a start and stop time and measurable data. My work goal is “By April 2016, I will complete 95% of IEPs for the year for students that I case manage.” For me this is a fabulous goal because I have over 30 students whose IEPs are due in May and I do not want to get snowballed again this year.
- Set specific goals for home. One of my home goals is, “By January 31st 2016, I will complete my annual family photo book.” This is a task that requires me to sort though all of my photos from the previous year, choose my favorites, make, and order a photo book. The kids love these books and I hate that I often procrastinate until the year is almost done before making the previous year’s book.
- Set specific goals for your health. One of my health goals is, “Before my 41st birthday, I will complete a half-marathon.” I also want to increase my strength/musculature, and maintain my weight, but I haven’t yet determined how to put those into measurable goals.
2. Be present
- I want to be more mindful. I’ve read a few books and studied some of the mindfulness philosophies and I am am most drawn to “being present”. I want to be aware of the time I have with my children, husband, and students in the moment. I don’t want a whole day to go by and not remember what I did or how I felt. I want to be mindful of the food I put into my body, the way I move, and the words that I am using (even in the heat of the moment).
- One way that I currently work on being present is by using the Photo365 app (if you have other suggestions, I am extremely interested to hear what they are). This app reminds me to think about “what is important/memorable about today?” and take a picture of it. When the month is full, I print out the month (approximately 3×3) and glue it in my planner.
- I currently use my planner (click here to get a coupon off of your planner!) as a journal, to-do list, and semi-calendar. I use the top box in my planner to record my weight, how much I sweat in my sleep (an ongoing unsolved medical mystery of mine), my steps for the day, an inspiring Bible verse from that day’s reading. In the middle box, I make my to-do list for the day with check off boxes (I love checking things off). In the lowest box, I write down what is happening that day. Even though I have a google calendar that I share with the family for my actual calendar, checking the calendar and then writing down the day’s events every morning helps me remember many things that I would otherwise forget. In the very bottom area of the planner, I write down dinner plans. Take a look at my planner here. In my work planner, I write in all of my IEPs, to-do lists, and plan out each day. This next year, I have a new resolution, to squeeze the food that I eat, and the type of exercise that I do into the planner as well.
3. Be relational
- At the beginning of one school year, my husband and I decided that we really need more close friends. When you have no family near-by and my husband is chronically ill. That means we need a village. Badly. For the last few months, we’ve aimed to have at least one potluck/get together with a few families at our home to grow closer to others. I don’t mind hosting, as long as I don’t have to do all of the cooking. The hardest part has just been getting people to commit to dates (and not cancel last minute!). This year, I plan the events and my intended guests way in advance.
- When filling out a recent buzzfeed quiz, I was asked “Which of these negative adjectives best applies to you?” Of the given choices, I knew instantly that “distracted” described me best. My kids and husband have to tell me something three times before I can hear and process it. I am often running from one activity to the next. I am not being present or mindful and it is affecting my family. I recently read “Hands Free Life” and was convicted that I do not want myself or my family known as the people that are always staring at the screen and never focusing on each other.
4. Be simple
- Eliminate everything that isn’t useful or doesn’t bring you joy. Do not save things as “I might need this later”. Chances are that you won’t need it later. And if you do? Hello thrift shop!
- Set routines. Routines make life so much simpler! I have a morning routine, dinner making routine, exercise routine, and cleaning routine. At work, I have routines within my therapy times, positive incentives routines, homework routines. I cannot stress enough how much routines can simplify your life!
5. Be grateful
- Be grateful for the people around you: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, health care workers, service providers. All the people out there that make your life brighter in any way. And don’t just think grateful thoughts. Tell them!
- Be grateful for things. I live with kids. I know what it looks like when nothing is “good enough” and every new “thing” means that there is something else better out there that they don’t yet have. Be grateful for what you do have! Some of these things can only be appreciated when you experience life without them: clean water, electricity, heat. Other things may include non-essentials such as your working car/bike, a warm coat, your phone or computer. Be grateful and be satisfied.
- Be grateful for events beyond your control. You made it home from work quickly… be grateful! The staff meeting was cancelled… woot! You didn’t get hit by that crazy driver on the road! A sunny day is cause for gratefulness in my region, where we’ve had record rains last month.
Do you need help getting yourself organized this year?
Enroll in my course for helping fabulous women, like yourself, who are determined to “get it together” this year! Click here for more information.
See all the posts in this series!
- The Road to a Fabulous Day
- The Road to a Fabulous Week
- The Road to a Fabulous Month
- The Road to a Fabulous Year