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At the end of each year, sometimes it can be easy to give a nickname to the 12 months we have just experienced. It may be too simple to state that some years are growth years and others years are celebrations because there are many things that take place over the course of 365 days.
After all, the summer months may have been spectacular, yet if we end with a winter that is ho-hum, we need to remind ourselves that the last thing we remember need not be the only thing we remember. With that said, I savor immensely the upcoming last week of the year. It is a year that is for the most part mine to design as school is out, the blog, podcast and newsletter take their annual week off (don’t worry, there are actually more posts than normal that will be posted next week as it is the annual Top Posts of 2018 round-up for each category) and I get to assess, plan and dream about what will be in the months to come. And so do you.
Today, I have come up with 12 ways to cultivate a fresh start in 2019. If you are looking for a more detailed list for a significant change – location, career, relationships, etc. be sure to take a look at my new book and specifically the chapter titled “Making a Fresh Start” as I outline and then dive deep into how to take that leap you have been contemplating and know when to trust that you are actually more ready than you may realize. But perhaps you simply want to dust off the old year and step with a lighter and confident stride into the new. In that case, have a look at the list below.
1.Do a yearly assessment of 2018
After looking at the resolutions set forth at the beginning of 2018, make the following lists of observations:
- What goals did I reach that I had set out to accomplish?
- What took place this year that I had not planned on, but I am definitely celebrating?
- What unexpected obstacles arose and how did I move past them?
- What changes did I make in my life that have improved the quality?
- What have I learned this year that I did not fully or at all comprehend at the years commencement?
I thoroughly enjoy tending to this yearly task, and will even pull out lists from previous years just to remind myself of how a year can be intentionally productive, unexpected awesome and offer more moments than expected for growth and deep appreciation.
2. Find a planner or planning system that works best for your life and goals
I am always fine-tuning my planning process. Having used TSLL’s planning pages for years with exclusive Inslee illustrations, each year I examine what is working well with my system and how I can improve upon it for better productivity as well as efficiently keeping the necessary information readily accessible.
I recently came across Poketo’s planners and concept planners and was drawn to the exterior covers and flexibility of design with daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and project planning available. With a handful of projects always in progress, this design is going to be given a try.
3. Assess and adjust your budget
Depending upon your holiday schedule and vacation time, the end of the year may offer you time to just be home with some time on your hands. If so, take some of that time to assess your financial health, and especially your monthly budget and how well it is working for the life you love living.
This past fall, I did some adjusting to my own personal budget, streamlining the publications I subscribe to, cutting back on what I realized were unnecessary expenditures and becoming adament about blocking off one week a month for “no spending” as detailed in my new book‘s “Mastering Your Money” chapter. As well, look at your retirement, fun and emergency savings, how are they faring? Are increases applicable and a good idea? Meeting with a financial advisor at the beginning of the year as well is a great way to ensure you are doing all that is an option to reach your financial goals.
4. Clean out the refrigerator (and cupboards, pantry/épicerie as well, if necessary)
I may love to cook, but I am not a fan of cleaning out the refrigerator no matter how much or how little work there is. However, every single time I take the 15-30 minutes it requires to clean it out, I will open the door and gaze at it with pride. Silly, perhaps, but it is a great accomplishment and not one that has to be completed very often.
5. Examine your media consumption – helpful or hurtful?
In one of the new updates on my iPhone, Users are now able to receive a weekly social media usage report each Sunday. I have to admit, I kind of appreciate it as it gives me an idea of how much time I have been looking at my phone. This is one small idea to help us realize how often we are taking in media that is necessary (or not so necessary).
Now, granted, media can be consumed in a wide range of mediums, which is why I wrote this post this past summer – Why Not . . . Let Your Brain Calm Down?. The key is to understand what positively contributes to your overall quality of life and what does not. Be sure to check out that post for specific ways to evaluate your media consumption.
6. Cultivate a lifestyle and a bedroom that enables regular quality sleep
Understanding the benefits such a daily habit welcomes into our lives is to realize how powerful something so simple can indeed be to the quality of our everyday lives.
7. Vow to understand the workings of your mind
In chapter 8 & 9 of Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self, I detail how to master your mind as well as the benefits of doing so as it effects every aspect of your life positively and enables you to live an everyday life and a life of success as defined by you that may just surpass your wildest hopes.
8. Write your own personal mission statement
Having a mission statement is a simple, yet clear way of clarifying what we value, what we know to be true about ourselves, as well as what we wish to accomplish. And while some parts of our mission statement will remain the same throughout our lives, some will change as we grow, evolve and become more aware of our true nature.
~Check out episode #173: The Benefits of Having a Mission Statement and How to Create Your Own
9. Design routines that foster the life you enjoy living
Check out episode #164 of the podcast as it details The Importance of a Daily Routine & How to Create One You Love
10. Edit your closet and make a list of your ideal capsule wardrobe
With all of the sales that are going on currently as well as the new sales that will begin after Christmas and through the new year for a long list of items not only for our closets, but our homes as well, editing our closets when we have some free time is a good idea to clarify what you will be on the look-out for in the new year. Check out a detailed approach helping you go through your closet and complete the task with a clear direction about what to shop for and why as well as knowing what to toss without the guilt.
11. Make a list of books that offer inspiration for living your best life
The books you add to your list will be unique for each one of us depending upon what we want to improve, focus on and cultivate. Below I have a handful of ideas, and many of which are on my list as well or am currently reading and enjoying:
- A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom & Courage by Cyndie Spiegel
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckart Tolle
- The 6 Keys: Unlock Your Genetic Potential for Ageless Strength, Health and Beauty by Jillian Michaels
- The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal by Gwyneth Paltrow
- The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal
- The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to aDecluttered, Refocused Life by Joshua Becker
- Look for a detailed review of this book in January on the podcast
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams, Danny Penman
- Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary and Discovering Your Best Self (for daily, weekly and monthly routines and rituals to love, mastering your money, strengthening relationships, cultivating effortless style, building your brand, making the kitchen an inspired space in your home to and tapping into your innate strengths as well as bolstering the skills that will make a positive difference)
- signed copies are available here
12. Design exciting rewards and travel plans to heighten your motivation
Anticipating an upcoming trip or saving up for a particular dream item is a grand way to add a little differentiation into our everyday lives. Don’t get me wrong, our everydays, if we live them consciously, have the potential to be truly extraordinary which means when we do have the opportunity to step into another way of life, such an experience can heighten our appreciation even more for the lives we live as we can infuse them with ideas and insights we learn during our travels.
The upcoming new year is a time to anticipate with hope. After all, it truly is another opportunity to create the everyday life we most enjoy, to build the relationships we enjoy being a part of and attaining the dreams we have come even closer to achieving in this past year.
Here on the blog and on the podcast, I am eagerly looking forward to sharing content and conversations with you in January and February that will inspire, motivate and share concrete tips for your best year yet as we step into 2019. After all, this past year has taught us much about ourselves, as every year inevitably does, so long as we choose to examine all that occurred. We are changed as a person and more capable than we initially realized, thus we are seeing with new (and improved) eyes in many ways. So yes, there is indeed reason to be hopeful. 🙂
~NOTE TO READERS: Next week, TSLL will be taking its annual week-off, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be new content beginning Monday December 24 through Monday December 31st. In fact, there will be more content than usual as we have done every year, the Top Lists in each category (Podcast, Style Inspiration, French-Inspired, Decor, Why Not . . . ?, Lifestyle, Recipes, This & That and the Cooking Vodcast) will be shared, at least one new post with the top 5-10 posts each day. The weekly newsletter as well will take its annual week off, so this Friday will be the last newsletter of 2018 and it will resume Friday January 4th.
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