While I do make unique resolutions every New Year, I also have certain ones that have remained mainstays for years, and will continue to do so as long as I live.
Since they are always on my resolution list, I’ve found some super helpful things that have helped me become better at these said resolutions. And while I’m always looking for more great tips to help me continue to grow in them, these services/products here are freaking amazing.
So without further ado, here is my list and the things that have helped me get better at them along the way.
1. Read more:
I truly believe reading is one of the greatest tools a human being can have in life. Reading alone can teach you about the way the universe works, how to help save lives, how to cook food, what happened throughout the world during the world wars, as well as Foster the imagination (perhaps one of the most important parts hands down). I used to pick up books at random based on my current interest to add to my reading this, but at times I’d get to feeling stuck in ruts, reading the same kinds of material over and over again. Joining Book of the Month Club, however has opened my heart and mind to a whole world of more books. While you still get to pick your book, it’s out of a small list that was hand selected by a really cool group of judges (that changes up monthly). You also get to read why the judges chose said books and even get to read a portion of the opening chapter in order to get a feel for the writing. I’m obsessed and if you’re an avid reader I think you will be too.
2. Make health a priority:
All growing up I had a pretty bad relationship with my body. Food was the enemy and I used it to either punish or reward myself based on my current feelings on my outward appearance. I’ve been working through this struggle for years, but let me say one of the best books I ever read that helped me gain a real positive, hopeful and balanced perspective on my body was and still is Cameron Diaz’s book, The Body Book. What I love about it is its lack of meal plans and “motivational” chapters about getting “bikini ready” or trying kick yourself out of laziness. For a lot of us a healthy relationship with our bodies is a complicated matter, and I believe Cameron Diaz did a beautiful job of conveying beautiful truths and education, while keeping the focus on loving and accepting yourself just as you are today. It’s incredible. I’m re-reading it now. And I still love it as much, if not more, today than I did the first time I read it.
3. Make fitness a priority:
this one has also been really hard for me, because of the whole paragraph above. For years I used fitness the same way I used food, rewarding myself for a “skinny day” by skipping a workout, and punishing myself for a “fat day” by making myself do an extra grueling regimen. It’s so sad thinking about the warped perspective I used to carry with me constantly. But in the same vein of loving myself, I am committed to showing myself love by giving my body what it wants – movement! While I know going to a gym seems the most obvious choice, I get so insecure working out in public due to all those old, deeply ingrained psychological thought processes, so I’ve accepted that for now I can love myself where I’m at and workout at home. So, the two most helpful things in trying to pursue this commitment are the Gaia yoga app and the Sweat with Kayla app. Gaia comes with loads of yoga practices that you can do from home. You can pick short videos, long videos, yoga practices based on back pain or wanting to improve flexibility. The options are almost endless! Sweat with Kayla was made by Kayla Istines, an author and personal trainer, who is all about body positivity and loving oneself. Her app makes workouts so easy. They come in the form of 28 minute intervals focusing on arms, abs, and legs. The app also has recipes and health advice. I love it and these workouts are so good! They really give me some bang for my buck!
4. Get more organized:
I’m still SO BAD at this. It definitely does not come naturally to me, but I will not give up trying! Haha! I pretty much hate entire books dedicated to cleaning your freaking house, so it’s a wonder I even read this book let alone loved it, but holy crap The Life Changing Magic if Tidying Up is amazing. Why? I really do not know. It’s still a mystery to me. Maybe it’s because the author, Marie Kondo writes in such a way that convinced you you will be a 1,000% happier human being if you got rid of a bunch of sh*t, or maybe it’s her cute way of talking about inanimate objects as though they had feelings, but this book just does it for me. I mean I still haven’t put all her practices in place, because if I did I wouldn’t have a kitchen table piled with mail, my camera, half used candles and other little pieces of crap, but hey I’m trying!
5. Take real steps toward making dreams happen:
We all have dreams and passions and ideas, but let’s be honest. Amidst the craziness that is the daily grind it’s hard to find time to make these things happen practically. The two best books I read last year to which I attribute my blog finally getting off the ground, are The One Thing by Gary Keller and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. While Jen’s book deals more with big picture/getting your heart, mind and overall perspective in the right place (aka foundation building), Gary’s book offers fabulously practical advice on putting ideas into practical actions. Both books do a wonderful job too of breaking down the mountain so-to-speak that is the task at hand (in our minds, at least) to really doable, daily choices that end up in real progress. Whether you’re wanting to grow spiritually, learn how to knit, become a black belt in Kung Fu, or start your own blog, these books will help you on that journey.
6. Manage money better:
Ok, this one I’m not good at either (So bad at it I still don’t have any resources that I can say have seriously helped me). It’s not that I’m crazy spendy, but that I struggle with disorganization (see above paragraph) which means keeping track of money and planning spending and savings ahead of time, plus sticking to it, is more challenging for me. And while Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover was a great place to start, I still can’t say it changed the game for me in this department (We pay for way too many things online at this point to be a cash only family). So, I’m asking you guys to share with me your favorite resources for getting better with money management! Help a girl out?
What are your resolutions for 2018, and do you also have any that you keep year after year?