It’s the middle of January and, let’s be real, a lot of those big resolutions that were set into motion for the New Year have fizzled out. I’ve been in that boat many times before, not because I haven’t wanted to make big changes, but because the goal was so large and I didn’t have a plan to get there. Now I take a different approach to making changes and especially resolutions. Instead of saying things I am NOT going to do, I choose habits to fill my routine with positive little actions that can add up. To really get specific, I break down the year into three month increments and have specific things to focus on during each of those times. The goal is to have these little changes become habits so every few months I can build on the progress. I pick one to two simple things in a couple different categories: mind, body, spirit, and business. I have a journal that I track my habits in each week and record how I am feeling.
Okay, so lets get into how I actually come up with these small habits. I brainstorm my intentions for the next few months and decide on my top words or phrases that speak to me. For example, my intention statement for these next three months is: “Level up. Comfort. Intention. Building trust and confidence by keeping promises to myself.” Once I am clear on my intention, I can come up with habits or small changes that will help me to get there. The more simple the better, because you are more likely to actually do these things. Making small changes that build over time is way more effective than setting out for a big change without a plan you can execute on. Try things like, “meditate for five minutes everyday” instead of aiming for what might be your ultimate goal of a half hour per day. The more you get used to these small habits, the easier it will be to build on them and get closer to your ultimate goal. It also builds your excitement and confidence when you can actually achieve the goals you are laying out for yourself.
I also find that the way I word my small changes also has a big impact on my mindset around them. This might not be for everyone, but for me it really make a difference. Instead of working the habits as things I have to do, I word them in a way that makes me feel like each action is serving me. For example, if I am trying to work out more, instead of saying, “I want to go to a workout class at the gym x amount of times per week”, I say “move my body in ways that feel good x amount of times per week”. This takes away the feeling of “having to” and also allows for some wiggle room. Having a little wiggle room in some areas is key for me. Life can get crazy, plans change, and especially with my health I need to have ways to adapt that don’t get me down and discouraged. If my goal is to move my body in ways that feel good, that means when I wake up with body pain on a Sunday morning, I don’t just ditch the gym because I can’t do that specific class I was aiming for. Instead I listen to what my body is asking for and can substitute yoga or pilates. I am keeping with my habit and serving my body.
So far since I have implemented this style of making changes and forming habits, I have been really pleased with the results and my overall mindset. This is just an overview of how I set these goals and stick to them, but if you want more details and specifics I can definitely share more. Just shoot me a message to let me know! I can also send you the details on how I lay out my journals.
This is a newer area for me to dive into on the blog, but as I’ve gotten more into achieving better mental health in the way of balance, I have become super interested in things like this. I read a ton of books and articles, which I take ideas and approaches from and adapt them into what works for me. It took me a while to find these specific things that really speak to my soul and just work, so I want to spread the love and hopefully my method can help someone else!
2019 has been a year of transformation for me. Probably one of the most emotionally/mentally transformative years I’ve had. It was a fucking hard year though and I haven’t had one of these “transformative” years since 2009. A decade later I went back on a journey to dig deeper in myself to find more happiness and be a better wife, friend, daughter, sister, and hopefully eventually mom. I became more spiritual in a sense of truly believing in the universe and a higher power’s plan. I’ve reached higher self acceptance and found grace within my mistakes and flaws. I’ve developed more love and understanding for those around me. I believe in myself and trust myself more than I ever had.
2009 was the first time I was strong enough to seek a better understanding of myself. To make a fully committed effort to deal with difficult shit and better my life for the future me I didn’t even know was ahead. Making the choices I did in 2009 set me up for the year of emotional exploration 2019 gave me. And I hope the work I have done this year will set my up for the me I will be in another 10 years. The past decade has given me some of the worst, lowest, and most confusing times of my life but also some of the best, most rewarding times I’ll cherish forever and all of those have shaped me as a person. I feel like we can mostly all say that in regards to a decade, especially one that spans almost your entire 20s.
Looking at the me in 2009 - little, fierce, scared but brave at the same time, confident in the future but so unsure about myself. Then I could never imagine what my life would be today because the journey has had many twists and turns. But now looking back I see the fight and passion in 2009 me and I can see how I made it to where I am. Although this isn’t what I imagined, it is better and what I am meant for in every way possible. I am thankful for the experiences both good and bad that have shaped me these past ten years and I know there will be equally and more emotionally turbulent events that this next decade brings.
Starting this next decade I wish for myself to continue to trust in a higher power, to gracefully accept things I can’t change, to use my passion to do good for others, and to fully appreciate every little gift life bestows me. Instead of going into the New Year with resolutions and things I want to change, my goal is to be the best me I can be everyday and be confident that doing that is enough. I want to leave behind expectations of what I "should" be and appreciate every bit of who I am and who I am becoming.
I hope that as you read this, you are thinking of what you have done to make yourself proud this past decade. I mean, you made it this freaking far, that is an accomplishment in and of itself. I for someone this is an inspiration to channel their strength into dealing with some difficult shit they are going through in hopes of a better future. I hope that someone is reading this and is like YES GIRL I am with you in this journey, because the journey is a beautiful place to be.
I am so ready for the magic this next decade has in store for us and I am feeling stronger than ever as I embark on this new adventure.
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.