If I wasn't so excited about the fresh start that comes with the new year, I would be consumed with dread over the fact that it is bloody 2019, I am 30 years old and wasn't it yesterday that we were all petrified that the world was going to end due to the Millennium bug? Oh how we laugh now, but the fear was so real!
We're now 7 days in to the year 2019 and whilst I'm sure you've had quite enough 'New Year, New Me!' to last you until 2025, I thought it was a good time for me to wade in with my plans for the year ahead, what I plan to change, do more or less of and how I hope to make this year yet another good'un.
I have always been a lover of fresh starts, whether its a new day, a Monday morning or simply turning over a fresh page in your note book. I live for the opportunities life never stops presenting us with to change and grow and the new year is for me, the pinnacle of fresh starts, new plans and life changes.
In my life 2018 was the year of limits, I learnt a lot about them. I did too much of a lot of things and found myself at my limit for most of them and as a person who will only ever learn from their own mistakes, I had to learn the hard way on a lot of things. But! its a good 'but' I promise to say I finished 2018 the happiest I have been in years, is an understatement so the plan is to take the lessons I learnt last year in to this year to do better and be better. My resolutions are pretty chilled theres definitely no world domination on the cards and that works for me, but if world domination is your thing, go you! The beauty of New Years and fresh starts, is that only you make the rules so they can be as big and wild or small and powerful as you wish.
I'd love to know your resolutions for 2019
in the comments below!
ROUTINES, ORGANISATION & PRODUCTIVITY
As a person who loves routines and organisation, I really struggle with the lack of the former in my life. There is no routine in my job and no two days are the same but I am working towards getting more routine for 2019 to enable me to be more organised. My 6-6:30am wake up times are always of interest whenever I talk about them and as a self employed person, I find the earlier I wake up, the more productive I am on that day so I am training myself to get up early as much as possible. I get so many questions asking me how?! and the truth is, you just get up. There's no magic trick to it I wish there was. and there are days when I don't manage it, like Sunday where I woke up at 10 after a night out with out friends and I bloody loved it, was I productive? No but was I well rested? YES! So I listen to my body and act accordingly.
Tips for Early mornings
- I know that if I go to bed after midnight, its slim to no chance that I will be able to get up early so I always try to get to bed before them. I am not someone who needs 8 full hours of sleep and can survive quite happily on 6 but everyone is different.
- Early morning PT sessions are really helping me get up because I have a purpose. My current sessions are at 6:30am and if I'm not out of bed and ready I have a very grumpy PT at my door. I get my workout gear ready the night before so I can just slip it on ready to go!
- Have a wake up routine - on the days I don't have PT If waking up at 6am I give myself 10mins in bed to wake up before getting out, I like to think of it as my morning pep talk.
- I go straight into the bathroom so I don't leave the bedroom until I'm completely finished in there so shower and brush teeth and then 20minutes sat on the sofa with my morning drink of choice to put my thoughts in place for the day a head.
- And then it's upstairs to get ready for the day a head!
Both my husband and I have just as hectic schedules as each other and a lot of the time we don't know where each other are so whilst we are attempting to streamline our lives a little more in 2019 I bought this cute little weekly black board planner for the kitchen for £14 from Dunelm. We each have a coloured chalk pen and fill in every Sunday, what we are doing that week and where we are going to be. It makes planning date nights or duvet days much easier as well as planning meal times together.
Before the holidays, I started time blocking most nights before bed. Just planning the next day out in time slots so I can look back on the achievements of the day and actually feel a sense of achievement because in this line of work, I find I spend more time feeling like you haven't done enough. But its also just a great way to set realistic expectations for the day, and also remembering what needs to be done that day and finally, it also helps with those routines that we spoke about earlier!
You don't need fancy diaries or planners, just a notebook and a pen! I use a page for each day sticking the date at the top as I write so that no pages are wasted.
FIND WHAT LIGHTS A FIRE UP YOUR A** IN THE MORNINGS!
If I was Richard Branson, I would employ someone to come into my bedroom every morning and yank me out of bed at 6am. There's no way you aren't getting up in the morning that way! But alas, at the moment, all I can do is rely on sheer motivation and drive which doesn't come out of thin air unfortunately. As mentioned earlier, a good workout is sure to get me up in the morning so I run with that, but my second vice is my Audible. I fell in love with this App and Audio books mid way through last year and for me, it's like having a motivational speaker with you at all times. I don't tend to listen to fictional books that I would normally curl up on the sofa with. instead I listen to the books I would never curl up on the sofa with. I'd wanted to get into reading motivational self help books but honestly, whenever I sat down with them I found them terribly boring. But once I started listening on Audible, everything changed! I was picking up tips for productivity whilst also feeling more motivated than I've ever felt in my life so I've popped together a list of my favourite Audio books to get you up, live and kicking in the morning.
- Anything by Sarah Knight : You do you, The Life Changing magic of not giving a F**K, Get Your Shit Together, Calm The F**K Down
- Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod
- You are a badass, Jen Sincero
- Mindfulness, Mark Williams & Danny Penman
Take FL1GHT - A powerful Podcast by Mark Whittle interviewing inspirational, motivational and successful people across a multitude of industries. Mark is an inspirational person in his own right so you will learn just as much from him as his guests. A personal fave.
At Home With... - Presented by Lily Pebbles & Anna Newton there are few episodes I've missed, its easy listening with a subtle motivational edge as they interview inspirational women across the beauty, fashion and creator industry. It's like sitting down for a cup of tea with your most good vibes group of girls without things being too twee or overly self deprecating, in fact quite the opposite. I loved how each episode included different women owning the badass things they have done and achieved.
There are usually two predominant movements around the New Years resolution subject and whether you are camp "New Year, New Me" or "New Year, Same Me" doesn't really matter, both are full to the brim with positive intension and its all about the resolutions and changes that work for you!
I like to take a little blend of the two and run with that throughout the year, its still the same me, but better, perhaps "NEW YEAR, BETTER ME" could be the next thing? I spent a lot of time in my early years as a blogger focusing on trying to be the best blogger, trying to reach number one and I realised around this time last year that it really didn't bring out a side of me that I liked very much. So these days as awfully cliche as it sounds, I focus on being a better version of myself.
I began therapy mid way through the summer and found myself a therapist covering a number of areas including CBT and counciling which out of the investments I made last year, that one was by far paid the best return. I got my life, my mind and my confidence in myself back and even though now I'm in the best place I've been in years, I will continue to go and work on myself as regularly as need be.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
When used right, social media is a wonderful thing but it's easy to let it take over, especially when its your job. I'm ashamed to admit that there was one week where I spent so much time on my phone it equated to 2 days and I couldn't help but feel I'd been robbed of so many opportunities that I could have used those days for. After chatting with my friend Grace, she told me about a wonderful new function on your phone where you can set limits and time frames for using your phone and social apps. Now I can't use social media between certain times of the night or before I'm up and ready in the morning and I'm only allowed a set amount of time per day on specific apps to prevent unnecessary scrolling that only wastes time and decreased productivity.
I'm also streamlining who I follow and my own content to ensure social media is a happy positive space. I like to see the reality of peoples lives but I also use social media as a place to lift me up, I love seeing people do well and be happy so keeping negativity off my feeds is a really important part of my 2019 social media strategy!
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Whats healthy to one person won't necessarily be healthy to another and thats absolutely fine. We weren't put on this earth to live the exact same life as each other so finding your path and what works for you is half the fun. I am happiest when I'm healthy and I'm not healthy when I'm manic busy. Its the first thing to go, I stop hitting the gym my diet falls off a cliff and my mental health follows swiftly behind. A healthy lifestyle is where I thrive so long before the New Year came, I made some changes. I found myself a PT who will come to my house and kick my butt two mornings a week which was my Christmas gift to myself this year and my goal is to get in a minimum of 3 workouts a week regardless of what I'm working on or where I am in the world. So expect some random workouts from my hotel room in up coming vlogs!
But one thing I have found is a diet that works for me. It has no label other than it makes me feel great and its full of the healthy foods that don't make me feel like I'm depriving myself. This diet also cuts out a large portion of meet and animal produce so I now rarely eat meet apart from fish unless I'm eating out or somewhere in the world really struggling to find something I like and the only meat we have in the house is for Ali, everything else is vegetarian. And whilst I know I will never be vegan I have made a number of small changes to do what I can over the last two years, we don't drink milk and use dairy free butter as standard. But as it stands, my diet is the healthiest its been for a long time and Chocolate digestives are very much a part of that. So heres to taking that with me through to 2019!
So thats my 2019 Strategy! theres been no big 2018 achievement round up although I very much enjoyed watching everyone else's. I'm looking forward from here on out and I would love to hear all about your 2019 strategy in the comments below, I'm hoping to pick up more tips and tricks from you lot so don't let me down haha!