So 2020 turned out to be a year none of us could have predicted and it's most certainly been hard on everyone in so many different ways whether your business was effected, your education or you suffered loss, we have all been touched and moved by 2020 in ways I don't think I could ever have imagined.
So perhaps the start to 2021 isn't also as we would have envisioned but I know I love nothing more than the ability to close the book on a chapter of my life and begin a new one, refreshed and renewed and so I am taking the opportunities that comes with a new year and fully embracing a fresh start by designing and working towards my Dream Life.
DREAM LIFE ROUTINE
I started by getting my new Soho Diary from Smythson, which was my anniversary gift from my husband. I use this diary every year because I absolutely love it's layout and it works super well for how I structure my days. But over the Christmas holidays I utilised the notes pages to begin designing what my dream life looks like, and no I'm not talking about a Ferrari on the drive and a villa in Monaco...yet anyway!
More so I'm talking about what my dream day looks like; how do I wake up on my dream morning? What do I do within that dream day? Did I work out? Read a book? Drink a smoothie? What enriches my days to make them amazing...and I wrote it all down. Then what does my dream week look like? What do I do on a Monday? On a Tuesday? What do I do with my evenings and weekends? Again, I write it all down. You can do it for your dream month and dream year if you like but I tend to look at those for more long term goals. The dream life is my plan for keeping myself enriched, happy whilst working towards the goals and aspirations I have because it's very easy to become so obsessed with your long term goals, that you forget to live a really good life.
Noting this down in my Diary means I can easily add a "Dream Day" bullet to my diary and refer to my notes as to what it will consist of. Lots of factors are interchangeable too such as my workouts, whether I run, Spin, do weight training etc can all be noted down as you plan your dream day specifically but for me, having everything written down, planned by times means I can factor in exactly how much time I have to do all of the things that enrich my life as well as working towards the long term goals I have daily.
What my DREAM LIFE DAILY ROUTINE looks like:
5am, Wake up - enjoy a lovely decaf coffee in bed whilst writing 3-5 points on Gratitude in my journal.
5:30am, Get out of bed and into my workout gear (which I laid out ready the night before) drink some ice cold water and vitamins.
6am, 30min Cardio - Running (weather and daylight dependant) I usually save this for the most spectacular days sunny frosty and bright mornings as they feel magical but if it's raining and grey I tend to opt for spinning on my spin bike. My bike is from Amazon and costs about £500 and I use the Les Mills App to do virtual spinning classes.
6:30am, 30mins Weight training or Yoga - Once a week I will do a 30 minute Boho Beautiful Yoga class to stretch out and release tension. The rest of the week I train by muscle group as weight training is a real focus for me this year so for example Monday - Arms, Tuesday - Abs, Wednesday Legs, Thursday - glutes etc.
7am, 15 minute meditation.
7:15am, Morning Smoothie and Ginger + Lemon tonic shot (see recipe here)
7:30am, Shower and get ready for the day - Listen only to motivational, uplifting, empowering content via podcasts and Audio books.
9am, Start work for the day.
9-5, Use dream life planning to structure proactivity throughout the day to suit your job. As a content creator I allocate how much content I want to create that day and spread across a rough estimate of timings.
5pm, Finish work on the dot and put phone away.
7pm, Home cooked Dinner *ahem* as much as possible 😉
7:30pm, Settle in for some down time, read a book, go for a walk (day light permitting), watch feel good TV, sit and chat with loved ones.
9pm, Bedtime routine and time for bed.
Hopefully I'll get a good nights sleep as well in the process, the dream right? Now I must stress, having this as a daily routine is the goal but it isn't always possible and allowing yourself to be OK with the days where this doesn't go to plan is just as important. I have a tendency to throw everything in the bin if I miss a single day and I've had to become OK with life's curve balls. But this is my A-Game routine, I know I'm coming to the table firing on all cylinders so to speak.
DREAM LIFE WEEKLY ROUTINE
When it comes to implementing the DAILY ROUTINE into your WEEKLY ROUTINE, having the Daily Routine written down in your notes to refer back to and visually see the plan of action is so helpful and enables you to schedule in your Daily Routine to your weekly calendar simply by noting it down on the day. For example I know I usually have everyone working from my house on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays so those are the days I prioritise my Daily Routine for maximum effectiveness at work and on the other days I can, if need be, allow myself some slack.
When I was at university I would regularly stay up late on the internet working on my blog or chatting to online blogger friends until the early hours of the morning, which meant I'd rise sometimes as late as 4pm. Some people thrive at night and for a short time, I did too. But as I matured psychologically it really affected me and I needed a change of habit. I used to dread the mornings but now I crave them, especially when I've been to bed at a good hour and achieved good quality sleep. So now rising as early as possible is my goal but it certainly isn't easy. I find noting down the plan of action for the following morning, including if you will be practicing your Dream Life Morning Routine, as well as any worries, things to remember and important points to ensure your brain is fully dumped of all of the information so that you don't spend time tossing and turning with worry.
You could also do any journalling at this point too, I'm yet to discover whether it's better to journal in the evening, and go to bed with wonderful thoughts or wake up and spend time curating positive thoughts for the day ahead. When do you prefer to journal?
I also have a Philips hue Alarm clock which wakes me up with daylight and then a gentle alarm sound so that I'm not waking up with a fright and especially during these subzero temperatures, it was -3 this morning, I always have a fluffy soho farmhouse dressing gown close to hand to wrap myself up in to go and make the morning coffees. I also give myself time to sit and enjoy the morning a little over my coffee before getting up and at it. Because otherwise I don't look forward to it.
This is an area I've never really been very good at but when you do sit down and spend 15 minutes with a guided meditation I always find it hugely beneficial and if anything, calming. But I know it's also not for everyone too! However there are different methods you can do to help calm yourself on your own and they are actually something I do with my husband Ali sometimes. I learnt one from my Life Coach, Mark where when our meetings start and he can see I'm on high alert, he will tell me to place my feet on the ground, sit comfortably on the sofa or chair, hands on your lap and simply take 6 - 10 big deep breaths, breathing out as loudly as feels comfortable for you. I do this with Ali if he's having a moment or we do it together if we both need an extra helping hand to calm and quiet us and it really does help. He thought I was mental the first time I did it with him but by the end of it, he was fully relaxed and calm so I try to identify when he needs a little helping hand now and we both find it helps.
HEALTH & NUTRITION
At times when the world feels a little heavy, the care that I take for myself is the first thing to waver and the impact is huge for me so I'm aiming to make it a priority and not an option in 2021 which is why my morning routine centres so heavily around it. And I want to make it as easy as possible for myself so batch cooking healthy meals and ginger tonic is a huge help and generally they last for a considerable amount of time, although my ginger and lemon tonic I usually power through in a week, easily! But the reason why I'm so happy to prepare batches of things is because there's such a sense of happiness then you get the the end of the week and you've a whole week of nourishment behind you, especially as the weekend looms and Dominos is on speed dial *ahem*.
You might not be looking to change anything this year or you might be looking for a complete life overhaul and whatever it is you are striving for, there's nothing quite like a fresh start and with hope on the horizon for 2021 I hope this year is everything you imagine it to be!