The dawn of a new year always has me evaluating things…
Checking in to see what’s working, & of course, what’s not.
Any changes I might like to see. Any goals I might like to set.
What I hope to make happen in 2017 – for myself, my career, my home and my family.
The steps I need to take to get there.
Spending my time where it really matters.
And how we can all live a happier, healthier life.
I know I’m a bit late to the game with this one. Friends, I swear, I’ve sat down to write this post no less than a hundred times.
First, I struggled to come up with what exactly I wanted through this year to come. What my goals might be. I put A LOT of thought into how I can get the most from this one life we have to live and how I can give the most while I’m here.
Then, I struggled to find the right words to share it all.
Here’s what I know…
I want to slow things down. I want to enjoy as many moments as I can with the people I love most. I want to make memories, both grand and simple. I want to soak in those seemingly insignificant, everyday moments because I know how quickly they can float by, how quickly things change.
I want to stop letting that to-do list take over my thoughts and run my life.
Obviously, this is all easier said than done.
Last year, I worked hard to be more deliberate and intentional with how I spent my time. I set goals for myself at the beginning of each month and, though I didn’t always “succeed”, I did my best to let them guide my choices.
This year though, I want to do things a bit differently I think.
You see, after all that thinking, it became quite clear to me that all of my goals for the year ahead boiled down to just one word…
I want to be more mindful with how I spend my time, what I put into my body, how I spend my money.
I want to be more mindful of the lessons I’m teaching my son both intentionally as well as through our everyday interactions and how I live my own life.
I want to be more mindful of the way I connect with and how I’m contributing to the world around me.
I simply want to live a more mindful life.
And, in true Kristi fashion, I want to jump in with both feet and not look back.
I’ve been doing everything I can think of to make mindfulness my new reality. Here are a few of the changes I’ve been working on so far…
Getting up Early: You might notice I didn’t say “waking up early”, that’s because I’d already been waking up at 6:30 every morning, including weekends. I’ve enjoyed having some quiet time to myself each morning for years now – it’s the perfect way to start the day. Buuuuut, instead of popping out of bed to enjoy those quiet moments of peace, I’d gotten in the habit of wasting no less than an hour lying in bed with my phone in hand, catching up on everything I’d “missed” through the night.
No more my friends, now when my alarm goes off, I hop straight out of bed to start my day. I had no idea how much I was missing that extra hour in my day, especially one as quiet and peaceful as this.
Meditation: I start each day with some meditation. Meditation has always sounded like something that was for people that think far more freely than I. Honestly, it’s always seemed a bit, for lack of a better word, weird. But, it’s come up in my life a lot lately. Books that I’m reading, podcasts, even friends that have noticed great benefit from practicing mediation themselves. I’ve only been practicing it for a few weeks now, and I can’t say that I’ve noticed any grand changes, but I am growing more and more confident that if I can stick with it, this will be one of the most important things I can do for myself.
Gratitude & Intention: After some meditation, while I sip my morning coffee, I like spend a few minutes thinking about what I am most grateful for today and setting some intentions for the day. Already I’ve noticed that it’s not always the big things that pop into my head – a great reminder about how much joy those little things can bring too.
I’ve found this brilliant journal has been a huge help in keeping this all organized and on track.
Yoga: Yoga has always been a practice that encourages me to be mindful of my body, my breath, and my spirit. A goal I’ve come back to many times, practicing yoga on the regular is something I’d really like to make more time for this year.
A Plant-Based Diet: To many of you, this may sound as hokey as meditation, but there’s no denying that eating more fruits & vegetables is about as healthy as you can get. I’m not one for labels, and I don’t intend to use one here, but I do plan to eliminate as many animal products as I can from our diets at home as well all those awful processed foods. I’m also not one for extremes, so I do still plan to enjoy the occasional indulgence be it that delicious pasta in the blue box (y’all know which one I’m talking about) or the odd more traditional meat and potatoes sort of meal when we happen to be eating out.
Slowing down: This will by far be the most challenging goal to take on for me this year. I LOVE the feeling of being busy, of seeing how much I can accomplish in a day. What I don’t love is how it all comes at the expense of my family and friends and my relationships with the people I love most. Instead of taking the time to enjoy those everyday moments that truly make up life, I find myself rushing every single thing so that I can move on to the next. Instead of taking in the essence of each moment, I find my thoughts focused anywhere but.
I’m tired of losing those seemingly insignificant moments that make up our lives.
I really think that in order to encourage myself to stay present in those moments, to spend my days feeling less scattered and under stress, I need to be more intentional about what I choose to take on. More mindful of the pressure that I’m putting on myself.
Less is Best: Since ridding our home of all things that don’t spark joy, Brady and I have been much more careful about what we’re choosing to spend our money on or fill our home with. Not only has the lack of clutter in our home been incredibly freeing, but we’ve found ourselves focusing less on the “stuff” and instead, filling our lives with more experiences. Now, I’m not saying we stopped buying things all together, far from it actually, but we’ve certainly been more mindful about collecting things that truly bring us joy, whether it be from the experiences they provide us or the way they make us feel (hello new wardrobe!).
We’ve got some pretty big ideas about the kind of life we’d like to live (read: less work and more play) and how we can make that happen. But for now, we plan to continue be intentional and mindful about all the “stuff”.
Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and just let my fingers type what they will. Here’s hoping I can do it more often this year.
Do you have any goals for the year to come? No matter what they may (or may not) be, wishing you the very best throughout the year ahead!
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!