I think I might sound and feel like the rest of you at this point in the new year. 2013 and my holiday flew by in a crazy flash. It almost feels as if it never happened and I can no longer transfer 'to do' list items into the 'next year' pile because here we are in the NEXT YEAR! Yikes! This year the blog turns five years old. How exciting and what a reminder of how time flies.
Technically, I am taking this week off too as I am in dire need of a spring clean or shall I say summer / new year purge! I love tidying and organising (not cleaning) and I am excited to delve into cupboards, throw out, donate and rearrange. I feel as if 2014 really needs to be a different year, one in which I make all the positive changes needed. I will feel more prepared with a clean home and office to back me up. I believe in resolutions, but I like to work on them from an attitude change point of view. Some of this year's changes and life updates include:
Balance: Work takes over at times (usually always) and some parts of my life suffer especially when it comes to healthy meals and exercise. Two things I actually really enjoy. This year I have to kick my own butt out the door and away from the computer and ever increasing emails and go for a walk or run more often. I also really need to look after my health - mental and physical.
Better Bedtimes: I am quite good at not taking my work to bed in the physical sense. It's a laptop free zone, but that doesn't mean my brain listens to that rule. It just keeps ticking and it gets worse the later it gets. This year I have to dedicate certain evenings to work and others to an early night's rest. There will be several things that contribute to this - for example balancing my workload, saying no to certain things and delegating. Sounds easy, but the reality is slightly more challenging.
Entertain More: Once I get in the work zone all else stands on the sidelines (as mentioned). This year I want to use some of the beautiful crockery, little bowls, pretty cups and kitchen paraphernalia that I own. I also have to remind myself that a simple meal cooked with love is good enough. I am often put off as I think my cooking and entertaining skills are not 'Martha Stewartish' enough. Letting go of silly pressures and inviting people in even if they get macaroni cheese for dins (and wine of course) has to become a way of life. (*Disclaimer - if you get invited you are not allowed to judge the dust on top of the TV or the affordable plonk on offer).
Less Worrying: I can't say stop worrying all together as I know that won't happen, but I am working on banishing stupid worries. I am making sure when they pop up that I just refuse to succumbed to them. This is a tough one.
Take Breaks: When I go on holiday I often map out a myriad of activities, meeting people, shopping, seeing things and so on. This year I want to book short getaways where there is nothing to do except read and relax. I don't need much - just two nights away from the humdrum and technology.
Fulfill Promises: How often do we say things like 'we must do dinner /coffee / Skype"? How often do we not get round to planning that dinner or making that call. The other thing we do is commit time to people who are not as invested in us as we are in them. My aim is to not say things that I don't intend or want to fulfill. If I say something regarding plans or taking care of something - I want to really mean it and commit to it. Sometimes all you need is a thirty minute coffee break or a short call. I hope by only committing to people that I want to invest my time in - will mean that I can have fewer things to attend to, but more time for the people who really matter.
Spend Less Money: I am not a splurger, okay sometimes I am (always when it comes to stationery). I have trained myself to be quite good at asking myself a range of questions before I buy something. The other thing I have learnt is to enjoy using items - even the expensive ones. I am not one to keep soaps and bubble bath for twenty years! None the less, I have some really wonderful material possessions for which I am truly grateful. Besides a few things here and there I don't actually lack anything. I want to build more savings, keep my money in the bank and stick to using and finishing items before another one is bought. I want my inner thrifter to shine! (Don't worry everyone will still get nice birthday pressies, but some might be handmade.)
Don't Compare: There will always be someone with more than me... a bigger house, more money, nicer legs, glossier hair, awesome job etc. I want to ensure I am grateful for all I do have and enjoy it without the pressures of the next best thing. My circumstances are different to yours, my car might be your worst nightmare and my home might be humble, but I need to be grateful, regardless. We are all really good at comparing and complaining, let's remember how blessed we are and stop thinking about the next thing that we think will make us happy. Let's live life and be happy right now... today!
Those are a few of the main things I want to work on this year - on a personal level. Do any of these sound like changes you want to make or do you have other things that you are committing your energy to? I would love to hear more as I am sure we can inspire one another to really stick to them.
*Picture from Cuptakes