We love the fresh start that the New Year offers but how do we stay consistent? Here are 8 ideas for a happier New Year!
Happy New Year friends! Here we are staring at another year full of opportunities and possibilities. I think that as beautiful and full the Christmas season is with family and friends, the after can feel empty and well, stark. You know what I mean, the day the decorations come down that cozy feeling of eggnog and twinkle lights fade. We begin to become a bit introspective and hopeful that the areas we may have gotten “off track” can be fixed or adjusted. Here are 8 ideas for a happier new year.
Most of these, you already know by heart. They seem overly simple but tend to be the ones we miss or lose hope in accomplishing. This is where I tell you as your friend, to give yourself grace. Move slowly and intentionally toward improvement. Will you nail them all? Maybe not, but if you make progress, you make progress.
I think we get so caught up in trying to “start over” when the new year rolls around that we set ourselves up for failure. This year, we are not going to fail, right?
Let’s take a look at these ideas for a happier new year-
Some of these ideas, I shared last year and thought they were worth sharing again. I had a few eye-opening experiences recently that led me to add a few more. So, this list isn’t me telling you what to do, it’s for me too.
Make dinner time easier –
I purposed this year to get back to cooking most nights and in order to keep this promise to myself, I had to have a plan. What did I do? I turned to freezer batch cooking!
I went back to one of my favorite websites, SavingDinner.com I have loved Leanne’s recipes over the years and she has an incredible mix of weekly menus – there is something for everyone. But for my sanity, I did the 20 for the freezer.
I will tell you, just knowing that I can go grab a meal from the freezer, place it into the fridge the night before, and then throw it in the crockpot or pop it in the oven without the drudgery of “coming up with a last-minute plan” is heavenly.
Just so you know, I will receive no compensation if you choose to use Leanne’s recipes – this is just me sharing what is working for us.
If batch cooking feels overwhelming, try pulling together weekly menus. You can do this yourself or Saving Dinner.com has a plan for weekly menu ideas. They come with a grocery list which makes it easier. But you can do the same thing with a little preplanning. Have a look at Julia’s site, The Roasted Root I have thoroughly enjoyed reading her recipes and will be adding them to our weekly menu.
Enact the 15-minute mindset –
A tidy home really makes you breathe a little easier… literally! But how do you keep up with it all – all the time? You carve it into 15-minute time slots. I learned this method 18 plus years ago from a lady who I found back in the dial-up internet days.
Flylady.net is a great website if you just need someone to cheer you on with a simple baby-step plan. FLY- finally loving yourself, instead of beating yourself up for not having things “perfect” (perfect is overrated, right?).
Marla has a compelling story that led her to this 15-minute mindset and it’s worth the read. Now learning this proven method and applying it are two different things, falling out of habit happens. Falling back into this habit is pretty easy and so rewarding!
Declutter and Organize on different days –
Now, I know you see 1 million ideas all over the internet for decluttering and organizing your home and if you do any of them, you will see success. This happens to be what works for me.
I connect memories and events to items, I can find it hard to let go sometimes. If I ever need a push to shed clutter, I watch a couple of episodes of Hoarders. Yes, those are extreme examples but if you listen to the stories, the mountains of clutter start with one simple decision compounded with several simple decisions until it isn’t so simple.
When I stare at a closet busting at the seams or a bedroom with “too much stuff”, it can be overwhelming. So, I give myself grace and break it down into two sessions.
- declutter – Create a temporary drop zone outside of the space you are tackling. Then, remove the things that do not belong in that particular closet or room, these will live in the drop zone unless you know exactly where a rogue item belongs. As you declutter, throw away things deemed as trash. I.E. broken pencils, old magazines – recycle what can be recycled. Remember to shred anything that could contain personal information.
- group items that are staying in the room or closet –this is not the “organizational part” just grouping items. For example, my hostess closet can get cluttered quickly. Twice a year, I go through it. I throw out broken or used-up items. Then I group the candle holders together, the napkin rings together, chargers, etc. Once I have my groups, then I can easily see what type of container I need and how many.
- Measure the space – especially if you are organizing a closet. This will help you determine the type of storage that will fit best. Comes in handy when the space isn’t equipped with adjustable shelves!
- make a list – I love using my notes app on my phone to do this. I activate the little mic button and speak my list, goes so much faster. I add the little check mark feature and voila, I am ready to go shopping.
- After purchases – once my organizing bins, crates, etc have been bought. I take one group at a time and fill my bins. Once all the items are grouped, I begin eyeing the space, and my mad Tetris gaming skills come into play! Ha!
These sessions happen on different days. It allows me time to think about the items I want to keep. Sometimes, I go back and let more go or sometimes I realize that the space that will house the saved items is just too small and I need to rethink where these items will live. It feels less overwhelming to approach it this way.
and by the way, even the most seemingly organized person in the world has to deal with clutter and letting go. They are just gifted with the ability to easily organize but it doesn’t mean they are perfect and do not struggle in other areas of life. Be careful not to put the areas you struggle in up against someone’s else areas they excel in. Then, beat yourself up for not having your act together. It’s a dangerous path to walk down and we are all susceptible to going there.
Make your bed daily –
There is something almost magical that happens on the days when you do this simple task. I love this speech – there is so much wisdom wrapped up in it and I behoove you to watch/listen to it and allow it all to sink in.
Get enough sleep –
It is amazing what being sleep-deprived can do to the mind and body. I use the word amazing to describe the awful things that can happen.
So, what type of things can happen when we lack a good night’s rest?
- Weakens your immune system
- Can have a negative impact on your heart
- You tend to forget things easier
- Harder to think
- Can affect your weight, making it harder to stay in a healthy range
- Your skin can suffer
- And, the list can go on…
Create a calming purposed bedtime routine that will allow for peaceful rest – it’s vital to your well-being. Remember when you were a kid and your parents enacted nap time and bedtime routines? Be kind to yourself, and do it again.
Reconcile and Forgive –
Oh, this can be tough and tricky but necessary for your overall well-being. Believe me, it really is best for you. If you can reconcile, do it. There are two sides to every story, be willing to listen with a calm spirit and open mind, and try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.
I am well aware that this only works if the other person is willing to meet you with the same energy. If you can’t come to a place of peace then come to a place of letting go.
There are a ton of books and devotionals out there that will help you find your way to reconciliation, forgiveness, and hopefully both.
Bitterness and anger will destroy every bit of who you are and you have too much value and are so needed in this world. Don’t let this steal your joy or the very opportunities you have been given to share your unique gifts.
This one I have been hit and miss on. When I have purposed to write daily, something amazing happens. It allows me to let go of the day. I have a remembrance of the exceptionally good, the mundane (which can be amazing in itself), and the rough spots (which then become prayers).
I think there are misconceptions about this idea of journaling that it needs to be done in a beautifully perfect way. Some days it may flow that way and some days it may be no more than a few words. Guess what, that is ok. It’s the act of releasing the good, the bad, and the ugly daily that will be beneficial.
Find time for Faith –
Our world is in constant chaos. It will throw the worst of the worst at you. Fear is relentless, its purpose is to render you useless. We must combat this if we are to thrive in the seemingly difficult…but how?
For me, it’s spending time reading the bible and praying. I pray for the many who reach out, I pray for the many who don’t, for my family, friends, clients, my business, and for myself.
Then, I sit in silence and wait. Some of the most beautiful answers come in the silence and sometimes it’s just a chance to breathe deeply and let out the anxiety and pain.
In closing, take care of yourself –
This essential vital intention my friends seems to be the first thing we cut out of the day. I love a good spa day but those are rare happenings. I can, however, spend 15 minutes with a cup of tea, a facial mask, or swipe a little color on my toes.
Click here for a few easy recipes for at-home spa time. Light the candle, read a chapter of a favorite book, take the bubble bath – you are worth the time you carve out.
These 8 simple ideas to find a happier new year will help us in our pursuit to become the very best version of ourselves so we can love our families, our friends, the world around us, and ultimately the person in the mirror.
Until later, keep creating home, friends.