Are you a fan of new year’s resolutions?
I’m not one to set them, personally. I’ve learnt from experience that they rarely work out for me. But I do still love the hope and the feeling of opportunity at the start of a new year. I love the idea of the coming year being different from the last. And I like to think, each and every year, that life is going to be a little bit better than it was the year before.
January always inspires me to try a few new things out. Develop a new habit, pick up a new skill, trial a new way of doing something. It doesn’t come with the pressure of it being a resolution… I’m simply giving things a go and seeing what fits. And those that are a good fit become commitments.
I find this mindset much healthier when it comes to bettering myself and my life. I don’t place expectations on myself, and so if something isn’t a good fit, I haven’t fallen short of an expectation. I can simply move on and try something new!
If this appeals to you, I’ve listed some ideas of commitments that you can try out for yourself this year. And don’t limit yourself to the new year – remind yourself that you can make a change and try something new at any point in the year! So rather than attempting seven different things at once, pace yourself and add something in every month or so.
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17 Kick-Ass Commitments To Make In 2019
1. Downsize your stuff
I’m not saying you need to go completely minimal (I could never!) but I can almost guarantee you’ve got a ton of stuff you don’t really need in your home. I can definitely guarantee that I have!
A few years ago I committed to ditching 500 items from my home. It was surprisingly easy! Here’s what I learned about decluttering when I ditched 186 items from my kitchen. And oh. My kitchen cupboards. They were so roomy and easy to use!
If your home doesn’t inspire feelings of peace, it’s definitely time to lose some material possessions. You will feel a lot better for it. Check out Marie Kondo’s ridiculously popular book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for some serious inspiration… and get decluttering!
2. Bullet journaling
If the idea of a mega-organized life (and an adorable visual representation of it to boot) makes you weak at the knees, you probably already know that bullet journaling is for you. But maybe you’ve put off giving it a go because the whole #bujo world is a little bit daunting? Well, this is your year to finally give it a fair go! There are heaps of small ways to get started. Just hit up a search term like “bullet journaling lay-outs for beginners” on Pinterest for some simple ideas, and build on your journal from there! Kat also wrote a nifty guide on how to get started with bullet journaling and it’s been one of our most popular articles!
3. Start and end your day with a solid routine
Routines make the world go around, I’m tellin’ ya. Absolutely everybody (everybody, everybody) can benefit from a decent routine. Morning routines are particularly motivating as they really start your day off on the right foot. But night time routines are equally important, as a means of properly winding down and getting a rejuvenating sleep. We have some great ideas right here on the blog. Tahlia shared her healthy morning routine ideas with us (another one of our most popular articles of all time!) and Kat shared her tips for starting each day with meaning. Ash has got us covered on the night time routine with her tips for unwinding for a restful sleep (and it’s just three easy tips, making it achievable for even the most time-poor of us!).
4. Take care of yourself
I’m kinda nutty about self care. I just think it’s SO IMPORTANT for every human on the planet. We are the busiest we have ever been, and a healthy dose of inward focus is essential.
So brush up on what is (and isn’t) proper self care, and start looking after yourself baby!
5. Reduce your eco footprint
If “live more consciously and take care of the planet” has been on your to-do list for a while, it’s time to make some changes to get you there. Our planet needs our love.
When you’re ready to throw yourself into the eco-friendly living lifestyle, check out our 10 super easy ways to reduce waste around the home. And here are some natural cleaning tips that are surprisingly easy to switch to.
6. Document your everyday
Last year I discovered (and fell in love with) the 1 Second Every Day app. It creates a movie using 1-second snippets of video from your day-to-day. It’s a great way to remember the little things that you otherwise wouldn’t, document your kids as they grow, take a year of self portraits, or just film the crazy things your cat does every day!
7. Nourish your body
Years ago, diet trends were entirely focused on depriving yourself in order to lose weight, but today most diet trends are designed to work with your body and nourish it with the foods that will most efficiently sustain it (and yes, cause you to lose kilos). So instead of committing to shedding kilos off your bod, shift your focus and instead commit to take care of your body with healthy foods. It’s a much more sustainable way to maintain a healthy lifestyle long-term, and it’s a lot more pleasurable than a shake diet!
If greasy takeaway food is your weakness, try my 4 simple steps for escaping the takeout trap. And check out the 7 fruits and vegetables you MUST stock up on when they’re cheap for inspiration on what fruit & veg to buy AND ideas for using them.
8. Fix up your finances
Here’s how Chris and I began to turn our financial situation around. We have since tweaked some of the finer details, but the principles remain the same.
We have also gotten FULLY into The Barefoot Investor and are beginning to watch Dave Ramsey’s YouTube channel. If you think there’s nothing you can do to change your financial situation, think again. There are resources out there that will almost definitely have you thinking differently.
9. Pause and reflect
My friend Amanda Viviers is the champion of new year reflections, and each year she releases a new book to guide you through closing out the previous year and starting the new one well. This year’s book is called Pause and you can order a printed version or a downloadable version. She’s also released a personal retreat day book that might be more your style.
There’s something extremely cathartic about incorporating journaling into your routine. There are so many ways to do it, but I love the A Year To Bloom journals by Blooming Minds. It’s a guided 52-week journal designed to promote positive emotional wellbeing. You can also grab a digital version of it here.
11. Pick a chore. Any chore
Years ago I wrote about how 1-2 small chore commitments actually changed my life. I wasn’t exaggerating. As a not-so-brilliant house keeper, knowing that there are a couple of chores that I’m boss at gives me a sense of control and relief. So pick a chore or two that you know you can get to every single day, and do them. Every single day.
12. Quit over-scheduling yourself
I know, we’re all super important with one hundred thousand things to do and twenty kabillion people who need us. But the more things we fill our schedule with, the more thinly we are spread. So not only are we exhausted, but we are probably not giving our all to the too-many things we’ve said “yes” to doing.
Invest in rest. Rest your tired body. Add down time to your schedule and make it a priority, not an after thought.
13. Find joy in the small
I personally think the ability to appreciate the little things in life is the true secret to happiness. So start noticing the small details that make your life good. The things that give you a little smile even on a crappy day. A perfectly brewed coffee. A text from someone you love. A compliment from a colleague. Ash wrote about her “happy list” and the way that empowering the awesome small things that happened throughout her day actually changed her perspective when she was going through a rough period. Write your own list, or document your little joys photographically on a private Instagram account.
14. Reconnect with an old friend
If someone’s name instantly popped into your head when you read this heading, do something about it! It’s easy for friendships to slowly drift apart. Even amazing ones. But it takes guts and a bit of work to pull things back together, even if there is no falling out or bad blood to patch over. Friendships are important. So don’t let another year of little to no contact go by with someone who means a lot to you.
15. Ditch the pill
Oh, this is controversial, isn’t it? I have a lot that I would like to get off my chest with regards to natural fertility vs. the pill and for the first time, I plan to do so this year. But in the mean time here’s the crux of it: hormones are important. Like super important. They affect so much more than your uterus. Things that mess with your hormones? Not good. Check out the massively popular book Taking Charge of Your Fertility and get to know your cycle. And see what Ash has to say about her favourite period tracking app.
16. Start a side hustle
Because who doesn’t want more money in their life? Side hustles are on the rise. People are using them to pay off debts and see the world and boost their savings. No matter what your skill set, there is a side hustle out there for you. Check out Emily Zylstra’s guest post on the art of the side hustle to get you started.
17. Prioritise a hobby
Our hobbies are important! They add interest to our lives, they let us practise a skill set we might not otherwise, and they give us a sense of achievement. But so often they fall by the way-side because Netflix and Facebook are a lot easier to jump into on a week night. This year, make your hobby a top priority. Try to engage with it at least once a week. If it’s something that requires some set-up, see if you can set aside an area in your home to leave it set up so it’s easy to jump straight into. Just don’t let another year go by in which you hardly get to do the thing that you love to do. Life’s too short!
I hope you’re feeling excited about the year ahead.
I know I am!
Make it your best one yet with a clear idea of what you would like to commit to.
PS Feeling inspired? Pin the whole list on Pinterest to refer back to!