Every year I like to write a New Year’s resolution post, but I really don’t like the term ‘resolution’. Maybe it’s just because it no longer has the best connotation with everyone ‘resolution-ing’ to then promptly fall off the wagon, (myself included). So this year I’m writing out my intentions for habits I’ve been working on for years, and will be working on for years to come. It’s not as fancy as a resolution maybe, but lasting change takes time.
So these 10 things I’m writing down today are things I work on every single day because I feel like they impact my life in a big way. And I’m hoping some of them might be helpful to you as well.
- Eat more veggies – I’m always looking for more ways to get veggies into every single meal because we both feel great eating lots of veggies. Some of my current favorites are these Make Ahead Sausage Egg Muffins, this Pink Grapefruit Green Smoothie, my Paleo Power Breakfast, this Potsticker Stir Fry, and my Sheet Pan Fajita Salad Bowls.
2. Have a green smoothie most days of the week – I say most days instead of every single day because that’s more achievable than such a sweeping statement. Having a green smoothie often makes me feel good and have great energy, (and it’s another way to achieve #1 to eat more veggies).
I find it’s pretty easy to have one every day during the workweek, and then take a break on the weekends. I also don’t like to burn myself out on an all or nothing mindset! Some of my favorites include: Pina Colada Green Smoothie, Mango Lime Green Smoothie, Pineapple Orange Banana Green Smoothie, Berry Green Smoothie, and my Ginger Peach Green Smoothie.
3. Yoga as many days as possible every week – for me this usually means yoga 6 days a week to feel my best, even if it’s just 10 minutes. For some reason this is one thing I always put off with the classic ‘I’ll do it tomorrow excuse’. So I’ve been working on a ‘no excuses’ policy and it’s been working great.
There are good reasons sometimes to skip things, so I’m not saying it’s all or nothing because that’s a mindset I’d like to leave behind. But for myself I’ve been finding it’s been good to acknowledge there are reasons sometimes, like this week I pulled a muscle so I didn’t do regular yoga, just a small amount of stretching. However ‘I’m tired or I’m too busy today’ are not reasons for me, and that’s where the ‘no excuses’ comes in.
4. Write down my top 3 priorities for every day – I’ve been working on this one for 2 years now, and it’s been a game changer. For me over the last couple of years, those priorities have changed. I used to fill those 3 spaces with urgent and important things that had to be done. But for the last few months, my top 3 every day look like this: 1. green smoothie 2. thirty minutes of yoga 3. eat lunch.
These all might seem like really basic things, but to me they’re always the things that go by the wayside. And I’ve found by making all 3 a priority, I have more energy to accomplish all those important things that crop up from day to day. If I’m not careful to make these 3 things my priority, months go by without a green smoothie, yoga, or ever eating lunch on a workday.
5. Have a Date Night every week – this was my only New Year’s resolution last year, and it was a good one. We’re both workaholics, so it can be difficult to slow down. But having a date night every single week gives us both something to look forward to. And it also falls in line with some of the best marriage advice we were ever given which was to ‘never stop dating’. I think going on dates is the perfect way to remember why you fell in love in the first place. Plus escaping from day to day life is always a bonus!
6. Always have a plan – for me that means time blocking most of my days. Time blocking is a useful technique where you build a certain amount of time into your days for each task. This is immensely helpful to me for staying on track and not taking too long with one thing or another. The downside is I find it a bit ridged, so sometimes I just give myself a break and have a day where I just work hard and don’t worry too much about how much gets done.
But I have found it’s like getting in shape, the more you work on it, the easier it’s becoming. And I have to say, I love the feeling that comes when I’ve written down my to-do list for the next day with time blocks alongside. The next morning I wake up ready to go with a plan, and just start checking things off like crazy. It’s pretty addicting to be able to get a lot done and feel less chaotic, so this is one thing I’ll be working on even more this year.
Not to get too long winded with the details, but every week I make a weekly plan for my business and for our personal life. Then there’s a grocery list with all groceries we need personally and for recipe testing. I also write out a meal plan, what meal prep I’ll be doing that week, along with recipe testing written in so I know what days we’ll just be having leftovers. And finally, every night I make a massive 1 page to-do list with personal tasks sprinkled into my business list for the day.
This has been working super well for me because I tend to be so focused on what needs to be done that I forget about things like lunch. So seeing ‘lunch’ time-blocked into my day has helped my keep some more balance in my life.
7. Create space to think – this goes hand in hand with #6 about having a plan. So often I over pack my days with things I need to get done, and this always leads to chaos. When I over schedule myself, there’s no time to think, and I start to get sloppy. So I’ve been trying to create a little space every day to think and plan out the next day. I’ve never been a tea drinker, but lately I’ve been making a cup at the end of the work day and just taking 5-10 minutes to write my next day’s plan, and have a think. Having just a few dedicated minutes to think has made me much more organized, and less stressed.
8. Take time to enjoy life – sometimes with all that needs to be done/work/making green smoothies/doing yoga every day – life starts to seem overwhelming. And I’ll admit to saying a few times over the last few years when I’m finding myself over scheduled that ‘I know I have a great life, but if I’m too busy to stop and enjoy it, how great is it really?’ This has been a good question to go back to again and again for me. Taking time to enjoy all the hard work and celebrate the milestones has been something I’m working on. Too often I get caught up in a whirlwind of to-dos, and forget to simply enjoy the beautiful life I have. And on that note, I’m actually taking a few days off until the New Year for the first time in 4 years – so hopefully I’ll be capturing more gorgeous sunsets in Glacier National Park, (where these photos were taken).
9. Meal prepping every week – we’ve been meal prepping for years off and on, but 2017 has been the year of meal prep because it’s been such a busy year. We don’t do massive meal prep like you see on Pinterest, but I do like to put up a few freezer meals every few months. And then from week to week we make more or less depending on the week we have coming up.
I’ve found that having fruit prepped for my green smoothies has been extra helpful. During the summer I often do Mason Salad Jars for lunches, and during the winter I make a batch of soup almost every week. Then I usually have a batch of my Maple Cinnamon Granola, or Paleo Granola Dust, or Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins on hand in the freezer for quick breakfasts, along with some sort of Egg Muffins or Egg Bake most weeks.
Meal prepping has been really helpful for staying on track with healthier eating habits. It’s much easier to make a green smoothie, or make sure I eat lunch if I have healthy options ready to go. I usually do my meal prepping on Sundays, but since I’m not on social media on Sundays, you can find my meal prep inspiration on Insta Stories most Mondays. And if you miss it, I keep a written breakdown of what we’ve prepped for that week in the highlights area on Instagram.
10. Look for ways to simplify – whether it’s getting rid of stuff we don’t need around the house, or not saying yes to every single thing, or even not making something complicated for dinner on a weeknight when we’re pressed for time. I’ve been finding that once I started looking for ways I could simplify what I’m doing in life, things to change just started popping up everywhere. So this is one thing I’m really looking forward to continuing to work on because I just don’t want to be over committed anymore!
So that’s my 10 habits for the upcoming year, and I’d love to know what you’re working on right now that’s changing your life?
Oh and one more thing before I go, I just wanted to mention a new tradition Tyler and I started for New Years a few years back because it’s so fun. Every year now we sit down with a big Antipasto Platter or Cheeseboard and brainstorm ideas for what we want to do, and adventures we want to have in the new year. Then we start blocking them out on the calendar which is such an awesome way to start another year – already looking forward to all the fun things coming!