Looking for a swift kick in the rear? This time of year, I usually am. Like everyone else, I usually come skidding into the final days of December with a mix of exhaustion, guilt and looming disaster.
Honestly, it isn’t the holidays – I decided long ago to never turn into a person who allows chaos to take control to the point that I dread or can’t enjoy the season. I’ve got a pretty healthy dose of chill about it – there are things I want to do, but I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with cards not hitting the mail, plans changing or ideas disintegrating.
Done is better than perfect and good can be far more satisfactory than great, despite popular opinion.
With all that said, the last days of the year can leave us run down, disappointed in the things we did or didn’t do and generally feeling overweight, disorganized, listless or lacking inspiration.
It’s one of the reasons I love a new year: a blank page, fresh start, tabula rasa and all that.
There’s nothing quite so exciting (ahem, #nerdalert) as a challenge or action plan to tackle the arrival of a new year. So whether you’re ready to get control of your life, dreaming of refreshing your home space, desperate to hit reset on your health or eager to chase the cobwebs from your creativity, I’ve compiled a few favorite resources to get you pointed in the right direction. I’m nothing if not a total sucker for a plan laid out in excruciating detail.
Here you’ll find a mix of 30(ish) day life-improving challenges. I’ve tackled each one in the past – all with varying degrees of success, I might add. Pick one for January or go hog wild and commit to one a month for your best year ever.
Without further ado, here are #NineForTheNewYear – neatly packaged up with a bow (three for home, three for health, three for self). Off you go: pick one, bid adieu to days of auld lang syne and tip your hat to 2017!
Apartment Therapy is a fantastic resource for savvy home tips, decor and inspiration. I ran across The January Cure last year and loved the way it broke the most important ways to make a house more of a home into manageable daily tasks. I finally figured out that if my bed table (or worse, my closet or bedroom) is in a state of disarray, it will affect my sleep and general wellbeing – so no more. I’ll be participating again this year – join me!
Tackle Your Stuff
To be honest, I’ve let down my guard a bit on making smart choices that cut down on our overall family footprint. Obviously we still do the predictable (and minimally necessary, in my opinion) things like recycling and reusable shopping bags, but I’ve allowed a few plastic water bottles and over-packaged items to creep in. Don’t fret, though: I’m still the same warrior against excess paper. Ha. Regardless, I’ll be revisiting my reduce/reuse/recycle tendencies and tightening up habits this year. This is an arena where you could either find an existing challenge or build one yourself. Start with the Zero Waste Home book and tips, try a decluttering or paperless challenge or conduct a digital declutter (hint: start by grabbing these books as Kindle editions so you’ve got one less thing lying around).
Tackle Habits + Happiness
Ok, maybe this doesn’t technically belong under home, but bear with me… Gretchen Rubin is the author of amazing books on habits and happiness, and any one of them would make a phenomenal new year challenge. I enthusiastically recommend The Happiness Project, Happier at Home and Better Than Before. Bonus: Gretchen has SIX smart 21-day projects ranging from habit change to relationships, decluttering and how to quit yelling at your kids. They range from free to $4.99, a steal for one of the world’s top experts on happiness to help you become a better human.
Tackle Your Relationship With Food
I’ve been a giant fan-girl for Tsh Oxenreider since the days of Simple Mom/Simple Bites etc. etc. which is now The Art of Simple. She is so fabulous. I’ve watched her evolve right alongside (but slightly – no, WAY – ahead of me). She always has the perfect life advice. Her books, tone, insight and everything else are spot on. Most things on this list are free (with the exception of your commitment and tenacity), but this one is well worth the approx. $5/month. Goals, purpose statement, simple living: Tsh has your life roadmap in the Upstream Field Guide. Honestly, I neglected this commitment this year and will be starting fresh. See you in the Facebook group!
Tackle Your Story
Tackle Your Side Hustle
So… what will you be tackling to build you 2.0 in 2017? Comment, ping me or post with #NineForTheNewYear on social – I’d love to hear all about it. Good luck!