Can you believe it?? We are about 6 weeks away from the New Year! I encourage you to set yourself up for success by being mindful with the way you close out 2018 and step in to 2019 as the best version of yourself.
By having a focus each week, directed in a different category of your life, the goal is to start you out on the right foot by the time January 1 rolls around; giving you an actionable plan to reach your goals. When you are mindful about where you are in time and space, it won’t catch you off guard and leave you wondering where the time went and why you aren’t reaching your goals.
Beginning each Monday from now until New Year’s Eve, your challenge is to incorporate each theme into the week ahead.
Week 1: Gratitude
Week 2: Wellness & Self Care
Week 3: Family
Week 4: Personal Finance
Week 5: Adventures
Week 6: Time Management
Week 7: Community.
The First Monday: Gratitude
Happiness begins with Gratitude. In the process of ending this year strong and starting the next off great, it seems fitting that we center our thoughts on what we have to be grateful for. It can be scary in this off season time wondering where the money is going to come from for the holidays or how you are going to pull off having so much company in the next few weeks. My challenge to you, is the next time you find yourself worrying, stop wasting time and think instead of what you are grateful for . Everything works out just the way it is supposed to anyway, so why fret?! Instead, take the opportunity you have been given to look around you, be happy that you get to live in such a beautiful place. Be happy you have a family to cook dinner for (even for the hundred-millionth time this week!). Pretty soon you will notice mundane tasks like dishes and laundry become a meditative practice you look forward to.
The Second Monday: Wellness & Self Care
Step 1: Schedule a Yoga Class. You’ll thank me later. Step 2: This week I want you to take a look at what you are doing well in your self care routine. You feel really good after the gym, even though the act of getting to the gym is tough… focus on that! Remember how much better you felt after your last massage? Book one last one for 2018 and start 2019 off feeling caught up and in a place to take on a New Year. All too often it is easy to forget that “You can’t pour from an empty cup!” Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I begin with myself. Take a hot shower, say a prayer while you are in there, get out and look your best for the days ahead. When you look good, you feel good. So look good!! Set yourself up for success when everyone else needs you, you will be in a position to give them your all.
Week 3, almost half way! Third Monday: Family
The holiday season is the best time of year to be inundated with reminders of how important family is. Family means someone or a group of people that will love you unconditionally and support you in times when it seems everything else fails . You need that network. Others need that network. My challenge is a little different than you might expect (that doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to not call your grandma…) This week, I want you to be that person for someone that is not a blood relative of yours. Go out and find a friend or a coworker that could really use a supportive bond this season and reach out to them. It can be subtle, but trust me what you get out of helping other people feel secure will blow your mind. Just do it. Step out of your comfort zone and be family to someone that wouldn’t typically expect it.
Fourth Monday: Personal Finance
This topic will set you up for success in such a way that has the potential to blow 2019 out of the water and truly call it the best year ever. Get ahold of your finances, people! (If you consider yourself financially stable , i.e., not living paycheck to paycheck, congratulations! Now get out there and help someone else figure it out. Share this incredible gift!) It really isn’t hard. The first step will take you 20 minutes. Ready for it? Here’s the solution… Create a budget. I’ll even walk you through it. Step one: Get a pen & a notepad. Go ahead, I’ll wait. … Ok, now that you’ve got that, write the date at the top and which month you are budgeting for. Have this project done before the beginning of the month. Ok, so you know what month you are budgeting and what date it is today, now write down your income. Let’s say you will get 2 $500 paychecks that month; your income is $1000. Next list your bills in the order they are due. Rent, water, phone, groceries, transportation. Don’t get caught up in not knowing how much gas you will use, just estimate. Once you know how much money you have and where it went, then you can determine whether to save, spend or pay down debt with the remainder. Feel free to contact me directly if you need help. For more on the topic, go to DaveRamsey.com (this is not a plug and I am not getting paid. This stuff really works and it would be a shame if I didn’t share the secret with you!).
Fifth Monday (about Dec 17th): Adventures
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you cannot expect to live a full life if you are constantly working. This is one of the goals of getting your finances in line, so that you have more time to play! Well, let me encourage you to take a new approach to your play time this year. I want you to prioritize it. That’s right. Make play plans first. The goal this week is to go out and buy your new 2019 calendar . Make this a fun event! Sit down with your spouse and family, and as a team, write on the calendar everyone’s birthdays, special events, long weekends, camping trips, family vacay and anything else you’d like to bucket list this year. When it is on the calendar, your likelihood of sticking with it greatly increases. Create the life you want to live and then figure out how to do work around it. Life is too short to not have anything to look forward to as you trudge through paying off debt and working to cover expenses.
Sixth Monday: Time Management
This parlays nicely from last week. I want us to have a goal where we spend more time doing the things we enjoy and become more efficient with the tasks that we must accomplish, even though we may not want to. The biggest thing to help me is meal prepping. There are countless videos on Youtube, just put “Meal prepping” in the search bar and you will see what I mean. Learn this. Master this. If you can get all your meals for the week on a plan and schedule in when you will prep what, I guarantee, all of your weight loss goals and time management goals fall right into place. If you are prepared with food and snacks to get you through the day, the impulse to purchase crappy food will diminish. Have a plan. Be mindful. Pack a lunch .
On a similar note, housekeeping… Also countless YouTube videos. My biggest recommendation (this is my biggest area of struggle, so I am constantly “working on it”) is to do a little every day . If you can do one load of laundry every day, you don’t have to confront laundry mountain once a week. Try to accomplish your tasks quickly. Like, fast . Don’t let yourself get distracted. Just get the house clean so you can spend intentional time relaxing later and the guilt will go away because there is truly nothing else you are supposed to be doing, but relaxing .
Seventh and final Monday of 2018: Community … & more Gratitude!
Ahhh people. They need you, you need them that equals community. So often it can be a nightmare thinking of putting yourself out there. Talking with people, interacting with them. It’s just like the gym… really hard to talk yourself into it… really glad that you did. I want you to understand something out of this… It boils down to your value. You are more valuable to your community and those around you, then you will ever realize. It is your duty not to let these people down. You have a responsibility to connect with those around you. Because if you don’t, who will? You know what it feels like to be lonely. To need help . Understand that everyone around you feels the same way and you have gifts, talents, something to offer them . …and it’s not up to you to know what that is. If you are stuck in defining your gifts, then don’t. Don’t define them. Let others define them for you. Spend enough time around other people and they will tell you what is beautiful about you. Just trust that it is the symbiotic nature of humanity. If you tell someone else their beauty, they will tell you yours. So, start small. Introduce yourself to your neighbor. Pick up a piece of trash that you walk by. Do something for someone else and see how it comes back to lift you up.
Technically this is the first week of the New Year, so fill your heart with gratitude and start it out helping others. You will be amazed at how this year is truly the year you are your best self. (and appreciate the path it took to get you there)