It doesn’t really matter where exactly you pull your inspiration from, as long as you have something that gets you in the groove of a creative spirit, happy soul, or puts that extra oomph in your step.
With Christmas being over and the prospects of 2016 right around the corner, I’ve been doing a lot of visualizing (a key to success!), journaling, and goal setting/day dreaming. Last night I sketched for the first time in years, I think. Becoming a mom really put a lot of my own personal hobbies on the back burner. I remember right when my friends set me up on dating apps a while ago, one of the first questions people ask you is “What do you do for fun?” Like shit. What? Fun? Hi, I have a two year old and think I lost all my hobbies. After the 12387934 person asking me that I decided I had enough of speaking in past tense.
I know in my heart and soul I’m always a mama first, and that it is OKAY (like way more than okay) to do things for myself again. After all, it’s been years since I feel like I’ve truly followed my own dreams (outside of work) and dove into my favorite hobbies + things to do. So the old response of “Welllll, I used toooooo…._______”. NO. NO. NO. No mas.
So what do I like to do? I like to play volleyball, paint, be around people who inspire me, hike, grab dinner+drinks with friends, host get-togethers, teach people recipes, cook, make things, try new classes, blog, run Seashells and Sit Ups, design fitness tanks, explore and go on new adventures, spend time with Tanny, be a good mom, a good person, and a good friend.
No matter what you’ve been through, where you’ve been, what path you’re currently walking down, what you’re proud of, or what you hope to improve…one thing that’s for certain is that everyone always wants to start a fresh year with positivity, change, and improvement, in some form or another.
That being said, here are 12 of my favorite tips to kick off the new year with a steady heart, mind, and routine.
12 Tips to Kick off the New Year with a Steady Heart, Mind, + Routine
1) Find your vibes
For me, I don’t start anything (hardly) without music. Music speaks to me and fills my entire being, instantly creating a mood and a memory. When I’m blogging, working, or journaling, one of my favorite playlists comes from Pandora’s “Chill Vibes” station. Some of my favorite inspirational projects or deadlines are met thanks to the calm yet upbeat nature of this station (and how I’ve crafted it based on thumbs up and down, of course). Being a huge ‘vibey’ + lyric lover, I have a handful of other stations and artists that are my other go-tos in other scenarios, but every station has a place and a mood. Since this post is about nourishing the soul and a few of my top tips to do so leading into the new year, try playing something relaxing and maybe a little bit funky to get into spirit-hugging, goal conquering vibes.
2) Find your tribe.
Surround yourself with those that lift you higher, those that inspire you, those that make you a better person, those that push you, and those who are or have always been there for you. Make new friends, spike up a conversation with a stranger, do something new with someone new. Cherish old friendships, and consider reaching out to someone you miss. Life gets busy and it gets a little too easy to sometimes neglect those that mean the most to us. Build a friend-family, your safety net, your circle, your tribe. There’s nothing more comforting to have a solid group of friends who you know would, and will, be there for you – no matter what. Hold on tight to those who mean the most to you, and don’t let them go.
3) Feel pretty from the inside out
Dial in your nutrition. Do some personal research on some of your favorite foods and try to make them healthier. Make a plan of how you want to tackle clean(ish) eating and make it attainable, rather than sudden, where you’ll get burnt out and give up. Start experimenting with a couple new recipes a week and see how that goes. Changing your diet can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. and it doesn’t have to lack flavor, be more expensive, or take up a ton of time, either.
Besides dishes that come from my own kitchen, other personal fav recipe inspirations come from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, Kayla Itsines Recipe Guide, and other miscellaneous books like Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, Thug Life, The Skinnytaste Cookbook, Everyday Detox, and Inspiralized. Speaking of spiraling, I’m obsessed with my spiralizer, which you can find here. Life-changing for the pasta lover trying to convert to clean eating.
TIP: Make it a goal to clean out your fridge and pantry this weekend. Get rid of all the gross things that have been sitting there too long, rotting and going stale, or that are your weakness. I’m a firm believer in cheat meals and indulging, but definitely overdo it when there are too many temptations around. Get organized and get clean – literally and figuratively in your eating habits.
4) Start a journal
Let me start this off by saying I know, I know, I know…you have no spare time. I get it; I’m a single mom to a toddler and barely have time to make dinner, or eat it. Or brush my hair. Or shave my legs. So journaling?! Really?! REALLY.
We all spend WAY too much time plugged in – on the computer (sitting here now while also texting from my MAC; GUILTYYYY), on our phones, on our tablets…we live in an effective and efficient world filled with technology that makes our lives easier, but also more complex. These little gadgets steal our time and our souls.
How many of you sit in one given hour habitually switching from Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, email, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc., etc., etc…..#raiseyourhand, I know you do. Sure, the mindlessness is nice, but hours go by and it’s like WTF did I just do for an hour?! Nothing. Literally. You. Did. Nothing. For an hour. Maybe even two…Maybe you found some inspiration, but maybe you feel a little shitty comparing yourself and your life to someone else’s “social media life;” so STOP IT. Right MEOW. Pick up or order a new journal and dedicate a few minutes an evening to unplug, be mindful, and just….be.
My friend John recommended journaling & reading at least ten pages from a book each evening before bed, and I’m kind of in love with these new habits. When journaling, it doesn’t have to be totally structured. Write, draw, scribble, visualize…anything. Just unwind, breathe, be mindful, and turn off the screen each evening. There’s a lot of really neat journals out there that channel self-reflection, inspiration, and mindfulness. John recommends The Five Minute Journal, and I just ordered Start Where you Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration and The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. I don’t think I’ve ever been this geeky-excited for a journal in…ever. I’ll be sure to follow up with what I think of them soon! Do you have a favorite nightly bedtime routine that involves finding your center? Would love to hear it!
It’s so vital for our mind to channel our inner zen – your inner YOU. Which leads into my next tip…
I know I touched on this above, but seriously, UNPLUG. After you finish reading this, of course 😉 Step away from the computer, your phone, that tablet…and that watch. Yes, you heard me. I know your tricks and know those fancy-schmancy smart watches can rule your life now too buzzing away all day like a parole bracelet. So basically, get naked and grab a book and your journal and crawl into bed. Dedicate a space OUTSIDE of your bedroom to leave all your techy-gems so you’re not tempted to repeat that social media trap ten more times before bed. You can do it. I believe in you. Try it — you’ll feel so at peace. Whatever you think you’re missing, you’re not. Pinky promise.
6) Drink more water
I’ll be the first to admit, I totally suck at this. But have been making a conscious effort to drink more water throughout the day. I have plenty of cute water bottles and fruit to infuse tap water with, but for some reason, I’m just not the best water drinker. So let’s do this together; make it a goal to stay hydrated throughout the day. Your skin, body and mood will thank you. Plus, drinking water helps you burn fat. So if nothing else tantalizes you to drink more water, that should, #amIright
7) Eat a Cheeseburger, Beer, and Piece of Cake before Bed
KIDDINGGGGGGG. Just seeing if you’re still reading 😉
7…the real 7) Plan an adventure
Nothing speaks to the soul or gives you something to look forward to quite like an adventure. Especially if it’s to somewhere new, or in the great outdoors. Nature grounds us, travel ignites us. Plan a trip with friends, a significant other, your kids…anyone, anywhere. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Get creative. Quite often, there are a ton of fun things to do right in your own city, or within driving distance, which makes a great stay cation or day trip. Browse Pinterest and travel sites to get inspired, and get planning!
8) Make a vision board
The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with positive images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live and the things you are grateful for, your life changes to match those images and those desires. The law of attraction in essence! When we express gratitude, we bring more into our lives to be thankful for. Although it may seem otherwise at times, we all have many things to be grateful for. If you are reading this blog, then you can be grateful for your eyesight and for being able to read!
I’m a firm believer in vision boards. A recruiter from Marriott came to my college when I was a freshman and handed me her business card. I kept it pinned on my bulletin board all four years, and when I was a senior, she recruited me out of my graduating class and placed me in Activites with Marriott Vacation Club in Park City, Utah. I didn’t even realize I had her card still until I cleaned out my room one day before graduation and found it above my desk. Now if that isn’t the universe speaking, I don’t know what is.
The point of vision boards is to outline your wishes, your goals, your intentions, your inspirations….YOU. Your life, your happiness, your hopes and dreams. It creates a mindful moment calling out what you’re grateful for, what you want to achieve, see, create, do, be.
A vision board is a simple yet powerful visualization tool that manifests your dreams into reality by activating the Law of Attraction… And it really works! -mindbodygreen.com
Find more on vision board creating here.
9) Print out some photos
One of my best friends, Krystal, asked me which photo from my Noble Andrews photoshoot made me feel most beautiful. I said I wasn’t sure because there was such a variety of styles we went with for different genres (fitness, beachy-fun/mom vibes, oh hey, I’m a MILF) – I mean, come on, those are all polar opposites. But then she surprised me with this photo on a canvas, and I about died. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more beautiful than everything this picture shows and embodies. Such strength, empowerment, and I truly felt beautiful on the inside in this moment watching the sunset over the cliffs, and so pretty on the outside with Savannah from A Toast of Beauty pampering my hair and makeup. Point of that story – having this picture printed in my bedroom reminds me of how far I’ve come this past year, what great friends I have, and what beauty feels like in the heart.
I also finally just filled blank frames with printed photos of my friends and family in my house, and now I can’t wait to relax in my living room and have them all right there with me, when they’re all miles away in reality. It makes my house a home, and there’s just something comforting about photos surrounding you.
10) Try a new hobby
Enroll in a class, course, or experience in something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it’s a sport, a wellness course, a cooking class, trade school, music lesson, art lesson, bartending course….anything. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try or do but haven’t yet? Do that. Jump on Groupon and there’s probably something right there waiting for you! Que ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx…that’s your new hobby serenading you. Wherever you go, whatever you do, it will be right here waiting for you…don’t break its heart.
11) Create a fitness routine
This sounds like such a “DUH,” but it’s an essential to building healthy habits. Pair building a fitness routine with all the other tips listed in this post and you will shine bright like a diamond. And glow like a star. And radiate like the sun. 😉
Jumping into workouts doesn’t have to be intimidating and hard. Start small and ALWAYS listen to your body. If a plan seems scary, challenge yourself. But if you need to scale back, DO IT. This is your life, your body. Honor it.
For example, this is one of my WODs (workout of the day) listed above. If you don’t have time or space to go run a mile, skip that part and do the strength training. If you’re low on energy or time, do it once. If time isn’t an issue, repeat it 4 times. Use that kind of thinking when browsing fitness routines, and you’ll never get intimidated or burned out.
I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF Super Sister Fitness’ January Bikini Challenge. I absolutely adore Liz + Sarah and know this is the PERFECT program for you to dive into to make your new year off to an incredible start.
I first started my fitness habits through Tone It Up, and am also ecstatic their Self + TIU Challenge is right around the corner. I plan to pair bits and pieces of Kayla Itsines’ Guide + the TIU/Self challenge + my own WODs + Super Sister Bikini Challenge this winter to kick off my new year with a bang – a BANGin bod.
12) At least once a month say yes to something you’d normally say no to
Want to grab a drink? Yes.
Want to grab a coffee? Yes.
Want to go on an adventure? Yes.
Want to get the kids together for a play date? Yes.
Want to go for a run? Yes.
Want to try this new fitness studio with me? Yes.
Want to try this dish you’ve never had? Yes.
Want to go to a concert? Yes.
Want to _______________________. YES YES YES.
Use your discretion with this one, obviously, but the point is…try new things. and don’t feel bad about it. Go out and do something the next time you really want to be anti-social. Try a new restaurant instead of your favorite. Take a new road home instead of your usual route. Try a new grocery store that will give you anxiety not knowing where anything is. TRY SOMETHING NEW you normally wouldn’t. Say YES to getting out of your comfort zone.
What are you waiting for? What do you hope to achieve this year?
I hope you know how beautiful and valuable you are, and how you’re capable and fully deserving of anything you set your mind to. I believe in you, and this new year to fulfill your heart and soul with anything you desire. Discover your calling, and answer it. This is your time to shine; your best year yet to be you, to grow, to nourish yourself and those around you.