I love New Years! The fresh start, new beginning, and opportunity to plan and dream. As someone who often lives in the future, New Years is the perfect marriage of being present in a fresh start and having 12 months ahead of me to plan for!
I am really, really looking forward to 2018. This year I want one word to guide my steps, Simplicity. To simplify is to make something simpler or easier to do or understand. Our days are hectic, our house is cluttered, and my body literally bears the weight of my stress. This year I want to let go of it all! I want to declutter our home, reaching a place where we have only what we need. I want to lose the weight that I have held onto and put on over the years and to find the Ashley buried underneath. I want to focus on what really matters and to find ease in the day to day. I want to end 2018 with a life that is simpler and easier to live and understand. My ultimate goal for 2018 is to Simplify!
In 2018 there are six areas I will be concentrating on.
2. Personal wellness and self care
3. Weight loss
5. Lifestyle and routine
So let’s dive into these areas and I’ll explain why I’m focusing on them and how I’d love to grow and change over the next 365 days.
Returning to work full time next week is bittersweet. Just as it was with Magnolia, it will be really hard going from spending all day with Kinnick to only being with my kids before and after work Monday through Friday. Nothing will change the limited time I have with my children, but what I can do is simplify those precious hours!
This year, my goal is to reduce the craziness. I want to use our weekends to prepare for the week ahead by preparing meals, laying out clothes, and packing bags. If something is too complicated, then I want to find an easier way to accomplish the same task. I want our mornings to be happy and joyous. The key to this will be for me to go to bed at a reasonable time and to prepare for the day the night before.
After work, Neal and I want our sole focus to be on our children. We’re going to leave work at work, dock our phone when we enter the house, and focus on our family. The plan is to try out CrockPot or make ahead meals on Mondays and Wednesdays, enjoying the leftovers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We want to have family dinners, to enjoy those precious hours with our kids, and to make our own wellness a priority each night.
In addition, one of my major goals this year is to organize all of our photos and to determine the best method for preserving all of our memories. I also want to create keepsake boxes for each of my kids and to do a better job of selecting what we’re going to keep and let go of.
Lastly, Neal and I want to create a Legacy file. Last year we created our will, but we still need to pull together all of our important documents into one place in case something happens. It’s not something people like talking about, but as Neal and I get older I want to make sure we have everything organized.
Personal Wellness and Self Care
I’ll admit it, I don’t take good care of myself. I am moving at 100 mph most days and don’t make choices that promote wellness. I take quick showers, rarely dry my hair, and never wear makeup. Despite a curiosity and desire to use essential oils and to truly connect with my chakra system, I just don’t make myself a priority. Truth is, I don’t use my time in a way that makes me a priority.
This year, I want to create a simplified routine in which I truly feel the self care I am providing myself. It doesn’t make much effort or much time. I want to use more essential oils, take a nice bath after a long day, read more books (especially during my commute on Audible), put on a little makeup, and feel good about the clothes in my closet.
Fitness is an absolute joy in my life and I’m excited for fitness in 2018. I am studying for my NASM personal training certification and am taking the exam in late January. I am still working out at OrangeTheory and hope to throw a few more workouts into my week IF it’s feasible. Again, my goal is to simplify, not to overwhelm. At this point in my life, 2 OrangeTheory workouts Monday-Friday and weekend workouts may need to be enough.
This is a big one! Before getting pregnant with Magnolia in 2013 I was in such a great place with my body and weight. Pregnancy changed my body in so many ways, and although I reached my pre pregnancy weight before getting pregnant a second time in 2016, I was still carrying a lot of weight in the form of stress and anxiety.
I’ve been pretty open about wanting to have another baby in the future, but we are not planning to be pregnant this year. This year I want to buckle down, focus more on what I’m eating, and get back to a weight in which I feel happy, healthy, and most like myself.
I am not comfortable in my body as I write this post and I have a lot of work before me! I am following the Weight Watchers Freestyle program and am really comfortable with it. I feel best when I eat mostly fruits, veggies, protein, and dairy. Without following a program, I always feel best when I limit sugar and processed foods intake. I am striving to get back to a healthier place with my sugar and processed foods intake and I feel now more than ever that the Weight Watchers program supports the lifestyle I feel best in.
I am still exclusively breastfeeding Kinnick and will continue to do so as long as I’m feeling good physically and am not becoming overburdened by the task (hello pumping). We’ll see what happens when I return to work full time, but I am hopeful to continue breastfeeding this winter and spring.
I came back from our Christmas vacations and was incredibly overwhelmed by the volume of stuff in our house. We’ve just accumulated a lot over the years, especially after having kids, and I want to declutter. My goal this year is to literally go through each and every space in our house, one at a time, and to clean out. The result will be lots of donations, plenty to sell, and hopefully a significantly reduced amount to keep. I really want to get down to the necessities.
The question I want to answer pretty quickly this year is, “What do I want my house to feel like?”. I don’t know how to answer that right now, but I want to be able to. Decluttering is step one and then I want to decorate.
In the spirit of simplifying, I need to create systems around the house that work for our family. I need to create a mail center, one which Neal can navigate that way we’re both doing the same thing. I’m kinda over having piles of mail in different locations around the first floor of the house. I also want to create a better laundry system and to find our groove as I return to work full time. Laundry is the devil, but I know we can find a routine that works for us.
Homemaking and simplifying boil down to organization, so the bulk of what I want to do around the house will require me to get organize.
Lifestyle and Routine
Our Monday-Friday schedule is going to be a little intense these next few weeks while we settle into two full time career and taking kids to school/daycare. This year I want to live a simpler life and our routine is an important part of that. I am learning to ask for more help and to let go of things and routines that just don’t work for me or my family. I don’t have specific goals for this category, but I know I want to simplify my lifestyle and routine. We’ll see how it takes shape over the upcoming months.
I am really, really excited about 2018. I pray that this year will be filled with good health, lots of laughs, plenty of sunshine, and a simplified life!