For me, one of the best feelings in the world is opening a new journal and turning to the first blank page. There’s something about it that’s beautiful to me—like a breath of fresh air, calm and soothing but also full of possibility.
I feel the same way about the start of a new year.
I know it’s a bit silly—after all, the first of January is just a date on the calendar! But I love it anyway and use it as a reminder to stop and reflect on how I’m living my life (something I think we all need to do more often!).
This year, I was particularly inspired by this blog post written by my good friend Sam and I decided to make a few lists, including this one. These aren’t new year’s resolutions (which are way too structured for me!). Instead, they’re gentle reminders I can refer throughout the year to help me live with intention and stay true to myself.
MORE TIME SPENT REFLECTING ON WHAT I’VE ACCOMPLISHED
When I sat down to reflect on 2017, I realised it wasn’t easy for me to think about my accomplishments. Instead, I noticed my mind automatically turned to all the things I didn’t get done.
And once I started paying more attention, I noticed I do this on a daily basis as well. I have made some progress in the past year (especially since becoming a mum) but at the end of the day, my default mindset is still to focus on what didn’t get done instead of celebrating my accomplishments. I’ll be working hard to turn this attitude around in 2018.
LESS TIME ON THE SOFA
Last year I bought a sofa for the first time in five years and oh boy—I’ve been making up for lost time! In fairness, I was heavily pregnant and then recovering from birth, so I’ll give myself some grace. But this year, it’s time to move on because I’ve realised the sofa is a black hole where my time and energy seem to disappear!
So instead, I want to be on the floor playing with my daughter, at my desk writing, or outside going for a walk. Anywhere but sitting on my bum, in front of the TV with my iPhone in hand!
Related Post: How to Consume Social Media Mindfully
MORE INTENTIONAL SPENDING
I’m pretty sure last year I shopped more than I’ve done in the previous four years combined! Most of my spending was practical (I moved out of an unfurnished flat and I needed furniture, I got pregnant and needed maternity clothes, I had a baby and needed a cot, etc.) but I’ll also admit to getting carried away here and there!
It was like a floodgate opened; as I got accustomed to spending, I started spending more and more mindlessly. Whoops!
In 2018, I’d like to slow down, get back to basics, and become more intentional with my spending again. This means making sure my spending choices are in alignment with my values and priorities. (If you’d like some tips on how to do this, be sure to check out this post.)
LESS WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
This is something I didn’t think I had much of a problem with—until I became a mum! Since then, I’m noticing I worry all the time what other people will think about me.
Is my baby crying too loud? Should she be sleeping through the night yet? Am I the only one who hasn’t lost the baby weight?
Logically, I know all babies and bodies are different so these comparisons are ridiculous, but hey—I’m human and motherhood isn’t easy! There is so much conflicting advice but in 2018, I’m hoping to trust my instincts, turn out the noise, and do what I feel is best without worrying what everyone else thinks.
Related Post: Minimalism for Mothers [An Essay on Simple Living + Motherhood]
MORE ACCEPTING OF HELP
I’m very lucky to have friends and family who are always offering to help me with my daughter, but to be honest I hardly ever accept it. I don’t like admitting I can’t do it on my own, I don’t like letting go of control, and I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.
But deep down, I know there’s a reason they say it takes a village to raise a child. And if I keep saying “no” to help, I’ll be on the fast track to burnout before I know it. So this year I’m going to practice saying, “Yes, thank you” a bit more often!
START WHERE YOU ARE
I know we’re already a few weeks into 2018 (or you might be reading this post long after the new year has passed) so I just wanted to end this post with a friendly reminder. Yes, the new year might be especially inspiring, but don’t forget that any day is a good day to start thinking intentionally about your life. Start now and start where you are. 🙂
What do you want more and less of in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so let me know in the comments! x
photo credit: Lisa Fotios // Used with permission
10 thoughts on “What I Want More + Less of in 2018”
Some great thoughts Jennifer, minimalism is so helpful in motherhood, parenthood, well all the time, but still. Don’t be too hard on yourself about the sofa, as a mum, you do need sometimes to do NOTHING! As your daughter gets older, you’ll be even more pressed for time and headspace, so time doing nothing is helpful, but I know what you mean xx
Hi Carla! It’s so funny that I’m just reading and responding to this now because “doing nothing” is something that has been on my mind lately! I’m trying to intentionally create some white space in my life right now because I’m learning if I don’t, life just keeps creeping up to fill the space. Thanks for this excellent reminder! xx
Have you read Rachel Jonat (The Minimalist Mom) book called “The Joy of Doing Nothing”? x
I’m reading it right now—it’s what’s been inspiring me!! x
haha great minds. I too am reading it, taking too long!
The sofa and I are great friends too! (Though I don’t eat on it, I just lie there with my phone in one hand lol) And I probably care too little about what other people think – my Mom seems to think so anyway. Thanks for this update, Jen!
It’s not that I have something against the sofa … it’s just a black hold for me, haha! And not caring what other people think is generally a good thing! xx
I’ve been working on it for a while but I’d still like to care much less about what other people think! That’s interesting that things worked the other way for you as well, I usually hear a lot of people say that once they become a mum they just stop caring what people think!
Julia // The Sunday Mode
Hi Julia! I’m hoping I’ll get there eventually (with the whole not caring what people think thing) but I suppose it’s because I want to make sure I’m doing what’s best for my daughter and it can be so confusing! But as time goes on, I’m definitely getting better at trusting my gut and tuning out the noise. Slowly 🙂 Thanks for reading! xx Jen PS: your blog is beautiful!
That’s brilliant that you’re getting to a point where you can just tryst your cut though and tune everything else out. And thank you for the comment about my blog!! 🙂