DIY & Projects,  Self Improvement

12 Easy Things You Can Do NOW To Jump Start Your New Year

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It’s crazy to think that 2020 is almost upon us. It seems like we were just celebrating the new millennium and were preparing for the Y2K bug. It’s almost unbelievable that the year 2000 was nearly 20 years ago. Back then Jen and Brad were still a thing, NSync was topping the charts and I’m not totally sure that I even had a cell phone yet. I was likely more focused on what to wear New Year’s Eve than planning my goals and resolutions for the next year.

Now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, I focus a lot more on the New Year and a lot less on the New Year’s Eve outfit. This year, I’m getting a Jump Start on making my 2020 even better. I put together an EASY list of 10 things that you can do right now. Make these small improvements now and you’ll be more ready than ever to embrace the new decade.

  1. Move More – Commit to moving more. Don’t set a goal that is unattainable if you’re just starting out (ie. running 10 miles a day for the next year). If you need to start, commit to doing a quick ten minute walk in the morning or evening. By the New Year, your walks will likely be a healthy habit. If you’re looking for more, here’s a couch to 5K plan.
  2. Read More – Buy a new book or borrow one from a friend or your local library. Turn off your phone while you’re in bed and grab your book. Try to read a chapter or two each night. It’s easy to fall in love with reading and develop a routine of reading before bed. I think it helps me fall asleep much quicker than if I had my phone out (unless it’s a book I just can’t put down). Here are a few of my book recommendations.
  3. Use Less – Make a list of 5-10 household items that you use that are disposable. This month try to eliminate one of those or replace with a reusable version. For example, replace disposable Ziploc bags with a reusable version.
  4. Clean Less, Tidy More – What? It’s just what I said, clean less but tidy your house more frequently. Don’t wait until things are in chaos to clean for 3 hours. Get into the habit of tidying as you go. This is sometimes easier said than done with small children, but it still helps.
  5. Sort More – I started this a while back and I really like it. I tend to get overwhelmed easily with a lot of clutter. But when you have kids, they have a lot of stuff. PROCESS: For 15 minutes each day I choose one area of my house and “sort it”. I will choose a kitchen cabinet or a closet shelf and take everything out. I eliminate anything that we don’t need/use or is damaged and then I clean the cabinet and put it back in more organized.
  6. Eat More…Veggies – This is an easy change if you do meal planning. In the past, I used to always build my meals around a protein. I made a simple change and now my family is eating A LOT more veggies. Here’s what I do – instead of planning to have chicken on Monday and then trying to think of a starch and a veggie, I’ve flipped my meal planning around. Here’s my secret – I start with the vegetable(s). For example, say I want to have brussel sprouts. I build the menu around the vegetable. I’ll plan to make a big pan of the veggies and our meat (if any) acts more as a topping or a side (for example: bacon or a chicken sausage).
  7. More You – Schedule time for yourself. I am VERY guilty of not taking time for myself. If you have a calendar, start by scheduling an hour at a time for yourself. This can be time for a workout, reading, watching your favorite show, getting your hair done, whatever. As moms, it’s important to take time to recharge.
  8. Automate More – Spend an hour or so automating things in your life. You will save many hours and even money in the long run. Here are some easy things that you can start to automate so that you are ready to go by the new year. Automate your bills – this is a no-brainer for saving time and a lot of companies will even give you a credit or cashback for going paperless. Automate your groceries – consider ordering your groceries for delivery or picking them up. I often order online and pick mine up. I find that I stick to my budget 99% of the time by ordering online. Other ideas to Automate: Coffee, Vacuuming, Pet Food Ordering, Monthly Savings.
  9. Buy Less – Commit to buying less STUFF. Try this a day at a time and a week at a time. Long-term goals for this type of thing are really difficult for many of us. Try to eliminate non-essential purchases for a week (grocery or household goods) and see how much money you save. At the end of the week examine what you didn’t buy – do you really miss those things?
  10. Less Tech – We’re all on our phones and devices way too often. Consider going “tech free” after dinner or 7pm or whatever you decide. You’ll be able to focus more on your family without your phone as a distraction.
  11. Drink More…Water – Get yourself a good water bottle that you really like to drink out of if you don’t already have one. I like one that keeps my water cold all day. Commit to refilling your bottle throughout the day. Keep it in the car and at your desk, next to your bed.
  12. Make More Lists – If you’re already making lists, try to make better lists. (I’m a big fan of bullet lists.) If you aren’t making lists, give it a try. I make a list at the beginning of everyday with what I need to accomplish (make it a realistic list – you’re not going to repaint your house and lose 50 lbs today). I love checking each item off as I get them done.

That’s it! Are you feeling better and more organized yet?!