Is this what we all really want? That’s not it?
Our lives become happier, our bodies become healthier, our minds become more organized, we become more efficient overall, and we can finally complete to-do lists that are longer than our own legs. And you might even have some time to relax a little.
I’ve had years where I’ve made a million resolutions for myself (and of course I’ve never stuck to any of them because I’m completely overwhelmed by them all) and other years where I aim for one big change. However, there are some years when this is not the case. Set nothing. But this year I’m setting myself 10 simple goals. They are all small things that are easy to accomplish, but we already know they will have a big impact.
Find your capsule wardrobe/minimalist wardrobe
I finally found the perfect capsule wardrobe, but it took a long time. She has been dressing herself since she could walk, so this is a story of 29 years of trial and error in the wardrobe department. And there were some mistakes. Oh, did I do something wrong!
I finally found a style I like and something that works for my body type, so I was able to get rid of about 75% of my wardrobe and it feels great. You don’t have your clothes falling out every time you draw a lottery ticket, or you don’t hide your coats all over the house thinking you can hide the fact that you have about 110 billion pieces.
I used to have a lot of clothes. I spent a lot of money on them and I was never comfortable in what I wore. Eventually, I realized that out of over 20 pairs of jeans, there was only one pair I really liked. I realized that I hate wearing uncomfortable heels and oversized tops that make me look five sizes bigger than I actually am. (I know, it sounds so easy – why on earth did it take me so long to figure this out!?)
Now that I’ve found most of my capsule wardrobe items, I spend a lot less money on clothes, spend less time worrying about what to wear, but most importantly, I’m always happy with what I wear. That’s what I’m doing.
Tips for finding your capsule wardrobe: Think about clothes that make you happy without thinking about fashion, labels, or even price tags. If you feel happy wearing them, you will look good wearing them.
Find a simple way to keep track of your expenses
I’ve finally found an easy way to track my spending, and I’ll be talking more about it later this week. This sucks, but I’m not good at managing my money. It’s very easy to get upset about your spending habits, but if you keep track of what you’re spending your money on, you’ll easily find areas where you can cut back.
I’ve recently been using a Starling card that I set up for travel as there are no fees for using it overseas, but I’ve now switched to using this for my everyday checking account as well. The best thing about Starling is that the app is tied to your account. Every time you use your card, you’ll receive a notification on your phone telling you where and what you spent it on. Each transaction is categorized so you can get an overview of how much you spend on groceries, dining out, transportation, entertainment, and more. After using the app for a month, I realized that I was spending way too much money on groceries. I was kind of aware of it but conveniently ignored it – but it’s hard to ignore when the app tells you you’ve spent £800 at Tesco!
Which brings me to my next point….
Batch cook freezer meals + reclaim your evenings
I know this is a very motherly thing to do, but there are a few reasons why I like to get into the habit of cooking meals in bulk in the freezer. It’s partly to save on exorbitant food costs, but it’s just more expensive because it includes a lot of ready-to-eat food (honestly, it has nothing to do with prosecco).
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and home-grown ingredients.
But it’s also about freeing up your evenings. I really like to cook, but I don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen every night.
Pin point your goals for the year
Anyone else suffering from SOS? It’s shiny object syndrome and it’s real!
With a goal in mind: “I want to decorate my living room,” start researching decorating ideas on Pinterest. And then a gorgeous office space, then an amazing garden office, then an office cabin, and before you know it, my plan to decorate the living room is to create an office cabin with a huge outdoor BBQ area It turned into a huge project in summer and winter true story.
I love my office, but the living room still looks very bare and unfinished. This year, I only want to achieve one of her goals at a time, so I write them on paper and post them on the wall so I don’t forget or get distracted.
Book a holiday…or two…or 10…
Of course, this obviously had to be on the list!
Holidays make us happy fact. During the cold and miserable winter months, there’s nothing like having a vacation to look forward to!
Organised evenings to start the following day on the right foot
In 2018, I want to take time each night to prepare for the next day.
We all want our mornings to be free of hassle and stress, but right now mornings are the most chaotic, noisy, and disorganized times of the day. I want to sit at my desk and know exactly what I’m going to do that day, instead of sitting there staring blankly at my computer, completely overwhelmed by a bulging inbox and a huge to-do list.
My plan is to keep my house organized, have milk and bread for breakfast (so I don’t have to go to the co-op at 6:30am!), charge all my devices, and have my gym kit ready is. If I put it on straight, my shoe bag and coat are where they should be (and they weren’t in the microwave where I found Joseph’s shoes yesterday!) My office is clean and my questions are short and concise. – Create a to-do list so you know exactly what to do that morning.
That’s the plan anyway!
Commit to a daily HIIT workout
High-intensity interval training has become extremely popular over the past few years, and for good reason. Basically, it’s a short workout consisting of high-intensity, explosive exercises with short breaks between each set. It gets your heart rate up and maintained, making it great for fat loss and overall fitness.
But for someone like me who wants to avoid going to the gym at all costs, this is a much easier type of exercise to mentally prepare for. If you think, “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour and a half and do everything…” you’re threatening yourself with such a big goal that you become scared of yourself and end up avoiding the gym altogether.
But if you think, “I’m going to do a 15-minute HIIT session using YouTube videos in my pajamas in my living room…” you’re much more likely to do it. You can do it in 15 minutes! And if you don’t even have to get dressed to do it, even better!
Top Tip: My favorite HIIT workout is the Sweat app by The Body Coach and Kayla Istines.
Training next to a swimming pool is always easier!
I know “being a minimalist” is the latest trend, but this is something I can seriously embrace. I’m not a “hard-core minimalist,” but I’m on the edge!
After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I adopted some of the strategies suggested. The main strategy is to just get rid of a ton of stuff!
This may also sound ridiculously simple, but it’s actually one of the things that has had a huge impact on my life. I started in the kitchen. This room is a complete mess 99% of the time, and the reason it’s so messy is simply because there’s too much stuff in it.
Once you get rid of a lot of useless stuff, organize your cupboards, and make space for things you really love, it will feel like a separate room.
Not only did my kitchen look so much better, but getting rid of so many things made me realize what a terrible waste it is to buy things you don’t really need. I feel like I have become much more conscious when buying things. When I find something cheap and cute, I no longer make rash impulse purchases, thinking I have to keep it until I get home and realize it’s the last thing I have. You shove it on a shelf because you need it, and it sits there gathering dust for two years until it ends up in a charity shop.
This may seem like a contradictory tip, but in all seriousness, working fewer hours can lead to increased productivity. And don’t forget, your quality of life will improve and you’ll probably be happier too!
I used to spend over 40 hours a week working on The Travel Hack. Then baby number 1 was born, so that was reduced to about 30 hours. Then baby number 2 was born, so the time was reduced to about 20 hours. But lo and behold, I was still producing just as much content and my income was only increasing!
I’m a big believer that if you have 10 hours to complete a project, it will take you 10 hours. But if you have an hour to do something, you’ll surprise yourself by magically developing superhuman levels of concentration and getting it done in an hour.
My goal for 2018 is to work about 12 hours a week (more on this in next week’s post).
Easier said than done, especially if you’re not working for yourself, and you don’t have much flexibility. But I want you to keep this in mind when you work. If you have a task that would normally take you half a day, set a goal to complete it in an hour. I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself and get it done. Then, you can choose to sit back and relax for the day, or do a little more work and be in line for Employee of the Month.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2018?