Happy New Years Eve, friends. If you’ve been following me for long, you’ll know I try to do what I can to live as seasonally as possible. Seeing how it’s mid-winter, I’m finding myself in this season of rest, rejuvenation, and mindfulness. I’m conserving my energy, doing things that feed my mind and soul, and trying to nourish my body with adaptogens, nutritive herbs, and healthy food.
I’ve also been doing a good bit of reflecting on the past year as I prepare to plan 2019 — trying to see what worked, what didn’t, and where I need to make changes to get me closer to my big picture goals. So, in an effort to be more open with you about what seasonal living looks like in my life, I thought I’d drop in to share some of these reflections with you.
My Word For 2018
Each year, I choose a word to guide me through the year. It’s really a focal point that I run everything by as a way to help me to make decisions. My word for 2018 was “completion.” I chose that word because, at the end of 2017, I felt stressed, scattered, pulling in too many directions, and rushed most of the time. I had a lot of irons in the fire and many projects that were left half finished. I thought if I could complete what I’d already started without adding anything new, by the end of 2018, I’d feel much more focused.
Well, here we are at the end of 2018, and I can honestly say, “completion” was the perfect word for me this past year. I completed all of the projects I set out to complete without starting any new ones, with the exception of two, and I definitely feel lighter and ready for new ideas and projects.
The first of the two things I didn’t finish was updating all of my Ultimate Guide ebooks. I got two of the three done (this one and this one). The third (this one) will have to wait till 2019. The other project that I didn’t fully complete was my goal of finishing all the decorating I wanted to do in my home. I got a lot of things done, but there are other things that still need finished.
Yes & No
After looking back on the past twelve months, I see that I said yes to more than I said no to. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I mean, on one hand, it could mean that I had less to let go of, but on the other hand, it could mean that I added more to my life than I replaced.
So this past year, I said yes to:
- Incorporating more slow, seasonal living practices (Things like cooking foods in season, rearranging homeschool schedule, intentional family and self-care activities, etc.)
- Having a healthier outlook on my diet (I went vegan for a few weeks and started making Trim Healthy Mama recipes in an effort to nourish gut health and balance blood sugar)
- Getting up early a few days a week (This gives me time to study my Bible, do some journaling, and prepare breakfast)
- Starting a yoga practice (I alternate this with my regular Barre exercise routine)
- Started a 365 Day Challenge (I take a photo a day on an assigned topic and write about it. You can follow along here on Instagram)
And I said no to:
- Too many leadership roles (My personality is one that if no one else steps up, I will. Over the years, this has put me in charge of way too many things, so this year, I delegated like crazy and took a good bit of this sort of thing off my plate.)
- Doing things the way everyone else does (This applies to a lot of things in life. I get following in other people’s footsteps who’ve gone before me, but if it’s not working, it’s not worth continuing. Instead, I try to change it up to make it work for me and my life.)
- Focusing on numbers (Whether it’s my weight, my blog/social stats, or income — these things should provide me with information and guidance in reaching my goals, not be something for me to obsess over.)
While life has been good in 2018, there are always certain things that could use some improvement. While I can’t control everything in my life, especially when other people are involved, I can control my response to it and how I let it affect me. One of the things I do at the end of every year is look back and see if there is anyone (including me) that I need to forgive. Sometimes this is done in person, and other times, it’s written out in my journal. No matter, forgiveness is given.
As I wrap the year up, the main thing I’m looking for are the lessons I learned this past year. While I’m sure there are many, these are the main ones that stand out.
- Slow and simple is good because it leaves room for more when more is needed.
- Routines, schedules, and to-do lists work for me at this time in my life.
- I need goals because they help me focus which helps me to make (and see) progress in my life.
- I need to finish tasks before starting new projects. New ideas need to go in my journal to sit and brew until they’re ready.
- I need to seek out help when it’s needed.
- I need outlets to express myself.
- Incorporating little pleasures into my week make the daily grind more doable.
So here we are on December 31st, 2018. The boys want to stay up to bring in the New Year, so I have some fun things planned for the evening. There’s a charcuterie board full of yummy food. Our favorite board games are waiting. We have a family movie to watch. We also have a little lesson to teach the boys about setting goals and intentions for the new year. Oh, and there’s also streaming the ball dropping in Times Square.
Looking back over 2018, I feel like I accomplished a lot. We were all healthy, and when little ailments came up, they were handled successfully at home using natural methods. We enjoyed another fun family vacation together. We all grew in our spiritual walks. Dean and I started new workout routines and stuck with them!! And more.
At this point, I feel like I’ve successfully closed out 2018, and I’m excited to move into 2019.