Has anyone else nodded their head in agreement to this recently?
I’ve got both hands up over here! I don’t know about you guys, but the beginning of 2018 certainly threw a few tests my way.
It’s really easy to look at people on social media and believe they have their lives completely figured out, isn’t it? When I think about myself as a contributor to content in the holistic wellness space, I’m also conscious of how my lifestyle might be interpreted. My qualification as a Culinary Nutrition Expert has the word ‘expert’ in it, but I will 100% be the first to admit that I do not have life completely figured out!
January was a prime example of this. There were the kind of tests that had me pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone, learning very quickly, and at some points, riding an emotional rollercoaster. Without disclosing all the gritty details, the gist is that I encountered challenges in my new role at work that shook my confidence. There were times when my inner self talk involved a lot of the word ‘can’t’. There was overwhelm.
What’s going really well
While my reflection on the month led me to re-feeling those uncomfortable feelings, I also saw really clearly that some things went very right. The challenging situations I ran into led me to learning a lot about myself – particularly where I get my validation and confidence from, and how I’d benefit from making a few changes. I had some unbelievable chats with mentors that encouraged a shift in perspective, and their advice helped me realize the positive where I wasn’t noticing it before.
A few other January wins included:
On some weeks, a LOT of hot yoga, and thank freaking goodness for this! I’ve been going religiously 1-3 times per week and it is working wonders physically, mentally and spiritually. Above anything else, I knew I had to make self care a priority in January. My workouts weren’t overly cortisol-spiking or demanding as far as heart rate goes because I knew my body was already under other stressors. Hot yoga has been a perfect balance.
Not really what January hot yoga looks like in Vancouver, but it was hot on the beach when this was taken and I was doing yoga!
Attending more social events, and nurturing old + new relationships
I can become a hermit SO easily in the winter, and sometimes after work when it’s dark, cold and rainy, the only thing I want is my jammies, easy dinner, and bed. But despite the challenges, I really wanted to prioritize these social occasions because I knew they would help lift my spirits, reduce stress and help me gain a broader perspective. And it totally worked. I also brought some new friends into my life and reached out to some long-time ones, both in my professional and non-work social circles. Human connection is a powerful thing!
A monthly financial review
This is a goal I set for 2018 because I want to be more in touch with the state of my finances. Many of my other goals also rely on money (such as trips I want to take), so knowing how much progress I’ve made towards savings goals is important.
I set aside an afternoon last weekend to do a long-overdue update on my personal finance tracker, and because I was really in the mood at the time (a rarity but it happened!) I also tackled all the logging and filing of receipts that I’ll need for my 2017 business tax return. Who am I?!
It was one heck of a productive afternoon and I’m excited to keep that momentum going.
On a side note, if the idea of looking at your finances sounds more dry than a piece of gluten-free toast circa 2003, here’s how I’ve been making it more enjoyable:
- Set the scene: Essential oils diffusing, a delicious beverage, some snacks to much on, and a good playlist.
- Allll the stationery: Most of my work on this are is now digital (yay for less paper clutter!) but when it comes to office supplies, I’ve got them all – stapler, hole punch, a few pretty binders, dividers, Post-Its, Sharpies – all the things to keep the necessary paper documents organized.
- A spreadsheet that works for me: I’ve tried templated versions of this in the past, but never found one that suited my needs just right. So instead, I’ve built a spreadsheet that helps me track personal income and expenses on one tab, and business income and expenses on another. I made the colours pretty, put it in an easily accessible spot on my computer, and set a date in my calendar to update it every month.
- A reward to look forward to: For me it was going to yoga with one of my friends, but schedule something you’re looking forward to doing after you complete whatever length of time you’re dedicating to sorting out your finances.
Box breathing when driving to work, meditation after gratitude journaling in the evenings, and watching TEDtalks while climbing stairs at the gym a few times per week. (More about habit stacking here!)
De-clutter and donate
Another goal I set for 2018, with the intention of doing it once every month. January was about clearing out some physical clutter – clothes, shoes and random stuff that had accumulated. February will be slightly different. More on this below!
Unlike many years before, I’ve decided to set 3 intentions each month, rather than 3 goals as I’ve done for many years in the past. I feel like it’s easier for me to bucket a bunch of mini actions this way, all of which ladder up to 1) my intentions for the year, and 2) overall vision for my life. So without further delay…
My 3 intentions for February 2018
Part 1 of de-cluttering my digital space: photos
…and oh my goodness, do I ever have a lot of them! Those of you who are also bloggers will likely identify with the problem of having a ridiculous amount of photos (often very, very similar to one another), in different sizes, folders, formats, and in various stages of editing. Not long ago I tweaked the way I organize my photos, but there are some that still need editing (and tagging, for easy finding) so I can share the recipes with you. There’s also a whole bunch that can be deleted or transferred to my external drive.
There’s a ton of other digital clutter to deal with too, but since photos are something I work with so regularly, I figure they’re one of the ‘big rocks’ that should be worked on first. This way, the rest will feel easy – according to the big rock theory, anyway!
Finish the first draft of my Sugar Detox program
Those of you who have been reading for at least 6 months may recall that I spoke about this last year, but due to other priorities had to put it on the back burner for a while. I’m pleased to announce I’ve been hard at work on the content and can’t wait to share the final goods with you. I’m confident you’re going to LOVE the results the guide helps you to achieve, and I think you’ll learn a lot along the journey. Watch this space (for real this time.)
Continue expanding my social and professional circles
January felt like a great start for this, and reminded me how important social connection is as a component of health. I’ve got quite a few things on the calendar this month too, including the big natural health food/wellness conference I attend each year, a blog-related social, countless opportunities to meet new colleagues at work, and some upcoming friend dates that I’m really excited about.