Best Changes I've Made in 2017
When you reflect upon the previous year, and think about the new year to come, do you think about change? How do you feel about resolutions and/or goals? I've never been a big fan of resolutions because, for a number of years, mine involved a number on a scale or some arbitrary, unattainable goal; for obvious reasons, I did not stick with them.
These days, I seem to make changes or updates to my routine more organically and I find that I feel more successful in my efforts. Thanks to the team of bloggers who are presenting the fourth annual #AMonthOfFaves event (Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella's Revenge), I have an excuse to share the best changes I've made or routines I've kept that have helped me better organize my day/life.
Daily Recovery and Meditation Practice
Many of you have probably seen me write/post about Jasyoga, a practical set of yoga skills that not only fit into my life in short, small increments, but also provide me with a variety of options to help me recover from my athletic endeavors...and life. Erin Taylor, founder, has a beautiful perspective on what balance and recovery should look like and she shares it in her video series, her books Hit Reset (my review here) and Work IN (brand new! I am waiting on my copy to arrive!), and on her blog.
This year, I began making time each day for at least five minutes of quiet meditation, as well as appropriate recovery from my activities; Erin offers meditations through Jasyoga, and I also utilize two apps on my iPhone - Headspace and Calm. At first I thought, "If I can only do five minutes, what's the point?" I have since learned that five minutes can make a world of difference and it has been a wonderful way to start my day.
No Phone Before 6am or After 8pm
Ahh, I know you've heard this refrain - "But I have to check my phone for (fill in the blank) as soon as I get up or right before I go to bed!" - and I can relate. I actually have TWO phones: one for work (I am on call 24 hours/day, unless I'm on vacation) and one for personal use, so I get it.
I do keep an eye/ear on my work phone most of the time but, prior to this year, I usually check my personal phone as soon as I wake up every morning; now, since I wake up at around 4am, I refuse to look at my phone until I'm finished with my exercise or just before I leave for work (there are times when I use it while exercising for music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.). I find that the longer I put it off the less likely I am to immediately jump down the tasks/email/social media rabbit hole and this sets a much better tone for the day.
Similarly, I put my phone on the charger at 8pm on week days - I do allow myself a little longer on weekends - and I don't go back to it until the next day; this one is the most challenging, but it has been worth it! For reference, I am usually in bed by 9pm so I guess the general rule here is about an hour before I go to bed.
I love technology. I get excited about new "toys" that are smaller, sleeker, faster, and intended to make my life easier, better, more organized. I own several of these and use them daily. I WILL NEVER GIVE UP A PAPER PLANNER/NOTEBOOK. I don't care which app you recommend (I have tried many) or online calendar or any of it...none of it works as well, for me, as paper.
Each year, for most of my life, I have been excited about purchasing a new "planner;" some people call these day planners or calendars or (old school) Filofaxes or some other name. They've never been quite right, though, and I've always wished I could create my own...but it seems like a lot of work.
The concept of the Bullet Journal is new-ish; Ryder Carroll spent years working on it and then formally introduced it to the world in 2013. I went to the source (this TED Talk is really good, as well) when I finally decided to give it a go and have gone through a few different phases this year; I've decided that, for me, simpler is better and mine is pretty boring, like his, with few frills.
My Bullet Journal feels like freedom; I am no longer restricted by boxes or pre-made calendars or boundaries of any kind. I can note things whenever and wherever I choose in my journal and by indexing them regularly I can also refer back to them quickly and easily. This has been such a useful update to my previous routine and I always feel so much better when I've dumped things from my head to paper.
Have you made any changes to your daily life/routine this year?