I’ll be honest, every year I get swept up in the New Year, New Me craze, although this year, I think I managed to dial it back a bit. And here we are. Spring is in the air, and while I’d like to think I’ve made progress on my resolutions, I’ve stalled a bit. Winter has a way of zapping the give a damn out of me (and I know I am not alone). But the cold is starting to thaw, and I feel like it’s time to renew my commitments to myself and to my continuing spring renewal. Like they say, it’s about persistence, not perfection.
So, what kind of resolutions do you make when the year is 25% over? The kind that makes you feel reinvigorated. The kind that helps you make progress. The kind that you can check off within a few months to prove to yourself that you’ve made progress.
A good, old’ fashioned spring cleaning
I’m thinking a complete Konmari style cleaning of my entire apartment is in order. I read the book a few years ago and had every intention of doing it a few times and never quite got around to it. I feel like my space could use a good refresher and I could use the freedom that cleaning will give me.
Cleaning gives you a fresh start. Is there a closet that is a black hole where all your junk goes to die? Or a drawer that is a singles mixer for socks? Have crevices between the stove and counter that haven’t been scrubbed in a while? Taking some time to give something a good cleaning can help you feel better about many aspects of your life.
A book for the train
Every day I take the train to work I can feel my brain slowly turning to mush. I have about 40 minutes each way that I spend scrolling through Instagram or stressing over work emails. I want to take the time to read more books and what better time to do that than on the train? I don’t have to read the words, I’ll count audio books too – even better if I can swap between reading and listening on my Kindle…
Social media can make us feel more detached from the world and the dopamine increase you get from a like or notification can be addicting. It creates a vicious cycle. Why not replace that time with something for yourself? Especially if it is otherwise lost time. Something like books, audio books or podcasts are a great way to exercise your brain and break the social media cycle. (Without going cold turkey 🙂 )
Pick up a pen
I miss drawing. I mostly gave it up after I dropped out of fashion school and decided to get a French degree. I’ve had a few false starts when it came to bringing it back into my life, but I need a creative outlet with no rules. Writing for my blog means focusing my creativity on something other people might want. Making YouTube videos falls along the same lines. I want to take some time to allow myself some unbridled creativity.
Allowing yourself a creative outlet can help reduce job burnout and give you a renewed sense of well being and connection with the world. It can almost be a form of meditation. And it doesn’t have to be drawing – it can be dancing, singing, painting, writing, crafting, carpentry, or anything else where you are creating.
I need to get out of this funk. I’ve been skipping exercise classes with just about every excuse in the book. Mostly it’s been because I want to put myself into a cocoon and cuddle with my cat. Now, I realize just what a disservice I have done to myself – I can feel myself being just a little weaker and a little less flexible. It’s time to make it to one more class than last week and try just a little bit harder. It’s time to make sure this body gets a tune-up so it stays in working order.
With the weather getting better and days getting longer, now is the perfect time to get out. Walks/hikes, a good run or even just leaving your house to go to a fitness class and getting some fresh air can help reinvigorate your body and mind. Nothing like increased blood flow and oxygen to help put you back on track.
I’m excited to add these goals to my list as a focus for the next few months. They’re easy ways for me (and hopefully you!) to live a fuller life – without making any extreme goals. They’re all perfectly achievable and fit right in with the change in seasons.
Mary Fran Wiley is a well known gluten-free and positive living blogger from Chicago where she writes Curiouser and Curiouser, maintains the Chronic Positivity Project, and has been featured in Allergic Living Magazine, Care2.com and Today.com.