I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can be the best version of myself this year and I realised it wasn’t going to happen by making a list of goals, but by making a few changes here and there in my life.
What can I change? How can I improve? What can I stop in order to move forward?
This post is about those small changes we can make to help us live 2018 the best we can. The new year is a great opportunity to reassess not only our lives, but our homes and our wardrobes, and a few of our other more personal choices.
Now, this isn’t a “New Year, New Me” post, it’s simply a few (ok, 18) ideas to be our best selves over the next twelve months, to provide a clean slate and a new way of looking at things. We’re not reinventing ourselves, we’re not starting anew, we’re just making a few little changes to improve our preexisting selves.
So, as we already got our best foot forward for the new year, let’s look at our homes and habits and how we can get the ball rolling for 365 days of boss success. The list is divided into two parts, with more practical suggestions at the start before we get onto the more heavy hitting suggestions later in the list.
So, without further ado…
18 things to give up 2018
- Makeup and skincare: Check use-by dates and also product hygiene. If it’s out of date, toss it. If it’s got no lid, toss it. If it’s looking old, dusty or otherwise dirty? Toss it!
- Stationery: Used notepads and empty pens are just clutter taking up space. It’s time to collect all the old bits and bobs of stationery around your home (especially in that kitchen drawer) and give them a new home – i.e. the bin. If you find a stationery stash that hasn’t even been used, give it a chance and start using it before your next Paperchase adventure.
- Recorded TV shows (or unwatched DVDs): If you’ve recorded all 20 seasons of Law and Order and haven’t even started watching them yet, there’s a good chance you never will. Pick up the remote, and hit “delete”. No more pressure to watch a show you’re clearly not that into, and also a lot more space for those shows you are!
- Takeout Menus: Who actually uses these anymore? These days menus can be found online easily and in fact, you can order your food online from most places too. There’s literally no need for those paper menus you’ve got piling up on top of your fridge.
- Food: There’s a good chance you have out of date food in your pantry, or some packet of this, that or the other, that you bought for that weird diet you tried in 2017. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer and dispose of any old or out of date food. If it’s not out of date, but not going to be used, donate it to a food bank and build your karma.
- Broken or mismatched crockery and cutlery: Unless you have a set of those gorgeous, retro mismatched cutlery sets, or you’re a food blogger, having mismatched crockery and cutlery isn’t very adulty. And broken or cracked crockery is just a bad idea in general. Go through your cups, mugs, glasses, plates and bowls, and get rid of anything with a chip or a crack.
- Unread books: Who doesn’t have a handful of books that they just haven’t gotten around to reading yet? This is the year to either a. Start reading them. b. Stop buying them. Or c. Give them a new home. Donate your unread or unwanted books to charity and I guarantee they’ll not only find a new home quickly, but you’ll find you have a lot more space around your home!
- Clothing: We all have that bag of clothing full of items we haven’t worn in months or years that we’re not quite ready to get rid of. Now. Now is the time to take that bag of clothing to the closest clothing bin and give it a chance of a new, stylish life, on someone else’s body.
Now, for the real stuff:
- Toxic relationships: I’ve written about toxic relationships before, and how to recognise them. What better way to start your year than with a fresh start, without those people who bring you down and cause you emotional distress.
- Self doubt: Easier said than done, but 2018 is the year for us all to stop doubting ourselves, our style, our writing, our strength, and start believing in ourselves and our abilities. You can’t impress everyone, and not everyone will love you, so knowing you can’t win ‘em all, why not win over yourself instead and be the boss babe that you are!
- Perfectionism: Perfectionism tends to run strong throughout the blogging community, as does anxiety, but you know what – it’s ok if things aren’t exactly as you want them. It’s ok to be 99% instead of 100%. Accepting that you can have a margin of error, and that it’s ok to have flaws, is the first step to reducing stress and anxiety. It also helps in developing creative expression!
- Pretending everything is ok: Mental illness, emotional vulnerability, stress – none of these are weaknesses, none of these are cause for shame. You don’t need to put on a brave face, you don’t need to hide who you are and what you are experiencing in your life.
- Not learning from your mistakes: Making mistakes is inevitable and human. Not learning from them is a huge missed opportunity for self improvement! If you fall down, don’t just stand up and carry on blindly! Look around – why did you fall? Did you trip? Were you pushed? Did you break a heel? Is that a penny on the ground over there? Take the opportunity to learn the lesson and stand up with new knowledge, and assets gained.
- Procrastinating: I do this one too, in fact me writing this post is me procrastinating from going to bed. We all love the saying “why do today what we can do tomorrow” but if you actually do it today, it means you can relax tomorrow, you can reward yourself for what you did today! You know, instead of stressing over a looming deadline…
- Not getting enough sleep: It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, guys, and chances are you’re not getting enough of the good stuff. If you are going to bed at 10pm, for a 6am getup, are you really getting the sleep you need? They say you need between 7-9 hours sleep, who actually falls asleep within minutes of going to bed? Exactly. So try going to bed a little bit earlier and see the difference it makes!
- Making excuses: You know what they are. Stop it. You can give that up. You can stop doing that. Making excuses only set you back another day from accomplishing your goals.
- Comparing yourself to others: There’s only one you, so why compare yourself to anyone else? It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but that’s about all they’ve got in common, so comparing them is a, uh, fruitless, exercise.
- Not being your best you: You are a strong, fierce, incredibly amazing person and you need to own it! You are not mediocre, you are not run of the mill, but you are the only you on this planet. Own it. Be it. Love it. Live it!
These are the ways I am planning to make changes and improve my life in 2018 – 18 things to give up, get rid of, or simply stop.
So, what about you – what are you getting rid of for 2018?