Social media sites are lighting up. It’s the end of the year!
Hit your dream weight
Be a healthier you
Find your purpose
Build that business
Ugh. Does it somehow seem worse for you, too, this year?
Maybe that’s why I’ve turned it all off. And I feel so much better.
I needed this break in time to focus, relax, read, be with family and friends, take in all that’s happened in this world over the past couple of years, and think about the future.
You can’t go anywhere without hearing someone say we’re in for a wild ride in 2024. I may have said it a time or two myself. (It’s definitely not a secret, given the turmoil everywhere in the world.)
But here’s the thing: I can’t do ANYTHING about any of that. Almost all of it is out of my control.
What I CAN do is build my life my way.
That’s all any of us can do.
So, my friend, I invite you to buckle up and join me on this journey of finding a peace-filled, simplified approach to living in 2024.
It started with getting sick
I was excited. We hadn’t been out on “date night” in quite a while, and we had tickets to a concert I’d been dreaming of for months. We picked a restaurant close by, one that had been written up earlier this fall for being one of the oldest, most authentic Italian restaurants in the area.
I ordered … and it wasn’t quite what I expected. Instead of the marinara sauce I saw in the description, it was covered in a creamy cheese sauce, with marinara sauce on top. Very rich and gooey – something my pre-plant-based self would have loved.
I avoid dairy, but if it slips in at a restaurant, I don’t make a fuss about it. A little cheese here and there isn’t usually a concern because I eat out so infrequently. But this little dish did me in. So bad, we had to leave the concert early.
I look at times throughout the past thirty years that have been a-ha’s, or turning points. Times that tell me I’ve reached a fork in the road, and I must choose. (Yes, even after years, I still get them from time to time.)
This was a big one. I’ll be more cautious than ever when I make choices at a restaurant. My health depends on it.
Which has led me to create the four main goals I’ll be focusing on and helping you understand how you can apply these ideas to your own goals and plans.
Plan for simplification upfront
I’m taking a different approach this year. Instead of slowing down to recover (which is where most of us in this crazy world get to), what if we slowed down to succeed? Here’s what I mean.
Have you ever reached a point where there are a gazillion things on your plate, you’re moving in a hundred different directions, and you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Then you pull away, go for a walk, jump in the shower, and bam, it hits you. The answer you’ve been searching for.
We all believe we’re multi-taskers. As women, I think most of us feel we can’t survive any other way.
But what if it’s all wrong? What if they taught us the wrong message way back as we entered adulthood, when they said as women, we could have it all?
No matter how busy my days are, there are always ways to slow down. Simplify. And that’s what I’m going to work on to improve each day.
Things like waking to a routine are more important than ever. I crave my 5 am alone time to meditate and journal. I got a new gratitude journal from a friend this Christmas. I’ve already added it to my morning routine. (I have three journals going each day, and I love them all!)
But it’s more than that. I want healthy lunches beyond a simple salad or sandwich. So, I’m building batch cooking into my routine. I’m finding recipes that are easy to create and great for lunches. I’m working up ways to have several things in my fridge throughout the week that make my lunches even better.
I’m putting focus where it needs to be. On what truly matters most.
We all have heard the adage: You’re nothing without your health. And we’ve all hit walls where we know this is true. (Even small walls, like having to leave a concert.)
I believe we’re waking up as a society to discover we can’t continue at this crazy pace. Something has to give. And each of us can decide how to make that possible.
What does it look like for you?
More me time
This one sounds so frivolous to me even as I write it. I work from home. I have an adult daughter who pretty much takes care of herself. ? I have a lot of “me” time built into my day.
But even the best routines are meant to morph and change.
I’ve been looking at productivity apps to keep me more on track. Asana and Notion are both on my desktop with tasks waiting to be completed. I like each for what they offer, but I still have trouble using them daily.
Years ago, I devoured books and messages from Danielle LaPorte. I was heavy into vision boarding, and she took a different approach. Instead of putting things on your vision board, what if you put feelings? Instead of putting a convertible for the sake of the car, maybe you want the freedom you feel when driving down the road, wind in your hair. (Yes, a bit simplistic, but you get the idea.)
I realized as this year was ending that I miss free time to work on me. I have a routine – meditate, journal, walks, client work, exercise, cooking time, etc. Five minutes with Duolingo each day – yep, late afternoon.
What I’m talking about here is a chance to not have anything on my plate. To give myself time each month without a plan. To choose something to pursue simply because it sounds fun at the moment.
Spontaneity. Playfulness. Unplanned time to do as I want.
Can you schedule that? You can if you build “free time” into your calendar. And ensure all of your projects get done the other days of the week. I’m playing with two ideas: Fridays, or the last week of the month. It would be great to have one day a week to play. I also see the benefits of working harder the first three weeks to have a week completely to myself. I’ll experiment with both and see which works best.
Have you ever tried something for yourself?
I’m starting with these two ideas, but yours doesn’t have to be as big. Even a free hour on Saturday morning can still be just what you need for a bump in your joy levels.
If you don’t plan, it doesn’t get done.
I know that deep in my heart. That’s why I’ve run several successful businesses in my life, thanks to heavy planning.
I seem to have forgotten that lately, but I recognize it. It’s why I’ve been working diligently this year to find a planning system that sticks.
I really like the concept of Notion, and I’ve been working with it throughout December. I love tracking my progress, being able to tick off tasks, and having a running track of where I’ve been.
It’s so much more efficient than when I used a simple paper system I developed with my first business.
And as much as I crave more me time, I know the solution starts with being more prepared. Stop wasting time on things that shouldn’t take much brain power. (There’s something to be said for Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and jeans approach to dressing.)
One of the most out-of-control systems in our world is healthcare. It’s broken every which way.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own approach. Develop your own system. (I’ve been working on creating this for myself, and I’ll be sharing it more with you throughout the year.)
The easiest way to fall back on old patterns and habits is to not have a system in place to keep you on track with a new approach. The human brain likes things the old way – avoid change like the plague. The stronger the system, the better the approach.
Like my cookbook club. I started it last year as a way of bringing new recipes into my life. I drew from one cookbook each month, and used it in my dinner planning. And I love it! I worked with ingredients I’ve never experienced – hello, nopales. I tried different versions of classics I’ve loved for years. I’ve learned new tools, new styles, and new approaches to make cooking a breeze.
Best of all, it made life easier throughout the month.
I’ll be doing it again this year, care to join me?
It’s an energy thing
Oh, the hype online has reached a feverish level. Buy this! You can’t survive without that! This will make your dreams come true!
All that energy sends me to a place where I don’t want to buy at all.
Have you noticed this new set of gurus is trying to prove their experience – and yet they have very little backing to prove it? They figure out one “secret” and attempt to sell it for all its worth?
Maybe it’s a Gen X thing, but I’m finding the whole thing hard to swallow.
Kudos for ingenuity. I appreciate what everyone’s doing.
But I’m not buying it.
Or pay attention to all of the so-called experts who think they have the magic potion for life’s biggest problems.
Energy starts within. Through reading, taking courses, and listening to podcasts, I’m more convinced than ever that healing comes from within. We’ve forgotten that. We’re looking for outside influences to “fix” whatever’s wrong.
It doesn’t work that way.
Maybe that’s why I enjoyed shutting down at the end of this year. It gave me a chance to really think for myself, and focus on what’s important.
Are you feeling like this world’s tilting in the wrong direction? Are you convinced new energy is the only way forward?
I’ve come to a point where I know what matters to me:
A quality life
The energy is changing in 2024. There are many of us who no longer believe the status quo. We’ve watched, and can no longer be fooled. We’ve reached within, and know our truth.
Things are changing. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Which is why I invite you to reach into your soul, looking for what truly matters most.
I have a place for you to start. If health is your most important asset, start with my Wellthy Plan. I’ve created it to ask BIG questions that make you think about your own health. And where you see your future plans.
It’s free. And it’s a great way to look at your place in this world a bit differently.
It’s exactly what we need right now.