Truthfully, I’m not much of a ‘resolutioner’ – instead, I prefer to set goals for myself. I usually find myself seeking a fresh start when the new year rolls around, so I decided to set a few attainable goals for 2017. This past year was a bit crazy, to be honest, and I felt like I was constantly in catch-up mode with work, pregnancy, home stuff, etc. Now that we are settled and things have slowed down a bit, I feel like I can actually focus on goal setting and working to achieve them!
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Follow a Cleaning Schedule
One area that I consistently feel behind is in keeping the house clean. I know I’m not the only one – I’m pretty sure it’s a nearly impossible feat with little ones running around. Pre-kids, I always kept the house spotless – I am Type A to the extreme and everything was always ‘in its place.’ I quickly learned I was in for a rude awakening when Blair became mobile…and our house has never been spotless since. 🙂
Despite how impossible it seems, I really wanted to give it a try. I feel so much better when there’s no mess and I don’t have a dark cloud of clutter everywhere hanging over my head at the end of the day. So, I searched high and low and found a pretty good cleaning schedule that I customized for our needs. In the past, I felt like the mess piled up throughout the week and then I tried to tackle it all on the weekend – but there was never enough time and so I never actually caught up. The goal of this schedule is to tackle small tasks throughout the week so nothing piles up and I don’t have to spend my entire Saturday or Sunday trying to do everything!
This is the second week of using the cleaning schedule and so far, so good. I’ll admit I haven’t followed it 100%, but using it as a guide/reminder has helped me stay on track and not let the mess pile up. I can’t even begin to describe how much better/less stressed I feel waking up to a (mostly) clean house every morning. If you feel like you can’t keep up with keeping your house clean, I challenge you to give a cleaning schedule a try – it’s really helped me and I’m so glad I made this a priority in the new year!
Be More Present
A really big goal of mine (that I’ve been trying to attempt for a while now) is to be more present – and spend less time with my face in a screen (aka, my phone or laptop). To a certain extent, I have to have some screen time, at least on the computer since I work from home (though I switched to part-time recently to have more time with my girls!). However, I’ve tried to block out time a little better, so I’ve been working mainly early in the morning for a few hours and then again after lunch when the girls are napping. I usually have to hop online in the evening to wrap up tasks from the day, which I would’ve detested if I was working in an office, but working from home offers me flexibility throughout the day, which is the trade-off for putting in time at night, so I don’t mind!
The biggest initiative for me when it came to being more present was to force myself to put down my phone. I feel like a lot of us have this problem, where our smartphones are practically glued to our hand – that was me up until last week. Then, I read a tip from someone (and I can’t remember where I saw it!) that basically said they turned off their phone notifications. At first, I thought there was NO WAY I could do such a thing(!), but after thinking about it, I realized that was my biggest time suck. As mentioned above, I’m super Type A, so I like a clean Inbox…and I can’t stand to see those little red notifications on all of my apps, either. Because of that, every time I would get a notification and my screen would light up, I would have to check it right away. So, I cut my notifications off. The only ones I get now are phone calls and text messages. No more Facebook or Instagram notifications. I found that I stopped checking my phone compulsively as soon as I made that change. Now, when I use my phone, I do it more purposefully. Instead of making the rounds (you know, FB, Insta, email, etc….) every time I got a notification, I now go to Instagram if that’s why I picked up my phone and then put it down when I’m done. I still use my phone too much, but I’ve cut down my time on it pretty significantly since I’m not tempted (because the screen no longer lights up with every ‘like’ or ‘comment’!).
We’ve been choosing more natural/organic foods for a long time (especially after we had Blair), but something I hadn’t really focused on was looking for more natural household cleaners and toiletries. It was a different story for the babies – we’ve been using Honest Company products for both of them from the start – but didn’t really think about how else I could improve the things we use around the house. I actually switched over to Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner and Dish Soap a few months ago and have loved the products we’ve tried so far.
The next thing on my list was to find a non-aluminum deodorant. I spent some time researching the best kind and finally settled on LaVanila Sport Luxe Healthy Deodorant. So far, I do like it, but still find that it needs to be reapplied after sweating even just a little bit. I may continue to browse until I find the best one, but I already feel more comfortable using a more healthy and natural option.
Give Myself Grace
While I actually haven’t read Emily Ley’s book, “Grace, Not Perfection” yet, I follow her on social media and love all of her tips and advice. I feel like I beat myself up a lot or worry about so many things – not spending enough time with my girls, not keeping my house clean, not being on time (I hate being late!), forgetting things, etc. – and I feel like I am always rushing around. Truthfully, I’m not sure how I managed to keep it together at all when I worked full-time in an office with a two-hour round-trip commute! Now I spend a majority of my day at home, but I work, take care of two little ones and take Blair to and from Mother’s Day Out and to dance, story time at the library, to play dates, etc. It’s easy to become stressed out while juggling so many things, so I’m making a solid attempt to take a deep breath and just give myself grace when things don’t go smoothly (because they rarely do with a strong-willed toddler and a crying baby!).
I’ve actually been really good with this one. I started taking Pure Barre classes 5 weeks after Blakely was born and have kept it up since then. I signed up for unlimited classes in 2017, so I intend to keep my schedule of going at least three times per week. It’s a nice break for me to get out of the house and not constantly be in ‘mom mode’ 24/7. Plus, it’s an awesome workout and I’m feeling super strong and toned after a few months of consistent classes.
I also try to take the girls out for a walk in the BOB Stroller every day – we’ve even been out on a 20-degree day (just really bundled up!). It’s nice for all of us to get fresh air and it also breaks up the day a little bit. Also, I got a Fitbit for Christmas and it was a real eye-opener to see how much or how little I was moving during the day. If I don’t go out for a walk, I don’t even come close to hitting 10,000 steps in a day – yikes! So, we try to head out for a walk every day, either in the morning or after Blair is home from MDO.
I’m really looking forward to making 2017 the year I can finally take a breather and really enjoy the small things every day – after the whirlwind that was 2016, that’s all I could hope for. 🙂