The new year is always filled with such promise. We make resolutions to do or not do things to make our lives better in the new year. We are always so well-intentioned when we set these lofty goals, only to feel defeated when we do not succeed. We set the bar high each New Year’s Eve, vowing that the upcoming year is going to be the best year yet. However, embarking on creating THE BEST year can be a little overwhelming. Why can’t we strive for a year that is just better than the last? If we look to make small improvements throughout the year, then creating a year that is better than the last becomes inevitable. We can finally have a year where we successfully meet our goals and feel good about it instead of beating ourselves up for the goals we did not achieve.
I am proposing something a little different this year. Since I truly believe that it is the environment in which one places oneself that determines one’s success, why not change our environment to foster some of the changes we are looking to make. Here are 5 SIMPLE (key word) things we can do to improve our environment, thus allowing us to reach our goals in 2016.
- CLEAN OUT ALL DRAWERS AND CABINETS IN YOUR KITCHEN. This is the room we spend the most time in when we are home. We spend countless hours here making breakfast and dinner for our loved ones, setting our kids up to do their homework and where we entertain our family and friends. Pick one day (preferably the same day) for the next 4 weeks and choose a section of drawers and cabinets to tackle. Predetermine and write down what section you will tackle each week. Go to Container store or go online and buy drawer liners and dividers that will help you maintain your nice neat drawers and cabinets. Pick something pretty and fun to get you excited about your project. Here are some things I will be getting for my kitchen.
If you don’t like these options, Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond sell other options as well.
Below are some drawer dividers from IKEA that I already own and love:
I love bamboo because It is not a porous wood; therefore, you do not need to worry about it warping or fading.
So, I know that you are thinking, “how is this going to help me have a better 2016?” Well, if one of your goals is to spend more quality time with your family, or to eat more meals together, think of how much more relaxed you will be when you are making dinner and you can actually find everything you need. With each drawer you open, everything is neatly organized with a bright, pretty drawer liner peaking out from underneath. Cleaning out all of your drawers and cabinets helps create an environment that fosters stress free family meals.
- BUY YOURSELF NEW BEDDING. Throw out your worn sheets with the bleached out spots from whatever face cream you bought last New Year’s (that promised better, younger looking skin). New sheets are such a luxury that makes one feel better and instantly make one’s bedroom look more put together. This is a great time to score great prices on bedding just before the spring bedding rolls out. Here are a few sets from Pottery Barn I just picked up for myself (Right now, Pottery Barn is having a 20% off white sale and free shipping!!…..hop on that, girl!):
If your resolution or goal for 2016 is to get more sleep, or to spend more time reconnecting with your spouse 🙂 create the environment that will increase the chances of your success. An addendum to this tip: make your bed every morning before you leave the house! Don’t underestimate the benefits of this simple act. It is a great visual and mental cue that your day has started off right. It also allows you to accomplish at least one thing each and every day, thus paving the way for more accomplishments throughout the day.
- CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS INSIDE AND OUT. If money is tight, use the same strategy as with your kitchen drawers. Sit down and set a 4 week schedule in the Spring to tackle this project. Determine what windows you will clean and on what day (again, choose the same day each week). Put it in your phone now, and when the time comes, just DO IT! If you can afford to hire someone to come and clean all of your windows, put a reminder in your phone now to schedule it at the end of Winter. Keep a look out in your mailers for coupons…..there are always a ton of coupons for this service. If it has been a few years or even after just one winter, you will not believe how dirty your windows are!
If some of your resolutions are to keep up on house cleaning, delegate more duties to others or create more time for yourself, this is a great way to accomplish all of these goals.,
- BUY YOURSELF FRESH FLOWERS, OFTEN. This might sounds frivolous or silly, but to me, flowers are a metaphor for life. They reminds us of a few very important things such as: there is always beauty to be found even in the depths of winter (or sadness), their only meaning is the meaning in which we give it (we determine if they are a symbol of love, sympathy or celebration), and to take time to savor and appreciate them and their beauty, for their beauty and life are fleeting. Choose a flower that is bright, happy or fragrant. Some of my favorites are peonies, tulips and orchids.
This practice would help in creating an environment that supports your resolution of doing more things for yourself, or in being more present to enjoy the blessings in your life.
- ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, ONLY DO THINGS THAT BRING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOALS. The last step I recommend in creating a better year ahead would be something I practice every New Year’s Day: It is my belief that ANY and ALL actions and behaviors you partake in on this day sets the tone for the entire year. Therefore, I make sure to spend some time with family, spend some time alone, time improving my health and wellness and spend some time in activities that will make my year more productive. I try to plan a day that is as well balanced as possible. I do not spend all of New Year’s Day loafing around or pampering myself. Also, because I am fairly superstitious, I NEVER pay bills on New Year’s Day (this would symbolize a year of money going out). So, my day tomorrow will consist of going to work out, going to the spa, making my family a nice Spaghetti and Meatball dinner and finishing watching a movie with my sons that we started the other day.
I wish that your year ahead is filled with love, beauty, health and happiness. I truly appreciate your support, and I look forward to posting things that I hope help and inspire you! I would love to hear some of your New Year’s Day rituals.