Hello, dear readers, and welcome!
So…I am still alive, and am back from the grave (thankfully not literally, or that would be quite awkward).
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and are ready for a new year. I certainly know I am. The end of last year was a bit crazy, but I’m getting back to my normal (ha!) life.
And, here to ring in New Year, I am have some tips for how to not settle in 2019.
So, without further ado, here are my 3 tips to get your New Year going and on the right track…
Tip #1: Become Grounded In The A.M.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
This may seem like an odd question, but in my life, I’ve noticed it’s an extremely important question, with an extremely important answer.
So, how about it? What does the beginning of your day look like?
Are you sluggishly crawling out of bed? Hitting the alarm clock again? Shoveling food down your throat before running out the door to work? Or, are you taking time to ground yourself before the day truly sets in?
My morning starts early, and my first thing to do is to make a hot cup of tea (recently, I’ve been loving the “Three Ginger” tea by Pukka, which I found at Publix). After that, I do some stretching, my morning reading (bible, devotionals, books on culture and self-improvement, novels), take my morning walk, and have some breakfast (non-hurriedly) before I start the day’s work.
Maybe you don’t have much time in the morning (I am grateful to set my own schedule, as it were), but there are still things you can do to ground yourself before your day really gets rolling.
Now, what do I mean by “ground yourself” exactly? There are plenty of ways to take this phrase, but I look at it as “the act of reminding yourself what you believe, and allowing that to filter through the rest of your day”.
Tea makes me awake, and reminds me of my heritage. My morning reading reminds me of the spiritual beliefs I have, and those keep me on track when life gets sticky. Stretching and a nice walk remind me to take care of myself, and that I have the strength to do what I need to do. And taking time for a nice breakfast reminds me to be thankful for what I have.
What grounds you? What solidifies who you are? What will keep you balanced?
If you don’t know, now may be the time to start experimenting.
When you find your “grounding thing”, be sure to practice it every day.
Tip #2: Buy A Bento Box
Yes, this is my Japan-nerd side speaking.
But, hear me out.
Most of us can agree that we want to start (and continue) eating better, right? And, if you already eat amazingly all of the time (whoever you are, keep going), you can still probably agree that you want to 1) bring food from home, 2) get better at cooking, or 3) have a cute lunch box that makes you want to take your time eating.
So, my suggestion: buy a bento (弁当) box (yes, I am striving to remember those kanji).
Bento boxes have great portion sizes. Bento boxes are (typically) adorable or cool looking (come on, there’s a Pokeball bento box, for goodness sake!). And, having one will make you want to pack your own lunch, and make it cute — which means both cooking, and finding a variety of healthy things to put in it.
Come on, everyone. Following this tip is easy. Find cute bento box, buy cute bento box. There are plenty of great recipes to be found online so that you can fill your bento box, not just stare at its pretty design.
(My friend bought me a bento for Christmas, and my first packed lunch consisted of rice balls — onigiri お握り– shaped using these molds; teriyaki salmon made with this recipe; spinach made with this recipe; and sliced radishes with snap peas. It was delish.)
(The site my friend ordered my bento from is bentoandco.com. Everything is reasonably priced, and comes straight from Japan.)
Tip #3: Make Decisions, Not Resolutions
The big thing to do for New Year’s is to make a — or twenty — resolutions. But, I stopped doing that years ago. Why?
Because I never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever
*keeps going for a while*
ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever keep my resolutions.
But, I still like to plan things for the New Year. So, without resolutions, what do I do?
I make decisions instead.
I’m sure some of you are thinking “well, Alexandra, isn’t that basically the same thing?”, but I would argue that it isn’t. Not exactly.
When I make a resolution, I think: “I would like to do X”. But when I make a decision, I think: “I will do X, even if it kills me.”
(I don’t recommend adding the “if it kills me” part, though.)
When we decide to do something, the hardest thing is actually following through. But, I would argue that following through on a decision is far easier than following through on something you merely “wish” to do.
So, make decisions for yourself, and then put foot in front of the other to see those decisions realized. Things won’t work out the way you had planned (they never do), but with your continued efforts, eventually the possibilities will be realized.
Christopher Reeve, the original Superman, is quoted to have said:
“At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.”
I agree. It all becomes inevitable if you work hard enough.
So, here’s to 2019, and achieving whatever you’re setting out to do. Be nice to yourself, but don’t forget to push the limits. You can achieve.
Do you have an New Year’s tips? Feel free to share them here!
I’ll be doing some tinkering on this site in the coming months to make it a more friendly, awesome place for my readers, so if you see some changes, don’t fret. It’s all part of the plan!
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