I've been thinking a lot about how I spend my time, and where my energy goes during the day. I'm finding that more frequently than I would like ... the time and energy goes to things that aren't really benefiting me. So in another effort to focus on goals year-round.... I've come up with 12 ways to invest in yourself this year.
1) Take Stock & Update Your Basics
You probably read my speech on bras... but let's be real... when your undergarments and basics don't fit right, or are worn out, you feel worse. You are more self conscious, less likely to put effort into yourself, and none of that is good. If they aren't serving you... Get. Rid. of. Them. You're worth it. Underwear, bras, camisoles, jeans, shoes, tees... whatever you wear on a regular basis. Take stock and fill in gaps!
2) Buy Yourself 1 or 2 Things You've Been Needing or Wanting for a While
You know that thing you've been wanting or needing for months or years? The one you ask for for your birthday, or say "I'll get it next time?" Get that now. If you've been thinking about it for that long, chances are it's worth purchasing. It could be something as simple as a red nail polish or a book you've been wanting to read for ages. It might be something basic like brown ballet flats or a new wallet. Maybe it's something like fun, like a motivational print for your work space, or cute coffee mug. It doesn't really matter what it is... it matters that it matters to you.
3) Clean the Worst Spot in Your Home (the one that bothers you the most ... but you rarely have time to do when you're thinking about it)
You know the spot I'm talking about. The one behind the fridge, a particularly messy closet, the oven, a "junk" area. Wherever it is... take a moment to clean it up. Get it done. Then it won't be lingering in your mind anymore.
4) Get something off your chest
Sometimes there are things you just need to say. Maybe it's related to work. You've been meaning to ask your boss about a change or a raise. Maybe it's something you've been needing to share with your partner or a friend. Maybe it's related to something that's really hurting you. Perhaps it's something you've never said out loud, even just to yourself. Whatever it might be, work on getting it out in the open.
5) Do one Big Thing You've Been Putting Off
Maybe it's a purchase, a meeting, an appointment. For me, it's definitely going to the dentist. It just sits in the back of my mind... causing an anxiety that is so unnecessary. Some of these are easier than others, so take steps to get rid of them once and for all! Once you finish one, move on to another.
6) Get Rid of Negativity in Your Life
Are you holding onto something that carries a bad memory? Are you fixing something over and over, but it's still broken? Do you have something that you just don't like at all? Get it out of your house. There's no need to keep something like that around.
In a way, the same thing can be said for people in your life. Now clearly, people ARE NOT things. That is not at all what I am saying here. What I AM saying, is that when someone in your life is causing you hurt, or negativity... it's ok to let go of them. Maybe that means seeing them less. Maybe that means putting less energy into the relationship as you were before. Maybe that means not seeing them at all anymore. This is obviously something that varies tremendously... but sometimes it is SO very necessary to make a change like this for yourself. Take some time to carefully consider this, it can really make a big difference.
7) Buy or Save Up for Something Big That Will Improve Your Daily Life
For us, it's a new bigger bed, with a new mattress that will be better on my back. For you it could be a new car, a house, a new vacuum, a desk chair. Maybe it's a dishwasher, new towels, a yoga mat. This item could be big or small, if it is going to make a positive difference in your life, consider investing in that purchase, or taking steps to buying it.
8) Devote Time to One Thing You Love or Want for the Future
If you are anything like me, you feel the need to "do it all." Not only because there is pressure to do so, but because you genuinely want to do many things. I have so many interests, it's very hard to pursue them all at once. I suggest sitting down and deciding on one thing you've been wanting to do that will positively impact your life, and that will get you closer to a future goal you hold. For some it could be learning a skill; like cooking, sewing, gardening, a skill related to your job, or hobby, etc. It might be something that feels "really small" like learning how to shampoo your carpets. Maybe you want to stay at home with your future kids, and you want to get some "mom skills" down. Maybe you've always wanted to take a drawing class, or a drama course. Whatever it is, identify it, and make some space for it in your life. The thing you choose could change throughout the months or years. It's just important to know what you want, and to try it. Even if it changes along the way.
9) Invest in a Service, Class, or Treatment That Will Enhance Your Life or Make Things Easier on You
This is something I learned from ladies around me. It could be so many things that you choose, but it just needs to be something that will make your life easier. My grandmother has almost always had a cleaning service come to her house. Not because she can't clean, or because she's fabulously wealthy. Because, she just hates to do it. It makes her life harder. So she pays someone else to do it, so she can focus her energies elsewhere. I worked with a girl for a while, who worked a very modest job, she was very thrifty with her money, she almost never made "fun" purchases. But she did make sure to book regular massages. Why? Because she knew that was a major part of her de-stressing strategy. Maybe for you, it would be signing up for a fitness class so you had a designated time, place, and accountability for working out each week. Maybe it's a regular manicure appointment, because keeping your nails looking sharp gives you confidence and helps you feel put together. For us, it's been using The Honest Company to bundle our cleaning and hygienic products to have delivered to our home. It used to really stress me out trying to find the "greenest" products, and driving from store to store to pick them up. Or searching online, finally remembering to order them. Now I just update the bundle when they email me, and it's delivered to our home. It's cut down on those little trips, the stress, and it's saving us money. :)
10) Stop Doing Something That Isn't Serving You
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, there is probably something you are doing... that you don't actually *want* to be doing. You just aren't getting anything out of it, and it's taking up your precious time. Sometimes these are things we can't stop doing.... like working our jobs ... or you know, taxes. But other times, they are things that we don't need to do. Especially not all of the time. Maybe it's a club, or volunteering time that is more than you can actually commit to. Perhaps it is a link up that you don't actually care about joining. Maybe it's an exercise class that you don't really enjoy, or a committee that you don't feel involved in any more. Now, please don't just up and quit everything you're doing. But do evaluate your time. What are you doing, that you are doing for perception? Or because you "always" do it? And not because you love it, or because you feel involved in it.
11) Work on Relationships That Are Important to You
As I mentioned above, sometimes we need to retreat a little in unhealthy relationships. When doing so, there is also the opposite situation to consider. What relationships do I want to invest more in? Who is a good friend to me? Who do I want to make more time for? In all likelihood, when putting toxic relationships on the back burner, you'll have new-found energy to spend on those relationships that are healthy and fun. Maybe you want to send letters to good friends who have moved away. Maybe you want to text your sister more. Perhaps you want to get to know a new friend better. Maybe you need more date nights in your life, or you want to surprise your significant other more. Whatever it is, take stock and come up with some ideas on how to show them you care. Marking notes in your calendar like, "plan a date night for February," "send mail to mom," or "invite Hannah over for dinner," can help you keep these priorities.
12) Make Self Care a Priority
I have talked about self care a lot in the past year on this blog. We even came up with a list together of ways to take care of yourself. Odds are if you're taking care of your cats, or kiddos, or hubby, or roommate first and foremost. Not to mention your job, or school work, or home... you are probably putting yourself on the back burner. Which isn't good for you at all, and it's not making you more successful at any of those other priorities or with those people either. Re-read that list, write it in your planner each week to do at least one thing for just you. Because, you deserve to take care of yourself.
Looking for more ways to get the most out of 2016? "12 Quick Things to Start the New Year Off Organized," and "12 Ways to Travel More in 2016."
What are some ways you are planning to invest in yourself this year?
What are some that you really want to try?