Happy New Year!
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are now ready to take on the world, or at least take on living in the best way you possibly can in all aspects of your life.
I know I am going to try.
Last year at this time I was very intentional about clearing out everything in my life that didn’t feel right for me anymore. I started taking steps to simplify my life a few years ago and liked the benefits I began to see. Life is too short not to live the best you can, right?
I think it is something all of us desire. I was feeling stressed and had not reached a few goals and had to figure out what was keeping me from reaching them. What I did to begin achieving them was nothing earth shattering, but it worked and new year goals last year were met. I am going to keep doing it all again this new year.
How Did I Start Living My Best Life?
…and I am not talking about simple editing, like decorating a mantel, stepping back to see what can be taken away to “make it look better” kind of editing.
I edited EVERYTHING from what I ate, what I bought, what I wore, to how I decorated the house. I am happy to report that by editing the things that were no longer working for me, I was rewarded with a newfound clarity to focus on what really mattered to me. In turn, this made me happier and more productive all around, not just at work.
It didn’t happen all at once, but throughout the year. I questioned everything that filled my day and constantly kept editing throughout the year as I found things and activities I no longer liked or needed. In doing this I found confidence in saying NO. Saying no, gave me the time to say YES to what I really wanted to do but never had time for before I started to deep dive into editing out what I no longer needed in my life.
What is The Best Life?
Everyone has their own version of living the best life they can, but here is what I believe. Your best life is not the same as your perfect life. Seeking perfection is futile. Your best life is where you feel your best most of the time. Where you are doing things that are meaningful to you. Where you have meaningful relationships. Where the tasks of daily life become more enjoyable, because you have found your groove, your style, your purpose.
We all wear a variety of hats… female, mother, wife, sister, teacher, friend, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief. The one role we tend to forget about, but that can make all the difference in all areas of your life is that YOU are the Editor-In-Chief. You get to call the shots and edit everything in your life so you can live the best life for you and you alone.
Below I am sharing my list of what I edited in my life last year, but for living your best life “editing” to work its magic, just use my “Edit List” as a guide. Your list will be different to fit your life, passions and goals in all aspects in your life from the deeply personal to the colors you want to paint your bedroom.
Life: It’s About Choices
Sometimes we get so busy, we forget we have a choice in how we spend our time and money. What matters most in your life right now? Make a quick list. It might be one thing, and it might be ten. Write it all down. Now write down what you spent most of your time doing over the last month. What can you edit, change or simply say no to doing to make room for what you really want.
I didn’t do the things on this list all at once, but through the entire year. That is what made my goals doable and more important…reachable.
Edited: Social Media Time
I found I was spending way too much time scrolling though Facebook and Instagram feeds watching others living their best life until I realized I was missing out living mine. I enjoy seeing what friends and family are up to from time to time, but no longer spend hours scrolling through to find out what others are doing.
I basically turned off the online noise that no longer inspired me. And stopped worrying about FOMO (fear of missing out) that only kept me from doing what I really wanted in my free time.
Benefit: I had time on my hands to go to a fitness class 3 times a week and to take an online class to learn how to illustrate on my iPad using an iPencil.
Edited: My Personal Style
This is more of a tweak, but I took a hard look at everything from the clothes in my closet to the pillows on my sofa. Styles and trends are constantly evolving. Were they in line with my personal style? This does not mean I needed to buy new things. It was more about making a plan to figure out what type of decor I really wanted. Before doing this, I shopped on a whim with no real intention. If something looked pretty, I bought it.
Over the last year, I stopped buying impulse purchases at HomeGoods and other places. I stick to my plan and then worked my way through it. My bedroom is a result of this process. I bought new things, but I did a lot of research to find exactly what I had envisioned in my head to get the room decorated.
Benefit: Saved money by not buying anything on a whim.
Edited: Where I Shopped
Last year made me realize that I no longer felt fulfilled by the purchases I made. Going to the mall and big box stores left me uninspired. I edited where I shopped and tried to search for more small businesses and thrift stores for my shopping. I knew they were around and just had to do some research to find them. Moving to SC, I have been very focused on updating the house and didn’t take much time to explore the towns around me. I plan to do even more of this year.
Benefit: Find more unique items to wear, give and decorate the house while helping small businesses.
Edited: What I Stored in My House
AKA as decluttering. I have been working on this for a few years now and with each passing year, I have less and less to have to declutter. Decluttering is not a once and done thing, but when you constantly edit, decluttering to clean out is so much easier since you won’t have as much clutter.
One of the last areas to tackle in the decluttering realm in my house is a section in my attic where I store my decor items including pillows, Christmas decorations and more. I have never shared this space with you, but soon will. So stayed tuned. It is a total mess and I can’t find a thing making my passion for decorating frustrating.
Benefit: Shopping for food and basics to everything in my house is so much easier now that I can see everything at a glance, I know what I need to buy. When everything was crammed in, cans and jars were hidden and I would end up buying items we already had.
Edited: What I Ate
At my age, I know everything there is to know about every kind of “Diet” out there. I have read or tried them all. I have bought supplements, adaptogens, nutritional enhancements, teas, powders, fancy greens that promised to make my skin glow or have more energy. Words like Matcha, Keto, and Probiotics filled my head. Nothing ever thinned out, except my wallet.
Last February, I threw out every book, supplement and stopped listening to all the noise. I made a list of the foods I enjoy and plugged them into the WW app on my phone. I started eating all of them, in moderation of course, but if I felt like chocolate, I let myself have a few pieces and do you know what happened… I lost 22 pounds in 2018 and felt better than I have in years! It took 11 months, but I did it by eating foods I love…some with sugar, bread and the things we are told not to eat. I am so happy that I threw out all the hype and marketing and simply ate what I liked.
Benefit: Weight loss and better health.
Be True To Yourself
We all have ambitions and goals, inevitably complicated by a variety of obstacles. It can be all too easy to come down hard on ourselves when we feel we’ve failed something we so desperately wanted to achieve. Make a promise to invest in yourself and start editing what no longer feels right in your life. The benefits are not all instant, but will build up to long-lasting changes that can truly make a difference in every aspect of your life.
What will you edit to start making this year be your best year yet? You are the Editor-In-Chief... start editing.