Wednesday, March 6, 2019

2019: The Year of Big Life Changes

I was sick with the cold from hell through most of December 2018. I had a short reprieve for a few days around Christmas, and then it came back with a vengeance and stuck around until the new year. During the first bout, I kept working as normal; I had things to do, and I couldn’t let a cold slow me down, even though I could hardly breathe and had serious brain fog. After Christmas, though, I knew my body was telling me it was time to slow down. So while it was completely strange and foreign to me, I took time off work (for the most part), and relaxed. I did a lot of reflecting, some planning for 2019, and took time to nap and read and get better. During that time, I realized two things: 1) I need to relax more often and take better care of myself. And 2) 2018 was kind of a blur. There were some definite highlights - like spending several days in the summer with my bestie in one of my favourite cities, then spending another few days with her in November, plus publishing my first full-length book in three years - but the rest sort of just blended together. I had wanted to be more mindful and more present, get more accomplished, and basically DO ALL THE THINGS, so how was it that in the last week of the year I could hardly remember anything other than the highlights and a general sense of it being a better year than the previous few? I knew something had to change. Or, more accurately, a lot of ‘somethings’. It was time to take control of my life. I’d spent too long feeling stuck, letting the days collect, and making excuses. So. Many. Excuses. I also realized I was surrounded by people who made a lot of excuses too, and that wasn’t helping. So, like millions of other people, I decided to go into the new year seeing 2019 as a fresh start. But I knew it had to be different from every other new year and every other ‘fresh start’. I feel like something happened to me in that last week of 2018; call it an epiphany, call it an acetaminophen-fueled breakthrough, call it whatever you want, but something finally clicked. And here I am, two months into the new year, at the point where my fresh start has usually fallen by the wayside in favour of old habits, and I’m still going strong. What’s different this time? So many things. I went into this year knowing I’d have to completely shift my mindset. Analyze my old habits, figure out what wasn’t working and what was no longer serving me, and change those things. That meant focusing on myself, making myself a priority, and going into this knowing I wanted deep and lasting change - mind, body, and soul. I needed to stop letting outside influences affect me, and do whatever was needed to ensure I have the best life possible. And it’s working. The thing is, it’s easy to make resolutions. It’s easy to say you’re going to lose ten pounds or you’re going to save more money or you’re going to be more positive. But without a plan of action, without ways to make those things happen, those resolutions become something you think about for a few weeks every year, and maybe even do something about for awhile, but most of the time, no real change comes from them.

Now, you might be wondering what changes I’ve made. I mentioned shifting my mindset, and that’s been a big part of it. In fact, that’s the root of all the changes in my life. Because I've learned everything starts in your own mind. Your goals, your dreams, your actions, your emotions - you control all those things. And once you realize that, once you realize your thoughts have power, you learn to shift the way you think and you reframe the things that once held you back. There are some things that are out of your control, but you can control how you react to those things. So that’s something I’ve been working on. Not only being more positive, but also being more grateful, more open, more present, and expanding my mind. I’ve been learning a lot and finding inspiration from intelligent, high-vibe women like Susannah Conway, Kathrin Zenkina, Mel Robbins, and Ezzie Spencer. (If you're interested in making some positive changes too, I encourage you to check out their sites for more information. And if Pinterest is your thing, you might want to check out my board A Life of Purpose and Intention, which I add to daily.) Other changes in my lifestyle: I’ve started a regular workout routine, and I’m practising yoga and meditation. These have been things I’ve done on and off over the years, but they’re really clicking for me this time. I find I actually love exercising, and the meditation has been incredible for me. I’m going to talk more about my FitBit Alta HR in an upcoming post, but I want to say this because I think it's amazing: when I first got the FitBit in November, my resting heart rate was 75 BPM. Since I’ve started exercising and meditating regularly, my resting BPM is 69. I find I’m much calmer, less reactive, and it’s helped my anxiety and depression so much. Usually, January and February are really difficult for me and I get a wicked case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but other than feeling a lack of motivation at times when the weather was dreary for days on end, I’ve stayed out of that dark, depressive hole. I feel better, I have more energy, and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited and optimistic about my future. To round things out, I’ve also been working with the Law of Attraction, manifestation, journaling, and Lunar Abundance, but I think those are subjects for another time since this post is already running long! I feel like I’m on a whole new life path and amazing things are unfolding for me. And despite the changes I feel inside (and the physical changes I see in my body), I know this is a process, and I’m being patient with myself. I think that’s where a lot of people fail when they embark on a journey of change. Things don’t happen quickly enough or in the way they want, so they give up. I’ve been guilty of that plenty of times. Not this time, though. This time feels different from all the others, and I’m determined this isn’t going to be a new year’s fad, but a lasting lifestyle change. And I'm going to continue to write about it as a way to not only hold myself accountable, but to also hopefully help and inspire others along the way. I’ll be talking more about this in the coming weeks and months, and I hope you’ll follow along. If there’s anything you’d like to know or something you'd like me to talk more about in the future, feel free to pop your questions in the comments. I also talk a lot about mindset and positivity on my Instagram, so if you want daily doses of that (plus stuff about writing, books, travel, and my favourite things), be sure to follow me @rambling_daydreamer.

Are you making any lifestyle changes in 2019? Did you make resolutions or set goals at the beginning of the year? How are you doing with them two months into the new year?

1 comment:

  1. I've been making some changes for 2019, too, and have already seen it benefiting me. One thing I did was I made a work schedule for myself. I gave myself set times to clock in and out. I've also been alternating writing and my art and crafts. M-W-F are writing and T-TH are art days. It's been really useful in keeping me from exhausting myself and ending up doing nothing.

    Oh, you should check out my IWSG post for March. I have a FitBit, too, and have been using a site that awards points for using my FitBit ,and when you reach a certain amount, you can cash out for money. It's not much, but it's enough to get a few ebooks. lol


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