It’s that quiet time between Christmas and New Year when it feels as though everyone has hit the pause button and the hours drift slowly past. My brain appears to have slowed down too and the words for this post are coming like treacle. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time reviewing 2018 though and making plans for 2019.
At the end of 2017 I realised that I wanted to make a big change to my lifestyle: previously it had been hectic and high pressure and I’d had enough. I decided that 2018 was to be all about seeking simplicity: slowing down and creating a more authentic lifestyle. I wanted to simplify my wardrobe, declutter the house, make the house more environmentally friendly and most importantly slow down my approach towards my free time and putting my energy into the relationships and things that really mattered to me.
I started decluttering my wardrobe and made a capsule collection for autumn and winter. The capsule approach really works for me: I only own clothes that I love and that pretty much all work together which massively takes the pressure out of getting dressed in the morning. I’m looking forward to working on my spring and summer collections this year. It’s also made me really focus on how many clothes my son needs.
I decluttered a lot of the house and whilst I still have quite a lot of stuff, it’s all things that we want. I’ve also really changed my approach to buying things: finding value in experiences rather than in objects. I’d also rather now save up for things that I really want rather than be tempted by trends.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt to do is to declutter my free time: I no longer try to pack it full of things to do and people to see and it’s given us the space to just spend weekends together as a family, slowly moving through the days and enjoying the smaller things in life.
For 2019 I’ve chosen the word “nourish”. I started thinking about all the things that I wanted to do next year back in November and the list was long. A hectic period at work during December had me rethinking things. I thought about how to integrate all the principles of slow living I had learnt over the year and I realised that I couldn’t do everything, that I had to grow my side hustle at a slower pace than others seemed to grow theirs and that, most importantly, this was ok. Giving myself permission to take things slowly this coming year, to use this time that I have to learn and grow, made me feel free and excited for all the things that I could achieve without overwhelming myself. So what is it that I want to achieve?
I want to continue writing about slow living: on the blog and instagram there’s going to be a focus on how to live slowly, slow homes and capsule wardrobes. We’ve also got lots of little plans for bits and pieces around the house and garden, which I’ll share with you on the blog as we achieve them. I learnt so much from the slower lifestyle that I created for myself in 2018 that I’ve spent the last few months writing about it. My aim for next year is to finish this writing and publish it as an ebook. It’s a scary idea but I’ve been really enjoying writing it and I want to push myself out of my comfort zone by finishing it and putting it out there.
Self-care: this went terribly in 2018 but I’m determined to do better in 2019. I really struggle to prioritise this: I always feel like everything else on the to do list should be ticked off before I “deserve” self-care time. The problem is that the to do list can get very long and by the time everything is finished I’ve crashed. I know logically that I should prioritise self-care more so 2019 is going to be about accepting this and making it part of my week. I’ve also had a little epiphany that for me self-care doesn’t involve skin care routines or pamper sessions: it’s about creating just a little bit of space where I can think, reflect and plan. I’m going to cry to carve out 30 minutes each Sunday evening for this: probably in the bath as at least there I can’t replace the time with TV or pottering around.
Travel: we haven’t been abroad on holiday for what feels like a really long time. This year we really want one foreign holiday, probably somewhere in Europe. I’d also like to try to build in a few weekends away in England, especially to see friends who live further away from us.
Exercise and food: in 2018 my husband and I really embraced meal planning each week: it meant that we ate far healthier and didn’t waste as much food. We want to keep this up for 2019, introducing more vegetables into our meals and reducing our meat consumption (not entirely, we both love meat, but we want to eat a bit less of it). I want to up my water intake because I so often end the day realising I haven’t drunk enough. I also want to try to do more walking at the weekends; it’s the form of exercise I most enjoy and always feel better afterwards. It’s the perfect way to get out into nature as well which is so important for all three of us.
Learning: I’m going to be prioritising learning this year. I’m doing an interior design course that I want to finish and I want to learn a lot more about photography and how to use my SLR. I’d also like to find just a little time each day to do some more reading as I barely picked up a book in 2018. The aim is to read one book a month and all the books are currently sitting on my shelves.
So that’s the plan: nourishment for the body and mind. What about you? Do you have a word for 2019 or do you prefer to see where the year takes you?