One of my resolutions for 2017 was to establish a more consistent meditation practice. For many years, I have dabbled in meditation, trying different books and apps along the way. Whenever I meditate, especially when I keep up the practice with some regularity, I find myself feeling more at ease. But then real life gets in the way, and I lose the momentum. It’s definitely hard to schedule in something like meditation – literally just sitting and breathing – when our lives feel so jam-packed. But the benefit, at least for me, is tangible.
We are halfway through January now, and I have to say that I have seen great progress in my pursuit of this resolution. I haven’t meditated every day, nor have I done it at the same time every day, or in the same way every time I’ve done it. I have chosen to pursue this resolution (in particular) with ease. For me, this means maintaining regularity without strict rules, so that if I can fit it in more easily in the middle of the day rather than the morning, choose to skip a day, or whatever, it’s totally fine. This is what works for me.
In addition, I set out to find a place where I could check in. People often talk about establishing means for accountability when working toward goals. I found a meditation studio that feels comfortable and not dogmatic, and I have gone there a few times to connect with the practice and community.
So, the point of today’s post is to encourage you to find what works for you as you continue to pursue your resolutions, goals, intentions, etc. Here’s hoping we can all make it through to February feeling accomplished.
Happy New Year!
The beginning of a new year is always a great time for reflection and renewal. 2016 was a roller coaster of a year for me personally. I got two steps closer to my PhD by proposing my disseration and applying to internship. I married my best friend in the most beautiful wedding I could have ever imagined.
In 2017, I’m hoping to start some new journeys, and also finish a lot of things. I want to recommit to my wellness, and prioritize myself. I want to see more of the world. I want to finish my dissertation and publish some papers. I want to start (and finish) more books. I want to learn to give of myself in a way that is restorative and beneficial.
I’m looking forward to reaching even bigger goals in 2017, and I hope that you are too. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
Weekly Planner Pages | Color Pens | Notepad | Planner Notebook | Meal Plan Pad
My favorite thing to do at the end of each week is to plan for the week ahead. Since 2017 is just a few days away, and planning for a successful year is has been on my mind recently, I decided to take time to talk about some of my favorite planning tools!
To Do Lists!
To Do lists are my favorite! They help me clear my mind, plan out my day, and feel in control. I love this digital dowload from Thyme is Honey for planning out my tasks for the week. I also love her Daily Page, but have found that the new weekly planner pages fit my needs just a bit better. I also like to use this pretty notepad from Ashley Brooke Designs for random ideas while I’m planning.
Pens are so important. I love these colorful, thin-tipped pens for jazzing up my planner and lists. I also swear by these black pens for more regular use.
I’ve definitely talked about my love of meal planning before. I like to use this notepad to keep track of everything. I recently started using a weekly calendar like this one (I can’t find the source for this, unfortunately) with 5 slots per day so I can delineate breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two daily snacks. This helps Josh and I stay on target with our healthy eating goals. Once I plan our meals, I make a grocery list (and cross-match that with what I have in the fridge). This SERIOUSLY cuts down on food waste.
My planner is the single most important thing that I have for my personal organization. I will never go digital, although I do use my phone for certain reminders (like exercise classes, in particular). Whatever planner you choose, make sure it works for you. I have tried basically everything, and I like one with lots of space for lists and goals, but have found that a planner with an hourly layout is a waste for me and doesn’t fit my needs.
Without these organizational tools, I would be totally lost.
What do you use to stay organized?
It’s been so cold this week! I’m happy to have seasonally appropriate weather, but I’m also very excited to spend some extra time cuddling in bed with Bo this weekend!
Here are a few of my favorite things from around this internet this week.
I’ve been reading this book lately, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m a huge Dave Eggers fan, and this novel doesn’t disappoint.
This hair guide is answering all of my “how do I wear my hair with my winter hats” questions.
My friend recently shared this gift list with me. Despite my previously mentioned distaste for gift guides of late, this one made me smile. I particularly loved this one and this one.
I love Well+Good for their great articles. This week, I bookmarked this advice, these meditation tips, and this nighttime suggestion.
Josh found this “moment” on Twitter last weekend and he immediately sent it to me (then it took me 10 minutes to figure out what I was looking at, since I don’t understand Twitter). As a native New Yorker, I am constantly annoyed by people who don’t follow the unwritten rules of the city. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve texted Josh, angrily venting about some issue on the subway. Needless to say, I strongly identified with these gifs.
I’m excited for the weekend, and hoping to take full advantage of the time for rest and relaxation. Here are some of my recent favorite things:
Chocolate Zucchini Bread! I’m loving this tried-and-true recipe, with almond flour, protein powder, coconut sugar (my own substitute), Greek yogurt, and dark chocolate chips. It’s great for a mid-morning pick-me-up!
If you haven’t watched the new “season” of Gilmore Girls on Netflix yet, then do I have a great weekend activity for you!! Love, love, love.
Two quick articles I’ve enjoyed of late include one on how to keep your skin looking fresh during/after a flight: Heyday’s Guide to Hydration; and one on why happiness is so important: Happiness and Brain Function!!
I am officially obsessed with these pants, and haven’t really stopped wearing them since I bought them in August. They are comfy, soft, versatile, and have a great fit. I’m considering buying another pair. Highly recommend.
What are you loving this week?
Despite my incredibly busy schedule over the past few months, I have really tried to make the time to read. Not only do I feel like reading helps me write – I find it both inspirational and grounding – but I also really value the small mental escape that it allows. Plus, changing externships (aka training sites) in July has given me more commuting time. Whereas I had been walking about a half mile to work, I now have to take the train up to the Bronx – an hour each way. I typically find it impossible to do work on the subway, like editing or writing or scientific reading, but reading for pleasure helps me relax. So, that being said, I have made my way through quite a few books over the past few months. And, while not all of them were good, some of them really, really were.
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld – I know Sittenfeld is a popular author, but this is the first book of hers I’ve read, and I actually did so on our honeymoon. It was engaging and incredibly easy to read, although long. Loosely based on Laura Bush’s life (which kind of ruins some of the imagination part of it, but not entirely).
The Unfotunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi – kind of a surrealist, imaginative take on a sometimes overwrought topic. This reads, as others have said, kind of like a mix between a Murakami novel and an episode of 30 Rock. It’s funny and sort of suspenseful and really good.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbach – My most recent read, this is kind of upsetting but also heartfelt and complex. Another easy read, and I’ve found that putting it down once I read my stop is harder than expected!
What are you reading lately?