2018: Living My Best Life

2018 Motto

Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith 
Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith 

I can’t believe I am sitting here at my dining room table typing out a post about the coming year. Tomorrow it will be 2018 and I am ready for the fresh start. I have no resolutions but I do have a new motto for the next 365 days and a few lists written out… I plan to live my best life and I want to take y’all on the ride with me because you deserve to live your best life too, whatever that may look like.

What does my best life look like? Its learning from 2017’s mistakes; I need to get back to keeping a schedule, building relationships, taking control of my health before my health starts to take control of me. I want to take more photographs, laugh big, and love even bigger. I am flushing the negativity to make room for joy, planning adventures, and pushing myself to be braver. It’s all about being kinder to myself, accepting complements, believing in me, and above all else taking a moment, a good long pause to live in the here and now. I want to be more present in everyday life.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Smith 

Some days I won’t be able to keep up because life will get hard, I will beat myself up, but this is not a resolution, it is a lifestyle change and I plan to give myself the grace to make mistakes. I will lose friends, I am prepared for that fact, but I am ready to embrace the new. To put my energy in those who invest in me while I learn to re-invest in myself.

How to Live Your Best Life

1. Take Photographs
I know this could seem silly but the older I get the more I appreciate the value of a good photograph. Take the time to snap some shots in 2018. My favorite photos happen to be a quick snapshot I took everyday to remember exactly what I or my loved ones were doing. I am ashamed to admit I didn’t take enough for my liking last year so it is a goal of mine; take more photos. Moments of pride, love, adventure, happiness, all these things are worth remembering. It’s these photos that make life so sweet and help you live your very best life.

2. Laugh Unapologetically
Last year I let other people tell me that my happiness wasn’t genuine. I felt I had to dim my light to let others shine. In those moments, while the miserable people in my life were happy putting me down, I became miserable too. This year I will laugh unapologetically, big old belly laughs when something is truly funny. I will invest my happiness in myself and spread it to those around me. It is who I am and I am not sorry for it. Living my best life this year means being genuinely happy and passing that on.

3. Rid Yourself of Negativity
Save yourself the trouble and rid yourself of the negativity from 2017. Let the hurt go, forgive, burn the bridges of those who never cared for you, walk away from that volunteer job that doesn’t help you grow, cut that dead weight you thought was a friend, hush your critics. Don’t you dare do anything that doesn’t promote you living your absolute best life. It is in those moments where we rid ourselves of the negative that we open ourselves up to all the good.

4. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Health is at the top of everyone’s resolutions list this year but after gaining enough weight to put me in a high risk category, living my best life meant getting ahold of my health in 2018. After being sick for the past three years I decided to start January 01 by joining our local gyms boot camp. I have purchased a new food journal to help me make better food choices, track the water I drink, and set up better nightly schedules to make sure I get 6-8 hours of sleep. I have been educating myself on exercises, muscle groups, the harm in sugary foods, creating goal lists, and even purchased a great pair of Bowflex weights to work out at home. This year I will have no excuses.

5. Appreciate the Brilliance Behind Routine
When I had my son 15 years ago the number one piece of advice I got was the importance of a child on a routine. It took work every day to maintain the same nap time, feeding, and playtime but a happy baby made those long days worth it. Why is that  so important? Because routine makes you feel accomplished, its stable, and its downright brilliant. A routine that carves out “you time” towards activities you enjoy, like an early morning devotional or a late evening run, won’t leave you feeling so guilty. I promise there are enough hours in the day. You’ll feel more accomplished with a cleaning schedule, more recharged taking time to yourself, and accountable for every hour of your day helping to eliminate unneeded stress.

6. Be a Joy Scout
You know what to do. Pass that daily joy you feel out to everyone, even a complete stranger. You’d be shocked to know how one smile, a quick hello, or a how-do-you-do could make everyone’s day. Stop and talk to the people who make your life easier by investing in others, start with the bagger at your grocery store and show your gratitude. Create a gratitude journal for yourself and right one thing a day that you are grateful for. Be motivated to pass on happiness and cheer everywhere you go! Lord knows we need more of it in the world today!

7. Be Kind to Yourself
The one line I heard a few times last year was exclaimed in the middle of phone conversations with a dear friend of 19 years; “I’m going to need for you to stop talking about my friend that way”. I was not kind to myself. Be kind to you. You are brilliant, beautiful, and you are here to contribute to the world. Give yourself grace, be understanding, but most importantly you have to be kind to you to live your best life.

8. Live in the Present
Sit back, close your eyes, breathe. Take it all in. Today is gonna be a great one! Go gett’em! You are about to live your best life! Enjoy every moment.

9. Go on Great Adventures
Remember when you use to slay all those dragons? You were living your best life and you should do that again. Go on great adventures. Try new foods, hike around your area, adventure is around every corner it doesn’t always mean a big-ticket to a far away country. But if you can purchase a big ticket for a big adventure I fully support doing that too.

10. Be Brave
I am not very brave when it comes to blogging. I am my own worst critic. This year I plan to open up more. In order to do that I must be brave. Brave with my privacy, brave in my writing, brave in my photography that I share. I never knew how scared I was until I put myself out there in the internet world. This year I know to live my best life I have to be braver, brave enough to make a connection with all of you. I want it the most and so I plan to do my best.

5 Lists Worth Making in 2018

1. A Bucket List
No laughing. Seriously, bucket lists are the perfect way to write things you’ve always wanted to accomplish in an unprofessional setting. They don’t have to be extravagant, add in events like running a marathon or finally seeing Adele in concert. Watching all the seasons to Hart of Dixie (guilty), joining a book club with the intention of reading the books, purging the items in your attic. There are really no rules to what you can’t conquer this year – write it down!

2. A Reading List
You should always have enjoyable goals and for me, reading is one of those activities. My list is long. Full of fiction, blogging inspiration, and biographies. I have even listed possibly joining our local book club (mentioned above) as something I would love to spend time doing. Reading enriches your life and can widen your social circle. I can’t think of a more positive list to create.

3. A Goals List
Life is all about goals both personally and professionally. The goal to lose weight, excel at work, bravely take on new adventures. A future goals list can help you stay on track and encourage making smart decisions all year-long. Short and Long terms goals are important to separate so consider making two checklists for this reason. Just don’t forget to update your goals list throughout the year as you mark things off, adjust others, and add as new goal arise.

4. A Travel List
Just like a reading list travel should be another important addition to your list making in 2018. Not only does travel enrich your life but it motivates you, giving something to work towards. Taking a trip to Greece? Wearing that swimsuit in the summer could motivate you in the gym. Paris dream vacation in your future? Paris could motivate you to take that French class you always wanted to. Divide your list into two with one being short trips and another longer adventures. I have already created my long list with a trip to England, Ireland, and Scotland in 2018. I can’t wait to wander! I can practically taste the fish and chips!

5. A Shopping List
A Shopping List? Really? I know it might seem strange but this is the year to reexamine your closet. I seriously don’t need one more white t-shirt in my closet in 2018. Start watching what pieces you wear on repeat, research capsule wardrobes or look into the cost for investing in classics. Armed with this knowledge, make a great shopping list to help you focus and keep away from impulse buys. Donate what you don’t wear, repurchase what needs to be replaced due to frequent wear, and grab up items that fit you. Proper fitting clothes can make you feel amazing! Don’t forget to secure a great tailor for the perfect personalized fit.

Living Your Best Life Wide Open

So what’s my plan to living my best life? Pretty simple, I plan to blog about it. January is going to take on my biggest struggle which is health so posts will be about my journey towards being healthy + balanced in my life. February will be 28 days of relationships. We’ll talk friendship, marriage, and family. All of the same components from the blog you love to follow will still be here; fashion, beauty, food, home decor, entertaining, do-it-yourself projects, we’ll even talk about hacks and money. Oh yeah I’m excited for the coming months! Thank you 2017 for all the lessons learned… Here’s to all of us Living Our Best Lives in 2018!

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