New Year, New You-- we’ve all heard, said it, read it, but now, I challenge you to really be about it. This isn’t to say that the old you needs fixing, but there’s something about a new calendar year that inspires change and optimism even in the most skeptical. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a clean slate, and for those reading giving me pursed lips and perpetual side-eye at that comment, although the slate is never actually wiped clean, you can tidy it up a bit. Do what works best for you in the end, because the best gift you could ever receive or give is to be your own advocate. There’s no fix-all solution to life’s problems, but these small changes can help to clear your path of the emotional clutter that you may acquire throughout the year.
(Double) Check Your Tribe
This is relatively self-explanatory, but your tribe is so important. Whether you like it or not, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. In 2017, get your average up... way up!
Take a Step Back
- Delete any apps you don’t use at least 3 times a week
- De-clutter your computer desktop
- Create an automated email response along the lines of: I’ve received your email, and will get back to you in 24-48 hours. If this is an emergency, you can reach me at “________”. Why? Because this way you give yourself some wiggle room, and won’t feel obliged to respond to every single email within 5 minutes. Teach people to respect your time!
- Go through all those Buzzfeed Tasty videos you’ve been compulsively saving, clean out your bookmarks and your Pocket and only keep what you actually plan on reading.
- Unsubscribe - use this helpful tool to take your email off of those newsletters you signed up for during college and grad school! Check out Unroll me or the newest addition, made specifically for gmail, Deseatme.
You don’t need to reach Inbox Zero, but go through and at least create some folders and automations to make your life easier
- Back it up! Your computer that is…
Matters of the Home
- Change your sheets. No really, when was the last time you changed your sheets?
- Handle all those things you put off during the year like: changing the water filter, changing to energy saving light bulbs, clean out your junk drawer, re-organize your pantry and throw away any expired goods or spices.
- Girls, make-up expires. Check that ish, and stop using that mascara you bought on sale last July and #treatyoself
- On a similar note, wash those makeup brushes! I’m guilty of this, but it’s true, there’s mad bacteria and germs just chilling on your brushes, so give them a deep clean. Here’s a tutorial if you don’t know how!
- To all the product hoarders: shea, coconut, jojoba, argan, they all expire eventually. If you’ve been holding on to the last bit of Jane Carter, use it, or toss it.
Get Your Ish Together... Srly.
- After you’ve deleted Candy Crush and Giphy, start cultivating your phone as a tool of self-improvement, not just entertainment. Check out these useful apps! And please, let a finance app be one of them!
- Get a notebook, grab a pen, and write it out! Set some goals and targets for the upcoming year. Why? Because, as the wise and fabulous Myleik points out: writing your goals down is like a contract with yourself. When you just announce your plans dismissively, you give yourself an out. So, be accountable to yourself of all people. (Notebook ideas) (Planner ideas) Start a bullet journal, or a habit tracker, or just start journaling! Writing helps with organization, anxiety, goal-setting and promotes creativity. All it takes is 10 mins a day.
- Make a reading list. Yes, yes y’all, do it for the ancestors! Please read books!
Get your appointments lined up early on in the year, and set a couple reminders in your phone! Dentist, gyno, doctor, chiropractor, whatever you need. That way your future self will high-five your past self for taking care of these tedious tasks early on in the year.
I’m not one for dieting, but if losing weight is on your agenda, maybe meet with a nutritionist and make a plan to put in action. It’s a wonderful first step!
Do grown-up stuff: make sure all your ducks are in a row. Get tires rotated, oil changed, insurance up-to-date, passport valid, and that Sallie Mae either has her money, or knows that she’s not getting any money for the next year. (Sallie likes to be informed)
Again, you don’t need to have these grand resolutions in order to make the absolute most of your next year. Small changes, new habits, baby steps because forward is forward. All that to say LMDES wishes you a lovely, travel-filled, and fulfilling 2017 and thanks you for the support and good vibes from all over the world!
Cheers to you!
This is your year.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.