Hello beautiful people and welcome back to my blog!
To start off, I would like to firstly wish you a happy new year! I hope you have spent a wonderful time with friends and family and I wish you from the bottom of my heart a wonderful year to come with all the love, success and happiness this world has to offer.
I’m writing to you from beautiful sunny Tunisia (wait, *checks window*, nope, not so sunny anymore apparently, it looks like it’s going to rain…). Alright well, I’m writing to you from Tunisia and I just feel so happy! I’m in love with this time of the year: the weather, the soft blankets, the rain, the awesome netflix and chill with a big chunky hoodie and a cup of hot tea to match… And this season is just so festive! With Christmas, and New Years… We all just go into cute sleepy sloths mode, and it’s so wonderful!
Alas, this time has come to an end, as many of you are preparing yourself to go back to Uni, school,work, and the usual boring routine that I am sure all of you are dreading (including myself).
However, I, like the average human being on earth, I do believe that a new chapter in the calendar is a new chapter in life. In fact, this entire break time for me was a time of reflexion. As soon as I settled down after all the hustle and bustle of finals and travelling, I asked myself: Am I happy with where I am now? Do I wish for something different next year? What are my goals? What am I hoping to achieve? Is there anything that I did next year that I would do differently?
I asked myself what I wanted to see from myself next year, and I realised that these things were the same ones that I wanted last year. New year’s resolutions are needless to say, uneffective, useless, and only things we would brag about to our friends and family, only to find ourselves in the EXACT same position as we were on the last day of the year. Why is that? Because we don’t take action. Because instead of speaking and planning, we should be actively seeking our goals and achieving them.
Think about it this way: what is your new year’s resolution? Alright, do you have it in your mind? Great! Now think: how am I going to achieve it? Write it down, and break it down into steps. Did that? Good. Alright kiddo, now do it!
So, with all that thought in mind, I decided to prepare myself physically and mentally for this coming year, and everything that I did was to foster positive change in my life, with lots of self-love, harmony, and acceptance.
This is what I did:
Read Self-Help books: I feel like there is a stigma on self help books; some people just have too much pride to acknowledge that they have troublesome areas in their lives, and they feel shame carrying around a book that would help them with those issues. I think that everyone should read more of those books. Personally, they give me comfort (because the author is usually relatable in some way or another), and they give me confidence, and they just give me a little push to be better in life in general! Recently, I read this incredible book by Jen Snyden (it’s called You Are A Badass – I know, really cool title) that really gave me the kick in the butt and the motivation that I needed. This book was amazing because it mostly spoke about how our thoughts create our realities, and it really opens your mind about how important self perception is! I really, really recommend it!! Another self help book that I’ve read this winter is the Curly Girl – The Handbook. For those who have read it, yes, I know, it’s really old, but I just started my curly hair journey and my friend Aviselle actually (you can check her interview here) told me about the curly girl method that was described in this book! So basically, the curly girl method is what Lorraine Massey calls the method to maintain your curly hair in its best state possible. This book is very efficient in describing the techniques to use nourish and style your curly locks, but it also raises a point about self acceptance. I have learned the hard way that my hair is curly, and that I needed to listen to its needs instead of making it look like what i want it to look like (if you guys are interested, check out the article on my hair journey here).
Spent quality time with family: My family is my rock, and being in college is difficult, because I don’t get to see them or talk to them as much. During this time of the year, I made sure I spent good quality time with all of my family members, and reminded them of my love, appreciation and gratitude for them. This is very important, as time is limited with them, and seeing them and being with them makes me feel at home, which recharges me mentally for the year to come.
Started a bullet journal: A bullet journal, for those who don’t know, is like a personalized agenda where you create your own monthly templates, calendars, while being as creative or as minimalistic as you want to be. I started one recently and did my January, February and March spreads. It made me feel organized, I got to work my creative juices, and it’s just so fun and satisfying to see the end result! I’m actually thinking of dedicating an entire post about it. Creating it really made me feel aware of the coming weeks that I have, and actively prepare for them (whilst having fun doodling flowers on the side).
Determined a meal plan and workout plan: Yes, like I said earlier, I’m not just wishing to be healthier, but I’m actively pursuing it by starting a plan. I picked a work out routine that is not too difficult, found a cute cookbook with really easy recipes, and just planned what I’m going to do when, and then I wrote them down on my bullet journal! If you’re going to be doing this too, just be mindful of the routines and meal plans you pick. Make sure that the plans you have suit your schedule, your diet (if you’re vegan for example, find yourself vegan meal prep recipes), and most importantly, make sure they APPEAL to you. Otherwise, you’re not going to want to pursue those plans, and you’ll just end up forgetting about them, and that’s not good, because your goal was to be healthier.
Did my groceries: after having prepared my meal plan, because then I just bought everything I needed, which means that I only spent money on things I was sure to consume and not throw away in the future. Having a list saves you money and makes you a mindful consumer, because you’re not buying that interesting sauce that you have no clue about only to throw away because you don’t know how to cook with it (trust me, this happened way to many times…).
Picked my classes for next year: And made a timetable that I have also included in my bullet journal. I also wrote down the classrooms they would be in so I won’t get lost looking for them in my first week of classes. I don’t know guys, this bullet journal really makes me feel like I have my stuff together!
Meditated: I’ve been meditating for the past year, but the more I got busy, the less I meditated, so this break was all about catching upon staying in tune with my mind and body. I use Simple habit and 10% Happier (depending on my mood, though both of them are really good!) for guided meditation and after every session I always feel a little bit more relaxed and calmer. I recommend using both apps (I believe they are available both on iOS and Android), though perhaps Simple Habit has more options for non subscribers. Either way, I meditated this break, and I feel great!
Prayed: I don’t consider myself to be overtly religious, but I do try to show my gratitude to God whenever I can. Like meditation, prayer for me is something I do especially in times of self reflection and when I press “pause”. I took the time this break to thank God for blessing myself and my family, and prayed for another wonderful year to come.
Gave myself a makeover: This part I think was my favorite ! I gave myself a haircut, blowout, a manicure, pedicure, and the whole shebang. This year will be the year that I will slay, and so will you, so TREAT. YO. SELF.
Cleaned my environment: Decluttered, gave away my old things, cleaned my apartment, and just made sure that my living space was nice and well ordered for an organized life and an organized mind 🙂
So that’s it! These are a few of the things I’ve done to have myself start the year afresh, with new initiatives and ideas to keep myself going! If you have any questions about these points please feel free to ask!
Also, comment below your goals for 2018, and how you’re planning on moving forward with them!
I wish you guys all the love and success you deserve!
Happy new year!!!