"Every time you make a decision to honor your soul, it is a choice worth celebrating no matter how small."
Waking up each morning is akin to starting a clean slate. It's an opportunity to see more possibilities, better choices, and to steer your life in a different direction. This morning when I arose, the idea of cultivation or what it means to cultivate your own life was present in my mind.
"Cultivate" by definition means to try to acquire or develop something, whether that be a specific quality, sentiment, or skill. Still inspired by the hope that a new year presents, I wanted to share a couple of ways that I want to truly curate my life this year and hope that it will bring up an even deeper discussion with yourself about what you truly want to accomplish for yourself and why. And further more, I hope it inspires you to stay the course!
One thing that I am grateful for in my childhood was that I was able to explore and develop hobbies that gave me a sense of fulfillment. The pride you feel when creating something has it's own unique feeling because it can only be owned by you. Unfortunately, as we grow older we don't have the time or the capacity to explore like when we were young. Schedules and responsibilities often take place of exploration and I have been lacking a sense of creativity in my life for quite some time. To have something that is mine, created by me is important and I want to provide space for myself to do that.
Whether that means letting my yoga practice be my form of expression, taking time to annotate and reflect, or investing more in my wellness journey through education, I am committed to "create" more this year!
We can all pinpoint something that we want to improve in our everyday lives. However, change is the true difficulty. Deciphering between what our minds want and what we need is crucial. When you understand that the "compromise" you make today will nourish your mind and body tomorrow, then it becomes easier to make smarter, better choices.
This year, my goals are to: wake up 30 minutes earlier, take a workout class before or after work (3-5 times a week), and set aside time to meal prep on Sundays.
I’m finding that as long as I accomplish my goals at least five days per week, I won't be simultaneously undoing the habits I've already worked so hard to implement in the first place - and honestly, I am not strong enough to deny myself any weekend indulgences, Life is too short for that!
In college, it was easy to feel “accomplished” and like you were progressing in life,. It provided an easy road map to “success.”.As long as you turned in assignments and came to class, you met your goal and even had time to party along the way! However, in the real world there isn't a professor waiting to make sure that you "show up." The choice of excelling or reaching your potential is left up to you. So of course without structure or money, being fresh out of college was a major wake up call and it really rattled my confidence after months of searching for a career.
Thankfully, now that I have been working for a while I really want to focus more on building the skills I currently have and using any resources I have to expand on them as well. Volunteering, attending conferences, networking, and getting involved in projects at work are some ideas I’m currently researching now.
Image is also another component I’ve been struggling with as well. I've always been very conscious of how I present myself but because of a tighter budget, lack of time, and energy (let’s be real, haha) I have not been putting effort into myself anymore. However, taking an extra 10 minutes to put on makeup, put together an outfit, or making sure I've prepared the night before makes a considerable difference in my demeanor throughout the day no matter what plans I make. So this is something I plan to work on for myself. Doing DIY treatments at home and taking time to pamper myself makes me feel like I am putting my needs first no matter how hectic my life may get.
Ever Since, I have gotten my first credit card I have definitely been guilty of extending myself with unnecessary debts this past year. I always pay above minimum and do so quickly but I’ve realized that I’ve been putting stress on myself and carrying any type of minimums isn’t a habit I want to start anytime soon. I have already created a step by step plan to eliminate any remaining debts this year so that I will only have student loans to worry about (Shout out to the Paycheck and Balances Podcast).
In addition, I also want to focus on using my money as a tool and not letting it control me. I really need to learn how to live within my means on any budget so that when my salary increases (hopefully) I will already have the necessary habits to save and make progress towards my financial goals. I want to be more conscious about what I really need to be happy and not just chase the next “shiny new thing.”
Sounds easy enough, right?
Finally, I also want to invest more into creating useful and inspiring content for you all, so please feel free to share anything you want to hear more about or struggles you have - whether it’s learning how to find more purpose in your life or your journey to find more compassion. I’d really love to hear your thoughts from my contact page!