Happy 2019, my friend! It’s a new year, and are you maybe thinking “new year, new you” or something like that? That idea certainly runs rampant at this time each year, so I wouldn’t blame you. For me this year, I’m thinking more “new year, continued growth”. 2018 felt pretty good in a lot of aspects of my life from a micro glance, so I want to approach it with more energy. So I’m sharing with you some of my favorite ways on how to live with more ease and grace.
Ease and grace. Why those two words? Well they’ve really spoken to me lately. The past 3 years I’ve worked on my words for the year as part of the Desire Map Program, so I focus on feeling-driven goals. So this year I’m starting off with 6 words, and ease happens to be one of them.
Here are my 2019 words:
For me, ease and grace go really well together. I look at “ease” as the idea of going through your life not setting a million expectations, but being more in flow. Allowing life to be easier and moving as smoothly as possible along with the inevitable good and bad. A kind of flexibility and less rigidity is one way for how to live with more ease and grace.
Grace comes in when things don’t go as planned or expected, and you have to decide how to react. Setting expectations isn’t something I enjoy, because we’re trying to dictate how everything plays out. Not exactly a realistic approach to life, and it often means you get disappointed. Using grace allows you to not be hard on yourself if you miss a goal or if your plans change.
Let me give you an example. In December last year, my life felt crazy and like I was pulled in way too many directions. I was forced to do 2 things: 1) Listen to my body. 2) Slow the F down. And I could have totally beat myself up for skipping some blog posts I planned and not getting newsletters out. But the fact is, I needed time to just be. To slow down, focus on time with my friends and family and live in the present a bit more.
So no posts, which I’m sorry about. I mean there were a couple but not the normal amount, so I thank you for sticking with me. And I thank myself for not fighting those decisions but allowing them to flow with ease and giving myself grace when they did.
And this year, I want to make sure that I continue focusing on how to live with more ease and grace. I know it’s a mindset thing partly. But it’s also clearing out the toxicity (literally), creating healthier habits, and feeding my soul more.
So let’s dive in to see exactly you and I can live with more ease and grace this year (and every year)!
Relax & Prioritize
Our bodies (hell all of us, for that matter) need to recharge regularly. One of the best ways to do that is to make meditation a habit, which is something on my goal list. That way we’re habitually resetting our minds, focusing on calming ourselves, and vibrating at a higher frequency.
That bit of recharging each day can help you be more productive and efficient. So you can accomplish more with ease. But also know that if you need a break, give yourself grace to take it.
I found myself asking in December if whatever was on my to-do list was something that was critical. Work tasks, time sensitive stuff around the holidays, cleaning were all things I had to do. Non-negotiable, so they got done. But that newsletter and blog post weren’t promised to anyone but myself, so I took a break. And the beautiful part is that no one even noticed, so you are free to do the same on those things you tell yourself you have to do that aren’t actually that important.
Another thing I did was work in some self-care in the form of a facial, which was amazing. In fact I had it right before I headed home for the holidays, and I timed it perfectly. I ended up having major car issues on my trip home and I dare say that facial the day prior helped me stay calm. And I’m going to make facials and massages a self-care treat throughout this year.
How to live with more ease and grace with meditating: I know Headspace is a really popular app that I liked, and Deepak Chopra offers amazing meditations too. Or if there’s a personality you follow that shares meditations, then give those a shot! Simply the act of doing it no matter who with is all that matters.
If you’ve been following me this past week on Instagram stories, I mentioned I was doing a detox. The holidays encourage indulging, and because I left home for so long, I indulged way more than normal. So I needed a reset.
The idea of detoxing normally sounds awful, but I looked forward to it so much. It’s mainly smoothies and warm drinks, and then start to work whole foods back in. But knowing that I was fueling my body with clean foods got me super excited.
As you’re reading this, I’m wrapping up my 3-day detox which has been all about getting my body free of toxins and ready for healthy eating. Now it wasn’t all pleasant, if I’m being real. Day 1 had me uber hangry and dealing with a constant headache. Detox rids the body of toxins and chemicals, so I really fought back (and won) adding more chemicals with pain relievers. And guess what…when I woke up on Day 2, the headache was gone.
How to live with more ease and grace with a detox: I’ve done a detox with Tone it Up before (they have a free 5-day one that’s great and filled with whole foods). This one that I’m doing now is from Danette May and is packed with resources and a FB group.
Adding on from my last section on detoxing, I’m focusing on my health this year. That’s why it’s one of my words, because I don’t want to lose sight of this goal. To be honest, I’ve gained more weight than I’d like (whether you can tell or not, I can), and I’m ready for my clothes to fit better again.
So post detox, I’m going to fuel my body with clean eating as much as possible. But I’m also going to be exploring some different workouts and try to vary it so I don’t get bored. I usually LOVE walking but it’s January and weather rarely allows for that, so I need variety.
I’m truly ready to become a stronger, toned, happier version of the person I am as I write this. That’s not to say I’m unhappy, but that I know there’s more joy out there for me. And I’m seriously ready for it!
So stay tuned for tons of healthy recipes this year, and be sure to browse away now. I’ve made a lot of healthy, often allergy-friendly, recipes in the past few years to keep us all inspired to eat right.
How to live with more ease and grace with healthy choices: Some of my favorite healthy resources are: Tone it Up’s Nutrition Program (so worth the investment and I love that community and their challenges throughout the year), Danette May, Action Jacquelyn (just got her Get Stretchy 2.0 plan that I’m psyched to dive into as well), and Jen Esquer’s mobility stuff is fantastic.
Financial Confidence continues!
In 2018 I wrote about financial confidence, and how I declared I’d get my finances under control. And I did!
Let’s talk debt for a sec, because I know many of us deal with it and have a lot of shame around it. I certainly did. Guilt about student loan debt for a degree I’m not even using (I’m talking very large loans I took out, my friend.) And then feeling shame about credit card debt and how I got there.
But I did 2 things that helped a ton:
- I transferred my credit card balance (which was about to have a big interest rate applied to it) to a fixed-rate loan. I can always pay it off early, but now I know what I’ll owe each month and won’t feel confused about how much to put towards it. And I do plan to pay it off ahead of schedule.
- I started putting my student loan payments in my calendar and creating an email alert. Since I was 23 years old, auto-pay blissfully keeps me sane, because I stopped thinking about my loans’ existence. Sure I’d see the payments exit my bank account, but I wouldn’t even think about the looming (very large) balances. Now I get that email reminder for each payment, and I take 30 seconds to express gratitude for what the money allowed me: an education, world travel, experiences of a lifetime, friends for a lifetime, programs and courses I can use for a lifetime, personal growth and the list goes on. So now I pound my loans with gratitude to reverse the shame/guilt I formerly felt. SO empowering, let me tell you!
And I’ve started saving consistently. Every month at least $100 goes into my savings account. This year I’m aiming to do $100 out of every paycheck to see if I can make my money stretch. And if I can do that, then that should allow me to pay off my smallest loan, and then start putting that money towards paying down my next smallest loan. Getting those 2 paid off would be a huge relief, so that my largest 2 loans would be all I have and their interest rates are uber low, luckily.
Budgeting has crazily become one of my daily activities that I actually enjoy and geek out on. I work in my budget before I make a purchase to ensure I have a spot for it. Talk about confidence, people! If you asked me a year ago if I’d enjoy budgeting I’d probably laugh in your face and then start to cry inside at the thought. Now I use it to help make buying decisions, plan for large purchases, annual payments, and spend guilt-free.
How to live with more ease and grace financially: My favorite financial resources are: Hands down YNAB turned budgeting into a fun activity (use that link for a free month), my Google calendar helped me to schedule those reminders for gratitude, Money Love Course by Kate Northrup is a great resource to break through your money blocks, Rachel Cruze is a personality I enjoy following for inspo, and get a savings account if you don’t have one to start saving money every damn month. Even $10 a month!
What is something you really want to learn to do or do more of this year? 8 years ago, the answer was cooking and writing, and that’s how this blog was born.
Before that it was reading, and I got a Kindle and I’ve started reading up a storm.
Journaling became a huge one for me in 2015, and I’ve happily been journaling ever since.
This year I’m still deciding if it’ll be calligraphy, watercolor, or something else. But I know I want it to be something I can make with my hands. Watching my mom crochet up a storm the past 2 years, and seeing her excitement about sewing projects totally inspired me.
So what can you do for you? To feed your soul, to bring you (and only you) joy? Really think about it and then ACT on it. Do the damn thing!
How to live with more ease and grace with hobbies: My mom got a subscription to Bluprint, which looks like an amazing crafting resource for all kinds of sewing, crocheting, knitting, yoga and more. So if you want some inspiration, look there. Take a class at a local college, go to a cooking class, maybe a new workout is your speed so join a gym/program, or perhaps you want to make jewelry so try a jewelry making class.
Have you come up with your 2019 words? I use them in my Desire Map Planner each day/week to remind me how I want to feel and take action that will result in those feelings. It’s incredibly powerful. If you don’t have a planner yet, this one is AMAZING! And if you don’t journal yet, check out this post on how to journal fearlessly, and then do it. Honestly, you’ll thank me for it in the long run, because it’s incredibly freeing.
And as for me, my areas of focus flow and change, but at the moment they look like: Healthy eating and exercising the majority of the year, building a business filled with ease and grace, saving my heart out and paying down my debts little by little, and doing creative work that lights me up and keeps me inspired. Writing that last bit has me excited about how to live with more ease and grace!
What do you want your 2019 to look like? Have you decided how to live with more ease and grace in your unique life? Comment below, so we can cheer each other on and hold one another accountable.
Stay inspired & live with more ease and grace!