Enjoying the New Year

Life Hacks

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Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of a fresh start?
Don’t be! 2019 can be as grand or as simple as you’d like to make it. The trick is to start small and focus on enjoying the New Year!

Ok, so chances are good that you fall into one of two camps:
1. the love-change camp where fresh starts make you giddy and goal-setting feels exhilarating, or…
2. the leave-me-alone camp where you hate change and you’re already feeling bad about what you didn’t accomplish in 2018 and can everyone please stop talking about diets already??

I fall firmly in camp number 1, but as life as gotten fuller (notice I’m not using the “b” word…ha! Remember from this post how we’re not gonna tell ourselves how “busy” we are??) I’ve realized that over ambitious goal setting almost assuredly leads to let-down.

Instead, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite ideas for making my 2019 more enjoyable, spiritual and fulfilling. I’m not calling any of these goals, but rather benchmarks to remind myself to make space for all these wonderful things in my life.

Side note: Being pregnant means that I don’t have much in the way of fitness or dietary ambitions for 2019 but I also have strong feelings against starting new diets in January. While we probably all feel like we need a food reset after the gorging of the holidays, I’m a firm believer that a new year will never be enough to motivate us to give up our favorite foods! Nor should it be. I’m loving learning more and more about intuitive eating, moderation and developing a healthy relationship with food.

I’m simply striving to make self-care more of a priority in 2019, to think first about nourishing my body rather than filling a craving and above all to model healthy body love for my children.

And now on to my benchmarks for the new year! 12 will be my number for the year because I can easily do one of each of these things a month….or, of course, catch up on a couple in one month if I fall behind.

Benchmarks for Enjoying 2019


I get IMMENSE enjoyment out of reading books and listening to audiobooks both for entertainment and to learn something new. (If you’re also a book fan, find me on Goodreads!) Every January has me thinking about what new books to explore and how to fit quiet reading time into my life, especially since the Christmas holiday is a great week or two of slow living and reminding myself how much I enjoy sitting down with a great book!

I make it a point to not commit to reading a crazy number of books or even a certain genre, but rather to try to fit some enjoyable reading into each month of the year. I’ve decided to try to shoot for reading 2 books a month this year (for a total of 25…that extra one is the book I just finished today, on January 1st. Look at my HEAD START!), which is definitely more than I usually do, simply because I’ll have a nursing baby later this year and that always gives me more chances to sit down and digest a great tome.

Please send your latest favorite book recommendations my way! I’d love to hear what everyone is loving lately.


As you can probably tell, the number of sewing posts on the blog as gone down considerably as I’ve shifted focus. I still LOVE this hobby and do it whenever I can, but the pressure to constantly create something new and noteworthy, plus the time it takes to put together a tutorial, was causing me way more stress than enjoyment.

Instead, I’m focusing on slower, more intentional making, especially for myself and most especially using great quality fabrics that I love! My goal last year was for 12 selfish sewing projects (as listed here) but I ended up being too busy with blog projects to make most of them. So I’m revisiting my list and adding any other projects to fill holes in my wardrobe or new patterns that call to me.

Comment with some of your must-make sewing projects!


I’m always feeling the need to improve myself spiritually as a mom, mostly because it’s easy to let the days full of housework and childcare slide by without scripture study or introspective prayer.

I worked hard on spiritual study these past few months and really felt a difference in so many areas of my life that this year’s focus will be on furthering my worship even more. My once-a-month benchmark for spiritual progress will be to visit the temple 12 times in 2019 (you can read more about our temples here).

Some other ideas I had were to read a specific book of scripture each month of the year, to focus on 12 specific areas of spiritual study (like faith or baptism, etc) or even to work on practicing a Christlike quality each month (such as service, charity or patience). So many great ideas but simplicity has to be my policy so that I don’t get overwhelmed and just quit!

And that’s it! Please comment letting me know if you’ve come up with any great ideas for getting more of what you want out of 2019. Let’s get out there and remember that above all, life should be joyful!

Photos by Photography Hill

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    A year in Review - How to Show Gratitude for the Past!
    January 6, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    […] A shift in focus. Apparently I’ve been thinking and feeling similarly about goals for the entire year! This post talks more about how I planned (and largely succeeded!) at more gentle goals for 2019. […]

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