As January 1 has come closer and closer, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this past year.
I reflected on how things went, how I felt… both with this platform and in my personal life.
I talked all about it in this week’s podcast, but I’ll give you a quick summary of where my head is at!
I was listening to a podcast the other day, and the host asked listeners to describe 2018 in one word… One word to describe the entire year… and to be honest the words that came to my mind were BUSY, UNORGANIZED AND REACTIVE!
And hey I know I am a pretty positive person and those words are quite negative, but It’s true. This is how I feel about the last year.
Don’t get me wrong, there were so many great things that happened this year! My marriage is better than ever, we made great memories with the kids, had some phenomenal family vacations, I launched this podcast, connected with so many great women through this blog and community…
BUT we were SO busy.
And I’m not someone who looks at BUSY as a good thing. I don’t thrive off BUSY.
This year I felt like we had so much going on that I couldn’t get on top of anything… I was in this constant state of overwhelm.
There have been a few times in my life when I have said THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE MY LIFE… and then decided to implement some major change.
One of them was when I was working at a bank as an account manager after University. It was a great career, with great opportunity but it just didn’t feel right for me! Even though I was lining myself up for a great career, talking to people about mortgages, mutual funds and VISAs made me want to poke my eyes out. So I quit, enrolled in a post grad program and decided to take a solo trip to an orphanage in a very RURAL area in Kenya. (Needless to say, my Dad was thrilled.)
Another was during that first year I was a stepmom. Shortly after our wedding I was struggling, overwhelmed and found myself sitting on the bathroom floor in tears. That night, I made the decision that this was NOT going to be how we lived, and set out to figure out how I was going to live my best life amongst all the new extra stressors of my day-to-day. That moment actually marked the beginning of this blog!
Now, here we are. I’m saying it again. This busy-ness, this overwhelm, the feeling like there is NOT enough time in the day, This is NOT going to be my life! I hate feeling so damn rushed. There has to be another way!
I want to feel more aligned and balanced
MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
While all my resolutions for 2019 are different, they all are related or fall into that one overarching goal for 2019… which is … if I were to say it off the cuff is to be “less of a shit show” and stop flying by the seat of my pants…
But what I actually mean, is this this year I am going to be smarter with the time.
You’ve probably heard me say that I look at my time as a valuable and limited resource… because it is. The time you spend on ANYTHING is time that you’re never ever going to get back It’s gone!
This idea is going to be at the forefront of my mind!
If you have been following me for a while you know that I am huge fan of CHECKING YOURSELF.
It think it’s such an important thing to do, especially if you’re not interested in settling for mediocre.
And when I say check yourself, I mean CHECK IN with yourself….
Am I being the type of wife I want to be?
Am I being the type of mom I want to be?
Am I being the type of stepmom I want to be?
The type of friend?
How is everything going?
I do this often!!!! Mostly on birthdays, New Years or September when the kids go back to school… but also when I get in a place where I feel like I can’t keep my head above water… or you know… in a RUT!!!
I recently did this… and my answer was NO to mostly everything on the list… or in some areas I had a “kind of.”
Sure there are positives in all areas of my life, but like I said, this year I have felt like everything has been really reactive.
And even though I know we are just in a busy season in life I don’t feel like it HAS to be like this! There is a better way for us to be doing life.
I know they say that balance is not possible… and it is this unicorn buzz word amongst the motherhood community.
They say that balance doesn’t exist and we need to get the idea out of our head so we stop feeling so much Mom guilt…
But I feel like in saying that, we’ve all just thrown in the towel. We’ve just accepted this state of chaos, feeling disorganized and flustered! I think many use it as an excuse to not strive for more.
And while I know balance isn’t attainable or something I can check off a to do list… it is something you can strive towards and get damn close to!
Before I share the 6 things I’m focusing on this year… I want to encourage you to check yourself before you create your resolutions fo 2019.
You don’t have to start your resolution tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow you just start to really think about what you want for 2019. Assess how things are going for YOU!
[To get all the details on my resolutions, be sure to listen to this week’s podcast, but here is a quick run down on what I’m focusing in for 2019.]
ADD A WORK-OUT TO MY MORNING ROUTINE
I talked about my morning routine in episode 007 of my podcast… so I am not going to get in detail about it, but guys I honestly think every single person should be a morning person. Every single mom should be up before all the kids, drink her coffee in quiet, set intentions and plan the day… even if it’s just 15 minutes. If you haven’t listened to that episode, I encourage you to go back and do so.
I cannot tell you how much more productive I am as a person now that I have this morning routine. When I say it’s changed the game, it’s changed the game.
This year I’m going to add a workout into my regime.
I know that’s a pretty cliché resolution, and everyone and their Mom is talking about how they are going to work out more in 2019…but I feel like it’s pretty attainable given that I am already so strict with the routine already!! I’m just adding one more habit into something I am already doing.
I am the worst for putting my workout clothes on in the morning, and then all of a sudden it’s 3:35pm and the kids are coming down the driveway.
It is the one thing that falls off my to do list in the morning when I have deadlines or things that I need to get done.
My morning routine has become such a habit this year, that I am hoping to feel the same way about working out! This is a way to schedule it into MY life so that it works for my schedule. (remember what they say, our goals need to be realistic and attainable).
The other day my Mom was like “Jamie you need an assistant or something” - even she thinks we are crazy over here!
In my perfect world mom yes, I would have an assistant - but to make that happen I’ll need a winning lottery ticket as well (a girl can dream right?).
But she is right… and there is A LOT going on…
While an assistant isn’t in the cards, I am going to start delegating, asking for help, and using services that will help us save time.
We already have a cleaning lady, and before you throw out some eye roll and snide remark about how everyone can’t afford a cleaning lady, I want to say that I would sacrifice food and transportation to have this woman come clean my house every week. It’s about choosing where you want to spend your extra money. For me, this is worth every single penny.
Not only does it free up space for me to work or spend time with the kids, it’s also like this weekly RESET for our family.
This year I am look for more opportunities to delegate and free up time…
ordering groceries online
using more pre-made food services
ordering more on Amazon so I can avoid going into the stores
getting the kids to help out more around the house (if you can work an iPhone you can work a washing machine right?)
We’re also going to be hiring someone to start working with me on my blog and helping out behind-the-scenes. Their job will be to help out with graphic design, social media scheduling, community management… This will free up my time so that I can keep creating content and be more available for my daily! (Know of someone who may be a good fit? Send them my way!}
These are all things that I COULD do myself… but delegating is going to free up so much space to do more of the things that will help move everyone and everything forward…
Like I said, I’m looking at my time as a valuable resource… and saying.. okay what am I doing that I DON’T have to be doing?
I’M GOING TO SAY NO AND NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT
This has become a bit of a buzz statement but I am really embracing it. Moving forward I’m going to be very careful about what gets my YES.
Social events, volunteering or whatever… I am not going to do things because I think that it’s what is expected of me, or what a good mom or stepmom should do. I’m going to be so careful about what gets my YES… really protect my time.
Ever hear the saying, “if it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a HELL NO?” All my favourite instagrammers and podcasters are talking about it, and this is a bandwagon I am more than happy to jump on!
BE DELIBERATE ABOUT THE MEDIA I’M CONSUMING…
I’ve been going through my social media feed and really thinking about the information that comes across my screen as I scroll.
I’m unfollowing feeds that don’t serve me or inspire me.
Hiding posts from people who I want to continue to follow but don’t necessarily want to see on a regular.
Following accounts that make me want to be better and leave me feeling good.
I don’t care who you are – social media can either make you feel good, inspired and like you’re connecting with likeminded people OR it can make you feel like shit about yourself and like your life doesn’t measure up! I’m going for more of the first!
Social media should be a positive experience! But for that to happen, you have to be deliberate about how you consume.
NOTE: This is me giving you PERMISSION to unfollow and hide those accounts that that aren’t doing that for you!
BE DELIBERATE ABOUT THE TIME I AM ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you randomly just check your phone for no reason?
Scroll through instagram because well… it just is natural thing to do to pick up your phone.
Why do we check social media feeds when we are in the line a the grocery store,. Why can’t we just be in the grocery store line?
I can be the WORST at this! And recently this little feature on my new iPhone showed me how much time I was actually spending on my phone and it was MIND BLOWING. I’m not even going to tell you what it was, it’s that embarrassing!
I’m scaling back my screen time this year.
It’s something I have been working on for a while, but it’s time to amp things up.
I’m going to try and schedule my social media time into my calendar, and scroll with a purpose.
For me it’s also my job. I am going to treat it that way instead of mindlessly going on throughout the day. It’s such a distraction and a waste of time!
HERE’S A TIP!
As you may have heard in my episode on my morning routine, I recently stopped checking social media or email first thing in the morning. I don’t login until about 9:30/10:00 am, after I’ve completed my morning routine, got the kids off to school and worked on whatever it is I need to work on that day.
It’s definitely freed up some space in my head, and I’ve noticed a huge change in my productivity each morning. .
I also do my best to unplug and get off social media around 8pm. I read a book, forget about my to do list and spend time with my husband!
DID YOU KNOW?
That there is a direct correlation between the amount of time people spend on social media and their anxiety level… and I totally see that!!!
On the days when I have just turned my phone off or taken social media off my phone… I feel soooooo good!!! Almost FREE!
BE THE MOM WITH THE SNACK ON THE TABLE AFTER SCHOOL
Look, this may sound old fashioned. It may be aligned with traditional gender roles that make you cringe. But this is important to me.
Lately I’ve been experiencing a lot of MOM guilt over how distracted I am when the kids get home from school. I’m trying to work, I’m trying to parent, I’m telling them to shhhhhh so I can do just one more thing… it’s just not the atmosphere I want to create when the kids get home from their day. When I decided not to go back to Child Protection after Reese was born, the point was to be more available for the kids, and lately that’s fallen off the rails.
This year I am focused on working SMARTER not HARDER, because like I said above I want more balance. I know some people think it’s weird that I talk openly about the fact that this blog has become a job for me… but I have always brought this community along with me as I experience life, so I am going to be really honest about where I am at right now.
The blog is taking more hours than I have… and it’s crept into my family life. I always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day and everything is so RUSHED and REACTIVE!
Growing up, I lived with a single dad who raised me on his own. My brother and sisters would come from my Mom’s on the weekend, but during the week it was just us.
After school I always remember being so jealous of the kids who had their Mom home after school… I wanted it so bad. So it’s something that I have committed to providing for my family.
This is nothing against the working mom, or the moms climbing the corporate ladder, or who aren’t with their kids… this is just what I experienced in my life.
So this year…after school snacks are going to be a number one priority!
The kids grow up SOOOO fast. I know this because I can see it. My two oldest stepkids are full on teenagers and before I know it, they will be off at school. It’s true what they say… the days are long but the years are short.
Right now my focus for 2019 is about putting systems in place so that I can get that balance back. It’s all about being more organized, more productive, more proactive and more present! Work needs to be done when the bus rolls in after school!
Which leads me to how I am going to start 2019!
I’m going to spend the first two week so 2019… getting my shit together if you will.
I’m doing a social media detox for the first week of January… no Instagram, no Facebook, only checking email periodically. I want to focus on getting organized, spend time with my family and plan what 2019 is going to look like!
I’m also taking two weeks OFF … which means I’m taking two weeks away from the podcast and the blog and the online community. Guys I haven’t actually taken actual time away from the blog in a long long time, so it feels a little weird.
The goal here is to start 2019 on the right foot.
I am going to…
hang out with my family
cuddle my kid
go to coffee shops…
and come back in two weeks ready to kick 2019’s ass!!
I’ll talk to you guys then… Happy New Year