Goodbye January

February has arrived. Now is the time to reflect on how the previous month went for you. Were your actions in alignment with your goals? How will you modify your goals for this month?

January was a whirlwind for me. I mourned the loss of two grandmothers, was (and still am) in the process of buying our first home, and finished it off by being quite ill. With that being said, I have so much to be grateful for. I am lucky to have a supportive and loving family, the ability and finances to purchase a home, and an understanding workplace that doubles as my doctor’s office.

I took the first month of this year to focus on bettering myself. This is one thing that I plan to continue throughout the next eleven months. I have almost completed my first self-help book of 2019 and it has definitely helped to recenter my life.

My habit tracker for January consisted of blogging, reading, exercise, cleaning, meditation, hydration, sleeping 8 hours, clean eating, photography, and pampering myself. After evaluating my performance for the past month, I have adjusted my tracked habits depending on things that I either did really well and don’t feel necessary to track or did poorly in and find it not a priority at this time. This month I am going to focus on blogging, reading, doing 1 minute of planks per day (to help strengthen my back from previous injuries), hydrating, pampering myself, making our bed, doing dishes, clean eating, meditating, and not using my phone until after 8am. I am hoping that these things will become habits when I prioritize them for this month.

I am determined to make 2019 the best and most positive year yet. Sure, it’ll take some hard work, but it will be worth it.

So reflect on the past month, plan for this month, and keep on moving. You can do anything you put your mind to.

Love Always,

Elizabeth

Recenter Yourself

This year has started off as a whirlwind of emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger…anything you could think of have been packed into this first week.

We are in the process of closing on our very first home which comes with financial restrictions, stress, anxiety, excitement,… There are two things you should know about me: 1) I am not a patient person – I like things with instant gratification 2) I am a planner – I don’t like when a lot of variables are up in the air.

With that being said, My entire life has been flipped upside down for the last week or so.

I need to find my center in the chaos. I need to refocus my energy into peace and positivity.

Things are tough right now, but I need to focus on the big picture – this will all be worth it when we are living in a home that we own with my husband working as an RN and our financial situation being more comfortable. We just need to push through these next couple of years. We have been through some really tough things and we passed through it all; this will be no different.

My body has been yearning for exercise. I have been sick most of the past month, but I am feeling stronger and healthier now. I hope that running and exercising will help me to relieve some built-up stress and frustration.

Hydration is a huge focus for me right now too. It is something I have been doing quite well at and I am excited to continue treating my body to what it needs most.

It’s time for some deep breathing, meditation, and hope. Every little thing is gonna be alright.

How has your new year started? If things haven’t been as glamorous as you’d hoped, what are you going to do to change that?

You got this.

Love Always,

Elizabeth

Winter Blues

Winter is creeping up on us in New York state. Snow has been falling regularly and the temperature is steadily dropping into the single digits. With the cold creeping in, I find it harder to get myself outside and easier to eat junk foods. Here are some tips to help you get out of the cold weather funk and into a better routine.

  • Join a gym or do in-home exercises: We have a treadmill which means that even when it’s snowing and entirely too cold/icy for me to enjoy long bouts of fresh air, I can still get cardio in. I enjoy the pre-programmed incline exercises on my treadmill that mimic hiking. If you don’t have a treadmill, you can do any home exercises. Now is a great time to start an exercise program if that’s your thing or start your own routine. Jump-roping is a great exercise if you have some safe open space in your home – the exercises don’t take a lot of room, the equipment is easy to store, and it’s fun! You can also try out ab exercises such as bicycle crunches, sit-ups, and planks.
  • Take the stairs: Instead of using the elevator at work every day, walk the stairs. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s a great habit to get into. Also, try parking farther away from the store you are shopping at so you have to walk further. Just please make sure the area is well lit and you are safe first.
  • Swap out your comfort food favorites: The winter months always have me craving warm comfort foods. Instead of mashed potatoes loaded with butter, try a baked sweet potato with salsa. Try a vegan chili recipe or vegetable soup for a healthy meal. Swap out that hot chocolate for an herbal tea. Making healthy choices during the holiday season will leave you feeling less bloated and guilt-free.
  • Get out of the house: I often find myself cooped in the house when its freezing cold outside which can increase my anxiety and make any bout of seasonal depression worse. Sometimes I have to just force myself to get out of the house, no matter how much I want to stay indoors. Even if you are just going to the store to pick up a carton of almond milk, get out of the house every day.
  • Drink a lot of water: Even though you aren’t sitting in the summer heat, you still need to hydrate! Make sure to drink plenty of water. I am horrible at this. When I am home, I will go until the afternoon without drinking any water. I just completely forget to drink water when I am at home. It’s a work in progress. So don’t be like me…drink plenty of H2O.
  • Indulge yourself: It’s okay to indulge in your guilty pleasures at times. Does the holiday season get you in the mood for baking? Try out a new recipe! There are so many awesome recipes available online that are vegan, delicious, and easy! I recently pinned the recipe for the “cranberry blueberry crisp” that I made for Thanksgiving. It was super delicious and easy enough for me to figure out (which is really saying something). Check out the recipe on my “Vegan Baking” board at Love Always Elizabeth on Pinterest.
  • Do what you love: I have crocheted since I was about thirteen years old and every winter I have the urge to start creating new items. I’ve already crocheted several scarves, but I hope to do DIY projects this year too. Now is the time to get your craft on and find your creative outlet.
  • Reset for the upcoming year: With the year winding down, now is the time to evaluate how the past months have gone and to reset for the upcoming year. What goals would you like to make for next year? What would you like to change or do differently in the upcoming months? Now is the time to evaluate these things (such as time management) and spend time setting goals for the future.

 

Winter is such a beautiful time of the year. It’s full of family time, holidays, amazing food, and so many other memories to cherish. Don’t let the cold weather blues bring you down this year. Seasonal depression is real and if it’s something that you experience, it may be time to talk to your doctor about possible solutions (such as vitamin D supplements) if applicable.

Take care of your physical and mental wellness.

Love Always,

Elizabeth

 

Mid-Year Resolutions

On a previous blog post I wrote a bit about how the word “Adventure” has lead my decisions this year. I did, however, have a resolution too. My plan was to read fifty books this year. I knew this would be difficult to do with a full time job, household responsibilities, and school, but I really wanted to encourage myself to get back into reading and making literature a priority.

By the middle of the year I realized that reading fifty books by the end of December was going to be a stretch. I had read about twelve books by June. I decided that instead of feeling like a failure or ditching my resolution all-together, I would re-evaluate my goal. Because some of the books on my to-read list were lengthy (including the Harry Potter series), I decided that a goal of twenty books by the end of the year was a reasonable feat.

I am currently working on book number eighteen and although I won’t hit my initial goal of fifty books in 2018, I am confident that I will surpass my adjusted goal of twenty books.

Why am I telling you all of this? When you find yourself reaching toward an unrealistic goal, it is easy to become discouraged and to give up all together. When you feel like this, I urge you to re-evaluate your goals and see if you can adjust your resolution to fit a realistic outcome. I don’t consider my reading resolution a failure for this year just because I will come short of my initial goal. I will have read over twenty books and last year I don’t think I even took the time to read one. That is over twenty more books than last year. I consider that a successful step in the right direction.

Don’t get yourself too hung up on the little things and forget to look at the big picture. Now I know that I can very easily accomplish reading twenty books in one year’s time. Next year I will shoot for reading forty books. And, with a little planning, I may even be able to surpass that goal and reach fifty books in a calendar year.

Don’t give up. Regroup and recharge yourself toward your goals.

You can do it.

Love Always,

Elizabeth