Apparently it’s the year of perspective, we really are about the basics and the foundation here at ISN.
So for all of you who are going into the new year wanting to change everything and become a new you, I say not so fast.
Here at ISN, we’re huge fans off simplifying life as a path forward, and we’re also huge fans of working on foundational behaviors. We’re fans of carving out time for the things that matter most and saying no to the things that really don’t serve us. To say goodbye to the hustle and give ourselves more time to be present.
As ironic as it may sound, though, knowing how to simplify and move forward is generally the thing we all need more work on. It’s a set of skills that must be learned and practiced over and over again until we can really make it hard wired into our being.
So to help us all out, we’ve outlined some of the things we recommend to help you simplify your life going into a new year.
6 Tips For a Simpler and Healthier 2020
1. Meal prep & plan.
For anyone who is seeking to eat healthier, meal prep is absolutely key. The saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” really rings true here because not having at least an idea of what you will eat throughout the week can really set you up to be hitting the drive through or reaching for takeout, or the pizza in your freezer (which is fine on occasion, but not ideal for week after week). One of the biggest misconceptions about meal prepping is that it has to be super involved or take a ton of time. Not true! Some simple ways to involve meal planning and prepping include:
– Plan for it. Be intentional about setting aside even just 15 mins one day of the week to decide on a few recipes or simple meals you will make for the week.
– Keep a prepared kitchen. Make a weekly grocery list based on the meals you decide on, and set yourself up for success by having the right ingredients on hand at all times.
– Batch cook. Cook larger portions of versatile ingredients like meats, whole grains, eggs, and vegetables to have ready for the rest of the week. You don’t have to know exactly how you will use them, but just having them ready will reduce stress around meal times.
For more meal prep tips, check out this blog.
Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? Or the rule of not allowing yourself to buy a new gadget until you get rid of something else? These are behaviors of minimalism, which can really help make life less complicated, and definitely less cluttered. Take a look at your life, your home, the things you buy, and seriously ask yourself where you can cut back. Can you do a major closet cleanse? Or go through your kids toys and donate what they don’t use anymore? What items have you been holding onto that you really don’t need? Think about this, and consider starting a purge. You will feel so much lighter afterwards!
3. Get organized.
Research shows that decluttering your home, office space, or wherever you spend a lot of time can reduce anxiety, improve well-being, and improve the sense of self-efficacy and confidence. If you’ve watched or read the newly popular book and TV show “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, you may be familiar with the Marie Kondo method of organization as well. She encourages everyone to ask themselves whether or not an item “sparks joy” (aka: does it serve you well?). If it doesn’t, it’s time to get rid of it. Having an organized living or work space can help make your life seem simpler and more peaceful.
4. Embrace imperfection.
Striving for perfection is nearly always guaranteed to bring more stress and complication if your life. The saying “done is better than perfect” has a LOT of truth to it. I find with many clients- they will really lean on the all or nothing mentality- and the best kept secret is that it gets them NO WHERE. Changing this can be hard, but really rewarding. The other part of embracing imperfection – is giving up the constant comparison to others, which also tends to leave us feeling less-than and make life more complicated than it needs to be.
5. Develop a routine.
This includes all areas of your life–your home, work, sleep, eating, supplements, etc. If you’re a parent, you likely know about the importance of having a routine for your kids, and the same rings true for you. Some ideas to help develop a routine include:
– Create a bedtime and wake schedule.
– Develop set eating times (give or take, depending on what you have going on and your hunger levels)
– Organizing your medicine and supplements into pill trays that will help remind you to take them at the same time each day
– Set a certain day of the week to do your grocery shopping and other errands (some flexibility here is also important, but you should have a general idea of when you will be able to get these things done)
6. Say goodbye to diets.
There is little in life that can be as frustrating and stress-provoking than constantly jumping from one diet trend to the next, while likely experiencing weight fluctuations along the way (not good for metabolism). I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to ALL areas of your life to refuse to follow another piece of nutrition hype and instead focus on eating REAL, whole-foods in a balanced manner. Of course, if you need support in this area, this is what I am all about so please CONTACT US!
7. Set boundaries.
I saved what is perhaps the best for last. Having boundaries is SO huge in creating a simpler life for the New Year. You have control over your actions and what you commit yourself to. If you find yourself working too much, not spending enough time with your family, or not having time to exercise or do other things you love, it is important to recognize that you CAN change this. Learning to say “no”, and to only commit yourself to things that really matter to you is a huge first step in setting boundaries. Other steps would be to set defined work hours, times of the day to dedicate to self-care, and days or times of the week to devote to family and friends.
So there you have it. Seven super important and well-tested action steps to help you start this new year off on a more simpler foot. I encourage you all to think through each of these items and determine which speaks the most to you and which areas makes the most sense to begin first. And if you have questions or need support, please reach out. I am happy to help!