Every January 1, most of us make resolutions. We vow to eat healthier, workout more, be more cognizant of our budgets, on and on. A lot of times, we bite off more than we can chew. We try to go all in. We hit the gym hard, buy all the health food, set a budget, whatever we have committed to. We hang tough for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but we burn out because going from not visiting the gym and eating burgers for lunch every day to showing up to the gym five days a week and eating salads virtually overnight is a lot.
Instead of making one massive change right away, ease into it. Take little steps towards your goal. Go to the gym twice a week for the first week or two, then up it to three, then four, etc. Focus on eating a healthy breakfast every day for a week, then move on to changing up your lunch choices, too.
I’m sharing more about my personal goals for 2018 on Wednesday, but one of them is to be more intentional. 2017 taught me a lot about living purposefully, being present, and focusing my energy on what brings me joy. In light of those revelations, I put together a January Intentional Living calendar of daily tasks to help me focus on intentional, purposeful, simplified living, and I’m sharing it with you. You can download the calendar here, and read more about each day below.
January 1 – Clean out your pantry
Go through your pantry, and, while you’re at it, the fridge, too. Purge anything that is out-of-date, or that has been opened, but not eaten or used in a timely fashion. If one of your resolutions is to eat healthier, get rid of any foods that don’t aid in meeting your nutritional goals. Donate what you can to a local food pantry, or to a neighbor in need, so it doesn’t go to waste.
January 2 – Set your intentions
Set three intentions for yourself. They can be anything you want them to be, just make them positive. One of my favorites? “I intend to have a great day.”
January 3 – Start a new book
Whether you’re a voracious reader or a casual skimmer of magazines, start a new book today. You might finish it by the end of the week, or you might finish it by the end of the year – just start.
January 4 – Sit quietly for 30 minutes
Find 30 minutes in your day to sit quietly. Turn off the TV, silence the phone, hide away from the kids. Meditate, if that is something you’re comfortable with. There is a lot to be said for taking a half hour out of a day to simply be.
January 5 – Treat yourself
On the first Friday of 2018, treat yourself. Buy a latte. Have a cookie. Get a pedicure. You made it through the first work/school week of the year. Treat yo’ self.
January 6, 13, 20, 27 – Meal planning
I know, it’s Saturday. But, it’s also a great day to do some meal planning. Decide on your meals for the week ahead, make a grocery list, and decide if and when you’re going to meal prep. This will save so much time in the week ahead. Do this every Saturday for the month of January.
January 7, 14, 21, 28 – Reflect
What worked this week? What didn’t? What needs to change for the week ahead? What can you do to prepare for the week ahead? Journal for a few minutes, and maybe revisit those intentions from earlier in the week. Do this every Sunday this month.
January 8 – Try a new class
Mondays are a great time to try something new! Sign up for a new fitness class, or go to that cooking class you have always wanted to try. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and see what happens!
January 9 – Have coffee or wine with a friend
We’re all so busy that our friendships can take a backseat. We text or leave Facebook comments, but we don’t have intentional time with them. Invite a friend to coffee or wine and be present while catching up on one another’s lives. No screens!
January 10 – Stretch for 30 minutes
A good stretch session will do wonders for your body. Spend 30 minutes stretching the entire body. The S’Work It app is great for guiding you through a series of stretches. You can also use YouTube or pop in a Yoga DVD.
January 11 – Send a handwritten note
I love getting notes in the mail, and I’m thankful I have a group of friends that send them. Write a note to a friend or family member and drop it into the mail today. The person on the receiving end will love it!
January 12 – Go through your closet
The first of the year is a great time to go through your closet and clear out the pieces you haven’t worn in a while. or that no longer fit. Post unwanted pieces on an app like Poshmark, hold a clothing swap with your girlfriends, or donate them to Goodwill.
January 15 – Try a new recipe
If you’re like me, you find yourself pulling from the same few recipes week in and week out. Go to your Pinterest board, pick a recipe you pinned forever ago, and give it a go. Maybe it will end up in the regular rotation!
January 16 – Clean up social media
When you open Instagram, do you see posts that bring you joy? Or posts that bring you down? Go through the list of people/brands/pages you follow/friend/like and unfollow anyone or anything that doesn’t serve you. Don’t worry about hurting feelings. You will feel so much better when you next go to the ‘gram.
January 17 – Go out to lunch
Got a favorite lunch spot? Visit it today. Or, try a new spot. Lunch away from the office – whatever your office looks like – will help you take on the afternoon with a refreshed mindset.
January 18 – Volunteer locally
Nothing refreshes the soul more, in my opinion, than giving back. Pick an organization that supports a cause you care about and volunteer your time, whether it’s an hour or a full day.
January 19 – See a movie alone
One of my favorite things to do is go to the movies – alone. It’s even better when I can sneak off in the middle of the week. If there is a movie you are dying to see, take yourself to the theater. Alternatively, pop some popcorn, pour a glass of wine, turn off the lights, and settle down on your couch with your favorite movie on Netflix.
January 22 – Clean out your makeup
I opened my makeup drawer one day and realized it was crammed full of makeup I don’t use. I tossed anything I hadn’t used in three months, anything that was mostly empty, and anything that looked like it was past its prime.
January 23 – Call someone
I’m guilty of texting my family and friends almost exclusively, but nothing beats an actual conversation. The next best thing to having face-to-face time? Phone calls. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while today.
January 24 – Get a manicure
Go get a manicure today. Get a pedicure, too, because why not?
January 25 – Pay it forward
Do a small act of kindness today. Buy the person behind you coffee. Leave an inspirational note on a stranger’s car. Add change to parking meters. Do something small that will make someone else’s day.
January 26 – Attend a yoga class
Whether you are a yoga regular or a first-timer, grab your yoga mat and head to your favorite yoga studio for a 45 minute or hour long flow.
January 29 – Try a new restaurant
Like recipes, we tend to fall into a habit of going to the same restaurants. Pick a new restaurant in your town and head there for a meal today.
January 30 – Have a dance party
One of my favorite ways to let go of stress? Have a dance party! Tell Alexa to play your favorite Taylor Swift jam and dance it out in your kitchen. Need inspiration? YouTube Grey’s Anatomy dance it out moments.
January 31- Treat yourself
Another treat yourself day in January? You betcha. You made it through the first year of 2018. Have another latte. Buy a new pair of shoes. Get another manicure. Do something for yourself today to celebrate the first 31 days of a brand new year.
What are your goals for 2018?
Do you like the calendar? I’m considering making one for each month!
Download your January Intentional Living Calendar.