Inspired by Danielle Laporte's list of 17 things she did in 2017 to make the most of the year and Nate Green's retrospective exercise from last year, I wanted to share these 5 simple practices I tried on that actually stuck this past year and made my 2017 so great.
I read in the morning. This habit has come and gone a few times in my life, and looks a little different now that I have an infant at home, but I try to take at least 10 minutes to read in the morning. Typically the books I am reading are in the personal development category, so they tend to be really inspiring and set a great tone for my day.
I joined a book club. This certainly helped with the last action! Novel Grapes is an online book club lead by my peer and mentor Jacki Carr (she's amaze-balls btw). The accountability of being part of this group had me carving out time to read more and stay on track to finish a book every month. Doesn't hurt that the books she chooses are also amazing. Join us in 2018!
I drank a ton of water. I don't need to list the benefits of this, but especially throughout my pregnancy, I corrected a few nagging issues by simply drinking more water every day. I filled up a water bottle to take in my car and tried to drink the entire thing each time I went anywhere. As a bonus trick, at my office job, I only ever used a small glass for my water so that I actually got up from my desk to fill it up. Gotta get those steps in!
I took 10 deep breaths outside every day. Lucky for me, I have a very active dog that needs to be walked at the park every day, which means I get outside at least once a day. While at the park with my dog (or if I forgot, sometimes on the walk from my car to my office doors), I adopted a practice of taking 10 deep breaths in a row of the fresh air. I found it immediately put me in the present moment, and had me feeling full of gratitude for a healthy body and for the beautiful places we get to enjoy. If I happen to be feeling a little anxious, it also gave me a sense that everything was going to be ok. So simple.
I did less. Wait, what? It's in my nature to want to feel productive and be creating and doing things most of the time. Be in action, always. If you ask me what my biggest fear is, it's unfulfilled potential. In identifying this fear - and adding in pregnancy - I took time to slow the eff down and listen for what was needed more and more. What did this look like in real life: less work, less workouts, less social commitments. In doing less, it created more space for flexibility and a lot of self-compassion, and self care. I did more sleeping, more reading, more meditating this year than any other year in my life.
What are some practices or habits you implemented in 2017 that worked for you? I encourage you to take the time to reflect on them, keep what serves you and send the rest packing.