In 2016 I committed to living life a bit simpler. The year started out with my boyfriend and I in a cross-country relationship, I was completing a full-house renovation, juggling my career, making time for friends and family, and figuring out post-fitness competition life.
It was a hectic – yet amazing- time and I knew I wanted to streamline where possible and just do less.
As a new year approaches and I reflect on the past 365 days, I wanted to share with you all the 5 ways I lived simpler in 2016:
Invest in a planner. I write everything down. From my workouts to special occasions, it all gets captured in my journal – which I take everywhere. Call me old school, but there is something so gratifying about seeing my week/month/year in front of my face rather than scrolling through a calendar on my phone. This year I used a Ban.do planner and I’m currently awaiting the arrival of my new Plum Paper Planner.
Commit to self-care. No longer do I feel guilty for doing something for myself. A glass of my favorite wine on the couch just because. Taking a lunch break during the workweek to workout. Sometimes there’s a reason and sometimes not. Sometimes I do something special for myself just because. I have found that this makes me a significantly better partner/daughter/friend/employee.
Simplify my wardrobe (in progress). I’ve blogged about my effort to simplify my wardrobe with the ultimate goal of creating a capsule wardrobe. There’s something so relaxing about effortlessly opening your closet, reaching for any articles of clothing and having them not just fit well, but look amazing. That is my ultimate goal – curating a wardrobe that fits well, looks great, and makes me feel like a million bucks. In support of that goal, I started de-cluttering everything from socks and shoes to dresses and blouses. Y’all wouldn’t believe how embarrassed I was to realize I was hanging on to articles of clothing from college (hello 2002!) – did I really think I’d wear the Juicy Couture Velour Hoodie again?? My exercise went like this:
- Pick up piece of clothing
- Does it bring me joy? Do I love it?
- If yes, keep it. If not, toss it.
I didn’t stop at clothing, either. No shoes, no purses, no wallets were exempt. Is it in good quality? When was the last time I wore it?
If you haven’t taken stock of your wardrobe lately, I strongly encourage you to! It’s amazingly freeing. And if you don’t know where to begin, I highly encourage you to read this book by Anuschka Rees and this book by Marie Kondo.
Hot yoga. Finding a hot yoga studio in my neighborhood has been such a blessing. The health benefits of practicing yoga are extensive and I can’t even tell you how much I love the balance between lifting, cardio and yoga. Trying to build delts and glutes this past year has left my body in a continuously sore state. Hot yoga helps strengthen and lengthen my muscles and each visit to my mat definitely humbles me.
Eat simply. A rice cake with almond butter. Grilled chicken and steamed veggies. A homemade kale salad with hard-boiled egg whites. One of the reasons I love cooking so much is the ease in which I can prepare meals when I keep the ingredient list concise. Sure it’s fun whipping up a special recipe for friends every once in a while, but something about cluttered counter tops and an ingredient list that won’t quit stresses me out – so I like to keep it simple.
How do you life simple? Is quality more important than quantity? I’d love to hear from you!