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So Fresh, So Clean in 2017

Krista Brackin Photography

Is it too late to say ‘Happy New Year!’??  Did I miss the window?    While so many people kickstarted their year with such gusto, including resolutions, ‘words of the year,’ and refreshed life purposes, I decided to take a different approach.  Rather than jump in full force and potentially have things fade, I have really eased my way into this fresh new year.  I also wanted to not spend my December thinking about new years resolutions or anything like that – I really wanted to be present, and enjoy the holiday season…which ended up being a really good choice, as I had one of the best holiday seasons ever.  I went to Longwood Gardens at least every week, saw a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert, traveled a bit, and went to a bunch of holiday parties.  Last, but certainly not least….the holiday season is EXHAUSTING, and I just really needed some downtime, without moving onto the ‘next thing’ right away.

Spending the better part of these first few weeks of January being lazy {so to speak} has allowed me time spent in good contemplation about what I really want out of the year:  what I want to do, what I want in my life {and what I don’t want in my life} and, while I’m staying away from the term ‘resolutions’ {does that actually work for anyone?}, I’ve come up with a few ‘focuses’ or ‘intentions,’ so to speak,’ to get me started.  They’re not set in stone, and they might evolve as the months go on, but I’m thinking about it as a sort of ‘jumping off’ point for what I hope is a pretty awesome year {and as 17 is my FAVORITE number…how can it not be awesome!?!?}

So, this is what’s in my head and my heart right now:

HEALTHY CHOICES when it comes to food, exercise, sleep, etc…and things I can maintain.  I know…this is at the top of pretty much everyone’s list…  But I’m not too shy to admit that staying fit is really a struggle for me.  While I genuinely like eating healthy foods and I enjoy exercise once I get things going, I tend to prioritize everything else over getting to the gym, and I’m a serious ‘grazer’ who fits in more than my fair share of things I really shouldn’t be eating.  I’m a fairly athletic person {thanks largely to football/track coach of a father and 3 seasons of high school sports for four years}, but I’m also an ’emotional eater’ and a bad/long/stressful day can send me right for my down comforter and the sugar {gummy candies are my weakness} or a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos {don’t judge…}.  A few years of way too many long and stressful days has left me a few steps back in the weight and fitness area, and now that things have calmed down and I’m in a much better ‘place,’ I’d really like to make some significant, healthy strides in the next few months to get back to where I really would like to be.

PRODUCTIVITY during ‘work times’ {and actual ‘work times’}.  I can literally be the absolute QUEEN of procrastination and distraction.  If the right thing {or wrong thing, rather…} catches my attention, it can take me an hour to do what should take ten minutes.  If it even gets done at all.  It’s super frustrating and, even though I have been known to put together some killer, not really realistic, to-do lists for myself {also working on this!}, on many days, I should be checking off more than I actually am.  I think a lot of that has to do with not really having distinct ‘work times’ {since I’m working out of a home office pretty often} delineating that ‘you have this amount of time to do the things,’ and the tasks seem to stretch out into what’s supposed to be personal and/or ‘down time,’ and even though there are SO many things that I really, genuinely want to do, nothing gets done.   I hope to get the ball rolling on some good habits in these early weeks of the new year.  I think a good productivity pace is a lot like running, in that the more you do it, and the more you push yourself, the better you get – each and every day.

CLEARING THE CLUTTER.  Like most people, I just have way too much stuff.  Some days it feels like I’m drowning in it all {namely so many things I don’t really use and definitely don’t need}, and that gets old.  With ‘stuff’ everywhere, it’s hard to keep things organized, and you can’t really appreciate the special things that you do have.  This year I’d really love to streamline my wardrobe.  Get rid of what I don’t wear, get a few good-quality pieces that I love, and figure out what really makes me feel most comfortable and most like my best self.  So far in January, and I hope to keep this up in February, and even March, and then work on adding a few key items  – that I love and will wear often – for the spring.  I’ve put a stop to all clothing purchases and I’m going through everything {a little every day} and donating things I don’t love or haven’t worn.  What I’m hoping is that this little project will coincide with some good progress with regards to the ‘healthy choices’ line item above, and when I get some new things, they’ll be for a body I feel great about.  {Fingers crossed…}

MY GOALS FOR THIS BLOG.  This is something that’s near and dear to my heart.  This blog has been on my mind for such a long time, and to finally see it come to fruition makes me so happy. I have so.many.ideas, so the real challenge has been figuring out how to put together and present them in a way that is cohesive and makes sense.  Overall, this blog is a collection of things that make me happy, and make me feel ‘full of life,’ as the ‘Plein de Vie’ motto represents.  I love the concept of valuing the ‘everyday’ things and moments that make life wonderful, and in a world that’s a little hectic right now, and personal values are being called into question, this is something that I’d love to put ‘out there.’  Right now, the repertoire is heavy on pizza, books, coffee, food, and green beauty products, but I haven’t had any complaints yet {wink}.

FILLING MY DAY WITH INSPIRATION {and not ‘time sucks’}.  I often complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day, but if I’m totally honest, I’m not really using all my time that wisely.  I’ve seen many hours fly by with pointless social media, mediocre TV shows that I’ve seen before and don’t really like, and more time making lists and ‘organizing’ tasks than actually doing them.  I really want to fill my days with things that build me up, with a few guilty pleasures from time to time if I REALLY enjoy them {ahem…Teen Mom 2…}.  Since I’ve made a few changes, I’ve watched documentaries I’ve had in my Netflix queue for forever, I’ve read articles from the New York Times, I’ve put energy into the other aforementioned four ‘focuses,’ and it’s really been pretty awesome exploring things I’ve always wanted to but haven’t ‘had a chance’ for.   I spent time putting together the inspiration boards above my desk, which are an unending source of musing for me.  I love social media and I think it can be really fun and that it connects us in so many great ways, but it can be a bit much.  I changed my notification settings so that I have to be in the app to see who’s ‘liked’ a picture, for example, and that’s cut down on me obsessively looking at my phone all the time.  To take that even further, I’d love to get rid of the mindless scrolling, and put that time to better use.  I’d love to do a bold move like so many people I’ve heard of and totally get rid of Facebook all together {they actually call and email their friends and family and send them pictures of their children…revolutionary, I know}, but I want to be able to share blog posts, etc., so I can’t go cold turkey…but I can be much better.

I plan on revisiting these focuses here throughout the next few weeks and months and give some updates – really to keep myself accountable.  I’ll switch things up/add more focuses as it feels right, keeping the plan fluid and more of a ‘working outline’ rather than anything set in stone because I think that approach will work best for me and, well, we’re human.  And because we’re human, we’re in a constant process of evolution, with some things progressing quickly and others taking longer than we expected…which is part of the beauty of the process.   So, I’m curious, what are YOU working on this year?  What do you hope 2017 holds for you, and what are you planning to do to bring those things into your life?  I’d love to share in this with you, and be another person in your corner…leave a comment below!

12 responses to “So Fresh, So Clean in 2017”

  1. Barbara says:

    Excellent Linda. This is how we all need to be! I heard that LG had their best holiday season too! And we contributed to that record numbers of guests. Keep the blog going so we can all keep reading your inspiring words!

  2. Krista says:

    Absolutely love every bit of this! There’s a little something that each and every one of us can work on in your post 🙂

  3. Megan says:

    Well written! Love the honesty and believe that shows true strength being not only honest with yourself but sharing it really adds more character than u already have. Think a practical approach to all your intentions is awesome. Allowing less pressure on achievement of some of your intentions will pay off. I plan on following this blog as I found it honest, refreshing and motivating all at the same time;)

    • Linda says:

      Thank you SO much, Megan for your kind words, and for the support of the blog! I truly appreciate it! I’m hoping that a less-pressure approach, focusing on doing the basics well, and an overall approach of ‘less’ will bring more of the right things to this new year. I’m working on not just ‘following rules’ or meeting any kind of expectations (especially my own!) but on doing what feels right in my gut and what will help me stick to what I find most important. I look forward to sharing how this unfolds, getting feedback, and hearing about others’ progress as well. Thanks SO much again for your encouragement!

  4. Kristen C says:

    I seriously feel like this was me writing! I felt so in line with so much of what you wrote. I, too, am not a fan of “resolutions”. Because my birthday falls 22 days after the new year, I always take time to look back at the last year of my life, take the good from that year and find the areas I’d like to tweak- and ease into the next year of my life…excited and hopeful (no pun intended ;)). And side note- love that you are enjoying green beauty- you seriously MUST try Beautycounter!!! I know you’ll love it. Thanks for a beautiful post ❤

    • Linda says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Kristen!! I’m so so so happy that this resonated with you!! You’re in the perfect position with a January birthday to set some amazing intentions for the year ahead – that’s so great that you do that! With my birthday in early July, I try to look at it as good halfway check-in point, where I can evaluate what’s working and where I need to make adjustments. I can’t wait to try out Beautycounter!! I’ll definitely get an order in soon- was on the site the other day – I just have to narrow down my list 😉

  5. Cheryl says:

    Beautifully written. Thank you for the inspiring words and ideas as another year begins.

  6. Alisa Green says:

    Hi Linda. Love what you are working on. Love that its not a resolution but intention. What Im working on this year is to see everyone as their own special person. To not judge but to find something in everyone that is special. So many of us judge people because they are different, see differently, act differently or look differently. We are all Gods creations so therefore we are all special in our own way. I really think that the world would be a better place if we just embrace each other and our differences. Thank you for sharing your intentions they were very thought provoking and lead to amazing conversations. Please keep your blogs going. I love it.

    • Linda says:

      Thanks so much for the comment, Alisa!! I think that’s such a great intention you have – to see everyone for exactly who they are, and accept and appreciate them for that! I agree that the world would be a much better place if we could step outside of ourselves and our own way of thinking and appreciate those differences. This mindset is sure to bring so much good in your life in this coming year. Thank you SO much for your support of my blog!!!

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