Ahh, a new year. There’s just something extra special to me about fresh starts, especially when the Minnesota snow is blanketing the ground, the sun sets at like 4PM and time feels like it just kinda slows down. I also just realllllly love the whole goal-setting vibe of the beginning of a new year, you know? It’s a blank page to start dreaming on again — and while I believe you can set goals on any given Wednesday and you need no new year to steer your ship in a new direction, I’ll take any chance at a fresh start I’m given.
Plus, let’s be honest: this last year was a really tough one for a lot of people, myself included. I’m not always a huge proponent of the whole ~can’t start anything new until January 1~ idea… and I’m always here for goals and dreams and intentions to be set and followed no matter what day it is. But this year, I’m breathing in all of the opportunities a new year holds, especially this one. It just feels right.
As we head into a new year, I’m shifting a lot of my focus towards carving out space for my spirit and my health. One thing 2020 taught me was how beautiful it can be to be forced to slow down… and I want to keep intentionally slowing down, trusting the process, and letting things bloom as they will. If you’re feeling it too, you’re in the right spot, my friend.
How I’m Carving Out Space for My Wellbeing in the New Year
This year, I’m ready to step away from the grand overtures behind massive New Year resolutions, no matter how good the heart behind them might be. I’m trying to lean more into the tiny moments, the micro changes, and the smaller steps that tend to help me make the biggest moves. My word of the year was “present” for 2020 and boy was I reminded of that need to slow down and be all in, in whatever moment I found myself in.
In this new year, I’ve found myself just pausing to think about what it will hold. There’s a lot that’s going to happen this year, and a lot that I hope happens this year. Coco’s going to turn 3 this year (ahh, that hurt to write… where did my baby go?!), Drew and I are going to celebrate 10 years married (!!!), and we’re thinking about trying to add to our family once again. On top of all of those big personal milestones, I have business goals and personal ones, too.
It’s a lot to celebrate and a lot to look forward to, but I also want to make sure that I’m remembering to keep focusing on my own wellbeing, too. I want you to do the same. The thing is, you simply can’t keep pouring from a cup that’s already empty. You just can’t.
Are you ready to try it together? Here are some of the ways I’m making space in 2021.
01. Setting Monthly Goals
I’ve definitely been that girl in the past who’s decided to start flossing, run for 30 minutes every morning (LOL), read a new book each week, and wear sunscreen every single day… all at once. And, in a surprise to nobody, I give up on it all reaaaaal quick when I hit a bump in the road or miss a day. This year, I’m setting tiny goals every month to take care of myself a little better and with some more intention.
I think that the little changes are the ones that tend to make the biggest impact on me anyway, and there’s some legitimate substantiated background behind that mindset, too. I’m obsessed with Atomic Habits by James Clear, and he explains the idea behind habit momentum—the thought that little habits build up to become bigger ones. When you add in those tiny changes and mini-habits, they’re a lot more effective… and a lot more likely to stick.
Looking for some ideas when it comes to small, tiny habits? Here are some of the additions I’m introducing to my monthly routines to help my soul, my heart, and my body this year:
- *Actually* floss my teeth… every day.
- Close my Activity rings (that Apple Watch of mine makes me weirdly competitive, okay!?)
- Eat more intentionally, slowly, and mindfully.
- Take my dang vitamins and supplements daily.
- Lower my screen time and up my human time.
- Log off on the weekends to be fully present and take a break.
02. Focusing on My “Why”
Last year, I saw a naturopath who helped me put a lot of things in perspective when it came to my health and my priorities. The biggest one? Realizing that my biggest focus needs to be on staying strong and clear mentally. As Drew and I start dreaming about expanding our family and as Coco starts turning into her own little person, I’m constantly reminding myself of the life I want to live and the babies I want to raise and the joy I want to cultivate.
And, it all goes back to focusing on one thing: my “why”.
To get really deep on ya, it all goes back to focusing on my reason for being here on this earth, in this spot, right now. I want to build a family, I want to be an engaged mom, I want to keep falling deeper in love with my husband and my life, and I want to be proud of all that I’ve built. With all of those responsibilities comes this invitation to nourish myself and ensure that I am mentally, physically, and spiritually filled.
If I’m not working towards that freedom and happiness at every step, what am I even doing? If you don’t feel like you have a grasp on your “why” just yet, that’s okay! This podcast episode with my business coach might be the perfect place for you to start. I wasn’t quite sure of mine for a long time, either—and it’s shifted and transformed over the years. I encourage you to do the work to find that “why”, and then focus in on it. It’s really all that matters.
03. Moving My Body Every Chance I Get
Man, I wish that the Jenna of today could have a chat with the twenty-something Jenna. That Jenna, the post-collegiate athlete one, used to think that moving her body was punishment for eating something “bad,” or that it was the only way she could get a so-called bikini body. She used to dread exercise, because she never found any sort of happiness in it. That Jenna saw exercise as forced movement in gym class, a way to burn off a bag of chips, or a way to tone up her tummy.
Now? I find so much joy in movement. I see movement as a time to myself, as a way to honor my health, and as… fun. It’s a celebration and an act of gratitude that I am able to move and lift and pedal and jump.
(If you had told me that I would be seriously writing that sentence 10 years ago, I would have laughed in your face.)
As we go into a new year, I plan on carving out as much time as I can to move my body. Whether it’s getting outside with Coco and Drew for a long bike ride or taking morning walks or doing a yoga class. I find myself craving movement, sunshine, and open air. I’m also OBSESSED with that Peloton bike of mine… and there’s nothing better than a sweaty 30-minute class with Ally Love coming out of my speakers.
If you haven’t found movement that you truly love, make that your priority, my friend. While the health benefits are obvious, the mental ones are even better. Plus, there’s something really rewarding about realizing that you find joy in moving your body again. I’ve converted over this past year (and beyond) in seeing how movement makes me feel and how my body loves to be celebrated in that way! Plus, it helps me achieve that goal of closing the silly rings on my watch each day!
So, who’s in? Are you ready to carve out space for yourself this year? I’ll promise you this: you deserve it.