In This Post: The holiday season can be an especially draining time of year. We tend to put ourselves through a lot, both physically and mentally. In turn, starting off the new year can be difficult. Here you’ll find four tips for getting back on track (and a casual winter outfit featuring purple jeans). The cool thing is these can be applied to any time of year, so keep them handy!
**This post may contain affiliate (which means I make a small commission when you shop from them) and sponsored links (gifted items are indicated with a [c/o] and sponsored links with a [sp]) because we all have to pay our bills, and I’d rather keep creating awesome content for you than get a real job. All opinions are my own.**
The past few weeks have been dedicated to not just getting back into the swing of things, but finding a better swing to be in to. After a busy holiday season, Shaun and I have been working on redistributing our tasks and responsibilities in an effort to best utilize our individual strengths. A few weeks ago, we headed to Coffee Tree, a family owned coffee shop with a few locations around Pittsburgh, to have our weekly check in (and the best caramel latte of my life) and shoot my first outfit of 2018.
While getting back into the swing of things is currently something on my own plate, I thought I’d share a few tips for helping you do the same:
1.) Cushion your schedule
You wouldn’t go to sleep without a pillow, so why do your dream chasing without a bit of cushion? What I mean by this is, schedule blocks of time in your day where you don’t have anything specific to do. I’ll do 15, 30, or 60 minute cushions depending on how flexible my day is. When I get to these spots in my day, I either use them to catch up on a task that’s taking me longer than I thought, or to take care of myself (sometimes I’ll even literally use them for a quick nap!). It’s great because there’s room for self-care in my day when I need it, or I can use it to be more productive, depending on how I’m feeling. And this has saved me from suffering from that “I’m SO behind” feeling for the rest of the day when one task or meeting throws me off schedule.
2.) Accept you’ll fall off track
Previously, I’ve headed into a new year or new project with completely unrealistic expectations like “I’m going to work out every single day” or “from now on I will answer every email within 24 hours”. When there’s something I want to change, I tend to have a very “starting tomorrow I won’t do this again” mindset, and that just doesn’t work. So now, instead of focusing on not falling of track (which just makes me feel guilty, incompetent, and self-criticizing when I do), I’m working on my recovery time. I’m focusing on shortening the time between falling down and getting back up. For example, last week I totally neglected creating any kind of schedule for myself in my planner (which helps me A TON with my productivity), and it would have been way too easy to just avoid planning out next week’s schedule – because having to plan out next week just reminds me I “failed” last week. But instead of holding it against myself, I’m allowing the new week to be a clean slate. I’m giving myself permission to do better without all the judgement and criticism attached to it.
3.) Buddy up
Every week, Shaun and I sit down for a weekly business meeting with each other where we check in with what’s working, identify what isn’t going so well, and set goals accordingly. We do this frequently with our life and relationship, too! It’s really helpful for holding each other accountable and staying on track. Now, I know everyone might not have an (literally) in house business partner, but that’s okay! Find a friend that could also use some accountability and buddy up – it’s helpful to decide upfront if you’re going to check in with each other daily, weekly, or monthly. Another one of my favorite things to do is have brainstorming coffee dates. If you’re like me, my friends and I always talk about getting coffee, and then we never actually get it on the calendar because life is crazy. However, if you agree to help each other problem solve or brainstorm on something you’re each trying to figure out, you’re being both productive and social! I know from experience that cutting out human interaction seems like it might give you more time and help you stay on track, but that’s never the case. You need supportive people in your life that will help fuel your creative fire!
4.) Set your day up for success
This one comes from a fellow Gem, Christiane Knight, over at Three Ravens Studio, when she shared with me she gets back into the swing of things by taking some time to set herself up for success. I absolutely agree with her because what you do with your morning is a strong contributing factor in how well the rest of your day will go! Getting into a morning routine can help your mind and body get on board with your day from the start and helps to kick procrastination to the curb. Christiane shared, “I take some time to set myself up for success – a good breakfast, fifteen minutes of yoga, then getting dressed in clothes that make me feel put together and ready to tackle things. If I need more motivation, I have a playlist of music that gets me fired up, too.”
There’s nothing I love more about an outfit than when it color coordinates with my life and is on brand with the jewel toned palette I love! I was so excited when I found these pants at New York & Company while I was doing some last minute shopping the week before Christmas. They have a similar look to a pair of jeans, but the stretch, sateen fabric is way more comfortable! A wine or burgundy pair of pants like these adds a special richness when paired with neutrals or looks lovely next to blush tones of pink (both of which I’ve integrated here with this wrap blouse and this sweater). And, the pink floral bracelet I’m wearing from 7 Charming Sisters adds just the right amount of sparkle!
What do you do to get back into the swing of things? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!