2020 sucked and I’m so glad to kick it to the curb. It was a dumpster fire of a year. And the worst thing about it, the absolute worst, is that I fell into some coping mechanisms that need to stop right the hell now. I stopped doing a lot of good things that I need to be doing again.
In general, my life is a bit of a mess. I needed a life audit in the worst way. So, in early December I wrote a list of things that needed an update in my life. These were things in my personal care routine, my writing life, my family life and my spiritual life.
Since I’ve made that list, I’ve done one thing every day to make my life better. To make things run smoother. And I’ve been pretty happy with the results. So I thought it would be a great thing to share with all of you. Because I bet (no judging) that you’ve fallen out of some good habits and into some bad ones too. Let’s get better together.
I’ve separated each prompt into categories, starting with self-improvement, then home care, money, and ending with business. Each Friday I’ll give you the prompts for the next seven days. I’ll also tell you a little bit about it went for me.
I’m including a whole week in one post for two reasons. One is that I’m working on two major projects right now and I just don’t have time to post every day. But I also understand that everyone has different levels of work on any given day. Some people will have time on a Tuesday afternoon to clear out all their craft supplies. For others that will need to be a Saturday activity. I don’t suggest trying to do more than one activity a day, whatever you do. This is a thoughtful process, you need to give yourself time and space.
That being said, let’s go into week one.
Day one-Your nightly routine
What you do right before bed has more impact on your life than you can imagine. I will die on this hill! It sets you up for a good night’s sleep and a smoother morning.
Start with writing down what you do before bed now. Do so without judgment. We aren’t doing this to beat ourselves up. We are doing this to make small changes to make our lives better.
Next, write down all the things you’d like to do before bed. You want to be realistic here. I think we’d all like to end each day with a rose-scented bath, full-body lotion, a cup of lavender tea and thirty minutes of journaling. But that’s not happening every night. We just don’t have the hours in the day for it.
So think about instead what’s going to help you the most. What would you like to wake up to?
When I did this, I came up with the following list.
1. Set out clothes for tomorrow.
2. Make my to-do list for tomorrow.
3. Put on face cream and under-eye cream after shower.
4. Take my medication.
Boom, that’s it. I’ll have clothes in the morning, I’ve put everything out of my mind and onto the page, and I’ve delayed the ravages of time on my face. I can now sleep easy. Your list may look different than mine, and that’s perfect. It’s a personal thing.
Day two- Your morning routine
Now that your evening routine is in place, it’s time to build on that. What do you want to do in the morning?
Do you want to make time to move your body or read a devotional book? Maybe your day would be so much better if you could just watch the birds out your kitchen window while you drink coffee in peace.
Whatever goes onto your list, you want to make sure it follows two rules. It should improve your day and be something you have time for.
Here’s my list.
1. Wake, feed pets, make coffee
2. Do ten minutes of yoga
3. Dress, brush my hair and teeth, do my makeup.
4. Meditate and pull an oracle card.
5. Check in with my planners.
6. Track my spending from the day before.
Day three- Your afternoon routine
This is what I call my after-work routine, but it could also be an after school routine or a before dinner routine. It’s a list of things that are meant to keep my house orderly. The goal of this list is that it should take no more than 30 minutes.
Think about the biggest problem areas in your home. The things that bother your the most if they build up. The things that smell. That’s my biggest issue. I can handle clutter, but I can’t stand it when things smell.
Here’s my list.
1. Scoop the cat box.
2. Do the dishes.
3. Do the FlyLady task of the day.
4. Water the plants.
5. 10-minute pickup.
And boom, we’re done. Just like that, the house is in good enough shape for me to make dinner and relax for the evening.
Day four- Daily task list
Think of this as sort of a chore chart. Certain things need to be done, but they don’t need to be done every day. Things like running the vacuum, taking the garbage out to the curb on trash night. Because I’m a blogger, I also have tasks like writing my weekly blog posts.
Start by writing down everything that needs to be done in a week. Then, decide what day it’s best to do it on. Try to not have more than one task on a day, or it’s going to get overwhelming. So maybe you clean out your car on Sunday afternoon, vacuum your house on Saturday and clear out your fridge on Wednesday. You get the point.
Day five- Plan spiritual activities
No matter your faith there are certain activities that you probably like to practice to observe. Maybe you attend service or perform good works. I like to give donations, help people, read devotional materials. All of these things are more likely to happen if I, you know, schedule them. I’d say they’re probably not going to happen if I don’t schedule them.
If you aren’t someone who considers themselves spiritual, then certainly you have things you wish you did more of. Gardening, reading, things like that. There is something that feeds your soul. Find it, and find time to make it happen.
Day six- Plan what you want to learn
This is where things get fun. What do you want to learn this year? Is there a class you can take for a better job? Do you want to learn a new language, or take an art class? Seriously, there’s no better time to get some education in. I’m taking an ASL class, and I subscribed to Skillshare. I’ve been working through all the writing courses available. But I think I’ll also be taking some hand lettering classes. I love some hand lettering. My bullet journal is going to be freaking awesome this year.
So what do you want to learn? Remember, we’re not in school anymore. There are no required classes here. You can learn whatever you want. How cool is that?
Day seven-Audit your notebooks and apps
This one isn’t as fun, but man did I need to do it. I had a ton of planners and notebooks, not to mention a bunch of apps I used to organize my life. The problem is, I’ve got way too many. Some of them I only used for one thing. I mean, there was one app I used only for a list of twitter ideas. I used another app to remind me when to water my plants. Which is, you know, great if I remember to open it. But if I was the sort of person who remembered to open an app to see what plants needed to be watered, I’d probably be the sort of person who didn’t need an app for that in the first place.
Most of my app info got moved to bullet journal spreads. I still have a budget book and a yearly planner. Everything else got downgraded.
That’s it for the first week. Stay tuned next week for week two of our life audit. And if you share any pictures on Twitter, be sure to tag me so I can see them.