One month into the new year! So how are your habits for 2020 going?! January is not the only time to set new goals and intentions. So I thought I’d share how I plan my year and implement habits every month. It is never too late to start!
Make Motto Months
I have adopted this method a few years ago. Instead of implementing 50 new resolutions and habits at once (which doesn’t work), I take a different approach to achieving my goals.
I sprinkle them throughout the year and set monthly goals or habits I want to implement. I do that by setting ‘focus’-months. This way, I plan my year out and create a motto or overall topic for the given month that brings me closer to achieving my goals for the year.
I like to improve my life in one-month chunks, as it helps me stay focused on fewer things every day but stay relevant to my yearly goals. It is a sort of 30-day challenge which usually transforms into habits I stick with. If it doesn’t, I can reflect and ask myself why or how I can improve on it, if it is important to me or maybe I wasn’t prioritizing it and why.
Remember: setting goals is not about achieving them; it is who we become in the process that matters!
Consequently, every month, I decide what I need to do to become that version of myself. This months motto is self-care which I named ‘Fabulous February’ or ‘Fab-ruary’.
Since this is the month of love, I want to take care of myself better.
In the past few weeks, I have noticed my body giving me signals that I’m out of balance: sleeping issues, increased PMS symptoms, stronger physical reaction to stress, anxiety, exhaustion and circulation problems.
I admit I have ‘neglected’ taking care of myself a bit recently. I notice that I am a bit more nervous lately, so I want to make my physical and especially mental health a priority, so I can be fully productive during the day.
In February, I am getting back to habits that I have worked well for me in the past as well as adding a few new routines to keep things interesting. I treat it like a trial month to see what sticks and works well (or not) with my schedule and overall goals.
What Self-Care Means to Me
To me, self-care is not just personal care and taking more bubble baths. My self-care routine circles around the idea to find systems and schedules that allow me to show up as my best self every day.
Self-care is taking care of the inside just as much as of the outside.
If you’re like me, you might be a candidate of sometimes being harsh on yourself and beating yourself up over non-achievement. I freak out when I am not as productive as I know I could be. But I also have learned to acknowledge where my limits are and if what I am doing is serving me long-term.
So this month’s challenge is to make self-love and self-care a priority which includes managing my emotions and stress better. I practice physical and emotional self-care by taking time to reflect, plan ahead, but also updating my skincare and workout routine. I am kinda decluttering on the inside and outside and practice something I call ‘energy management’ as this is something I intend to improve this year.
So here’s the overview of how I am taking better care of myself this month:
Drinking More Water & Tea
That one is simple to implement. While this is a no brainer, still, how often do I forget my water bottle and drink more coffee than water during the day… Although I have made it a quite solid habit to hydrate better in January, there is still room for improvement tbh.
One thing that works very well for me is making it a rule to drink water or tea first before having my daily dose of coffee, which has worked quite well last month.
So this month, I am adding some extra hydration oomph to my routine by making myself a pot of hot lemon water in the morning which I keep on my desk throughout my work day, as I don’t like cold drinks during cold months.
I love to travel but I notice my skin is acting a bit confused with the different climates and routines lately. With more ‘ground time’ coming up, I plan to give my skincare a bit of an update and indulge in a more elaborate skincare routine whenever I can. That includes both new products as well adding new routines.
After my last Hydrafacial, it appeared that my skin barrier is slightly compromised. I have thus reduced my dose of acids and peelings and focused on hydration to help my skin get back into balance.
However, I am a firm believer in acids in my daily skincare routine, so I am rearranging the products I use to be gentle to my skin without compromising on the results.
Due to my recent travels including high sun exposure during the day (even with UV protection), I have cut out Retinol from my routine. Retinol is known to make the skin more sensitive to UV, so I skipped it altogether. Now I want to get back into the retinol game as I know I won’t be in the direct sunlight too much.
So this month, I am revamping my skincare routine by adding retinol to my nighttime routine to reduce fine lines and breakouts as well as overall skin texture.
I have been using a Retinoid from The Ordinary and have had good results with zero to minimal reaction. You can check out my full post on The Ordinary skincare here.
I plan to also get back into dermarolling and face massages to improve healthy circulation and getting my glow back with the added benefit of relaxing my face muscles. I am terrible squinter and tend to build up a lot of tension in certain areas, especially with a lot of screen time. Check out Lisa Eldridge’s tutorial, she is brilliant. Soooo relaxing!
Having an uncluttered space around me always reflects positively on my mind and psyche. It makes me calm and increases my focus and productivity. The process of cleaning and decluttering is very therapeutic for me and it always feels like a mental and physical detox.
I have been decluttering a lot in the past few months but haven’t managed to get rid of a few things yet, so there’s plenty sitting in boxes waiting to move out. As I always find throwing stuff away a waste, I am scheduling time to take good photos of the things I want to sell. Next to that, I’ll be reorganising my bathroom storage along with my skincare routine.
Well, I guess 99% of humans made this resolution on Jan, 1st. Still, I do have a slightly different approach to working out nowadays. Instead of focusing on the perfect bikini body, I make a healthy body balance a priority.
I have been at yoga retreat last year where I have learnt how to move my body for more health and happiness. It has changed my approach to working out as something that has to be hard and straining to be effective to something that brings joy and serves the body.
A major takeaway from the retreat was to see body exercise as finding what feels good and honoring the body we have been given. So instead of seeing exercise as a chore, I just enjoy it and go with the flow. Once I start moving, my body is usually asking for more, so a 5 min stretch can end in a full 60 minute workout. The bikini body comes as a result of that – check!
The plan is to include yoga, dancing and rebounder workouts more regularly into my day. I also plan to spend more time outside and go for a walk/run with the increasing temperatures.
On that note: I have bought a bellicon rebounder a few years ago and I still love it. This rebounder uses elastic bands instead of metal springs which is very gentle to the joints while training and toning all muscles.
Effects (next to awesome and fun cardio):
- improves lymph drainage
- releasing endorphins which improves general mood and well-being
- cell massage
- improves blood circulation in entire body
- zero impact on joints (no use of springs, thus no ‘jolt’ at the bottom of the bounce)
- completely noiseless
This particular rebounder is German manufactured, fully customizable and absolutely noiseless. No squeaking. Highly recommend!
You can find out more about how bellicon works and all features and benefits here or check out this video.
All in all, in regards to exercise, I am focusing on anything that makes me feel good and increase my energy levels.
Take Thinking Time
Last but not least, I have scheduled regular time for myself and my thoughts and it has been ah-mazing!
I schedule more time to reflect, journal, visualize and do more focused planning. Now I want to make it a daily, more extensive ritual.
I have had such good results, I will definitely make a full post about it to explain exactly how it works and how you can implement it. So definitely stay tuned!
What are habits you are implementing this month? Any self-care rituals you have?