New Year's Resolutions // Scheduled Me Time

This week’s resolution focuses on self-improvement.

Most people have activities they say they ‘wish’ they had more opportunities to practice: writing, reading, playing an instrument, learning a language, etc. While these things seem like silly hobbies, they are detrimental to your self-development. When you go too long without brain activity, you become stagnant and obsolete.

Think you’re too busy to schedule personal time?

Take time away from electronics. I am not saying all electronics are bad. I am definitely a fan of my iPhone and I watch television to unwind. But I also know that most of the time, the tv is on to fill in background noise; the phone is used to scroll through feeds I’ve already seen; emails are rarely urgent. Piece out 30-60 minutes a day from your mindless electronic time and test out a hobby.

Stop making commitments. There are some things you’re obligated to do, and other things you are guilted to do. Nix the latter. Don’t say yes to your friend’s sister’s best friend’s baby shower just because they asked. Don’t commit to a party committee out of fear of saying no. Don’t agree to happy hour when you’d rather be home. Don’t sign up your child for every after school activity just to fill up their day – they also need personal time to figure out their interests and/or improve the current ones.

Wake up earlier. This sounds crazy to a lot of people – especially moms that need as much sleep as they can get – but early morning is the best time to get things done. Most people are still asleep and/or social contract says you can’t call/text someone before a certain time. Or, maybe you have little ones that make this almost impossible. Try staying up an hour later. When the kids are fed, bathed and asleep, the house gets a little quieter for your personal time.

Cut news/gossip out of your life. Gossip is just talking about other people behind their back – how does this help you grow as a person? If you feel the urge to talk about someone, perhaps try talking to them about your issues. The news is so close to celebrity gossip nowadays that there is hardly any value in keeping up. If your government is doing something you don’t like, take action – this can be your new hobby! Other than that, you’re only watching for the drama – wasted valuable time.

Minimize housework. You can find extra time during the week by utilizing little life hacks. Instead of cooking fresh meals every day, meal plan one day a week. This means less dishes to handle during the week. Instead of meticulously taking care and reorganizing your trinkets, cut down on trinkets. The less things you have, the less surface area for dust to settle. Instead of waiting until a large pile of laundry forms, try washing small batches twice a week - less time to fold and put away.

Take a lunch break. Instead of multitasking at your desk, go outside and take back the personal time you are entitled to. There are apps for everything now. You can walk while learning new language. You can take writing courses at your own pace. You can sit on a bench and read a book. Your lunch time is yours. Stop spending it mindlessly browsing clothes you don’t even want.

There are so many little things you can cut out, the question is: how bad do you want it?

Sincerely, Tania