Last week we said goodbye to 2018 and welcomed the new year. 2018 was a pretty intense and eventful year with Emelie turning 30 and getting married. Katrin buying her first property and of course, lot’s of new exciting new projects for for The Model Diaries. Needless to say, 2018 was both exciting yet exhausting. Unfortunately, the year ended with me (Emelie) suffering from a horrendous lung infection which forced me to stay in bed and rest for almost a week but getting ill was sort of a blessing in disguise as it forced me to rest and take a step back from work and other commitments which I think was necessary.
Sometimes work and life commitments can take priority and you forget to look after yourself properly and that can lower immunes system and that is usually when ill health strikes. In the past we have set unrealistic New Year’s resolutions which usually ends with us breaking our resolutions after a few weeks and then feel really guilty about it. So instead of calling it New Year’s Resolutions, we are going to call them Life Goals. As mentioned previously, 2018 was a year when a lot of things happened and we went through a lot of personal and professional changes. 2018 thought us that although ambition is good, slowing down and looking after ourselves will be the key feature of 2019 and we are excited about what this new year has to offer. We have also learnt that taking a step back can really boost productivity and reducing stress is one of our key goals this year.
Look After Yourself Better
This may sound so simple and obvious, but when you lead a busy life, it is sometimes really hard to remember yourself and your own well-being. Stress can be detrimental to both your physical and mental health and research has even suggested that stress may be contagious so when you are surrounded by others that are experiencing stress, this can have a negative effect on your own well-being. This really shows how important it is to de-stress, both for your sake and for others and that is why de-stressing is making our list of goals this year. De-stressing may be easier said than done, so what can you do to help yourself to de-stress?
Here are our 5 top tips how you can start your journey to a little less stressful life
Create realistic daily goals
This is something I (Emelie) have struggled with my whole life and it has become something that has triggered a lot of anxiety for me. Not setting realistic goals will only cause stress and induce feelings of guilt when your “to do” list is not completed.
Start with writing down the tasks that you would like to complete during the day, sit down for 5 minutes, look at the list and ask yourself – “Can I complete this list today?” Be honest with yourself and if you feel like you are unable to complete it, move some of the less time sensitive task on the list to the following day. The most important thing with this is not to feel guilt about not doing everything in just one day and learn how to prioritise which leads us to our next tip.
Learn how to prioritise
Learning how to prioritise could not be more important when it comes to being more productive and reduce stress levels.
- Order tasks by estimated effort – Once you have written your To Do list, identify which task/tasks that will take most of your time and start with that. It can be tempting to start with something that takes less time or feels easier, but that way you’ll just end up with the most time-consuming task last which can be a real motivation killer at the end of the day. If you start with the most daunting task first, all others will seem like a piece of cake and you are more likely to feel a sense of achievement.
- Be Flexible – Just because you have started one task already does not mean that you have to stick to it until it’s done. Some of us work better when fully completing one task at a time. Others, much like myself, find it somewhat suffocating to have to stick to one thing at a time. If I get stuck on a task which I can’t seem to be able to complete in just one sitting, rather than feeling frustrated I let go and start looking at another task on my list to give myself a break and that is Okay. Sometimes you will come up with a better or more efficient way to complete the previous task whilst you are working on a completely one. Find a way that works for you.
Give yourself 30 minutes of ME time every single day
Finding time for yourself when you are busy can sometimes seem impossible, but it oh so important. As we all know, negative stress is really harmful to us and if we do not allow ourselves to de-stress, we are more likely to get ill, become unproductive and irritated. Finding that time to allow ourselves to simply relax is really important as if you don’t, you may well end up not being as productive as you could have been by simply allowing yourself half an hour to do something just for you. Our favourite ME time activities includes having a bath, meditate, read a book, listen to an inspiring podcast and sometimes just simply sit in a quiet room and ponder.
During this ME time you are allowing yourself to recharge your batteries, digest your thoughts properly without any background noise, give yourself space for self-discovery, boost your creativity and will in the end, enhance your productivity. Giving yourself a bit of ME time each day is not a waste of time, it is essential to your productivity.
Make time to exercise (as little as 5 minutes can make a huge difference)
January is probably the hardest month to stay motivated. For most people, January falls after a month of indulging in fatty foods, drink and way too many days just sitting on the sofa. We are totally guilty of this and we feel your pain! The thought of hitting the treadmill for 40 minutes and doing endless amount of sit-ups and squats does not sound too appealing right now, but exercise may be the key to boosting your motivation and banishing that January blues for good.
You may not feel up for hitting the gym for an 1hr but start with 5 -10 minutes daily exercise such as 30 squats, 30 lunges, 30 situps and 15 press-ups to get your blood pumping and you will soon start to notice the difference. The key is not to over do it. Trust us, we have learnt the hard way! It is not surprising that so many of us fail the “Get Fitter” New year’s resolutions as if you haven’t been to the gym in months, starting with a intense workout routine will only set you up for disappointment as it is hard to keep up. Start small and then build it up 🙂
Have a work switch off time
Always checking your phone for notifications, emails or opportunities? FOMO (The fear of missing out) is something we think most of us feel and it can really become an anxiety inducing when it comes to keeping up to date with social media. We are totally guilty of checking our phones, pretty much every waking hour and it is mentally draining. Has social media started to impact on your private life? Can you relate?
It can be hard to switch off social media and it is easy to fall into the trap of – “it’s only an email or I only need to reply to that comment etc etc” and then you get sucked into browsing hundreds of Instagram feeds for hours.
This year we will set a “Social Media Free Time Zone” which will take place at least 2 hours before going to bed. Let’s see how that goes 🙂
Explore and Experience More
This New year’s life goal includes both our work and our personal lives. We truly believe that our life experiences shape who we are and that is why we want to explore 2019 to the fullest. This year we have set the bar high and we want to start exploring a few new professional avenues and we have also set some pretty exciting business goals that we will work hard to achieve this year. One of the goals include to travel more and dedicate more time to our blog. We are also looking to explore more when it comes to self-development which is a subject that feels very relevant to us personally right now.
Our personal Explore And Experience More list will include:
- Do 3 Things That Scares Us
- Visit new places and travel destinations
- Try things that we have never tried before
- Read inspiring books and blogs
So there we have it, our Life Goals for 2019, it may not sound a lot but we have taken our own advice and tried to set more realistic goals for this year.
What are your goals for this year? What are you most excited about this year? Please leave your comments below, we’d love to hear from you 🙂
Until next time,