Thoughts By Natalie

The Year of Self-Care

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI know Christmas isn’t even here yet, but once I get to December I start thinking about the new year. Every year instead of a resolution, I like to pick a word or theme to focus on for the next 12 months. Last year it was minimalism, this year it was home and for 2017 it’s going to be self-care, which I’ll share more about today. One thing I love about picking a theme is that there is less pressure and more results. 

Two years ago when I chose minimalism as my word, I would not have considered myself much of a minimalist—it was something I craved but hadn’t figured out. Now, it’s a concept that I live by and am constantly striving for more of. When I chose home as my word last year, I was craving more memories in our home, more family time together, and a place that felt less like a house and more like a, well, home. Lo and behold, not only did I spend more time at home this year, but we also bought a new house that already feels more homey than I ever imagined.

So now that I’m 2/2 for my words of the year, I’m excited for the way I’m going to feel by the end of my year of self-care. Two years into motherhood, it feels like something I definitely need in my life. I love being Jack’s mom and motherhood is honestly the greatest thing I’ve ever done with my life. But through parenting, I’ve lost a lot of the healthy habits I’d cultivated in my 20s and really am starting to feel the effects. This year my intention is to prioritize more balance, including:

  • Making a stronger commitment to my spiritual life
  • Setting aside time before bed to read for pleasure (rather than scroll my Instagram feed!)
  • Planning regular date nights with Brian for one-on-one time to connect as a couple
  • Eating more real food (I honestly almost never eat real breakfast and have cheese and crackers for lunch all the time!)
  • Making time and space for exercise I enjoy that makes me feel strong and energized
  • Prioritizing family walks and bike rides because it makes me feel so happy and refreshed

I’m sure I’ll add a lot of things to this list but these are the areas I really desire to improve on. Wish me luck!

Do you do resolutions or themes? What are you focusing on in 2017?

You Might Also Like...

  • Victoria B
    December 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I always love reading about your words of the year. I find your approach to them to be so powerful and also achievable. I haven’t decided what next year is going to be my focus. This year was not a word, but to approach new things with excitement as opposed to fear. I liked thinking of the theme throughout the year as things started getting scary or hard. Next year is going to have a lot of change for me, so I’m thinking that a focus on something solid like family could definitely be helpful. I’m still thinking about it though.

  • Katie @ Live Half Full
    December 12, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I switched from goals to a theme for this year and it rang true! I do set monthly goals for myself, which keeps me focused. I’m thinking of the same for next year and am excited to share soon!

  • Alison
    December 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I love this and can honestly say DITTO to all of it! I love the idea of a theme for the new year – and self care is such a great one! Thanks for the inpso :)

  • Robin
    December 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Couldn’t love this more! Very inspiring and giving me a lot to think about for my word next year. :) xoxo

  • Mary Jo
    December 12, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    You know what… I’m going to do this too! I’m in a MFT program and we are taught self-care ALL the time but actually doing it is another thing. I graduate in July and I would like to have something in place before I start my internship which as a wife and mother will possibly make things a bit more hectic. Self-care, yes!!

    • Katie Anderson
      December 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      I’m a clinical social worker and yes – self-care is so easy (and sounds AMAZING) in theory, but it’s much more challenging to begin (and continue) the practice <3 wishing you well in your program. Grad school is intense <3

  • Heather
    December 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I have always set goals for the year-but I love the idea of a central theme. I think that might alleviate some of the pressure that comes with goal setting and/or resolutions.

    Thanks so much for the idea!

  • Brittany
    December 12, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I really love this approach to resolutions, & now I’m inspired to choose my own theme for 2017. This year felt hurried & sometimes chaotic- I’d like to be more mindful about what I agree to do next year. Thanks for the inspiration & happy holidays!

  • Ashley L
    December 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    This topic really rings true for me last year I said at the beginning of the year that I really just wanted to take care of myself. And I spent the year trying to figure out what that meant. I think having a 18 month old and a two month old I wasn’t ready to make that commitment. This year I just want quiet. More quiet time with my family and alone by myself. Stopping the comparison game and the constant striving for more and perfection. Just a more quiet life and mind.

  • Stacy Fisher-Gunn
    December 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Fantastic choice!!! :)

  • Katie McC
    December 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Seriously I love family bike rides and walks! It’s so fun and relaxing. I love love love being outside and it’s even better when I am surrounded by the people I love.

  • Elizabeth
    December 15, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Love all of this, Natalie! For 2017 I’ve opted to pick 3 words: Serve, Self Care and Adventure. Since having my son (11 mo.) and being a first time mom, life has been overwhelming to say the least! So in 2017, I’d like to focus on serving more in my church by teaching a Bootcamp to our women (already successful because it launches Jan 10th!) and help out with the prayer ministry by writing encouraging notes in response to prayer requests the church receives. Self care is eating better, finding fun workouts that I love to do and don’t dread, showering every day (hello, child) and making time for my husband (date nights, conversations rather than phones in the evening, etc.). And finally Adventure- solo trip for a weekend, California with my family, taking my son hiking to some scenic places in Illinois and not being afraid to get out with my son! Here we go! Cheers to 2017!

  • Paige
    December 27, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I love this! Last year was the first year I chose a theme for the year and it was ‘Less Is More’. I made a ton of progress in simplifying and reducing not only our physical space, but I became more aware of clutter in my life and mental space as well. I’m still pondering what I want 2017’s theme to be, but I do love the idea of self-care. With four little kids it can be hard to let that self care be a priority, but it’s so, so important. It may be more possible than ever this year as the youngest has stopped nursing, I’ve already got a great head start by having recently established a solid workout routine, and it seems like a very natural extension to last year’s theme. I can’t wait to follow along!