I love the excitement of a New Year, and saying goodbye to the challenges and struggles of the past year. I soak up this week before the world really gets going again. The busy holiday season has past, the new year hasn’t quite kicked in, so this time is for family, relaxing, reflecting, dreaming, planning and getting cranked up for new goals, plans, and adventures.

I believe this week is my favorite for reflecting on the good from the year, what we learned, planning for the new, and just nurturing ourselves in any way we can. Put the cookies in the trash, or give them away. Get rid of the 10 shirts in your closet you don’t wear, and be done with the leftovers. Order a salad, have a protein smoothie, get a water cup, and go for a walk.

Here are 5 things I suggest to do during this week.

1. Reflect on 2018 with Yourself and Your Family

Talk about what you learned, and the memories you made. This doesn’t have to be formal or all at once together, but it can be. It can be when you are just with your son, by casually reminding him how proud you are that he stuck with the challenging class he took. You could also tell him he has come so far making his health a priority. Let your daughter know she really used courage this year when including a friend that was left out, or taking the leap with a new team.

Take time to remember every day courage, bravery, kindness, hard work, and lessons learned. Focus on character traits and actions, and the positive in it all. It doesn’t have to be big. It is our small successes that can lead to so much growth. Remind yourself, your kids and your spouse, of all the growth that came with this year, and use it to boost everyone up before the new year starts.

2. Dream and Plan for the New Year

This can be done in many ways, and you might already have your system. For us, I do this myself, with my spouse, and we include our kids as well, to get them thinking. I definitely spend my own time dreaming of what I want to accomplish for myself, work, family, and fun, new adventures.

We talk about it. I take time to write it all down for me, and this year we are taking 90 days at a time, to map out a plan for our bigger goals. I have a planner, and I always have a journal that I write all my ideas down, as soon as they come to me. For work, we keep a white board with posted notes in the office so we can see our 90 day goals every day.

Planning should include discussing small everyday choices as well, like planning on Sundays for meals, or how you can fit a family walk into your week, and establishing a morning routine.

3. Declutter

I always clean something out during this week. It can be a drawer, a closet, a room or just your desk. Anything. Just clean something out. This is the best feeling for starting fresh. Donate, throw away, give away or sell. I have been doing this for years, but this year I am really going for less stuff. Less stuff means more room for moments that matter.

4. Reading List for January

I do use this time to find 3-5 new books. Reading is a big part of my life, and I try my best to always have a book with me. So far for this year, I have Atomic Habits, Mastering your Mean Girl, and Kind is the New Classy. I would love to hear what’s on your list. Leave a comment  below on what books you plan on reading in the New Year.

5. Workout and Water

Hello? I can barely write a post without either of these. I love workouts this week because they are like bonus workouts, ya know? With family, holidays, vacations, and just being out of routine, workouts can be hard to come by. We made one trip to the gym as a family. Just keep it light and fun, not like a punishment. I was able to jog on the beach once too, which is my favorite. Just take a walk and grab one of your kids to go with you.

For water, I suggest everyone get a designated water cup for the New Year if you don’t have one already. This helps get your water in each day. My kids got these stainless steel tumblers for Christmas, and they love them. We added stainless steel straws, and they go everywhere with us.

Here is a great podcast from Lewis Howes with James Clear, who wrote Atomic Habits. I listened to it this week, and I love the message of starting by just showing up. It is a good one to listen to for the New Year.

Don’t make it complicated. Choose to show up for yourself this year. I am going to help you, so thanks for being here. You encourage me and I am grateful for that.

Kelley Ranaudo

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