13 Ways to Prepare for the New Year
There’s nothing quite like the feeling a fresh start, am I right? Even though I know that I can have a fresh start any time or day or month during the year, there is just something so special and motivating about the fresh start that comes with a new year. However, I’ve found that I typically start the New Year with a sense of chaos because of the holidays just ending and all the traveling and craziness that comes with the holidays, especially when you’re hosting.
This year, I wanted to make sure that we did everything we could to put some distance between that chaos (as magical as it is) and carve out some time to really prepare for the New Year. We were able to tackle most of this list during the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s and we made sure to carve out time this coming weekend to finish it. I know that I have a hard time focusing on my goals and projects when my home base and life feels unorganized and chaotic, so this list is everything I do during the first week/weekend of the New Year so I can focus on the things I want to work on the most!
Put Christmas away ASAP – While I LOVE Christmas decorations more than Santa, I make sure Christmas comes down as fast as possible once the holiday is over. (I do put Christmas up on November 1st, so I enjoy it for almost 2 months!) We have two trees, a ton of ornaments and decorations, plates, and lights all over the house and it’s really hard to focus on preparing for a new year when Christmas from the previous year is still up. So, before doing anything – take the time to take Christmas down and put it away (and clean up the pine needles from your tree if you have a real one!)
Clean out your fridge and pantry – Our fridge, freezer, and the pantry all were FULL of leftovers, 3/4th eaten tubs of dips, ribs from the summer that were freezer burnt, open bags of chips, Christmas Cookies and Chinese food from New Year. Since Dustin and I have some health goals for 2019, it was imperative that we took the time to toss away anything that was bad or that didn’t fit into the parameters we had set for ourselves. Having a super clean fridge and pantry helped us see what gaps we needed to fill and what food we still had so we could prepare our meal plan without having to spend a lot of money!
Do ALL of the laundry – We spent a solid day last weekend running 8 loads of laundry. We washed ALL the linens, towels, workout clothes, new clothes from Christmas, and the dirty laundry. It’s really nice to know that everything in the linen closet is clean and can be pulled out and used in the coming months, that our guest room is ready to be used for the next set of guests, and that all of my socks are clean, (somewhat) matched, and organized in my drawers!
Clean out your closet and organize it – While you’re putting away all the laundry that you finished, take some time to clean out and organize your closet. I didn’t do a MASSIVE cleanout as I do between season, but I made sure that all my clothes were neatly hung, refolded my pants and sweatshirts that I keep on a shelf, and put my shoes back on the rack. I did create a small pile of clothes to donate that I realized I wasn’t wearing anymore and brought those to the Uptown Cheapskate to sell!
Vacuum & mop all your floors – I do not know about you, but my floors are the filthiest right after the holidays. Between all the people coming in and out of my house, the Christmas tree dropping pine needles, salt from melting the ice on the front porch and doggy paws, my floors are caked in grime. It took Dustin three rounds with our Dyson before it stopped sucking up dirt. Dis.gust.ing. It’s so nice to be able to walk barefoot in our house again and to not worry about what crap is sitting on the floors.
Go grocery shopping and choose some fruits and vegetables – Since your fridge is empty after being cleaned out, the first weekend of the new year is perfect to go grocery shopping and fill it with good foods (because, chances are you’ve made some health goal for the new year, right?) Don’t get overwhelmed – just choose a few fruits and veggies that you haven’t seen in your house in a while and take it from there. For us, it was apples, strawberries, and some asparagus!
Buy a new water bottle – One of my personal resolutions this year is to cut out soda. Completely. And yes, I’m crazy because I am addicted to Barq’s Rootbeer and have 4-6 cans of it a week. However, since my skin has been really flaring up over the last few months, I decided to stop drinking soda since it’s an inflammatory product and is shown to cause cystic acne. I also want to work on upping my water intake, so I wanted to snag a new water cup to help encourage me to drink. I love my Beast tumbler from Amazon (they come with two metal straws and a straw cleaner) so I ordered a second one to keep in my office!
Clean out your inbox – I’m sitting at over 100 unread messages in my inbox right now and it’s super overwhelming. A lot of them I’ve just left unread as a to-do list, so I need to go through and plug in dates and events into my calendar so I can get to inbox zero!
Buy a new planner/calendar & spend some time setting it up – I REALLY love my Erin Condren planner and use it to keep a lot of my work projects and blog deadlines (along with appointments) planned out. I blocked out a giant chunk of time this coming weekend to sit down and put in all the important dates, birthdays, and trips that I have coming up in the first quarter so I can have a clear picture of what’s going to be happening over the next few months!
Schedule important appointments – Going hand-in-hand with setting up a new planner, it’s also a great time to sit down and make all those appointments that you dread making, You know – oil change for the car, going to get your dental cleaning, your first meeting with your tax lady, etc. etc. Get it all done and over with and take it from there!
Throw away expired makeup products – Woof. Did this take me a while to do. SO MANY MASCARAS AND EYELINERS THAT WERE DRIED OUT AND OLD. I also had a lot of foundations that were over two years old and definitely not good matches for my current skin tone. It was satisfying to take stock of what I have, what I need to replace, and realize what products I have loved and used over the years!
Set some goals, choose a word of the year, or create a vision board – I just ordered the Cultivate What Matters Powersheet Goal Planner to help me set more goals this year and I’m so excited to give them a try! I’ve had a lot of people recommend them to me, and while I always set goals for the year (both personally and for my business) I’m excited to use this tool to clarify them and keep track of them. I also pick a word for the year to help guide and inspire my actions for the year. (I share my 2019 word yesterday in one of the most real and raw posts I’ve written in a long time – you can read it here!)
Set aside some time to reflect on the last year by using these Reflection Questions – I can guarantee you that it is easier to have clear intentions and goals if you take some time to reflect back on the last year. The reflection questions I use help me celebrate all my accomplishments and analyze what areas I could improve on! That always gives me clarity on what things I want to improve on in the new year and motivates me to start the year off with the best energy possible!
Time to get crackin’ on this list – I’ve got an inbox and a planner waiting for me to dig into and a new year on the horizon that I’m excited to conquer. What things on this list are you going to work on this weekend?