28 things I'm implementing in my 28th year of life
I’m a little late to the game here, since my birthday was nearly two months ago, but I am going to chalk that up to the fact that the first month of my 28th year of life was spent with a much needed reset.
I love birthdays. I love the possibilities that are born with 365 more spins around the sun. I love getting older, wiser (hopefully), and more experienced. And I love the gift of a fresh slate that each new year brings.
I’m not much for New Years resolutions. They seem to get stale fast and often leave me feeling uninspired after about 14 days. There’s just something about everyone making one big false promise to themselves that I don’t like. But I love the idea of a fresh start after a birthday. A new year, endless possibilities, and a simple, silent promise that I make to myself.
Anyway, I started to make these “new year resolutions” subconsciously years ago, but over the past few years I’ve been more intentional about breaking it down and putting it into practice. Just for fun, I wanted to share a few simple ways in which I’m making my 28th year of life healthier, more intentional, and more inspired.
Disclaimer: these are in no particular order, as you’ll soon come to notice ;)
I love reading, and I always have. Growing up, my favorite part of the day was called “SSR” (sustained silent reading). I love getting lost in other people’s words and ideas. But, over the years, I’ve stopped being intentional about how often I read and what. Namely, I started book hopping instead of book finishing. This year, I’m working on being more disciplined by not starting a new book until I’ve finished reading the previous one; I’m also practicing reading before bed, instead of watching Netflix.
I’ve been using this nifty little app lately to track my rest, in order to help me better understand my sleep patterns for what works in my nightly routine and what doesn’t.
Walking every day
90% of my work is done behind a computer, and I started realizing that that meant that I never naturally move around during the day. At first I brushed it off, excusing it due to the fact that I go to work out classes 3-5 times a week. It wasn’t until I began tracking my movement during the day that I realized I was barely moving, unless at the gym. So, I’ve started breaking up the day by taking walks outside listening to this playlist, or I’ll walk for at least 30 minutes in our neighborhood gym.
One of my goals in my 27th year of life was to build strength physically, which was a challenging and amazing focus for me. But that quickly led to only strength training, so I’ve been trying to mix it up by incorporating more endurance and cardio into my exercise routines.
Using facial moisturizers
I am so behind the times on this one, but I finally started taking better care of my skin, including applying moisturizer at night after I washed my face. It has made such a difference!
Washing my face every night
Speaking of washing my face, I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not make a nightly habit of this until recently. But, in an effort make my eyelashes stop falling out, I started using this every night and it has been a game changer.
Using eye cream
Now I officially feel old, but I was inspired to start using eye cream after chatting with a friend about how helpful it was for her, and it has been magic. Bye bye puffy eyes!
Limited TV during the week
Cal and I started doing this a few months ago. We realized we were watching TV together every night we were home instead of being intentional with our time. Now, I limit my TV mostly to the weekends and have replaced the watching with reading. The result? I sleep better, feel more inspired, and have so much more time ;)
Consistent date nights
We have had “date night” on our calendar every Friday night for months, but we got in the habit of “re-scheduling” it the minute something else popped up. We chatted on it, and decided that we need to back up our words with actions to make that a top priority. Now, we take out at least one weekend night to spend just the two of us.
More vegetarian meals
This is something else I started doing earlier in the year, but it has been so good that I want to continue it. I have nothing against meat, but I love the way vegetarian meals incorporate more veggies (crazy how that works!). It also helps me save at the grocery store, while adding creativity to meals.
I work for a public relations firm that has a lot of political clients. When we were in the thick of campaign season, I was attending events nearly every night. Those events almost always had wine, and I started noticing myself drinking a glass or two almost every single day. I’ve cut that back to once or twice a week and I just feel so much better all around.
Having people over more often
We live in the most inconvenient suburb of metro Denver (I think), meaning we are at least a 30 minute drive away from most of our friends. I began to feel guilty asking people to drive to us, so I stopped inviting people over. I realize that that is ridiculous, and I love hosting, so I’m putting an end to that and opening up our home as much as possible. :)
Less stress in writing
Writing is therapeutic, but when pressure is applied to write certain things a certain way so as many people as possible can be impacted, it becomes a stress instead of joy. I’m saying no more…
…which will lead to more writing. And more discipline in sitting down, even when I am not feeling particularly inspired.
This is on my list just about every year because prayer is always a work in progress. But Jesus invites us into friendship with Him, and friends talk. I am practicing communing with the Lord, instead of having my prayer time structured in a nice tidy 30 minute session. In the shower, while I’m cooking, in the car, during my daily walks… I’m learning what Paul means to pray without ceasing.
Buying organic/grass fed
I am the first to tell you that you can be healthy on a very tight budget, and I fully believe that. But after I listened to this podcast episode, hosted by my very dear friends, I realized that I can spare an extra $15-20 a week to at least buy organic when it comes to the “dirty dozen”. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Have a listen!
Letting Cal cook
Not gonna lie, I mention Cal not helping me more in the kitchen, a lot. But when he tries, I micromanage everything, and end up just dismissing him because I want to do it all myself. I’m learning that if I truly want him to learn how to cook, then he needs to be able to figure it out without me in the way. We’ve recently started splitting meals in terms of planning and cooking. It’s been tough for me to stay out, but I’ll let you know ;)
Reading the Bible
This sounds like a “duh” one, but it’s been a long time since I actually read the Scripture without a book or Bible study accompanying me. I’m afraid of not understanding the words or misinterpreting, but I’m learning to re-fall in love with Scripture through and through. Meaning my quiet times have been a lot less structured Bible study and a lot more straight from the pages.
I go through a lot of ups and downs when it comes to reading, but I tend to gravitate towards the dramatic page turners and less towards the challenging, timeless novels or memoirs. I’m working on incorporating more “uncomfortable” reads into my life and picking up books that I wouldn’t normally read. We started a book club several months ago, and that has stretched me a lot.
Running weekly with Cal
I stopped running for a long time after my last half marathon, and it’s been good to start again. Cal and I try to run at least twice a week together, and they are some of my favorite moments.
But really, it’s so hard to do every week. I’m tryin.
Not apologizing so often
I apologize for things I don’t need to be apologizing for all. the. time. Some examples: apologizing for the drive when people come over to our place to hang out, apologizing for not answering an email right away, apologizing for forgetting to text back for a few hours, apologizing if my schedule is too busy to see someone… and the list goes on. Those items do not need to be apologized for, but rather honestly and/or gently explained.
As ironic as this is to say after #22, I do need to practice apologizing first when lashing out or arguing, especially in our marriage. Cal almost always is the first to seek resolution, even if I’m the one who picked the fight. Laying down my pride and learning humility by being the first to say a sincere “sorry”.
There’s a cool little app on the Apple Watch that reminds you a couple times a day to take a minute to focus on breathing. I’m utilizing that and it’s pushing me towards a still gratitude.
Learning Jewish/Hebrew history
Re-falling in love with straight Scripture has made me yearn to understand Jewish and Hebrew history. I plan to use time this year pressing into that, and I’m so excited.
More photos, less aesethics
I want to be the person that has a bunch of “real life” photos on my phone, and not just aesthetically pleasing pictures. I love learning how to take and edit beautiful photos, but I also want to take pictures to remember real life moments. Safe to say, there are a lot more cat pictures on my phone now that I started practicing this.
Drinking more water
After 28 years on this earth, I finally feel good about my water intake. I am SUPER lazy when it comes to drinking water, so I made it my personal mission in life to find the most conveniently sized, easiest to use water bottle. The qualifications? Nothing to unscrew or uncap, will fit in a standard cup holder, relatively large, can be in a bag without spilling, and keeps water somewhat cool. After I bought this one online, I noticed a huge increase in how much water I’m drinking.
Cutting complaining completely out of my conversations
One thing has become clear over the past few years: I can’t stand complaining. It’s one thing to honestly share where you’re at (highly encouraged!), it’s another thing to constantly be focused on the negatives. The more I started disliking complaining, the more I noticed the areas in my life that complaints still lingered. I’m working on completely removing complaining in every area of my life this year.
If you made it to the end of this, you deserve a huge cup of coffee filled with all the flavored creamer. What are some simple, yet impactful things that you can implement into your life that leads to a healthier, more whole life? I’d love to hear them!