Making Changes in 2018

Happy new year friends! Are you excited for a new chapter and a chance to set new goals and targets? I am! But to¬† be honest, some times at the beginning of a new year things can be daunting and a little overwhelming and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I felt these things in the past week too.

After I returned home from a two week break with my family I felt a little depleted and daunted at the start of another year. I knew things would improve once I sat down and wrote and reflected on 2017. I also decided I wanted to commit to some changes for the year ahead. Today, I’m sharing what I am working on in 2018 and some tweaks to my daily routine that I know will help me bring abundance, health and happiness throughout the new year.

Health and wellness are priorities in the new year

In 2017 I was probably the most consistently committed to my fitness than I had ever been. I have always been interested in wellness and I’ve learnt so much over the years about living a healthy lifestyle so to stick with a consistent routine of fitness in 2017 made me so proud.

In 2018 I am stepping it up a notch and my main goal for the year is to become even fitter and more committed to my health. I’ve already started my year off with returning to the gym and scheduling in time every week for working out. I started the year with a new Apple watch (a beautiful Christmas pressie from Trav, thanks babe) that helps me track my activity and number of steps throughout the day.

I’m setting a fitness goal for every month of the year and I’m not going to over commit or over complicate it (goals need to be attainable after all). To start off, January’s goal is to work out at least 3 times a week which is totally possible! I actually plan to do more but if I only reach the minimum I am okay with that. I also plan to increase on this but starting off small is always the best way to stay consistent. (You can join me too! I’d love to hear all about your health journey!)

Food is thy friend

I’ve never had a negative relationship with food but I have at times punished myself mentally for eating naughty treats from time to time. Another fabulous Christmas present I received in 2017 was the vegan cookbook, Elsa’s Wholesome Life. Now, I’m no vegan but in 2018 Travis and I committed ourselves to exploring more of a plant-based diet.

I could never be a full time vegan or vegetarian (…I’m from a family of cattle and sheep farmers – that’s our livelihood, and I love meat too much) so I don’t plan to eliminate meat from my diet, but I do know that our bodies are not made to eat meat daily. This week we’ve already cooked the loaded sweet potato recipe from the cookbook and it was amazing, and no deprivation in flavor what so ever!

I’m choosing to accept that although naughty sweet treats taste amazing, I can’t ignore how they make me feel and how negative I can get about my body when I don’t feel good! In saying this, I will not punish myself if I choose to enjoy the odd ice cream or piece of cake when the occasion arises. Life is about living and enjoying these moments after all.

Saying no and letting go

There are a few things in my life that are shifting at the moment and some of them are hard to let go of but totally necessary. In 2018 I plan to focus more on the things that make me happy and that are worth pursuing. This goes for all areas of life: work, friendships, exercise. If something doesn’t feel good or bring value to my life, it’s time to let it go. Often these decisions are the hardest (I know, because I am in the midst of working through one as I write) but they are also the most necessary.

I’ve always struggled with saying goodbye to anything so this is by far the most challenging thing I am committing to this year, and I’m sure as the weeks and months go by I’ll be able to share more of it with you and perhaps we can learn to grow through this together.

Clearing the clutter

If you follow me over on instagram (@darlingdesignco) you may have seen this weekend I was in the midst of a major wardrobe clean out. I missed the whole ‘spring clean’ this past season but I got stuck in this summer! After we got home from our holiday I felt this sense of needing to de-clutter. I’m not really a clutter person, my house is actually quite minimal really, but it was more about clearing out the unnecessary stuff that I no longer used or needed. It sounds strange, but this stuff just felt like it was taking up energy and space in my life.

P.s ^ Not my wardrobe (…I wish!)

I tackled my wardrobe and culled out anything that I no longer wore or liked. If it hadn’t been worn in the past 12 months it got put in a pile and I bagged everything up and sent it to be donated to the needy. I ended up with four FULL bags of clothes for donation! I folded them all up and the piles covered my bed. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I’d accumulated just in clothing. Culling it all felt so good. I urge anyone to give it a go.

Up the photog game

In 2017 I picked up my DSLR camera again and started shooting more of my life. Part of my job meant I had to start photographing more things for work and it put a bit of pressure on me to capture great images good enough for print. I studied some minor photography subjects at university but never really progressed with my skills other than just enjoying taking photos.

This year I am upping my game. I’m self taught, and plan to learn the many tricks and secrets to better editing of my pics. I also plan to carry my camera more regularly. We are lucky enough to be heading back to Europe and the UK this Winter so I’ll be hoping my skills are in check to capture the best of our trip!

If you have any tips, tutorials or advice on better editing images in Photoshop or Lightroom please leave me a message!

What are you working on or changing in your life this year?

Ellie xx

Ellie is a freelance graphic designer, business and lifestyle blogger, health and wellness enthusiast and the founder of The Darling Design Co.

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