The Twenty-Something Series: Habits I’ve changed this year

In this post, I reflect on a few good habits I added, bad ones I quit, and habits I'd like to change for the new year.

Lately on my blog, I’m talking about goals and everything I’ve learnt this year.

(What can I say? It's that time of year, and I'm very much in the mood to reflect and review.)

So today, I’m talking about a few habits I’ve changed this year. A few things I’ve started, and a few things I’ve stopped.

Things I’ve started doing:

1. Budgeting and tracking my spending – I’ve tried and failed at this for years, but am finally succeeding! It’s helped me save money, think about what I actually want to be spending my money on, and even helped me get out to the movies or with my friends more.

2. Rethinking my self-care routine – This year has been a busy one. Last year was crazy too, so knowing that, I readjusted how I look after myself. I look forward to time spent in the car so I can catch up on podcasts, I love that hour I spend taking a shower and listening to music and getting ready for bed. I make sure I have time for myself no matter how busy I am – and managed to avoid burning out!

3. Setting goals – I’ve always been a fan of a to-do list, but writing out my goals for the year, the month, the week, has all helped me become more productive, and ultimately helped me be happier and avoid burning out. Plus, it’s helped me make time for the things I like to do – if ‘learning the Greatest Showman songs on my flute’ is on my list of goals for the year, well… can’t say that was wasted time, can I?

4. Drinking more water!!! Hello, collection of refillable water bottles so I am never without.

5. Subscribing to newsletters – I signed up for email newsletters from The Newsette, Girlboss, and Girls’ Night In, and love them all. I tell myself that I’m never so busy that I can’t take five or ten minutes out of my day to read them. I love the updates and the positivity they share, and they all promote women doing such impressive things in all sorts of areas that I find them inspirational as well as a lot of fun to read.

Things I’ve stopped doing:

1. Being so hard on myself for not getting something done – This one has taken a lot of effort and hard work and I think I’ve still got a ways to go, but you know what? If it didn’t get done, it didn’t get done. It’ll work itself out. There’s always tomorrow to try again. I know how great it will feel when I finally get it done – so I think about that, rather than beating myself up for not doing it already.

2. Dressing down so much – The office I work in now is pretty casual, but I like getting a little dressed up. I like doing my makeup and putting on a blazer or cute skirt. I’d gotten into a habit of dressing down more frequently last year. Don’t get me wrong, I still embrace the casual culture and everyone also works from home quite a bit – but I also make an effort to dress up a little when I go into the office, or even for a busy day working from home.

3. Watching TV before bed – (By TV, I mean ‘something on my iPad’, where I can curl up in bed and not need to sit up with my glasses on to see the TV screen.) I try to read before bed, or else I’ve switched to putting on a podcast and using the sleep timer to listen to while I drift off.

4. Trying to get up early – Look, I have never been, and will never be, a morning person. Aside from the odd occasion (like Christmas, or a holiday, or a trip to London) where I’m properly excited for the day ahead, I will never be an early riser. I know how long my commute is, I know how long it takes me to get ready… and I will probably never get into a habit of getting up earlier when I could spend another twenty or thirty (or even just two minutes) longer in bed. Might as well get that sleep while I can!

5. Following people that make me feel like crap – Whether it’s people whose Instagram stories make me feel jealous or like I’m not doing enough, or people I used to know but lost touch with and just… don’t want to see on my feed anymore. Hit that unfollow button! I followed more accounts that I liked seeing posts from instead, and it made my whole social media experience way better (and honestly, I’m pretty addicted, so this was much-needed change).

And finally… here are a few habits I’d like to change in 2020!

1. Make a meal plan and stick to it – I’m really bad at sticking to my meal plans whenever I do try to make them, so would like to try actually forcing myself to stick to it for a couple of weeks to try to get in the habit!

2. Celebrating my successes – When my books came out this year, I didn’t really do anything to actually celebrate, or mark the occasion. For example: when The Beach House came out… I went to the dentist. (Glamorous, I know.) I’d like to try to organise a couple of things with friends to celebrate when things like that happen in 2020 – and do the same for their successes, too.

3. Make more conscious decisions around my finances – Now I’m in a good habit of tracking everything I spend and trying to stick to budgets, I’d like to get an even better handle on things – setting some stricter savings goals, for instance. (Plus, being a nerd, I'm weirdly excited to look at several months of spending and figure out what my budgets can and should be.)

Are there any habits you’ve changed this year, or any you’d like to change in 2020? Let me know in the comments, or over on Twitter @Reekles!

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