2014’s Mantra

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Happy New Year! A few weeks ago, I wrote down some goals for 2014:

  • Learn to sew (so I can hem my own pants)
  • Look for a piano on Craigslist (I took lessons for 13 years and fear I’m back to zero in my skill level)
  • Beat my 5K PR (currently 21:22)

And a whole other slew of things. I created the doc with my goals in Google Drive and know I can’t find it. I’m still looking for it just because I hate losing things, but the thing that keeps coming to mind most when I think of what I want to accomplish in 2014 is to simplify

I’ve always like to create mantras or themes for each year. One year it was “Thou shalt not take shit.” Another year it was “Live in truth.” This year, I’m feeling “Simplify.”

Blog simplifysource

Simplify can be applied to so many things that I want to work on this year:

  • Stop multitasking (e.g. reading while brushing my teeth, texting while walking, cleaning while talking on the phone). I want to be present in the current moment and practice mindfulness. And literally the mind can’t do two things at once; studies show multitasking doesn’t work. 
  • Throw out stuff. I’ve definitely been better at my pack-rat tendencies lately but I have a closet in my house that’s nearing the Monica Gellar secret closet status. I don’t need a lot of things or stuff. I’m working to only buy what I truly need (like new black pumps – I need those; I don’t need purple suede pumps). 
  • Do more of what brings me happiness and peace. Yoga. Walking Maizey. Reading. FaceTiming with nieces and nephews. Calling friends. Making my home cozy. This does involve “things” but the amount of happiness I got from giving my bedroom a facelift in 2013 was worth every dime. It’s become my favorite spot in my house and it calms me just walking in there.
  • Put the phone away. I typically keep my phone on silent but keep it right by me. I’m working on keeping my phone off silent but keeping it away from me. That way, if someone calls or texts, I can hear it. But, I won’t have the constant pull to check it when it’s by my side.
  • Be intentional with social media. I like social media (obviously). It’s even part of my day job. I can’t stay away from it. But, I can be more intentional with it and not check it out of habit, out of addiction. Keeping the phone away will help with this. There’s no reason to look at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as often as I currently do. 
  • Email on my computer as much as possible. This is part of the phone thing. Staying on top of emails is important for my day job and for blog stuff, but I can be more disciplined in this. Because how often do I check emails without responding because it’s a pain to do so on my phone? A LOT. And then emails sit, unanswered, cluttering up my inbox. Using email on my computer more than on my phone will help me keep the phone away, be more productive, and hopefully lessen the amount of time I spend on email. 

That’s what I’ve got so far when I think of simplifying life in 2014. I’m sure I’ll find more ways to apply it. That’s the beauty of a mantra, a theme – it permeates my life (or at least I try to let it!)

Life is too hurried, too busy. I want to slow down and enjoy it more. 

How could you simplify? Did you set a mantra or theme for the year?

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    26 responses to “2014’s Mantra”

    1. that is MY new years resolution too! i worked my buns off in 2013, and i am hoping for a more restful 2014 – more friend/family/manfriend time, more rest, more yoga, more things that calm me instead of induce my massive anxiety. i also just got rid of a lot of clothes + am working on putting together a more minimal wardrobe too. lots of classics that should last me years!

      i also quit twitter this year on a campaign to reduce social media. and guess what? don’t miss it a wink. i do need to work on checking fb / insta less because i am horrible at that.

      let’s keep each other on track! love you lots!

      • Can you consult me on a minimalist wardrobe?? i’m not sure how to start!

        Quitting twitter…that’s a thought…hmmm….

        and yes, let’s keep each other on track. AND let’s chat soon. <3

    2. Yes to all of the social media/electronics things you have listed! I’m so bad about reading emails on my phone and then reading again and responding to them later. A waste of valuable time! You have a great list. (PS – have you tried sorting your Google docs by date? I have to do that sometimes when I can’t remember what I named a document, but know about when I used it last.)

      My husband and I decided that we would spend 2014 refocusing on time with family and friends. It’s really the first time we have set a theme for our year, and although we didn’t “officially” discuss it as such, I am really excited about this shared goal. We are working on setting some boundaries and saying “no” more often so we don’t continually feel overscheduled. Our level of commitment slowly creeps up over time, and then we recognize it and have to change course. We rarely have friends over, and our plan is to open our home up more often in the coming year to learn how much fun it really can be 🙂 We don’t plan to make any of our “entertaining” fancy – just low-key things like game nights, snacks and drinks while kids play in the back yard, or an at-home movie date when the kids are in bed. So I guess our theme would be some combined version of family/boundaries/hospitality.

      Personally, I’m trying to remember that giving myself grace is greater than striving for perfection. Last year I stumbled into “fearless” as my word of the year. I’d never had a word to focus on before, and it was pretty interesting to consider that word often as I went through the year. I ran a 10k, did a month-long boot camp, did some tough (for me) hill workouts, and really pushed some of my own limits (fitness-wise). I still have a ways to go, but that year of “fearless” was amazingly cathartic and empowering. I went back to work part-time in July, and although I love my job I have had some trouble finding a new balance. I think “grace over perfection” is going to help me out quite a lot in 2014.

      • These are all such great goals and focuses! I especially like the goal of having friends over; it’s always so fun but I rarely do it. And, fearless is a great theme but I LOVE “Grace over perfection.” Beautiful.

    3. I love this! I really need to simplify things in my life as well and I am guilty of keeping my phone on silent but by me at all times. I too want to put it away when I am not needing it for work. I just want to take the moment and enjoy the days! Slow down and enjoy the moment – I think that is a great goal for 2014!

    4. Simplify, YES!! I am so on board with this. I just love getting rid of stuff. Throwing stuff out is so therapeutic for me. I think you would really like two of my favorite books: The Buddha Walks into the Bar and How to Train a Wild Elephant. I loved them both so much and they seem to be in line w/ your goals this year! 🙂 Let me know if you read them.

    5. I love your goal to stop multitasking! I am definitely guilty of not being present in each moment and I want to try more of this for 2014!!

    6. Love so much about this post that I want to write a massively long comment but instead I’ll invite you for an in-person coffee/wine (depending on time of day/type of day) chat where we both put our phones away and talk in person. See you at Camino? 🙂

    7. I totally hear you with the phone thing and multi-tasking. I have been really good lately with keeping all electronic devices far from me while driving, at work, etc. And if I use my phone while cooking, it’s because the recipe is online. 🙂

      I do love to mutli-task with around the house stuff; cleaning mostly. But at least that’s one area of focus. Great goals! 🙂

    8. Simplify is a great mantra. In the past 5 years, I have moved across the country 3 separate times and moved abroad once. I’ve learned that I’m an equally happy (maybe happier) person when I have less stuff (literally) to deal with. I also didn’t have a phone when I lived abroad, and it was honestly a bit of relief to be “out of touch.” I should try to incorporate some of that stillness to my life in the states. But, I really believe that simplicity and organization are so important to leading a balanced/ happy life. Happy 2014!

    9. I love that mantra!!! I did JUST buy green suede pumps, but my wardrobe is entirely neutrals so all of my shoes are are little snazzy (…or also neutrals haha).

      I think what really resonates with me with this to remember to slow down sometimes. I think I might be a supertasker (wow, just typing that annoys me), but just because I have to juggle a million tasks in certain zones doesn’t mean I *should* when I am at home, and mindfulness is something I sometimes go without. Thanks for reminding me – every point on your list is applicable… Go 2014!

    10. we are with ya on simplifying things! we are trying hard to focus on one project at a time, but our heads always seem to be spinning.

      we look forward in getting together with you later this month!

    11. Simplifying. That’s the goal for me too. My husband likes to say, “People. Not things.” I’m trying to remind myself of this simple mantra when I get sucked into wanting.

    12. Loving this years mantra!! Simplicity is definitely my goal for the year as well. I’ve been reading the book (and website) Zero Waste Home and just feel so drawn to creating a more mindful, healthy, green and family focused home. For my sons I have implemented “experiences vs. stuff” and it’s working wonderfully! For Christmas their Grandparents gifted them with a membership to a local children’s museum and a cousin gave one of my boys a real took box/kit (he’s 6 an OBSESSED with fixing things around the house with my Father) instead of some action figure they’ll play with a few times and forget.

      I suck at Twitter… I enjoy receiving easy and quick updates from organizations I follow, but I find the writing of tweets to be tedious. May have to just drop that all together. But as a new blogger, I suppose I feel I need to be plugged into every social media outlet :/

      I’m a little late, but happy new year!!

    13. the last few months of 2013 were difficult for me because i lost sight of what i wanted and subsequently spent a lot of time in doubt and uncertainty. so my theme for this year is to remember what’s most important to me, simplifying–in a sense. whatever the task at hand is: working on a project, catching up with a friend, spending time with family, exercising, etc. i aim to let go of the small stuff, made easier by focusing on a vision greater than myself. happy new year!

    14. I feel like I could have written these exact sentiments. I hate that I’m always scrolling through my Facebook feed while blow drying my hair, texting while taking my dog for a walk, etc. but I’ve never really made a conscious effort to stop. I love social media for very obvious reasons but I hate that it feels like an obligation at times, like I’m missing out if I don’t get caught up on the newsfeed daily. I did leave my phone in the other room all day Saturday and it was so liberating!
      Great mantra!

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