Friends, today we have our first Outrageously Wonderful guest post of the year. Meredith Simonds writes at Plenty Woman, a website for women ready to believe we are everything anxiety says we’re not. We met at the BlogHer conference this summer and I immediately knew I had met a forever friend. Meredith writes honestly about her struggles with anxiety and shares beautiful affirmations and meditations that are an encouragement to your soul. You won’t want to miss a word of today’s post about simple resolutions. 

I like to start my New Year’s resolutions in December. Sometimes July, as that’s my birthday month when I’m feeling particularly motivated to convince myself I’m getting better with age.

Starting on resolutions early like this gives me a chance to do a trial run. It’s nice to know you hate doing something before you commit to doing it on January 1.

I also like my New Year’s resolutions to be forgiving. I want to do these things every single day, but if I only do them half the time, it still makes a world of difference.

Three out of the four resolutions on this list are ones that stuck for me this past year, so I can vouch for their simplicity. The fourth is a resolution I’m working toward, but one I believe can be equally user-friendly.

1) Take five minutes to do nothing first thing in the morning

The sooner, the better, I find. Otherwise you risk missing out on that magical space between being asleep and to-do list mode. That said, I do have a pre-zone-out routine: Go to the bathroom. Brush my teeth. Feed the animals. Make myself something hot to drink (which I want to be warm lemon water but more often turns out to be hot chocolate). Relaxing zone-out complete, I ease into my morning journaling, which includes resolution number two…

2) Write down three things you’re grateful for in the morning

I write the date. I write the words, “I am grateful for.” And I list three numbered things. Usually, each item is a single word. Sometimes it’s a full sentence. And I feel myself on the verge of writing in full paragraphs. But what I love about it is that: 1) One word is all it takes, 2) I can write all three of them in less than a minute, and 3) I have three good reasons to feel good about my day right away.

3) Charge your phone in another room at night

Winding down in bed at the end of the night is hard enough without my phone right there begging me to check it every 15 minutes. So I’ve started charging my phone in the living room at night. It makes me anxious at first, letting it leave my sight for a full eight hours, but mostly it’s a big relief. The hardest part comes in the morning trying to resist looking at it until after my five-minute zone-out and gratitude journaling. I’m successful about half the time, so it’s going well.

4) Take walksThese four simple, forgiving resolutions can be done each day and have the power to transform your year.

Of the four resolutions on this list, this is the one I haven’t taken up yet. My social anxiety has me convinced the only time to walk without the threat of running into someone I know (i.e., someone I have to talk to or artfully ignore) is three in the morning, so I’m a little on the fence about this one. But I imagine my walks looking something like this:

I get going long and steady enough for the endorphins to kick in. I meditate to the sound of my feet hitting the ground one after the other and the steady rhythm of my breath to match. I feel the transition that happens somewhere inside all of this of this, where I’m living more in my body and less in my head.

Gentle resolutions

Whether you try these resolutions or come up with some equally forgiving ones of your own, my point is this. There should be no place for the concept of failure in a New Year’s resolution. If you can do better things for yourself every day, wonderful, but please feel equally good about doing better things for yourself 182 ½ days a year.

I absolutely love these simple resolutions and will be making a few of them my own. I started keeping a gratitude log in November of last year and I love the mark that habit has made it on my heart. What resolutions or habits are you starting this new year?

Whatever you do, share your resolution below. I’d love to hear all about it.