Anyone else feel like there is SO much pressure around creating new year resolutions? While I may not be the bandwagon type, I do believe in stretching ourselves to become the best we can be – and that is a year-round commitment. Ever since moving to our farm and picking up this life-path in earnest, I start each day believing we can create our best lives.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be dramatic (so you don’t have to buy a farm and Alpaca!). Simple, small shifts can add up to big change when done consistently. Experts commonly tout that it takes 21 days to create a habit – that’s less than a month! Here are some of my practices that hopefully inspire you to create your own. Please let me know what you do!
Do Something Physical
I’ll admit, living on a farm, it’s easy to move my body each day – it’s harder not to! Yet our health is everything, and whether you start with a walk around the block or get the help of a trainer, taking care of your physical self is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves and those we care about. Start simple and build a habit or come to my house, and we’ll share the chores – ha!
Honor Beauty in the Every Day
It’s surprisingly easy to take a sunrise or a simple flower for granted. Yet I learned long ago there is beauty all around us. For me, I love how the sun hits the barn, or how I can see the breath of the sheep on cold days. I love the sound of the farm in the morning and the stillness of a winter night. Sometimes I catch a spider’s craft on the fenceline or see a design in the partially frozen water buckets. Art, design, and beauty are everywhere, all waiting to be noticed and acknowledged.
Do Something that Lights You Up
Joy can be found in so many little moments, and we all need to make sure we have something we love doing every day, no matter how small. As you know, my animals bring me joy, as does my family and my needle felting. What I’ve learned is that pleasure doesn’t have to be significant, social-media-worthy events. They can be small moments, laughing with your kids, morning coffee on the deck, even cleaning brings many people joy! Do something every day that makes your soul smile.
Create Something, Anything
Of course, needle felting is a major creative outlet and a daily habit for me. It’s a source of joy, beauty, gratitude, and income for me. Even before I was fiber-crazy, I was creative, and my need to create was intense and manifested in all sorts of ways. For some, it’s the creation of a meal, the design of a perfect spreadsheet, or teaching others to share in your art. Whatever that source of creativity is for you, run toward it this year!!
Make Space for New
I’ve redefined the adage, “Out with the old, in with the new.” For me, if we want to call new things into our lives, we need to make space for them. I’m trying to live with less these days in general, but I don’t bring anything new in without letting go of something I no longer need. Unless it’s wool. Because WOOL! (Haha). But yes, even our needle felting stores could use some curating this year. Vow to do something clever with leftover fiber or make a purple giraffe if it moves you. Make this the year that everything in your life has a purpose, and make space for more joy, creativity, and love in the new year.
I believe that we always need to be learning and growing in this life. I am always challenging myself here on the farm, in my needle felting, and with the Nome Schoolhouse. Learning is fabulous for our brain health, but it’s even more important for our soul, in my opinion. Try to learn something every single day and journal the results. Identify something you’ve always wanted to know about, find an online class, or enjoy an Internet “rabbit hole” on a subject that intrigues you. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bear Creek Academy to expand your needle felting abilities, but learning is brain candy, so choose with joy!
I am so very grateful for the life I’ve created, and being aware deepens this feeling for me. The internet is packed with ideas for building a gratitude habit, but for me, it’s simple; say, “Thank You” and feel it. Start or end your day naming what you’re grateful for, acknowledge kindness with sincerity, catch the colors in a sunset over your home and be thankful. Gratitude is easy yet powerful, and even science has shown it can rewire your brain! Grab a journal or pick a time each day to immerse yourself in the wonder of this life.