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5 Things That Worked for Me in 2018

I cannot believe Christmas is over and that 2018 is just days away from wrapping up.

This year has been a WILD ride.

As I’ve been working on my goals for 2019, I’ve been reflecting back on good habits or systems that have worked well for me this past year.

Here are five things that have made a positive difference in my life. Some are new good habits, others are just silly little tweaks that have improved my quality of life:

good habits

1. Doing fitness classes at the gym. I’ve watched people doing BBG for the last couple of years and I keep trying it and . . . you guys, I hate it. It’s so boring to me. I’ve done it on and off for more than a year and I’ve never managed to do the whole thing. If I can do even two of the four circuits, I feel like I’m winning at life.

Then, when the weather started turning cold, we joined the local rec center and they have a massive array of classes. One of my friends from our North Carolina days lives here too now and invited me to start coming with her to a circuit-training/weightlifting class a couple of mornings a week, and I LOVE it. It’s pretty early, but I’ve never missed a day and I can go full-out for an entire hour (apparently, I’m much less willing to stop mid-way through and look at Instagram in a room full of other people than I am when I’m home alone in the basement).

This has been one of the best good habits I’ve added this year. It’s been such a testament to me about finding something that works for YOU, even if something else is working for other people.

2. Using a meal planning service. I’ve pretty much talked about Sweet Peas Meals non-stop this year and my love affair hasn’t dwindled. It is so convenient to not have to spend time figuring out what to make each week – I can jump right to placing my grocery order (also, not doing my own grocery shopping has been a game changer for me) and I feel like I have so much more time now. Plus, I’ve discovered so many amazing new recipes – I’m planning to share some of my favorites in a couple of weeks!

3. Hanging a TV in our bedroom. Hey, I never said that the things on this list were really important. In 13 years of marriage, we’ve never had a TV in our room, but when we moved into this house which doesn’t really have a spot in the living room for a TV, we hung our second television in our bedroom and I LOVE it.

In the past, we’d watch a show before bed in the family room and then we’d still have to get ready for bed and we’d often waste a bunch of time sitting on the couch looking at our phones because getting ready for bed is the last thing you want to do at 10:05 at night.

Now, we get completely ready for bed BEFORE we start watching, we hop into bed and watch an episode, and then we can just turn off the lights and go right to sleep. It’s basically amazing.

4. Getting up early to work 3x a week. Bart and I switch off mornings going to the rec center and on the mornings he goes, I get up and work for an hour or so until I need to start getting ready. It helps my wake-up time stay more consistent, plus it’s so nice to get a couple of things knocked out before the day even really begins.

I used to do this when I was pregnant with Tally and had a hard time sleeping, and it’s so nice to be back in the habit. It makes it easier for me to disconnect when the girls get home from school and it’s helped me feel much less stressed, even during the holiday season which is a very busy season as a blogger.

5. Reading aloud to the girls before school. I’d like to get back in the habit of reading to the girls before bed, but so often the evenings are busy trying to get everyone in bed or there is some scheduling conflict like bookclub or a family event.

Instead, I’ve started reading aloud to the girls before Bart takes Ella to school. I try to be completely ready for the day about twenty minutes before Ella needs to leave and she makes sure to be dressed and lunch packed, and then I read on the couch with the girls while Bart showers and gets ready.

It’s such a nice way to start the day and feel like I have some time to connect with the girls before they leave or a babysitter arrives or I start doing household things like laundry or dishes.

And then if we DO read at night, it just feels like a bonus.


If you’ve started any good habits or changed up your routines this year, I’d love to hear what has worked for you! 


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  • Reply Lisa December 27, 2018 at 7:47 am

    The idea that there could possibly be 20 extra minutes in the morning before school blows my mind.
    I set a time limit on my phone for IG and FB this year. I don’t make myself follow it, but if I hit my 30 allotted minutes and it pops up the “time limit reached” message, it’s a good reminder to put the phone down.
    We got a new dog and he needs lots of walks. It’s been very good for us.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 27, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Well, keep in mind that I only have to get one child out the door in the morning for school!

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