Hello Everyone and welcome to the eleventh edition of The Nap Times and the final newsletter of 2021! If you are receiving this and do not want a monthly newsletter from me, simply unsubscribe at the bottom. I totally get wanting to simplify and declutter your inbox and will not take it personally. Also, some of the links in this newsletter are affiliate links.
This newsletter is a fun one! It's all theme around my love for New Year's Resolutions! In this email we will discuss:
Why I love New Year's Resolutions
Some Good Questions to ask when making resolutions
How I am personally doing resolutions differently this year
My favorite books on habit formation
A quote I always think about in January
Current things I have read/listened to/watched
Why I love New Years Resolutions
I know they can get a lot of flack…why wait till January? Why feel like you need to change? Why make these grand goals you won’t be able to keep? I know there are some haters, but personally, I LOVE making resolutions.
I love how December draws us towards celebration and being with those we love. It is a huge month to focus on the many blessings in our lives and turn our eyes upward. Then, come January, I love thinking for the new year. I love the evaluation that takes place in order to name the places I feel content in, and also the areas I would love to grow in. I love the time of contemplation that takes place at the end of the year and the sense of a fresh start in January.
I also love that January is a time where everyone else is doing it too. It’s the difference between running a 5K by myself on a Saturday morning or running it in an official race with a giant group of people.
There is so much momentum!!
By now you can likely guess that I am making resolutions for 2022, and I thought I would share a few questions I have found helpful to ask myself before I even get to the actual nitty gritty resolutions. These questions help me filter through my grand goals and intentions to find what really matters to me.
Good Questions to ask when making resolutions
STEP ONE: LOOKING BACK
Did I keep the resolution, and if not, DO I REALLY CARE?
This one has to do with your resolutions from last year. It might surprise you to find that some of the resolutions you made you honestly aren't all that upset about.
As you look back on 2021 resolutions that failed, don’t beat yourself up! Ask yourself this simple question and learn from it.
Did I keep last year's resolutions? And if not, am I upset about it?
STEP TWO: SELF-REFLECTION
Do I personally want to do this?
Here is where you need to be honest with yourself. This question is to help you differentiate if the resolution is something you truly want to do or something you think you should be doing because others are.
This question is IMPORTANT! Because while the momentum of New Year’s Resolutions is helpful, it only really helps you if you personally desire the end goal of your resolutions. There are going to be a lot of people doing sugar-free diet’s and new workout regimens and book clubs, but before you jump on board, be sure you ask yourself: Do I personally want to do this?
And if the answer is no, you don’t need to feel an ounce of guilt** that you aren’t partaking. You might be eating just fine! You could very well be very content with your current workout regimen. Just because a large group of people is doing something does not make it right for you, and that’s ok! Don’t take precious time training for a marathon you have no desire to run. Your resolutions are YOURS after all. Make them and own them.
**There is one caveat to this question…please read on…
STEP 3: HONEST EVALUATION
Do I need to do this?
This is the caveat to yesterday’s question, because sometimes there are things we know we need to be doing and we need to take ownership there.
So today’s question for resolution making: is there something you NEED to be doing for the sake of your health, family, finances, etc? And if so….look forward to final question number four!
STEP 4: BEING REALISTIC
How can I make this work in my specific season of life?
By now, hopefully, you have learned things that you don’t really care about, focused in on what you do you really care about, and also taken stock of things that need to change.
Now, how do you implement it in your *specific season* of life?
You might’ve noticed that I use the word “season” a lot. I do it on purpose. Thinking of things in terms of a season of life really helps me to focus on how to thrive in the specific circumstances I am given, knowing it won’t always be this way. For instance, I love to exercise first thing in the morning. However, I currently have an 8 week old. That ain't happening! But this season won't last forever!
Thinking in terms of seasons helps me not to freak out when it’s hard, and also to be grateful when it’s good.
Maybe for you it’s your kids being in school, or a busy season at work, or a pregnancy. You need to ask yourself how to implement your resolutions in a way that works in the current season you are in, NOT in some future season you wish to be in. Your circumstances are very specific to you and are most probably very different from half the people that you follow on Instagram. Fight hard to learn how to make things work for you! Your schedule, your needs, your wants, your financial situation.
In fact, you have my permission (for what it’s worth) to take January as a trial month. Set your resolutions into effect and use this upcoming month to figure out how to make them work for you. You’ll fail some. That’s all part of the learning.
And that last part leads me too…
How I am doing resolutions differently this year (and how you might want to as well)
This year, I have decided to make quarterly resolutions. So, when I sit down to plan, I am only going to think for January to March.
Well, it comes back again to the season of life we are in and step #4 from above. Alberta is about to be two months old, and come March she will be five months old. For a baby, that makes for a lot of changes! What is working now could be very different come March. Maybe for you it's less about a specific quarter and more about making resolutions for while the kids are in school that you re-evaluate come summer. Maybe the thought of the whole year is too daunting. Heck, who can plan much of anything the way the last two years have gone?!
Whatever the reason, know that I am not making 2022 resolutions. I am making Jan-March resolutions. There are no rules here! Make resolutions work for you.
Favorite Books on Habit Formation
This seemed like a fun section to tell you about two books I LOVE on Habit Formation.
I read this book for the first time back in 2017 and it helped me so much to understand the type of person I am (spoiler: I am an Upholder) and therefore what kind of goal setting works best for me. She outlines the Four Tendencies (Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, and Rebel) and how these different types of people respond to inner and outer expectations. Fun fact: the largest group of people are Obligers, which means they respond to outside expectations rather than expectations from themselves. That is why so many weight loss programs find success in a group setting! Take Weight Watchers, for example. Even if people have trouble meeting their inner expectation for themselves, they are motivated by the outer expectations the meeting accountability has. Another example: if you are an Obliger and want to start running, it is best to find a running partner, because you won't want to let them down, whereas an Upholder doesn't need the outside accountability. Anyways, this is a great read and you can also listen on audiobook.
You have likely heard of this book, and it really is just as good as people say it is. Clear explains the importance of things like habit stacking to form good habits and break bad habits. He breaks habit formation down into baby steps, making them attainable. It's been a while since I have read this one and need to listen to it on audiobook again this year.
A favorite quote I read every January
This is a quote written by Shauna Niequist I have come to love and think about every January. Specifically the line: “then in January, fasting gives me the chance to practice the discipline of not having what I want at every moment.” I love thinking about changes in January as a healthy form of re-lerning some discipline that pairs so well with seasons of feasting, rather than a sad season of deprivation.
*I am going to use this section to only share things I read/watched I would suggest to another person. I definitely read/listened to/watched some duds!
Well, this should come as no surprise. I finished Elin Hilderbrand's Paradise Trilogy. All three books! Loved them. Her books continue to be so easy for me to read, and in this postpartum phase I loved having a series so I didn't have to learn new characters. This is (I believe) her only series not set on Nantucket and instead set in St. John. They way she writes with such detail has me wanting to book a flight there tomorrow! At this point, anything that is keeping me reading is a huge win, and I am so grateful for Hilderbrand this past year. I just counted and I read 16 of her books this year!!!
**PS: if you are wondering how I am reading so much in this newborn phase, it's because of my Kindle! I download all books from my library (using the Libby app) and read while I nurse or rock Alberta. The Kindle is so much easier on my eyes at night and doesn't have any blue light. I could take on a second job as a spokesperson for Kindle!
I am currently listening to God and Money by John Cortines and Gregory Baumer and it is super challenging! I am not finished yet and will report back when I do. Books on Money was another theme of mine in 2021, with Psychology of Money being my favorite.
Nate and I finished Season 3 of Succession. This season started slow to me but ended with a big plot twist! It's on HBO and definitely a parents only show. The F word is said no less than 65 times per episode. But if you remember, it is HARD for Nate and I to land on a show we both love, and white collar crime dramas checks a lot of boxes for us both.
We watched King Richard last night and oh my word we loved it! I never knew the backstory of the Williams family and it does not sugarcoat the hardships they faced. Will Smith does it again with some of the best acting I have seen in a while.
LAST THING: THE HOME RESET IS BACK!!!
GET EXCITED! If you missed it last year, the NTK Home Reset is back as of December 26th! This audio course was designed with respect for your time in mind. I know you don't have hours to sit in front of a computer screen. You want your house under control and you want it done fast. So, I made the course 100% audio! You can listen while you drive, or heck, even while you clean!
Each episode comes with a printable checklist to keep you on track, while the audio keeps you motivated. This is by far my favorite thing I have ever created. I care deeply about having people love their homes and making your home work for YOU. If this sounds like something you might enjoy, you can read more about it by clicking the link below.