7 ways to make 2017 YOUR year

Happy new year! Happy new blog! 

I decided to relaunch weekend-gypsy.com with a slight facelift, and really stick to my guns this year about keeping up with posts. (Ahh, the naiveté of the new year, huh?!) But, seriously... it's about time! 

Let's dive in here, shall we? 

Since I'd like to consider this a space for inspiration - to both inspire and be inspired - I'm kicking off the new year with my thoughts on 7 ways to stay inspired & motivated! These are all points that I have been following (or at least trying to follow) every day over the past 6-7 months, and I can definitely say they've had a pretty significant effect on my motivation, efficiency, and mood overall. 

1 - Wake up and have a positive thought. It sounds kind of silly, but a lot of the time we rush out of bed and start fumbling through the morning without really taking a second to stop and think about something we feel happy or grateful for. Your mind is powerful. Make an effort to have at least ONE positive thought within the first 30 seconds of waking up. It will help set the tone for the rest of your day. 

2 - Be selfish. Don't feel bad about taking an extra 5 minutes to make your breakfast look instagram-able. Don't feel bad about watching that funny video your bff shared on Facebook - the one with the salsa dancing puppy. Don't feel bad about doing anything that makes you HAPPIER - especially during your morning routine. If you start the day off depriving yourself of something that helps put you in a better mood, you're already setting yourself up for a not-so-motivated day. 

3 - Stick to the plan. Whether you prefer traditional pen-on-paper, or digital scheduling, take the time to really plan out your day. Start by focusing on 3 top-priority tasks, and then trickle down to the rest of your to-do list. You don't need to follow a minute-by-minute schedule, but having a general outline of your day really helps keep you focused on what's important, and helps deter pesky distractions when they try creeping in. If you're a perpetual busy-bee, this will keep your anxiety at bay and help avoid that overwhelming feeling of having too much on your plate. On the other hand, if you're someone that needs a little "push" to get stuff done and be more productive, this will remind you that you have at least 3 big tasks to do before allowing yourself to relax or call it a day. 

4 - Take a mental break. Especially if you're a workaholic. Try not to burn out by zoning too far into your tasks that you forget to breathe here and there. Take a quick 5-10 minute break when you start feeling like you might be hitting a wall - writers block, creative block, or you simply can't take one more second of that spreadsheet. 

5 - Eat properly. There's more than enough information "out there" to prove how much correlation there is between our mental clarity and the types of food we eat throughout the day. Eating somewhere along the healthy side of the food spectrum will help your body function properly, and allow your head to stay in a positive place a bit more effortlessly. Big Macs are only satisfying the moment you're chowing down. Afterwards, your body and brain go to war with digestion, and it all becomes a jumbled mess in there. Enter: food coma and a cranky mood. For me personally, I function the best when I'm eating mostly preservative-free and plant based. But if that's not realistic for you... adjust as needed! Do whatever fits into your lifestyle and gives you the biggest energy boost after each meal. 

6 - Learn a little something, something. Even if it's a teeny tiny bit of knowledge. Even if you don't have anything specific in mind. Open up a google tab and type in "how to _____." or "things I wish I knew before _____."  And then spend 10-15 minutes reading articles and researching. You'll be surprised at how many seemingly unimportant bits of information actually end up being extremely helpful at some point. For example: If you're a graphic designer, taking 5 minutes to research a few Photoshop keyboard shortcuts could save you tons of time and ease your workflow on your next project. 

7 - Unplug & unwind. This is by far the most difficult one for me to practice. I have a really hard time flipping the switch from "work" to "chill" at the end of the day. And it's an even bigger struggle to do the whole turn-off-your-electronics-30-minutes-before-falling-asleep thing. Like, who does that?! BUT, as extremely unrealistic as that seems, I do see how forcing yourself to relax at the end of the day by doing something other than answering emails, posting on instagram, or scrolling through Pinterest on a screen 4 inches away from your face may lead to a much better night's sleep. And we all know how important that is! 

So, what's your favorite way to stay inspired & motivated? Leave your tips below & happy 2•0•1•7 everyone!

Xx Laura