Happy New Year lovelies! I can’t believe another year is upon us, am I the only one who thinks that time is zipping by at the speed of light? Still, I’m honestly glad 2016 is over and done with because it was a painful year for our country and so many people in my life. Although I stopped doing resolutions years ago (I focus on intentions and concrete plans now), I do love what a new year represents – clean slate, new beginnings and second chances. So I thought I’d dedicate the first blogpost of 2017 to sharing with you few tips and inspirations for making this year healthier, happier and easier. Here we go!

1) CONFIDENCE 

For me, personal and professional growth plays a huge role in my self-confidence. As the saying goes, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. I feel my best when I’m constantly learning, growing and acquiring new skills, no matter how big or small the growth. The quickest way to feel confident about yourself and your life is to adapt an incremental growth mindset – as soon as you learn and master something, don’t stop there. Pause long enough to celebrate your achievement then go to the next level. What is one area you’d like to grow in this year? Here are some ideas: finishing school or going back for your masters. Writing a book. Leaving a dead end job for a new one. Just start, enjoy the process of growing and your confidence will soar.

2) FITNESS

I’ve written about fitness and nutrition here, here and here so check it out. But one thing I’d like to add is that your fitness approach must be holistic. If you’re working out five days a week but continue to eat unclean (food from cans, boxes, drive-thru, restaurants, etc), you’re not going to lose much weight or feel healthy. That’s because most store bought and restaurant foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and bad fats. So yeah, make effort to eat most of your meals at home – you’ll have more control over what you put into your body and you’ll save hundreds of dollars each month. Win-win, right? Here’s a guest blog on meal planning for a busy lifestyle. Not getting decent amount of sleep and dehydration will also make you feel exhausted and irritable, not to mention sabotaging your fitness goals, so drink lots of water and get 6+ hours of sleep.

3) MOTHERHOOD

The last three years into my motherhood journey has taught me so much, and I could write a lot about what I wish I knew before becoming a mother. And one thing I can say is that it’s the most difficult and emotional experience of my life – where I often I feel joy, frustration, love, and exhaustion all at once. I can also say that motherhood is not for everyone and a woman should never be made to feel like it’s what she’s made to do. I chose to be a mother and I will even do it again, but I’ll never impose that on another woman. There are also many other ways to contribute to society and feel fulfilled without procreating 🙂

But should you choose to embark on this journey or you already have, my one solid advice is to get all the help you need, wherever you can get it. And remember that just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean that the person you were prior to motherhood doesn’t still exist. Revive those goals and dreams you had long before you became a mother and nurture them. Maintaining your individuality is good for you and good for you family.

4) FINANCE

Finances are a big part of my family’s focus this year so you’re going to see few blogposts dedicated to this. So stay tuned for detailed tips and strategies for saving money and reducing expenses. But in a nutshell, there are really just two ways to have more money – to earn more of it or spend less of it. And ideally you’d be doing both!

As a starting point, do you maintain a budget? A budget enables you to track your monthly spending so you can see where your hard-earned money is going and where you need to cut costs. A great app and website for tracking your expenses is mint, more on this coming up on subsequent blogposts. You can also utilize plain ol’ excel spreadsheets to track your spending as I’ve for many years. Other things you should do right away is pull your credit report and see what’s in it. And get your FICO score while you’re at it. This is one of the first things I use to make my clients do when I was a business consultant. Once you know what’s in it, you can take the appropriate steps to have mistakes removed, settle debt that went to collection, set goals for raising your FICO score, etc.

Last but not least, did you know that eating out is the biggest expense for Americans besides rent/mortage and car note? If you eat out more than twice a week, make it a priority this year to cut back and watch your money magically grow. Seriously! Here’s a bonus: when you eat more of your meals at home, you’ll also lose weight, feel less fatigued, sleep better and gain so much energy. If cooking isn’t your thing, make it a goal to learn few fun dishes and invite people over for company. That will motivate you to step up your cooking game :)

5) BEAUTY & STYLE 

I’ve summarized my best styling tips here. As for beauty tips, if you’re in your 30s, start taking good care of you skin now – less makeup, lots of water and plenty of sleep is basically all you need for flawless skin. And cut sugar out of life and the list is complete. 

I can’t thank you all enough for taking time to read this and for your continued love and support. It means so much to me!!! Happy and blessed 2017! 

What’s the most important goal or project you’re committed to bring to life this year?

Xo, Tigisti