My Spring FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey everyone!

Hope everyone’s still holding up well! It’s definitely a strange week, but I find one of the best ways to make it through social distancing is making sure you have little things to look forward to. This can mean anything from little FaceTime dates, to special blog posts you’ve been working on forever, or a fancy face mask/spa night you’ve planned out for yourself. But one of my favourites is buying little gifts for myself online. That’s exactly why I love FabFitFun so much — the element of surprise in every box turns it into a little seasonal gift for myself.

I’ve been a FabFitFun member for over a year now, and frankly, they’ve never disappointed. First of all, the quality of the products they offer is INSANE. Not only that, but they really seem to add a selection of staples and items tailored for the specific season. I feel like people worry about receiving items they won’t need or use in subscription boxes, but that’s never been the case for me. Maybe it’s because all the items FabFitFun offers are so universal and great, or maybe it’s just a mix of luck and getting to select a certain number of items per each box. Either way, in the year and a half that I’ve been a member, I’ve used and loved every single product I’ve received.

This season is no exception. I’ve already put so many of my items from this season’s box to good use, and I can’t wait to share each and every one of them with you! Plus, if you love what you’re seeing it’s not too late to get a box of your very own! You can get your first box $10 off by clicking here and using my affiliate discount SPRINGLOVE! It might just be the perfect pick-me-up to get you through this social distancing season.

Donni Ribbed Sweater Coat

When I saw this sweater as an option, I just KNEW I had to get it. Cardigans and sweaters are something my closet is hugely lacking in, which is a huge pain during spring. I always end up struggling with choosing between being cold or having to wear outer layers that don’t really match my outfit, and while the type of weather that calls for that kind of transition never lasts long and I always just scrape by, it really is an easy fix. I’ve already gotten the chance to try out this little sweater jacket once and I’m all about it — it’s casual and classic, super cozy and will go with just about any simple outfit I have stashed away in my closet.

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion

I’m absolutely in love with this serum. I know I haven’t been using it for that long, but I’m absolutely adding it into my regular routine — even after I use this bottle up. First of all, I’ve already discussed in many previous posts all the benefits collagen offers. I know I’ve shared before all about how much I love Tarte’s Rainforest Of The Sea Collagen Super Serum, and I’d still vouch for it as a product. However, I find the cream-formulation of this serum so be a lot less messy to apply, and it doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue on my skin. Also, the smell of this stuff is just unreal — I’d love to have a candle with the same scent because I really just love it that much.

Wei Two-In-One Purify and Glow Mask Collection

I’ve been trying to use this quarantine time to work through a bunch of face mask samples I have to help refine my collection to products that really benefit my skin the most. While there’s certain masks in my collection that I’m certain are here to stay — such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Mask and Fresh’s Instant Perfecting Mask, there’s others that I feel may not be the best suited for my skin compared to newer options, plus I just like to switch it up and see what’s out there. While I haven’t tried out the exfoliating masks in this little package just yet, I can already say I’m definitely repurchasing the golden root clay mask.

This mask left me feeling like I had a whole new face. Even for someone who spends a lot (maybe even too much?) time on skincare, I had never seen my skin looking as good as I had after this mask. The mask itself is so soft and feels lovely to apply (especially with the little brush they include with it) and the deep-cleansing results are immediately visible. If you’re looking for a solid clay mask to add to your collection, I’d highly recommend trying this one out.

Jabonería Marianella Imperial Jade Body Oil

I’m really happy I received this product in my box as it’s definitely something I would have never tried normally. Body oils are something I’ve kind of kept a distance from in the past as they have a tendency to be messy and if they don’t absorb well, will leave your clothes/bed sheets/life oily and stained too. However, this oil is thick enough that it’s easy to apply without worrying about making a massive mess. Not only that, but it absorbs quickly enough you can apply it in the morning and not worry about ruining your clothes, which is amazing. This oil is perfect for mornings, too, because the scent is a) so heavenly and b) really helps wake me up and help me feel energized after I apply it. (Plus, it’s packed with all kinds of vitamins that keep your skin glowing and healthy!).

AG Hair Fast Food Leave-On Conditioner

This is the only product I’ve received in my box I haven’t had a chance to try out yet, but I’ll be sure to report back once I have the chance. I love that FabFitFun often throws in products like this, though, since I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about hair care as I am about skincare and makeup. FabFitFun really has introduced me to SO many of my favourite products/brands over the years, and many of my all-time favourites have been hair care products. Items such as Aveda’s Damage Remedy, DryBar’s Prep Rally, and of course, the entire brand of Ouai, have all remained in my full-time rotation since I first received them. So I’m not worried, I’m sure this product wont disappoint.

This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon

FabFitFun has gifted me many of my favourite body moisturizers over the years, and this one is no exception. My favourite types of moisturizers are the kind that are light-weight and absorb quickly, because I hate that lingering feeling so many creams have that you can feel on your skin for ages after you apply it. This cream is both fantastic and lightweight, but the smell really does help me feel relaxed and ready for bed after I apply it. It’s formulated specifically with shea butter, Lavender, Vertivert and Camomile essential oils, and Crambe and Camelina sativa oils to help soothe your body and protect skin from aging. It’s super soothing and I just love adding it into my nighttime ritual, it’s the kind of thing that helps me fully unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Chic & Tonic Silicone Straws

I am OBSESSED with these. First of all — look at how cute they are. But past that, I’ve really been struggling to find the perfect balance when it comes to not using plastic straws. Metal straws are challenging to carry around, and the silicone-metal hybrid one I had purchased I found challenging to clean and store. Paper straws are kind of gross, too, so I usually end up just drinking directly from the glass (which I kind of hate — maybe it’s just because I’m a klutz, but I always end up spilling drinks with ice all over me when I drink them directly from the glass). Anyways, not only are these straws eco-friendly and adorable, they fold up for easy storage (and they even come with a carrying case) and I personally find them easier to clean than metal straws. So, basically, me and my accident-prone self’s life just got a lot easier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

I’ve always been curious about this type of product after seeing the Evian version available in Sephora for years, but I’ve never actually made the leap to try it. When I was reading the instructions for this product, I was blown away by how many uses it actually had. Previously, I never saw the point in purchasing “just water”, but the uses of this product range from makeup remover, to sunburn care, to soothing aftershave (and even more, I honestly can’t list them all). As well, this water has been purified and can help to soften skin and doesn’t include any irritants. As someone who’s morning skincare routine consists of a gentle water wash as the first step, I’ve been loving this product for that — but I can’t wait to test it out for more of it’s many uses in the future.

Add On: Calpack Packing Cubes in “Sorbet”

As an avid traveller, one of my biggest pet peeves about packing is how disorganized my suitcase looks after flying — it really doesn’t matter how much effort you put into packing everything as neatly as possible before you fly, by the time you land everything just ends up being a jumbled mess. When I saw these packing cubes as an option, I knew I needed to add them on to my order. While I don’t have any travel plans in the immediate future, the idea of being able to keep my clothes separate and neatly folded already has me excited for my next trip.

And that’s it for my spring box! I’m already obsessing over SO many of the items I’ve received, and I don’t even feel that I’ve gotten the chance to really see how amazing they are in the long run. Everything in this box is not only useful but universal, so while I know I’m definitely going to get use out of everything, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could ever struggle to find use for their items. While I am a little sad I now have to wait a whole three months for my next box, I love the seasonal theme of FabFitFun — it really helps to ring in each season, and it’s always worth the wait!

If you’re still hoping to get a spring box of your own, there’s still time! Don’t forget to click here and get your box discounted with the code SPRINGLOVE — if you were already considering it, the discount is just a bonus!

I hope everyone’s holding up okay while social distancing! The best thing to do right now is keep productive, calm and find little things to look forward to or make you happy. If you need some extra ideas, you can always check out my fifteen tips to get through social distancing — but also just keep in mind to take everything one day at a time and to do your best to stay positive. The more seriously we take this now, the sooner it will all blow over anyway!

Much love, and happy spring!

Xo,

Meredith

Trends I’m Loving: Beach Vacay Edition!

Hey y’all!

So to start off, I have some super exciting news to share — I’m officially a FabFitFun affiliate! I don’t even have to tell you guys how excited I am about this, as I’m constantly referencing products and brands they introduced me to and raving about what I received in my boxes each season. If you want to get in on the fun, click here to head over to the FabFitFun site and get $10 off your first box when you use the code SPRINGLOVE!

(As a side note, if you’re curious about what type of products you may receive in a FabFitFun box, you can check out these sneak peek photos of the Spring Box, or my past Winter and Fall Unboxings to get a better idea!)

But for now, back to today’s content — for my 100th (!!!) blog post, I’m going to be sharing all my favourite fashion and makeup trends for a stylish and fun beach getaway. While I love how trendy and cool fall and winter fashion can be, summer is my favourite season and I just love how simple and easy-going summer style is. In my opinion, a great vacay wardrobe should incorporate both that care-free summer feeling, as well as taking every opportunity to try out as many new trends as possible (as tragically, vacation time is limited so you may as well take advantage). Vacation style, ideally, should therefore be cute, casual, and above all else — comfy. I mean, you’re taking a break right? So get comfortable and relax! (And if you don’t have any plans to take a vacation any time soon, feel free to keep reading — I’m going to be rocking these trends all summer too!).

A Cute Peach Lip

Peach tones have been the summery trend I’ve become obsessed with lately. I won’t lie, I’ve avoided peach the last few years — when it gets too bright and coral-hued I find it clashes with my skin tone and can look unflattering. However, I’ve been sticking to lighter, more neutral tones lately and I have to say — it is SO cute. Just look at this — is it not the perfect summer shade?

Of course, peach can be incorporated into any aspect of beachy summer looks — I got a peach manicure to match before I flew down to Puerto Vallarta as well! But a cute peach lip in my new fave. My favourite peachy lip looks are Kylie Cosmetic’s lip kit in Dirty Peach. (I love using Kylie Cosmetic’s Endless Summer Lipstick as a top coat to this to add some shine, but apparently they no longer carry the shade. However, if super-matte looks aren’t your thing, MAC Cosmetic’s Frost Lipstick in shade Skew would make a great topcoat as well!).

Some On-Trend Accessories

Okay, so cute hair accessories in 2020 isn’t really news. You can’t go more than a minute on Pinterest or Insta without seeing some super cute hair clip inspo. However, this was my first time really getting to test this style out personally. You can find me wearing chunky hair clips just about every day now — I’m pretty much addicted.

I brought endless hair accessories with me on my trip to test out, and I’ve discovered all of my faves. Obviously, oversized clips are all the rage right now — I got mine from H&M, and personally I think they’re adorable. If you’re looking to be perfectly on trend for your next getaway, I’d totally recommend checking out their accessory stock, as well as Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for the cutest pre-tied bow scrunchies and scarves.

Glossy, Glittery Lips

You guys all know by now that I’m a gloss gal through and through — I just love the look! Now, I’ll be the first to admit super glossy looks don’t work out perfectly for every day on the beach (Is it super cute? Totally. But does your hair end up getting stuck in it every two minutes? Also yes.).

That being said, it still makes SUCH a cute beach look for the right occasion — especially for those uber-glossy, glittery looks that lipstick just can’t achieve. I found the perfect gloss for this getaway at Kylie Cosmetics in shade Oh You Fancy?. This gloss is just about as glittery as it gets, and it’s got a cute clear/peachy hue. It totally adds to a peach lip look and gives that perfect shine that helps add to your glowy beach look.

A Cute Bikini Collection

Every so often, I like to grab a few new bikinis to keep up with the latest trends. I find that bathing suit trends can be super distinct to each season and always changing, so it’s great to pick up a few so you look super on-trend before any beach vacation.

My personal faves this season are stylish snake prints and the return of bold neons — especially if you’re rocking a tan. As well, any bandeau or tank-style top is always just so cute. There’s endless stores that carry trendy bikinis, but some good ones to check out are ASOS, Free People and Revolve.

A Pinterest-Worthy Beach Hat

Looks that are cute AND practical? Count me in. I’ve really fallen in love with the wide-brim beach hat trend lately — for starters, simply because of how adorable it is. But Pinterest-famous vibes aside, this hat really does help protect both your eyes and sensitive face from the sun, which makes it a win in my books. While I bought this hat while away on my trip (it’s surprisingly hard to find vacation accessories in February) this style of hat is a staple that, in a few months, you’ll be able to find just about anywhere. While I may not have bought it from any commercial store, I’d recommend checking out H&M’s stock when the time comes — I really am falling in love with their accessories!

A Reliable Fake Tan

I don’t know about you all, but I’m not a fan of tanning. Only problem is — I love looking tan. You see my problem here? Maybe this is my personal opinion, but I find lying in direct sun fun for about half an hour before it starts getting really unpleasant. Plus there’s so many other downsides, such as the potential of uneven tanning, as well as sun damage — both on the cosmetic level, as well as damage to your skin’s health. While, yes, you could just load up on sunscreen, isn’t it easier to be in the sun/shade/indoors at your leisure and let your fake tanner do the heavy lifting? Who knows — maybe I’m just lazy or bitter because I burn super easily, but I consider this to be a vacation essential. (If you’re curious, my go-to is St. Tropez’s Classic Bronzing Lotion).

A Fresh Take On The Classic White Beach Dress

I should start this one off my ensuring you all I have nothing against white summery dresses, obviously. I love them! But you have all summer long to wear all the white dresses your heart desires, and only a short time away on vacation to really make a statement.

I’ve been obsessed with this cream-coloured romper ever since I bought it on sale at Aritzia at the end of last season, and I’ve been dying to show it off. I just love how it manages to be cute and classic while also switching up the whole usual white dress idea. If rompers aren’t really your thing, you could also give a two-piece set a try! Personally, I can’t wait for summer to roll around so I can go shopping for some cute matching shirt-and-short combos.

A Solid Waterproof Mascara

I could go super into detail here, or you could just check out my latest Thursday Favourite’s post about why Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Waterproof is the ultimate travel mascara. Either way, if you’re going to be swimming, sunning, or sweating — you’re going to need this.

That’s it for my little tropical fashion moment — but the good news is as of today we’re officially one step closer to spring! Happy March, everyone, and if you’re just so over this whole “winter” thing (and don’t have time to plan a getaway), just 21 more days until we’re all free of it. I don’t know about you guys, but I, for one, could not be more excited.

I hope you’re all having a restful and relaxing Sunday and are gearing up for a good week — personally, I’m taking a night off to relax as I have yet another crazy week ahead. If only vacation lasted forever, right?

Much love,

Meredith

HOW TO: Keep It Together During Busy Weeks

Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

Hey y’all!

Sooooo, once again, I’m delaying my Lash Lift post. I know, and I’m sorry! At this point I’ve had it done — I just really want the time to take good photos where you can see the effects and really perfect the post for you guys. It’s a post that’s been a long time in the making, so I just want to be sure it’s the absolute best and most informative it can be!

That being said, unfortunately, I’ve still been having a crazy week (clearly…my apologies for the delayed post — again! I swear this is the last time it’s going to happen). Between having a term paper due Thursday, Poetry class assignments (also due Thursday, because of course), a crazy busy week at work (between the amount of Canucks games, Lacrosse games and UFC Fights this week, its been a little overwhelming) and getting ready for my trip to Mexico (!!!) exactly one week today — I have been overwhelmed as heck.

Since I once again had to delay the post I had planned, I figured I’d share with you a little list of ten tips on how I’ve been surviving this week! Hopefully, for those of you with crazy weeks of your own coming up, you’ll find some advice here that’ll help you get through the busy and stressful times and make it to the other side in once piece.

  1. Get some sleep!!! It’s tempting to stay up super late to get everything done, especially when you’re on a roll. But not only will you end up regretting it the next day, but it’ll slowly start to build up and take more of a toll as time wears on — making it harder for you to keep up.
  2. Make sure you’re eating regularly. This one may seem super obvious — but when you’re having a really long day and feel like absolute garbage and can’t quite figure out why — you probably just need to eat more. Plan ahead for days when you know you may have to delay meals (for me, this is longer work days) and stock up on some snacks. My personal fave to get through long shifts are Clif Bar’s Nut Butter and Fruit Smoothie filled granola bars — soooooo good.
  3. Make sure you’re still keeping in touch with friends and family — you really need that support.
  4. Set aside daily time for self-care, but don’t overdo it! Taking time to take care of yourself is a necessity — but there’s a line between what you need and just procrastinating. If you’re having a ridiculously busy week, try to limit yourself to maximum one hour a day. You can always make up for it next week if you need to! But anything more than that may just be a guise to put off important tasks. If you need good self-care ideas to formulate a structured one-hour plan, be sure to check out my list here!
  5. Plan everything out well in advance. Even if you don’t follow the plan to a T (stuff always goes wrong — you can’t sweat it!) just having everything written down will ensure you don’t forget anything.
  6. On that note, be sure to limit tasks that need to be done ASAP to busy weeks — everything else can be taken care of later. Even things that feel super important to you and keeping your life together, such as cleaning, meal prepping, laundry, etc., can slide for a few days if it helps you complete all your tasks on time. Just remember — it’s all about balance!
  7. Obvious one — but stay hydrated.
  8. If you have a lot of tasks that are going to take a while to complete, try to break them up into smaller segments and switch it up every few hours. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this really helps me avoid burning out.
  9. Don’t overdo it on caffeine! It’s hard, I know. Sometimes during the crazy weeks it feels like that coffee is LITERALLY the only thing that’s going to help you survive the next few hours. However, if you’re already feeling kind of exhausted, you don’t want all that caffeine to impact your sleep. Even if you’re still falling asleep quickly, too much coffee can impact your quality of sleep — meaning you won’t wake up feeling refreshed and ready the next day. (If you really feel you can’t go without it, try decaf! If nothing else, hopefully the placebo effect will have you convinced it’s what you need).
  10. Be sure to reward yourself for completing tasks. You’ve been having a rough week — you deserve it! Not only that, but rewarding yourself for checking tricky tasks off your checklist will help to incentivize you to keep going. (It’ll also help to refresh you so you don’t feel like the week is one never-ending struggle — you need breaks!). Try to stick to little rewards after each task, and try to take a whole day off after you finish everything up — you need it! Take the day to relax and catch up on all the self-care, sleep, and alone time you’ve missed since your life got so hectic.

Happy Sunday everyone, and hopefully this next week goes well for you all! (And if it DOES happen to get a little intense, at least you have a little advice that’ll help make it easier!). If you have any other advice that helps you get through the tough times, or just want to vent about the week you’re having, drop a comment below! This week is going to be a bit of an intense one, but once I make it through to the other side I get to head down to Puerto Vallarta for a week, which is making it all worth it. Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s post about my experience getting a Lash Lift (seriously this time, I promise!) as well as TWO new travel posts coming out in the following weeks.

Here’s to surviving this week — or even thriving, if you’re lucky! I hope you all achieve your goals — we’re almost halfway through February, after all!

Much love,

Meredith

HOW TO: Have The Perfect Self-Love Valentine’s Day!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

It’s officially the first Sunday of February and you all know what that means — Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For some, this is met with excitement, but for others this holiday just leads to a lot of dread. Those of us who are single (and yes, I can definitely relate) often end up feeling lonely around this time of year — when really, being single is something I personally think should be celebrated! (In the wise words of Cher — a man is a luxury, not a necessity).

Over the years, I’ve really come to dislike negative attitudes that persist around February and being single. I really do grow tired of hearing complaints and the term “Singles Awareness Day” — when really, there’s nothing wrong with being single. While I’ll admit, I used to be a little bitter about it, I’ve recently realized just how important being single is to me right now — I have gone through so much growth and so many changes lately, I wouldn’t want anyone else defining my life right now or limiting my options of what comes next. This isn’t to say that I never want to be in a relationship, but this current time in my life is rather crazy, revolutionary and just straight up busy — and I’m hoping to come out the other side as the best possible version of myself. Then — and only then — will I really feel ready to settle down.

But for those of us focusing on ourselves right now — that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on feeling the love this February! And besides — who better to plan out and execute your perfect Valentine’s Day other than yourself, right? So whether you’re single and loving it, a little bitter about your relationship status, or fresh out of a relationship and unsure what comes next, I’ve got plenty of ideas for how you can treat yourself this 14th and have your best Self-Love Valentine’s Day yet!

Plan An All-Out Spa Day

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

The winter months are a busy and often stressful time for all of us — I’m sure I’m not the only one who starts to feel a little burnt out whenever February rolls around. Take this Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a day off! Plan yourself out a full spa day, complete with a massage, a facial, a mani-pedi, or whatever else your heart desires. Not only is this a fantastic way to treat yourself, it really helps your to focus on yourself and your needs for a day. Plus, you get to come back to work on Monday feeling refreshed — you’ll be glowing from the inside out!

Have A Night Out At Your Fave Restaurant

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

This Valentine’s Day, why not take yourself out on a date? After all, no one knows your perfect date better than yourself! Book a reso at your fave restaurant, buy tickets to that movie you’ve been dying to see, take yourself on a little shopping spree or go visit the local art gallery or park! If you decide to take yourself out to dinner, order your favourite meal and a nice drink or two — treat yourself! After all, it’s Valentine’s Day, and you deserve it.

Plan The Perfect Self-Care Night

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

If going out to dinner by yourself isn’t really your thing, take a night in to yourself! Take the time to plan out your perfect self care night — whatever that means for you. Buy a single use face mask, a bottle of wine (sparkling even — go all out!), and plan an activity that you know you’ll love. If you need more ideas, check out my post on how to plan your perfect self-care night for more ways to make it the perfect night for yourself!

Have A Girls Night In

Have a couple friends who are also single this February? Plan a night in together! Buy a couple bottles of wine, a pizza, plan a charcuterie board and a movie — or anything else you guys love to do! You can even plan a group self-care night, complete with some all-natural Lush face masks to share, some candles and a little treat like group hand massages. No matter what you guys end up planning, it’ll be a great way to show your love for each other and have a great night in this Valentine’s Day.

Go On A Wild Night Out

Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

For those of you looking to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a night out — you’re in luck! Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, making it the perfect night to go all-our for a night out on the town with your friends. Grab all your closest single friends and take a night to celebrate yourself, being single and figuring out who you are and what you want your life to be! (Or if you’re a little bitter about being single, go ahead and drink to that as well — I won’t judge!). It is a Friday after all, so hit that bar or club you’ve been dying to try and go all out!

Happy February everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week! No matter what your plans are this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have an amazing time — whether it’s a date night out with your SO, your friends, or a night in by yourself! Drop a comment below if you already have something fun planned — I’d love to hear it! And just remember, in the wise words of Ru Paul, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else” — can I get an Amen?

Much love,

Meredith

HOW TO: Create The Best Possible New Years Resolution!

Happy New Years, everyone!

Now that it’s officially the new year (hello, 2020!), it’s new year resolution time. January is often a stressful month — it feels like you have so much to catch up on after the holiday season, and you’re just thrown right back into work or school without warning. And you have to come up with the perfect New Years resolution on top of all that?

It can be super overwhelming, which really is the opposite of what you want. The best kind of resolutions should feel like they’re pushing you a little, but not so much that they feel unachievable or cause anxiety and stress. Ultimately, while it’s great to be ambitious, if your goals are too much to complete in one year, it’ll deter you from trying at all.

If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect resolution, only have a half-baked idea, or are stuck on how to make the theme of your resolution something you can stick with and achieve — don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. With these useful steps and tips, I’ll have you prepared with the perfect goals to make 2020 your best year yet!

Choose A Theme

What aspects of your life exactly is it that you’re looking to grow or improve in? The best way to set resolutions is to simply start off with a theme, instead of a statement. This way, you can be more flexible with your goals, and adjust them to fit your needs as the year progresses. You probably already have a good idea of what this theme is if you’re looking to set a resolution this year — maybe its health, fitness, studying, organizing, self care, skincare, socializing, tidying, or something else entirely. This is all personal to you, but starting off with a theme, rather than a set statement or singular goal, is a nice, simple place to start when creating your resolution. (Plus, this way you can choose more than one resolution, but set different goals for each theme — just because you have serious goals for one theme, doesn’t mean you can’t improve a little in some others as well!)

Select Specific Goals

Now that you have your theme, you have to select specific goals to help you towards achieving everything you want to by the end of the year. Obviously, just choosing “wellness” or “professional growth” is a little vague — you’re going to want to choose one or more specific goals to help clarify what you’re hoping to achieve. The best way to set goals is to think about a goal that sounds achievable, and then push it just a little further. For example, if your theme is studying, you may want to set goals about the amount of hours you’re going to study per week, or the final average you’re hoping to earn by the end of the semester. So, if it sounds like a perfectly realistic goal to study 20 hours a week and end the semester with a 80% average, try pushing your goal to be studying 25 hours a week and ending the semester with an 85%! In order to change and grow, you have to push yourself a little — if you’re completely comfortable, it means you’re not growing.

Something important when setting goals, however, is to also ensure you’re not choosing anything that requires you to be perfect to achieve them. The problem with doing this is that if you ever slip up (even just a little), you’ll likely end up feeling like you’ve failed your goal. This can be pretty damaging to your self esteem (even if you’ve already achieved a lot), and can even cause you to give up on your goal all together. So, for example, if your “studying” themed goal is to attend every single class during the semester, but you end up needing one day off to catch up, take a sick day, or just look after yourself — you may end up feeling that you’ve failed your goal even when you’ve made a crazy amount of progress. If you really want to set a goal that requires absolute perfection to execute, ensure you set a couple of margins to allow natural slip ups and days off — none of us are perfect, and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be. (As well, if pushing your goal a little from achievable lands you in the range of needing to be perfect, you might want to consider other themes and goals that could require more work instead!)

Break It Down

The one most important thing when setting a resolution is to break it down into manageable steps, rather than one large goal to have completed by the next trip around the sun. This is important for a number of reasons — first of all, it helps you keep track of your goal, and ensure you’re progressing forward with it as the year goes on. Secondly, it makes your resolution a lot less daunting — it is impossible to make massive life changes overnight (otherwise we’d all do it all the time!). If your goal seems too large or unattainable, it very well may end up deterring you from even attempting it at all. Think about it, how many times have you set a resolution and done absolutely nothing to achieve it? You’re not lazy or unmotivated — it’s just too much to take on a massive life change in one go.

There’s two ways to break down your goals easily — you can choose one or the other, but I’d personally recommend both at once. The first one, and my personal favourite, is to make one of your goals to set monthly, or even weekly and daily, goals that fit the theme of your resolution. For example, if one of your goals for the year is to reach a certain amount of views on your blog or followers on a platform, break that number down into how many you think is achievable in a certain month and make it your goal to reach that milestone over the next 29-31 days. From there, keep track of your progress and feel free to adjust your monthly goals as you see fit. It really helps you to realize how simple your goal may actually be when you put it into the perspective of smaller goals. Plus, it helps you keep track of your progress in a much more precise way, so you can actually see change and improvement — which will only help to motivate you more!

The second part of this is to start small and work up to larger steps as you adjust to the changes you’re making in your life. As I’ve said, you can’t expect yourself to make massive life changes overnight — even if you manage to stick with it for January, odds are it’ll eventually seem like too much when life starts to pick up and you’ll end up dropping your resolution entirely. It’s better to start small and adjust — it’ll help you get used to the change, so that when you have a period of time when it seems like you can’t keep up, you’ll have already made a habit of it.

To use a classic example, if your goal for the year is to exercise more, try starting off just working out one day a week for January and build your way up from there! If your goal is to start working out five days a week, but you didn’t see the inside of a gym once in 2019 (we’ve all been there), it’s a lot of stress to just jump in to a full-time workout routine. Even if one day a week seems too easy at first, it’ll help you to grow your confidence and create a habit of going regularly so that before you know it, it feels like a regular part of your life. You’ll already be used to working out regularly and feel like you know what you’re doing by the time you increase to two times a week, and you’ll reach five days a week before you even know it! This way, when you have a crazy week and have to take a step back, you’ll still be used (or even want to) hit the gym at least once, and you won’t fall out of the habit entirely if you need to take a week off.

Some goals may only work if you break them down in the first way, and some may cater a lot more to the second. However, for all the goals you set, be sure to break them down at least a little bit — and try to incorporate both methods into any goal or resolution you set! I promise, it might seem silly or unnecessary and first, but it’ll help you start and maintain your goals over the course of the year.

Write It Out

Now comes the final step — finding a way to write down and track your goals. There’s countless ways to do this — whether it’s making a mood board, writing weekly goals in your agenda, setting reminders in your phone, leaving yourself sticky notes, or just the good old notes app in your phone. Personally, this year I’ve started a bullet journal, where I’ve written down my themes, annual goals, as well as created a page for each month’s goals — as well as anything else I may ultimately end up including. It really just depends on what works best for you and what you’re hoping to achieve.

This step is incredibly important, however, as you not only might end up forgetting your goals if you don’t put them down in writing — it really helps to put them down and make them concrete. Take the time to write it out, break it down, and make it important so you’ll not only remember to check up on your progress, but track it as the year goes on. So many people give up on their resolutions after the first month — or even week — of the year, so take the time to transfer it out of your head and into your life. Make it real so you can’t ignore it or forget about it. You may not see results in the first month, but if you stick with it you’ll be amazed by how much you’ve accomplished by the time 2021 rolls around.

Don’t Rush It

(Yes, I know, this was from an earlier post but I just love it so much and it fits so well!)

This last part is less of a step and more so a reminder. You do not already need to know exactly what your yearlong goals are, or even what your theme is. It’s better to take the time to work out a well thought-out plan than to create something and stick to it simply because January 1st has passed. If you already had a plan but feel inspired to make changes to it, nothing is stopping you! You have no idea what your life is going to be like six months from now, so there’s no point in limiting yourself. The whole point of a resolution is to be open to change. Setting monthly goals also helps to adjust your goals to help improve your life as it moves forward throughout the year and keep you on track to ending up where you need to be. At the end of the day, as long as you’re happy with the path you’re on and the progress you’re making, this year is going to be a huge success.

Also keep in mind that not all progress is immediately visible. Making adjustments and serious changes to your lifestyle isn’t something that can or should be done overnight — it takes time. If in a months, six months, or even a years time, you’ve been working at it and don’t feel as though you’ve made any progress at all — take a look back to where you started. I promise you’re going to have come a lot further than you’ve ever thought you would when you started out, and you’re only going to go further from there!

I hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday and had a much-needed reset before the new year and heading back to work. New years can often be daunting and feel they carry a lot of weight — but don’t stress. Ultimately, as long as you keep your head up, your best interests at heart, and keep moving forward, it’ll all be okay. If 2019 wasn’t your year (relatable) hopefully 2020 will be, and if you had the best year ever in 2019, may this year manage to top it and be even better!

Xo,

Meredith