The first week of the new year is exciting, and full of hope, determination and a whole lot of pressure! If you have gotten on social media anytime in the last 5 days you have seen gorgeous calendar spreads with a year full of plans, sparkly celebrations, and incredible goals for the future!

So here are my action steps to help you take on this new year…. OR any given Monday with a fresh start and the ability to conquer your bold, ambitious, scary, life changing goals.


Stop wearing busy as a badge of honor.. Im borrowing this line from Jenna Kutcher and starting the new year with an item that’s been on my to do list for months now, and I’m taking this first week of the year to form the habits to make it happen! With the technology and access to social media, and netflix binge watching, and food delivery systems, its easy to think you can do ALL THE THINGS… all at once.

Multitasking makes you think your juggling 10 things at once, while posting your all nighter selfie on Instagram so all your friends know how hard you’re working… but in reality you are  killing your productivity! Multitasking is just tricking yourself into believing you are handling everything but instead you are simple switching back and forth rapidly and your brain can’t truly dive into the creative, and focused space it needs to be efficient.

I would never have a client Skype client call while binge watching Grey Anatomy for the 5th time…  so why would I respond to a client email this way. When I started thinking about my time management this way, I realized that every task I do should be important enough to deserve my entire focus!  Ive started shutting off my screens, putting my phone on silent, and getting myself in a work zone where I can get these tasks done so much quicker!

HERES A TIP: sometimes I struggle with the overwhelming sense of urgency to finish everything on my list. I feel like the to-dos are overflowing and if I don’t get to something right now I will forget. Instead try to start your day, with a 5 minute “brain dump” I write down everything I’m stressed about needing to accomplish and get it on paper as fast as I can, if I remember something in the middle or writing a blog post or sending an email I jot it down.. then I go back and prioritize this list. Often times you will find most of these tasks aren’t as pressing as your brain is telling you in the moment!


This is the most visually impactful way I have found to declutter my life… and it takes less than an hour! I am one of those people who cannot stand to leave a notification waiting, I need my messages to appear clear with no little shiny boxes waiting to be opened… often times this means in a rush I’m deleting or skimming over things that I think I will get back to later just so the notification disappears and I feel a sense of accomplishment without any unread message waiting.

This year I am starting by unsubscribing to the emails that are cluttering my inbox. You know that great sale they had at JCrew 2 years ago where you signed up for their newsletter and a special discount code.. trust me they will have another one in a month, but I really don’t need 3 reminders a day of the new pixie pant on sale in this seasons color. I am spending the afternoon going through my inbox and clicking unsubscribe to almost every resource that isn’t relevant RIGHT NOW, then for the rest of the week anytime I get a stray email that isn’t important I do the same thing. Now instead of opening my email to 37 unread… I have 4 that actually deserve my attention.

If just the thought of you deleting those spam emails is giving you FOMO. . .  trust me your inbox will fill back up in a few months and as a bonus.. this way when you sign up for that JCrew newsletter you will be getting all of the glamorous  “first time buyer” discounts again!


This last goal  applies to so many aspects of life. I don’t know anyone who isn’t trying to eat healthier and stay fit in 2019! So we can all pay better attention to the fuel we are putting in our bodies, BUT we also need to be taking note of the fuel you are feeding your mind.

We can get stuck for hours scrolling Instagram, or watching youtube videos, and wind up feeling less than enthused for our own life. Those feeds are filled with luxury vacations, Joanna Gaines worthy kitchen, successful businesses in their first class seats and Victoria Secret models…. COME ON, you know some of these people spend their Sunday eating leftover Chinese, in their sweat pants covered in dog fur… BUT THEY DON’T SHOW IT ONLINE!

Stop compare yourself to the social media highlight reel of other peoples lives… This New Year follow accounts that inspire you, relate to you, and push you to be better.. BUT if you are stuck in the comparison trap, get off of those accounts! Unfollow those who are “too perfect” OR getting your mind in a self destructive space! Even better yet, set a timer to limit your social media use and try reading a book, taking a walk, or another activity that fuels your mind in a positive way!

I hope that these steps help you create the life you are dreaming of in 2019. Now no guilt trips allowed, if you didn’t accomplish or start all of your goals exactly on January 1st, that is OKAY, today is the perfect time to declutter your life and start fresh!

If you liked this post be sure to check out my post all about favorite mini work-cation retreats to recharge and relax HERE!

The Best Steps to START FRESH this New Year

Jan 1, 2019

hey friends!

I'm Heather, a Wedding & Brand Photographer serving Central Virginia & Beyond! I love sharing beautiful love stories, inspiring wedding details, and practical tips for a stress free wedding!

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