December was full of gift giving, gift receiving, and lots of things to be tried, bought, and received. There were some things I loved and I will be taking with me into the new year with me as part of my daily life, and some things that didn’t particularly work for me, but might work for you.
1. Day Planner.
I am a very note oriented person. I have to write things down or I will neglect to do them, due to not remembering and not seeing it on my todo list. I also like to have a set plan for the week, that way I know my time schedule, when things are due, and what events I have coming up. I purchased a new planner called Day Designer by Blue sky since my last planner finished in December. This planner is amazing. The beginning of the planner has pages for yearly goals, year reflections, and more. It has a monthly and yearly overview, as well as single pages dedicated to each day of the week with hour time slots for you to plan your day by the hour. It has a notes and todo section on each page as well as a section for your top three goals of the day. I find it so easy to log when I have class, due to having new spring semester schedule and not memorizing it yet, putting in when my workout classes are, as well as goals for the day. Planning isn’t for everyone and it is a very hefty book, but it is so worth it for me to stay organized academically.
2. “Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media” by Brittany Hennessy.
This book is so insightful and a great tool to use of you’re looking to grow your social media presence in any way. Being a blogger and teenager, social media is a huge part of my life, and having a great basis for growing my platform is beneficial and crucial. Building a personal brand is necessary in this day and age and so is having a well received online presence. This book will help you begin to build your platform, the do’s and don’ts, all while being a very fun read. I highly recommend this book if social media is your thing or you’re trying to put yourself out there. Get it here.
3. MyFitnessPal (App).
I’ve been using this app sporadically since I started my fitness journey seriously in August. The only reason I was not consistent with it was because of my own laziness and lack of dedication. The app is an amazing resource for those trying to lose weight and track calories. This month I recently rediscovered my motivation to get healthy and this tool alone has been the sole reason I have dropped 6 pounds in two weeks. Your diet is such a big part of life and food is amazing, but if you’re trying to drop weight, you can work out as much as you want but if you’re not fueling your body correctly, you will not see progress. This app allows you to set you own calorie goals, has huge diary of food for you to log, and allows you to set micro goals for carbs, sugars, fat.. etc. They will give you an estimate of how many calories you should be eating in a day to be in a deficit but, if you can, I would recommend seeing a nutritionist and getting an exact number. It also takes calories from your work outs and puts it back into your calorie goal for the day, which I don’t recommend doing if you want to see fast progress, but to each their own. Getting into the habit of logging my food, realizing the value of a calorie, and forming the habit of making sure I treat myself right has been so great for me mentally and physically. I also recommend getting a food scale for accurate measuring, it is so much easier and way more accurate.
4. Cleaning my room every four/five days.
I am a big fan of having a clean room and a clean home. But, in the hustle and bustle of every day life, it can get hard to keep things organized. That being said, it is way more productive to do light cleaning every couple of days then forcing yourself to do huge clean outs a few times a month. I usually just wash my sheets, dust, vacuum, bleach the shower and toilet and replace any air fresheners. These things all together take about an hour to do. It is so worth it to come home to a clean, fresh home. It is time consuming to do huge haul outs and dedicate days to cleaning and it can be daunting. This way, you are productive every couple of days and reap the benefits constantly. You will feel tete mentally and physically as you are checking off things that need to be done and you will be more productive the rest of the day. The same goes for making your bed, just do it, it is worth it every day.
5. Apple Watch.
I was gifted an apple watch for christmas and I am so grateful. It is one of the best pieces of technology I have ever owned. I got the one that allows you to use cellular service so I can receive texts and calls and everything else while my phone is now where to be found. It tracks my workouts, I can set timers, order Dominos, listen to music, and honesty everything an iPhone does, but on my wrist. I find it super helpful and convenient. I wear it constantly and the battery lasts forever. I will never be without my apple watch.
Bio-oil is a body oil that you can pick up your local drugstore (I get mine from Publix) And I have been using consistently for about a month now. To make a long story short, my birth control gave me a super rare side effect that mimics a disease and one of the symptoms are deep purple stretch marks which I have now accumulated on my inner arms, stomach, and hips. I personally am deeply embarrassed by them because birth control made me gain so much weight so fast and these marks are just a reminder of a set back in my journey. Bio oil ha decreased the look of the stretch marks so much. They have lightened up and the texture of my skin has gotten so much better. I recommend this for anyone struggling with stretch marks for whatever reason, I apply to the areas twice a day and it works wonders. Get it here.
7. Little animal chord holders.
I know this one sounds dumb, but after saving so much money not having to replace chords (especially apple charging chords) after they start fraying wire every few months, you’ll thank me. You can get them on Amazon but I have seen them at places such as the Saks 5th ave outlet too. They are little animals that look like they are eating the charging part of a chord to keep it in place and stop it from bending and fraying. They are adorable, sturdy, and so useful. Everyone had the same idea for christmas and I currently have a hedgehog, shark, and whale shark. I love them all equally and they are all in use currently. Actually using my hedgehog one as we speak.
8. House slippers.
I know I sound 90000 years old typing this one but hear me out, house slippers are the most useful and comfortable things to wear around the house. I am constantly wearing socks, like sleep with them on, everything. But, sometimes when I’m cleaning or walking in a part of my house that hasn’t been cleaned recently, I don’t want to wear just my socks that catch dog hair and whatever else is on the floor and drag it into my room. With house slippers that have hard bottoms, I can walk wherever I want without worrying about dirtying my own space. They are also super useful for when I am in my dorm and don’t want to put on shoes to run to the laundry room or vending machine. They are so comfortable as well, you’ll want to wear them in bed. Get a pair like mine here.