Small Starts For Big Things In 2023

What I’m focusing on this year…

I mentioned this in Monday’s post, but I’m not much of a resolutions kind of gal, rather I like a good refresh or update on a routine. And truly I thrive when I’m on a good morning routine (here’s ours!). I know not everyone is a morning person and truth be told I could sleep until noon if you’d let me, but I can’t function in the evening. Once we put Laurens down it is all I can do to finish dinner and clean up. It’s like someone just flipped the power switch, because I’m DONE. So if I want to get a good routine going, it just has to be in the morning.

ashley brooke blog
Kristinit dress, Paris 64 bag, Hart charm necklace, Haven scarf (c/o)

At the end of 2021 Ryan and I sat down and talked about our year, what worked, what didn’t, etc. and we collectively decided that our lives would be far less hurried if we got up at 6:00 am and ran the dishwasher each evening. So this was our goal heading into 2022… and it has changed our lives for the better.

We figured if we could start the day with what felt like a clean slate that our days would feel less overwhelming. So for us this meant bed made, dishwasher empty, healthy breakfast, fresh coffee (our coffee routine here!), and one load of laundry going… so the dishes wouldn’t pile up during the day, we wouldn’t start the day off hungry, and we’d always have clean clothes. And for the most part, we totally stuck to this for the ENTIRE year of 2022 and to say it has changed us would be an understatement.

Admittedly we were thrown off when Laurens arrived, but jumped back in full force once he started sleeping through the night. Even on vacation we do a version of this… and it just helps our family thrive. The main thing here is that it assures us time before the baby gets up to just do our thing. We wanted to feel excited to get Laurens up each morning, and we totally accomplished that last year! Getting him up is the highlight of our day and that thought alone will get me out of bed at 6 am no questions asked.

These were the two small things we did last year that made a massive difference in our joy: committed to waking up in the 6 am hour and starting the dishwasher each evening… that’s it. The other little chores just fell into place because we had the time to actually do them.

On our drive home yesterday from the mountains we reveled in the fact that we did it and I think it’s because we (finally!) knew ourselves well enough to know what makes us thrive as individuals and as a couple. We weren’t changing who we were, we are both very much so morning people so this was something we were bound to enjoy… and it turns out we were right. This was a doable goal for us.

So For This Year (2023!)…

I listened to The Lazy Genius podcast (you know she’s my fave!) episode on “How to Start Fresh Without Starting Over” and I felt myself nodding yes (!!) throughout the entire episode. I don’t want to start fresh, rather I want to refine or to use her word “tend”. If you have 30 minutes, I encourage you to give it a listen, it’s filled with so much wisdom, hope, and grace.

And yes, there are a few actionable things I really want to do this year: work on Laurens’ baby book (right now I feel completely paralyzed by it), catch up on our yearly photo albums (I have from 2019 through 2022 to organize and again, it feels daunting). There are a few other similar items on my lists across personal to work to family life, but if I’ve learned one thing from what worked last year, it would be that small things can change big things!

So this year I’m going to tend to my days a bit, and figure out where and how I can make space for the things that matter to me… just like we did last year! Having an empty dishwasher and a cup of coffee before the baby wakes up so that I am ready to greet him and really be with him is what matters to me. So I need to figure out what this is for me in 2023 and work backwards with my personality in mind… although by the sound of it, it may be photo organization!

Anyway, this is all a very long-winded way of saying that I used to set these giant goals and hold myself up to a standard that just wasn’t sustainable. But I’m so glad I broke free of that mindset a few years ago! Things are far from perfect over here and often messy, but the imperfect life suits me perfectly. It just needs a bit of organizing… or better yet, tending to.

Happy New Year, friends!


Leave A Comment

Book Club

Join Our Discussion

  1. I put my dishwasher on pre-wash or quick wash (I’m a compulsive pre-rinser so the dishes are already clean)…and if it looks clean after pre-wash I put everything away and don’t tell anyone!

  2. You introduced me to The Lazy Genius podcast a few months ago and it’s quickly become my favorite! I recommend it to so many people!! And I just listened to that episode today actually while folding laundry!

    And we started running the dishwasher every night this past year and it’s been a game changer for us too!!

    I’m open to trying a 6am wake up time… that would probably be a game changer too if I can commit to it 🙂 happy new year!!

  3. Yes! We fill the dishwasher, wash all dishes after dinner and sink is cleaned. In the morning we put everything away while coffee is brewing. Never thought of it as our morning routine but it is 🙂 By the time we sit for our coffee the kitchen is clean/organized and ready for a new day and so are we 🙂

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *