Make 2019 Your Year.

Here we are… fourteen days into the new year. 14 whole days. Some of us may have made to-do lists, others may have created a list of goals. Some might have chosen a word – see more on that here! Or some may just be completely free-rolling it, taking it day by day and waiting to see what the new year can bring! And if that is you – then GIRL I say you got this!! I totally admire those who just embrace each day fully with open hearts, open arms & open eyes. But that is just not me. This is way more me. This – 12 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year, this is way more my style.

I am a list girl. Through and through. I love lists, I thrive on lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, must watch on Netflix lists… things to grade lists (teacher girl) Whatever the list may be, if that is simply productive OR just plain goofy… I LOVE LISTS!

With my love affair with lists, I thought now that 2019 has been underway here for 14 good, sweet, slowly moving days, what better time to evaluate and plan a new list. A list on 12 ways to make 2019 Your Year.

Make 2019 your year!!!


Now quick disclaimer, if you have checked out my Instagram, you may have looked into my “About Me” highlight reel on my profile, and if you have, you get a first-hand look all about who & what Gracefulandfree is and the purpose behind it. And if you know me, just a little at all, it is very clear & obvious that I am your textbook definition of a perfectionist. However, I am working on it. And to be honest, that is kinda the purpose of this blog – to pursue a lifestyle lived in GRACE and FREEDOM. A grace to just be and to live freely. A freedom to live away from all the expectation, pressure, lies of comparison, insecurity and feelings of lack of worth.

Purpose behind gracefulandfree. 
Make 2019 Your Year.
Purpose behind gracefulandfree.

And in order to satisfy the desires of my heart to pursue an anti-perfectionist lifestyle, this list is just that. A list more for a position and lifestyle, but not just any lifestyle, a lifestyle of the heart. A list to ensure that you make 2019 your year!

12 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year

1. More REST.

We live in a society that expects us to never stop. A world where we are told that we have to do, and do, and do some more. And if we aren’t continuously working hard or burning our stamina at all ends then we are doing something wrong. Or if we can’t stop and rest then the world thinks we are weak, not strong enough to be the person we want to be.

That is so, SO wrong. What a wrong expectation. Where is the society that encourages rest, the society that encourages people feeling GOOD and living their best life for themselves. And that BEST life happens when we REST.

So let 2019 be the year where you REST. You rest MORE. Rest FREELY. Rest OFTEN. The year where you decide that it is MORE THAN OKAY to not completely finish your to-do list. The year where you realize that your self-health is the MOST important thing and should be the priority on all of your lists. So promise me this, if you only follow through on one item here on my own little list, promise me that you will REST.

2. More SILENCE.

We fill our days with endless noise. Whether that is music, the radio, children talking in the background, the television, or just the world around us, we find ourselves always listening to noise. And when that outside noise stops, we panic. We panic because we do not know how to handle the silence.

To be honest, my most satisfying car rides are the rides where I find that I have made the drive home from work without even turning on the radio. And I realize just how satisfying it is. To just sit. To simply be. And when there is more silence, we realize that your mind, your thoughts, your heart overflows so freely. We just need more silence to allow our own thoughts to shape our direction and impact our action. So in 2019, don’t be so afraid of the silence, embrace it.


How many of us are planners? How many of us plan out our week in detail and if someone or something suggests that we do otherwise, we freak, we don’t react well, because that wasn’t in the book. Well, 2019 I want the freedom to live more spontaneous. I want the freedom to go on a day adventure with my boys (hubs and dog). I want the freedom to not worry or fret about what should be getting done instead and I just want to live in and enjoy the moment, all the moments. Because that is what life is and for and all about. Living and truly treasuring all of the many moments. And I want those moments to fill me with the most amounts of joy and peace possible. And sometimes that joy and that peace can be found in the spontaneity.

4. More BOOKS.

I find myself so many times, closing my eyes and visioning how I want to spend my day. And in those closed-eye visions, I almost always envision a park or hammock, of front porch with a book in hand. But then life happens. And I remember the to-do list and I turn back to the many different tasks at hand, forgetting the real call of my heart. So what if this year, we picked up the books more. What if we spent more time lost in the imagination of a fantasy or a romance, or a self-help guide or non-fiction recount of the past. Whatever genre you love the most, what if we chose the peace and tranquility that comes when we shut everything else off and just read.

5. More FITNESS.

Let me be really real for a moment. We usually feel our best of selves when we are physically fit. Now, I am not talking about the perfect beach bod, I am simply talking about feeling strong & feeling like we are in shape. Regardless if that “shape” fits your physical body description or not. We feel are best when we are making fitness a priority.

So I challenge you this year, to place a priority on your fitness. Now, please don’t make an ambitious goal that you know will be a difficult challenge to meet, but instead focus on small goals and small gains. Start out with adding a walk or two with your family, or finding a new fitness app or work-out studio that meets your comfort zone. But I can assure you, that by putting your fitness first this year, you will most definitely find yourself in a place where you can be proud of. And that is absolutely worth it.

6. More WRITING.

Now, before you automatically think “I am not a blogger or a writer, so why should I even write.” But, you most definitely should consider adding more writing in your life. Something truly amazing happens when you take pen to paper and even more amazing things happen when you forget about the expectation and just let the writing happen. And who knows, you may find that you actually love writing and you will most definitely be a fan of the release (both mental & emotional) that writing can provide. Pick up a journal and some new favorite pens (linking a few of my absolute favorites below) and start your thought-journaling today. Trust me – you are most definitely going to love this one.


Make 2019 your year!!
Where would I be without my planners. Always & always my loves Erin Condren & May Designs.

Vision – noun-  the ability to think or plan about the future with imagination and wisdom

Oh, I just love this. The ability to think (or plan) – where are my planners at, about the future with imagination and wisdom. I seriously LOVE the way it sounds. Take a minute and close your eyes.

What do you envision for yourself this year?

What do you envision for your family this year? Your relationships? Your career? You’re passions?

Where do you want your heart to be at by the end of this year?

Take moments, specifically, plan out specific times each month where you are going to set aside a specific vision of who you want to be, and envision yourself there. Visualize you getting to where you want, what you hope & desire to achieve. And the more you visualize and the more you create this vision, the more chance you have of getting there.


Make 2019 your year. 
Cultivate relationships!

It can be easy to get caught up in “doing you” and committing all of your time and attention to the process. But, to be honest, who would we all be without our people. Our people help define us and bring out our try self. So make sure you are making a point to cultivate those relationships that bring you joy. And key word of importance here is “those that bring you joy” because some relationships don’t bring joy and those are the relationships that we need to run {fast} from.

But for all those heart-warming, life-giving, laughter-abounding relationships, hold on to them. Pursue them. Allow them to give you life, and give them life in return. Focus more on THEM and less about YOU and I can assure you that you will reach a place of joy, peace, AND fulfillment.


Make 2019 your year. 
More simplicity.
slower and simpler mornings OR afternoons, more quiet time & more peace.

Who has been watching “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” Netflix series. I actually started to listen to the audio version of the book that has inspired the series a year ago. Now, I need to finish listening to it, but I absolutely LOVED what I had heard. And I think there is so much freedom to be found in pursuing a more simple life. A life lived slowly and confidently. A life lived in peace and simplicity. Whatever that looks like specifically for you and your heart, I think it is a great goal and mindset to have for the new year.


More compassion. Imagine a world lived where people were more concerned with others than with their selves. I mean that would be a place. And I would encourage you to start small, but definitely start somewhere and find ways to live a life with compassion in your heart. You never want to reach a point in your life where the pain and misfortunate of others has not effect or impact on you. Therefore, have empathy. And live a life with deep care and compassion and love for the people around you. Even if you know them or not, extend compassion to those around you and you can be absolutely certain that your life will be better because of it. And it can be the simplest measure, but even the simple and smallest steps can lead to the most impactful direction.

Make 2019 your year. 
More compassion.

11. More LAUGHTER.

I am talking about the fall on the floor, belly-laughing, ab-cramping laughter. The laughter that can take away stress and solve the world’s problems. Find time to have more laughter in your life. Rather that is just being silly, finding the freedom to be your true self, dance in the middle of a crowded store, or alone in your kitchen. But do things that cultivate a lifestyle for laughter. Because laughter can truly provide a release from stress and a release from anxiety. And I fully believe that laughter can help usher us in to finding a new level and place of joy. So laugh more AND often in 2019.

12. More GRACE.

Now, I wrote a much longer and more in-depth post on this earlier last year and you can find that here. But, I encourage you greatly to find a way to cultivate a life lived with more grace. A life lived more honestly and impact fully. A life lived with the freedom that you don’t need to strive and that you can just simply be.

A life lived where you fully understand and realize the significance of the fact that grace is not earned, nor deserved, it is freely given. And if you took this and applied it to every day life. If we lived our every single day with the intention and impact of grace. To freely give kindness and love, smiles and hope everywhere we go. Understanding the depths of knowing it does not have to be earned, yet giving freely regardless.

What if we changed our thoughts and actions to be thoughts and actions of impact. An impact that is filled with the intention of making a positive difference in the lives of others. What if we exuded kindness and grace with every word, every step, and every action we took every day.

Make 2019 your year.

And if you have made it all the way through then you have realized that this is not your typical “New Year, New Me” resolution list. However, this list is most definitely a list that can bring you freedom, joy, and peace. And I think that those are all things that each of our own hearts, most definitely needs.

xo. haley ~ gracefulandfree

Make 2019 your year.
12 ways to make 2019 your year!
make 2019 your year.

12 Ways to Make 2019 Your Year

January 14, 2019