Embracing My Best in 2021
by Tracey Suppo
There are so many reasons I love reading romance, but one of the big ones is that the protagonist not only finds her HEA in love, she tends to also find her HEA in life. If she’s career-driven, she finds success in her work. If she wants to be a mom, the book typically ends with a child, or one on the way.
2020 has put a big ol’ microscope on life, am I right? It’s amplified the good and the bad. It’s made us all take a breath. A pause. A deep, long look at what’s working and what isn’t. Health feels more important than ever. How we spend our time, who we spend our time with, and thinking about all of the things we’ve always said we’d do ‘tomorrow’—until life shut down, such that even if we wanted to do those things today, they were no longer on the table.
As a single woman who lives on her own, this year has made me stop and take stock of where I’m at, what I want, and what’s really important to me in all areas of life: relationships, health, home, and yes, even my bucket list.
For instance, I’m a HUGE traveler and 2020 will be the first year since I was 6 years old that I didn’t get on a plane (I took flying lessons from 7-12 years old, but that’s a story for another time.) So, when relegated to my hometown of Chicago for the foreseeable future, it got me thinking: if I had to be super choosy about which countries I visit in the future, which ones would be at the top of the list? Trust me, it has been an extremely challenging exercise that I’m still mulling about in my head. I’ve also had a lot of time and space to think about those things I’ve always wanted to do health-wise, be it workouts or vitamins or a new skincare regime, and I’ve decided that 2021 is going to be the year I consciously embrace living my best life. 360 degrees of life. All aspects. And my plan is to share them here, with you. I also read—obviously—and am going to share my favorite books along the way. I mean, what’s a romance book blog without the books!?
Each Tuesday in December, I’m going to breakdown one of the five pillars I’m focusing on in 2021: health (sleep, mental, physical); beauty (aging, skin care/makeup, clothing); home (organizing, purging, and, with my lease ending in March, moving); relationships (self-discovery, dating, friendships); and bucket list (travel, skills, experiences). Then, throughout 2021, I’ll be sharing my progress. I’d love it if you’d join me here and on Insta—my hope is to go live there each week in 2021—and share what your 2021 looks like for you.
The First Pillar: Health
Up first? Health.
I’m breaking health down into three major categories: Mental, Physical, and Sleep. There’s definitely overlap between the three (sleep impacts physical health, mental impacts sleep, etc.), and there are other aspects of health that might speak more to others, such as spiritual, financial, and so on. And, while those are important, Mental, Physical, and Sleep are the three I want to embrace and ‘glow-up’ in 2021.
I’ve been an insomniac since high school, so well over 30 years. I can fall asleep without issue, but never sleep through the night. I’ve read about “sleep hygiene” and creating rituals, but I just never stick to them. So, in 2021, I’m going to try to create a ritual—and stick to it. Some of the things I’m going to try out include:
1. Reading on a Kindle instead of my iPhone
2. Put a clock on my nightstand so I don’t have to pick up my phone in the middle of the night
4. Wear blue light blocking glasses after 7pm, when I’m on my phone
5. Cup of tea each night – my fave these days is Rishi’s Ginger & Turmeric Tea with a splash of cream
6. I’ve also programmed my Nest so it is 68 at night and warms up before I get out of bed
I once had a “friend” (you’ll understand the quotation marks when you read the next line) say to me, “Ugh, it must be exhausting being you.” And trust me, it wasn’t said with kindness or compassion. It was her way of shaming me for constantly being on mental overdrive. I honestly can’t say that I hate that part of my brain. In some ways, I think it’s propelled me to take chances in life I wouldn’t otherwise have taken. And, frankly, I like the way my brain works. That said, it can be exhausting and it can also, I think, make those around me feel ignored, not heard, or not a priority. I’m a squirreler—you know, “Oh, look! Squirrel!”—and I’m often doing multiple things at once. Sometimes that’s okay, but in 2021, I’m going to make a concerted effort to focus on those I’m with, whether in person (when I’m actually hanging out with others again) or virtually. No more checking texts or emails while on a Zoom, no more playing a random game or checking Facebook when I’m on the phone. I admittedly struggle to stay focused and sometimes, as crazy as it sounds, doing something meaningless helps me to focus on the more important things. Some other things I want to try in 2021:
1. Calm Meditation App – I recently got an offer for a lifetime subscription for more than 50% off, so I grabbed it. Days used since purchased: zero. Definitely room for improvement.
2. Supplements that claim to aid in focusing: mints, chews, etc. I’ve bought a few products to try, but haven’t stuck with anything consistently. Definitely room for improvement. (Is there a pattern here? LOL)
3. Time management skills. My sister is taking a time management bootcamp next week and we’ve talked about using some of those tools to create some structure and habits that we can use to hold each other accountable. I’m hoping that by creating some structure in my day to day, it will also create some more structure in my mind.
4. I read a ton of romance and am admittedly not much of an audiobook girl, but I just signed up for a 6-month Audible subscription and am going to listen to one business or self-help book each week—we’ll see how that goes…
Since late-2019, I’ve lost 50 lbs. I’ll get more into that on future posts, but one of the things I want to work on in 2021 is my muscle mass and toning up. I bought this machine; I also have bands, a bosu ball, kettle bells, and so much more. I like everything, but don’t love anything and really want to find something physical that I LOVE to do. So, I’m going to head down the workout rabbit hole. Not as a way to punish my body, but as a way to challenge my body and give it the strength and attention it deserves.
I also know that vitamins are important, but I’ve never been able to get into a routine. I just don’t like taking pills and I can never seem to commit to them. There are so many options out there these days, I’m going to try a few out and see if something sticks.
So that’s my first pillar, health, in a nutshell. I’ll try everything out, see what works, see what sticks, see what makes a real difference in my life. I plan to share it all with you—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and I promise to be 100% truthful. If I tell you I love something, it means I LOVE it. Just so you know, we have affiliate accounts and can sometimes, though not always, earn a small commission when linking to a product. As such, I will be marking my personal purchases and recommendations in red. All other links will be in blue and will be products chosen based on reviews and relation to the subject; in some cases because I have not yet committed to a particular product, in others, because the item I already own is no longer available or purchasable online. And lastly, everything I’m recommending is something I’ve bought with my own money. If at any point I try a product sent by a company, I will be sure to let you know upfront.
With all that said, if YOU have any tips, please share them in the comments. I want 2021 to be my best year yet and I would love to hear what you’ve found that works for you!
Embracing my best,
P.S. I’m also going to end each column with a Just Finished, Currently Reading, and Up Next. For my Just Finished Books, I’ll rate them Loved It, Liked It, or Not for Me.
Tracey Suppo is the CEO and co-founder of Book+Main. She is obsessed with books, tech, and most recently, motorcycles. She loves travel (18 countries and 44 states so far), down comforters, facials, black clothing, and cooking. She has seven tattoos…and counting. She lives in Chicago with her two cats, Wyatt + Gray, and is a proud foster failure.
Follow Tracey on Book+Main HERE.
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