With additional reporting from Diana Spalding, CNM

Raise your hand if the past year has felt like a decade and a minute all at once. 🙋‍♀️ Yes, there have been bright spots. Like that two week stretch in the summer where things felt almost, normal? In person school! Vaccines! A SATC reboot! But like the year that came before, it's been marked by tons of uncertainty, discomfort and inconvenience.

To put it mildly, we're ready for a refresh in 2022. We're ready to pull everything out of the closet, cabinets, and junk drawers–literally and figuratively–to get this year started right. You know that feeling of opening the windows on the first warm day of spring? The way the house fills with crisp, clean air that feels easier to breathe? That's what we want 2022 to feel like.

Forget New Year's resolutions. That just puts another thing on your to-do list. Instead, think of the entire year as an opportunity to refresh. Whether that means finally organizing the closet that's always a disaster or establishing a daily meditation habit, making a budget (and sticking to it!) or getting time with your partner to reconnect at the end of the day, how you refresh is up to you.

If you need a little inspiration, here are 12 steps you can take to reset for the new year. You don't need to buy a thing, but in case you want to, we've shared our favorites.

Balanced Bound

$42

1. Write down your to-do list...

Research has found that writing out your to-do list helps you to reduce your stress levels while also getting more done! So, spend some time jotting it down in a way that works for you.

We’re fans of the Balance Bound planners which are not only gorgeous, but thoughtfully laid out as well. The monthly spreads designate areas to plan for all areas of your life—work, self, others, and home—ensuring that you’re dividing your attention equally… and not burning out in the process.

 

everlasting candle set

Everlasting Candle Co.

$65

2. Create a ritual for yourself.

Can you carve out a few minutes a today to fill with a little ritual of self-care? It can be anything you want; the only rule is it needs to be more-or-less the same each day, so you can grow to rely on it.

My ritual is ending every day with candlelight. It sounds so terribly cheesy to even type that, but it’s the truth. The soft, flickering light has become my body’s cue to relax and transition away from the stress of the day. Obviously any candle will do the trick, but I bought this beauty last year and I think I’ve used it every day since. And unlike your standard glass jar, it’s just as gorgeous when it’s not lit.

Sunday Citizen

$295

3. Sleeeeeeeep.

There is this prevailing idea in our culture that to rest to is be unproductive—and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Rest IS productive. It is healing and necessary and you deserve it. The Sunday Citizen comforter is a cult favorite—when you know you know. Cuddle up and enjoy the rest your body craves, guilt free.

$11.49

4. Listen to your body.

Take a moment and listen to your body—really listen. Is there a specific food it’s craving? I mean beyond chocolate and Cheetos because yes, please. In our go-go-go society, we often forget to take a moment to check in with our bodies. But our bodies are so wise! Stop, listen and be amazed.

If your body is needing some veggies (especially after the holidays), the Forks Over Knives book is a great place to start. It’s full of delicious and extremely nutrient-dense recipes, all based entirely on plants.

Motherly Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Motherly

$35

5. Hydrate.

According to one study, 75% of adults don’t drink enough water. Yikes! Let’s change that by making sure we get eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Or, make it easy and invest in an awesome water bottle, like this one from that has vacuum-seal insulation that keeps hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold. So drink up, and notice how much better you feel.

$20.50

6. Make that appointment you've been putting off.

Honesty time (without an ounce of judgment, promise). When was the last time you got a pap smear? How about a breast exam? And the dentist? Taking care of ourselves so often falls to the bottom of our list, but mama, do you have any idea how important you are? Commit to taking care of yourself. Find a perpetual calendar (or use your phone) and keep track of the dates when you will get your routine screening, tests, vaccines and more. (And then, remember to actually go.)

Psst: Start this resolution off with a trip to your general practitioner. Recommendations vary per person, and they can help you determine when you need to be seen.

open spaces entryway rack

Open Spaces

$27

7. Organize that one spot that drives you crazy.

Everybody has one. The spot on the counter where mail and used masks go to die. The entryway that somehow always looks like you’re hosting a rager. The hall closet that might even have a pack of diapers lurking inside even though your kid started second grade this year. You know the spot I’m talking about. The one that’s always a mess no matter what you seem to do. This year, make it a priority to fix it. There are lots of products out there to help get the job done, but none are more attractive than Open Spaces. Their lidded storage bins, colorful entryway racks and nesting trays will help you swap clutter for style in every corner of the house.

digit

Digit

$9.99

8. Stress less about your money.

Yes, obviously easier said than done, right? But when it comes to money, knowledge is power. And you don’t have to be a math whiz or an accountant to understand what’s up. There are tools for that! My favorite? Digit. The all-in-one budgeting, saving and investing app does the hard work for you by organizing your finances into “buckets.” Once Digit knows about your expenses and goals, it smartly splits up your deposits for bills, savings, and long-term investments. One of my favorite features are the customized savings buckets which have solved my annual summer camp financial crisis. Instead of taking a giant hit or breaking out my credit card when registration time rolls around, I skim a couple dollars a day into my Summer Camp bucket and save it up without feeling the pinch.

esther-perel-where-do-we-begin-game

Where Should We Begin

$40

9. Make time to connect.

Of course an adults only vacation to a tropical island is ideal, but it’s 1. Not realistic and 2. Not a requirement for finding quiet time together. A night of take-out after the kids go to bed is lovely. And even if you’re completely toasted after a day of the usual madness, we’ve got a trick to spark excitement and get some fresh energy slowing. This fun and beautiful game designed by relationship and intimacy guru Esther Perel! Through prompt cards that set the mood and direction (ex. “Share something crazy”) and story cards that provide the first line of an answer (ex. “A phone number I need to delete…”) you’re guaranteed to learn something new and thrilling no matter how many times you’ve heard their best stories. Get ready for instant memories and enhanced connection.

Pssst. If you want to learn even more from Perel about building your own modern village and how to bring the erotic back into your life, listen to her on our podcast🔥

supergoop unseen sunscreen

Supergoop

$34

10. Wear sunscreen.

Ok, so this one is more of a directive. Sunscreen. It’s a non-negotiable. For one thing, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV rays, and just five sunburns over the course of your lifetime doubles the risk of melanoma. You’ve amassed hours chasing your little ones around and slathering them with the stuff. Your skin needs it too. And if making it a habit is hard because it all feels gross and pasty, I’ve got one word for you. Supergoop. Not only is this my favorite sunscreen, it’s one of my top five beauty products of all time. Like desert island-levels of must-have. Make it as much a priority as brushing your teeth. Promise? Ok.

Motherly

$68

11. Create a meditative habit that feels right for you.

For many of us, the idea of meditation can feel intimidating—even if there is no denying its many benefits. If you want to take baby steps toward creating a meditative practice, start by reframing it as an opportunity to rest and breathe. Or tap into a meditative mental space while doing a gentle yoga flow.

Motherly Breathe Intention Notebook

Motherly

$8

12. Set your intentions.

We all start the year off with the best of intentions. But without keeping them in view, they can easily fade to the background as more “pressing” matters come up. Center yourself as you look ahead and prepare yourself to follow through on the intentions that mean the most to you by putting them down on paper.

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