7 Ways I’ve Prioritized My Energy In 2022

Guys, it’s DECEMBER.

What? I’m baffled that 2022 is so quickly coming to an end. I’m pretty sure I was just writing out my 12 goals to increase my energy this year, and I blinked and it’s nearly 2023.

I absolutely love the month of December. It’s so magical to be spending this month with my two little babies. And honestly, truly, I have been feeling SO good lately. My body feels good, my energy feels good, and I’m just soaking up the magic of the season. I’m incredibly thankful.  

And as I’m feeling thankful for these things, I also want to take just a second and look at some of the tangible choices that have led to feeling this way. I’m a big believer that we all have control over our lives. If something isn’t working out the way I want, it’s probably my fault. I know that’s an unpopular opinion because I know that it’s so easy to fall into the victim mentality about the normal daily happenings in our lives (trust me, I’m often right there!), but I really believe that I’m the common denominator to many of the things in my life that are less than ideal…and I have the power to change them if I want to do that. 

So I was just looking back at the beginning of 2022… this year started off with a newborn and a toddler, and I was looking at my life (and probably wishing for more sleep) and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to breastfeed a newborn and chase a toddler while also working. It felt overwhelming! 

I feel quite a bit different now than I did in January (better!) and so I wanted to share a few of the changes I’ve made this year. After all, my word for the year was ENERGY, so it makes sense to look at some of the ways I’ve been able to increase my energy in 2022. 

For starters, go back and read my 12 MONTHLY GOALS FOR 2022 TO IMPROVE YOUR ENERGY. I did some of these goals but not all of them. That’s one of my favorite parts about monthly goals…you can choose to skip a month if it’s not aligning at that moment.

I also ended up unintentionally adding in a few things this year that really improved the way I’m currently feeling. Like point number 1:  

1. Drinking wayyy less

This wasn’t one of my goals, and it was an unintentional change in 2022. It’s been coming on slowly ever since I became a mom in 2019. The truth of it is that it’s hard for me to drink and feel ok in the morning. 

I definitely haven’t given up alcohol completely, but I’ve found myself craving it less. And even when I think that a buzz would be a fun way to unwind in the evening, I think about how I’ll feel the next morning, and I typically decide to forgo the second evening beverage. 

So how much am I drinking? At this point it’s more common for me to not drink on a weeknight than to have a beverage. And if I do drink, it’s a low ABV beer (like a 4.5% pils or something even lighter), or an IPA that I’ll split with Nate. Or maybe 6 oz of Nate’s homebrew beer from our kegerator.

Again, I really love that happy buzz that I get from a big pour of wine or two strong beers, but I also love waking up at 5:30 am with a clear head, lots of energy, and enthusiasm for the day. And I’ve found that when I drink alcohol at night, I don’t get to enjoy that feeling in the morning. So I’ve just naturally started drinking less this year, and my morning energy has skyrocketed.  

2. Peloton rides

I’ve been talking about the Peloton a lot lately, and that’s because I’ve really gotten into a good groove with it ever since I finished breastfeeding Dayton! Nate and I have always alternated who wakes up with the boys, but when I was nursing D I still had to be awake and available for a quick feeding in the morning, and then after that I could duck into my office enjoy a slow cup of coffee and my gratitude journal, or maybe catch a few more minutes of sleep. 

Now that he’s done nursing, I’ve really been enjoying longer Peloton workouts! It’s soooo fun to know that I can complete a 45 minute ride without being interrupted to feed the baby, haha. And as my cardio improves, I slowly feel my energy improving, too.

I’m excited to see how my strength and cardio improves in 2023! 

3. Saying no

A BIG one. An important one. And arguably one of the hardest things for me to do.

I’ve been flexing my “no” muscles this year, y’all. Like, a lot. I’ve been saying no to big things (concert requests from the symphony and brand partnerships) and little things (replying to text messages when I’m in my “focus mode” work zone and watching the next episode of a Netflix show at night), and I’ve never felt better. 

In fact, the more I say no, the more empowered I feel. 

Do you know what I mean? It’s exactly like working a muscle in a workout class, and when I practice saying “no”’ to things that don’t’ feel aligning, I get to say “yes” to things that feel great. And that makes me FEEL SO GOOD! And then I want to keep saying no to things that aren’t a 100% “hell yes.” 

This has been a really big part of my year. And even though I still have a pretty full plate, it’s becoming things that I only really want to do, and it’s less stuff that I feel “meh” about. I’m not perfect at this yet, but I’m really enjoying getting better at it. 

4. Going to sleep earlier

I’ve simply stopped feeling embarrassed about this. I wake up early and I go to bed early.

I loooove going to sleep early. I love knowing that my body and my brain perform deep, restorative processes while I’m sleeping that help them both perform at a high level. I wake up feeling rested, and I enjoy my day. 

And I guess I felt a bit shy about this for a while, as if I could “tough it out” and simply stay up late, and still somehow enjoy waking up early. 

But the two don’t mix for me, and if I want to wake up early and enjoy my sacred morning hours, I have to still give my body the rest she deserves. 

So anyway, going to sleep earlier has been one of the BEST ways I’ve prioritized my energy in 2022. 

5. Limiting my afternoon caffeine

This is linked to point number four, but by limiting my afternoon caffeine intake, I’m able to sleep better at night. At one point in the year I got down to one single cup of coffee, but then I started creeping back up to two again. I think that’s just going to be my sweet spot, y’all. While I have two little babes in the house, I really really REEEAAALLY love having that second cup of coffee. 

But I’ve shifted it earlier, haha! (Does that count for anything? 😉 ) I’ve eliminated most caffeine after lunch, and I’ve really felt the benefits of that when I’m falling asleep at night.

6. Slowing down

Ok, full disclosure: points six and seven are two areas that serve me greatly, but I’m still learning how to do them well. 

Slowing down means staying present. It means realizing I don’t actually need to squeeze productivity into every single minute of each day (even though that’s my default mode) and there’s energy to be found in doing….absolutely nothing. 

I have gotten better at saying no, but I’m still learning how to slow down. Often I’ll say no to something (a social obligation, a book I told myself I would read, a project I originally intended to take on) and then I replace it with other work. 

So…still learning to slow down. 

Here’s what I’ve found, though: when I slow down and enjoy down time (you know that rest time that I plan into my schedule?) I feel my energy skyrocket. Turns out our bodies need to both work and slow down. 

Shocker, I know. 

7. Holding off the late night eating

I’ve done this off and on in 2022, and I’m AMAZED at how good I feel the next morning when I cut off my eating at 7 pm. I sleep SO well, and I wake up feeling awesome. 

My body is able to totally recharge at night without being bogged down by food that it has to process, and after a few days of this I notice a literal change in my energy levels. 

However…I haven’t made it a habit yet. It still feels really hard. I get late night cravings hard core (sugar!! Sometimes salty stuff) and I love to snack on something while I’m watching a show with Nate. 

And at other times I just put off dinner until both boys are down, so I don’t eat until about 8 or 8:30 at night. It’s honestly really hard to get myself fed while I’m also feeding the boys and getting them down for bed, so for me to stop eating at 7 pm takes a huge amount of planning ahead of time and willpower. 

But I know it’s worth it because I’ve seen a massive change in the amount of energy my body has when I don’t submit to that late night snack attack.

Ok, those are my 7 changes I’ve been working on this year! What about you? How are you feeling at the end of this year? Any changes you made, or anything you’re thinking about adding in for next year?

I’d love to hear!

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