January 8, 2016

A Year of 52 and 12

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is 2016! I'm going to be 25 this year, y'all. That's not supposed to be happening. But listen, I know I still haven't done my final goal recap of 2015 or any kind of typical "end of 2015" posts, but before we get too deep into 2016, I wanted to share my new year's resolutions. (And then I'll go back and do some proper wrapping up.)

Firstly, I really enjoyed doing monthly goals last year. I feel like they helped me to stay focused on improvement, and I got great feedback from friends and family about them as well. So this year, I'm going to continue to do monthly goals. But I also want to go a little deeper, and so I give you...

A Year of 52 and 12

As we all know, there are 52 weeks in a year and 12 months. That's where those numbers come from. In addition to my monthly goals, I have some things I want to focus on doing once a week or once a month for the whole year. These aren't things I only want to focus on for a short period of time. These are things that I want to do all year long and make a part of my lifestyle for the long haul.

~ 52 ~
my once a week resolutions

I really like yoga. And I want it to be something I can do as an outlet. I retired from cheerleading several years ago, and when I did, I lost that physical activity that not only kept me in physical shape but also provided a release for my mind and a nourishment for my soul. I can see where yoga could fill that void I've had since my last day on the mat. It's low impact, so I can better cater to my incredibly bad back. But it also incorporates a ton of elements from the sport I know and love.

Upper Body and Lower Body Workouts
Along with yoga, I also want to do more traditional exercise during the week as well. I want to devote a day to upper body workouts and a day to lower body workouts. And I'm keeping this somewhat open to interpretation and adjustments as I see fit. One day, I might not want to do a bunch arm workouts but instead run on the treadmill. I just want to have a resolution that involves better physical health, and with this resolution, I've got that. 

I feel like this is something I talk about every year as part of my resolutions. And every year, I start off strong but then taper off as the year hums along, and by the end of it, I'm repeatedly apologizing for not posting more. You're probably tired of hearing it. But once again, I'm making "blog more" a new year's resolution. I'm going to try to plan out posts more by using my new planner from the ever-wonderful Target. (That's another kind of "sub-resolution" - to use my planner more.) I'm hoping by writing things down (again, another sub-resolution) I'll be able to better keep up with this little space of mine.

If you've been around for a while, you know I've been keeping a handwritten journal since my freshman year of high school. (Woah! That long?! Yeah.) I absolutely love journaling. When I started my first journal in a hot pink composition notebook at 15 years old, I never thought I'd really keep up with it for nine years. Even though I've had huge gaps in entries over the past few years, I still consider myself an active journalist (not the media kind), and this year I want to focus on writing more often and have it become a much more regular occurrence.

Learn One New Thing
This is going to age us so much, but Bryan and I watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy every week night. It's been our thing since we moved to Knoxville, and we love it. And Jeopardy, especially, has made me realize how little I know about any given subject. And yeah, Jeopardy is really just trivia, and some people just have a thing for trivia. (I'm not one of them.) But there are some clues and even whole categories that I wish I knew more about. So I want to learn. Once a week, I want to pick something, anything to research a little bit more so I can know just a little bit more. And I don't want this to be as simple as looking up the capital to Zambia or exactly how tall the Eiffel Tower is. I want to use this resolution as an opportunity to dive into a particular subject and get some sort of grasp on it. 

~ 12 ~
my once a month resolutions

Read a Book
I've always been a reader. But consistent reading hasn't been part of my lifestyle since, like, ever. 2016 is the year I want that to change. I want to read one book a month over the year, and by New Year's Eve I'll be able to say, "I've read 12 books this year." And hopefully after a year, reading will be the habit that I want it to be.

Paint My Nails
I'm a blogger. Therefore, I keep up with a lot of blogs. Fashion blogs are part of that. And I've gotta tell ya, those fashion bloggers have some nice manicures. And maybe I'm a little jealous. Over the past couple months, I've become more interested in beauty things like makeup, hair and nails, and skin care. (I don't even want to tell you what I did with Sephora a few weeks ago.) So naturally, I don't just want to know more about beauty things, I want to actually apply them to my current routines. I feel like keeping my nails painted is an easy way for me to break into the world of face masks, exfoliants, and under eye creams.

Give Back
Along with all these self-improvement-focused resolutions, I also want to make this a year of giving. Every month I want to show my appreciation and support of various charities, organizations, and groups. Even if it's just a $20 donation, I want to give back. 

~ Miscellaneous Resolutions ~
a couple goals that aren't weekly or monthly

Wake Up Earlier
As a teenager, I could never understand why my mom would wake up so much earlier than she had to in order to get ready in the morning. Like, it takes me right around an hour to get up and out the door in the morning if I'm waking up to an alarm and have to leave at a specific time. I've always been like that. But now that I've gotten a little older, I totally get it. Waking up earlier gives you more time so you're not rushing to leave on time, and you get to wake up slowly. That sounds about 12,000 times more relaxing than jumping out of bed and not slowing down until you get home at the end of the day. And for the past couple months, I've legitimately considered waking up 30 minutes to a full hour earlier than I do now, particularly on week days. This year, I want to maximize my day by waking up earlier and utilizing more hours in the day. I'm sure it will be hard to adjust starting out, but the idea of creating more time for myself simply by waking up earlier seems like it could lead to a much happier version of me.

Grow my Brokerage Account
I always talk about retiring in my 30s, and for some reason, people think I'm joking. I'm not. I legitimately want to retire before I'm 40, and if I can find a path that leads me to that outcome, I'm taking it. This year, I want to meet with some financial advisors and see if there is a way for me to create a 15-year plan that will lead to me living off dividends before I'm "over the hill." I know this makes me seem like I'm living with my head in the clouds. A total dreamer. But I won't know unless I try. Whatever happens, I just want to feel more comfortable managing my current stocks and learn more about investing, the stock market, and what it takes to "win big." And fingers crossed that the "dividend life" is in my future.

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