Happy, Healthy, & Productive Resolutions 2014

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Okay, so I totally wasn't going to do resolutions this year. I have never been super into making resolutions, mostly because I feel like usually whenever I resolve to do (or not to do) something I immediately do (or don't do) it because I'm just contradictory like that. Yeah, I know, I'm the one who has to live with me. Gah.

Anyway, the more I've thought about it, the more I've decided that I really like the birthday goals for concrete tasks that can be accomplished, and that's definitely the direction I will be taking it this September when I make my new one. It's basically like a bucket list for the year in my opinion. Resolutions, however, are little changes to your way of life, or lifestyle, or attitude, or way of approaching things, or things like that. At least that's how I see it. And the other day, as I was stranded in a Burger King while I charged my phone (story to be told at a later time), I started to write down some changes I wanted to make this year, and I've really been feeling for the last couple of days like this is a fresh new year and it's post holiday and it's a perfect time to make some changes. While I've been really stressed about preparing for the semester and thesis things and thinking about the future, I've also been really excited to get healthier and shed some weight and be more productive in certain ways. So yeah, I thought I'd share that with you.

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1. Live a more active lifestyle. Make an effort to get up and get active--at least take a walk--every day. I plan to take some fitness classes and do more things like hiking and biking when the weather warms up, but just getting off my bum is a big thing.

2. Be smarter with money. I'm really weird with money, and I'll be the first to admit it. I'll be super frugal and stingy on certain things at certain times, and then other times I'll just be like whatever, I'm buying it and I don't care how much it costs. I've come to rely on my credit cards too much, and I need to do a better job of tracking my spending and reducing the overall amount I spend. Sadly, I think the beauty budget will be the first to be slashed!

3. Reach out to people more. Make an effort to go out with friends once a week and keep up with long distance friends via mail, phone, email, or Facebook message regularly. I love that I'm able to see what's going on with my friends via social media like Facebook and Instagram, but I really want to be better about chatting regularly and seeing the people I'm near to.

4. Write every day. At least a little bit. Just carve some space and do it. A writing schedule was something on my birthday list, and I wanted to include it here because I want to make writing more of a natural part of my life again rather than something I do when I have a deadline. I also need to find a balance between writing for this blog, writing my fiction, and writing other things I'd like to start writing, like essays and some journaling.

5. Read for fun more. Try to spend a little time every day. Since I've been in school studying English for almost 6 years now, I've been assigned so much reading during that time. I really do not read "for fun," stuff that I pick for myself enough, and that's really something I want to make more of an effort to do this year, especially now that I'm finishing up my master's degree.

6. Have some time away from screens to just relax and unwind at the end of the day. I don't know how well I'm going to do at this one, and this may be something that ends up getting relegated to weekend, but a lot of my down time right now it watching TV or Youtube or reading blog posts or whatever, so I don't really spend a lot of time just relaxing and unwinding, and I feel like that's really important for stress relief and sleeping well, etc.

None of these are resolutions that I will consider having "failed" if I don't do these things every day. There will be entire days I spend in bed. There will be weeks Andy is the only person I spend time with. There will be superfluous spending, and days where I don't write or read, and there will be stress. These are simply things to be mindful of, and work toward. So instead of saying, this year I will lose 10 pounds, or this year I will read x number of books, for my resolutions I'm keeping it simple and giving myself manageable tasks, a list of 6 things to look at every day and try to check off. Because change can be good, and you can't find out if you can change unless you just try, and if it's to make you happy, then it's productive no matter what. I think a lot of people don't make resolutions because they think it's corny (which it kind of is), or because they're afraid to fail at them (which, to be completely honest, they probably will), but fear is no reason not to try something new. Failure is a natural part of all processes, so if you accept that it will present itself in some way, you can move on and strive for your best, knowing that it's shy of perfection. So if you haven't made a resolution yet, what are you waiting for? You don't have to wait for a new year or a birthday, but it's good to set goals for bettering yourself. What else are you here for?

Yours Truly, Jen

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