Monday, January 6, 2014

My Goals for 2014

Happy New Year! As I write this, I am sitting on a plane to Pasadena, California. I just finished watching the movie New Year's Eve (on New Year's Eve). Fitting, right? But, also probably a bit cheesy. I had never watched it, so I figured, what better time? I actually really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the fact that it was actually New Year's Eve, or maybe it was because I have been doing a lot of reflecting, de-cluttering and planning these days, but it was definitely a feel-good, inspirational movie. However, it still did not help me write this post. I had been thinking about my first post in 2014 for some time now, but have struggled with what to say. So, technically, this is my second post in 2014.  I finally realized that I was just thinking about it too much, which is so typical of New Year's Eve, right? So many of us have such high hopes and expectations for the end of year/kick off to the new year. So many of us end up disappointed if it doesn't live up to those crazy expectations. We set resolutions, and we stick to them for a while…but often times, they go by the wayside. I have decided that I don't like the word "resolutions" and instead, I am setting a "goal" for 2014. One simple goal.

Live a balanced life

There are many pieces to this goal, but it all revolves around being kind to myself, being content in the NOW, controlling the perspective that I bring to the challenges I face everyday, and living confidently and without fear.

This is a goal that will take the entire year to achieve, accomplishing smaller goals along the way. It will be a lot of work. It will be challenging. It will go beyond 2014. Living a balanced life takes constant effort, and that definition of "balanced life" will always be changing.

Of course, I also need to work out more and improve my diet in 2014, but I am not going to resolve to go to the gym X number of days per week or start a diet I know I won't stick to. Instead, I am just going to work towards just being more kind to myself. I will make time to go to the gym or a work out class. I will keep working towards a more fresh and healthy diet (something I started in 2013). But, I will also read more. And sleep more. And do one thing for myself daily.

Another focus on my journey to living a balanced life is to be present. So often life just passes us by. Sometimes I feel like I forgot to live it. There are so many distractions that keep us from not being present in the moment. I have realized that I need to cut down on social media in 2014. It pains me to say it, but it's true. I will stop Facebooking, texting and Instagramming while in the presence of friends and family. No social media or phones during meals. Period. I will also set time limits for myself, as it is so easy to get roped into Instagram for much longer than intended. I seriously love you all, but you know what I am talking about! I find myself reaching for my phone constantly, "just to check," and then all of a sudden nothing I am getting nothing done. I want to make sure I am signing on with a purpose. If I am just bored, I will resist the urge by calling a friend or reading a book. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen that I had my first social media free weekend this past weekend. I had been inspired by some lovely ladies that I follow who have implemented this into their lives - Lara Casey, Emily Ley and my sweet friend, Lauren Ashley Gilmore. My initial goal is to do it once per month, but ultimately, I want to do it every weekend. And I think I can. It felt really good to just simplify and enjoy life.  

Living a balanced life is all about learning how to LIVE. Learning how to take time for yourself. Changing the perspective that you bring to the challenges in your day. Being content in the NOW. I have always been one to be anxious for that "next thing." So much so that I don't allow myself to enjoy what is going on in my life now. I will LIVE in 2014. I will do all those little things I always told myself I don't have time to do. I will read the books I bought several years ago that I never "had time to read." I will work towards relieving my daily stress and not allow myself to get overwhelmed. I will remember that the way I do anything is the way I do everything. I will remember be just be present.

The first of "those books I never had time to read" that I hope help shape my life in 2014:

The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
Love Does by Bob Goff
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard

Others on the list for 2014:

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure
Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph

I know this post is a bit different than what you typically see here at Everyday Fashion & Finance, but I hope you enjoyed it. I love reflecting back on the past year and planning for the next one. There is just something about that "fresh start" that is so motivating. I hope that I can keep that motivation all year long. It is so hard to believe that the blog will turn one year old in February! I am so thankful for all of my readers, and I am looking forward to sharing another year with you. I would love to hear about your resolutions/goals for the year, or how you work towards living a balanced life.

Cheers to 2014! 

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