15 THINGS TO DO IN 2015

Happy new year, everyone. I hope January is off to a lovely start for all of you!

It seems like every blog I've read recently announced a new name, a new direction, the works. I guess it's about that time to freshen things up. And while I have no plans to change the title of this blog or the direction in which it's been going in, I do think that I'll change my site around quite a bit in the next few months. In the past, my blog has always been about, well, ME. Now that I'm becoming certified to help others lead better, brighter lives through health coaching, I want this site to be more about YOU!

Consider that your heads up. Stay tuned...

I am both happy and sad for a new year. Happy because I'm ready for a fresh start and I know lots of goodness lies in the next 12 months. Sad because my mom will never know 2015.

In an effort to kick things off in a positive note, I've decided to share 15 things I'd like to do in 2015. Here's hoping my goals inspire you a bit, too!

1. Read, read, read.

One thing I want to do much more of in this new year is read. It's very easy for me to let this habit fall to the wayside when I have other things on my mind, but I know that taking 30 minutes a night to read is way more valuable than watching that Friends rerun for the 107th time. I find in the past that my book review posts have gone over well, so I hope to bring these back on a monthly basis. (Sidenote: I was at Barnes & Noble over the weekend and the bargain table had some amazing stuff. Definitely worth checking out.)

2. Teach.

I want to start teaching in 2015. I'm not sure what exactly I'll teach, but this goal is definitely at the top of my list.

3. Study up on muscle groups and have a better understand of how the human body works.

It would've been easier to call this one, "Become a Certified Personal Trainer," but I'm really not quite sure whether or not that's the right move for me (no pun intended). For now, I'm committed to learning more about the science of exercise.

4. Get back to giving back.

When my mom got sick last year, all of my social commitments pretty much fell to the wayside. I was serving on the board for a young nonprofit and quickly stepped down when I realized I could no longer wholeheartedly give my time or energy. I'm still not sure what type of charity I'd like to get involved with this year, but I'm looking forward to finding something that is meaningful to me.

5. Become a food label expert. 

In the past few years, I've become very passionate about being an informed consumer and nutrition school has only heightened these senses. The truth is, the wording, terms, and phrases on food packaging and products can be overwhelming and confusing. In 2015, I hope to educate myself - and others - about the differences and importance of food labels.

6. Just keep going.

There is a lot happening in the near future that I'm really not looking forward to. I turn 30 at the end of this month, and it's not so much the age that upsets me, it's the fact that I have to do it without my mom. She always made the biggest deal about our birthdays and it's hard to imagine every enjoying another one without her here.

I am absolutely dreading wedding dress shopping, something I always imagined us doing together. I tried on a few last month and it was such a horrid experience that I cancelled all the other upcoming appointments I had and put the search on an indefinite hold. As the big day inches closer I'm realizing that I can't keep pushing this back, so I'm seriously considering ordering a dress online and praying for the best. 

There will always be obstacles ahead; such is life. When you can't do anything else, just keep going.

7. Get CPR certified.

I meant to do this in December and ran out of time. 

8. Leave my comfort zone more often.

We took a cruise over New Year's Eve and my fiance encouraged me to play Blackjack with him in the casino. I hesitated, because the last time I played Blackjack on a cruise I lost $80 in five minutes and ended up like Rachel in that episode of Friends where she's sitting on the hotel bed in Vegas drunk, saying, "Hit me, hit me, hit me," until they run out of cards. But I decided to go for it and I actually won some money! And more than that, it was fun. We met the coolest, nicest people at the table and the dealers were awesome. Such a fun experience that I would've missed out on if I'd stuck to my, "No thanks, I'm good," attitude. I'm keeping that in mind for the next time I don't feel like trying something new or unfamiliar.

9. Spend less and save more.

2015 is definitely the year to get my finances under control. 

10. Reconnect with health publications I admire.

Last year, I became very passionate about wellness writing and I was able to contribute to a few different outlets. Like many other things, these fell off my radar in the midst of the rest of my life being at somewhat of a standstill, but I hope to get back to this hobby in the near future.

11. Dine in more and put my cookbooks to good use.

It's hard to believe that a few years ago, I ate every single meal out and on the go. I went weeks without having a fresh vegetable. The thought makes me shudder! This year I will continue to eat in more than I dine out. I also want to start using my cookbooks more often. I've gotten into the habit of googling quick recipes which works nicely, but I'd love to be able to put a little more effort into our meals.

12. Sleep more.

I've been a terrible sleeper for as long as I can remember. Though never officially diagnosed, I'm sure I suffer from some form of insomnia. But the more I make an effort to get into bed earlier, the better chances I have of sleeping well and longer. I need to continue this pattern.  

13. Shop smarter.

Even though I'm focused on pinching my pennies so to speak, when I do buy, I want to make sure I'm going for quality over quantity. I got some gift cards for Hanukkah and instead of running to the stores the next day (like I usually do) I decided to hold onto them so that I'd have a nice little surprise in the new year. I wandered into Nike yesterday because I needed pants. I looked at a bunch of different styles and then thought, "Wait a second. I own one pair of Nike pants and I hate the way they fit. Why would I buy more?" I thought I was being savvy since I was essentially spending someone else's money on something I need, but I realized I'd rather spend my own on pants that fit me properly. (I bought a training tank and a beanie instead - two other things I actually needed.)

14. Respark my creativity.

I've struggled with this recently. I hope I can take the next few months to really reignite my creative juices.

15. Write, write, write.

This one sounds like the simplest but I know that in so many ways, it'll be the greatest challenge of all.

What do you want to do in 2015?