{Inspire Me} 2017 Resolutions

Hey, 2017! You came quickly and you are definitely welcomed. There are many things about 2017 that I'm looking forward to, including to finally really start wedding planning. Since our wedding isn't until September 2018, the planning process has been slow so far and I'm getting excited and anxious to dig into it.

I don't normally make myself resolutions for the new year, but this year I decided to do it. I'm discovering more and more what I enjoy and what makes my body feel good/healthy. Some of my resolutions are small, but they all make a difference to me.

(1) Write in a gratitude journal. Daily. Since we're almost a month and a half into the new year already, I've had a chance to start doing this every night. I truly enjoy doing this because it makes me realize all the tiny things in my day that I may take for granted. It makes me reflect on friendships that mean a lot to me, notice the little things Alex does for me, and makes me strive to do my best in my career and for myself. Just simply writing a few things I'm grateful for that day does so much and it only takes a few minutes before I go to bed.

(2) Read more. This has always been a problem with me ever since I was a kid...I've never been a big reader. Last year I read quite a few books compared to the normal amount I read and I loved it. Reading before I fall asleep or while on my lunch break or while sitting outside at my cottage...wherever I can, I want to be reading instead of mindlessly scrolling through my phone. My first read of the year is this one.

(3) Drink more water. Yet another thing I'm bad at...hydrating myself. I'm becoming more active (another resolution) and if I'm not hydrated then I won't work out as well as I hope and won't feel as healthy.

(4) Active routine. I have a desk job that has me sitting from 8am-4:30pm most of the day. I'm starting to do exercise classes a few times a week on my lunch break and doing yoga with a friend. I've had a gym membership and a trainer for a couple years now so I'm going to push myself to be more committed to going. Yes, getting married is a great excuse to get into perfect shape but my goal is to turn this into a lifestyle, not a temporary dream. If I can do something active at least once a day that would be ideal.

(5) Consume less sugar and eat real [unprocessed] foods. Last April I did the Whole30. Long story short I probably wouldn't do it again, but it did make me realize how much sugar is in everything. I have an insane sweet tooth to begin with as well. Cutting back on sugar will help with my energy levels, my skin health, and so much more.

(6) Love more. From Alex to my family to my friends to complete strangers. With upcoming wedding planning I'm sure there will be some stressful moments, but I never want to forget how much we love each other. My family and friends mean the world to me and they have no idea how much I value them. And strangers deserve your kindness...you don't know what they're going through in their life. Always give someone a smile.

(7) Wake up earlier. This one is going to be hard for me since I'm very difficult to get up in the morning. I'm not saying I'm going to be waking up at 6am on the weekends now, but I need to be better at creating an internal clock for myself. I wake up to an alarm at 6:30am during the week but then on the weekends sleep until I wake up (usually around 8:30-9am). Those different times throw off that clock and I think might be making me more tired during the week.

(8) Save money and spend less. Simple changes are already being made between Alex and I when it comes to money. We're going out less, choosing to buy our groceries at more affordable grocery stores (like Trader Joe's instead of Whole Foods...whoops), and not splurging on unnecessary items for our apartment. If he and I want to buy a home anytime soon, we have got to be saving now.

(9) Travel more. To be honest I don't think we'll be going anywhere huge in 2017 like we did in 2016 (Iceland). We want to save money to go somewhere amazing for our honeymoon in 2018. I would still love to go on smaller weekend trips though...go camping, explore more of Door County in the summer, go hiking, try to get up to my cottage more, etc.

(10) Live more minimally. Right at the beginning of the year we watched the Minimalism documentary on Netflix. Now that is a bit extreme for us, but it made me realize (conveniently right after Christmas when we got new gifts) that we have so much stuff! Living more minimally will also help us save money. Already in the last month and a half I've said no to purchasing new items for our apartment or new clothing for myself. Once the weather warms up, we plan on sorting through our storage locker to purge a lot of unused items. This will also make it easier for us when we eventually move.

Here's to 2017 and I can't wait to see the results of these resolutions at the end of the year. What are your resolutions?

~Jessica