Happy 2016!

Happy 2016!

It wouldn’t be a new year without some resolutions, right? 2016 will be an exciting year for me. Right now, all that’s on my mind is WEDDINGWEDDINGWEDDING. Sorry for the caps, but is very appropriate. I have a mix of excitement, nervousness, anxiety, happiness and stress about the wedding. I feel calm about the marriage itself, which I take as a good sign. 🙂 3 months to go!

New Year's Resolutions

Back to the new year– I am looking forward to starting my married life, the honeymoon, more travels and adventures, and turning a quarter-century! I am pretty goal oriented, so I think it’s fun to write down the goals as another reason to stick to my path. January always looks so promising, and by June things have settled down again. Nevertheless, here they are!

1) Grow my blog audience

Like I’ve previously mentioned, I would like to grow this blog into something that people look forward to and enjoy reading. It’s not just for me, it’s for anyone who would like to join me in my adventures. Since August/September, I’ve spent time working on my content and overall look and feel of my site. I hate when websites are not user friendly, so my goal is to make a positive user/reader experience.

Specific ways I plan to grow my blog is getting down to business with my SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I really haven’t formatted any of that up until this point, but I think it’s time. I also want to ramp up my social media presence with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, (and Pinterest to a certain extent). Brighton is really into learning courses online for personal and professional growth, and he found a couple courses for me to learn more about social media on a professional level. This is also relevant to my day job since my boss told me I will be managing the hotel’s social media accounts soon! I am actually pretty excited about this.

Another way I plan to promote my site is to friends and family. I’ve been relatively private about this endeavor because for some reason I haven’t been proud (maybe not the right word I’m looking for?) of it, or I’ve felt like it’s not ready for judgmental eyes. But you know what? If people don’t like it or don’t care? So be it.

2) Pick up two hobbies: rock climbing & yoga

Every year I seem to say that I’ll lose weight and eat healthy. This year, I’m specifically targeting two activities that I think will improve my quality of life immensely and have interested me for years. As I get older more mature, life seems to get more stressful as the every day issues change. I like going outside in nature as my therapy of choice, but sometimes life doesn’t allow. I think incorporating yoga into my routine (just once a week is my goal) will help me cope with stressful issues and ground me. Plus, there’s a yoga studio right across the street from our new apartment. If that’s not motivation in itself, then I don’t know what is! We are also part of a gym that has yoga classes, so really there is no excuse.

New Year's Resolutions

The second hobby I’d like to pick up is (indoor) rock climbing. I’ve only been a handful of times, but similar to yoga, it challenges both my mind, body and endurance. I love that it incorporates problem solving, and overcoming fear and a sense of accomplishment in an activity that happens to be a workout as well! I put some rock climbing gear on my bridal registry, and I got it! Now there is no excuse for me not to go. I also think that it will improve our hiking during the summer. Something that I noticed on one of our more challenging hikes is that I am not comfortable with scrambling. It’s mostly because I don’t know where to place my hands and feet, and the other part of it is that I doubt my own strength and body movements. Rock climbing will challenge me in that area and improve my strength and endurance. Maybe someday I’ll go out on the real rocks in our area and try it out where there’s a view! Now, I got to figure out what I’m doing because I am a complete newbie and have no idea where to start.

New Year's Resolutions

3) Develop my photography skillsNew Year's Resolutions

This is one of those ongoing goals. Photography has been part of my life since I was a kid. My friends and family always tell me that I should go into professional photography, and after looking at those wedding photographer prices, maybe I should! Just kidding… not really though. From what I gather, photography is all experimentation and practice. I hope to learn more techniques to accomplish the shots that I desire to create.

New Year's Resolutions

4) Stick to a budget

Finally, the financial goal. The least fun one. In the past 2 years of being in Salt Lake, my finances have dramatically changed. I went from being an unemployed full-time student, to a single, semi-dependent post-grad, to an almost-married, employed young professional. I’ve also learned to budget to my major bills and student loan payments with my paychecks. I would say that I’ve done leaps and bounds from where I was in college, but I am by no means “good” at budgeting.

I would like to get to a debt-free point in the next few years with Brighton. We are both working to pay off our student loans, and I will probably need to get a new car soon. On top of that, we’d like to buy a house at some point and have a substantial savings in case of financial emergency. All these things come from discipline, time, and strategy. Brighton and I would save a lot of money if we spent more time cooking and budgeting our food budget with more discipline. We’ve got the motivation, now we just need to follow through. In the next year, with the wedding coming up, we can reduce our stress by sticking to a budget for everyday expenses and our costs. We are doing our best to start our marriage off on the right foot, and that is our motivation.

New Year's Resolutions

Just for fun 🙂

Well, there they are– My 2016 resolutions! Hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday season!

What are your resolutions? Do you have any tips or suggestions to help me accomplish my goals this year?