After the unceremonious smashing of my nook eReader by a hotel van driver, I haven’t been able to read nearly as much this year as I would have liked. I have plowed through a substantial volume of magazines, but I haven’t hit my mark for proper brain food this year as I had intended. While I enjoyed a few books, I honestly feel like the “Read” portion of my blog fell to the wayside. Looking forward to 2015, I decided to pair my resolutions with some of my old favorites form my personal library.
With regard to health & wellness, my resolutions for 2014 decided to wallow in heartache for the first quarter of the year. Like a domino effect, I reverted to many of my previously buried bad habits: overindulging, stress eating, negative thinking, bypassing workouts, making excuses, and retreating within myself. Surprisingly, summertime helped me shake some of the funk off, but picking up a few old favorites really began to help me give considerable thought to what I should focus on in my life. I would love to add a few more to my personal library in the future to help develop strategies for achievement.
- Balanced Diet – The most difficult thing with being a foodie with a penchant for adult beverages is moderation. When dining out, I would like to be more conscientious about food selections, reminding myself that protein should be a side item, not 90% of the plate. I am reading up on how to incorporate a more diverse plant-based diet, including non-meat protein. I am really digging Alicia Silverstone’s recipes in The Kind Diet, and I am going back to basics with Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet.
- Mental Health – I made efforts to cut out the toxicity in my life which included making some difficult decisions. Over the last year, I really discovered how greatly mental wellbeing impacts physical wellness. Too many slumps and ruts required wrestling and wrangling in 2014, so I am looking forward to making strides in 2015. Meeting Your Half-Orange lead me to Doc, but it also has great tips with regard to rediscovering optimism for all aspects of life. There is no shame in seeking help or enlightenment, Folks.
- Proper Training – After losing my FitBit, I decided to switch to the Nike+ FuelBand SE and dusting off all my old Nike+ apps and accessories. I struggled with running slumps and regaining weight, but I refuse to make 2015 a continuation of 2014. Time to dig out Kara Goucher’s Running for Women and hash out a game plan for 2015 running. Now, that I have a gym membership, I need to work on my confidence in hitting the weights, pool, mat, and machines, and get that cross training flowing. I also have an overdue date with Trish Stratus Yoga.
I’m a well-rounded girl, so I have a tough time committing to mastering any one particular hobby or interest. Many may view this as a negative, but I have learned to embrace it. In the coming year, I would love to focus on making my time at home productive. Yes, I fully intend on continuing with my blog life, but I would like to also make a solid effort to step away from the time-waging aspects of my computer. I want to dive headlong into learning new things and write about them later, not while, I am doing them.
- Creativity – I tackled a couple of crafty projects here and there, but I would love to harness more DIY projects in 2015. In addition to working on this blog, I aim to returned to carving out time to focus on creative writing. I really need to finish tackling Margaret Lowenstein’s Renaissance Soul, a book that had truly helped a Jill of all Trades, but Mistress of None like me. Somewhere in my boxes of life is my hard copy of The Artist’s Way (also by Julia Cameron) which was also an invaluable resource when I moved back form Japan. I still have sewing projects, learning guitar, and an ever growing Pinterest list of things I want to do! Any tips for picking where to start?
- Culinary – I have a rapidly growing stashing of magazine clippings and internet recipes which are collecting dust. It’s high time to dust them off, organize them, and start tackling them one by one. I can’t improve without practice, right? I would love to give Bake & Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater a whirl and mount up with The Thug Kitchen Cookbook. I mean, smoothies are a start, but I have a long way to go. I would love more refined at-home meals, making dining out more treasured.
- Languages – since my return from Japan, my command of the language was tanked. Even with using it for my employment, without being completely immersed in Japanland, I have been dumping vocabulary quicker than bowls of cereal at a daycare. Also, since studying Japanese, most traces of French and Italian have been ejected like naughty footballers at a World Cup soccer match. I would really love to start hitting the books again, and eventually find language partners to pair with. I also need to make my desk a proper study space again. French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mirelle Guiliano would be a fun way to incorporate a snazzier lifestyle, too.
I’ll admit it, I love finding the right kind of self-help books, especially when they come from trusted references like friends. What transformative books have you turned to in order to gain insight or perspective? With the thoughtfulness of my holiday heroes, I finally have the funds prepared to invest in a new nook. Until I have a room to house a library of my own, it’s the next best thing to keep my brains fresh and well-fed. Looking back at where I was a year ago, and all the possibilities ahead of me, I am excited for the New Year. The hardest part will be finally piecing together my 2014 Year in Review! Cheers, Y’all!