5 Tips for Making Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions

It’s official: 2017 is upon us. πŸŽ‡

2016 was full of some major ups (I got married to the love of my life! Woo! and we both got horses!), and major downs (home remodeling, the stresses of trying to run your own businesses).Β It’s tempting to say “This year will be the best one yet!” but I’m hesitant to say that. I want to start off slowly. Kind of dip my toes into this year before I leap into it, so-to-speak.

Normally I’ve had time to sit down and write up my yearly goals by now. But instead, I’ve been thinking on them for days. I haven’t written down anything. My goals are spinning around inside my head.

I do want this year to be the best one yet. As such, I want to deeply consider my goals. Perhaps you want to seriously consider how you want your year to be, too.

I’ve been researching the best ways to write resolutions, and here they are to share.

1. Don’t rush into your resolutions.

As I said, it’s been days (a week now) since January 1. Holiday time has passed and the year is upon us. It’s tempting to quickly jot down a list and go about your business.

But this year, take some time to consider your resolutions. Set aside time specifically for this task. Remove distractions. Make this a purposeful time, and write your resolutions with determination. Grab a mug of coffee and really ponder what you want to accomplish this year; take it seriously!

2. Think about the year as a marathon, not a race.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting. My husband and I have met goals this year we set out 5-6 years ago, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

When you think about a full year, it seems daunting to have that many days to try and meet your goals. Try sectioning out the year into easy-to-chew chunks. Quarters. Weeks. Months.

And then make a point, at the end of each section, to review your goals and see where you’re at. You’ll need to periodically gauge your progress to make sure you’re not going off track.

3. Write them down.

Don’t keep your resolutions in your head. You’ll forget them, and you won’t see them. The act of writing helps you remember, and then you’ll have a physical copy of your goals. Put it by your bedside and see it every morning. Keep yourself accountable.

4. Stumped? Consider the these old standbys.

Lose weight. Exercise more. Drink more water. Catch up with old friends. Cultivate current relationships. Be a better husband/wife. Be more organized.

Just remember, when making your resolutions, that these are great ideas to get you started, but be specific and make them measureable! How else will you know when you’ve actually met your goal?

5. Lastly, consider these thoughts collected by elderly people reflecting on their lives.

And finally, I’ll leave you with tidbits from a wonderful article about an Australian nurse who polled dying patients about their regrets in life (a sad thought, but their laments really make you think):

1. β€œI wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

2. β€œI wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

3. β€œI wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”

4. β€œI wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”

5. β€œI wish that I had let myself be happier.”

With those things in mind, make 2017 count, and do make this a year to remember. 😊

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My Favorite Travel Tips: One Night Hotel Stay

favorite travel tips for one night hotel stay

 

As I write this, I am at a hotel. About once a week my husband and I grab a hotel for the night since he works pretty far from our house. We’re in Orlando and there are TONS of options, so I’ve gotten pretty hotel-savvy over time.

If you’re planning on staying just one night at a hotel, there’s plenty to consider as far as what to pack, and how to get the most out of your time.

My favorite travel tips for staying at a hotel for one night:

1. Create an official packing list

You will always need certain things when you travel. I used to make the same lists over and over each time I would pack, and they would include the same constant things. Now I just have an “official packing list” of things I have to have.

My key items: phone, identification, phone charger, hair brush, hair straightener, toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, contact solution, contact case, and deodorant. These are my “must-haves”; the rest I could theoretically muddle through without (*cries inwardly* “but my makeup collection!!!”).

2. Pack smart and pack light, do’s and don’t’s

Pack light: Try your best to pack lightly. Plan your outfits exactly, and stick to them. Packing light is not only liberating, it saves your back/arms because you’re lugging less crap around.

Pack smart: Check the weather beforehand so you’ll have an idea of what to expect, though it’s always a good idea to pack a jacket and a mix of warm/cool clothes, just in case. Pack clothes that can be re-purposed.

DO bring multiple pairs of underwear and socks, because you just never know if you get stuck (flight delayed, anyone?)

I DON’T suggest trying to use the provided drawers or storage areas for clothes. In fact, I highly suggest you only hang up clothing that needs hung, and leave the rest in the suitcase. Whatever you un-pack, leave out in highly visible areas — You don’t want to spend hours re-packing the next morning.

3. Try to check-in early

While most hotels state their official check-in time as 3 or 4pm, sometimes they have availability as early as 12 or 1pm.

If you arrive at your destination early and it’s convenient, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by the hotel or call them and see if they have a room available for you. 80% of the time I am able to check-in early (like today!).

Conversely, most hotels will let you check out later, without paying any fees. Just call the front desk the morning of and see if they’ll let you check out late. Most of the time they’ll give you an extra hour or two if they’re not booked up.

4. Research the amenities

It’s useful to know what’s available at the hotel before you go. If they have a gym, pool, microwave, hairdryer, fridge, free Wi-Fi, free coffee, free breakfast, free local shuttle and more, this can help you know what to pack AND save you money!

You can bring or buy snacks at a local store and stock your fridge, maybe even cook in the microwave, if you feel like it. If there’s a gym or pool, you’ll want to bring exercise gear and a bathing suit (if you think you’ll have the time to enjoy such things). A free local shuttle could save you on needing a rental car, if it’s close enough!

Also check for negative attributes like a resort fee (found near theme parks) or a fee for parking. Good to know before you go!

5. Book early or wait until the last minute

One time my husband and I took a spontaneous trip to Cancun. We didn’t have a hotel booked until we were boarding the second leg of our flight, which was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. We ended up snagging an awesome deal on a timeshare for a week!

My favorite “book early” travel websites are Kayak and Orbitz (I have had terrible experiences with Expedia, grrrr, see their “refunds-HA! policy”). Kayak.com lets you search dozens of websites at the same time which saves you time, while Orbitz.com gives you “Orbucks” when you book with them, which is basically free money that you can apply towards your next reservation.

Another travel tool I love is HotelTonight. If you have the flexibility to be spontaneous, try the app. They show hotels in any major cities that need to fill rooms at the last minute, so they give big discounts to get reservations. Plus you can experience neat hotels that you may not have known about before, and the app is free! If you use my promo code “EWRIGHT32” you’ll get $25 off your next booking of $135+. Pretty sweet, right? (btw they didn’t ask me to write this post, I just genuinely love their app!)


Do you often stay at hotels for just one night? What are some of your favorite tips? Share below! πŸ™‚

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6 Items on My Path to Self-Discovery and the Meaning of Life

For years, ever since I met my now-husband, I have felt like there is so much I could offer to this world, if I could only find my passion.

We are both very much into generating passive income streams, kicking the 9-5 life, and just being able to illustrate and direct our own lives how we see fit. I don’t want to run in someone else’s schedule. I want to set my own.

This quest has been plaguing me for years. But, now, I feel like I have finally settled on what I want to “do” in life:

  1. I want to continue to try and answer this question for myself.
  2. I want to get the most quality out of my life.
  3. I want to help others find their own answers to their meaning of life.
  4. I want to LIVE. I don’t want to SURVIVE. There is so much life out there to experience and enjoy.
  5. I want to be happy doing it.
  6. I want to wake up every day with a driving force, a purpose that fuels me.

Let’s all find our purpose, our passion, in our lives. That is the meaning of our lives.

#feelingexistential

 

Stock Photo Credit: Pixabay
Image Editing: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

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