Sharing my New Year’s resolutions here on the blog has become an annual tradition! I was hesitant at first, but publishing them in this space forces me to put them into writing and also helps me to stay accountable. The best part is that I can look back at the end of the year and measure my progress. This year I’m keeping it simple and focusing on a few key goals and items, including…
(photo credit: @patricetardif)
1 . A trip to Quebec.
A few friends have recently gone to Quebec and it’s quickly moved its way to the top of my travel list. I’ve been dreaming of a Christmas trip to Quebec, because it looks magical in the snow, but would also happily go for a summer road trip. The stone buildings and the narrow streets look so charming and there are plenty of outdoor activities just outside of the city.
(photo credit: @dani.kla)
2 . Get into hiking shape for Austria!
In honor of my mom’s 60th Birthday we’re taking a summer trip to Austria! Like all of our family trips, a majority of the vacation will be centered around hiking. To get back in shape for the Alps I’m planning to do stadium stairs and a few hikes in Blue Hills and the White Mountains once there’s no snow on the ground.
3. Max out my Roth IRA at $6,000 within the first six months of the year.
Boring, I know, but an important item to check off. This makes the list every year and I like to challenge myself to contribute the full amount within the first 6 months of the year to allow for more time for compound interest to grow. It’ll be a little more difficult this year since I’ve just started my own business, but I’m always down for a challenge. Does a retirement contribution make your resolutions list?
(photo credit: @meganfaletra)
4. Organize my pantry.
More specifically, store dry goods in glass jars. I’m getting right on top of this one because it’s relatively easy and affordable to implement. For a while I’ve been wanting to come up with a more organized system for our cabinets, and Megan Faletra of The Well Essentials is my inspiration! I think keeping things like smoothie powders, rice, lentils, etc. in clear glass containers like these Ball Jars will encourage me to shop the bulk section more frequently.
(photo credit: @shaktifresh)
5 . Be a resource to anyone who’s looking to incorporate more vegan and plant based meals into their diet.
Changing my diet has changed my entire life. After years of struggling with chronic joint swelling, and taking some serious medication, simple dietary changes reversed everything — and in an incredibly short time period. Over the past two years I’ve been increasing the amount of plant based dishes in my diet and last year I made the resolution to switch to a mostly vegan diet (with some exceptions). It felt so right that I ended up diving in 100%. I feel better than ever and having my actions align with my values feels so powerful. I would be thrilled to answer questions or assist anyone who is interested in adding more plant based dishes to their diet. I completely understand that different food choices work for different people, and I never judge — but we can all agree that more fresh vegetables and less processed junk food is a good thing. I’m here if you have questions!
6 . Participate in No Shop February.
Last year I participated in a No Shop February with a group of fellow bloggers, and it was eye opening. I really enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to round two. Some of us are easing into February with a low spend January. Scaling back feels fantastic right after the holidays and the money you don’t spend can go towards important things like emergency savings, investments, or retirement accounts.
7 . Meet up with my sister in Portland, ME.
My sister moved to San Diego over four years ago and now I only get to see her a few times a year. I miss her desperately and we’re planning a spring meet-up in Portland, Maine. I’m already counting down the days and dreaming of a mocktail at Vena’s Fizz House and quality sister time.
8 . Donate blood every 2 months.
So simple. So impactful. I’m embarrassed to say that it took me years to donate blood for the first time. I was always impressed when fellow high school students donated at blood drives in between classes. I was nervous that donating would be painful or that I would faint. When Kyle and I started dating I finally mustered up the courage, and it was a breeze. Now it’s become a priority. It’s easy, free, quick, and could mean the world to someone in need!
9 . Continue to grow Shade Made Creative.
Shade Made Creative is my new business, launched just a few months ago in October. SMC is a social media studio that offers services to businesses, brands, & bloggers, with a focus on content creation. Everything about it feels so right and I’m loving every minute. It’s such an honor to work with clients I believe in and to pursue work that I’m passionate about. I’m excited to see where 2019 takes the business!
10 . Visit an Animal Sanctuary.
Animal sanctuaries are incredible places. Sanctuaries offer care and protection for rescued animals for all of their natural lives. I feel a deep connection to animals and it’s only gotten stronger now that I’ve cut animals and animal products from my diet. I’d love to take a trip to Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary in Norton, MA later in the year.
(photo credit: @talkvegantomeofficial)
11 . Snuggle a cow.
I’m thinking that this will probably tie into the animal sanctuary visit. Cows are such beautiful gentle creatures, and I desperately want to snuggle one. Last spring I got the chance to cuddle newborn goats and it was a highlight of 2018 for sure.
12. Pick up 3 pieces of trash every time I walk the dog on the beach.
We’re fortunate to live in a town that has 27 miles of coastline and to be one block away from the beach. Walker and I walk along the water almost daily and this small act will help to keep our beach beautiful.
What are your plans for the new year? Do you like to add a bunch of items to your list or pick one overarching mantra for the year? I’d love to know what you have planned in the comments below!