Hi Everyone! So I know I’ve been pretty delinquent with All Shook Up  lately. To be completely honest with you, the last few weeks of 2015 were incredibly stressful for me. Like most companies, the weeks at my office between Thanksgiving and Christmas were absolute madness. I had an overwhelming amount of work to get done before my two week holiday vacation and as a result…well I was pretty burned out. When I got home from work I just wanted to eat something quickly and crawl into bed. To say I needed a vacation was a huge understatement. As a result my blog suffered. I never want to hit publish on a post unless I put my heart into it and by the end of December I started to feel like I was grasping at straws to post things I “should” post before the holidays rather than what I wanted to post. And that’s not fair, to you or me. I want to always keep my little corner of the internet mine, not a representation of what I think people want from me because frankly, that’s exhausting.

Once I started my holiday vacation I felt SO much better. The stress from work melted away and even the 200+ emails that came through didn’t get to me (well not TOO much 😉 !) I want to always be present with my family so I unintentionally took a little hiatus from the blog. But I’m back and ready for the new year. I definitely learned over the last few weeks of 2015 that I need to find more balance in my life, which leads me to my goals for this year.

For regular readers of my blog you may know that I am not exactly a huge fan of bucket lists or resolutions. Instead, I like working towards goals that I can actively track and have control over, not something that is up to someone else to make happen. Hence the 101 in 1001 list (which I promise to update soon, I made major strides over the last few weeks!) I took a look back at my goals from 2015, and I was actually able to accomplish many of my daily aspirations, but there are still a few things I want to keep in mind over the next 12 months.

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So here they are, my 2016 goals:

1. Master basic cooking skills

One thing I asked for Christmas this year was cookbooks. I got a Crockpot for my birthday and now that it is finally cold enough, I am ready to start making some delicious stews and soups. I am excited to start taking on more complicated recipes than my usual simple dishes. My goal this year is to feel more comfortable in the kitchen, my very tiny kitchen. The best aspect of this goal? It is a great way to save money and I’ve found that that making dinner also helps me to unwind from my day at work.

2. Prioritize friendships above all else

The first few years out of college are tricky. You are no longer living five minutes away from your closest friends and slowly but surely things change. Some friends you rarely see, but when you do it is like nothing has changed. While others live in the same city as you, but you see eachother less than the friends living on the other side of the world. I will be the first to admit that many of my friendships have changed over the last year. I’ve lost friends I never anticipated losing. That being said, I think the last year has showed me who my true friends are. It is not always easy, but we somehow make it work. And to make sure I don’t let these friendships drift away I am going to truly step up my friendship game.

3. Social Media Reality Check

With a job in digital marketing, it is not exactly the easiest task separating myself from social media. I spend hours each day on Instagram for work, and then come home to go through my own. There have been days where I felt like I was in a time warp of social media. This unfortunately can lead to the inevitable comparison game. It is hard to keep in mind that a photo on Instagram is NOT reality, especially when you are scrolling past hundreds of professionally shot photos that appear to be candid. I am guilty of getting caught up in social media, so I am actively trying to remind myself that whenever I post something it is for ME, not likes or approval from everyone else. That way when I look back I can see all the happy memories, not that I took that photo at 5 different angles and spent a half hour deciding on the caption and filters (I am 100% guilty of this!).

4. Be Present

Going off the last goal, I want to always be present with friends and family. Some of my favorite memories are ones that have absolutely zero documentation. No Snapchat, no Instagram, and not even a Facebook status from back in the day. They are the moments that were so wonderful that the idea of interrupting the moment by taking out my iPhone did not even cross my mind. I never want to become the type of person who is so obsessed with her online image that she loses touch with her real life, because how sad would that be?

5. Read MORE

This is a goal that I have had since I graduated from Bucknell. I was an English Lit & Poli Sci major so every week I would spend hours reading novels and Supreme Court rulings. And I loved every minute of it. I was a bit of a nerd in college (*cough* always sat in the front row*cough*) but I loved it. Now that I no longer commute, eliminating the two hours each day I had solely devoted to reading, it hasn’t been as easy to set aside time to read. The subway ride I take each day is less than 15 minutes which is too abrupt for someone who likes to get lost in a book for hours. I am also guilty of choosing Netflix over reading way more than I’d like to admit. I am in a book club, which helps, but I definitely want to up my reading game. I recently created a GoodReads account, and seriously it is a game changer. For years I have had a running list of books I have read/wanted to read in my Evernote App. I love GoodReads because I can easily keep track and mark off my progress while receiving great book recommendations from friends. For the 2016 GoodReads Reading Challenge, I am challenging myself to read 25 books. That is one book every two weeks!

6. Use my vacation days

Okay so this is sort of weird, but I have this strange urge to always save my work vacation days. I am constantly worried that I will need them later in the year so I hold off on taking days off. Now that I have been with my company almost a year and a half, I am much more comfortable with my team and the brand as a whole. I know our busiest times of year, and when it is easier to take time off. We also coordinate as a team to ensure that when one of us is out the others can cover. I want to try and plan more trips now and keep in mind that sometimes it is okay to just take a day off simply because you need a mental break day. I need to remind myself that vacation days are PAID days off… enough said!

7. Explore

I live in the most exciting city in the world! People travel from thousands of miles away to visit New York, the city I am lucky enough to call home. I want to keep embracing this city for everything it has to offer, because the list is truly neverending. I want to try new restaurants and visit interesting exhibits, anything that sounds new and exciting. I find that it is when my friends come to visit that I do all those wonderful tourist things I don’t think of doing since I live here. Exploring my city shouldn’t be limited to when guests stay the weekend, but a regular occurrence! Next month I will officially have been living in New York for ONE YEAR! Time seriously flies, there are so many things I want to do here and I can’t want to cross them off one by one!

I love the fresh start that a new year brings. It is that reminder that it is never too late to start over and go after what you want. I hope that 2016 is filled with adventure, friends, love, travel, and I have a funny feeling it will be a year I’ll never forget.

What are your goals for the year ahead?


4 thoughts on “2016

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