Sunday, December 8, 2013

Posted by Ashley on 8:27 PM No comments
8 Ways to Better Your Life 
in the New Year

I don’t do much writing on here and that’s mostly because I only started this blog to document//remember how to make things. However, as we approach the new year I decided to set some goals for myself to ultimately improve my overall life. I figure by posting my goals it will hold me accountable to follow through. At the same time, if anybody else is interested in joining me in this journey feel free :)

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*Along with each goal I have provided links that will direct you to further information on the topic


This is my official New Years Resolution, unplugging. I’m making it a goal to refrain from my cell phone, computer and television as much as possible. They aren’t going anywhere, but time certainly is. Don’t get me wrong...I love to binge out on Netflix as much as the next person, but don’t make it a habit. Social media has many benefits and many downfalls. It’s frustrating to see children lately glued to their iPads, and that’s because some of our greatest memories were in youth were created outdoors. LIGHTBULB. Believe it or not, we are still young. In fact, at this very moment is the youngest you will ever be (depressing, I know). So join me in this goal and try to unplug from technology as much as possible in this New Year.

This Video provides a great visual perspective as to how we will waste our life using jelly beans

This Article (Forbes) goes further in depth as to how we can each benefit from unplugging from technology


Meditation is the most underrated treatment method there is. There are meditations for all types of problems, desires and situations. It’s been practiced for thousands of years, and is one consistency throughout cultures and generations. Meditation is a recommended treatment for those suffering from allergies, anxiety disorders, asthma, eating disorders, cancer, depression, fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, sleep problems, substance abuse and much more.

Something I hear a lot when I suggest that people try meditations is “I don’t know how”. Here’s the thing - anybody can meditate. I recommend guided meditations for beginners, because they will walk you through deep relaxation processes like focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind. Meditation will help you relax, gain new perspective, increase self-awareness, reduce negative emotions/thoughts, and ultimately relieve stress levels. The hardest thing to do is live in the present, and when you’re meditating you will learn that.

Here are some of my personal favorite (free) meditations available on Youtube:

Click Here for Universal Mind Meditation
This one is great for helping you fall asleep. It’s also a great choice for beginners because it’s guided and meant to put you to sleep.
Click Here for Blissful Sleep Meditation
This is another great one for beginners, it’s guided and will help you fall asleep without racing thoughts. It’s a beach setting with waves in the background.
Click Here for the Healing Journey Meditation
This is an hour long guided meditation that promotes freedom, inner peace and helps with starting a “new you”
Click Here for Healing Spirit Meditation
This guided meditation helps with relaxation, anxiety and depression. It’s only 21 minutes long

Oprah will often team up with Deepak Chopra and provide free 21 day meditation challenges throughout the year, keep an eye out by signing up here


This is something that everyone aspires to do but doesn’t follow through with it. Can you think of 12 things you would like to learn how to do? Perfect. Write down each month of the year on a piece of paper, and then write one goal down next to each month. Try to make sure they are weather permitting, because you probably can’t try wakeboarding in January and odds are that you won’t go to your first hockey game in July. These goals can be anything from learning how to roll your own sushi to making apple pie moonshine for a camping trip with friends. The possibilities are endless. If you lack inspiration, I promise a quick search on google “things to learn this year” or “things to do before I die” will give endless inspiration. Once your list is completed, pin it up in your bathroom or bedroom. This way, you will see it nearly every day to remind yourself that you have to make time for that specific event each month. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you want to hold yourself accountable, post your list up on facebook or twitter and see who wants to join you with some of these tasks.

Here are some helpful links to get you started:

Click Here for random things to do
Click Here for things you must try in your 20’s
Click Here to learn new things on Pinterest
Click Here for a random tutorial generator


No, I don’t mean ditch your friends and run with a new crowd. But it wouldn’t kill you to step out of the box. Go out for a night with a new group of people. Hit the town with a coworker or new friend who you haven’t gotten to know very well yet. Just for one night, step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. Maybe it will just be okay and you won’t want to do it least you tried. But maybe, you’ll meet some great people and learn more about yourself. Sometimes a refreshing change of scenery is just what we need to stay sane, along with a glass of wine. And honestly, who can’t bond over a glass of wine (or six)?

Groupon/Living Social are both great websites to join and check frequently. You’ll learn about the many things your area has to offer and get a great deal at the same time. Find something that sounds like a fun time, email the link to a new someone and see if they are down to join you.


There is SO much food out there, and each place contains a unique experience. Make it a goal in this new year to try at least two new types of cuisine, no matter how scary it may seem. You may find that you actually love what they have, or you can try something totally bizarre and just have that under your belt.  There is always something new to try and a friend crazy enough to go along and try it with you. Think you’ve had it all? Not a chance. Even a different restaurant with similar menu items can create an entirely new atmosphere and overall experience. Ever enjoyed dolma while a belly dancer entertained you? How about had your food slaughtered and cooked right in front of you? There is so much out there that we haven’t experienced yet, and it is also a great option for a date night!

Here are some examples of cultural cuisine you can try:

Middle Eastern

...and many more. Google any type within your area and something is bound to come up. Is there something I didn’t mention? Leave a note in the comment box below so I can add it, and make sure to go try it for myself! Also - what’s the craziest thing you have ever tried?


Sure, we all know that we should exercise more (yawn). So, in this new year, make it a point to do something fun to burn your calories. This past year I began taking pole fitness classes at a local gym and I fell in LOVE. And no, they are not strip classes (but you can find burlesque style classes if that’s what you’re looking for). I cannot begin to explain how great it was for me. I grew up as an athlete, never a dancer. These pole fitness classes work an entire new group of muscles, and burns a significant amount of calories while you gain confidence. Many fitness centers are beginning to add variety to their weekly group fitness classes. Zumba, kickboxing, belly dancing, yoga (all kinds), TRX, pole fitness and cross training are all great classes. If this typical setting doesn’t appeal to you, look for something that meets outdoors in your area.

Groupon/Living Social: as mentioned earlier, having accounts on these websites will help educate you on the resources near you while at the same time getting a great deal. These are nice too because you can try out a center before having to make a commitment and pay an enrollment fee.


A simple change of scenery can be just what the doctor ordered. This will mean something different to each person. For some moving your furniture around will be enough, others need to go through closets and junk drawers and just throw away all that crap you haven’t used in years. Sure, there was an event that called for neon eye shadow, but what are the odds that you will really need that anytime soon? Toss it. You will feel so much better. Give order and structure to everything in your home. Use shoe organizers so sort through cleaning supplies, craft supplies or those random things you only use on occasion. Buy jewelry displays and cases to keep them from getting tangled up. Desk organizers work great in the bathroom for makeup and beauty supplies. There is a purpose for a lazy susan in every room of every home. Throw them under the sink, in closets, in the fridge, in the cupboards etc. This way you can see everything in there while keeping it nice and tidy. Just tackle one area at a time, you have all year to go through your things.

Here are some links to organizing ideas:

Click Here for kitchen organization tips
Click Here for low cost organizing ideas
Click Here for ways to get rid of clutter
Click Here for 52 ways to organize your life - one tip per week all year
Click Here for Pinterest inspiration


Trust my on this one, years from now you’ll be glad you started now. Cooking and baking aren’t skills you can learn over night by watching videos online. It’s extremely a learn-as-you-go process. Whether you’re a man or a woman, knowing how to cook is essential. If it’s still unknown territory to you, start by googling simple recipes that appeal to you. I personally think baking is more complicated than cooking because you have to be precise; whereas cooking there is plenty of room to make it your own. Even though I do a lot of cooking already, I really want to expand my horizons this year. Lacking inspiration? Hop on Pinterest, never fails.

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Well, there you have goals for the new year and my official first actual written blog post. I would love to hear what your plans are for the New Year and the changes you hope to make. Feel free to email me or comment below with any tips, tricks, questions or suggestions. Team work makes the dream work! Happy holidays everyone.



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