15 Easy New Years Resolutions For 2018

15 Easy New Years Resolutions For 2018

New Year, New You? Give some of these ideas a try to make small positive changes to your every day life!
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It's that time of year again! It's time for a brand new year and new beginnings! Each year we set goals for ourselves that sometimes seem so far out of reach that we often give up after only a month or two. Dieting, exercising, and saving money are all pretty common but do we ever really achieve them they way we wanted to? Sure, maybe you lost some weight but not as much as you wanted to. Or maybe your goal was to save $2,000 and you only save $600. While those are amazing goals to have, I have compiled a list of smaller, achievable goals to make this year a great year!

1) Start a Budget.

There are many reasons people start budgets. To save money, to see where their money is going, and to just better organize their finances. Figure out what your money goal is and try setting a small budget for each month or week to track your spending. Limit yourself to buying coffee twice a week instead of everyday, or try buy off brand food at the store to save some money. Tracking your spending, even just for 6 months to a year can go a long way when trying to save up for a big purchase or to pay off debt.


2) $5 Shoebox (or Envelope)

This is one that I actually did this last year and saved almost $400! It's simple, every time you get a $5 bill, you put it in the box (or envelope) and don't spend it. You just keep adding to it. Another thing I do with this is in addition to $5 bills, at the end of each week I take all the $1 bills left over from change in my wallet and add it in the box too. You'd be surprised at how quickly it adds up!

3) Stop Drinking Soda!

It's literally that simple. Try it for a year. A single year without soda! It forces you to drink more water and it even saves you some money when you go to restaurants. It's been 4 years without soda for me and I certainly don't miss it!

4) Find a Good Skin Care/Face Wash Routine

It may sound a little silly, but your face will thank you years from now. A great moisturizer is a life saver and will make you feel so much better! Find a product and brand that you like and it's worth it to spend a little extra money on something you love! Set a morning and night routine that will keep your face soft and fresh. (Extra Tip: Make a point to always take your make up off and clean your face good afterwards, again your face with thank you!)

5) Read Books

Pick a new book to read each month. If you've never read Harry Potter, thats 7 books and 7 months already planned for! Reading allows you to have some time to relax, so pick some books and enjoy the read!

6) Take Weekly Walks

When it's warm outside make it a point to take 20-30 minute walks a few times a week. Get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery.

7) Posting Positive Messages

Do yourself a favor and set a goal to not post anything negative on social media! Keep your complaints to yourself and add some good stories and comments to your newsfeed! Especially with Facebook Memories and Time Hop its hard to look back a read all the bad things you have posted in the past!

8) Reach Out To Old Friends

Oftentimes we get so busy in life that we lose touch with people who used to be so important to us. Make it a point to reach out to someone and make plans! Even if you meet up 2 or 3 times a year, you both will appreciate the time spent together so much more than a Facebook post!

9) Eat Breakfast Everyday

Another very silly goal, but you will feel so much better throughout the day after eating a nice breakfast. Pre-made smoothies, oatmeal, and eggs are very quick and easy options in the morning and your body will thank you!

10) Self Care (Make Time For Yourself)

Take baths, use face masks, and just take some time for yourself! Make sure you spend some time each week just doing something small. Paint your nails, go sit at Starbucks and listen to some music, write in a journal, whatever it is that helps you unwind. It's so important for your mental health to take some time to yourself.

11) Getting Rid of Excess

This can be anything! Old clothes, or movies and books. This can even mean people and responsibilities. Get rid of things that are holding you back and slowing you down. Do you really need to go to book club every week for a book you're pretending to read because you're too busy doing everything else? Do you really need all 5 of your credit cards even though you only use 3 of them? When was the last time you wore that jacket? Get rid of it and cut it out!

12) Volunteer or Donate!

This goal can be a weekly, monthly, or even a one time thing. Find a place or organization that you can get involved in and help out! Find a cause and donate money. Find something you love and do what you can to make a difference, whether it be with animals, kids, or senior citizens.

13) Try New Hobbies

Make a list at the beginning of the year of things you would love to try! Learn how to plan an instrument, take a pottery class, cooking, join yoga! Just make a list and try something new each month! Find some friends to do it with you or make new friends as you go! Allow yourself to enjoy all the things life has to offer and take any opportunity you have to try something new!

14) Get Organized!

Spend the first week or two of the new year organizing your life. Organize your room and clean your car! Get a planner to help keep yourself on track with bills, assignments, and work. Even if your organization is very basic, you will feel so much better about having a place for everything and it will make life easier as the year goes on.

15) STAY POSITIVE

I can't stress this enough! It is so easy to let life knock us down. We all go through rough patches for many different reasons. Try to remember each day the things you are thankful for and why you keep striving every day. Practice healthy self-talk and surround yourself with people who support you and will get you though those hard days. Staying positive and having a good outlook on anything (even failure of all of the above resolutions) will make this upcoming year a great one!

Good luck with these resolutions and maybe the ones you have for yourself! Pick a few that are the best fit for you and go with it. Also, remember that it's okay to fail! Don't beat yourself up for having a soda when you've already finished 7 books by April and volunteer at the animal shelter once a week! Find your groove and stick to it! I wish nothing but the very best for the upcoming New Year!



Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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to my parents' beach house

Thank you for the memories.

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My parents have had the same beach house for the last 10 years. We come down for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, random long weekends and almost any other time of the year that my mom can convince us to come down here. Most of my summer memories include watching storms roll in over the bay, and adjusting the rabbit ears on the tv so they are just right in order to watch the big game. The amount of memories I have that take place here is insane and I'm so happy that they all involve the sand, the water, boats, friends, and family.

Lilly Higginbotham

For as long as I can remember my mom has been urging my dad, brother and I to make the hour drive from Tallahassee down to Alligator point to spend X amount of days at our beach house. My brother usually tries to find some way to talk his way out of going while we pile all the food we might need for the week into our big white cooler. Once we make it down to the point the closest grocery store is about thirty minutes away so we have to pack everything. When we finally make it down and the groceries make it up the stairs and into the fridge is when the real fun begins. It could be anything from pulling a chair onto the small strip of sand out front that we call a beach or going on a boat ride to Dog Island. Whatever we end up doing is guaranteed to be a blast.

Recently there have been a number of mishaps with the power, the AC and any other number of issues. Most recently, we showed up for fathers day weekend and the power had been out for at least a week. Everything we had left in the freezer had gone bad and it was hot in the house since the AC was also out. We cleaned out the freezer, sprayed some air freshener and loaded back up in the car and headed home. There have been a couple trips that turned out like that, but I would venture to say that the good times outweigh the bad for sure.

There have also been many hours spent on and behind the boat. I've tried (and failed) to waterski, tube, wakeboard, and kneeboard all within sight distance of the beach house. I actually asked my dad, the boat captain, how many circles he had done around the bay and he simply shook his head and said "Too many." Well, Dad, I would say it was definitely worth it as some of those circles around the bay created some of my best memories.

I'm so thankful for this place and the summers we have spent down here. Here's to the last ten years, and here's to hopefully many more (with working AC). I love you, Alligator Point!

Cover Image Credit:

Lilly Higginbotham

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