Heather's Hangout

Sharing the people, places & little moments that make a difference.

New year, new outlook January 4, 2015

2015 goals in wood type

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This new year is kind of a big deal for me. I’m glad to see 2014 fade away as it had more challenges in my personal life than I preferred. So I have expectations and hopes that 2015 will be filled with more happiness, less stress, less tears and more fun.

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I will also celebrate the start of a new decade as I turn 40 in the later part of the year. It’s a big age for me for several reasons. When I was younger, I thought it was old and now I’m on the cusp of it! When I was diagnosed with cancer at 21, that age seemed so far away that it feels truly good to still be here, alive and (thank God) healthy. I feel like 40 is an age that one really reflects on what they’ve accomplished in life. I honestly feel like I’m falling a little short of my goals for life so this year will be a time to determine what needs to be achieved, what needs to be scrapped and what should be refocused.

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happyquoteFocus on happiness. It’s easy to all too often get stuck on what you don’t have, or, worse, what others have that you really want. Having a positive outlook on life and appreciating what/who I have has typically been my attitude. I admit I’ve let outside forces creep into that attitude, and I don’t like it. So I’m putting positive vibes back into the universe as I commit to more smiling, laughing and saying thank you to God this year.

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Buy new house. My husband and I are committed to selling our two homes this year (we each brought one to the marriage and it’s been challenging to coordinate selling both) and buying a new home that is “just ours” – a place to create new memories of our relationship and combined family/friends. This is one goal that excites me quite a bit. Mostly because we’re doing it together.

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Focus on my writing. In that category falls this blog, where I plan to post more frequently and update the look and other items (stay tuned for my new ideas!). I also want to finally finish my book that’s been in progress for a while now. I’ve been researching publishing options but admit that’s probably been a distraction to making myself sit and get the story out of my head.

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Less technology, more connecting with friends. I hope to continue to build strong relationships with some close friends this year; seems like we all rely more on Facebook and texting to communicate and stay up-to-date with others’ lives. I’ve been scaling back my time on social media (although sometimes challenging since my job requires some use) and trying to use the good ol’ fashion telephone to chat with friends….hoping to take it even further with more in person visits this year. Friendship is one of those areas where quality definitely is better than quantity. I’ve spent a lot of energy trying to stay connected with friends who didn’t reciprocate much so acknowledge it’s time to appreciate the memories and focus on those who want to keep our friendship strong.  I also hope that as I get more involved in hiking, yoga and other interests that I’ll meet new girlfriends who share these common interests.

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Live healthier. I want to ring in my 40th birthday at my healthiest, including a few pounds lighter and more toned. I’m still addicted to Zumba (great cardio workout!) and have been focused on lifting weights to tone my muscles and strengthen my bones. I also plan to try new recipes to eat less processed foods. Living healthier also means limiting my Dr. Pepper and Starbucks intake (a challenge indeed!). While I value modern medicine, I am checking into more natural ways to feel healthier/better and lighten my mood.

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Paintcreek_HHGGet outdoors much more often. Lots of studies show that fresh air and connecting with nature bring many positive outcomes, including lower blood pressure, more happiness and less stress. I love being in the outdoors, especially when the sun is shining and temps are mild. My head always feels clearer after a bike ride, hike or walk around the block. Camping trips are also on our docket for the summer (seriously, very little beats camping in Michigan’s state parks in the summer).

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Be more spiritual. As an adult, I’ve admittedly never been a regular church-goer but always find such peace and comfort sitting in our beautiful sanctuary. My soul truly feels better after attending a church service so why would I not want to do that more often?! Spirituality doesn’t always have to focus on religion and I hope to focus more on finding inner peace and better understanding of myself.

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Have you set goals for the new year? What would you like to accomplish?

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Photo credit: © Marekuliasz | Dreamstime.com

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