Happy 2016! How was your NYE? We had a low-key night with my parents. I made a cheese plate and we grilled steaks (crab cakes for me!), drank champagne, played games, and everyone but me was asleep before midnight. We’ve done the big NYE and honestly I prefer quiet nights at home: it’s cheaper AND safer. New Year’s Day we came home and had an impromptu late night out with friends. I am still sick (it’s true) and the amazing bartender made me a hot toddy to calm my cough. I’m beginning to think I’ll never feel better… Shouldn’t you get abs from incessant coughing? Seems like something good could happen. The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning the house, putting away Christmas decor, and preparing for the LONG week ahead! I’m not sure how I’m going to wear real clothes this week! I’ve worn leggings or sweats for over two weeks now. Putting on a suit and heels is going to HURT.
There are lots of “how to be a better you” posts out there right now, and I think they’re great! One perfect example is Diana’s post on four ways to be happier in 2016. Obviously a new year is the perfect time to start fresh and make plans that will help you live your best life. But one thing I think we struggle with as women is investing in ourselves. We’re prone to put everyone else first and put our lives on the back burner. Make this your year!
Take a class.
I have mentioned this before, but three years ago, I took a $100 online Technical Writing class. That $100 class lead me to a new job immediately making $13,000 more a year. I’m currently learning HTML/CSS and JAVA through Codecademy. They offer several free classes, but the pro membership (which I use) costs $19 a month. Worth it. Do what you can to move your career forward.
I have retirement at work, but I probably won’t be there forever and want some control. I am not financially knowledgeable and need lots of guidance. At the insistence of the financially-minded J, I signed up for Loyal3, a fee-free investing site. The site doesn’t have an exhaustive list of stocks- you’ve likely heard of each one. You can choose to invest in Amazon, Apple, Target, Starbucks, Disney, Nike, and many more, and you’re not charged any fees. I invest in 6 stocks a month and set the payments to come out of my checking account automatically. You can also choose to invest a one-time lump sum. I try to maintain a good balance: if I spend $20 at Target, I invest $20 in Target stock. I spend lots of money, but these shoes and candles and lipstick aren’t going to pay my bills when I’m 70. You have to put some back.
Exercise and improve your diet.
I don’t have to tell you how much better it will make you feel. It’s worth making the time to take care of yourself. My work schedule changed in October meaning I could actually work out in the morning. I find it easier to do it first thing instead of trying to fit it in at the end of the day. Take a walk. Sign up for a gym membership. Going to the gym not your thing? YouTube has wonderful free resources. I prefer Beachbody on Demand. It’s $40 a quarter but I have access to some of the most popular workouts, like PiYo, Insanity, P90X, Hammer and Chisel, and more! I find exercising easier than improving my diet: I love cocktails, cookies, and pizza. I have no willpower. But it’s true that when you eat healthy, you feel better all over. There are (probably) millions of recipes on Pinterest and you’re bound to find something you like! And, as cliche as it sounds: failing to plan is planning to fail. Take a few hours on Sunday afternoon and prep at least your breakfast and lunch for the week!
Begin a skincare routine.
Wash your face every night. Moisturize. Drink lots of water. Your 60-year-old skin will thank you!
Take care of yourself.
If you’ve read this blog once in the last month, you will know I’ve been dealing with an ongoing infection. I blame myself: working out 7 days a week, working non-stop, staying up way too late to blog, not sleeping well, constant travel, and grabbing garbage on the go caused this sickness to hang on much longer than normal. I haven’t been able to slow down which is why I have spent the better part of this weekend in bed or on the couch. You have to allow yourself grace and rest. Take breaks. Eat well. Let someone else cook or clean. Say no. You owe it to yourself.
And a new month means new sponsors! I have a couple of familiar faces and a couple of new ones, but it’s another fabulous group of girl bosses. See for yourself!
Must-read post: Pay the Debt, See the World
Must-read post: Best Toys to get Your Cat
Must-read post: 2015 Year in Review
Must-read post: You are Beautiful
How do you plan to invest in yourself in 2016?