My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year, lovelies! 

I hope your 2016 is starting off full of health and happiness. 

Here we are almost one full week into the new year and I am just now taking time to make my goals for the year. I actually think it’s a good idea to wait a few days into the new year before cementing your resolutions. You need time for the newness of the year to wear off a bit and reality to set in. It’s so easy to get hyped up on December 31st and make resolutions that, in reality, you won’t keep. Then you feel bad when you can’t complete your unreasonable resolutions. One week ago I was resolving to cut my hair short, dye it purple, and run a marathon before May. Now, I have settled down a bit and have compiled a list of reasonable goals that will help me improve myself and my quality of life in 2016. 
SIDE NOTE: When you make your own resolutions do not be afraid to add, subtract, or change goals as you see fit. If you are working towards a goal and realize you need to change it to most benefit yourself, then do it. These are your goals.  Don’t eliminate or change a goal just because you are tired and don’t feel like trying anymore. If you think a goal is unrealistic then switch it out for something more attainable but still challenging. 

Ok, without further ado…here are my 2016 new year’s resolutions. 

1.  Read 15-20 books. This is one carried over from last year. I read about 10-15 books last year so only half of my goal. I read a lot of online newspapers,  blogs, and magazines but I want to set aside more time to read actual books. 

2. Complete a Tone It Up fitness challenge. I’m a Tone It Up girl! Are you?  I’ve been following the Tone It Up nutrition and fitness plan for about 4 years now and it is life changing. It helped me get into great shape for my wedding and the nutrition plan helped reduce my migraines and completely eliminate my stomach issues. Plus, there is a huge community of women who are all here to support each other. If you want to check it out you can visit their website HERE. Every year they have  a bunch of free challenges so my goal is to complete one. They have one going on right now if you’re interested. I also have a separate Instagram for Tone It Up and fitness in general. Follow me @liveloveandtiu. 

3. Volunteer at least once a month. I really want to get involved with the House Rabbit Society and volunteer with them at least monthly. Do you have any suggestions of other good places to volunteer? Let me know in the comments!

4. Create more great content for you. This year I want to take my blog, Instagram, and Youtube channel to the next level. I am already working on a brand new blog website that will hopefully be ready soon. I’m also planning out a new filming and editing set up for my YouTube channel.  Let me know in the comments if there are any specific video requests you have and I will try my best to make those happen. I can’t wait to share amazing content with you in 2016!

5. Take a class…or two. I love learning new skills and I think continuing education is good for everyone. Last year I took an American Sign Language class which I absolutely loved. This year I would like to take another ASL class and maybe something else. French? Photography? French Photography!? 




6. Try a new hairstyle. I’ve been rocking these straight, long locks for about a year and a half. It’s time to spice it up with a new cut and maybe color. 

7. Cook more. This year I want to set aside more time to cook and try new healthy recipes. Someone requested I make healthy recipe videos for my YT channel so I will definitely share those with you. 

8. Write more…with my actual hands. In this age of technology we don’t really even need to get out a pen and paper to write things down. I was recently looking at some old notebooks of mine and I noticed that my hand writing used to be so pretty. Now, it’s a jumbled mess because I hardly ever have to actually write things down. This year I want to handwrite in my journal, notes to friends, to-do lists…anything to get me hand writing things again. 

9. Stay connected with far away friends and family.  This year I want to make more of an effort to Skype, Facetime, text, and send cards to my family and friends who live far away. Sometimes it’s hard to manage different schedules and time zones but I really want 2016 to be the year that we stay connected better. 

10. Participate in my local community. This year I want to explore my local community and take a more active role. I would like to attend more community events, network with people, and participate in the local culture. This can also tie into my goal to volunteer more. I also want to explore the local nature and get outdoors more. 


What are you new year’s resolutions or goals? Let me know in the comments section below or on any of my social media sites. 

Cheers to an amazing 2016!

Courtney

Follow me here: 
Youtube 
Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbpfO5F6gkN8wjSsCrzOnDg
Instagram: https://instagram.com/courtney.val/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtneywval
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/courtneywval/
Email: courtneywval@gmail.com
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

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30 Before 30 Challenge

Hello there!

I have decided to challenge myself to something a little crazy. While searching for birthday items for my husband’s 30th  I can across a lot of “30 before 30” pins on Pinterest. Many of the ideas related to a birthday scavenger hunt or 30-beer birthday cake but I have something else in mind.
I decided to make a list of 30 things I want to complete over the next year before I turn 30. Not only will this adventure be really fun and inspiring I think it will take the sting out of turning the big 3-0.

This past Sunday (Nov, 9th) I officially turned 29 so the challenge has begun. I had planned to have this post up on Sunday but life got hectic and that just didn’t happen.

On to the challenge….

Here are 20 of the goals on my list. I have a full set of 30 goals in mind but I want to leave a little wiggle room in case I get inspired or want to change something. After all, this is my challenge so I can do what I want. Ha!

I will be documenting this journey through this blog, Instagram, Twitter, and my YouTube channel. See below for all the links to follow me.

THE LIST:

1. Get Certified Medical Interpreter’s License
2. Reach 3,000 YouTube subscribers.
3. Read 30 Books in the next year
4. Run a 10k.
5. Start learning French.
6. Visit a new city.
7. Teach Luna (my bunny) 1 trick.
8. Write someone a letter every month.
9.  Vlog (video blog)  for 30 days
10. Invest in a better video/photo camera and lighting set-up.
11. Upgrade blog and buy domain.
12. Pay off my car.
13. Go Skydiving.
14. Go to a concert
15. Volunteer
16. Master 5 recipes
17. Take one photo a day for a year.
18. Make Christmas cards and send them out
19. Take care of dental work I have been avoiding.
19. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise.
20. Make and stick to self-care plan.

Thank you for joining me on this journey! If you have tried something like this before I would love your advice.

Follow Me Here:
Instagram: @courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval
Youtube: Courtney Val

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New Social Media And Contact Info!

Hey there!

Some big changes are coming to my blog and a few have already happened. I want to make it easier for people to find me and my content so I have created a special Instagram and Twitter for all things Courtney!

Follow me!
Instagram: courtney.val
Twitter: @courtneywval

I already had a personal Instagram and Twitter but I know some of my family and friends don’t really want to constantly see pictures of meals, make-up, etc. So follow me through the accounts listed above!

Other types of posts you can expect on my new social media sites:
~Photos of sales, discounts, or bargains I see while shopping
~Motivational and inspirational content
~Pics of my bunny, Luna
~Mini-product reviews
~Beauty content
~Fashion content
~Budget-friendly and affordable ideas for every day living
~Travel content
~ and more!

I also have a new email address for comments, questions, business inquires, and vidoe/blog requests.  Email me at courtneywval@gmail.com

As always you can also connect with me through my Youtube channel .

Thanks for stopping by!

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My Journey Into Running

Recently I have been thinking about the things I am afraid to do. Or rather, goals that feel too difficult to achieve. I used to be such a risk taker. I would experiment and put my ideas out there confidently. Looking back I think I was young and didn’t care if someone criticized me. Now I often see risks as moves that could create new opportunities or destroy them. Then I came across this quote:

“In order to fly you have to create space in the open air so that your wings can really spread out. It’s like a parachute. They only work from a high altitude. To fly you have to begin taking risks. If you don’t want to, maybe the best thing is just to give up, and keep walking forever.”
― Jorge BucayDéjame que te cuente

Oh, Jorge you are so wise.

This quote speaks to me in so many ways but the analogy of  “walking forever” hits
particularly sensitive nerve because I have a slight fear of running. I know. It does not make complete sense to me either. Especially since I have ran an couple outdoor 5Ks before and survived. They were slightly traumatic experiences for me on the inside but I just ran my little heart out and tried not to let the panic show on my face.

When I break it down there really is nothing to fear. I should just move my feet and…just..go. So I guess the movement part is not what I fear but the possible failure part. I know that every runner starts out slow and through practice becomes better. I am just not sure I would ever get much better. I also do not like running which makes me feel awful. I always feel I should like running because so many people I know love to run. They all rant about beating personal records and chasing that “runner’s high.” So I feel bad not loving to run. It makes me feel like I will never truly be in shape or healthy if I don’t learn to run well. A small part of me does want to enjoy running because it is good exercise and (from what I hear) good for emotional health. Don’t get me wrong I do run sometimes at the gym but it is always begrudgingly and I have yet to run farther than 3 miles at a time (with walk breaks).

The logical part of my brain tells me I have identified a clear problem I want to overcome so now I just need to come up with a solution.

Solution: Run?  I guess there really isn’t any other way around it.  Maybe if I back up and start from the very beginning I can get a better idea of where I am going wrong. So maybe I should run but with a plan. Start slow and make small goals. I am going to start by running 1/2 mile and then when I feel good emotionally and physically move up to 1 mile and so on. The biggest part of my goal is tied to how I feel emotionally when I run. I want to work towards eliminating my anxiety around running.

The journey begins now and hopefully this is just the beginning of reaching one of the many goals I have.

If anyone reading this is a runner I would love your advice/words I can say to myself when the panic hits. 😉

Thanks for being here!

Places to find me:
Twitter: @imperfectperla
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TheImperfectpearl
Instagram: cbwright
Email: cwlinguistics@gmail.com

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10 Ways To Improve Your Work Environment and Be More Productive.

Lately I have been thinking about ways I can re-organize my home and work space to improve my productivity and work more efficiently. After much thought I have come up with these 10 ideas. Some of them are my tried and true methods and others ( ahem #3) are ones I need to work on.

1. Don’t work or study in or on your bed.
The brain is an intuitive machine. Have you ever noticed how your stomach grumbles while you’re cooking dinner? If you lay or sit in bed you are telling your brain that you are ready for sleep. So you will feel tired and not at all ready to tackle that 20 pager paper or work report.

2. Drink Up! H20 that is…
I learned this trick in college. While you might think that quad cappuccino will help you stay awake to study you’re better off drinking ice cold water. This will keep you hydrated and alert. Consuming extreme amounts of caffeine will leave you dehydrated and jittery. Try limiting yourself to one cup of coffee for that night time study session.

3. Get dressed.
If you are like me and often work from home you know how easy it can be to just stay in your pajamas all day. I find I am more productive the days I get dressed as if I’m working away from home. Sometimes I get ready just from the waist up. I do my hair and make-up and put on a casual shirt but keep the yoga/pj pants and slippers.

4. Get a little physical
Take a break every hour or so to do some jumping jacks, squats, yoga stretches, or whatever you like.   If you work in an office you can always excuse yourself to the bathroom to do this to avoid weird looks from your co-workers. Either way it’s always good to get your blood pumping after long periods of sitting. If it’s nice outside I like to take a little stroll around the block. The fresh air combined with the walk helps me feel revived and ready to take on the rest of my tasks.

5. Be bright
I think lighting is very important for a person’s productivity. You want your work area to be well lit but not too bright. When my office installed a new set of LED overhead lights they were so obnoxiously bright that many of us felt nauseous and I even donned a pair of sunglasses for several shifts. The key is to find as much natural lighting as possible.

6. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
I am a firm believer in to do lists. The bottom of my purse is well padded with tons of little pieces of paper scribbled with groceries to buy and things to do.  Every morning I make a to-do list with my morning coffee. Then I take that list and prioritize it into another to-do list. I always try to take care of the smallest tasks first so I can dedicate my time and attention to the bigger, more important tasks.

7. Eat away from your desk
Try your best to eat meals at the dining table, in the break room, or outside. If you mix eating with work you may not consume mindfully which can leave you still feeling unsatisfied and reaching for naughty snacks come 3 o’clock. Extra time searching for snacks can prevent you from getting all of your work completed.

8. Set social media limits
It can be so easy to spend hours on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. To stay productive try designating a specific time each day to use social media and stick to it. All of those apps will still be there waiting once you’ve finished those important work tasks.

9.Practice color theory
Color Theory is the idea that certain colors can provoke certain emotions. For example the color purple is supposed to trigger the area of your brain that controls intelligence, leadership, and thought. Green is linked to clear speech. This idea is a bit controversial but I find that I am least productive around the colors red, yellow, and orange. Finding the right color for your work area or work materials might help you feel more satisfied with your work and be more productive in general.

10. Regulate the temperature
This is a fairly simple idea but it’s very important. I can remember several times when I was trying to work on something but all I could think about was how freezing the room was. If you can, regulate the thermostat so you don’t feel too hot or too cold. If you work in an office where you can’t regulate the temperature yourself, adjust your clothing so you feel comfortable without adding or removing layers. A big, puffy coat will definitely slow down your work.

One additional piece of advice is to talk with your boss and co-workers about the environment in which you work. Bring up concerns or suggestions in a staff meeting. Bosses want you to be as productive as possible so they might be open to office modifications. You never know until you ask.

I hope these tips are helpful to you and I would love to hear any other ideas you have. Leave me comments down below, tweet me @imperfectperla, or email me at cwlinguistics@gmail.com

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