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
Snapchat: courtney.val
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyValYT

Continue Reading

30 Before 30 Book Review: The Resistance

Another book checked off my “30 Before 30” list. I have started 2 other books but for some reason I didn’t finish them all in one go. I did however finish this book, The Resistance in 2 flights. I got this book by in August at Dollar Tree (Click here to see the haul video).  
The Basics:
Author: Gemma Malley
Genre: Dystopian Fiction -YA. All of the books are mixed in together at Dollar Tree so I didn’t know that before purchasing it. 
Other books in this series: “The Declaration” and “The Legacy”. 
General Theme: This book is about a new form of governmental control on aging. I don’t want to give too much away in case you are interested in reading it for yourself but this novel is centered around a main character who is struggling with choosing between immortality and the natural cycle of life. This book involves science fiction, mystery, plot twists, moral values, and ethics. 
My Thoughts:
I  really enjoyed this book and it provided the perfect light entertainment for my round trip flight. I thought it kept my attention well and left me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. The characters were very relatable and the author made you feel sympathetic towards them.  I also liked the not-so-subtle discussion on science and ethics of  anti-aging research. I think in today’s society we are all striving to prolong our youth and this book shows just how extreme the desire of youth can become. It was interesting to me that the book takes place in England but I didn’t notice any use of typical UK English. I’m a linguist so I tend to notice those things when I’m giving the characters voices in my head. Overall, I would recommend this book and I might try to find the other two books in this series to read as well. 
I give this book 3.5 bunnies 1f407-twitter.
A random side note: I get different feedback from people when it comes to adults reading YA novels. Some people think it is childish to read below your level. I always remember some interviews given by the record holding Jeopardy winners,Julia Collins and Larissa Kelly. Both of these women attribute their incredible memories and success to reading anything they can get their hands on, including YA novels. Just sayin’. 
Let me know if you have suggestions for other books I should read in my 30 Before 30 challenge. 
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! 
Courtney

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading