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3 Habits to Break for a Healthier Lifestyle

I don't know about you, but I know for me, as much as I love all these ideas that come around in January about "living a healthy lifestyle" and "being more minimalistic" and "being the best version of me I can be" (how fun, right), that it's actually a really hard thing to do.  It's not easy, and it's definitely not an overnight thing.  It's not one of those things where you can snap your fingers and magically become PERFECT.  (sadly though! =P) And I've noticed that in my life, there are still bad habits that I don't always realize as "bad habits", and they aren't good for me at all.
It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.  -Benjamin Franklin 
Habits don't develop overnight, so they can't be gotten rid of overnight either.  So today, I decided to post some habits that I want need to break this year.  THIS IS HAPPENING, guys. 

By at least half an hour. There have been more than a few nights where I got to bed early and ON TIME, and then I decide I'm just going to "quick check up on what's happening".  And then -- OH NO! How did an half-an-hour already fly by? 


OH RIGHT BECAUSE I WAS GOING TO "QUICKLY" CHECK MY PHONE RIGHT YES OH YES HOW COULD I FORGET.  Obviously this is one that I definitely need to work on a lot. It can be so tempting for me to just check up on one thing -- that usually ends up being more like ten things.  Also, being glued to a screen right before going to bed can even affect your mind and sleep, and having a good, restful sleep is honestly so, so important.

Guys, this is one I need to practice A LOT MORE. I don't think I realized for a long time how important this is -- but having a clean environment inspires creativity.  Think about it.  I know for me, when my room is a wreck and in absolute chaos (and it's definitely not a beautiful mess), I don't feel as...inspired.  For anything.  So what I've been trying to do lately is before I get started with my day or before I start doing anything, make sure the space is clean and tidy.  Even if it's not spotless, at least clean. And actually? This works like a charm.


HAHAHAHA I definitely don't need to work on this DEFINITELY NOT HAHAHA. Not at all. 
  Even though this one is pretty obvious, (I think) it's probably one of the hardest habits to start/break. On my list of goals for this month, one of the goals I had was "taking care of myself", which included going to bed earlier.  Let's just say that it's a lot easier said than done =) Even though my mind knows that I need to stop what I'm doing so I can unwind, I just....don't.  Which when written out it seems trivial, but this one is crazy hard.  And I PERSONALLY know how tough this one can be.  BUT STILL WE SHALL CONQUER THIS, GUYS.


SO LET'S TALK!! What do you think about these (bad :P) habits? PFFT I'M SURE YOU DON'T HAVE THEM THOUGH BECAUSE YOU ARE FLAWLESS.  Ohhh and a HUGE thank you to all of you guys who participated in the poll in my last post, it was honestly really helpful and SO CLOSE! The two days that were almost tied were Wednesday and Saturday, but since a lot bloggers post on Saturdays, I decided to try Wednesdays for now and we'll see how it goes! I'm super excited about this, and I hope you are too! What are some habits you want to start/break this upcoming year? Is it easy for you to stay on track with the things you need to do? (IF SO UM PLEASE LIKE TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS.) 


January 2017 Goals + An Important Poll

Happy January, everyone! It's kind of crazy to think that it's the start of a brand new year, but it's also pretty exciting too. I REALLY had wanted to get this post up a lot earlier, but it didn't happen with all the busy-ness of life this past week. But I am definitely hoping to keep up a better, regular posting schedule this year.  
SO finally, here are my January goals. 

§  Take more pictures.  This is something that I really need to work on, because even though I still …DO take pictures, I haven’t been doing as much as I should. Especially considering that photography is something I really want to improve on, I really need to start doing it more.  And maybe I’ll even post some of my work on here, who knows?

§  Get the basics of ice skating.  I got a pair of figure skates for Christmas, and I’ve been trying to learn…um…basically...HOW TO SKATE.  I’ve never done a lot of skating, although a few people I know do.  I went to my local ice rink to try to figure out this whole skating thing and WOW YOU GUYS HOW DO YOU EVEN STAND ON A LITTLE BLADE ON ICE.  The first day I was literally just clinging to the rail and poking my way around the rink.  Didn’t work out too well xD But I joined a “Learn-to-Skate” program there, so January is the month I'm hoping to learn how to skate.

§  Finish my novel.  I say “finish” with a very sarcastic smile, because, ha.  I kind of doubt that it will actually happen, BUT.  You never know.  I really do need to finish my novel though, so if I can push myself to finish it this month, that will be pretty great.

§  Stay on top of school.  This is one thing that I really want to make sure I do this month.  Just because life is crazy doesn’t mean that academics can drag, so I want to pull myself together AND STUDY LIKE CRAZY IF I HAVE TO. 

§  FINISH MY ROOM.  This must happen.  We moved last year, (wow LAST YEAR.  That seems so strange.) and my room has kind of been put on hold for a while, with painting it and doing a lot of little things to it that aren’t super big but are important.  So this month I just want to stick to it, get it done, and then hopefully do a post about it. (!!)

§  Take care of myself.  I feel like in January, especially since a new year just started and all of that jazz, especially for me, I know I just kind of feel like flailing and hiding under a rock in a corner of the ocean for the next ten years.  IT CAN BE QUITE OVERWHELMING.  So this month I just want to take care of myself.  Eating healthier, going to bed earlier (I reallllllly need to work on this one), making sure I’m grounded in God, stop caring about what other people think, working on the calling God has for my life, and making the important things priority

§  Read some books.   Not setting a number on this, but I set a goal on Goodreads for how many books I want to read in 2017, so I might as well get started on reading =) 


 OKAY so I have one more thing in this post.  In my last post, I did a survey (WHICH you should totally take if you haven't already!), and I asked you guys about my posting schedule (OR ha.  The lack thereof ;) Last year I tried keeping up a schedule, but it definitely didn't work the greatest.  So I want to know what you guys think! What day of the week do you think would work best for a blog post? Is there a certain day that you have more time to read? I'd love to know what you think and I'd really appreciate it if you voted! 

Which day of the week is best for a blog post?



SO how are you? Have you set any resolutions for this new year? Or do you prefer not to? I didn't necessarily set any resolutions for the whole year, but instead I want to do every month on its own.  Do you set monthly goals? HAVE YOU EVER ICE SKATED?? 
What's going on in your life?



Y'ALL.  2016 is almost officially over.  Wow.  Isn't this so crazy?. Every year flies by so fast, and at the end of each year it's just like WOAH STOP IT RIGHT THERE JUST STAHP.  For me, it really just puts things in perspective.. Every single second of life is so precious and it's kind of like a semi-harsh shakeup when you realize a whole freaking year is gone by.  WOW.
I hope that 2016 was a beautiful (albeit pretty crazy sometimes, not going to lie) year for you all, but I hope even more that 2017 is an even better, blessed-beyond-measure year for you all.  Last year, I had said that my words for 2016 was  "year of miracles"? As much as I don't know if I can say that actually happened, there were other miracles that happened...not in the way that I expected or wanted, but maybe, that's why it's so easy to miss miracles. 

I was thinking of what I could have as my "word" for 2017, and I don't know know if I'll stick to this , but right now, my word for the upcoming year is:


To believe that God is still in control, regardless of how life leads.  To believe that all things will work out for good.  To believe that miracles can still happen.  To believe that whatever does happen, God is still good and that is enough for me xx 

OKAY. So what went on in 2016?

So in 2016 I really started looking at writing again.  I had written a novella a few years back, but after that I resorted to basically just writing short stories and articles.  But this year I really felt that urge again, to just WRITE.  Writing has always been and always will be one of my biggest passions, and I knew that I had to start getting words out again.  So...I did.  And it's been going pretty good so far.  I haven't finished my novel, but I'm hoping to sometime early in 2017.
Earlier this year I went to my first writer's conference in Virginia and it was really incredible.  I was honestly so nervous at first, but by the end of the conference I really didn't want it to end.  There was so much INSPIRATION to write, and it was so amazing to meet other writers.  Writing is so, so a thing, guys.  Another fabulous opportunity that came out of the writer's conference was that I met a lady who wanted to start a writer's critique group, and she wondered if I'd like to be a part of it.  I did, and it's been amazing so far.  It's super helpful to stay motivated to actually WRITE.
 So overall, I'd say 2016 was a really good writing year.  I started sending in some of my work to a few magazines and they accepted some of it, which was honestly mind-blowing for me.  I reignited my love for writing this year, and 2017 is going to be an even better writing year.  I can't wait. 

A multitude of things went on in 2016, quite honestly.  In 2016 I... 

§  Saw some of my best friends move three hours away :'(
§ Grew a lot closer to God
§  Went to a flower show for the first time
§  Got a new violin
§  Started Instagram and also quit Instagram (and Pinterest) ^_^
§  Cringed while America elected a new president 
§  Moved to a new house! 
§  Attempted NaNoWriMo
§  Played violin in church!! 
§  Was a part of Freckled Minds (the best zine ever)
§  The waffles vs pancakes war happened. 

Blogging in 2016 was...interesting.  It didn't go too bad, but I don't know if I'd say it was absolutely marvelous either. More like -- somewhere in the middle. I didn't really start out the year with much of a schedule at all, and my posting was kind of sporadic and everywhere.  At the beginning of the year especially, I really wasn't into blogging that much. And in the summer, especially July, I only posted one post in the whole month.  YES YES I KNOW THAT IS LIKE THE BANE OF BLOGGING BUT.....

I actually don't feel that bad about it?? I think blogging should be something a person genuinely loves and I think if for one month I didn't feel it, then that's okay.

Overall though, I think that bit of blogger's block was actually helpful because after that I got a...BOUT OF INSPIRATION and scheduled posts till November.  Not gonna lie, THAT WAS HELPFUL.

So that's how blogging went for the most part this year. The most viewed post in 2016 was inspired #09, and the second most viewed was Reversed Bucket List -- 15 Things I've Done .  AND the third most popular post was Summer Days | Life Lately .  (That was the one post I did in July.  SO APPARENTLY IT COUNTED FOR SOMETHING XD.)

§  I’ve been thinking about doing monthly recaps/goals?!? This was just an idea I had, but I thought that it would be really fun to do…and even helpful for me.  Just to see what all I do every month.  BUT this is just an idea I had so…what do you guys think?

§ And ONE MORE THING (I promise this is the last one).  I know every blogger says this, but I want to make 2017 the best year yet on this blog.  I want to know what you guys want to see...and especially what you actually like. SO. What do we do? Something I've never done before.


AAAH HOW EXCITING.  I'm not sure why I never did one before, but nonetheless, HERE I AM.  I'd be so, so, so, so grateful if you would fill this survey out. (I'LL GIVE YOU WAFFLES AND CAKE.)  Plus it's only 9 questions so I promise it won't take up too much of your time either =)
And you guys can be as honest as you want, since this survey can be completely anonymous (unless you wish to leave me your name in which case BY ALL MEANS DO SO.) But you can say WHATEVER YOU WISH in this survey.  So....thanks.

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THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART ♥ I hope 2016 was a great year for you, and here's to an even better 2017.  


SO LET'S TALK! HOW WAS THIS YEAR FOR YOU ALL?? Did it go as you expected? How did 2016 treat you? IT'S CRAZY HOW DIFFERENT THINGS ARE FROM WHERE THEY WERE IN JANUARY.  I wonder how things will be next December? OK TOO FAR IN THE FUTURE LET'S FOCUS ON THE HERE AND NOW.  Do you all  set New Years Resolutions? (lol I definitely DO NOT.) What were some of the best things that happened to you this year? 

adiรณs and I'll see you next year

-autumn raelin