We are only a few weeks into 2017 and it has already been one hell of an exciting month! As some of you may know, Jess actually started her year off in Vienna and has spent 9 days revisiting Prague, and Hallstatt. As for me, my life has been a bit less exhilarating, but I have actually just returned from my very first business trip! Now that we are both back in the Big Apple, we are even more excited to be relaunching Penny & Dash with a new layout and more creative style that reflects our true vision for this blog.
Along with these changes comes some big expectations for the new year. While most of them include churning out content that we are extremely passionate about on this blog, we also have some personal new years' resolutions we would love to share with all of you (help us stay accountable, please!)
Jess: I wrote my resolutions on New Years Eve during my direct 8.5 hour flight to Vienna, which gave me plenty of time to think about some of the big and small things I want to accomplish this year. 2016 was honestly filled with a lot of change, excitement, travels, and also some tough emotional and lost times. However, every year is another opportunity to learn from past experiences to make the next 365 days and beyond even better than before.
1) Start a new hobby: I’ve gone through many phases of interests in my life, and every so often, I find myself hooked on doing something that really consumes my time and energy. There was a point where I loved making jewelry, knitting, playing the guitar, scrapbooking, traveling, etc. Some of these I still enjoy but I found that I have been in a bit of a slump in 2016 because I have so little free time to myself between managing a full-time job and giving my love to this blog (a new hobby we both started in 2016). There are so many things that I want to do and try, and this is the new year to help me kickstart some of the items on my bucket list. (Painting, Photography, Vlogging?)
2) Volunteer more: I’ve had the chance to do some really fun and engaging volunteering over the last couple of years, from teaching a prep school class in Memphis and 1st graders at a public school in Brooklyn, to working multiple jobs in a Baltimore Soup Kitchen. These experiences really helped to shape a unique perspective I have on poverty and education, and I really would like to commit more time on the weekends I have in the city to help a new community that I found myself a part of after starting work in New York. I’d love the experience of working in an animal shelter or helping with a massive clean-up in Central Park, so I’ll have to keep my eyes out for the opportunities soon
3) Sign-up for a 5K or 10K: I’ve done a few 5K’s in the past but none that I can recall in 2016. This past year has been really full of milestones and busy life events, that that only time I run now is really in the summer along the pier or at the gym when it’s way too cold outside for fresh air. I grew up watching the NYC Marathon in person since my grandparents live right near 5th Avenue in Brooklyn where the first leg of the Marathon passes. A full marathon continues to be on my life bucket list, but I will start smaller with a 5K this year (hopefully!)
4) Continue to be open-minded: I think I’ve always been a pretty calculated person, though I have definitely changed a bit in the last few years and see more spontaneity in myself now. If there’s anything I learned in 2016, it’s that you can’t plan life like you can write a book. Just let things happen, and you’d be surprised at how everything turns out at the end of day.
1) Cook More: While moving out and living on my own is fun and exciting (who doesn’t like more freedom?!), one of the things I miss the most about staying at home is the meals my parents had waiting for me every night after I got home from school. Growing up in an Asian household, the majority, if not all of the food I had, was Chinese (specifically Shanghai cuisine since both my parents immigrated from the city of Shanghai). In the recent months, I've noticed that I have been eating out a lot more than usual since my official move in to the city in August and for 2017, I am making more of an effort to learn some of the delicious food that I grew up eating.
2) Eat Breakfast: Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it helps to get your day started off on the right foot. That being said, I hate to admit that on most days I run out the door on an empty stomach and usually don't get something into my body until 10:00am. For this new year, I will put my health first and am committed to eating something, no matter how light of a breakfast, before I head out for the day.
3) Read more books: Before my days being sprawled out on a couch and binging on endless episodes of Gossip Girl, I use to spend hours in my room reading, sometimes even finishing 1-2 books per day. I remember going to my local library with my sister every Saturday, spending hours browsing the newest books in the young adult section and going home excitedly to start on all of my new materials. However, as I got older and more caught up with all of the new technology, I somewhat lost my love for reading and instead spent most of my free time browsing the internet or watching television. To reignite the bookworm inside of me, I decided to read one of the many books that sit on my bookshelf every night for a minimum of 30 minutes!
That is a wrap on our 2017 New Year Resolutions! Though our lives are busier now, we can all set aside a few hours a day to work towards the goals we set for ourselves. Let us know what your resolutions are and how you are planning to stick to them!
Jessica & Melissa