How to make achievable New Year's Resolutions, and how to succeed at them!


5 Great tips on how to make reasonable goals for the New Year and succeed at them! :) New Year's Resolutions




Wishing every single one of you a new year filled with lots of love, happiness, good health, and success!! :) 


Have any of you made any New Years Resolutions this year? This year, for the first time in a long time, I did! The reason I avoided them before was mainly because I just didn’t really seem to 'believe' in them… why is it that at one point in the year you have to suddenly make goals for the rest of the year? Why cant you make new goals for self improvement all year round? I also didn't like to set them as it seemed you were almost setting yourself up for failure. I mean the stereotype at this point is that whichever resolutions you do end up making, you will probably break in a matter of days.  You're setting yourself up for failure!

how to succeed at New Years Resolution tips

But this year I realized something. Maybe setting a resolution at the New Year is a good thing. Sure, we can (and should) make plans to make positive changes in our lives throughout the year, but one benefit of marking your start date as 'the new year' is it gives you a measure to, well, 'measure' your progress! You can see how you are progressing throughout the year, and next year at this time you can pat yourself on the back for 12 months of hard work. I also started thinking that maybe the reason we often fail  at our resolutions (and often so quick!) is because we are setting ourselves up to fail!


Maybe the problem isn't us, but the unrealistic and horribly planned out resolutions we make! So this year, I decided to outline how to make the very best New Years Resolutions for the new year, and more importantly, how to set yourself up for success and not failure! :)


How to Make Achievable (and set yourself up for success!) New Year's Resolutions


1. Be Realistic

Make sure your NYR are realistic. Don’t say you are going to read 10 books a month, ever month, for the next 12 months, when the last book you read was 2 years ago. Don’t say you are going to go to the gym for 2 hours a day, every day, for the next 365 days when you have never stood foot inside a gym. One reason many people end up failing at their NYRs is that they make far too unrealistic ones. Sure, we would all love to be fitness freaks who are well read, but if this is your first step towards such greatness, don’t expect expert levels of skill and commitment! Small attainable goals are much more realistic. For example, if you have never stepped inside a gym, maybe one goal would be to get an actual gym membership, another may be to go a minimum of once a week, for the first 6 months, and then twice a week for the rest of the year. Instead of aiming to read 10 books a month, why not aim to read 1 in January, 2 in February, 3 in March, and so on. It will be much less daunting, much more realistic, and will give you a chance to get in the groove of things.

2. Be Mentally Ready

Make sure you are in the mindset of what you are setting out to do. For example, you may look in the mirror and see a nice little muffin top, and think, hey….I should probably hit the gym to get rid of this. But that’s not enough. You need to mentally prepare yourself. You need to come to terms with 'going to the gym is going to really suck at first', and see if you are willing to commit to the suckage. Most people tend to make NYRs about things they don’t like about themselves, but they aren’t actually willing to put in the effort to change. If you are not ready to do it, then don’t pledge that you will! You are simply setting yourself up for failure.

3. Prepare

Leading from being mentally ready, its not enough to simply be 'ready' to take on a new challenge, you need to actually plan for it in order to succeed. For example, if you want to try to eat healthier this year then you are going to need to plan. You need to come up with meal plans, grocery lists, and ideas for lunches to pack to work. If you are now making the more realistic resolution of reading 10 books in the new year, maybe you should help narrow down which books they would be. You can pick out which 10 exactly, and put them on your bedside table. Or at the least you can make a book list of potential reads to help you pick as you go. Preparation is key!

4. Challenge yourself, but don’t be too hard on yourself

Its important that you are realistic about your goals, and not too hard on yourself, but also make it a challenge! Reading 120 books in one year is way too much of a challenge, but reading just 1 book is not much of a challenge at all. Push yourself to improve in whichever area you want to improve yourself in, but DON’T over challenge yourself. It's all about moderation!

5. Create general categories of improvement

If there are several areas of your life you want to improve upon, I feel the best way to help you be successful in your NYRs is to make overarching general areas for improvement rather than very overly specific goals. For example, if your NYR this year is to do yoga every single day on your lunch break at a specific yoga studio across the street, then that may be setting yourself up for failure. What about the days work projects run late and bleed in to your lunch hour, what about days you're sick with the flu, what about days you just darn don’t feel like it? (Remember - don’t be too tough on yourself!) A better goal would be to have the general category of "I'm going to do more yoga this year". Then within that category you can make the following goals: "I will attend at least one yoga session a week at the location near my work, during my lunch break. I will join an outdoor yoga group in the summer. I will make a space in my home to practice yoga once a week." This way if you are having a tough week and can only attend one yoga lesson during your lunch, you wont be discouraged and feel bad. But if you have time and go three times in a week you will be super encouraged by breaking your own goals for yourself! YAY! GO YOU! :)


So What are MY New Year's Resolutions?

I've decided to focus on two general areas of my life:

  1. My overall health
  2. Blogging!



I'm going to do my best to generally make healthier lifestyle choices from what I eat to the activities I do.

I'm going to do my best to try to incorporate more and more veggies into every meal

I'm going to try my best to pack a healthy lunch at least twice a week (and work my way up from there!)

I'm going to try to continue educating myself on healthy choices and foods

I'm going to move more! Confession: I am about the laziest person you will ever meet when it comes to exercise. I HATE it. Despise it. But this year I'm going to try to hate it just a little less. Being realistic I'm setting a goal of working out in some way at least ONCE a week. Since I have no plausible excuse why not to, I think I'm going to have to stick to it! :) Hopefully from there I will be able to gradually increase it to several times a week

Learn yoga. A girls gotta start somewhere….ill start with actually figuring out the basics!



I really want to commit some serious time to this whole blogging thing :)

SO I am committing myself to learning and growing my blogging in 2016. I am hoping on posting at least 4 times a month (roughly once a week) and maybe grow from there. (If you have the same resolution and want to check out my Pinterest board with all the cool articles I've been collecting on 'how to blog', check it out HERE!)

I'm also hoping to expand my social media presence (though I'll have to do some learnin' on how to make that happen first! Anyone have any tips for me? (Check out my Pinterest Board HERE on Social Media tips and tricks – see? Planning is key ;) )

I'm also hoping on improving my food photography skills. I have come a long way form my early days but still have a lot to learn! I would like to learn more about the food 'styling' side of food photography and more about lighting details. If you are looking to improve your food photography too, check out this Food Photography Pinterest board I have going on!



SO those are my New Year's Resolutions! What are yours? How do you plan to tackle them? Let me know in the comments :)


Lets make 2016 our year! :)

7 Tips and Tricks on how to Make Your iPhone Battery last Longer

iPhones are awesome. No denying that. But what's not so awesome? The iPhones battery life. I think it's fair to say that every iphone user ends up charging their phone at least once a day, if not more. On my quest to make by battery last longer, I have picked up on a few tips and tricks that can really make a difference! 



A very cool perk of iOS 7 is that there is an option for your apps (which are running in the background) to be regularly updated. What does that mean? Let's say for example you have Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter open. If you switch between the apps, and decide to do some pinning on Pinterest the other 2 apps will still be running and refreshing in the "background". So if you go back to your Twitter app, you will find that all the tweets you missed while on Pinterest have been automatically updated! This can be a really cool and handy tool. Unfortunately it can also really drain your battery (and not to mention your data plan!) because the apps are constantly loading and reloading without you noticing. If you would like to turn it off here are the steps:

Settings --> General --> Background App Refresh  

Which will bring you to a page like this:


Notice how all those apps would be draining my battery to refresh? Yup. Let's turn them all off by sliding the Background App refresh button. Which will ask you to confirm:


Go right ahead and hit Disable and you will definitely feel a dramatic improvement in battery life - and data usage!



Another handy perk of iOS 7 is it's improved location services, allowing you to share your exact location with multiple apps! Unfortunately this too can drain your battery life. To turn it off go to:

Settings --> Privacy --> Location Services  



Unlike background app refresh you don't want to turn them ALL off, since this can actually be a necessary tool in some apps (such as maps). So instead I turned off all the ones I didn't need ( like messenger or Kijiji) and left on the important ones like google maps and apple maps. Use your own discretion here!



I actually learned this tip in the apple store when I mentioned that my battery was really sucking. One of the employees mentioned that I should turn off LTE! She explained that depending on where you live, there may not be all that many LTE antennas! Therefore you will be on 3G network while your phone drains it's battery trying to constantly look for an LTE network to connect to! I've found that this tip has helped me the MOST in making my battery life last longer.

Settings --> Cellular --> turn off "Enable LTE"



Dynamic wall papers are backgrounds you can set on your phone that move. Though they are really cool, they also drain your battery like crazy. I would reccomend considering a normal wallpaper called "stills". 

Settings --> Wallpapers and Brightness --> Choose a new Wallpaper  


* make sure you choose a still! 

* make sure you choose a still! 



On the topic of appearance, while changing your wallpaper you may want to reduce your brightness as well! The brighter your phone is the more battery it uses.  Try reducing your brightness level and turning on your Auto Brightness option like mine below: 

Settings --> Wallpapers and Brightness 


What "Auto Brightness" does is that it adjusts your brightness levels automatically to suit your lighting situation. If you are in a dark movie theatre, where you need very little light on your screen to see it, it will reduce your brightness levels. And in situations where you need more brightness, like on a sunny day, it will increase the screens brightness automatically to accommodate! Very cool. 



A quick fix for preserving battery life is turning off your blue tooth. Bluetooth, like the LTE option, is something that is constantly working. Even if you are far away from the bluetooth source, it will constantly keep trying to connect to it. I personally only need to use my bluetooth when I'm driving in my car because I connect my phone to my car's handsfree system. Otherwise I rarely use it. So do what I have learned to do. Have bluetooth turned off at all times, and only turn it on when actually using it.

You can access this by either going to Settings --> Bluetooth or through your quick command centre



And finally, what may be obvious to some but not to others, is to ALWAYS CLOSE YOUR APPS when you are finished using them. Otherwise they will be running in the background and draining your battery. In addition to that they will strain your iphones abilities and your data too!

To close apps, double click your home screen, and then scroll up to close an app. 




One final tip on preserving your battery life? Take good care of the battery itself! You can do this by keeping it out of very hot or very cold environments, and by allowing your phone to go through a full charge cycle as often as you can. That means allowing it to completely drain and turn off, and then plugging it in until it's fully charged. This allows the battery to recognize what a full cycle should be like. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!