While walking through a department store the other day, I heard an associate telling a new hire that, “we move all of the workout clothing to the front because of all the resolutions with the new year.” We often hear the resolutions about losing weight, going to the gym more (half-priced memberships!), and eating cleaner. While there is nothing wrong with those resolutions, my time spent with an awesome fitness instructor really taught me that those resolutions are hard to live by. Putting extreme pressure on yourself, instead of working and learning about fitness, can really backfire.

So, this year, I’ve decided to make resolutions that are more attainable given the rigid deadlines of a calendar year. These are simple, but meaningful ways that I plan to better my life and the lives of those around me in 2017.

1. Be Kinder

This is the easiest one to achieve. I do consider myself a kind person, but I believe that everyone has room for improvement. I want to tame my harsher words and uplift others more in the new year. From my family, to my friends, and my community colleagues, I want to be an all-around kinder person. I will take the time to talk and listen – to be a better friend to those around me. I’ve learned that not every action requires a reaction, and sometimes – like Thumper admonishes, I will show my kindness by not saying anything at all.

img_55842. Travel More

I’ve always started on this one. I’m writing this article on a friend’s couch in beautiful, breathtaking Denver, Co. During the week that we’re here, we’re visiting a national park, watching a NBA game, visiting a myriad of craft breweries and just generally enjoying each other’s company in this new place. I have many weekend trips and several longer ones lined up for 2017. Travel fulfills me (which also plays into #5) and I want to keep nourishing that part of myself.

11800059_10153610087438694_3464722251569641273_n3. Use My Three Ts for the Community

Growing up, I learned about the Three Ts – time, talent and treasure. These are gifts that we can all harness to make our community a better place. My time is limited, and with student loans, so is my treasure. However, I do have my talent in writing, photography and marketing. So, moving into 2017, I plan to use my talents more to benefit small businesses and community initiatives.

movwv54. Learn Something New

When I was in my Master’s program, I always said that when I finished my degree I would learn something new. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with foreign languages. I took French, Spanish and Latin in high school, but like they say – I you don’t use it, you lose it. I can speak bits of each language here and there, but nothing that great. We often travel to foreign countries, I should know some language. So, this year, I plan to learn the basics of a new language. If that goes well, I might try piano as well.

img_39525. Learn Self Love

So often in my attempts to take on all the things that I love, I forget to love myself. This means that I tend to eat poorly, exercise sporadically and allow my mental health to sit on the backburner. This is a monumental aspect of my life to change. I need to rethink my business, my day jobs, my relationships – everything. But, that’s okay. I’ll start small and work my way up making sure to love myself a little bit more each day. That may include taking more days off to do things with my family or friends, or allowing myself more time to read and decompress at the end of the night.


Liv is a W.Va. based wedding photographer consumed by wanderlust. She seeks beauty in everyday things. Liv is a teacher, wife, daughter, indulger of all things Disney and unabashedly obsessed with her fur-babies: Henry and Pepper.