Alright kiddos, it’s January, so you know what time it is – resolution time! Time to start the year off with a bang!
A vast majority of New Year resolutions relate to these following categories: fitness, diet/food, work, love, money. So I am going to list my resolutions by common category:
Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. I have not attended a fitness class of any sort since September 23rd. Between work, travel, illness and social activities, I have neglected my poor body. That’s gotta change if I am going to keep up my super awesome, legal ladder climbing/travel addict lifestyle. Between the stress of work and the weird eating that occurs as a result, I need some regular structured activity to keep me (literally) hot to trot. I have mapped out a pretty sweet plan of how I am going to get moving. I will be spending the next month attempting to complete 30 classes in 30 days at Blue Cow Yoga (as featured here). Lunch-time classes and evening classes have been scheduled beginning tonight and running through February 6th so if you need me, I will be at the studio getting my stretch, tone and zen on.
While that sounds like an excellent plan to launch into 2015 as a fit and fabulous yogi, what is to keep me on the straight and narrow svelt the rest of the year? Well, my first two weeks of my month-long holiday in Thailand will be spent diving deep and downward dogging in the Gulf of Thailand. The first week I will be doing my PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water Dive Certification at Ocean Sound Dive (and Yoga) on Koh Tao. Diving all day plus yoga every morning and evening – bliss, bliss, bliss! My second week in the Gulf will be spent on Ko Samui at the amazing Vikasa Yoga Retreat – minimum of two yoga/pilates classes per day plus an amazing array of super healthy vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian and/or raw food delights. For the remaining two weeks in Thailand (which will be spent on the Andaman Sea side of the country), I have found fun and fabulous yoga studios in close proximity to our hotels so I can keep the party going all month long.
Once I am back in the UK and as my impressive-for-my-skin-tone glowing tan and vacation high begin to fade, I will finally take the plunge and sign myself up for a full-on annual membership at Blue Cow Yoga… because I love it and it is literally 30 seconds away from work which keeps it within the limited realm of convenient locations for such activity.
My diet is literally all over the place – one week I will only eat pasta with cheese every night for dinner and the next week I will only eat green vegetables… so my goal for this year is to eat in a more balanced without any drastic inclusions or exclusions (and without any unwanted weight gain or major weight loss).
What this actually means is:
- Limiting my coffee intake to 2 (max) cups of coffee per day
- A mostly vegetarian/pescetarian diet
- Cutting down the ridiculous amount of chocolate I consume (seriously, it has become a problem)
- Upping the ratio of veggies to carbs on my plate at any given time (veggie pasta, here I come)
- Think about my cheese intake (baby steps, people, baby steps)
Be a boss. This may be more difficult as I will be starting as a qualified attorney in March so chances are, I will not be a boss (like at all). BUT, unlike where I was a couple of years ago/now, I won’t be a secretary nor will I be an intern. So that is progress.
This year my work goals are as follows:
- hit billable targets for 2015 (even though I will only have seven billable months counting towards the year’s targets – luckily this is taken into account and I only have to meet targets for those six months and not the whole year)
- professional networking – join at least 2 groups that will advance my professional networking in London (one of which should be field related and the other can be more general such as women lawyers in London)
- develop at least one (goal: two) potential client connections
- get my name on one piece of publicly published work (I know I will publish plenty throughout the year but getting my name on it is an entirely different story)
- maintain and foster relationships with friends/colleagues at other firms and in other departments at my firm – cross-selling bitches!
Love is always such a key part of any good new year horoscope so it cannot be missed out. Not that I need to find a man (check), get a ring (check) or make babies (no grassy-ass). But love is so much more than that! Between our hectic schedules and my sometimes very late hours, my love life can be the first to get pushed down the list of priorities. So this year, I want to spend regular quality time with my main man, starting with date night.
What? Date night/day/evening/morning (time/day flexible to ensure fun activities)
When? Every two weeks
Where/What? TBD by the person doing the planning (alternating each time)
We are not the first married couple to push for a regular date night, but there is a reason for that! As much as I love coming home, eating dinner on the couch and settling into Netflix in our respective onesies (seriously, it is a miracle I ever leave the house), it would be great to get out and explore the city that until
now April, has been just a bit too expensive to fully enjoy. So we are going to explore London and spend time together doing so (get ready for this blog to blow up with fun things to do around London).
But love just isn’t about one person, it is about everyone! So I have some family and friends goals set for this year just to make sure everyone gets a little loving in 2015!
- Be better about keeping in touch with friends far, far away (emails, cards, Skype) – there really is no excuse not to stay in touch – this also means more regular communication, instead of 4 hour Skype sessions every six months (girl, you know who you are….actually this applies to multiple people…)
- Make some fun travel plans with friends and family for this year (and next!)
- Make time to see London friends – especially those with whom I don’t work! We are in the same city and although we may be busy, there is always time to be found (and bottomless brunches to try!!)
In the lead up to my financial goals of 2015, it is important to highlight that for the past decade I have been living (as a student mostly) in three pretty expensive cities: Washington D.C. (2 years), Paris (6 years) and now London (2 years). Thanks to an amazing decade of big city living, I have racked up just a smidge of debt (credit card and loans to fund living expenses – not to be commingled with my student debt that actually paid tuition bills). My credit cards have the worst interest rates on them so the priority of payments is credit cards, non-student loans, student loans. Not sure I will have enough money to tackle the student loans so that may have to wait until 2016. On the plus side, all the US debt is in dollars and the exchange rate of USD to GBP hovers between 1.50 dollars to the pound and 1.75 dollars to the pound. In any case, this means, in theory, I should be able to pay off all of my US debt 50% faster… in theory.
Here are my big, bad financial goals for this big, bad year:
- Eliminate a decade of accumulated transatlantic credit card debt – luckily no credit card provider gave me a ridiculous limit so this will be a matter of eliminating at least one each month from April to December.
- Eliminate my two outstanding non-student loans (one in France and one in the UK) – the one in France is set to be fully paid up by August so that will take care of itself. The UK one is a bit bigger but still manageable.
- Start saving – for real this time. And I am not talking about saving for vacations or a new purse. I am talking about real adult saving… like for a property of some shape/form in London. This savings plan will take on a smaller scale until all form of debt is completely
- In relation to savings, and thanks to my English legal/financial training, this year will be the year that I open cash ISAs in each of our names and put the as much of the annual tax-free contribution in as possible (the maximum used to be just under £6k per tax year but is now £15k per person so I don’t think we will hit the max for the 2015/2016 tax year but we shall see). I have already started scoping out the best cash ISA interest rates for new savers – looks like the post office cash ISA has a 1.5% return plus a 0.85 percentage point bonus for the first 18 months. Hello, smart long-term savings!
So basically, if all goes well, by the end of the year- I will be super fit, uber healthy, financially sound, a rising star at work and full of love. What’s your plan for the new year?