2014 New Year's Resolutions

Improve health & fitness

Health/fitness goals are completely relative so I try not to compare myself to other people.  I have a naturally slim body type, pretty fast metabolism, and good upper body strength.  I'd like to strengthen my core again. As somebody who spends a lot of time at her desk, core strength and flexibility is very important (lower back pain, anybody?).  I would also like to work on my cardio.  I do okay on long hikes and I've been doing sprints and 2 mile jogs with my dog but I want to improve my general endurance.  

My abs at atelierzozo.com - fitness
Before: Clean eating + regular HIIT  
Now: Whole frozen pizza + fruit & veggie smoothie in my tummy + no real exercise routine

Zuzka Light Fitness Guru
Zuzka Light
As far as appearances, I'm okay with how I look in clothes.  I want to keep up with squats and lunges so my butt doesn't deflate, see more definition in my upper arms and thighs, and get my ab muscles back!  In the first photo above, I had been eating clean for almost 2 months and working out for 15-20 minutes 5x a week.  I did Beachbody Insanity some days and body weight exercises from Zuzka Light (YouTube | website).  I think most of Zuzka's full videos are no longer available for free but you can still get an idea of what kind of exercises she does and Google body weight workouts and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for more ideas.

I wasn't sick at all in 2013 and so far, I've managed to stave off putting on my usual "winter fat."  In the past, I used the cold weather as an excuse to gorge on comfort foods like noodles, heavily buttered toast, and any high-fat, carb-loaded food really.  However, there is still a lot of improvement which can be made in the diet arena.  I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I need to stem my consumption of frozen burritos and pizza (total guilty pleasure for me) and salty, calorie-laden junk food/snacks like potato chips and beer. Luckily, I grew up eating healthy, whole foods and genuinely enjoy almost all vegetables, raw or cooked.

Food pics by atelier_zozo on Instagram
You can find me on Instagram @atelier_zozo .  It's a good way to keep track of what you eat!
*I don't promise the prettiest or healthiest food pics :P
When I have been over-indulgent, I just stay away from processed foods and simple carbs.  I prefer complex carbohydrates anyway such as brown rice, quinoa, and legumes like black beans and lentils.  In general, I try to listen to my body and eat what I want to eat in moderation. Temptations abound so this doesn't always work but it's a good foundation to work off on.  I rarely weigh myself and I don't count calories.  I'm almost 5'5 and my lowest weight when I was practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitively was 105 lbs and my highest was in 2010 at close to 130 lbs.  I've stayed around 115 for the past couple years but the number isn't as important to me as the general feeling of strength, health, and vitality.  Plus, I'm not super curvy and if my body fat drops so does my cup size lol.

Finish creative projects

watercolor paints
I have a lot of incomplete art, graphic design, and writing projects in the works.  First, I want to finish the novella I've been working on. The bulk of it is pretty much completed at close to 70k words but it needs a strong editing hand and I need to prepare for self-publishing and the promotions aspects of getting it out there in internet land.  I also want to write more reviews for the books I read.  Good reviews are time-consuming but it's great writing practice.

I'd like to finish the flower images I wrote about in my Art Projects post and a few other themed art sets I've been sketching and ruminating on for a while.  Graphic design is super fun for me.  I want to advance my coding skills and flex my design muscles by making blog layouts--free and for purchase.  You can read about my current layout in the post Custom Blog Banner and Background.

Prioritize better

personal organizer
One of the reasons I haven't been able to finish my creative projects is because I prioritize school, work, hanging out with friends first.  This is all well and good but I need to set aside time to complete work which will be ultimately worthwhile and fulfilling.

Of course, like most students, when exams come around I tend to procrastinate on studying by arranging outings with friends or finding a corner of the house that needs cleaning.  I might take to using a physical organizer again instead of relying on digital to help combat this problem.

Be more social 

chat icon
I want to make new friends online and IRL.  As far as blogging goes, I definitely want to be consistent about posting, participate in small blogging events such as link-ups, and network more.  My blog has been lagging this holiday break and I apologize for that.  I've been out of town this week so reading and commenting on other blogs, replying to comments, and writing for my own has been difficult.

My friends and I in Tahoe last year around this same time.  
Lindsey from Whimsical Allure is pictured 2nd from left and I'm the last
As far as real life, this is a bit harder.  I need to be more friendly with my classmates I suppose.  Kind of a toss-up as I have all computer science classes so I'm typically 1 of maybe 3 females and the other students arelet's just put it out theregiant nerds.  I mean, I'm a nerd too but if you can't look me in the eye when you talk to me then...yeah, we probably can't be friends lol.  My two best friends and I are thinking of signing up for a fun class together--maybe introductory astronomy?  I might also take a physical education class like yoga or pilates.  I did judo with my buddy last spring and it was fun but I wasn't super happy with the instruction.

Become a better speaker

I definitely feel more confident about my writing skills than speech.  My last goal for 2014 is improvement in speed and organization of thought as well as succinct but eloquent verbal articulation.  Really, this goes for writing as well.  I'm not a horrible conversationalist by any means but I do tend to rely on typical California speak, especially when it's a casual situation.

What are your New Year resolutions?
Did you make a post about them too?
Leave your links in a comment!

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