Hello 2016!

2015 was definitely one of the best years of my life, hands down. From graduating school with my PTA degree, moving, planning a wedding, getting a puppy, starting a new job, and getting married I don’t know how much more wonderfully life-changing this past year could have been. I count my blessings everyday for the beautiful life I have been blessed with, and am so grateful for all of the wonderful things that have happened to me. But, as each year does, it has come and gone. Many of my major goals, professional and personal, were met in 2015. With such a momentous year behind me, I began to think “what next?” How is it ever going to get better than this?

At first, I feel somewhat sad that all of these wonderful things that a girl dreams her whole life about have taken place. I married the most wonderful man that I could not have even dreamed up if I tried, got an adorable chocolate lab puppy (I have wanted one ever since I was a little girl), got an amazing new job that is challenging, fulfilling, and provides a good work-life balance, and moved into a beautiful home in the country with my new husband. I’ve gotten to experience all of these beautifully wonderful things, but I sometimes think what do I have to look forward to now?

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Luckily, I don’t stew over this too long before realizing that I should not be bummed about all of these wonderful events that have come and gone. The fact is that they are not gone. They were merely significant events that have set me up for the next year to come…..and the year after that…..and the year after that.

Graduating school and beginning my career as a PTA has set me up for life-long learning as I am able to learn from several different therapists with a variety of treatment styles specializing in a variety of different concentrations. Working with and around all of these individuals will broaden my base of knowledge and help me to become a better provider with each patient I treat. The beautiful wedding day that my husband and I got to share with our loved ones was the perfect beginning to a life full of love and happiness. That amazing day was not the end of our story together, but the beginning. And with our joined life as full of love as it is, we are already set up for an amazing life ahead of us. Every day we get to experience our love for one another; our wedding day was not the only time this will occur. Each day, we get to experience the gift of our marriage, and make of it what we put into it. It is not an event with a celebrated date and a honeymoon to follow, but a lifelong adventure that we continuously get to share together (and hopefully many more honeymoons to come)! And though our fur-baby has grown and we are not able to pick him up one-armed and carry him around, we still get to experience the unconditional love from him every day. I am always greeted with a cute, furry brown thing with ears perked, tail wagging, and eager gleam in his eye waiting for the moment I open the door so he can pounce on me (side note: my husband is typically pretty happy to have me home after the workday also J). I get to continue to teach him things, and train him to be the best pup a gal could ask for!

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What I’m trying to say with all this rambling is that even though a lot of important and wonderful things have already happened in my life, I still have a lot to look forward to. I have the privilege of going to a job where I continue to learn each day, which keeps things interesting and allows me to grow. My dog is home every night to cuddle and bring me happiness (even if I can’t hardly pick him up anymore), and I have an amazing man to be my partner-in-crime in building this already beautiful life together. Each day is truly a blessing, an adventure, but more importantly it is what you make of it.

I hear of people who are in jobs that they do not enjoy, relationships that don’t fulfill them, and spend their free time in pursuits that do not benefit them in any way. Our lives are not designed to go through the motions, pay bills, and then die (sorry for sounding so morbid). Our lives are meant to be lived. We were each created with different gifts and talents, and we were all put here for a reason. Nobody’s life purpose was designed for “paying the bills” only. Yes, the bills must get paid, but make time to pursue things that fulfill you. Make a goal, create a plan, and stick with it.

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I decided that for 2016, I am not going to make one monumental resolution that I will undoubtedly forego after a few days or weeks and accept that it is another failed attempt to better myself while lulling over this reality over a glass of wine and slice of pumpkin pie (and not additionally feel guilty for this horrible grammar and run-on sentence). Instead, I am going to try something different. I am going to make one small goal every 2 weeks, stick with it for 2 weeks come hell or high water, and document the results. Why two weeks? They (the powers that be, and SELF magazine) say that it takes 2 weeks to establish a habit. So I figure if I make small changes throughout the year, then they somehow seem much more manageable and I am more likely to follow-through. Also, the concept of perfection must be thrown out the door. I have always been a perfectionist, which ironically in itself is a fault, so this will be difficult to do. But if I try my hardest to create at least one new habit every 2 weeks then maybe all these small good habits will turn into positive lifestyle changes overall.

So, my first resolution: take at least 15 minutes each morning before work and 15 minutes after work to play with my dog. Why start with this? First off, I love my dog more than chocolate (though he is a chocolate lab, so go figure). Second, I wanted to start with something simple that I will enjoy. I love playing with my dog, but sometimes I find that I am too tired or busy to give him the attention he deserves regarding his physical activity. I’m always happy to cuddle, but his energy and enthusiasm can be exhausting at the end of a long day. Nonetheless, I took on the responsibility of caring for a dog when we got him, so it’s only right that I do my best to care for him. He can’t go run on a treadmill, or do zumba, or go to a spin class whenever he pleases. He relies on us to let him out and play with him to get his physical activity. In setting aside 15 minutes twice a day each day, he is getting the undivided attention he craves and the physical activity he needs. In doing this, I hope to not only make a healthier, happier pup, but manage his behaviors as well. If he gets this regular play time maybe he won’t be as apt to tear things up or get into things he’s not supposed to because he’s restless. He will expend energy, resulting in fatigue which will result in improved sleep. These are things I intend to keep an eye on and see if this play schedule makes a difference in these areas.

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Other areas I plan on making micro-resolutions are better eating habits, creative endeavors, exercise, skin care, home management, and meaningful use of time (to name a few). I’m sure other ideas will pop in my head along the way. Also, I plan on including little tid-bits of things I’m doing on here, like recipes or fun things I did on the weekend.

So, with this blog I invite you to help hold me accountable. Leave comments and ask how my resolution is going, how I reached my goals, how I overcame obstacles to these resolutions, tips on how to meet these goals, your favorite dirty joke, a picture of your fur-baby. Whatever! I do kindly ask that you keep the comments positive, no haters allowed J Even share your resolution if you feel so inclined to do so. Words of encouragement are also always welcome of course! Whatever your new years resolution, if you made one (if not, that’s totally great too!), let’s help each other out! Share your tips and success stories here anytime. I want this blog to be a fun and inspiring place for people to visit. Hence the inspiration for the title “Life On Full,” well, that and my perpetually empty gas tank. Much love all!

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