Read One Book A Month
SO…this may not sound like such a lofty goal to most, but finding time to read has proven harder and harder. Due to a busy schedule working full-time, working part-time, blogging every day and raising a Morkie, there isn’t much time to read (let alone shower, eat and sleep). I always take on too much – I have a problem saying “no.” And once I commit, I have an even harder problem “quitting.” I was so proud of myself when I read #GIRLBOSS over holiday vacation with my family. It felt really nice to sit down, put my phone away and delve into a great story of success. 
I’m embarrassed to say, until recently (really recently) I didn’t really  like  enjoy reading. My mom has always told me not to say this out loud, because it makes me sound uneducated and maybe it does, but I find myself much more interested in socializing or working out in my down time. I think I can attribute a lot of this to years of school and being forced to read so many pages every so many days, while given a plethora of choices I wasn’t at all interested in to begin with. If you follow me on instagram (pardonmuahinsta) then you probably saw my new stack of books ready to crack open. I really am excited to accomplish this goal in 2015 and hopefully find a new love of books & knowledge. 
It’s very easy to fall into the social media brain drain (sorry) of who is dating who, who isn’t dating who, what’s she wearing, where is he going, omg they got engaged/married/had a baby/ had another baby, etc. It’s easy to let that world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram become your reality, maybe even your friend. And don’t get me wrong social media serves a very true purpose (as I use it right now to write this blog post), but I don’t think it should be everything. Knowledge really is power and I think the more we know, the better we can communicate with the world and the greater chance we have to succeed. If you have any wonderful recommendations for books I should pick up let me know!

Make A Realistic Budget And Stick To It
Okay ladies & gentleman, this is a biggie. I consider myself a master list maker & budget creator, BUT following said budget has proven very very hard. When I say I can’t say “no,” that’s not only to jobs, but to clothing, makeup, shoes, purses, dog accessories…you name it I have to have it. I even have an internal dialogue while I shop. 
“OMG you need that”…”no you don’t you have so much stuff”…”but what if I don’t buy it and you regret it”…”you need it”…”what’s $20, $30, $50″…”charge it, worry about it later”…”well, okay you’ve convinced me”…”I’ll take it!”
And that’s how you go from having a lot of money you worked really hard for, to having less money and a lot more stuff you probably don’t need or won’t use. While reading #GIRLBOSS I had to think really hard about my spending and where I want to be in one year, in two years, in five years financially. She made an amazing point that until you’re living like a “boss,” you probably shouldn’t be spending like one. And that is so true. Sometimes I spend like I’m the Queen of the World – instead of an almost 26 year old marketing manager who needs to invest in her future.
So this year I’ve decided to make a realistic budget and to stick to it. Have you ever added up how much you spend at Starbucks in a month? I did…and I truly started having heart palpitations. I like love Starbucks and I live for my morning pit stop to my local store, but hello! my addiction has gotten out of control. Instead of a cup every day, I’m going to treat myself twice a week (using my Keurig the other five). And every time I want to spend on something I truly don’t need I’m going to think about the house, the car, the business I one day want to have. So cross your fingers!
Learn To Be Happy Just Being Me
This resolution, by far, will be the hardest for me to achieve in 2015. Many of you don’t know, because I keep my personal life pretty separate from my blogging life, that I was engaged and un-engaged this past year. It’s sort of embarrassing for me to write as I feel it was the largest commitment I’ve ever made and the ultimate decision to “quit,” and continue in another direction. But it brought a lot of clarity and empowerment I’ve never had before.
I’ve made many (many) decisions for other people in my almost 26 years of life. For my mom, my family, my boyfriend, a friend, etc. And many of those decisions have come easy as I love to please others and I love to make others happy. But what I didn’t realize is that I lost what made me happy. And I find myself in a new city, with a relatively new job, newly single, wondering what in the world makes Amanda happy. Maybe this is why I’ve filled my world full of material possessions. Maybe this is why I choose to pursue so many avenues in my work life. 
What I know for sure is that I want to be happy being me, being alone, being just Amanda. I want to feel a sense of fulfillment that can only come from being me. I want my successes to me my own and my happiness to come from within – not because someone gave me a sense of gratification. This is the resolution that will take time and tears and a lot of thought. But this is the resolution that will lead me to what I really want in life. 
I hope that you have made some thoughtful resolutions this year as well. I normally don’t make resolutions, especially if I don’t intend to follow through. But this is a new year of beginnings for me and I’m sure for you as well. Thank you for following and supporting and happy 2015!
XO Amanda