Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Correct me if I’m wrong, but January gets a bad rap, right? Certainly, it is a time of renewal, a time to kick bad habits and start a new year with a clean slate. If you go into a new year thinking, “Wow, I have to change so much to make this be The. Best. Year. Ever.” Wow, that is going to be tough to live up to and that is a lot of pressure for 2014! How do I know about putting pressure on a new year? My 2012 wasn’t great for personal health reasons so I thought to myself, “If I get through 2012 then 2013 is going to be The. Best. Year. Ever.” Thankfully 2012 ended and I was looking forward to an incredible 2013. Along came 2013 and it found me dealing with family issues and the loss of my dad and health issues for my mom.
Onward and upward to 2014. Was this going to be The. Best. Year.Ever? I don’t know but I do know that I resolve to start 2014 with a happy dance. If that happy dance means that Henrietta and Lucy and I don party hats grab the noise makers and strut around the living room on New Year’s Eve then so be it.
The idea of a new year being a clean slate is one I can get behind, the pressure to wipe out all bad habits and embrace new is putting a lot of pressure on a year. What can you, as a pet blogger do to make your new year the best yet? Here are some of my thoughts:
- You want to lose weight. Losing weight is one of the most resolved issues for a new year. I live in New York and the weather, honestly is not amenable to taking long walks. Henrietta and I bundle up, she does her business and we come back into the house. I’d have to drive 45 minutes to get to a gym and that just isn’t feasible. What can I do? Work out with my DVR or Wii, walk laps around the house (I live 45 minutes from the nearest mall so mall walking is kind of out of the question on a regular basis). Take a break at the top of every hour and do some jumping jacks, or squats or deep knee bends. Get your dog walking around the house with you so that she stays in shape as well. I won a Fitbit in a contest a BlogPaws Community member was running on her site, Pet News and Views. I will be getting that set up and monitoring my daily activity levels. Let’s face it, if you work from home as a writer, the opportunity for moving around is slim unless you make it part of your daily plan.
- You want to have a healthier diet. What do you do? Clean your cupboards and refrigerator of all foods that contain sugar, salt and fat? What are you left with? Not much and if you’re like me, a craving for whatever it is you no longer have in the house. Why not resolve to cut out one “bad” food item; choose your poison — sugar donuts, sugary cereal, potato chips, deep fried foods, pop (soda) — chances are you can cut one of them out and not even miss it and the bonus is you may just lose weight and be on your way toward a healthier diet!
- You want to reduce your stress. Well, if you’re a pet parent you have access to instant stress reduction as close as your fingertips. When I am stressed, stepping away from the computer and snuggling Henrietta for a few minutes helps me calm down and it fills her snuggle quotient needs for the short term!
- You want to blog more. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Editorial calendars are your friend. The calendar function in your blog platform is as well. If you find yourself with a free couple of hours on an afternoon, write a bunch of blogs, schedule them to go live throughout the week and then you will fulfill your desire to “blog more.”
- You want to make a name for yourself in the pet community. There are myriad ways to make this happen; participate in a #BlogPawsChat on Twitter (we are having one New Year’s Eve from 8-10 pm EST and are having thousands of dollars in giveaways from #PetBox; interact with BlogPaws Community members; connect with your local animal shelter; attend a pet blogging conference (BlogPaws 2014 comes immediately to mind). If you work from home, you need to get out of the home office and meet new people, frequent a coffee shop, attend networking meetings, volunteer at a local shelter or rescue.
What can you do to make 2014 a year that you’re looking forward to without putting so much pressure on it to live up to some idealized, and perhaps unattainable, 365 days? Be like your dog and take each day as it comes, embrace it as a chance to have a fresh start and take time for a happy dance!