I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with wonderful friends, family, and some tasty food! I spent mine in San Francisco with my roommates and boyfriend, eating, napping, and playing video games to the point of excess. It was beautiful. And now that I’ve emerged from my Tofurky-induced coma, I suppose it’s an appropriate time to say hello, December!
The last month of the year always seems to slip out of my hands. Between thinking about holiday travel, getting gifts for family members, and making New Year’s plans, it all happens so fast. Whether or not we want to believe it, 2015 is almost here. Can you remember where you were in your life a year ago? And where do you want to be this time next year?
We tend to reminisce and get nostalgic around the holidays, but we also take the time to look towards the future. Whether or not you’re a resolutions kind of person, you’re probably looking ahead and thinking about big changes you might want to make. Maybe you’d like to finally quit your dead-end job and move on to something different. You could be thinking of a move to a new city (or a new country!). Maybe you’d like to finally book a ticket to your dream destination. Or perhaps you’re just wanting to travel more in the coming year but not sure where to start.
To help with those bigger steps, here are a few simple suggestions to help pave the way and make things a bit easier for you!
1. Get your holiday travel in order.
Yikes! Still waiting to get airfare to head home for the holidays? Figure out your plans and purchase ASAP! Prices really will only get more and more expensive from here on out, and seats on buses, trains, or rideshares might be harder to come by the longer you wait. Do this now and get it out of the way to clear your mind.
2. Revise your budget.
The holidays can mean vacation time, travel costs, and gifts, so if you don’t plan for that then you could end up spending money you don’t have (le woof). Ensure that you start off 2015 right by fine-tuning your budget. Decide on what you’d like your money to go towards and what costs can be reduced. How much would you like to save by the end of 2015? Keep in mind that setting aside just $3 a day means you could have $1000 at the end of the year to go towards travel or other adventures!
3. Update your resume.
Instead of feeling stuck at some soul-sucking job, look at your resume and give it a good clean-up. If you don’t like what you’re doing currently, think long and hard about what you’d like to be doing. Revise your resume accordingly, with the objective of getting that kind of a position. If you’re feeling like you’re not quite qualified based on what you can add to it, maybe look into a class to improve some of your skills — a perfect first step towards leaving that sucky job! Now, if you like your job and have no intentions of leaving, you should still spruce it up. Add any current projects, training, or skills you’ve gained since you last took a look at it.
4. Purge your belongings, and sell or donate what you don’t need anymore.
Now is a great time to get rid of things you don’t use like clothing, kitchen appliances, furniture, and more. That feeling of having very little weighing you down and owning a clean, clear space is just too good, and it really will make any trips you take in 2015 easier. Also, you’ll be able to either sell things for some extra holiday cash or donate them to those in need. 🙂
5. Minimize your Facebook-life, maximize your real-life life.
I don’t despise Facebook enough to the point that I’d delete my account — it’s a great way to stay in touch with people I wouldn’t normally be able to contact, and I am friends with some pretty amazing folks who post interesting articles. But if you find yourself spending, say, more than 20 or 30 minutes a day on there, it’s time for a mental cleanse. What you see and what you post on Facebook is not. real. life. You don’t have to prove your current state of happiness to anyone with a new photo album of your weekend, and you can’t compare your life to the photos and status updates you see on there. Instead, reach out to an acquaintance and get coffee, support a friend who has a new art show or play opening by showing up, or help that college buddy of yours move to a new apartment. Not only is being there in person is so much better than over an internet connection, but you will have way more time to do interesting, fun things!
6. Sign up for frequent traveler programs so you can earn rewards.
If you haven’t already, you should be enrolled in frequent flyer programs and other similar ones that offer incentives for being a loyal customer. Even if it’s just signing up with the simplest of options, like directly with Southwest or Virgin, for example, there’s no reason not to do it. If you’re feeling really bold and your finances are in order, look into a credit card that rewards you for travel in points or miles. There are many out there, but I’ve heard that the Chase Sapphire is one of the best.
7. Start a Pinterest or Trover board for a place you’d like to visit or a trip you’d like to take.
Even if you’re not 100% sure yet how you’ll pay for it or when it will happen, it will help make your dreams a little more tangible!
8. Talk to friends and family about your travel goals.
A few wonderful things will happen when you start chatting up your peeps about places you’d like to visit. First of all, they may have some excellent advice for you if they’ve been there, done that. If not, they very well may know someone who has been there, or better yet, who currently lives there. These connections are so so valuable in helping you feel at ease when going somewhere new. In the same vein, you may discover a friend or two who would like to accompany you. If you have a good friend that you get along with well and would like to adventure with, making plans together is a great way to tackle those first few difficult steps, like buying airfare.
What big goals and dreams do you have for 2015? What else do you think can help make achieving them even easier? What small steps have you already taken towards your dreams?
Death to the Stock Photo