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Putting a NEW Spin on New Year’s Resolutions

It’s pretty routine. The holidays are over, the pounds have packed on, and people get frantic to start up their New Year’s resolutions. I think this year’s been a little different though. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a growing resentment towards New Year’s resolutions. I can relate—if anything, it’s more disappointing and defeating to fail another year at a resolution than to just not make one at all.

But here’s my argument. Your resolutions don’t have to be in a rut. Losing pounds, exercising daily—that’s so mundane. It’s a new year, so make your resolutions new. Besides, isn’t the ultimate goal of resolutions so that you can truly have a HAPPY new year? Chances are you won’t feel your happiest if it’s your fourth year not meeting your goal of shedding 10 pounds. You’re much more likely to feel happy if you’re challenging yourself with new goals. Break out of your comfort zone.

So here are a few new resolutions to shake your year up—and hey, just because it’s not January 1st doesn’t mean you can’t start fresh. It’s never too late. Here are a few Sunny Suggestions:

     1. To be smarter about your spending. Keep a daily record of what you’re saving and shelling out to improve your budget.

2.      To be more appreciative of your friends. If we’re not careful, we can accidentally take our great friends for granted. Be sure to express to your friends how much they mean to you.

3.      To be more daring. Get yourself to try something new each month—make a Bucket List, or a “Sunny Set” as I like to call it and go for your goals. Life is boring when you don’t break out of your shell!

4.      To be more helpful. Pick a new charity to volunteer with or kick it up a notch with the philanthropy you’re already helping out with. Lend a helping hand if you want to have a happier year.

5.      To be more healthy. Here’s a twist on the traditional—make it specific. Pick a new sport to try or give a go at learning how to cook healthier meals. It’s about learning new healthy habits, not necessarily losing lbs.

Whether or not you believe in New Year’s resolutions, it’s important that we always strive to lead more grateful, enriched, and happier lives. As long as we are improving ourselves, no matter what time of the year, we can count on feeling better about ourselves.

I know this year my resolution will include being savvier about my spending and smarter about my saving. I hope you’ll join me in this New Year with something to strive for—life is always better when you’re on the upswing, not when you’ve settled.

So what will you set your sights on for 2012? No matter what, I hope you not only have a Happy New Year but that you have a Happy 2012 as a whole.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Cubs Instead of Cocktails

I’m not much of a drinker so turning 21 isn’t going to be the biggest deal. However, I already know what I want for this milestone year. Instead of cocktails, I’m asking for lion cubs! Let me explain. It all began last year when I saw one of our family friends holding a tiger cub in their Christmas card. This has always been on my Sunny Set and so I had to find out where she went. It turns out, there is wildlife park in Bandon, Oregon where you can pet and hold baby animals.

The park is currently featuring lion cubs and baby black leopards. I absolutely can’t resist. I am such an animal lover and getting to do this would absolutely make my day—or rather, my year! I always say that if I didn’t want to be a writer I would work with animals. Whether it’s my cat or penguins, animals make me so happy and I love to be around them.

Not to mention, I’m setting a goal to travel each year, whether it’s to a new state or a new country. So why not check out Oregon this year? I hear it’s beautiful! Here’s a little video so that you can see what I’m talking about!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

My Future Listography

I got so many nice presents this year but I have to say, one of my favorites is a book I was given called, My Future Listography. Being the list lover I am, I thought this was such a clever idea. I can’t wait to get started but in the meantime, I thought I’d share some of the lists with you. This is the perfect time of year to set some goals for yourself and I hope some of these lists will spark your creativity!

Here’s a few of my favorites:

List of Things You Aspire to be Fearless At

List Causes You’d Like to Volunteer For

List People You Would Like to Meet


List Amusement Parks, Carnivals, and Fairs to Go To

List Date Night Ideas to Try

List Cuisines to Taste

List What Your Perfect Home Would Entail

List People to Not Lose Touch With

List the Things You Want to Accomplish

List National Parks and Gardens to Visit

I hope this list inspires you to kick your year off with a bang!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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