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Reflections, not Resolutions this New Year

Reflections, not Resolutions this New Year

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago.

As the year ends, I could look back at all my failures and resolve to do better this upcoming year. Or, I can look back and focus on all the things I did right.

This is as good a time as any to thank you. Whether this is your first time visiting my site or you come here often, you motivated me this year. Your positive comments kept me going. Chronicling parts of my life online made me accountable. And, brainstorming blog post ideas kept me inspired.

So, here’s looking back on my personal successes of 2017:

Health & Fitness

My blog’s focus shifted more towards health and fitness this year. This caused a cyclical effect on me. The more I wrote about health and fitness and followed others’ journeys, the more cognizant of my own health choices I became. And the more I made it a priority in my life, the more I wanted to write about it.

  • I exercised a record number of times in 2017. I tried to break a sweat every day for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes, that meant a walk, but more often than not, I hopped on my spin bike and pedaled it out.
  • I tried the Aaptiv app but in my opinion, nothing beats Peloton. I plan on trying out the Flywheel Fly Anywhere bike soon so we will see how that compares.
  • I’ve added weight training to my routine twice a week, using the Strong app and will begin a yoga practice once again.
  • Between my Apple Watch’s daily reminders to work out, tracking my food intake using the Lose It! App, and using a WiFi scale to measure muscle and body fat, I managed to take off and keep off 12 pesky pounds this year.
  • I’ve maintained a mainly vegetarian/pescatarian diet and incorporated more vegetables into my family’s diet.


I’ve spent a good deal of my life in school, whether as a student or teacher. I enjoy the process of learning and this past year taught me a great deal.

  • My book club did not lose steam and I read a book a month. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I love reading. I’ll be adding a virtual book club to my site this month so stay tuned and please subscribe to stay updated.
  • I listened to podcasts, enrolled in online courses, found support and friendships among local bloggers, and generally tried to absorb whatever I could to learn about the ever-changing blogging world.
  • I’m excited to attend my first blog conference (Blog Her Health & Fitness) in a couple of weeks.

When I first decided to start my blog, I thought I could sit down, write, and call it a day. I had no idea about coding, SEO, or even the ins and outs of social media. Ask my kids: there’s so much more time and effort that goes into my site than just the writing.

I created this blog as a portfolio of sorts, to get me back to writing. I love every minute of it. (I can’t say the same for my teaching and lawyer days, although they had their bright moments).

Shortcuts to My Savings and Sanity

You may have noticed that I changed the tagline to my blog: “Shortcuts to My Savings and My Sanity” transitioned into “Apps. Technology. Suburbia.”


I still do my best to save money, mainly through the use of apps and technology.

  • I made it through another year without cable, which accounts to a savings of approximately $1000 per year.
  • Working out at home saves me at least $1200 per year. (You pay a huge premium for gyms where I live).
  • I bought and sold on Poshmark and eBay. In fact, I got my son an XBox One S in brand-new condition, complete with four games, an extra controller, and charger, for the price of a new system.
  • I regularly used Ebates and will receive close to $200 back for this year’s purchases.
  • I donated and decluttered using the Give Back Box, Soles4Souls, and to other charities.


  • I managed to substantially limit my children’s technology time using a reward system that finally works.
  • I overscheduled my kids with activities and while it made me crazy at times, it also let me treasure our quiet time together at home.
  • We had more valuable family time. We took a week-long vacation, just us. We tend to spend our vacations visiting family. My husband works a lot and this trip reminded us how important it is to connect as a family.
  • After grieving the loss of our French bulldog in January, we added a new puppy to our family, and my heart is complete again.

Cheers to the Year Ahead

Thank you for giving this hot mess mom a voice. Thank you for sharing, commenting, following and engaging with me this past year. I hope you too, don’t look back and focus on everything you didn’t do or could have done better, but rather, celebrate your own personal successes.

If I could see you in person, I would give you a big hug

right about now.

Please comment below and share your successes. Also, if you have any topics you’d be interested in reading about in the year ahead, let me know.

Michelle Bio

Happy New Year to you and yours!







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