2014: The Year of YOU

Are you ready? It’s time! 2014 is the year of you.
This is the year for you to thrive, to exceed your own expectations and to continue on your amazing path.

resolutionsThis time of year we are bombarded with methods, suggestions and “quick fixes” to become a better you. Exercise more! Get organized! Eat healthy! Be better! All of these ideas are great, but life keeps happening. There is the stress of holiday bills, the tree needs to get put away, kids go back to school and work continues.

For the last few years, I have worked on ways to get organized and facilitate how to get ready for the year ahead. This has helped me create rules, practices and habits to make my year flow and to not get stuck in the trap of working out (or eating right, or meditating, etc etc) A LOT for the month of January and then going right back to my old way of doing things.

Here are my personal practices for creating the best year:

Take a Month

So, I think it’s pretty silly to decide to change your life on January 1st. The holidays are just ending and you are adjusting to going back to work, school, etc. Instead, I take the whole month of January to plan my year. In the first week or so of the month, I make a list of things that (1) need to be organized and (2) need to become new habits. Then I take the month and address the list one by one.

For example, I just cleaned out  my closet and then made a schedule of when I will do each associated task (i.e. I put a reminder to go to Goodwill on February 1st and then to re-clean the closet on the 1st of every other month). Take your time and allow yourself the space to think about what you want.

Create Systems, NOT Goals or Resolutions

Ok, so the way New Years Resolutions work is that you set a goal and then work towards it. For example, I want to be more fit. Ok, so you start going to the gym. Perhaps you run on the treadmill, perhaps you do some machines. I often found myself without a clear way of getting to what I wanted. “I want to be more fit” is pie in the sky, it is not measurable, and I don’t have clear, easy-to-follow steps to get there.

Start with your goal, and then make a (reasonable) system to achieve it. For example, take “I want to be more fit” and turn it into a clear, measurable outcome. This could include: I want to run 3 miles, or would like to tone my arms. Then, take your time (hence taking the month) and research. Find a website that details a couch to 5k (3.1 miles!) or find a trainer to develop a weight lifting plan for you. Make a measurable system and give yourself rewards. Everytime you increase your mileage, maybe you go to a movie, or get a pedicure. Systems are easy.

Ask yourself, “What Will I NOT Compromise on this Year?”

While it is amazing to strive to better yourself, I also find it helpful to assess what is most important to me. I make a list of what I will not compromise on this year. Then I write it down (in big letters, ALL CAPS) and hang it up in a place where I will see it frequently. Mine is entitled “Rules to Live By.” I use them as anchors in making decisions about my life and my interactions.

Here are my 2014 “Rules to Live By”

  1. I will dance EVERY day
  2. I’m pretty darn amazing, and I will let people into my life who deserve it and treat me well and with respect.
  3. My career is important and I will not accept less for any aspect of it than I am worth.
  4. I will make time for myself and have a personal life.
  5. I will LIVE OUT LOUD and will not compromise who I am for anyone (which means a whole lot of glitter and leopard print).

 Happy New Year!

PS – You are already AMAZING!


111201_LisaZ_53Lisa Zahiya is an award winning bellydance and hip hop performer, instructor and dance studio owner. Lisa has her home base at Studio Zahiya in quirky Asheville, NC and travels nationally and internationally teaching and performing.

Winner of the 2008 Bellydancer of the Univer competition, Lisa’s unique style and fusion dance forms has gained her recognition in the International bellydance community. She travels, teaching workshops, performing and developing curriculum. She has developed a fusion dance curriculum for a dance school in San Raphael, France. She serves as guest faculty at Sahara Dance in Washington, DC.

At home, she is faculty at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, where she teaches bhangra, hip hop and bellydance. She also served as an Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, Asheville.

She also loves shoes, gluten free cupcakes, silly dances and being an advocate for women and children.


  1. Amazing advice! Here’s to a great year!


  1. […] cracking. I read on another blog that I sometimes follow  A Little Blog Told Me  access here:   http://littleblog.wpengine.com/2014-the-year-of-you/  that you should allow yourself the MONTH of January to fully roll into your New Year’s […]

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