Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

January 24, 2020

My 2020 New Years' Resolutions.

     I know I'm sharing a post with "New Years' Resolutions" in the title about three weeks after the start of 2020... whoops! In full honesty, I've found that I have a much better success rate of completing my resolutions when I don't start them in January 1st, but end up taking the first 2-3 weeks of the year to really brainstorm my goals and visions, instead of rushing coming up with them. Today I'm taking a look back at last year's resolutions, and also sharing the ones I have for 2020!

Photography by Tom McGovern

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     A quick note on my outfit before we jump into the resolutions! I am obsessed with this white sweater from Chicwish. It's actually a cropped sweater, which makes it perfect to pair with a high waisted pair of jeans or skirt, like I styled it with here. I have several weekend trips coming up in February, and I think I'll pack it for at least one of them! I also think this pink plaid midi skirt is so cool, but an important note is it does run small! I'm usually an M in Chicwish skirts, which is what I ordered in this one but it was a bit tight. 

2019 Resolutions Recap:
  • Pay off my remaining student loanYES! I became debt free in July 2019, a few months ahead of schedule.
  • Get baptized: No. Last winter I started feeling like the church I had been attending for the past year might not be the best fit, and after Easter I began church hunting around Charlottesville. I spent the rest of spring and summer try out different churches, and didn't find my current church home until the end of summer. It's something I would still like to look into for 2020!
  • Read 52 booksYES! Finished on December 30th, but I made it!
  • Go to the gym / workout 3x per week, no expections: Yes- for the most part! There were a few weeks that either with travel or with extra radio work or blog work I wasn't able to go three times, but I made up for that with working out 4-5 times a lot of other weeks of the year! Overall proud of myself for prioritizing fitness.
  • Gossip less: Yes! Was I perfect with this? No. But did I really make a dedicated effort in 2019 to watch my words about others and be mindful of who I was saying things to? Yes absolutely! For example, if I had a disagreement with a friend, in the past I might've gossiped and talked to one of our other friends about it, who didn't need to be involved at all. If that happened last year, I would only talk to someone if I absolutely needed to vent (not just talking to talk), and I would make sure the person I confided in didn't know the person I was having the disagreement with, so it wasn't causing drama for more people. 
  • Cook dinner at home two nights a week: Yes! Most weeks of 2019 I cooked at least two dinners at home (and had leftovers for other days), and I'm in a pretty good routine with that now. 
  • Date more: YES! I was actually too scared of jinxing myself to write this publicly in last year's resolutions post on the blog, but this was a private goal of mine for 2019 that definitely came true. I went back on dating apps last January and had them on and off throughout the whole year. I went on a ton of first dates, many second dates, and a few that made it further, including a short relationship in the spring. Did I find my person yet? No. But all of the dating experience last year really helped me to overcome anxieties I had associated with talking to new guys and going on first dates, and my confidence going forward about dating is much better now than it ever has been.

     2019 might have just been my most successful year of resolutions ever! I'm proud of myself looking back on this. 

2020 Resolutions:
  • Make Jazzercise Fit Club: I've been taking Jazzercise classes since November, and I'm absolutely hooked! My studio offers a program called Fit Club, which you're inducted into if you hit 150 classes in a calendar year. I really want to hit that this year! As long as I keep going to 3-4 classes most weeks during the year I should be on track to make it. 
  • Grow one of my savings accounts by $5k: 2019 wasn't the best year for me savings wise. I took $1500 out in July to finish paying off my last student loan, and then the following month I moved across town and had to pay for my movers and other expenses with money from savings as well. I was able to build up one of my savings accounts a decent amount in the final months of 2019, but I want to increase that a lot more this year. I'm hoping to add $5k to it from what was already there on January 1st! Amounts of money that people can save in a year varies so much on salary and life expenses, but I think based on those factors for myself $5k is a reasonable resolution to work towards this year. 
  • Start travel hacking/open travel rewards credit card: I've been fascinated by travel hacking for years! I follow several Instagram accounts about it, read The Points Guy's website regularly, and I even got a book about travel hacking for Christmas a couple years ago. I always wanted to wait to begin opening travel credit cards with annual fees until after I was done paying off my student loans (it just didn't seem smart to me at that time to use a credit card with an annual fee when that money could be going towards debt). Now that I finished that last year, I'm ready to dip my toes into this! I'm hoping to have opened my first travel card sometime this spring, and hopefully start accumulating points for trips in 2021!
  • Start a podcast: A longtime career goal of mine that I want to make happen this year finally. My hesitation about starting one in the past has been that I've never had a clear idea for what the podcast would be about. I love my blog because I can write different posts on whatever topics I'm feeling at the time, but my favorite podcasts to listen to are the ones that are more niche on a certain subject. 
  • NO moves: I've moved every year since 2012! First were college moves, then out-of-state moves for work, and then moving across town in Charlottesville last year. I don't want to move at all in 2020! I don't anticipate that happening... as I'm not looking at other jobs and also not planning to move locally again... but I still wanted to add this as a resolution anyways. I think I'm very overdue for a full year of staying put!

    Thanks so much for reading! I'm already looking forward to recapping these next January and seeing what I was able to accomplish.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 


  1. I loved reading your goals for this year and how you did with your goals for last year. I LOVE that you plan on starting a podcast, I can't wait to listen in. Also CONGRATS on being debt free, that is a BIG accomplishment <3

  2. What a stunning look! I just love this skirt and sweater with the headband. Also, is this your home? I love it! Congrats on doing so well on your 2019 resolutions, that’s amazing! I love your 2020 resolutions. We are trying to save money too, since we know babies bring lots of expenses. The podcast sounds amazing! You should.

  3. I can’t wait to hear what you decide to podcast about! You’ll obviously be a natural given your day job and I always think a side hustle that complements what you’re already doing is the best kind!

  4. ohh good luck with your resolutions! I am sure starting a podcast is a great idea! I want to do it too, even though I have no idea where to start (:

    Cate ღ 35mm in Style | Photography + Blogging

  5. I love your skirt! And so many great resolutions I hope they all work out for you this year!!
    Xo, Kelsey


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