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Well here we are; a new year has dawned upon us.Like most, I welcomed 2011 with open arms. The wonderful possibilities, the newness of life, the smell of overwhelming optimism and the vision of endless opportunities represent the exhilarating prospects that are always so intoxicating about a new year.

My slogan for 2011: the year dedicated to YOU!

I think up until this point, as individuals, we have done a great job of making sure everyone else has been taken care of, from our employer to our family and everyone and everything in between. However, somewhere in the hustle and bustle of life, we forgot to take care of ourselves. I challenge you to turn your attention and focus inward. Make sure that you take time to enjoy your life. Evaluate your current state: Are you enjoying life? Are you participating in activities that you enjoy? Are the people around you (family, friends, associates) encouraging you to be the best you that you can be? Decide to make and implement the necessary lifestyle changes in an effort to always put yourself first.

I am sure a lot of you are clueless on how and where to begin. Let’s start by revamping your daily routine.  Try adding some exciting adventure or activity into your life. Better yet, foster new relationships by going out and meeting like-minded people who are interested in the same activities. Just take time and think outside the box. Introduce yourself to something new. Prime example, I went out with some friends and watched a football game at a sports bar. HEAR ME… I could care less about football and on top of that, my home team (Atlanta Falcons) weren’t even playing. Surprisingly, I had a good time. I got out, met some great people and subsequently have been back to watch other games including one against my home team. I would have never embraced that activity in a million years, not for football, basketball maybe. So be open to doing something new and different.

Here are few other things that I have done to bring that spark back into my life.

The Adventure:

I am a Groupon, Half-Off Deport, Scoutmob and Living Social groupie. My emails are bombarded with these discounted offers daily. If you are not familiar with these companies, they work with local establishments and offer you discounted rates in the form of a coupon for a service, activity or meal. I love receiving the emails introducing me to some of the newest happenings in Atlanta. These coupons cover everything from spas, food, adventure and entertainment. So for a busy bee like me, they cover the gamut.

What makes these so great is that the majority of the activities that I have always said I wanted to do, are available and I can now incorporate them into my budget.  For years, I have said that I wanted to try hiking, rock climbing, fitness boot camp and horseback riding. These activities were now staring me in the face on a daily basis, screaming: what are you going to do, spectate or participate!? Well you know I had to be a big girl and participate.

One offer in particular was screaming the loudest; it was for a 4-week fitness boot camp. I purchased the Groupon in March and I procrastinated so long that it was November and I still hadn’t used it and the offer was expiring on December 31, 2010.  In an effort to get my money’s worth, I signed up for the next available class which happened to be the week of Thanksgiving at 5AM. First let me say, no I am not certifiable, but due to my schedule, I had to take the first class in the morning or it would have never gotten done.

I must admit that was the best thing that I could have done. By incorporating such an intense workout during the holiday season, it forced me not to overeat.  It put me in the best shape of my life. In 5 weeks, I lost weight, inches and gained so much pride. My wardrobe has changed. I feel good and look good. Although I have more weight I want to lose, to endure an intense training like that and live to tell about it is a wonderful accomplishment.

This experience was so good for me, that I added an extra week. So my boot camp experience went from the week of Thanksgiving to the week of Christmas.  I enjoyed boot camp so much that I have vowed to take a 4-week session once a quarter. As far as my other adventures, to date, I am happy to report that I have horse back riding and rock climbing left to schedule.


I am a social butterfly by nature so when I am not active or out and about interacting and mingling with people, I am not at my best.  As of late, I have found myself surrounded by individuals who are not as active as I am. So my activities were a little stagnant for a brief moment, because I wearied of doing things solo. So I re-introduced myself to the power of the Internet. I joined, a site dedicated to finding groups of people that have similar interest as you and allows you to join the group, meet new people and make new friends. Well after reminding myself about Meetup, I have been in social butterfly heaven. The ability to meet new people and participate in activities that I love is awesome.

These are just a few ways that I was able to add a little more zip in my life. Whatever area that you find yourself lacking or missing that thrill in, make an effort to introduce yourself to a NEW array of choices. Remember there is always someone out there that likes to do what you like to do. You just have to take time to find them.

I believe that as you venture out of your routine, you will rediscover who you really are and what you really like to do. And possibly decide to rekindle your hopes, dreams and passion. Take time out this year, this month, right now, to get to know you again.  Reintroduce yourself to the 2011 YOU.  I think they have been waiting to meet each other for a very long time.

Have fun! Live Life to the fullest!

Much love,


Written by: Judi Mason for

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