Happy New Year Folks! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season full of love, laughter and lots of good food. I was feeling a bit run down so my holidays were quieter than usual, but nice. I still got to see my favorite people, celebrate with my family and my partner and eat some really good food. I also got to just relax and not rush, rush, rush. I feel like that has been my life the previous 6 weeks and I needed the break. Luckily, I am now feeling better and ready for the fresh start a new year brings.
I know it is a bit cheesy, but I really love new years resolutions. Maybe not in the traditional sense, but I use the new year as one of 4 “checkpoints” each year. I like to evaluate my life and decide what is working and what is not. Where do I need to spend more energy and where could I save some? What areas do I feel I am doing really awesome in and how can I use what works there in other areas? Etc. I use the change of seasons as my other checkpoints… Spring, Summer, Fall. I wait until New Years for the Winter check in mostly because everything is so busy during the holidays and I don’t have the necessary focus for the process.
After some reflection, which takes many forms for me, I start writing things down. Not so much specific goals, but different areas of my life and ways I can improve each. I know the research says that specific goals work better, but this is what works for me. I see most things as more of a process than a specific end point. It is easier for me to stay motivated when I can see that I am focusing on small positive changes instead of trying to meet some far off goal. I know full well that I will not “get everything done” but I have some steps to take in that direction~ a plan, which we all know I love.
My goal areas tend to remain pretty much the same season to season but evolve as I accomplish and grow in each one. I figured I would share them with you today so you know where I am coming from and working towards. A few of these will be elaborated upon in the coming weeks, but here is an overview of sorts~
1. Eating habits~ Big surprise this would be first on my list eh? I really fell off in this area over the last month and a half and I can feel it. I have been eating too much, eating gluten like I can, barely cooking at home and eating way too much of the bad for me stuff. For the new year, I want to stick with my normal meal planning habits but improve a few things. I want to do all of the possible meal prep on Sunday afternoons, cut back on coffee (so many extra calories from cream) and refocus on lean protiens, fresh produce and healthy grains. (will be expanding on this soon)
2. Move more~ I always struggle with exercise in the winter~ especially since cancelling my gym membership. During the summer, I am just naturally more active. I walk a lot, hike, kayak etc, but during the generally brutal Western New York winters, I don’t like to go outside. I have a wealth of exercise videos (and the internet full of them), podcasts, at home equipment etc, but I just don’t use them. I am going to start planning out and scheduling in at home work outs just like I did trips to the gym. (more soon)
3. Blogging~ This blog is a major focus for me in the new year. I have so many ideas and I have been working on getting them organized. There is so much helpful, good information out there about blogging and I really want to take advantage of it. I bought my own domain name, so that’s a good start. I will be posting more about the direction I hope to take etc very soon.
4. Clutter Areas~ Despite my constant anti- clutter quest, I have a few areas that need some help. Paperwork, the basement, and the laundry room/closet. I am determined to get them all taken care of this year.
5. Watch less TV~ I have never been a big TV watcher until this last year or two. My partner is a big fan of evenings spent watching TV on the couch and I get sucked in far too often. I don’t think TV is inherently bad, it just keeps me from doing more of the other things I want to do. I want to limit my TV time during the week and use that time for other things~ reading, dinner with friends, board games, music, house projects, blogging etc.
6. Entertain More~ As I have mentioned before, I love to entertain, but it is certainly not something I do often. I want to do more. I will get to share my home with, cook for and see the people I love more. My goal is a once a month gathering of some sort.
7. My Relationship~ Overall, I am happy to say that I have a pretty healthy and happy relationship. It isn’t perfect (and never will be), but it’s good. That being said, I think it is always important to continue to work on relationships and grow as a couple. It is easy to let the “responsibilities” of a relationship slide while taking care of everything else in life, but I don’t want that kind of relationship. For us, it really just come down to more “intentional time” together~ playing a game together after work instead of watching TV, sitting down at the table and talking over dinner when we can, more date nights. All enjoyable things I want anyways, I just need to make them a priority.
8. Money~ I have made HUGE improvements in this area over the last few years, but I still have a lot of room to grow. I have got the taking care of everyday stuff down, but I need to plan for the future and work on saving more money.
9. Developing my Personal Style~ I feel kind of silly sharing this one, but…. I really love fashion and I am generally well dressed. I like the clothes that I own and wear but I often feel there is something missing. I want to take the extra effort and energy to really pull things together. I feel my best when I look my best and I want that to happen more regularly.
10. Find a Church I Feel at Home In or Develop my Spiritual Life in Another Way~ A couple of my coworkers go to the same church and I really like what I hear about it, I am going to start going and I am hoping it can be my church home. I have wanted to find a church for years, for reasons of community and fellowship as much as for the spiritual/religious side, but often have a fundamentally different belief system. I am pretty liberal, socially minded, openly bisexual, progressive etc and most churches are not. I crave that sort of connection though and finding a place I belong is a priority this year.
11. Get my Driver’s License~ That’s right, I am almost 35 and I have never had my license. That is going to change.
So that’s about it. Do you set resolutions for the new year?