New Year’s Resolutions: trust me, I know. Many of us make resolutions, but few of us ever remember them by the year’s end, let alone achieve them–so why bother?
Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a sucker for 99% of holidays. Valentine’s Day? What a joke. St. Patricks Day? Meh. Easter? I like the food. Halloween? Eh, too much work. Really, the only holidays I truly, honestly enjoy are the 4th of July (I love America! and burgers!) and Thanksgiving (everyone gets to celebrate it, after all…and I love mashed potatoes). I don’t even really like Christmas that much–to me, it’s just so much unnecessary money spent on decorations and gifts.
So why do I love the New Year? One word: hope.
The dawn of a New Year is a truly special time. You get to reflect on the past 365 days of your life, and think about how you want to improve yourself 365 days from today (that math isn’t 100% correct, but you get my point). It’s a time when we all feel unashamed to dream big and look to the future with hopeful eyes. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, or what your socio-economic status is–we ALL get a chance to think about what we can change this coming year to help us become the people we want to be. How cool is that?!
So, with that in mind…2012 was a roller coaster of a year for me. It started with my busiest time of year at work (crunch time for the musical at the high school…meaning 70 hour work weeks), all while taking two classes each week and ALSO working on my masters thesis. In April I finally started this blog, and was so happy to have it as a platform to explore my many interests. Then, I finally graduated. It was my first summer with no classes, and I was so lost–what was I supposed to do with all that free time?
Next thing I knew, it was time for work again, and within two months of the start of the school year, I started experiencing abdominal pain which led to my medical leave from work. And that brings me to now.
Needless to say, I have plans for 2013. Big ones. Do I expect to accomplish every single one perfectly? Nope. But I’m the kind of person who needs a plan in place in order to succeed. I’m already on the path. From deciding to “chase happy”, to getting a jumpstart on New Year goals with Elf for Health, I’m already on a good path to start 2013 with a great mindset. So, here goes…
It may seem like I have a lot to achieve, but I have tried to make each resolution here very attainable–setting goals that I can realistically either accomplish 100% or come very close to. Really, it’s about entering the year with a positive mindset, and doing my best to keep it. I’m already working on many of them! I’ve separated them into categories, and I plan to print them out and keep them somewhere that I can see them and keep myself accountable–probably the bathroom mirror that I use to get ready every day!
I know. Everyone has fitness goals every year, right? This year is a bit different for me–overall, I don’t want to focus on numbers. I want to focus on how I feel. My abdominal pain seems to be getting a little better, so I am trying to get back into a steady workout routine.
1: get STRONG. | I started a great weight lifting routine in September and was starting to see some great results when my abdominal issues started in early November. My abdominal pain resulted in severe weakness, and as a result of being “couch-ridden,” I have gained over 15 pounds. As the pain has gotten better, I am getting stronger each day. By this time in 2013, I want to say with confidence that I feel STRONG!
2: run a 5k. | It’s been way too long since I committed to a race. I’ll have to see how my stamina increases over the year, but by year’s end, I want to be able to say I completed a 5k for the first time in 3 years!
3: eat “real” breakfast more often. | bagels & cereal are my usual thing, but after seeing The Lean Green Bean’s 90-second egg breakfast sandwich, I’m totally inspired.
4: eat more salads. | I need to eat more veggies. Enough said.
I started this blog in April of 2012. While this isn’t the first blog I’ve ever started, it is the first that has felt “right” to me. In the coming year I’d like to learn even more about blogging and continue to find a voice that truly feels like me.
1: take more pictures. | I’m starting to fall back in love with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. I just need to use it more.
2: edit photos better. | I just rediscovered the joy of Pixlr. It makes blog photos more pinterest friendly, and I used it to make the snazzy banners in this post!
3: post once a week. | because, let’s be real. Life gets busy. But we can all do something a minimum of once a week, right?
To be completely honest, I achieved an abnormally small amount of personal growth this past year. I was so focused on school and my personal health that I forgot about the non-tangible. 2013 will be a different story.
1: practice more gratitude. | with this gratitude app, I have already begun to take a moment each day to count my many blessings.
2: meditate at least once a week. | I found a great app to help me with this. Quiet time to myself to just “be” will help to steady myself in the midst of chaos.
3: simplify my home. | thanks to Elf for Health, this process has already begun. I have a tendency to hang on to things that I think I might use someday. It’s time to let go.
4: be more creative in the kitchen. | experimenting is not only fun, but can teach you quite a bit.
5: save money & monitor my finances more faithfully. | I use mint.com (and the iphone app for mint) to set budgets and track where my money goes…but I usually ignore the emails and app reminders. This year I want to be more honest with myself about money.
6: reconnect with my spiritual side. | I was a christian for a long time, but I find that there is no place in the christian community where I feel at home. Churches that fit my modern palate are often too conservative for my political beliefs, while churches that lean more politically liberal (like me) are often to old-fashioned for my taste. I am not sure what I think about God or Jesus, but I do believe that there is something out there. I have been what I call a “semi-buddhist” for quite a while and have done extensive reading on the subject, but this past year I completely ignored my spiritual journey. In the coming year, I want to explore my interests in zen buddhism and see where it takes me.
Most people who I connect with through here and on Twitter know that I am a high school music teacher. However, my ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD in music education and be a college professor–teaching young adults how to effectively teach music and advocate for its place in the core curriculum. I am a huge research nerd–my concentration for my masters degree was research in music education. I am passionate about what I do, and I have big dreams when it comes to my professional life.
1: take the GRE at least twice. | in preparation for applying for PhD programs in fall 2013.
2: submit an article version of my masters thesis to a professional journal. | I started this process in the fall of this year, but I took a hiatus after I got frustrated trying to reduce 140 pages to 20. I think I’m ready to give it another shot soon.
3: design & begin a research study. | I love research, and I want to keep my research skills sharp as I get ready to pursue a PhD. I already have a relatively easy study in mind, so now I just need to create the design and a timeline!
4: apply to at least two PhD programs. | my dream & my heart are at UC Boulder, but I want to apply to other places as well and see where it takes me.
It seems long, but most of these things are goals I am either currently pursuing, or ones that I had ‘scheduled’ for 2013 anyway! I’m looking to 2013 with bright eyes and an idea of who I’d like to be on the other side.
What are your main goals for 2013?
Do you make resolutions every year, or is this year different?
Do you remember last year’s resolutions? Did you achieve them?