Happy New Year! No, I’m not going to use the “R” word for this post. Even with discussions amongst friends last night to ring in the New Year, we avoided articulating our “resolutions” for 2014 and instead focused on what initiatives and visions we wanted to see in ourselves moving forward. There seemed to be a more general focus on processes rather than outcomes, which I definitely adhere to in my own list below. I had created a list last year for 2013 on some old school paper (with an INK pen!) Alas, during the move this summer, that list disappeared in transition. I do recall a few items: run two half-marathons (check!); do not purchase any Ziplock bags (check check!); visit two new states (half-check: I made it to Indiana in 2013); visit the Farmer’s Market monthly (not even close); host a monthly dinner event (ambitious and unachieved); see all the movies nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture in 2012 (I think I saw two).
The outlook for 2014 (and sticking with my thematic numerical associations, there are 14 goals and visions thus far) has some similar elements but some departures, again reflecting back to the idea of improving life processes (i.e. PUTTING DOWN MY MOBILE PHONE!) Without further ado…
1) Visit a new state and/or country (This makes the cut again to further my passion for exploration and travel. My sights are set on adding North Dakota to my “visited” list this June).
2) Add practicing yoga back into my life. I departed from this greatly, and I miss it. While I could blame the fact that my favorite YMCA yoga instructor left teaching the 6am class, I would only be making an excuse. I’m good at that.
3) Read, on average, one book a month. As a lifelong voracious reader, I find cracking open the spine of a new book one of the most pleasurable activities imaginable. Instead of spending time with electronics in the evenings, I want to spend more time under soft reading lights and letting my imagination soar.
4) Take a one-time class, whether for cooking, crafting, etc. Learning is good. Learning with friends is better.
5) Take advantage of an evening adventure one night, Monday – Thursday. As someone who works from home, I have discovered that it is very easy to stay at home throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. This seems to conflict with my extreme extroversion, but it has become a habit. Granted, I know and recognize that some nights are meant to be enjoyed in pajamas. However, there are always dozens of incredible offerings in the community, from free lectures to movies to music, that I want to experience and further enrich my life. It takes some planning, some flexibility, and some willingness to compromise. I’m all in for 2014.
6) Plant an herb garden. I have been talking about this for years, and since Santa brought me my own kit, it’s going to happen!
7) Attend a festival in North Carolina. One of the items on my 2013 goals list was to attend a sweet potato or ramp festival. Since I was unable to fulfill that vision in 2013, it’s going back on the list for 2014. The sights are set on the Mount Olive Pickle Festival that takes place in April. Sweet. (Or, I should say, dill. Who likes sweet pickles?? Blargh.)
8) Hide the phone! Seriously. Hide the phone. I spend too much time on my phone, and it has become a bad habit. Instead of pulling out my phone on the couch, in the car, at restaurants, etc., I want to be present in the moment, even if it means sitting quietly and taking in my surroundings. There is nothing that urgent on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/email that I need to check. The world will go on, even if it means people won’t know what I’m drinking via Untappd until much, much later.
9) Be more responsive to personal emails. Speaking of technology, I have a tendency to read emails from family and friends and then….star them in my Gmail…and then…let them sit. For days. Sometimes even more than a week. While I do recognize that I experience email burnout from work, I also need to be respectful of those who took the time to email me and respond within 24 – 48 hours.
10) Continue to grow in my relationship with Aaron. This might seem like a silly vision or goal to have on a start of the year list, but what is more important than renewing one’s focus to the most important person in one’s life? This year offers some challenges for us: from building a new house, selling the townhome, moving into newly built house, and getting married. And those are just the big ticket items. The ebb and flow of relationships is constant, as we continue to learn about each other, our desires, our quirks, our needs, our fears, our hopes, and our goals. I feel that I’ve made great strides this year in growing as a partner, becoming more in-tune with Aaron and those items list above. Again, it’s a process, and I want to be mindful of that each and every day. Thus far, it has been one heck of a fun, loving process!
11) More foam rolling. I live by the foam roller, yet I have drifted away (similar to yoga) from using it daily. So…instead of spending the time waiting for the cats to finish eating by flipping through my Pinterest boards (which, arguably, is highly enjoyable), I want to be more proactive in using that time to roll out. Roll out.
12) More Farmer’s Market visits. Yes, it’s getting back on the list! I think of the challenges of me going to the market isn’t so much the time – it’s using cash. I never, ever carry cash. I need to figure out a system that works for me to acquire said cash and have it on hand for Saturday mornings. It will be so worth it, both in the quality of food and aligning to my desire to lead a more locally-sourced lifestyle.
13) See more live music. ‘Nuff said.
14) More dance parties. Probably also enough said, but this used to be one of my favorite activities to do in the living room: crank up some hot jams and rock out, whether solo or with AT. It has been far too long, and what a great way to end the day.
What are your goals for the new year? How will you hold yourself accountable?