Whew. I'm not normally huge on the whole "New year, new me" hoopla, and I don't usually set specific resolutions, but this new year really feels like a breath of fresh air. This past year spun a little out of control and I got a little off-base, so I'm looking forward to reset and refresh a bit. I feel like I'm in a really great place for 2014 to be the best year yet (I said before that every year gets better and better, and I stand by that), and so I've set some goals (RESOULTIONS, if you will) for myself to stay on track. I kinda started off with broad, general goals, and then set smaller, more specific plans on how to get there. Here's what I'm looking to do this year:
Get back on track with a healthy lifestyle.I don't diet. I used to when I was younger, and then I got smarter and wiser and realized that diets are stupid and don't work for the long-term, and are also generally pretty unhealthy. So I usually just try to be generally healthy about the way I eat and stay as natural as possible, and if I want to eat something greasy and fatty and delicious REALLY BAD, then I eat it. In moderation, if possible (sometimes you just have to eat a whole pizza. It happens.) About halfway through the year, I got busy and stopped really paying attention to what I was eating and how I was eating, and I pretty much completely stopped working out. And now I feel like crap (physically). Time to get back to it. Here's what I'm gonna do:
1. Work out every day before work (at least four days a week).I now have a gym AT work, which gives me exactly ZERO excuses not to get there. And for at least the first few months of the year, I'll be working from 12 pm - 9 pm, so before work seems like the best plan. I've found over the past year that I'm actually kind of a morning person (believe me, I was just as shocked as you are at this realization). Getting my butt out of bed is difficult at times, but once I'm out, morning is my favorite time of the day. So I want to start an actual routine, so that it becomes like clockwork. This may have to be adjusted according to my schedule (I'm trying to get rid of the late shit as quickly as possible), and I'm giving myself one day a workweek wiggle room just to set myself up for success.
2. Eat (pretty much) only stuff that I feel good about eating.I thought about this, and at first I was going to try to be a lot more specific, but if I pay attention to what I'm doing, I'm usually pretty good about this one without having to give myself actual rules (which makes it a lot easier to stick to). My only specific rule is no commercial soda (meaning I can still drink natural, carbonated beverages like club soda with a splash of fruit juice) and no fast food if AT ALL avoidable, both of which I've already basically eliminated from my diet (though I started slipping a bit with the soda rule over the holidays). So this means that I try to keep my diet about 80% natural, I try to stick to healthy fats (though I need to work on moderating my healthy fat intake, meaning not eating avocado on literally EVERYTHING and eggs by the pound), and I try to limit my red meat consumption to a few times a month and my meat consumption in general to a couple times a week. This should be a lot easier no longer working at a steakhouse, and no longer BAKING FOR A LIVING. I was seriously worried that I was going to give myself diabetes when I was having to constantly taste batters and doughs.
3. Try to be more active, in general.I felt I had to add this one because I'm going from being on my feet 70% of the day every day to sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day, every day. When I was serving, I felt justified to spend all of my leisure time vegging on the couch watching tv or sitting in a bar. Now that I'm a lot less active in general, I'm going to try doing more active stuff just for fun (and I'm going to try to convince Jeff to join me, which will be a feat in and of itself). I want to start trying new stuff, exploring more, and being outside more. I'm not going to bother pushing myself to get outside more when it's cold because I just don't have the capacity for it and it's not gonna happen, but at least when it starts warming up I'd like to get out more. I'd really like to buy a couple bikes and start riding around.
Figure out what my idea of "fun" actually means.Okay, this one's pretty vague. I say this because my life has changed so drastically in the past year, that I still think that I need to be doing the same things I used to do to have fun, and I don't even realize it when I'm enjoying myself a lot of the time. I don't have the time, energy, or honestly the money to "go out" the way I used to, and if I really think about it, I don't WANT to. I was actually really bored with it, and was probably well on my way to getting into some kind of trouble (or at least people thinking I was a fool). That certainly doesn't mean that I'm going to stop drinking altogether, or that I'm never going to go to a bar again, but I need to stop thinking that I'm missing out when nothing that exciting is really happening.
1. Spend more time with people I really and truly enjoy, and stop trying so hard to make friends with everyone I meet.I don't want this to sound like people that I'm acquaintances with suck, or that I don't appreciate them. All I mean by this is that I've met so many people over the past 10 years that it's dizzying. Between all of the moving I've done and all of the various jobs I've had, I've come across way more "new" people than probably most people my age have, so I've gotten into this mode where I'm just constantly trying to make new friends with EVERYONE, because I'm used to it being necessary. I'm not AGAINST making new friends if I click with someone or if I have a lot in common with them, but I seem to collect groups of people that I have literally nothing in common with and have nothing to really talk about, and then I feel bad about neglecting them when I don't have time to hang out with everyone I know. I have a solid number of people that I truly enjoy spending time with, and I want to dedicate more time to them and developing (or re-developing) solid friendships and less to hanging out with people I don't really even know, or that are half my age and make me feel old and lame. Which leads to...
2. Stop feeling so guilty.Going from young-adulthood, where your friends are EVERYTHING in life, to full-blown adulthood, where your family becomes your main focus, is hard, and I'm having growing pains. It's hard to get over the idea of your group of friends being your entire support network and knowing where you are and what you're doing and what you're thinking every minute. In fact, just writing that with the assumption that it's no longer true is making me feel guilty. I have that thing that a lot of women have where I feel like I have to be everything to everyone in my life, and I get spread so thin that I'm never really there with anyone. I need to get used to the fact that I'm just going to spend less time with friends, and start really taking advantage of the time that I DO get to spend with them. And when I'm not with them, I need to stop feeling like I'm abandoning them and feeling guilty for not being there for everything that happens. If something big happens, good or bad, I'll be there. That's what matters. And on the same note, I need to get used to my FRIENDS having families that are now THEIR main focus, and to not feel abandoned by them, or left out. I have to find a balance, and feel okay with it.
3. Create more.Now that I'm pretty much set on the career front and don't have to constantly rack my brain trying to figure out what I want to DO with my life, I have a lot more time and energy to actually be creative. I've gotten really into design over the past year, and I want to make my home beautiful and personal. This could mean painting, or DIY projects, or home improvement projects. I also (as I mentioned) want to get back into blogging consistently, so I'm going to try for at least 3 times a week. And of course, I'm excited to get back into baking for fun.
Get back to making our house our home.This one is the most self-explanatory, and was the most easy to set specific goals for. We got busy and complacent and completely stopped working on our house, and it still needs a LOT of work. Honestly, this place already feels like home to me (and I think to Jeff and Grooby as well), but I want to get the ideas I have to make this place my dream house into action. Here's what I want to have done by the end of the year (while trying to be realistic in a skills and budgetary sense):
1. Put stuff on the damn walls.I have developed a phobia of hanging pictures. This is ridiculous. I think it dates back to technology class (what my middle school called "shop class") with Mr. Chitester (sp?). That guy terrified me, and the first thing he taught us was to properly measure. Somehow the terror that he instilled in me made me permanently afraid of measuring ANYTHING, and now that has projected onto being afraid of hanging pictures in the wrong place, and them not being straight, or evenly measured, and it looking like an unprofessional mess. This has lead to my walls being literally BARE. There is no art, or family pictures, or mirrors, or ANYTHING hung ANYWHERE. Anything that's on the walls was either already here, or hastily thrown up by Jeff when we moved in just to put it somewhere. I really noticed how detrimental this was to our home's overall feel during the holidays, when we were actually using our dining room. It's pretty much just a bare room with a table in the middle of it, and in pictures it looks TERRIBLE. It looks like we just moved in. We've been here for six months. I need to get over it, because mama loves her a gallery wall.
2. Get going on the office and guest room.
Other than taking that pile of junk out of the guest room (the pink room) and a mess and Jeff's clothes in the office (the blue room), those two rooms pretty much still look exactly like these pictures I took back in July. It's getting really old not having a functioning guest room (we've actually entertained way more than I thought we would), and Jeff really wants to have his own space in the form of the office, so I'm itching to whip these rooms into shape. I have specific goals for each room for this year, because both rooms need a bit more work than we can probably get done or budget for this year alone. As for the office, that carpet is probably going to stay for another year, because I think we're just going to re-do the whole upstairs floor all at once. So I want to get the carpet in the deep-cleaned, and then I want to get the room painted and at least get a desk in there. And obviously the window treatments (and closet "doors") need switched out. And as for the guest room, I'd like to get a large area rug in there to cover up the white painted floor, and get a bed and nightstands in there with fresh linens. I'm really excited to decorate in there, but I'm not really sure what I'm going to do yet. I'd like to have it painted and get those awful curtains out of there by spring. I think from there on out it will be pretty much smooth sailing.
3. The kitchen.
Oh, man. It makes me nervous writing this one down, but I feel like it gives me a little more of a push to actually get it done. I'm apprehensive about the kitchen. It'll be our first big undertaking as far as home improvement goes. But, I'm gonna say it. By the end of the year, I want to change the backsplash, which means I also want to have all of the walls painted. I'm not going to commit to ripping out the plaster by the end of the year just yet, but we'll see. And while we're doing the backsplash and the walls, I also want to take out the cabinet over the island and install open shelves. Being sandwiched next to the fridge and set directly over our island makes this cabinet almost impossible to access, and I love the look of open shelves to display dishes. I recently bought a set of simple white dishes, so I feel like I can actually display them out in the open now, which would really help my "my dishes are currently stored right in the middle of where all my food is, which doesn't make any sense" dilemma. And I'd really like to have my ever growing mug collection out in the open. I have no idea how any of this is going to go, but I'm jazzed about it, at least in theory.
4. Lighting.There is exactly one lighting fixture in this house that I don't hate, and it's in our upstairs bathroom. All of the other ones got to GO. And the foyer and living room are both SCREAMING for lighting fixtures, because neither of them have one at all, in general. At the moment, my goal is to get a new pendant in the dining room by the holidays next year (probably sooner, because the one that's there now drives me bonkers), install a pendant in the foyer (however the hell you do that), get rid of the pastel ceiling fan in the guest room, and put in new lanterns outside. There's something wrong with the electrical outlets out there, so we'll have to figure that out, too. I want that figured out before summer (and certainly before next Christmas, because our neighbors put up Christmas lights this year and we couldn't, and our side of the house looked sad and forlorn).
There is a LOT of other stuff I want to get done to this place, but a lot of it is little stuff, and I want to try to be realistic about the big stuff. So I'm gonna stick with this, and consider anything else that gets done a bonus.
Take more pictures.I don't really know if this fit in somewhere else, but I just remembered it and I feel very strongly about it. I LOVE having pictures, and I usually don't remember to take any until the last minute (or the last hour of a party, when all of the pictures that get taken are blurry and off-center and taken with my iPhone). I keep forgetting to ask for a good camera for Christmas, so it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy one for myself. I want a grownup camera, not just a point-and-shoot digital crap camera, that takes beautiful pictures and actually captures moments. And I want to learn to use it. And then I want to ACTUALLY use it. And then I need to remember to actually have pictures printed. Now that we have a house to display pictures in, it'd be nice to actually have pictures to display.
So, those are my goals, both broad and specific, for the next year. I'm really excited to be able to gather myself and take a breath this year. It's nice to have a lot of my more major goals covered so that I can work on the little stuff and not have to stress out about huge milestones. I hope you guys enjoyed your holidays, and are as pumped for 2014 as I am. Cheers.