It's that time again...I actually love making New Year's Resolutions! The start of a new year is a magical time for me, filled with goals and possibilities. I'm a list person. I really enjoy coming up with challenges and marking them off of my list.
I know that I won't complete all of my resolutions and it's okay. I'm not someone who easily gets discouraged by failure, I just focus on what I did accomplish and either revise or try again in those areas where I fell short.
Let's see how I did with last year's resolutions.
Health- I was able to eliminate soda for the entire year and I'm going to continue this moving forward. I didn't go to the gym, so I made good on canceling my membership, making the resolution shift focus from fitness to financial. I was trying to cut down on red meat, which I think that I failed, because I didn't bother to track it.
Travel - I met and exceeded my travel goals. I went to Europe twice (England, Scotland Wales) and my new state visited in 2013 was Oregon. We went on a weekend trip to Portland over my birthday.
Writing/Reading - My goal was to work on turning my short story idea into a novel. I did not do that at all, but I have started the process to make this happen in 2014. I also resolved to write one blog post a day. Life got in the way, especially with family health issues and all of my traveling. The goal was probably too ambitious. I ended up blogging on about 3/4 of the days, which isn't shabby! I set a Goodreads goal to read fifty books and ended up with fifty-five.
Financial - I resolved to think before buying, which I feel I was fairly successful. I splurged a lot less in 2013, including during my travels. I didn't make an actual budget plan, which is still a goal.
Organization - In many ways a success. I went through all of the boxes in the garage and sorted the stuff. I organized our kitchen shelves and did a lot in our closets. This is still an on-going project, but I feel good about eliminating a lot of the clutter in our lives. I also did not purchase a single physical book in 2013 and I worked hard to read the ones that I already owned. I gave them away when I finished reading them. This was a big win both with regards to organization and clutter. I will continue to attack my TBR bookshelf in 2014. I did not scan any of my photos, but now that I have inherited ALL of my family photos (thousands), it is a project that simply cannot wait and will take priority in the new year.
Volunteer - I did not start volunteering for 826LA. I may do so this coming year, but I think that I will need to attend the orientation again, as it has been so long. We did spend a day volunteering through Dan's working. We painted and repaired stuff at a ranch for people with cerebral palsy. It felt good and it gave us motivation to spend more time volunteering.
Misc - I had made a goal about being more prompt in returning calls/emails. I think that I was semi-successful, but this is still something that I need to work harder towards.
Moving forward (the fun part), here are my resolutions for 2014.
1. Complete four writing courses (one each quarter) through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program. I've already signed up for my first class and my books have been ordered. I'm so excited and this is where I'm making steps towards completing my writing goals.
2. Blog a minimum of five days a week and focus on building a readership. This has been happening fast, especially in the last few months of the year. I'm still amazing and humbled by how much this blog has taken off. It's brought me a lot of joy.
3. I'm going to keep my book goal low, with fifty again, but I'm going to add the additional challenge of reading twelve classics. I tend to only read modern books and although I'm fairly well-read with the classics, there are many I've never read.
4. Inspired by Modern Family's Phil Dunphy, Dan and I have decided to walk to Canada. It's approximately 1278 miles from Glendale to Vancouver and we are setting a fitness goal to walk the mileage over the course of the year.
5. Sign up for a Pilates or Yoga class.
6. Eat five fruits and veggies a day. I think this is better than eliminating a food and when I've done this in the past, I didn't really need to "diet". The fruits and veggies fill me up in a good way. Track it to make sure that I'm doing this every day.
7. Begin scanning family photos. This will be started in early 2014, no more excuses. This project is enormous and takes priority.
8. Organize paperwork in our new filing cabinet. Keep on top of the paperwork!
9. Learn basic Swedish. I'm not great at learning new languages, but my new step-kids are Swedish and even though they speak English, it would be really nice to know some of their native language. Right now, my Swedish is limited to the word poop, which is the height of hilarity to little kids and was often repeated on our recent vacation with them. I'd like to know more than "poop".
10. Travel to a new state. I'd really like to go somewhere in the South like Louisiana or Tennessee or maybe up North to Alaska. I'd love to visit a National Park, maybe Yosemite or The Grand Canyon. We are also thinking of going to Sweden in the summer, which would be fantastic!
11. Start volunteering. It may or may not be 826LA. I'm thinking of maybe finding something that Dan and I can do together.
12. Be a better friend. The last few years I've been so busy with my aunt and uncle, that I've turned down invitations and have become quite a hermit. The biggest lesson that I've learned with my aunt and uncle, is the importance of friendships. They had so many wonderful friends that loved them and that helped out through calls, cards and physically being there. I'm lucky to have an amazing group of close friends and this year, I want to take the time to really be a better friend and more present in their lives.
I'm looking forward to starting 2014!