I typically don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. But in thinking about where I’d like to be in my life at the end of 2017, it struck me that I need to get back to basics in a few areas of my life. And to better do that, New Year’s Resolutions seemed like a good idea. Studies show that written resolutions with actionable steps and accountability are the best way to achieve goals. So, since I’m a blogger, I thought I’d write my resolutions and any necessary action steps here on the blog, so that my dear readers can help keep me accountable if you wish. Each month, I’ll review my goals, so that I can figure out what is working, what is not, and what I need to change.
Goal #1: Publish at least one blog post per week on Luggage and Literature.
My posting schedule has been unpredictable in my 2+ years of blogging. Sometimes I post a couple of times per week, and other times I go weeks between posts. I’d like to make this more regular so that my readers can expect content more regularly. Correspondingly, I’m hoping for an increase in my readership in the next year. So if you wouldn’t mind, I’d love if you’d share my website with anyone that you think might appreciate its contents. And I’ll do my best to make my posts relevant and regular.
Goal #2: Complete the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenges.
I wrote a previous post outlining my 2017 reading plans (you can read about it here). In 2016 I participated in the PopSugar Reading Challenge, and appreciated the direction that it gave my reading. I’m hopeful that this year’s will do the same.
Goal #3: Play cello at least twice (preferably more) per month.
In the fall/winter months, I play in the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, so this goal is quite easy to meet between rehearsals and concerts. But in the summer months, I hate to admit that I hardly touch my cello. This means that I’m a bit rusty when I come back in the fall. I also suspect that lengthy amounts of time without playing has an effect on my thumb. You see, in 2015 I had surgery on both elbows and my left wrist to combat arm pain that I was experiencing all the time, but particularly when I’d play cello. Before those surgeries, I was told by my doctors not to play as it intensified my pain. But since the surgeries, I’ve still experienced intermittent pain, sort of like intense cramping in my right thumb (my bow hand). And I wonder if my thumb is just not back in shape, so to speak. So I’d like to play more regularly to help with it.
Goal #4: Pay down debt.
Mike and I are both lawyers. This means that we both have student loans. And we have a mortgage and vehicle payments. Debt makes me anxious. We were previously much more diligent in our efforts to pay down debt than I feel like we were in 2016. I’d like to get back on track with that so that we don’t live our entire lives in debt.
- Prepare lunches on the weekend.
- Pack lunch or eat at home every weekday for lunch, unless meeting colleagues
- Eat dinner at home five nights per week
- Prepare/freeze dessert items (I have a major sweet tooth, and if we don’t have dessert items in the house at all, I’m much more likely to go get ice cream or run to the store and purchase snack items)
- Curb spending on books by utilizing the library
- Curb spending on clothing and accessories, especially by utilizing Pinterest for remixing my existing wardrobe
- Use up back stock of MaryKay and hair products before purchasing more
- Clean out refrigerator/freezers/pantry and use up existing food rather than just purchasing more
- Curb unnecessary trips to Kearney (this is about half an hour from our town, so the gas can get pricey when we run there for no reason other than we’re bored/want to go shopping/etc.)
- Take on additional cases and work more hours to increase income
Goal #5: Be healthier.
I don’t want a ‘lose X number of pounds by a certain date’ or an unrealistic ‘exercise everyday’ type of goal. Instead, I want to make realistic changes in my life so that I’m healthier. I want to feel comfortable rather than cramped when flying. I want my frequent headaches and neck pain to go away. I want all of the clothing in my closet to fit better. I want to feel comfortable in a swimming suit or a wetsuit for the first time in my life. I just want to feel better and more energized in my day-to-day life.
- Drink no more than 3 pops per day, preferably no more than 2 (but I’m realistic about my job)
- Drink at least 8 cups of water per day
- Eat/drink at least 2 servings of dairy per day (when I did Weight Watchers, the studies showed that this contributed to weight loss, plus I know that it makes for healthier bones and teeth)
- Eat at least one fruit or vegetable per day, preferably more
- Drink 1 cup of water before each meal
- Take my water bottle with me during the day
- Pack lunches or eat lunch at home during the week
- Eat dinner at home five nights per week
- Do 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups 3 times per week (in law school, I had a professor who expected all students to do 10 push-ups at the start of each of his classes, and was surprised how doing this 3 times per week actually made me feel stronger by the end of the semester)
- Exercise (walk/swim/yoga/YMCA class) 3 times per week
- Walk at least 6,000 steps per day, preferably more
- Sleep 8 hours per night
- Continue taking a daily multivitamin
- Track food daily in My Fitness Pal
- Continue utilizing my Fit Bit to monitor activity, steps, food, sleep
Goal #6: Take one trip or visit one local area attraction per month.
I get stir crazy if I stay home for too long. To combat that, I think that this goal will help. Although monthly travels to exotic locations aren’t realistic in my stage of life and with my career, a monthly trip somewhere is realistic. So it can be international, domestic, or just a local area attraction, just some reason to leave my house and my town. Plus there are several museums in my area that I’ve been meaning to visit, but just haven’t gotten around to. So I’m actually really looking forward to this goal.
- January: The Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), and The Great Platte River Road Archway, Kearney, NE (I’ve wanted to visit the archway since we moved to the area, but haven’t gotten around to it yet…probably because Mike is absolutely not excited about visiting it)
- February: Roatan!
- March: Scuba diving at Bonne Terre again, perhaps
- April: Black Hills for Easter with family, I hope
- May: ??
- June: Stuhr Museum, Grand Island, NE
- July: Michigan again and Canada, perhaps
- August: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21 right in my area
- September: Pioneer Village, Minden, NE
- October: ??
- November: Florida perhaps (Mike wants to get his full cave diving certification, and I’d like to go back to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal)
- December: ??
- I also need to plan a get together with my dear friend Tara. She and I have talked about several different options, but need to nail down the date and location of our visit.
- In 2016, I also had a super fun girls weekend with some of my closest friends from college. We talked about making it an annual occurrence, so I need to check in with those gals as well, then nail down the date and location of girls weekend 2017!