Saturday, December 31, 2011

12 in 2012

I have always gone back and forth on New Years' resolutions. And I don't mean whether or not I keep them (that is also a problem, but one to be discussed on a different day), but rather whether one should make them at all, simply because many of them are cliche and thoughtless and never followed through with. One of my favorite songs EVA ("New Years Eve" by Five Iron Frenzy) actually describes my feelings perfectly on the subject: "It's New Years Eve and I'm full of empty promises I half pretend to keep this time, just like last year... A year goes by and I'm staring at my watch again, and I dig deep this time for something greater than I've ever been..." 

See? Just what I said. Only better. :-) So this year, I've decided, along with several others, it would seem, to simply make a "12 in 2012" list of goals to move toward and strive for. Not resolutions to be thrown aside once I realize I can't really do them, but goals and life changes to continue to push myself toward not only this year, but in future years as well. Ready? Here goes...

1) Cook more at home. I love eating out--I really do. It's so nice to not have to cook or do dishes. Mainly the doing dishes part, actually. But eating at home is so much cheaper, especially if it's planned in advance. I really want to be better about planning meals for the week around grocery sales and taking my meals to work so I don't have to purchase them there as well. I like to cook, so it's not a matter of not wanting to. I just need to make myself. 

2) Reach an ideal goal weight for me. This is what I say every year, but last year I actually did it! And then came Europe and lots of travel for work, then the holidays, and I gained most of it back. So depressing. But the older I get the more I learn that I don't care that much about my weight, but more about my overall health. So I'll change that to "eat healthier foods, drink water instead of snacking all day, make better choices to reduce my chances of diabetes and high cholesterol, and work out 4-5 times per week". There. Much better.

3) Read my Bible more consistently, which for me means daily instead of every few days or when I "have time"

4) Stick to our monthly budget (which shouldn't be hard given the wonderfulness that is

5) Shop less and instead create new outfits with what I have

6) Learn to live on less so we can give more

7) Read three books a month. Reading is one of my favorite things in life, so this shouldn't be difficult. I probably already do it anyway. But I need to expand my horizons beyond what I normally read to also include non-fiction, which isn't as "fun" but is much more informative.

8) Memorize a Bible verse per week. I mean, honestly. That is not that difficult. If I can memorize all the lyrics to "Gangsta's Paradise" (hellooooooo, 1995) in one day, then I can memorize a verse per week. I once heard a guest speaker say that we should at least know one verse for every year we had been alive. Anything less showed a lack of dedication to reading and understanding Scripture. That's probably true.

9) Try new things. I have a tendency to get stuck in a rut--with food I eat, restaurants I go to, and activities I participate in. I want to push myself to try new things and go places I wouldn't normally go. This especially goes for recipes at home.

10) Stick to our daily chore list. My life and my house are so much easier to manage when I spend 30 minutes each day cleaning and picking up instead of waiting until it's unmanageable to take care of it. I know that if I wait until "later" to do it, I won't, so I need to make a point of doing it as soon as I get home, before I even sit down.

11) Walk our dogs each day. This may seem like a silly goal, but both of our doggies are pretty active, and after we get home every day (being gone 12 hours including commute), I just don't feel like walking them for 30 minutes after cooking dinner. Lame excuse, I know. They deserve some physical exercise and it wouldn't hurt me, either.

12) Take more pictures and document more. This means blogging, as well. For a while, I just didn't do it. I'm not sure why, probably because it felt like my blog didn't really fit anywhere, because I just posted whatever I wanted. And I like a lot of things, so it was all over the place. But I've decided it's okay to post outfits, home decor, and pictures of my nieces and nephews all on the same place. Because it's my blog, and I can do what I want. :-) We recently got a new camera that I am really excited about, so hold me to this one especially! It will be a great way to document our lives and something I can look back on in later years.

So there you go! Those are my goals for 2012. I probably won't meet all of them, but it's a process. A process of making better decisions each day, preparing more for the future, and denying myself in order to help others more. What are your goals for 2012?