Why I Like New Years

Ah, December 31st.  The end of an old year, the beginning of a new.  The time we all make lists and look back at the things we’ve accomplished or failed to accomplish and vow to do better next year.

As silly as it is, I love making New Years resolutions.  I don’t think I’ve ever successfully kept one for an entire year, but I still enjoy making them just the same.  There’s just something about a new year and the fresh start it can represent, even if nothing has really changed except the calendar (which reminds me, I need to buy a new calendar).

Last year was all about huge changes.  I was going to blog every week day and I was going to get healthy and change my life.  I did better with those things than I have with any other goals I’ve made in past years, but both of them fell by the way side before the new school year began in August.  As frustrating as it has been to fail, it’s actually incredibly encouraging to think about how well I did and how good I felt while I was succeeding.

And so I embark on a new year with a new set of goals.  This year I have 10 things I want to accomplish.  It sounds like a lot, but a number of them are things I already do, I’m just putting a specific number goal with them.  Others are starting small, with the hope that they will grow and increase as the year progresses.  A couple are just random things that I want to try.  None of them really require a huge overhaul of my life, which is probably a good thing.

All of these goals are listed in the sidebar to the left of my blog, which I hope will keep me motivated (and help me remember what they are!).  I’ll also (hopefully) do monthly update post to let you (and myself) know how things are going.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2012:

1. Clear out my “To be read” shelf before rereading any books.

As of right now, I have 32 books on my shelf that I have purchased or been given and have not read. My goal is to either read or sell them (or both) before I reread something I have already read. The one exception to this is War and Peace, which I may attempt in the summer (but I don’t want to hold myself to that).

2. Read 50 books.

Over the past year I’ve been reading a lot of online content (articles, media criticism, etc.), but I’ve been slacking on reading actual books. For this goal, rereads count (assuming I finish #1), but abandoned books only count if I read at least 100 pages.

3. Pack at least one lunch a week.

We’re starting small here. I get free lunch in the cafeteria at school, but it’s not exactly the pinnacle of nutrition, so the goal is to start taking a salad or something along those lines. I’m starting with one, and we’ll see how that goes as the year progresses.

4. Cook at least one dinner a week.

Again, starting small. It’s really pathetic that I have gotten to the point where this has to be a goal, but the first step is acknowledging I have a problem, right? Hopefully I’ll increase this as the year goes on.

5. Track what I eat.

I say again, small steps this year. Rather than committing to huge changes, I just want to get back to actually paying attention.  I’ve continued paying for Weight Watchers Online (because apparently I’m an idiot who likes to waste money), so I’ll probably try using that to begin with.

6. Do something active 3 times a week.

Walking Lucy, riding my bike, something.  I have a gym membership through April, but it’ll take some effort to work up the courage to go back after being gone for so long (it’s a small gym, so quite a few people have probably noticed my absence).

7. Take a mini-vacation at least once each semester.

I need to actually take breaks from work. Summer and long breaks don’t count; long weekends do if I actually go somewhere fun.

8. Hang up my clothes or put them in the hamper.

I have a lovely red chair in my room that I can never actually see because it’s always covered in clothes.  Also, I end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out what’s clean and what’s dirty and usually end up doing more laundry than I probably need to.

9. Pay at least $2000 on the principal of my school loans.

Since some glitch has kept my loans in deferment even though I’m not in school, I’ve gotten pretty lax about paying them.  I still have quite a ways to go to pay them off completely, so I want to be more purposeful about paying them off this year.

10. Spend at least 1 hour on Saturday mornings writing.

I have a number of projects that have fallen by the way side over the past few months (this blog included). I’d like to see what I can accomplish if I make writing a priority.

Bonus: Apply to graduate school (and all the mini-goals that entails – GRE, research, etc.)

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3 Comments

  1. Dad

     /  December 31, 2011

    Solid, attainable goals. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Smellen

     /  January 4, 2012

    You can do it! I have faith in you – and march back in that gym with your head heald high, at least you’re there right? If anybody has nothing better to worry about than your absence they need a lifeeeeeee. Miss you friend.

    Reply
  3. Smellen

     /  January 4, 2012

    ahem…. *held

    Reply

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