Last night we rung in the New Year at a local bar where we could walk ourselves home and not have to deal with the crazies on the road. It was a fun way to start off 2013!
However, this time of year is my least favorite - the holidays are done, and it feels like that exciting trip you've planned for is over and all you have left is a stuffed bear from the airport gift shop. I love the fall and I love the Christmas holiday, and so this slow build that's been happening since September comes to a very abrupt halt as the new year begins.
Then you have the cold. In many places, you're facing 2-3 months of cold, crappy weather, with little on the horizon to look forward to until the spring thaw. No big holidays, no days off from work unless you choose to take them, and not much to celebrate or get excited about.
There's just something so fresh about a new year beginning. I always start the year with big plans - how I want to change, how I will be a better me this next year, what I want to accomplish. This year is no different, save the fact that now I have a blog and now I can jot them down to refer back to as the year passes.
There's so much promise in each January 1, and this year, I'd like to really make an effort in a number of different areas. No, not resolutions - to me, resolutions never seem to stick, and it's almost like we're not expected to follow through. So no resolutions. Instead, this year, I'm going to make a few very concrete, objective goals.
Control my spending. I don't really know how else to phrase this, but what I'm trying for here is to be more deliberate about where my money goes. I think sometimes I love the thrill of a great deal, or I obsess over something I don't really need until I go out and get it. I need to be more mindful of spending money only on things I truly love. I'd also like to make more full price, quality purchases instead of a whole bunch of cheaper and lower quality items. This will happen with the institution of a very specific budget, and I am going to set a goal to mark off one "shopping weekend" each month, where I can spend said budget. One of my biggest issues is that I will make 1 or more shopping runs a week. I think I will get more satisfaction out of fewer shopping runs, with hopefully better returns.
Work on self improvement and good habits in small, distinct, and measurable chunks. Another one that's difficult to explain in a short, concise sentence. I love self improvement and the associated books, magazine articles, etc. But I tend to collect them and hang on to them and do nothing about them. So, this year, I would like to focus on a task/week, or a theme/month, in the self improvement realm. I have files on my computer of little self improvement habits that I'd like to try and implement. I have books. To start, I received Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home for Christmas and I'm going to use that as a jump off point to change some habits in the new year.
Make a conscious effort to manage my daily chores. I have a daily chores list that only gets done some of the time. I use an app to keep track of what needs to be done, but when you miss a day or 5, the list just piles them all up. It's daunting to look at and it makes me not want to do any of them. Then the housework falls behind, and before I know it, our home is a mess. I want to make sure that on days where I'm super busy after work and don't have time for all my chores, that I'm crossing off the ones that aren't as important, and I'm making time for/purposefully moving to the next day the chores that are really important to get done.
Purge clutter. I am a packrat. A terrible packrat. I want to take a specific room/closet/area each month and focus on getting rid of anything that I don't love or that doesn't hold a good bit of sentimental value. This kind of goes hand in hand with the above.
Work on being in the moment. I haven't quite figured out how to do this yet but I'm going to try. I spend too much time looking back or looking ahead and not enough time enjoying the present.
Do more things I love in place of things I "have to" do. I sometimes find that I feel guilty when I sit down a read a book because there are a million other things I "have to" be doing - folding that pile of laundry, clean up that mess on my desk, dusting the bedrooms. In 2013, I am going to make it a goal to spend at least one half hour a day doing something I really want to do - read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, have a coffee at Starbucks, play a game on my computer - without feeling guilty about it. If I'm better about some of the things listed above, this should fall right into place.
Over the next week I'm going to form some more solid ideas but I wanted to get my thoughts down first! I'll be sure to share with you my more defined goals in the coming weeks.