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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A new year and new resolutions -- 12 Things Edition

Ah yes. It's a fresh year. It feels good, this clean slate. For several months now, I've been processing changes. For me, it takes a great deal of time to process any kind of change because, for so many years, I simply didn't like change and would avoid it at any cost. Now, I kind of dig change, but I'm a stubborn so and so, and won't readily admit when habits of mine need to go away.

Usually the pattern goes like this (it's almost always in conversation form)

Me: Yeah, it's really rather selfish of me to keep buying so many books. I haven't finished the last 20 I bought.
Brain: But you work hard and take care of your family. You deserve a treat.
Me: Do I need a treat every single week?! Amazon hasn't charged me my annual prime fee, I spend so much on there!
Brain: See! You're saving money!
Me: No I'm not!
Brain: No, really. You are. Jeff Bezos might send you a Christmas card.
Me: Really? You think so?
Brain: You're one of his best customers. I'm sure he will.
Me: That would be SO COOL. (clicks "add to cart")
Brain: (look of smug satisfaction)

Lather, rinse, repeat until I start leaving my debit card at home and change my Paypal password to something I can't remember. Ever.

So, for all of cyberspace, I am putting my resolutions out there. I expect you to hold me accountable, Interwebs -- all five of you who might read my blog.

1) Cliched as it is: to lose weight. I have set a goal of four pounds a month for a year. That's 48 pounds that I want to lose by this time next year. 12 pounds off what I really need to lose in order to be at my weight when I got pregnant with the monkey. Which was still a good 20 pounds off from what I need to weigh and be at the appropriate weight for my height.

And those numbers might be off, truth be told. I haven't gotten on a scale in two months because eating holidays and all that. But I'm going to start with 48 pounds.

2) In consideration of goal number 1, to cut out all the excess sugar in my diet. I will make exceptions for coffee and tea, but this means no soda, redbull (ACK! Kill me now!), candy, or other sweets.

3) In consideration of goals number 1 and 2: to cut out all the carb snacking that happens in my life. This means no trips to the snack baskets at work and to bring in healthy snacks for myself. Since I don't usually eat lunch at work, I must also endeavor to bring in healthy options to eat for lunch.

4) In consideration of goals 1-3: to exercise at least three times per week, gradually working up to five times per week. This one is going to be tough for me considering how much I hate mornings, so I know I won't wake up in time to actually go for a walk or do any yoga. And I don't get much down time before 10 at night. Right now, I don't have the excuse of the weather being too hot. It's perfectly lovely walking weather. I just need to f-bombing get my lazy tush out of the house.

5) Once a week, preferably twice, I will not make dinner and I will tell everyone -- even the Lady Gray -- that they have to fend for themselves so I can disappear into the studio and be creative. It doesn't matter what I create, so long as I create.

6) Not to overcommit: time, money, energy, resources. NO will be my key word of the year.

7) To actively work toward my goal of having a creative business. This means that that #5 and #6 need to happen. It also means I need to follow through on some of those classes I signed up for, work on my web sites, work on products and work on a business plan. It also means that I need to be more organized, thoughtful and productive.

8) To listen more attentively and to give my attention. The electronic devices will get put away and I will focus.

9) To save money each month. This means I'll have to forgo my Christmas card from Mr. Bezos, I suppose, but it'll be worth it in the long run. It also means that I'll have to plan meals for the week and only shop for the meals, rather than whatever strikes my fancy at any given time; look for specials and deals and learn to tell myself no. Instant gratification only lasts for an instant anyway.

10) To really quit smoking. Good lord does this need to happen. No more cheating just at work. No more using stress as an excuse to buy a pack of cigarettes. I have an e-cig, I need to use it.

11) To find opportunities for volunteerism and to give back to the world.

12) To spend more time with my family -- this includes my family up north, my family here and Jeff's family. I need to make an effort to see them and spend time with them. There's precious little time that each of us is allotted on this sphere, so I need to make the most of it with the people that I love.

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Because I've run out of "things", here are some other goals: to get ready every Sunday for the week ahead at work. To get to bed at a reasonable time so I wake up refreshed. To use what little time I have available each day to work toward achieving my goals. To remember that, in order to be able to give to my family, I need to, first, give to myself. To remember that I am worth love -- my own especially -- and to make the effort to love myself a bit more (this does not mean go shopping every week. It means that I need to honor each phase that I'm in, dwell in my heart a little bit more, and take time out for me). I also need to remember that I cannot and should not control the people in my life or their behavior. I need to love and respect my loved ones for who they are right now, not who I think they should be.

It's going to be tough to make all of this happen. There will be a fair amount of pity partying happening, methinks. Theoretically, I shouldn't try to do all of this at once since so much change might seem daunting and I'll just quit. But you know what? I use that as a damn crutch. And, like my dentist said (as she was filling my very first cavities), "go big or go home, huh?" Damn straight, Doc. Damn straight.

Wish me luck!