I am not sure about ya’all, but 2016 is going to be awesome! I just have to believe that. I would like to wish all of you a fantastic and safe new year, and time spent with friends and loved ones.
I’m not a big resolution person, but I firmly believe the end of one year and beginning of another is as good a time as any to focus on some new goals for the upcoming year and see how those goals can be achieved throughout the year. After all, the tortoise wins the race, right? So I refuse to set myself up for failure with a “resolution” (I’ll exercise everyday, drink 187 cups of water, and eat healthy all year long!) Riiiiight. So, we’re focusing on small changes bound to make an impact. Some of these have to do with health, but others are just general things I’d like to do better too, and nothing so wrong with that, right? Of course, some of these goals are also based off of looking back at 2015 and deciding what I wish I’d done more of, or done differently, and making a focus towards those things now. Here we go:
- To Feed My Mind: Read One Book a Month
I have fallen off of this bandwagon in recent years. Believe me when I say that I LOVE to read. Always have and probably always will. But being in college for the past five years sort of turned me off of it. I have not been doing as much reading for pleasure, as I did enough reading for school to tire me of it. I have read only a few novels these past years, and to ease back into it, I think setting a goal of reading one book a month is a good start. Some I might read faster, but the 480 page hardcover of Dan Brown’s Inferno might take me a little longer than the non-fiction personal finance book I would like to read. If I get done sooner and am ready to jump into another book, great, but I’m hoping to be clearing at least one book every 30 days.
2. To Feed My Semi-OCD: Be More Digitally Organized
2015 was not a good year for this for me. I got a new computer in the fall, and lost a lot of my digital music during the process of transferring things to the new computer. It’s been such a chore to switch the files, back them up, rename them, re-download what didn’t transfer successfully, download cover artwork, etc. — that I simply do not wish to spend my free time doing that again this year. I’ve now got a better system in place for organizing my music in order to avoid that in the future.
During said computer move, I also realized that I had a bad system for organizing digital photos, that system being that they were all over the place! Between my Photo Stream for iOS and the iCloud (did not have great luck with either of those) and third party services such as Dropbox, I had pictures everywhere. My Dropbox account was full, and either I would need to pay for more storage (something that a friend of mine does and is happy with their service) or consolidate all photos to another service with more space. Google Photos won the race, and I began migrating all photos there, neatly organized by year, event, etc. Due to their new and improved Photos service, I supposedly have unlimited storage space for photos and they can backup from my phone or iPad, and there’s a neat little “assistant” feature embedded in the program that will take photos and create, for instance, collages out of them. Pretty neat stuff.
3. To Feed My Body: Attempt an Auto-Immune Diet
Something I haven’t revealed on my blog as of yet, is that I was recently diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. My doctor, who (finally!) uncovered what the heck has been going on with me for many years, has tasked me with trying a cleansing, auto-immune, elimination eating protocol. When she mentioned “cleansing” I immediately said no, that I wasn’t willing to live on some carrot juice and no food. She chuckled and let me know that’s not what this eating plan is at all. Essentially it’s weaning down foods that tend to cause an autoimmune reaction in people, such as dairy and grains, and then eating super clean for a period of 1-2 months in order to reset the body, and then gradually begin adding certain foods back in. I’m researching and planning now and will begin the cleansing diet in January. This will be a process that will last several months (by the time I begin adding foods back in) and it is going to take a lot of willpower, but I am willing to try this and to try to stick to it.
4: To Feed My Comfort Zone: Take a Class in Something I Don’t Know
Yoga. Kickboxing. A pastry class. Who knows! I am up in the air about this one still. But I want to take a class to learn something new, hopefully find a new hobby, meet new people, and have fun in the process.
5: To Feed My Home Improvement Bug: Wrap Up Some Half-Started Home Projects.
Kitchen backsplash. Mostly painted but not quite finished dining room. Coat closet that’s become a catch-all for random things and needs some organization implemented. These are the things I’d love to wrap up this year.
6: To Feed My Financial Future: Payoff My Car
With the Dave Ramsey FPU course in the books, we’re actively plowing (get it, plowing?) our way through our debt snowball. The next debt on the list is knocking out the car loan on my Subaru Outback. Calculations are showing me that we’ll complete this sometime during the summer depending on how aggressive we are with our over-payments. But I’m also a realist, if nothing else, and know that life throws curve balls, so I’m not sweating it if June or July roll around and we still have a few months to go on the payoff. But, what a nice accomplishment it will be to have paid off the five year car loan in a time-span of around two years of ownership, and at that point we’ll have no car payments whatsoever. Sounds awesome.
7. To Feed My Son’s Love of Learning: Read to Him More
We read books with our son often, but I’d really like to get into the habit of an every night, story-time ritual. Usually we’re wrapping up dinner, and rushing towards the bath and bed routine that it is sometimes past his normal bedtime and so we don’t get a story in. And my mommy guilt level is super high when he brings me a story before crawling into bed and says “Read it mommy? Please?” So I would really love to try reading with him on more of a daily basis going forward. Thank goodness Santa is bringing him some new books this year! Those on the list include:
8. To Feed My Marriage (Literally): Schedule More Date Nights With My Husband
We don’t do this enough. The past few years have been just a little bit busy for us, what with our full time jobs, schooling, and raising our son, but it’s important to keep our marriage fun and spend time with each other as well. These dates don’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but it will probably center around some meal, as most dates do. I’m looking forward to planning some special things to do with him this coming year.