I was asked yesterday what goals I had for the new year. What you need to understand, before I answer this question is that I am usually strongly against making resolutions, because I just figure that I'll break them anyway, and any changes I make in my life should be things I change because I want to change them, not because I promise myself that I need to. So my rote answer is that I resolve not to make any resolutions.
This year though, I'm going to change that. I need something to motivate me to actually make those changes that I have internally promised myself for the past few months. And so, with that in mind, I am going to list the things that I want to accomplish in 2011.
1) I want to lose 30-40 pounds. This one I actually want to achieve in the first 6 months of the year, but it also involves creating better eating habits for myself, and then maintaining that weight loss, so it is a full year promise. When I started the process to lose last time, I started a blog here: http://waistfulthoughts.blogspot.com/ I'll be attempting to keep up with that again, as well as staying here.
2) I want to better budget my money. I need to teach myself that buying things will not make me feel better about my job when I'm stressed. This actually might go hand in hand with the one above. I can substitute exercise for shopping. Some of this budgeted money needs to go into a savings account so that I can afford to go to Vegas for my friend's wedding. The rest of it needs to go into paying down debt.
3) I want to continue to read. A lot. The past two years I've had 3 months where I've had nothing but time, so that I've set a good reading pace. I won't have that in 2011, so I want to promise myself that I will still keep the pace. Perhaps I'll read on the weekend instead of automatically turning on the television and watching brainless shows. I don't know yet. But I know that I've currently got a pace of at least 30 books/year. (You can watch my progress as I keep track at my bookshelf on Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/limada/shelf )
4) I want to go through some of the "stuff" that I've collected through my various phases and sell some of it, and just get rid of other things. I have to much stuff, and watching Hoarders has made me realize that I do not need it all. Plus, I don't have enough storage for it all. So, out it goes. I'm already working on this because my mom has a VCR that connects to the computer, so that you can create digital files from your VHS. I've been working on that for the past two days. Once they're on the computer, I will pitch the VHS. (Actually, I'll probably give it to Value Village, but I will no longer own it, which is the point.)
5) I think I want to learn to sew. I'll probably have to get my mother involved in this one. But it would be a good skill to have. And so, it's a goal.
6) I want to teach myself to cook more creatively. I'm a boring cook, and because of that, I don't like to do it. So I need to actually use the recipe books that I have, and find ways to make creative meals for a single person. This also fits with the first goal, because if I cook better for myself, then it will be easier to keep track of what I'm eating and therefore easier to lose the weight.
I think 6 is a good number of goals. None of them are impossible. In fact, all of them are things that I really should be doing anyway. But having them written out is a good thing. I have an ongoing goal of always trying to write. But as it's ongoing, and because this blog is actually part of the goal, I'll leave it off this list.
I always have other goals that I'd like to achieve in a year. Finding a new job, for example. But since it's not something that's completely in my control, I'm not including it, either. Or random things that come up along the way, that should fall in this category, but weren't visible when the year changed. I'll take those into account as I go, but if I can look back to this list on December 28, 2011 and mentally add check marks to these, then I'll feel as if I had a successful year.