My 12 Resolutions for 2012

Happy New Year everyone!
I hope that you all had a wonderful time ringing in 2012! Last night, we had a great time celebrating with some good friends, and I’ll have pictures to come soon! Right now, however, Cam and I are en route from Michigan back to Oregon (love on-board wi-fi!) to pick up our car, our stuff we left at Cam’s parents’ house, along with this little goofball, and then later today we’ll begin our drive down to our new home in Lake Tahoe. Quite the way to start off the year! 

I actually love that we’re moving in January because it’s such a perfect time for clean slates and fresh starts. I think it’s very healthy to annually step back, re-evaluate things in your life, and set new goals for the coming year. Most people aim to make some sort of positive resolution going forward from January 1st, but the overachiever/compulsive list maker in me says why stop at one resolution when you can make twelve?!

You know, for 2012…duh.
Also, I’m pretty sure that many of us bloggers must think alike because I’ve seen lots of these posts over the past few days…great minds 
So here is my list of resolutions for the year to come…

1. Get more sleep
 I swear I make this resolution every year, but 2012 I’m really going to get serious about it. I’m a night owl by nature, so I have a tendency to stay up way later than I should most nights and get by on far less sleep than is healthy. Studies constantly show how terrible being sleep-deprived is for your health, and I know I’d probably be skinnier and my skin would be clearer if I just got more shut-eye. I’m not in school, so I can’t use studying as an excuse, I don’t have a newborn keeping me up at night, so there is honestly no reason why I can’t get a full 8 hours of sleep every single night. I know that down the road when I do have kids I’ll look back and regret not sleeping when I could, so I’m really going to make a concerted effort this year to get in bed at a reasonable hour instead of going on the computer at night and wasting time.
2. Read more
 This is another resolution I whole-heartedly make every year, but then always seem to fall off the wagon. I love to read, and I have a huge list of books that all sound so interesting, I’m just not great at being disciplined to actually read them. I was doing better at the beginning of last year, but with the holidays my reading sort of fell by the wayside. I’m really looking forward to (hopefully) unplugging a bit when we get to Tahoe, curling up under blanket with a cup of tea, and just reading. Again, I’d have a lot more time to read if I were better at limiting my Facebook/blogging/online time, so I’m really going to try to do that and hopefully read some excellent books in the next twelve months! (Any recommendations are welcome!)
3. Become a good skier
 Between my birthday and Christmas, I amassed quite the collection of ski gear and now I’m ready to hit the slopes once we get to Tahoe. Cam and I have season passes to Heavenly/North Star ski resorts, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and improving my skills. Chances are we’ll remain living in the West, so I really want to become at least a decent enough skier that I can go out and enjoy myself and take advantage of all the beautiful mountains in this part of the country! 

4. Kick the sugar habit & eat cleaner
While I don’t plan on giving up my beloved hobby of baking in the year to come, I really need to work on making sugar a much smaller part of my diet. I have such a sweet tooth, and while I know it’s alright to indulge sometimes, I realize that consuming as much refined sugar as I do is really detrimental to my health and not giving my body the fuel it needs. I want to be satisfied eating one or two homemade cookies or splitting a really good dessert with Cam at a nice restaurant, and stop consuming excess sugar in other less satisfying ways, like getting a giant box of candy at the movies just to get something or always getting a cookie at Jimmy John’s even though they’re terrible. I really just want to cut the crap out of my diet in the coming year and eat real food, and then really enjoy a good treat every once and awhile. It’s not like I need to do a complete 180 from the past year because I felt like for the most part I ate pretty healthy when we lived in Colorado, but, as always, the holidays tend to throw a wrench in things. I want to get back on track eating a diet that’s filled with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, healthy meats and other proteins, and whole grains, because that’s when I feel my best.
5. Take an international vacation (or two)
 2011 was a busy year filled with getting to know the South and Colorado, and all that domestic exploring didn’t leave much time to take any other sort of vacation. And while I’m so excited to take lots of little weekend trips around Tahoe, I’m also really itching to start planning a trip to a more exotic destination. Cam and I both love to travel, and we have so many different countries around the world that we’d like to visit. Working at the travel store in Boulder the past few months and hearing about all these amazing trips that customers would take has made me even more eager to get out and see the world, so I’m really hoping that we can plan some sort of international vacation in the coming year. Eventually we want to have a baby and get a house and all that jazz, and while I know it’s not like we can’t travel after that stuff happens, I hear that kids and houses are kind of money pits so I’d like to get in a few more exotic vacations before we reach that next step in our life.
6.  Learn something new
 The first new skill I’d like to tackle for 2012 is learning how to use the manual settings on our DSLR camera. We bought the camera right before we moved to Colorado, and I’ll admit, 99% of the time I use one of the camera’s automatic settings. This year, I’d really like learn how to utilize our camera’s features and (hopefully) start taking better photos! Also, I feel like I’m constantly browsing Pinterest and seeing all these awesome things that people create, and so one of my goals this year is to stop just passively looking at things other people make and starting doing things myself! I’d love to learn how to sew, knit, crochet, paint or just learn some new creative skill in the year to come.
7. Be a better blogger
And by better, I don’t necessarily mean blog more. When I started this blog almost two years ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long!), it was a way to keep in touch with family and friends. And while it definitely still serves that purpose, over the past year, it’s also evolved into a hobby that I enjoy more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, photography, and sharing my experiences and thoughts. I also love reading all of your blogs and being a part of this amazingly vibrant community of interesting and creative people. However, as much as I love blogging, I want to make sure it’s in the correct spot on my priority list, and that’s definitely not at the top. I don’t ever want it to be a negative force where I’m comparing my life to other bloggers or missing out on events in my own life because I’m so busy taking photos to put up. I love that my blog is sort of this constantly evolving scrapbook of my life, however, I don’t ever want to live to blog. I want to be present in moments that happen in my life and not be thinking about how I’m going to turn them into a post for others to read. I want to be a good wife, daughter, sister, and friend and don’t ever want this blog to infringe on time with the important people in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely plan to continue blogging because it’s something that I enjoy immensely and I want to create a blog I’m proud of. I just want to make sure there are some limits on the time I spend on it so it’s not taking time away from actually living my life. I don’t want to ever post just to post, but I’d rather talk about things that are really important to me on a less frequent basis instead of feeling obligated to stick to some set schedule. This year I want to be better at giving myself designated time to blog, doing what I can do, and then turning off the computer and going to bed (see resolution #1). Also, I’ll admit that sometimes I see other bloggers who have sponsors and lots of followers and I start to question what they’re doing that I’m not, and I realize that’s an unhealthy path to head down. If my blog grows in the coming year and that’s a direction that I choose to take, fine, but if not that’s fine too. I just want my blog to be what it will be, and whatever happens happens. That being said, I do want to keep improving this blog in the coming year, and I so greatly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read it. Your sweet comments really do make my day, and even if I’m terrible at responding, I do read every single one!
8. Be wise with our finances
While I’m extremely thankful that my husband is great at handling our finances, this year I would like to try to be a little more involved. As much as I love our “he makes it, I spend it” situation, I really want to try to be more on board with our financial goals and think about our long-term plans over short-term indulgences. I have the terrible habit of spending $100 on random things every time I go to Target (some how a nail polish or two always seems to find it’s way into my cart!), and when you have a SuperTarget three minutes from your house like we did in Colorado, that’s a dangerous combination. Before we moved, we gave away all this extra clutter and clothing taking up space in our closets, so my goal this year is really just to try not to buy unnecessary crap in the first place. We would really like to buy our first home in the next few years, and I really want to start being more diligent in focusing on that goal rather than just blowing money on stuff that doesn’t matter. I also want to try to be better about spending less so we can give more. One thing that Cam and I have talked a lot about over the past few months is how we both want to be better at using our income to bless others, but sometimes it can be difficult change your habits. This year, we really want to make sure that we’re giving first, saving second, and spending on ourselves third, rather than waiting until the end of the month and just giving whatever is leftover. All the money and material blessings we have in our life are gifts from God, and we can’t take them with us after our life is over, but rather we really want to use them as tools to help bless others.
9. Try out a new dinner each week
Baking is my passion, while cooking is more something that I do because we have to eat. This year, I really want to try to get more excited about cooking and put some new weeknight meals into our rotation. Cam and I love to cook together, and my goal for the coming year is to try out at least one new dinner each week. I’ve got a lot of different recipes I’ve pinned over the past few months but haven’t tried, and I also would love to experiment with different cuisines and techniques from around the world. I want to cook meals that are healthy (see #4), delicious, and different in 2012!
10. Be more green
 Another part of my reasoning behind starting this blog was to chronicle my attempts to live a more eco-friendly life. Welllll that hasn’t quite happened, but it’s something I really want to work on for this year. I want to make sure that the products I’m using and the things I’m doing are going to make the Earth a better place versus harming it. I don’t want to just buy stuff for the sake of being green, but rather I want to consume less and waste less too. This is definitely not always the easiest thing for me to do, but I definitely want to try in the coming year. I’m really hoping to make this a more frequent post topic as well, so if you have any suggestions or questions or ideas for this area I’d love to hear them!
11. Run a half marathon
Two common resolutions that I purposely left off of my list are “lose weight” and “exercise more”. And while I’m not saying that I don’t need to do both of those things in the coming months (after all, I did make like 20 dozen Christmas cookies!), I’m not after a particular number on a scale. Sure, I’d love to be thinner, but at the same time, I’m at a healthy weight for my height, I have a husband who loves me no matter what, I like to work out because it makes me feel happy and strong, and I also enjoy baking and eating good food. I want to enjoy my life and be healthy, which is why I’m not stressing out about a few extra holiday pounds or trying to fit in to a particular size. However, I do enjoy trying different things when it comes to fitness, and setting goals for myself definitely helps to keep me motivated. Running a half marathon has been something I’ve been contemplating for awhile, and I think that this is the year I’d finally like to give it a try. I probably won’t do one until the fall because I plan on skiing over the next few months of winter, and then do my training over the spring/summer. I have no idea which half I want to do yet, in large part because I’m not entirely positive where we’ll be living in the fall, but it’s definitely a goal I’d like to accomplish before this time next year.
12. Take my faith more seriously
This is probably my most important resolution for the year to come. One thing I’m starting to realize as I go through my twenties is that no one can “do” your faith for you. Just because you come from a Christian home or went to a Bible study in college doesn’t mean you’re set. Your relationship with the Lord is a personal thing and it’s something that requires daily time to grow and mature. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s all too easy to hit snooze on Sunday morning or to not read your Bible when you don’t have someone telling you to do it, but that’s not what I want for my life or my marriage.
So there you have it, my resolutions for the coming year! Above all, I really just want to really be present every minute of the coming year and enjoy each moment. I feel like time goes by quicker each year and I really can’t believe it’s already 2012. This year, I don’t want to constantly be thinking about what’s coming next but rather just savor what’s happening now. 
My posts will probably be somewhat sporadic over the next week or so as we make this transition into our new home, but I look forward to giving you an update from Tahoe as soon as I can! In the meantime, I hope you have a fantastic New Year’s Day and I send you all my best wishes for a fabulous year to come! Xoxo