Wishing you a fantastic New Year filled with light and joy!
2013 was a great year and I am so grateful that you were a part of it! I didn’t accomplish all of my goals, but I also achieved many things that I didn’t anticipate in January. In the end, the balance is tipped in favor of the positive. The goals that I didn’t accomplish will be re-evaluated and if valid, tweaked to make them more easy to reach.
I am looking forward to an exciting 2014. I am leaving my day job to go on sabbatical with my husband for 3 months — which means I am leaving my financial security blanket behind. It also means leaving behind time constraints that prevented me from taking a few excellent gigs. And I am gaining time to focus on honing old skills and learning new ones — which will make me a better artist and blogger.
You can bet that I will share my adventures and discoveries with you!
So there they are:
RESOLUTIONS for 2014
1. Stop sweating the small stuff.
It doesn’t matter if the in-laws have a different feeding schedule for the cats or don’t scoop the box as often as I do; as long as they are fed and happy, I will be happy. It doesn’t matter if the housing issue doesn’t resolve itself on my schedule; as long as I continue to look and make inquiries, we will find our good-enough sabbatical home. It doesn’t matter if I can only do 10 minutes of strength training, some is better than none and the results accumulate.
2. Take at least 3 continuing education courses outside of sabbatical this year.
I think one key to avoiding burnout is to keep learning new things. Last year I got over-busy and neglected to fill the pot with new ideas until I was good and exhausted.
3. Stay hydrated.
Water helps maintain a stable body temperature, remove wastes and lubricate joints. Hydration is essential for good health. But it’s really easy for me to forget drinking enough when I’m in the midst of working. I tend to zone out and focus entirely on what I am drawing… and when the clients are back-to-back for hours on end, I am a very thirsty puppy when the line ends! This year I aim to get a little timer to remind me during gigs to take a sip or two. I always have a water bottle with me, but remembering to drink is another story.
4. Eat more vegetables.
Last year my goal was to eat more salads and when that didn’t happen, I was a failure. This year, I don’t care how I get more vegetables into my diet, I’m just going to go for at least 4 servings a day (2 at lunch and 2 at dinner). I allow myself to put them into smoothies, mix them in casseroles and stir-fries and sneak them in any way I can. They can be fresh, frozen, freeze-dried or cooked. I have a sweet tooth so eating fruit is no problem… and last year I discovered that I liked eating frozen cherries just as much I liked eating cherry ice cream, so I ditched the ice cream and just ate cherries — a positive outcome that wasn’t on my goal list…
5. Get consistent with strength training.
Last year I got consistent with walking. And I tried to introduce strength training by going to a gym with a trainer… but as soon as the holidays and bad weather arrived, my best intentions dissolved. This year I will get onto a regular strength training schedule early in the year so it becomes a habit — and I’ll work with a trainer as well to make sure I learn how to do the exercises properly. The last thing I want is to injure myself by doing something with sloppy form… that fear of injury may have contributed to my reluctance to practice on my own. The other constraining thought in my head that stopped me was ALL or NOTHING… if I couldn’t do the entire routine, it wasn’t worth it. But in reality, even 5 minutes is useful.
6. Walk at least 1 half marathon.
This one will be fairly easy since I have already registered for one in April. I plan to train sensibly and continue walking long distances — which I discovered I really enjoyed last year. A mix of real and virtual runs will keep me motivated to keep pushing.
7. Carry lotion in my purse and apply it after washing my hands.Last year I wanted to take care of my hands, but the goal was sufficiently vague that I ended up forgetting about it. By simplifying the goal to a concrete action, I think I will be more likely to follow through consistently.
8. Use clothing as sunscreen for times of long sun exposure.Last year I continued my good habit of daily sunscreen, but I could step things up a notch by making use of sun protective clothing — light long-sleeved shirts, jackets, hats, etc. This will be especially important while snorkelling because 1) it’s difficult to cover all exposed areas with sunscreen and 2) many sunscreens wash off in the water and harm the reef.
9. Be gentle with my skin.
I need to stop man-handling breakouts with benzoyl peroxide, over-cleansing and extractions. Although I have experienced how treating my skin gently with hypo-allergenic products during times of irritation has calmed things down, my impulse is still to pile on the harsh products to beat the breakout into submission. This year will unlearn that habit and replace it with kinder, softer treatments.
10. Lose 25 more pounds.
I lost 25 lbs in 2013 (OK, I’ve gained back a few at this moment). 25 more will bring me to my goal weight of 140lbs. I will continue using MyFitnessPal and my Fitbit One as motivators. My diet and exercise routine have gone on vacation right now (I’m visiting in-laws and eating is what we do… pizza deliveries, eating out at least once a day with a different relative, and all the holiday feasting. Having Tennessee praline pecans on the living room table doesn’t help, either…)… but the rest of the year will be healthier. More exercise, more vegetables, less fast food. I am looking forward to being stronger, leaner, and more energetic than I was in my 40s… I know it can be done.
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are some of your goals for 2014?