New Year’s Resolutions

The start of a new year always inspires people to evaluate their lives and think about what they’d like to change in the year ahead. For some reason a change in the calendar gives people a feeling of a fresh start and hope that things can be better than they’ve been in the past. While I don’t really feel like I’ve been given a fresh start at anything – my morning was certainly no different than any other – I have been giving a lot of thought lately to what I’d like to change about myself in 2013. Goals I’d like to work toward and attitudes I’d like to replace to become a happier and better person. It may be optimistic to expect all of these changes to happen, but I’m hoping if I work toward them little by little day by day I can end this next year filled with joy and proud of my efforts.

First I have five actual resolutions I’d like to adopt in my way of life this upcoming year.

LOVE, forgive, and accept my children for who they are.
I love my kids. I do. But they also drive me crazy. I’m frustrated with them way more often than I should be. I realized recently, though, that I’ve been holding them to a much higher standard than I could ever expect from a four and one year old. This next year I want to forgive them easily. I want to accept their weaknesses and encourage their strengths. And most importantly, I want to SHOW them my love. For whatever reason this has always been a big problem between Caden and I and I’d like to change it. He’s not very affectionate, he doesn’t ever say he loves me (in fact, he usually lists to me everyone he does love and makes sure to never include me), and I often find him just staring at me with completely emotionless looks. I can’t believe how hard he seems sometimes when he’s only four years old. Surely it must be in part, at least, my fault. My goal this year is to never give him doubt of my love for him. And hopefully that’ll help open him up more to me as well.

Be healthier.
Last year was the first year I actually made a true resolution to exercise five days a week. And amazingly, I kept it up for about nine straight months. Before this past year I’ve never made exercise a priority and was pretty proud of myself for being so disciplined. In August I added changes in my eating habits as well when I joined Weight Watchers. This past month and a half, however, I’ve completely lost all motivation for exercise or eating right. And I want to change that. I NEED to change that.

Look for joy in life.
This is a hard one for me. By nature, I’m not a very positive person. I spend much more of my life frustrated, disappointed, angry, and depressed than I ever am happy and hopeful. I let things bother me way too much. I take every slight personally and let it fester and hurt me way more than it should. I complain a lot. And I get angry way too easily. This is a time to change. I want to be happy. I want to laugh and smile. I want to stop letting what other people think of me rule my thoughts. I want joy.

Be a better friend.
Friendship has always been important to me, but I’ve kind of let it fall to the wayside the past few years. Life gets busy and finding time for friends has always been a pretty low priority. I’d like to change that and be more intentional in my friendships, keeping them strong before they have a chance to dissipate. I’d also like to make some new friends. I’m not sure how that will happen since I seem to have no outlets for meeting new people, but I guess I’ll have to try harder to find one. It’s time for friendship to become a higher priority.

Save more money.
This is a pretty simple one. I’d just like to start saving more than I spend. I love to shop – especially online – though I usually end up with a lot more clothes and things that I don’t actually need. This year I want “Save it!” to be the first thing that comes to mind whenever we have any money to spare.

The following are my more tangible goals that seem pretty reasonable and I think I might actually be able to achieve!

Learn to make Annie’s.
My Raggedy Ann obsession is no secret on here. 🙂 For the past few months I’ve been collecting various fabrics and objects with the intention of someday making my own Annie’s. My in-laws gave me a sewing machine for Christmas so now I have no excuse not to start!

Learn how to use my camera properly and take a picture every day.
I’ve said this before, but it’s totally ridiculous after how many photography classes I took in college and how long I’ve been in love with the hobby to not know how to use my digital camera manually. IT’S TIME TO START. I’ve also been reading about different 365 Photo Projects that people do at the start of a new year. I’d like to do that too, making sure I take at least one photo every single day of the year.

Go on a “real” date at least once a month.
There is no reason that Greg and I shouldn’t be able to leave our house and at least go out to dinner together one time a month. We have lots of family around to babysit. We even have one weekday every week when the grandparents take the boys for a few hours. Dates are important. Nurturing our relationship should be one of our highest priorities and with young kids it’s very easy to lose sight of that. This year we will change.

Read at least 110 books.
I love to read. But more and more this past year I found myself choosing tv or pointless internet surfing over a good book. My goal for 2012 was 100 books and I only managed 97. I’m mostly blaming those long months when I was suffering through the Game of Thrones books. I could have read six regular books in the time it took me to get through one of those! Next year reading is going to become more important again.

Write something every day.
Writing is another thing I used to be passionate about and make very little time for these days. I’d like to change that. It should be easy because I have two new quick journals sitting right on front of me on my desk (Q&A a Day and One Line a Day). But I’d also like to go back to regular journal writing. And writing in the journal type books I bought for my boys when I found out I was pregnant with them. And writing more here of course, too!

Well, it’s a mighty list, but I think I can do it. Happy New Year!

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