Instead of a list of resolutions I'll never stick to and will beat myself up over for years to come, I decided to put my goals and aspirations for this new year down on a to-do list of sorts. I'm constantly making lists and feel great accomplishment when I get to cross something off my list, so a list seems the most appropriate for me to work from.
With that said, here's my list:
1. Finish a book. Any book, really. I've started two recently and have yet to finish them. Heck, I started my last book (no less than) 7 years ago and haven't finished that one yet either. I would just like to make reading more a priority in 2011.
2. Get healthier. Notice I didn't say "Lose 50 lbs" (which is ultimately what I probably need to do to be healthy) but I know a goal like that is overwhelming and completely undoable (for me!). So, instead, I will say "get healthier" and take baby steps. Perhaps I'll start with "fit into my pre-Alex size pants" as a starting point...10 lbs should accomplish that. Then I can step it up and aim for fitting back into my pre-Nate size. And so on, and so forth. My first step is to focus on drinking water whenever I get the urge to eat. I need to drink more water anyway and at least I'll be doing something instead of focusing on my incessant urge to shovel food in my mouth.
3. Simplify. This is pretty broad and could easily become one of those "too grand to know where to start" type goals. But in an effort to not let it overwhelm me, I'll simplify by saying I aim to take portions of my life that feel cluttered and overwhelming and make them easier. Whether it be taking the 7 email accounts that I have a hard time keeping up on and getting rid of a few (most) of them or just digitally uploading all my CDs to iTunes so I can purge myself of their clutter. I'd like to simplify my friends list on Facebook and reprioritize how I spend my time online. I'd like to downsize my closet and limit the clutter in my drawers. There's so much stuff in there I rarely use or need. What would feel better than empty space on my shelves and in my closets and more time to spend with the ones I love and do the things that feed my soul? *Sigh*.
4. Be recognized somehow for my photography. Not sure how to do this one yet, but somehow, someway, I'd like to get props of some sort for my photography. This seems a little gratuitous and self-promoting to say, but it would mean I was taking a step forward in realizing a dream. 2010 proved to be a good year for progress in the photography realm, between being asked to be staff photographer at Hillside's Believe in Kids Golf Tournament, doing "professional" maternity photos for my friend, Shelby, and being "hired" to take photos for Shelby's sister's bridal shower and again for my parents, I made quite a few positive strides towards my goal of being a "real" photographer someday. So, whether it be a positive mention in a reputable publication, a "win" for an I ♥ Faces photo challenge, or (my dream!) a feature on Kodak's Picture of the Day. I'd be honored if someone recognized my photography in one of these spotlights. Until then I will keep honing my craft and working on my skills and "eye".
5. Be nicer to myself, my family and others. As I said here, I pledge to be nicer in general. More specifically, I hope to be nicer to myself. Less critical with more movement made towards this "loving thyself" thing people often talk about. Even closer to home, however, is my family. I've not always been pleasant to my loved ones of late. My husband takes the abuse worse than anyone and as he said today "I'm used to it, I've been dealing with it for 10 years". Boo. That's (obviously) not fair to him. He deserves better and in return, I may perhaps get the improvements in his actions/behaviors that I have been longing for. We shall see. Either way, I hope to yell less, hug more (if that's even possible!) and listen. Just listen - I could learn a lot by actually hearing people.
Obviously there are a hundred smaller things I'd like to "fit in" in the next year...small tasks I'd like to stop talking about and finally finish, projects I'd like to start, movies I'd like to see, places I'd like to visit, photos I'd like to take. But one of my first goals for 2011 will be to finally finish (and POST!) my 101 in 1001 project. I only started talking about this more than a year ago...it's about time I followed through. I decided earlier today that I've been overthinking it...thinking all my goals had to be big, life altering achievements. Really, it will just be a list of things I'd otherwise put off and eventually want to check off my list so I'm that much more settled and sure of my footing in this world. So stay tuned for that to finally become a reality. I promise not to just mention it and forget about - I vow to follow through this time.