Last year was a whirlwind. It flew by so fast that it kind of leaves me reeling just thinking about it. It was a year of ups and downs, good days and bad, just as any year is, I guess. But looking back on all that happened - and all that didn't happen (*cough*cough* weight-loss-maintenance *cough*cough*) - has made me really want to take a second and think about what I want to accomplish in this coming year. What can I do to make this year better??
Yeah. I'm a resolution maker. I don't necessarily follow through on my resolutions, but I think it's good to have a list of goals; sort of a guideline of what I hope to accomplish on this trip around the sun.
So here are some of my hopes & dreams for 2016:
- We'll go ahead and get the annoying one of out of the way first: living a healthy lifestyle. Let's face it, 2015 didn't go so well in this department. I have gained back quite a bit of the weight I had lost over the two years prior, mainly from stress-eating and...well...just not giving a shit. I had two bridesmaid dresses to wear, and I struggled to maintain well enough to fit in them. Once Sarah and Sue's weddings were over, I threw caution entirely into the wind and spent the last few months of the year indulging way too often, way too much. My goal for 2016 is to get back on track and lose some of that which I gained back - but I want to do it differently this time. I don't want to get obsessed. I don't want to count calories, I don't want to track everything I do and eat with Myfitnesspal, I don't want to be stepping on the scales every second day. I want to continue to exercise 5-6 times a week for a minimum of half an hour a day, and I want to make healthier choices with food while still allowing room for treats. My plan is going to be loosely based on the 21 Day Fix, which I already own and half-ass use - I love the workouts, but have never bothered to learn how to use the container system for food. There's no calorie counting - if it fits in the containers, and is on the list of "allowed" foods, you can eat it. I'm hoping it will help me re-define what a proper portion size is, as I've lost sight of that somewhere along the way. I'm not going to take "before" pictures, I'm not going to weigh or measure... I'm just going to float along and try not to get too worked up about it, and hopefully someday down the road, I realize that my pants fit again, and that I'm not out of breath from running up the stairs. Will it work? I don't know. The best success I ever had was when I was "obsessed" with it, and maybe that's the only way it works for me. But I want to give this method a shot. My family will laugh when I say "I'm going to start on Monday" - because I kind of say that all the time, and I even said it last week, but it didn't really happen. Still too much holiday junk floating around. So I'm giving myself the rest of this week/weekend to clear it out, and then Project: Get Healthy (again) in 2016 will begin on Monday.
- This WILL be the year I come out of the Dark Ages and get the Internet & Netflix. This one is in my sites right now. Once the Christmas bills are paid off (giving myself another two weeks to accomplish that), I will be calling a local Internet service provider and finally getting myself hooked up. Then will come Netflix. And then, you may not see me again for the rest of the year. I'm ready to get my BINGE on!!! I just don't know where to begin... Scandal? Orange Is the New Black? Making a Murderer? Downton Abbey? All I know is that I HAVE to have it by the time Fuller House starts on February 26! ;)
- *EDIT* - this is coming a bit too late, but I originally had put that I was going to "Netflix and Chill". And then a very gracious friend sent me a message to tell me what that means. I thought it meant watch Netflix and relax. I was wrong. So, no, I doubt I'll be "Netflix and Chilling" in 2016... Just watching Netflix. yeesh!
- When I do turn off the Netflix, it will be to embrace my creative side. I have really enjoyed going to Paint Nites at my neighbour Shannon's, and I have a project that I'm going to be working on with her help over the next few weeks. In 2016, I hope to continue painting and making art as much as I possibly can. I find it therapeutic, and I've enjoyed re-discovering the artistic side of me that I basically turned my back on after high school and college art classes were over.
- Speaking of being artistic: I have a project that I really want to complete this year, and that is a scrapbook for my niece Danica. I made one for her older brother of his first year, back in the days when I was big-time into scrapbooking, and had all the materials and pictures set aside to make one for her too, but it just slipped through the cracks. I have been meaning to do it for years, and just haven't found the time. She is 7 now, and I know it would mean a lot to her to have her own book, so I really want to work on that and have it to give to her either at her birthday or Christmas this year (which gives me almost the whole year, so it's doable!)
- Photography!! I love my camera, I love taking pictures, and that's not going to stop this year. I'm still working towards my Project 365, which, if all goes well, will be completed in August. I haven't missed a day yet, and I think this should be a goal I reach successfully, knock on wood. My blog pal Nicole gave me the idea to create a photobook at the end of it to document my 365 days of photos, so I hope to do that at the end of the project. I also want to get more pictures printed, framed, give them as gifts, and maybe finally create a photo gallery wall like I've always wanted to do in my home. And of course, I want to keep taking pictures for friends and family. I feel like I get better with each photo shoot I do, and I hope to just keep practicing and learning more and more with each session I do.
- My reading goal for 2016 will be the same as last year's: I want to read 20 books. I fell short last year, only making it to 15 - but that was more than the year before (I only read 12 books in 2014), and as I've said... it was a frigging busy year! I think 20 is attainable. I've already got one under my belt (Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty was so juicy, I couldn't put it down!) and I'm well into #2 (Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson)...so we'll see!
- Will 2016 finally be the year I clean out my closets?? I'm a bit of a hoarder, and I really need to de-clutter. As my roomies moved out, I overtook their old rooms, and I now have stuff crammed into every closet in the two-storey, 3-bedroom Manse that I rent. I am only one person. I do not need to have closets in every room of the house jam-packed. The main goal is to sort through the piles of clothing, give away what I can, sell some of it maybe... but it's time to get it organized and get RID of a lot of it!
- Writing... I think I say this every year, but I want to write more. And not just blog posts and the social notes for our local newspaper. I want to write a novel. I want to be a writer. It's time.
- The Money Challenge. This will be the third year I have done this, so I know I can do it successfully. A dollar the first week, two dollars the second week, and so on. It gets tough towards the end - 52 bucks right at Christmas sucks, let me tell you - but it's nice to have a little pot of savings at the end of the year (or to use during the year if need be). The first year it bought me a new TV and paid off Christmas bills. This past year, it went towards my trip to Nova Scotia and paying off Christmas bills. This year... maybe a trip South? It's been five years since I went to Cuba, I think maybe I'm due? ;) I also want to finally pay off the last of my line of credit that has lingered for far too long. I want to say good-bye to that debt, and finally be able to start saving instead of paying off.
- I have joked that I was going on Sabbatical in 2016, and while that's not entirely true - I mean, I HAVE to work for a living - I do want to focus on myself more than I have in recent years. Selfish? Maybe so. But I just want to spend some time bettering myself. Relaxing more, enjoying life more than stressing about it, doing what I want to do instead of what others tell me I have to do. I want to spend more time on hobbies, doing what I love, and just taking it all in. Breathing deep and soaking it up. Watching Netflix. Painting. Walking. Reading. Writing. Going on Sabbatical. Yes, indeed. ;)