Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the resolutions

I warned you I'd be writing about my new years resolutions sometime soon, and that time has come. Admitting resolutions in a public forum is not something I love to do, but it's certainly one way to keep yourself accountable. You never know who you'll run into six months from now asking about the exercise regimen you set (and hopefully kept). You may be asking yourself right about now (and aptly so), why am I blogging on this topic now? It's January 24, isn't that a bit belated? Perhaps for some. But me, I like to sink back into my routine first, get into the new year, and then decide what I'd like to change about it. It's all too much for me to actually commit to changing things while the holidays are still going and before I've regained some normalcy in my everyday life. I end up falling off the bandwagon almost immediately and becoming discouraged. Additionally, Sean and I were on vacation for the first part of the month, and starting new discipline on holiday just seems like a drag.

So, that brings us up to date.

Before I share my resolutions, I want to share a few resources. This year I've kept my list short and sweet: 6 items. I have personal and professional goals, some vague and some more concrete. I knew generally what I wanted: learn a new thing, move a project forward, better myself. I tried to choose some semi-concrete goals that embody those general ideas and that I knew where totally possible. At the same time, I didn't want them to be so hum drum that they weren't challenging. Here are a couple things I read that helped:
Read on for those resources, resolutions and more after the jump!
1).Biz Ladies: Planning a Blueprint for the New Year from Designsponge.com
This article focuses on achieving milestones in a small creative business, but I think the principles can be applied to any goal. She talks about how goals need to be relevant to keep you working on them, thus the importance of revisiting them and updating them on an ongoing basis. That leads into my next resource:
2).The Power of Review from Moneysavingmom.com
First off let me say that this website is a great resource for those wanting to live frugally. I am the furthest thing from a coupon queen, but this blog sends me a digest each week of easy ways to save at my local grocery store. It makes it easy and tells me exactly what coupon I need and what items are on sale that week. This is heaven for me, considering I dread combing through coupons. This particular item speaks to the importance of regular review of your goals. She writes that having a plan is imperative to carrying out any goal and suggests taking an hour a week to review said plan. In addition she uses Michael Hyatt's Personal Life Plan, which Sean has used but I have not as of yet. It sounds like it could be a pretty great (and free!) resource, though. And speaking of...
3).Why Vision is More Important than Strategy from Michaelhyatt.com
This is a pretty encouraging article on creating big goals and not getting too caught up in the details. I definitely have a tendency towards doing that, but Hyatt preaches vision, vision, vision and you will achieve great things. I like that.

So without further ado, I shall present to you my 2012 resolutions:
1). Launch an online store
This goal has been on the docket for almost three years now, but now it's finally being realized and it's so close I can almost touch it. The hard part is actually already done for the store and a lot of work has been put into it. The actual launch is now the focus (more on that to come later this week!)
2). Learn to play the concertina
A few years ago a friend gave me an old concertina (think hexagonal accordion) he had in exchange for helping him with a project. I've sounded out a few tunes on it, but I'd like to learn to play it for real. Plus, I think it would be healthy for me to teach myself something new. It's officially been three years since I graduated college, and I haven't done too much of that since. Then if Sean and I needed some extra cash we could always hit the streets as troubadours.
3). Start running again
A year and a half ago I was training for and running in a half-marathon. Now it's a challenge to run even one mile! I want to reinstate the habit of running. My more concrete goal with this is to be able to run 8 miles on any given day.
4). Read more
Another thing I haven't done a ton of since school. Did you know 42% of people never read another book after they graduate college? Yikes, I definitely don't want to be part of that statistic. I only read maybe four books cover to cover last year, and reading is something I really enjoy! So this year I'm making time for it in my everyday schedule, and not just reading novels (my favorite), but also blogs and instructional books. Right now I'm into The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon and The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin.
5). Say Yes! and be more outward
This one is a little more vague, but I feel like when Sean and I were so busy with wedding and life planning and working, we really had to have stiff boundaries to stay sane, and that lead to us saying "no" to many an invitation (not necessarily a bad thing for a season). I think we've gotten to a point, though, where "yes" is really becoming necessary. And to a point where instead of the focus being on our relationship we need to focus on building up and encouraging those around us. I'm really looking forward to that.
6). Get organized
I am a disorganized person. At least I am currently. I would like to learn to become more organized in a few ways. First, physically. I want to get rid of a lot of stuff and learn to organize the rest of it. This task seems incredibly boring to me, which is probably why I have not yet tackled it, but the outcome is quite attractive. I also want to organize my time and productivity better. I think there's a learning curve for this, and I'm slowly getting better and better. Finally, I want to organize this blog better, so be looking for a little revamp sometime in 2012.

So that's it for me. What are your new years resolutions? How's it going so far? -hil

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