The other thing about this year's list is that I tried to make my goals more measurable. For instance, instead of last year's "read more" goal, this year I have a specific number of books I'd like to read each month. I'm hoping that it will be a bit easier for me to chart my progress this way.
So, without further ado, I give you my list for 2012.
1. Continue to lose weight. Lose 10-15 lbs. by June.
Like every year, this year has a weight loss goal. But this goal is really more a continuation of last year. I lost 12 lbs. last year and was really 13 away from my goal and 7-10 away from feeling okay about my weight. So this year, I want to just finish up what I want to lose and be done with it already. The thing is, I want to be clear that I don't diet or work out to lose weight. Instead, I try to eat healthier and be more active. Take stairs more, walk more, etc. When I was at my thinnest, this was the lifestyle I was living and it made me the happiest. I felt good about my body and what I was putting in it. I don't like to diet and I don't like to exercise. I think that eating well and being active is the way to go and so the past two years have been attempts to fix that part of my life and lose weight in the process.
2. Have a planned date night at least once a month.
A.P. and I need to go on more dates. We just do. We need to do stuff and not just sit around on the couch, watch TV or movies and end up doing work. I feel like in the past we made more of an effort to go out, but lately, we've been slacking. I think once a month is a reasonable number. I'd like it to be every week, but I'm a realist.
3. Go on at least two vacations, not including planned trips (e.g. visiting family, weddings, etc.). One can be long, one can be short.
On Christmas Eve, I got into an argument with my brother. And when I hung up the phone, I turned to A.P. and I started screaming about how we need a vacation. Last year, we went on three "vacations." One was a trip to Florida to visit his family, another was a disastrous trip to NYC that resulted in the end of my one of my oldest friendships, and the last was a camping trip with friends. The camping trip was the most vacation we had, but it wasn't relaxing and it wasn't the two of us. We need a vacation. I don't care where we go, I don't care what we do, but we need a vacation. In fact, we need two.
4. Make and mail one card a month.
I feel like I don't have time to craft or do creative things that I enjoy doing. I really enjoyed writing people cards last year, but felt like I didn't get to do that as much as I wanted either. This is a simple solution to each dilemma. I get to make something, even if it's only a card, and I get to send someone I love a little note. Win, win.
5. Take a sewing course, or two.
I know, I know. Learning to sew was on last year's list. But this year, I swear it's going to happen. For one thing, I purchased a Groupon for not one, but two sewing classes. I have to use before the end of the year. For another, A.P. bought me that sewing machine for Christmas 2010 and I haven't used it once. I'm a bad wife and it wasn't a cheap gift. I need to get on that shit ASAP.
6. Complete at least two photography projects.
In keeping with projects I've done in the last few years (flying and stripes), I'd like to do some more photography projects. The thing is, I still haven't finished those damn stripes photos. Why? Because I can't freaking stand using Photoshop. I like it for a while and then it annoys me. It's so freaking tedious and time consuming. So this year, I want to make sure that my photo projects require as little photoshopping as possible.
7. Train Ollie to do one rad trick.
Ollie is smart. I hate to admit it, but he's way smarter than Radar. Radar was the most joyful dog ever. He loved everybody and was always happy. Ollie is a bit more cynical. He's skeptical of people and their good intentions. In other words, he's more like me than his pops. : ) He's also incredibly smart. He learns things so, so quickly. He mastered the doggie stairs in one evening and "Come Here"in one day. Of course, these are things we still work on with him every day, but it's still impressive how quickly he learns. I think he is capable of learning some rad party tricks and my goal is to teach him one. A tiny dog that does cool tricks? That's like money in the bank, people!
8. Learn to play one song really well.
I feel like I am the jack of all trades, master of none when it comes to guitar. We learn so many songs, but I feel like I never learn one really well. This year, I'm going to change that. I have three songs in mind, but want to see what I get in my new class this week before I make my decision.
9. Write a book.
Lately, I've been feeling like I have a book inside me. Surprisingly, it's non-fiction. I've written long pieces of non-fiction before, having written my Honor's thesis in college (which was approximately 30 pages) and my research paper for grad school (which was close to 70 pages). I know I'd have to write something at least twice that long for publication, but I think I can do it. This is definitely a goal that will more than likely spill over to next year, but it's something I'm starting this year.
10. Get our wedding album done. (And our guestbook. And our engagement shoot. And our prints ordered.)
I'm ashamed to admit that I still haven't done our wedding album. Actually, I did and then when I went to go make the purchase, it was going to cost almost a thousand bucks, which is ridiculous *and* I couldn't figure out how to apply the Groupon. I think if I choose a different size book, it will cost less. But doing that means doing the whole thing over again. I'm sorry, what? So, I've been putting it off again. This year, it just has to get done. And so does all the rest of that crap up there. It's time to get this DONE.
11. Buy a house.
This is carrying over for last year. But this has to be the last year I live in this apartment. We need our own place...badly. We're saving like maniacs and hopefully this year it will happen. Fingers crossed!
12. Read 2 books a month: one classic, one other.
This is, I hope, a more manageable (and measurable) reading goal. This month may be difficult. I haven't gotten very far in my "other" and I haven't chosen or started a classic. I'm thinking my classic should be something short and simple. I'd like to reread some Steinbeck, maybe Of Mice and Men or The Pearl. Those are short, quick reads and I think a good way to sneak in January's classic.
13. Use the crap out of my Christmas present: bike 2-3 times a week this summer.
A couple of months ago, my bike got stolen. It was in our building and it was locked. Needless to say I was PISSED. A.P. is an amazing guy because he totally got me a new bike for Christmas and it's beautiful. It's blue and vintage looking and is so pretty. It simply must be shown off! So my goal is to do so this summer. Yay-hoo!
14. Expand NTMK the way I want to and start my other blog project.
I have big ideas for this blog and I think I can accomplish them. This is by no means a one year project, but I need to not just care in spurts. I write a lot, but my heart isn't in it as much as it was last summer. I also feel like I took one step forward and two steps backward last year. I want to fix that and be a little more serious about things. I also have an idea for a companion blog and I've been doing some legwork for it, but super lackadaisically and, well, I just need to get my ass in gear and make these things happen. If I don't, I might always wonder.
15. Blog on our family blog at least once a week.
Last year, I started a blog for our family. The beginning of the year I was really good about posting there, but I got super, super lazy about it. We have a lot of family that lives outside of Chicago, some even in other countries. I need to get better about updating our loved ones on what we're doing. Sometimes I feel like they think we fell off the face of the planet.
16. Archive all our photos.
Again, a continuation of last year. I got from 2004 to early 2009, digital photos only. I'd like to get all caught up and begin scanning in old photos. I think if I can get all the digital photos done by spring/summer, I'll have time to scan when work slows down a bit, as it always does that time of year. Plus, I can't wait to see it all when it's done. And share that with my family. I think they'll really love it since I also plan on scanning in old family photos I have.
17. Make meal plans and stick to them (also helps to curb money we spend on food).
So far, so good. We started meal planning this week and so far, so good. It will be interesting to see how lazy I get about it, but I'm really hoping to make it happen. I think we can save a lot of money, and it will help with goal #1. Woot.
18. Create a cleaning system and stick to it.
I have one I was designed a while back and I think we can do it. But we need to finish up some stuff around the house this weekend before we can put it into effect. We're also going to clear out the clutter soon. My brother-in-law took a bunch of stuff off our hands for his new apartment, which opened up a ton of space in our downstairs storage. Plus, I have some cleaning projects I want to do this spring (purge, purge, purge). I'm thinking that once this place cleans up a bit, we'll be able to stick to a cleaning system.
19. Keep a work journal.
This ties in to #9. But it also, I think, would be a good way to get my job off my chest. Sometimes I carry around a lot of stress and anger from my day. It'd be nice to unload. When the Half-breed Swede was in town, we were in a downtown gift shop and I saw this sentence a day journal. I thought that was pretty rad, so I want to model this journal similarly. A sentence or two, no more than a paragraph a day is sufficient. Plus, I have soooo many journals floating around this damn apartment, it'd be nice to use one.
20. Floss every day.
Once upon a time, I was an excellent flosser. I flossed the shit out of my pearly whites and won the adoration of my dentist. Now, I suck at it. It's intermittent and, yeah, I just suck at flossing. I want to fix that. As I get older and older, I realize the importance of upkeep. Teeth are no different. I need to be the excellent flosser I once was. This is the year, people. Wax covered minty floss, here I come!
21. Watch AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
This might be tricky, but I think it'd be fun to try. I was a film major in undergrad, so some of this will be re-watching, but there are a lot I haven't seen. I'm excited to see some great movies. A.P. is not a classics fan, so I don't get to see as many old movies as I'd like. This is a good excuse to force him to watch. "But it's on my list!!" : )
22. Learn how to take better care of my skin.
I have incredibly dry skin that also gets oily. Combo skin at it's best. I want to learn to moisturize better. I feel like with last year's goal of clearing my skin, I learned how to wash it better, treat my adult acne better, etc. But now, I want to start thinking about preventing aging and moisturizing better so my skin isn't so flaky, especially in the winter. Suggestions are welcome!
23. Get better at putting on makeup.
Maybe my friend can help with this. I credit her blog with me taking an interest in makeup again. I've totally gotten better at it, but there is always room for improvement. I basically wish I could learn to do two things: 1. Have wedding makeup all the time. For my wedding, I had great makeup that wasn't complicated or dramatic. I could easily wear that look on a daily basis. Plus, it felt so lightweight. I wish I could replicate that. 2. I wish I could do eyes better. I am getting more and more into lipstick, but I will always be an eye girl. I love liner, shadow, brow liner, mascara, fake eyelashes, etc. I wish I could do my eyeshadow better. Youtube tutorials, here I come!
24. Wear my hair in a pretty style at least once a week.
I wear my hair down most days. Inevitably it gets pulled back into a ponytail. I'd like to learn to do some pretty, simply styles I could wear to work at least once a week. I think it can be done!
25. Use less plastic bags! Ziplocs are one thing (though that could be reduced, too), but plastic bags from produce or trips to the store could greatly be reduced.
I'm buying reusable produce bags and I'm putting most of our reusable grocery bags in the car so that they're ready to go. I feel like we can be successful with this goal if we are just conscious about it. We used to be really good about it and then just got lazy. We can do it again if we try.
26. Compost, compost, compost.
This should be easy since I run a compost program at my work, but I hate dragging it from home to work. It's gross. But I'm going to bite the bullet and do it. It's good for my compost, my garden, and it makes me feel less bad about wasting produce. At least it's serving a purpose and not just being thrown away. Though, with goal #17, I'm hoping we'll waste less and less.
27. Eat pizza only 10 times this year.
I used to love pizza. Then I met A.P. It is one of his favorite foods and he practically can't survive if he doesn't eat it at least once a week. Now? I hate pizza. I can't eat it from any of our old favorite places. The thought sickens me. So, this year I'm in pizza detox. I'm going to make a punch card and every time I eat pizza, I'm going to punch the card. When I hit 10, I'm done for the year. It will be interesting to see if I can do this. At the very least, though, I think it will make me more conscious of what I'm eating and how often I'm eating something, even it's only the one thing.
28. Try not to use our credit card.
I could go whole months without using a credit card. A.P. is the kind of person who only uses a credit card and then pays the whole bill each month. Put us together and what you have is a couple that uses a lot of cash and then ends up having to pay a credit card bill, too. Last year, I felt like we used our joint credit card A LOT. I paid off my credit card only to have a monthly bill, still. Some months we didn't have a choice (e.g. weddings in NYC), others we did (e.g. expensive dinners out). We will have two more credit card bills to pay and then I think we can do it. I also think this will help us to save a ton of money...money we can put towards #11.
29. Begin saving towards retirement.
Last year, I met one savings goal, so this year it's time to begin working on another: retirement. Unless I want to be my dad or mom and work until I'm well past 65, I want to get on this ASAP. I already have some retirement savings in place, but the last couple of years, I've gotten lazy about doing any kind of side contributing. I want to open a 401K account, as well as a Roth IRA. A.P. is helping me to figure this stuff out as I am a hot mess when it comes to understanding these things or insurance. I can't tell you how many times what a deductible is has been explained to me and I still don't really get it. Clearly, I'm challenged in this area. Anywho, it's time to get my act together. And hopefully before my 30th, but I'm not putting that kind of pressure on myself.
And that's it, folks! That's my list for 2012. You can access the whole list here and track my progress, though I'll update quarterly again this year. So, what do you think? Do you have a list for 2012 or resolutions you're hoping to achieve?