Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I know that New Year's Resolutions have a bad rap.  It's fun to 'set goals' on New Year's Day, and then laugh about giving up in just a few weeks time.  The guy on the radio last week was joking that he'd already blown it, in 3 days.  But I think the fresh new year is a good time to refocus and think ahead about things you want to accomplish over the next year.  So many times during the holidays, we let our good habits go because of the busy schedules we all have, the parties we go to, and whatever other excuses we come up with.  So I like to take the new year and quiet January to set the tone for a good, productive year.  Here are a few of the things I've been thinking about as we adjust to writing 2013.

Use what I have - and get rid of what I don't use.
I'm sure like many of you, I tend to have my favorite sweater, platter, coffee mug, whatever it is.  And I have countless others that just sit in the cabinet or closet and collect dust.  So I really want to try to shake it up a bit - pull out that pretty platter from the back corner, or try to wear the clothes I have in my closet.  And then, if I decide I really don't want or use the items, get rid of them!

Don't worry mom, I won't get rid of anything without asking you first.

Clean out!
I think this is on the list every year, or all the time.  It's amazing how quickly we can accumulate things...and I want to clean out and get rid of things we don't use.  It's been too long since we've had a major clean out, or GROS session...and we need to go it again.  This goes with the first item on my list, of course.  I already turn my hangers around at the beginning of the season to see what I wear and what I don't (when you wear and wash something, it goes back into the closet with a hanger facing the right way.  This way it's easier to see what you haven't worn after a few weeks), but that doesn't mean I'm good at getting rid of the items that I haven't worn after 6 months...I just need to put it in the Goodwill pile when I know I'm not going to wear it.

Try new things.
This is something I feel like we're pretty good at, but I want to be sure to keep it up.  Just a couple of weekends ago we went to Pho 75 in Arlington to try that for the first time.  It was delicious, and we can't wait to go back - and try other new things!

Be healthier.
Eat more veggies, less junk.  Cook more meals on the weekends rather than going out.  Drink more water.  Drink less alcohol.  Eat good breakfasts.  Remember to take vitamins, and not just when I'm getting sick.  Eat dinner earlier, and not so much chocolate after dinner.  Just try to be generally healthier overall.

Move more.
This is always something I think can all work on...moving more.  Both in terms of exercising and during everyday activities.  Get up and walk around the office every so often.  Take the stairs out of the metro instead of the escalator.  Get off the metro a stop early and walk (when it's not so cold and windy, lets be realistic here).  Take Cady for longer walks when we go out.  And then the exercise thing...getting home after 6:30-7pm in the evenings makes finding time for exercise challenging - especially when I want to get dinner started so we're not eating so late (see last item).  I feel like so many evenings by the time I'm home, dinner's made and eaten, it's practically bedtime!  But 30 minutes on the treadmill a couple of days during the week plus being sure to work out on the weekends needs to happen - I want to get that back into my schedule.  I always feel better when I exercise regularly.

Read more books. 
Between all of the social medias and blogs I read, plus magazine subscriptions, I haven't read a book in a long time.  And, really since The Help, I haven't gotten into one I like nearly as much as that one.  I have a big stack that I have recommendations for, and I want to actually read them!  I just need to start one.  Do you have any good books I should add to the list?

Find a good work/life balance.
With the familiarity and flexibility of the old job, I felt like I had a good balance.  I worked longer days so I could have most Fridays off, at least from March through about November, and could manage my schedule how I needed to.  With the new job, I have a lot to learn.  And our schedules seem much more rigid, 8:30-5:30, 5 days a week.  And I think I'm going to be a lot busier day to day, plus traveling a decent amount.  It's going to take some adjusting and diligence on my part to ensure I have a good balance.

Spend good time with good friends.
We are very lucky to have so many friends, both in the DC area and around the world.  I feel that we do a pretty good job of visiting people, seeing RVA friends when in town, and getting together with different couples and groups of friends here.  But I want to make a point to get together with people we really enjoy being around but don't get to see very often.  We have already had dinner with my old roommate who we went all of 2012 without seeing!  And we have plans to see one of M's college friends, wife and little girl this weekend while we are in RVA - we haven't seen them in over a year either!  A few months ago, I decided to try to see a different friend in Richmond each time we were in town - it's so tough with the quick trips and trying to see both parents - but we've done pretty good so far, I want to be sure to keep it up!

Break Cady of the bad habit of barking at the tv.
This seems ridiculous (and it is) and those who don't live with it.  My dog watches tv.  She doesn't just calmly sit on the couch and stare towards the television.  No.  She actively watches tv, specifically the commercials.  And she recognizes when there are dogs on the tv.  And then she flies off the couch barking at those dogs.  Or cows, goats, horses.  You have NO idea how many commercials have animals.  Until you spend an evening with Cady.  She will even be in the other room or upstairs and hear the music of a commercial with an animal and go racing in to bark.  We have to keep a baby gate in front of the tv to keep her off the tv stand.  So we've been working on a new method to attempt to break her of this.  And we're determined.  Time out.  It sounds absurd, I know.  But we've done it with other things and it's worked.  So we have an old leash tied to the leg of the table behind the couch.  Any time she barks, we scold with "no bark!" and clip her in for a few minutes.  We've definitely noticed an improvement...but we have a ways to go.

There are a few other things I'm working on this year, such as actually putting clean clothes away, keeping my piles cleaned up around the house, returning items I don't want during the return period, and trying new recipes.  And getting back to blogging more regularly.

Did you make any 'resolutions' or goals for this year?  How are you doing so far?  Even if you feel like you've 'blown it' or fallen off the wagon, you can always get back on.  You don't have to wait until January 1, 2014, or the beginning of the next month, or the all too familiar "I'll start Monday."  Every little bit along the way can make a big change in your life, and you have to start somewhere!

1 comment:

  1. You're ambitious. I only set one goal: to use every spice in our pantry by the end of the year. The collection of jars is overwhelming, so we need to use or toss this year.

    Good luck with the barking!