new year’s goals 2011

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to turn our attention to the new year. A lot of people scoff at the idea of new year’s resolutions. They say, if you want to make a change, do it now. Don’t wait for a new week or a new month or a new year. For the most part, I agree. Everyday is a chance to change your world.

But, I can’t deny the appeal of a freshly minted calendar year. All the sins of the past year are mentally erased and I truly believe everyone is in the right mentality to make a change.

Sure, a lot of resolutions fail, but that’s okay. Just trying to better yourself is a step in the right direction. One of my favorite running quotes is, “Dead last finish is better than did not finish which trumps did not start.” The simple act of attempting to change yourself is changing yourself.

This all being said, I’m ready to share with you my goals for 2011. I have 11 of them, mostly because I like the symmetry. I’m not naive enough to believe I’ll have a 100% completion on all of these–that is a lot to tackle at the start of a new year. But I do believe I’ll at least attempt to tackle them all. And trying is half the battle.

1. Have over $10,000 in savings.

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Starting with a big one here. We live very comfortably within our means. While that means no debt, that also means not a lot of savings. There are a lot of simple things we can cut out of our day-to-day life that will add up to big gains in our savings account. By the end of the year, I’d like to have a savings account that is somewhere in the (early) five figures.

2. Make the 2011 holidays less stressful.

I’m going to start planning early to make Christmas 2011 easier on us. A few action steps: (1) buy most Christmas gifts instead of making them all (2) work on Swagbucks to save up enough Amazon gift cards to help pay for Christmas gifts (3) plan to take off more than just two weeks if we head to Canada.

3. Run at least five races.

This one is pretty straight forward. I ran in four 5K races last year and just want to better that by one. And do more longer distances. Starting off with my mini marathon in May.

4. Try more recipes from my cookbooks.

I am terribly guilty of neglecting my awesome collection of cookbooks. I get most of my recipes from blogs and Googling. I’d like to go back to looking through the glossy pages of cookbooks and settling on a recipe that sounds delicious. I’d like to try at least one recipe a week from one of my cookbooks. Maybe even more!

5. Hit my goal weight.

I struggled a lot with how to write this. Originally, I had a specific number in mind, but truthfully, I have no idea what my goal weight is. I’m operating under the “I’ll know it when I see it” philosophy. I do now that I want to be done actively losing weight by the end of 2011.

6. Read 25 books.

I love reading, but I always seem to forget about it. TV or movies or the Internet take precedence. I want to get back into reading and my goal of 25 is a great place to start. That gives me roughly 2 weeks per book, which should be plenty of time.

7. Get 200,000 views on my blog in 2011.

Back to Her Roots has had an awesome start! Since my first post in August, I’ve received over 50,000 views. If I can do that in 5 months, I can surely do 200,000 in a year. I’ll need to work a little more on promotion, now I do exactly none, but hopefully I can easily tackle this goal.

8. Reduce our environmental impact.

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Gosh, this seems to be a frequently repeating resolution. You can always be greener can’t you? One big aspect of this is to reduce the amount of trash we produce. I want to start composting and try to start recycling. Recycling is less than convenient where we live, so I want to start small. I also want to reduce the amount of plastic and paper we use.

9. Eat more locally.

We are really great about this in the summer. And really terrible about it the rest of the year. I want to change that. Part of that will be us preserving our own food for use in the less bountiful months. Part of it will be devoting the money to purchasing local even when it isn’t the most economical (which contradicts #1, I know).

10. Limit the amount of TV we watch on weeknights.

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We are super guilty of coming home, turning on the TV and vegging out until bedtime. A DVR means we don’t have to do that! Except for sports, I’d like to limit our TV time a night to about 2 hours. I love TV, but I also love doing other things (see #6).

11. Donate my time to more volunteer organizations.

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I would like to spend some of the time freed up from #10 volunteering. I have a lot of ideas for causes that I’d like to get involved with and will keep you posted!


  1. says

    Very nice and realistic goals. Even if you accomplish a little on each goal (or most goals) you’ll be doing a lot to improve yourself and your lifestyle. Way to go! Happy New Year Cass!

  2. says

    Great goals…mine have been percolating in my mind for the past couple of weeks (definitely with you on reaching my goal weight this year)…will put them down in writing in the next couple of days…you can do this!!

  3. says

    Your blog inspired me to read In Defense of Food and it seriously changed my life. I’ve always been interested in food, but I think about it in a totally different way now. I’ve been trying to get everyone I can to read that book, and I’ve promoted it on my food site as well! I’ve revamped my food blog, so check it out if you get the chance – I’d love to know what you think!

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked it. It totally changed my life too, I was totally crying during some parts because I had a major epiphany. Your blog is fantastic! Keep up the awesome work.

  4. Jenn says

    Great goal list. I wasn’t going to do one but now, maybe I will have to rethink that!
    Loved your quote by the way… gonna steal and use it some time.
    Also, I loved the book Eat, Pray Love. Didn’t care for the movie.

    • says

      I haven’t made it through Eat, Pray, Love. I started it at the end of vacation in September and haven’t picked it (or any book) up since. This year!

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