It has been so nice to review all of my 2011 goals over the past few weeks. One of the most amazing things about blogging (and the most terrifying!) is that what you say is out there forever for the whole world to see. This is a great motivator for me when it comes to goals and is definitely the main reason why I managed to succeed at nine out of my 11 goals for this past year. That’s a pretty dang good record when it comes to the world of New Year’s resolutions. I’ll take it!
I might drink an extra glass of champagne tonight in celebration, but I’m not taking any time off from goal-setting. 2012 starts tomorrow and with it, a whole new set of goals and plans. I know a lot of people don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I urge you to jot down at least what you’d like to accomplish for the year. Remember, goals that aren’t written down are just wishes. There is power in the written word.
Alright, onto what I want to accomplish in twenty twelve.
1. Get business-ed.
Babyface and I both started our respective hobbies as just that—hobbies. A way to break up our day with something fun and creative. But in the past year, both writing/blogging (for me) and photography (for him) have blossomed way past HobbyLand. We are incredibly fortunate to have been so successful in such a short period of time, but it means that neither of us were quite ready with all the legalities. I’d like to leave 2012 with official, legal, and protected businesses. This will definitely require a lot of talks with my sister, the financial guru, and probably the services of a lawyer, but it’ll be worth it to make sure our hard work is protected and we’re set up for anything that comes in the future.
2. Buy a house.
Hey, look who is putting on her big girl panties and getting out of the renting game! I’d say with me reaching the ripe old age of 29 this year, it seems like a good time to put down some roots and become homeowners. We looked once before a few years back and didn’t feel financially stable enough to make the commitment, but now, I think we’re ready. Plus, after the debacle that was the tornado, we’re ready to be masters of our own destiny and not stuck waiting for maintenance to fix things. Renting has been great for us, but this past year has really taught us that we are ready to spread out a bit. We want to take our time and make the right decision for us, so it might very well take us all year to complete this goal. We’re willing to sacrifice some time and effort to find the right place. Puppyface told me her only requirement is that we have a yard that is big enough for her and a brother or sister.
3. Pay off 75% of our current debt.
A few years ago, Babyface and I buckled down and focused on paying off debt. We cut up our credit cards and managed to take a pretty massive bite out of our debt balance by skimping, saving and increasing our income. In order to prepare for house-buying, last year, we put debt-killing on hold and instead focused on saving. But now that we’ve conquered last year’s savings goal, we’d like to put the focus back onto becoming debt-free someday. Obviously, if we a buy a house, there will be a mortgage. But putting that aside, I’d like to see us pay off 75% of the debt we have right now. Currently we have one credit card, one student loan and one car loan. Honestly, this is a very aggressive goal and it’s going to be a tough one to achieve, but I have faith in our belt-tightening skills.
4. Raise $2,500 for charity.
I love blogging. And I think one of the coolest things about it is that we can accomplish some amazing things together as a group. I’m sure you’ve seen the bake sales and charity drives in the past years on other blogs, and this year I want to have a collective goal for everyone involved with BTHR. Throughout the year, I’d like for you guys to help me raise cash for a few charities that are near and dear to my heart. More info about this will be coming. $2,500 is really lofty goal, but I have faith in your generous hearts. There will even be a chance to choose the charity that you most want to see some of the money go to. Good things are to come.
5. Go scale free.
This is quite the departure from the goal of 2011 to reach my goal weight. Honestly, the past few months without a scale have been some of my happiest and most confident in years. The truth is, I’m doing everything right. I’m eating good foods. I’m drinking plenty of water. I’m exercising 3-5 times a week. The number on the scale is not an indicator of my health, dedication or resolve and for so long I’ve felt like it was. I actually feel like I’ve gotten stronger, healthier, and faster without my scale. Instead of focusing on calories in and calories out, I’ve been focusing on push-ups and filling my plate with a rainbow. Do I need to lose 50 more pounds to be considered a “normal” weight? Yes. But I’m not sure I care. I feel so free having no idea what I weigh. And I’d like that feeling to continue on through 2012. I’m not ready to say that I’m “done” with weight loss, but I am ready for it to not be on my mind every single day.
6. Find my marathon.
In October, when we went to Chicago to cheer on my sister as she ran her first marathon, I couldn’t help but think, “I want this.” Not a marathon per se, but I want that feeling. I want to be so proud of something I didn’t think I could do. I want that thing that makes me excited to exercise. I want that thing that when I tell people I do it, they say, “Wow, that’s cool!” I doubt it is long-distance running (although, never say never), but there has got to be something out there for me that can be my marathon. Maybe it’s hiking the Appalachian Trail. Maybe it’s doing a triathlon. Maybe it’s playing volleyball. Maybe it’s becoming a dancefit instructor. Who knows? But I do know that I want to devote my year to finding my marathon, whatever it may be.
7. Become a better blogger, writer and recipe developer.
As mentioned up in #1, I started this thing as a hobby, but quickly have learned that I am incredibly passionate about writing, photography and recipe development. I love doing this! I am so fortunate that blogging, writing and recipe-development have become something I do on the side. I’ve made some awesome strides in the past 16 months, but I think I have a lot of room for improvement. It starts with things like the BTHR Reader Survey and ends with me hopefully putting out a better product not only here on BTHR, but also for any writing projects I have. I have lots of ideas for how I can hone my craft this year. I’d like to learn some more about food photography and styling. I’d like to maybe take a creative writing class or two. I’d like to get published more and expand my portfolio. I want to put out something I can be proud of. And hopefully you guys can be proud of, too.
8. Read 50 books.
I had so much fun hitting last year’s reading goal that I thought I’d go for it again but up the ante. As I said in my recap of last year’s goal, this resolution is a whole lot less about reading and a whole lot more about making sure I have time to do something I enjoy all year long. It may seem far-fetched to double the goal from 25 to 50, but now that we are TV free, I have a lot of free time to devote to books from my lovely library.
9. Complete 3,500 fitness minutes.
The All About the Numbers challenge a few months ago was an awesome one for me. I really loved focusing on the numbers that resonate with me (as opposed to calories, pounds, etc.). I want to keep that momentum up in the new year with the goal of completing 3,500 fitness minutes. That averages out to around 10 fitness minutes for all
365 366 days of 2012. Is it a lofty goal? Maybe not, but I’m excited to tackle something that spans the full year. Sometimes it’s about consistency not quantity.
10. Go on 12 date nights with Babyface.
This probably seems like a ridiculous goal to most people, but free time is not something we have a lot of. And we tend to be homebodies, so when we do have free time we really, truly enjoy snuggling together on the couch. But the truth is, shared experience is what makes relationships thrive. We have fun when we go out to dinner. We laugh uncontrollably when we go into bookstores. We love walking down the sidewalk hand-in-hand. Going on dates is good for us and our marriage. Marriage isn’t just something that you “do” and then it works forever. It takes some effort, and at least once a month this year, I’d like to pull my hair out of the ponytail, shave my legs and go out on the town with that fantastic husband of mine.
11. Switch to a plant-centric diet.
I’m never going to go vegetarian or vegan (okay, never say never, but I find it highly-unlikely I will ever stop eating bacon and cheese), but I do think Babyface and I are eating way too much meat, eggs and dairy. We are better off than the average American family, but I still think we over-consume on animal proteins (especially dairy). I’d like to see 2012 as the year of the plant-centric diet. There are so many studies out that point to a whole foods, plant-based diet as the way to a healthy and happy long life. I’d like to see our meat consumption drop to two or three times a week and our dairy consumption drop to one meal a day. Considering my love of cheese, this is not going to be an easy one.
12. Enjoy 2012.
This might seem like a filler goal, but I promise it isn’t. There were a lot of ups and downs in 2011, but I feel like I’m really hitting a fantastic place in my life and I want to cherish as many of these amazing moments as I can. I’m not going to get down on myself for blowing off work early to go on a hike with the ‘faces. I’m not going to let myself feel guilty for spending an entire Sunday reading YA books. I’m going to kiss my husband and hug my family and throw Puppyface’s tennis ball. I’m going to wear sparkly nail polish and bake cookies for no reason and pick wildflowers. I’m going to eat tomatoes straight from the vine and make snow angels and do cannonballs into the pool. I’m going to buy a pink sweater and drink an extra margarita and stay in my jammies all weekend long. I’m going to live the hell out of 2012.
So there you have it. 12 goals for 2012. I hope you have a fantastic, sparkly and safe celebration today, my friends. And I will see you in the new year. Happy new year!