I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions always seem to be more like vague ideas about what I’d like to do in the following year. Lose weight, get out of debt, be happy, etc.
Noble ideas, but very vague. Without a map, without a guideline, I just waver. Just wandering around without knowing where I am going. Tolkien said that not all who wander are lost. But I am lost when I wander. I really and truly dislike being lost. It kicks up my anxiety. I haven’t even updated the iOS on my iPhone because I need reliable maps.
Instead of resolutions, I make goals. Tangible, achievable goals. With benchmarks to check off as I progress. Crossing off the goals as I accomplish them lessens my anxiety and gives me a sense of achievement. It reinforces my badassness and cements my feelings of awesome while simultaneously beating back my demons.
Here are my eleven goals for the year (in no particular order):
1. Improve food photography.
I want to have at least 3 pictures accepted to Tastespotting. I have been unable to get ANYTHING accepted there. I have had my food pictures/ recipes accepted by FoodGawker. And that’s a big deal. But I feel like I need to get accepted to Tastespotting for my own self esteem. I’m starting to take my rejections personally. To get submissions accepted, I’d need to improve my food photography skills. Which brings me to…
2. Learn how to see light.
This sounds insanely pretentious. As I learn more about photography, I’m realizing that it’s really all about the light. Getting good light, manipulating the light, noticing the light. Learning how to see the light, the shadows it makes, the temperature of it, and the way it falls on my subject is imperative in getting better. I’m determined to learn this year.
3. Less Twitter.
I love Twitter. I’ve “met” amazing wonderful people there. People that I’ve had great conversations with and gotten to know and consider friends. But I spend way too much time there. Waaaaay to much time. The more time I spend on Twitter, the less time I have for other things I love doing. New goal: one hour of Twitter a day. Broken down into 10 minute increments.
4. Finish thesis, graduate, find a job and move.
Pretty much self-explanatory. It’s my last semester of graduate school. I need to do these things so that my family get on with our lives. And get as far away from living with nasty ass college students as I possible can. Living with undergraduate students is the pits.
5. Project 52
Complete a project 52. Already under way! Only 51 more weeks to go. This one is a biggie for me.
6. Eat 3 vegetarian meals a week.
We already a great deal of vegetables but I want to eat less meat overall. I can’t give up meat entirely. I really love bacon.
7. Express my love.
Tell my kids I love them everyday. I don’t tell them this enough. And I should. Because nothing in my life is as important as them.
8. Run another 5K.
I am not a runner. I am not an athlete. I did run a 5K last year and it was awesome. I want to do it again. Running is good for my heart and taking care of my heart is important. Training for and completing a 5K also feeds my competitive drive. I can be very competitive. But competing with others makes me an asshole. I’m better when competing against myself.
9. Go to bed at 10pm and wake up before the kids (6am).
This one is probably a pipe dream. Being naturally nocturnal and having a crap ton of stuff to do with the kids during the day means that my nights are full of thesis writing and studying (and Twitter- see goal #3). I miss sleep. I would like to reintroduce myself to it again.
10. Improve my writing.
The only way to do this is to write. I’ve already set a goal of at least 250 words for each blog post. So I’m going to write creatively. Write for at least 20 minutes everyday. Butt in chair, pen in hand, write.
11. No more mindless shopping.
I’m not the best when it comes to money. I’ve never really budgeted. We don’t even have a household budget. I have an idea of where I’m spending, but I don’t know for sure. Thinking about money for too long gives me palpitations, so I don’t really think about it. I do know that mindless shopping eats up a bunch of my cash. I walk into Target to get sheets and walk out $200 lighter. No more. No more buying that item because it’s “sooo cute” or because it’s “only a dollar.” Make every purchase a conscionable one.