Sunset in Columbus last weekend
With it being New Year’s Day, I, like a lot of society, am excited for a new year and fresh start. I’ve written New Year’s resolutions pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Recently, in the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, I created and followed what I called the New Year’s All Year Challenge. It went okay for me in 2011, and pretty well for me in 2012, but I did not keep up with in 2013. A lot of changes occurred in my life this past year (like moving out of my parents’ house, getting married, a new job, etc.), and trying to stay focused on multiple goals every month on top of those changes started to feel very overwhelming for me. I eventually let go of them because I tend to be a perfectionist and my lack of progress on them (due to focusing on all the other big events and adjustments going on) was unnecessarily stressing me out. While my 2014 isn’t currently shaping up to have the type of life-changing events 2013, I have decided to forgo doing a 2014 New Year’s All Year Challenge for the similar reasons. I want to achieve my goals in life, but I want to make sure I am doing so in a balanced way that doesn’t put unneeded pressure on myself. I want to enjoy the journey and make sure I am having fun and spending time with those I love.
I am a longtime fan of Mackenzie Horan of Design Darling, and I recently realized her 101 Things in 1,001 Days project is perfect way for me to approach the next year. Well, really, the next 2.75 years. As she described it, it’s a “happy medium between writing a to do list and keeping a bucket list. It’s a way to dream big and make regular progress toward meeting those longer term goals.” So, I have crafted my own list and will begin my journey today! I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences with everyone. Happy New Year!!! : )
Start: January 1, 2014
- Compete in a masters swim meet.
- Complete a triathlon.
- Meet my goal weight.
- Do yoga every day for a month.
- Stop biting my nails.
- Complete a Bible study.
- Try every fitness class offered at my gym.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Give up swearing for Lent (and see if it lasts after that!).
- Complete a plank challenge.
- Floss every other day for a month (and see if I can finally maintain the habit).
- Go to the eye doctor.
- Eat as a vegetarian for a month.
- Complete a squat challenge.
- Try 20 different workouts from what I have saved from magazines over the years.
- Practice meditation/mindfulness every day for a month.
- Attend a musical I’ve never seen before.
- Revisit the major museums in Cleveland (4).
- Go to a Blue Jackets game.
- Go apple or berry picking.
- Attend a live comedy show.
- Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
- Eat at five new-to-me restaurants in the Cleveland or Columbus area.
- Go on a tour of a brewery.
- Attend a professional orchestra concert.
- Visit the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
- Go camping.
- Visit the Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati.
- Obtain a passport and use it, even if only to travel to Canada (the only other country I have ever been in besides the U.S.).
- Visit the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton.
- Take Madison to the dog beach.
- Visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Attend Dinner on the Diamond again.
- See a major league baseball game in a stadium I have never been to before.
- Go to a BGSU home football game.
- Send Christmas cards to all of our family and friends before the holiday.
- Host a book club meeting.
- Prepare a meal for my family using an outdoor grill.
- Do something extra special for each member of my family.
- Host a fancy brunch for my friends.
- Mail my closest friends and family cards for each birthday during these 1,001 days.
- Throw a party for my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary.
- Donate to PAWS in Madison’s name.
- Donate toys to kids in need.
- Donate to BGSU.
- Complete 25 random acts of kindness.
- Donate blankets or coats to those in need.
- “Pay it forward” at a coffee shop or at a tollbooth.
- Donate books to an organization that distributes them to those who need them or volunteer with a literacy organization.
- Complete 40 service hours.
- Sponsor an athlete at PSH or donate to scholarships offered through PCSD.
- Read 75 books I have never read before.
- Bake a pie from scratch.
- Make a pizza (dough and sauce) from scratch.
- Complete compiling and order a full wedding album.
- See a classic movie in a movie theater.
- Knit a scarf.
- Make 15 recipes out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
- Be inspired by Pinterest 10 times to either create/bake/cook something or utilize a cleaning/organization tip.
- Back up all my photos.
- Make a T-shirt quilt.
- Watch 10 Best Picture winning films I haven’t see before.
- Back up all my music.
- Create Snapfish or Shutterfly albums for each year since high school.
- Bake 12 different recipes of cookies and cut each recipe into an unique shape using our Year Of Cookies cookie cutters we were gifted for our wedding.
- Spend at least two months blogging consistently (five days a week).
- Watch Gone With the Wind again.
- Organize all my workout and recipe clippings from magazines into navigable binders/digital files.
- Start a history podcast and publish at least three episodes.
- Organize all my previously written swim practices and planning into navigable binders/digital files.
- Obtain a full-time classroom position and/or begin earning my masters degree.
- Learn all of the world’s capital cities and the names and locations of major rivers, mountains, etc.
- Develop my Honors Project (from college) into a full book.
- Organize all my lesson plans and resources into navigable binders/digital files.
- Find a way to combine my loves of social media and the field of education into something that serves a resource and/or community for either teachers or students.
- Truly study (not just skim/index through) all the swimming books I own and organize my notes on them into navigable binders/digital files.
Things That Scare Me
- Sing karaoke
- Buy a bikini and wear it in public.
- Get another tattoo.
- Pay off the Honda Civic Dan and I purchased in March 2013 ahead of schedule.
- Save at least $5,000.
- Create a solid budget and begin cultivating spending/saving tracking habits by following it successfully for at least two months.
- Finish changing name on all accounts/relevant records.
- Write a will and a living will.
- Buy big plastic bins and use them to organize the storage space/seasonal decorations.
- Set up a home office.
- Create and implement a rotating cleaning schedule and follow it for at least two months straight.
- Do an intake of my belongings, donate or toss what I don’t need, and organize what I am keeping.
- Find a more effective system for receiving mail, disposing of it/filing it, and responding to it.
- Style our bedroom.
- Style our living room.
- Buy an actual address book and use it.
- Clean my car and keep it tidy for at least two months.
- Find a skincare regimen that works for me and follow it for at least 30 days.
- Buy a grown up watch, and wear it regularly.
- Learn 5 new ways to style my hair.
- Get a pedicure.
- Find the perfect little black dress.
- Get grown-up luggage and use it (instead of using my backpack from high school!).
- Find my “signature scent.”
- Purchase a monogrammed bracelet or necklace.
End date: September 27, 2016
Hey, guys! Are you enjoying the 31 Day Blog Challenge? Is anyone else doing it, too? Today’s prompt is favorite movies you never get sick of watching. I am a BIG movie fan and a total sucker for $5 DVD deals (so much so, in fact, that I have had to create a DVD wish list I keep on my phone and only allow myself to buy deals from the list!). That being said, here are some of the movies I enjoy the most or have had the habit of watching over and over.
What movies have you watched over and over?
In January I introduced the 2012 New Year’s All Year Challenge, in which I made broad “endpoint” goals for the year and explained that each month I will make specific small goals that are stepping stones to my endpoint aims. Each month I will also reflect on the previous month’s goals and efforts.
- Health: get enough sleep
- Finances: budget and stick to it
- Relationships: try to balance relationships with work in a good way
- Wedding: BOOK A PHOTOGRAPHER and go bridesmaid dress shopping
- Career: stay on top of to-do list and fundraising for swimming
- Self-enrichment: take time to a read a fun book or listen to history podcasts
Health: I really struggled with getting enough sleep this month. Partly because of all that I had to do, partly because I was worrying a lot so I had trouble sleeping. Either way, I did my best. For the most part, I think I did okay. Hopefully I can do better in November. Finances: I budgeted and stuck to it pretty well! Definitely something I plan to keep up. Relationships: I did my best to balance seeing friends, family, and Dan and keeping up with work. I think I did decently. It’s hard because I love spending time with the people I love, but I also don’t want to fall behind on work. Wedding: A photographer has FINALLY been booked!!! Dan took the reins and settled a contract with our first-choice photographer. I’m so relieved and excited! My sister Jackie, who is my maid of honor/only bridesmaid, and I went dress shopping this month. We didn’t find a dress that we liked at the store we looked at, but we got better ideas what we wanted. Career: I am doing better with staying on top of things, though there is still so much to do all the time! And I am enjoying it more again now that I have a bit more of a rhythm. Self-enrichment: I travel every other weekend to visit Dan (we’re in different cities until we get married) and I look forward to listening to Stuff You Missed in History Class on the rides. I’ve also started reading for fun again, as a way to get my mind off my never-ending to-do list.
- Health: make attending the group exercise classes I enjoy a priority and don’t feel guilty about using that time for exercise instead of work! Also consume less caffeine.
- Finances: budget and stick to it; meet monthly savings goal
- Relationships: make sure I thank those in my life for the ways they enrich it
- Wedding: Ask for help with planning and start figure out best florist/flower option
- Career: reflect on how my first quarter of teaching went and make/implement plans on how to improve the second; start swim season off on a great note with the students, continue working on fundraisers, and get all home meet preparations done well ahead of time
- Self-enrichment: schedule regular pockets of time to myself to unwind (read a book for fun, bake, cook, watch a movie without also grading, BLOG, etc.) and don’t feel guilty about doing so!
Every time a new season rolls around, I think about all the reasons why that one has to be my favorite. And every year, when fall arrives, I wonder how I even questioned which season takes top honors. I ADORE autumn and embrace every second of it! Pumpkin and apple flavored everything? Cool crisp weather? Sweatshirts and boots and layers galore? Football? Start of the holiday season? Does it get any better?!
So while I wasn’t super successful at my summer 2012 bucket list (only completing numbers 1, 4, 5, 6, and 9), I’m of course making one for fall, too. After all, it’s a bucket list – you write down all you hope to do and achieve, and make the best of it!
- Bake something with pumpkin in it and/or make caramel apples.
- Clock in miles on a trail (running, biking, walking, whatever) and take in all the different colored leaves.
- Attend a football game of the high school where I work.
- Have a campfire, make s’mores, and drink hot chocolate.
- Make a new decoration each for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
- Rake up a big pile of leaves and then jump in it
- Try some new healthy casseroles and soups that can be made in a slow cooker.
- Watch a scary movie I haven’t seen before.
- Go on a hayride and/or go to a festival.
- Carve pumpkins.
What are your favorite things about fall? What plans do you have for the 2012 season?