2012, One Month In

Though I can’t believe we’re one month in to 2012, the calendar doesn’t lie. Even after the holidays, the celebrations didn’t stop around here. January went by in a blur of visits with friends and family, my extended trip to southern California, and cooking up a lot of delicious food for folks, which is my favorite way to spend the day.

Last week I had a chance to catch up with myself and check in. I stayed in each night, preferring the company of my couch and cats to conversations. Admittedly, some of that reflection time was spent catching up on TV while sipping tea, enjoying the trials and tribulations of all of my favorite TV personalities. Here and there, though, I tried to take an inventory of how 2012 was going so far – what I’d accomplished, how I was feeling, and what next steps I wanted to take. I figured an easy way to do this was to go over the goals I set for 2012. Last year, I didn’t check in until June and had forgotten about some of the things I set out to do – so monthly check ins will keep me accountable.

1. Complete an elimination diet to figure out if anything in particular is causing constant nasal congestion and fatigue. Note: This is not a “diet” strategy or a long term eating goal. I just want to figure out what the heck is making it impossible to breathe through my nose. 

I thought about starting this the week after my mom was here for the weekend, and realized that with two trips to Tahoe coming up, it wasn’t realistic, nor did I have time to plan for it the way I wanted to. So instead, I’m planning on doing this in June and in the interim, am cutting way back on my dairy, gluten, soy, and refined sugar to test the waters and get some practice cooking in a different way. I can do an update about specifics in a later post. 

2. Organize the hidden spaces in our house (drawers, cabinets, closets)

Although I’d hope to have this done by the end of January, it’s not. Alex and I need to take a day to go through things and then hit the Container Store together. I am trying to be better about putting my clothes away immediately rather than leaving them heaped on top of my dresser…

3. Allot time weekly for a creative activity – writing, drawing, crafting, photography

I haven’t been as conscious about this as I’d like to. I have been taking advantage of the train to write blog posts though, so that’s something. 

4. Take a nonfiction writing class 

I went to my first class Monday night; I think it’s going to be a great experience particularly because I am deathly afraid of reading my work aloud and having it critiqued (I got nauseous just when the teacher talked about doing it). Pushing my limits will definitely help me grow! 

5. Cut down expenses by $150/month 

Success! I really wanted to do this to see if I could afford yoga each month, and lo and behold – I can! 

6. Run a sub-2 hour half-marathon 

I signed up for a race in November – which is pretty freakin’ far away, leaving me with plenty of time to make lots of excuses for why I don’t need to run. So I also signed up for a 10 mile race that’s in April to get my butt back in gear. I always forget how much I like to run until I’m doing it often. 

7. Conduct brainstorming session for blog and create editorial calendar for posting twice a week 

I recently read Teri’s post about meeting up with a blogger friend to brainstorm – and this is what I want to do. I have done some of it on my own but I’d like to have dedicated conversation with another blogger so we can generate more ideas. 

8. Attend yoga class twice a week

This goal is immensely important to me and yet it’s the one I made the least progress on because it requires a larger investment of time. In February, I’m going to shoot for one class a week because I have my writing class on Mondays and we’re out of town for two of the weekends. Starting in March, I’ll try to amp it up to twice a week. 

9. Invest in non-overhead lighting for our living room and bedroom

Alright, well I haven’t made any progress on this either, but I mocked up a new layout for our bedroom in PowerPoint which includes exactly where to put lamps. That’s progress, right? 

10. Maintain daily gratitude journal – writing down something nightly before bed that I am grateful for

Doing this has been easier than I thought, and I love it. I write three things that I’m grateful for each night before I go to bed, no matter what time it is or how tired I am. It ranges from “I’m grateful I have access to good healthcare” to “I’m grateful Alex cleaned up the kitchen” to “I’m grateful for fuzzy socks.” 

11. Read two books per month (not sure if this is realistic, but aim high!) 

In January, I finished one book of short stories, Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love, by Laura Vapnyar. I picked it up a few months ago at the thrift store but hadn’t gotten around to it. Vapnyar is Russian and she shares wonderfully poignant tales of the intersection between food and love that will particularly resonate for those who have left a home country behind. 

12. Aim for 7 hours of sleep per night and slow down for at least 15 minutes before bed

When I started this post, I thought I was going to have to admit to an epic fail on this one but in reality, I haven’t been doing that badly. Last week I was asleep by 10 pm each night. This week it will be a little later because I have more going on, but I’m actively taking my bedtime into account when I set my morning alarm. Sleep > workouts. 

For being only one month in, I’m thrilled at the progress I’ve made on these goals. And I know I’ll set some more along the way so hopefully I fail at some of them – because that means I dreamed big!

How is your 2012 shaping up so far?

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