Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 New Year's Resolutions

I usually don't make New Year's Resolutions, as I don't think I'll be able to stick to them anyway. This year I do have some, along with ways to actually stick to them. I'll share mine--will you share yours in the comments?

1. Play more music.
Details: Rock and roll all night long. Nah, not really. Specifically, I want to play a musical instrument for an hour a week. That breaks down to 10 minutes 6 days a week.

Why: Several years ago I started playing piano, but I got frustrated after a couple years by my lack of progress. I have to remind myself that when I started learning trumpet in sixth grade, we had 45-minute band class every day, plus we had to practice at least 30 minutes every day at home. I did that practice for years and turned into a quite decent trumpet player. I can sight read music easily, which makes me forget that it took me many years to get to that point.

Goal: To be able to play through the piano kids' song book and actually make the songs sound like they are supposed to. And to do a trumpet solo at some event this year.

Bonus: My kids love music, so when I play they often sing along or dance. It's fun for everyone. (Although I still recall my mother telling me that I sounded like a wounded buffalo when I tried to learn French horn.)

2. Exercise regularly.
Details: Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. This is an easy resolution for me when the weather is good. I love getting outside and having some quiet time during a run. With the cold winter months it can be so much challenging, but I've found a new weapon to add to my arsenal of workout tapes: You Tube. I can't believe how many different workouts are on You Tube, and they are already helping me keep exercising.

Why: It feels good.

Goal: Enjoy movement. Do a few races.

Bonus: I may learn to dance better if I keep doing the Zumba workouts!

3. Organize my house.
Details: Housework almost always falls to the bottom of my priority list. I'd rather spend time with my kids, exercise, blog, cook, or do about anything than housework.

Why: I hate looking for something I can't find, knowing that I'm wasting time.

Goal: Start becoming a minimalist. Donate things that I'm not using, recycle paper I no longer need, make spaces in my house more useable. I've already started, thanks to my friend Jenny. Here's a photo of our new entryway organizer. We've had it for a couple weeks and it is working great!

Bonus: Maybe the kids will learn to be more organized and won't have to go through a mid-life organizing crisis like me.

4. Eat healthier.
Details: We already eat healthy, with balanced meals and lots of fruits and vegetables. But we could do better. One way is to cut out more processed foods. I've learned a lot in the last few days from 100daysofrealfood.com. The concept isn't radical--we can still eat meat (good thing since we live on a cattle ranch!), fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and more. The main thing is that we know what we're eating and don't consume junk food. The funniest thing to me about all this is that we're really getting back to the roots of how the pioneers lived--making food from scratch. Even though we're so technologically advanced, the best food is still the simplest food.

Why: Eating healthier will give us more energy and make us feel better.

Goal: Eat very little artificially processed food (good bye store-bought cookies). I have thought about trying to participate in  the 7 Day Real Food Challenge, but since I won't be able to get to a grocery store before it starts, I think I better wait a little. But I did find delicious looking meal plans at https://www.facebook.com/100daysofrealfood (if you Like the page you can see the meal plans up at the top).

Bonus: Maybe my clothes will fit better?

5. Give more.
Details: I haven't entirely fleshed out this resolution, but I do know that I want to give more this year. I've been finding stories of inspiring people who have done so much with their lives. I've also found some really neat ways to give that I'll be highlighting in future posts.

Why: Giving really does feel great.

Goal: Give. One way I've found recently that is a win-win for everyone is We Give Books. I read books to the kids (with difficulty accessing a library, I sure appreciate this resource!), and they give books to kids in need. I'll be looking for more goals, so if you have ideas, let me know!

Bonus: Maybe the kids will learn something from this!

Well, I have plenty of other things I need to do this 2013 (read more, write more, be more patient), but I think I'll stick to five main goals. Don't want to get too over ambitious!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year!

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