Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I think it is only natural for us to take stock of a few things when the New Year approaches.  I reviewed my blog posts from last year and found some things that worked and some that didn't.  I  read through many of my Facebook posts and noted the highlights and a few low points.  I lamented not losing any weight, not exercising enough, and not being as creative as I would have liked.  I took stock of my amazing friends, the fact that I am blessed with so many beautiful nieces and nephews, and have a family that loves me.  What was my conclusion?  To keep the good and get rid of the not so good.

Why dwell on the negative of the last year when there is nothing I can do to change it now?  It's a New Year and time to move forward.  It's time to adjust my life to meet new goals and experience new things.  What is that called?  Oh yeah, a New Years resolution.  Well screw that.

Every facet of our life is about finding out what works for us and what doesn't.  Our professions, health, creativity, daily life etc. are all more fulfilling when we focus on what works and what doesn't and it's different for everyone.  

A perfect, yet basic, example of this is how someone plans out their day.  I have tried every type of day planner.  Every type of paper planner (small, big, homemade, store bought, cheap, expensive, basic and complex), palm pilot, iPhone, google calendars etc, etc, etc.  I have finally found what I think is the answer.  It's called a Planner Pad and I...Am....In....Love!

I am going to save my Planner Pad lust for another post but your probably wondering what my planner has to do with anything.  Well, I have never been a big fan of New Years resolutions because they have never worked for me.  So much so that I even wrote a post about it last year.  Let's think about this for a minute.  We make a list on January 1st of every year about all the things we want to accomplish for the year and most of us implement most of them all on one day and then expect ourselves to keep up with it for the rest of the year.  It's a recipe for failure.  

While I was getting my Planner Pad ready for 2014 I noticed there was a blank space on each month for notes.  I thought "Why not implement monthly resolutions instead?"  I think it makes a lot more sense.  I can decide on two or three things each month that I would like to accomplish on a weekly or daily basis.  If they work, great.  I will continue to do them and carry them into the next month and if they don't work I can re-evaluate them and decide to re-work them or drop them all together.  To me, this is more of a work in progress that happens to last a year rather than some "regimen" I start on January 1st and will most likely break by February 1st.  

So starting today, I will be posting my monthly resolutions on the first of each month and reviewing my progress (or lack of) for the previous month.  So here we go:

January Resolutions

1.  Exercise 30 minutes each day.  I don't care if it's just a walk around the block or a hike through the local park, it's time that I schedule exercise with the same priority as school and work.  I currently do zero exercise so I think 30 minutes is a reasonable start.

2.  Be mindful of my food intake.  I'm done with diets, restrictions, and regimens I can't keep because I take drastic measures on the first of every year.  For the month of January I am going to ease into changing my diet by just trying to be mindful about my meals.   I hope to increase my vegetables, decrease my carbs and just make better choices in general.

3.  Take 30 minutes every Sunday night to go through my planner and evaluate the week ahead.  While I am excellent at documenting my daily schedule I am not always the best for planning out what I need to achieve my goals each week.  I'm hoping that a Sunday evening review will help with that.  

I think I am going to stop at three for the month of January as to not sabotage my efforts!

Now that I have just gone on and on about not taking on year long projects I am going to tell you about one year long commitment that I am diving into.  

I just happened to stumble upon a Facebook post today that was describing the 365grateful project.  The 365Grateful project is the brainchild of Hailey Bartholomew.  While battling depression she went to a life coach who suggested that she write down one thing each day that she was grateful for.  Being a photographer, she soon added in pictures and began to notice that there were so many good things that happened to her each day that were going unnoticed.  She began to share these pictures and soon people were posting 365grateful pictures everywhere.  You can watch a video about her experience here.

I regularly think about the things I am grateful for.  I have had some huge challenges over the last couple of years and one of the biggest sources of comfort for me is to recognize the good in my life.  A great job, a warm house, family and friends, a hot meal.  The list goes on and on.  As grateful as I am though, I don't take the time each day to notice so I have decided to change that by embarking on the 365grateful project.  

It's easy to join in if you like.  Just take one picture each day of something you are grateful for.  You can choose to keep your pictures private in a journal or post them to a social media site such as Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, or Instagram.  Remember to hashtag each photo with #365grateful so that others on those sites can be inspired by your photos.  I will be posting mine to my Instagram site.  You can follow me here if you like.  This is my first photo:

I am grateful for a job that I love.

I am looking forward to finding the gratitude in each day for the next year.

What will you be doing in 2014?


  1. I like your idea of renewing resolutions on a monthly basis rather than just making a list of 10 things on January 1st and forgetting about them a couple weeks later. Doing them monthly gives you 12 mini-starts throughout the year!

    At the beginning of 2013 I switched from resolutions to doing a "word of the year" that you strive to embody in all aspects of your life. My words last year was "grace". I was amazed that I actually had that word in mind every single day the entire year! This year my word in "reinvent".

    Love the 365 project about gratefulness. I considered grateful for my word this year and really want to try and make it an everyday, unconscious effort, to be more grateful in all things. Thanks for sharing that!

  2. I like your idea of monthly resolutions rather than ones for the whole year. I have been doing that, sort of, for a while. Like you, I also have trouble figuring out a good planning system. I've tried more ideas than I can count. I can't wait to hear how this one works for you. It looks similar to something I used for a while that was probably one of the more effective systems.

    Hope you have a great new year!



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