Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again - it's always fascinating to me to go back and look at the resolutions I made the previous year because my life often ends up changing so much that what I was focused on at the beginning of the year might be totally irrelevant by the start of the next. Case in point - at the start of 2004 I'd just finished reading the Rich Dad series of financial independence tomes. The focus heavily on real estate investment, so I became obsessed with figuring out how to buy a rental property. Several of my resolutions for that year involved taking steps towards that goal. Never mind that we lived in Southern California near the height of the real estate boom and didn't have an extra hundred grand sitting under our mattress... Needless to say, at the end of 2004, we were planning our move to Portland, I was six months pregnant with Owen, and priorities had shifted.

I don't remember making formal resolutions for 2008. For several years, Bill and I would sit down at the start of the year, make our 10 resolutions each (and another 10 family resolutions), and then he'd laminate a little card for each of us to carry in our wallet. He's out running errands (he made the mistake of asking me if I needed him to do anything while he was out and ended up with several boxes to drop off at Goodwill as well as library books to drop off/pick up) so I can't ask him if we ever did that last year. It would be interesting to see how much priorities have shifted in the past year. I'm thinking it might not be as much now that our lives are relatively stable. We've been in our house for 4 years now (a record for us, the couple who didn't live anywhere more than a year in our previous 5 years of togetherness), we're relatively content with our lifestyle and don't feel the need to do anything radically different (like start investing in real estate). Most of my resolutions for the next year involve a sharpening focus on home and health (of both my family and the planet).

1) Cook and eat whole foods almost exclusively (as in, don't buy it in a box if I can make it myself), which I've been doing already for the past couple months with great success.

2) Spend a minimum of two days per week without driving the car.

3) Limit purchases to essentials in all odd-numbered months, waiting a minimum of 2 weeks before making big purchases of non-essential durable goods in even-numbered months. This came about when listening to a financial expert on NPR the other day - she advised limiting purchases to things like food, electricity, gas, etc. for a month and keeping close track of what you do buy. I don't think I could do a whole year of not buying anything new, but I can probably do a month. The goal is to eliminate those impulse buys that I'm so very good at.

4) Find the joy in my knitting again. I think I made this one last year, too, and it the joy has certainly come and gone repeatedly during 2008. The most joyful things I've made this year have been gifts for family - slipper socks for Bill, mittens and a hat for Owen, a sweater for Sydney and socks for my mom. I need to make sure I take time to knit for pleasure as well as for my business. The favorite thing I made for myself? A crochet tawashi (a little circular dish scrubbie) that I whipped up in an evening as a replacement for my plastic sponge habit.

5) Watch a maximum of an hour of television a day and instead focus on books and radio. I've been reading a lot lately and realizing how much I've missed it. When my knitting obsession began, I pretty much stopped reading all together. Lately, I've been a library regular and have no trouble keeping my hold queue stocked up to the 15 item limit.

That's a few of the things I want to focus on for 2009, along with a pie-in-the-sky goal of walking the Portland Marathon this fall. Training to run the marathon didn't work very well, but I just might be able to walk it. We'll see how it goes - I might decide I want to do bike tours instead.

Happy 2009, y'all!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great goals. Happy new year!

5:59 PM  
Blogger AnaMarie said...

Good luck on your goals! I'm sure the car goal will only get difficult if it gets colder out, and I know for me, the biggest problem with the no impulse buying would be the candy/ice cream aisles in the supermarket anyway.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your goals. I know you can do all of them. I missed getting the chance to walk with you on the Porltand to Coast. Let's bolster each other for the marathon. Teri

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

I did like the idea of laminating a card with your resolutions on it to carry with you. Good luck with this years: I'd probably share the whole foods one as this I feel would do wonders for our budget! However as my husband and I share cooking duties I doubt I'd get his buy in!

11:08 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

My goal this year is to finish my WIP's and not start another until they are done. So far I have finished two sweaters and my socks should be done in the next day or so. Sure hope I can stick to it. I love having many projects on the needles.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Pungo River Days said...

Good job on the goals. They were al very well defined. You know what needs to be done. Smile

12:45 PM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

I like your goals a lot--I am also doing the whole foods thing, leaving the car parked, and doing more personal knitting. Bike tours are a lot of fun--have you ever done one? I used to go on at least one a year, and then we had a baby and our lives changed. But we did get it together and went on a short one this summer in the Canadian Gulf Islands. It was lovely, though maybe I just think that because I didn't have to tow the bike trailer with the 40-pound preschooler.

BTW, I purchased a couple of copies of the Amethyst wrap at OFFF from you, which is how I found your blog. I dyed the yarn for it last week, and my needles for it showed up today, so I'm hoping to get cracking on it soon!

9:35 PM  

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