New Year’s Resolutions

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So the holidays are over and it’s time to start thinking about the new year.  New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holidays. I love taking the time to reflect on the last year (I love all the end of the year montages and recaps!) and I also love wondering what the New Year will bring to me and my family and friends. And I like to take some time to recenter and consider what I can improve upon in the new year.

I asked our contributors to share with me some of their thoughts and goals for 2015. The answers I got are, I am sure, some of the goals many of us have: exercise more, eat better, manage time better, spend more time with family, get organized, work on balancing work and family better, give more hugs to the kids, make time for more date nights. My personal resolutions are to grow and improve as a photographer (I have a few specific things I am hoping to accomplish towards that end but I won’t bore you with those details!), start a regular meditation practice (I keep reading how beneficial it is but can never seem to commit to it consistently), practice small-scale philanthropy where I can, read as much as possible (I always set the goal of 50 books, but don’t always reach it. I keep track of my progress on goodreads.com), and implement “Meatless Monday” in my house (we will see how well my carnivore husband goes along with that!). This may sound like a lot, but really none of these goals are terribly huge; most of these things I am simply improving on what I am already doing. I think many of us are constantly on the road of trying to better ourselves and what better time to start than right now?

I have one friend who starts each year with a word to define her year. It might be “organize” or “create” or “time” or “love”. I think this is a great way to focus on your goals in life in a very general way. When you are setting your goals for the new year (or anytime; December 31 is really pretty arbitrary), I think it’s important to be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic goals. I also think it’s a good idea to be specific. For example, with my “Meatless Monday” resolution: Yes, I am setting the goal of trying to eat better, but in a very specific way. It might be easiest to improve upon or continue what you are already doing in your life. If something brings you joy, how can you make it more joyful? Make yourself accountable. If you are planning to walk more for exercise, why not join a hiking group or involve some friends? You may be more likely to show up for the hike or walk if you know other people are going to be waiting for you! Remember it takes a while to make a new habit stick so don’t give up. If you fail, give yourself some grace, pick yourself up and move on.  Sometimes a little retail therapy can help rejuvenate you too; some new workout clothes or cookbooks can be very motivating.  We all have constant room for improvement, in big and small ways. Your resolution doesn’t have to be huge. Honestly, one of the best resolutions I ever made myself was a few years ago when I decided to start doing my own manicures! Such a small thing but it has been a good thing in my life. The pedicures, however, I still leave to the professionals 😉

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are your goals for 2015? How is 2015 going to be different than 2014? Do you have any tips for  successfully caring out your resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

 

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brings you nothing but health and happiness.

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Eileen has been married to her husband, Eric, an Air Force officer, since 1998. A pharmacist by trade, she worked that gig for ten years until her promotion to full time stay-at-home mom in 2009. Eileen and Eric have one daughter, Little E, who is a feisty little girl obsessed with Octonauts. As a military family, they move every 3-4 years, most recently from Southern Virginia to Arizona. They have lived in the Phoenix area since July 2012 and love the southwest! Hopefully they have found their “forever” home. Eileen’s passions and hobbies include photography, reading, travel, cooking, doing creative projects with her daughter, hiking and working out. She can often be found sipping a latte at Starbucks, looking for the next great read at Barnes and Noble, or browsing Ulta for the latest beauty find.

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