A Better Me in 2013

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While overall 2012 was a pretty darn good year, the fall and the last few months certainly threw a lot of curve balls.  So I’ve been thinking a lot recently about some changes big and small that I want to make in the upcoming year.

New Years Resolutions are often cliché, un-obtainable and un-realistic.  And I love Leo Baubata ideas at Zen Habits on not setting goals. But the perpetual OCD list maker in me is still encouraging me to make one, with some over all ideas, some tangible goals, and general ideas. But it also allows some leeway for these to become ideals and for it to be okay if they don’t all happen or don’t quite look the way I hoped they would at the end of 2013.  Plans and To Do lists are great, if used in moderation and with leeway for change and adjustments as the situation sees fit.

The Words

If I had to choose two words that I’d like to guide my 2013 year, I’d say that they would be Do and Presence and pretty much everything below falls into one of these two categories.  One of my biggest obstacles in life is my sometimes crippling anxiety and worry particularly about the future and what ifs, and occasionally about the past.  I miss parts of my life that I want to love because the anxiety will literally shut my body down in more ways than you could imagine.  I’ve had probably every stress related disease that there is, except maybe an ulcer. (Knock on wood) If you are reading this saying ‘No – really? Kellie?’ then yes, I’m also pretty excellent at hiding it from most people. I’ve spent the better part of 2012 trying to get a handle on it and make necessary proactive precautions to keep it in check.  And sometimes all the measures don’t work.  And it sucks. But that’s okay.  It’s me and all I can do is work with what I’ve got. What’s not okay is my feeding the anxiety by never being present in the moment.  It’s not okay to be so overrun with distraction feeding my anxiety that I can’t just Do. Anything.  So 2013 is going to be about making myself be present – see meditation, less technology, more yoga, more music, etc.   And about doing.  Not saying or hoping or planning or somedays.  I was reminded too many times this year how short life is and how there’s no better time than now to form habits, to stick with them and to do the things. To do them because we want to.  To do them to be happy.

 

The Tangibles

These are the easy and specific ones. The ones that can easily be accomplished with a lil time and money.

–       Read 15 books…up a little bit from last year’s goal of 12…but doable. See an upcoming post about which books are already on my list.

–       Take an Art Class…I recently heard about this Happy Hour Paints thing that Sac does and it seems like a great basic painting class.  Excited to get there.

–       Take a Cooking Class…learning exchange, whole foods, co-op I’m looking at you.

–       Learn the Guitar…thanks to my friend Natalie, this one is already on the calendar.  4 week session through the Learning Exchange!

–       Get Zumbatomic Licensed…I may never find a place to teach it, but I want to be licensed to teach Zumba to kids.

–       Go to a Pro Football and Baseball Game…we may have to save a bit for Football next fall, but at least an A’s game should be doable.

The Mores

–       More Yoga… I am still working off some groupons at the moment…and I’d really like to integrate it at a larger level into my life.  The benefits are unparalleled.

–       More Running…I think I could really learn to love running if I stuck with the habit. Plus it couldn’t hurt my zumba/softball stamina. 😉

–       More Blogging, Journaling and Writing…this tends to show up as a resolution every year.  I have no excuse for not doing it.  I am my own worst enemy when it comes to finding time.  That has to end.

–       More Reading…I was SO excited when I got my 5 new books in the mail yesterday and I still have more on the way.  I couldn’t even decide where to start with them.  I love reading so very much and I’m not sure why I let other things get in the way of that sometimes. (Social Media, TV, etc.) This year needs to put the kybosh on that.

The Less

–       Less Technology…This is a big one.  I am hoping to take a technology sabbatical every Sunday starting in January.  Unplugging is something that my already overworked “Monkey Mind” so desperately craves and it’s something that I very rarely give it.  I am guilty of the 17 open internet tabs, the constant checking of email, work email, social media, blogs, and everything else in between.  I know that it is at least contributing to, if not causing a great deal of my stress and health issues.  The good thing about this resolution is that it also helps other resolutions! Win win.  Less technology = more reading, meditation, cooking, writing and exercise.

–       Less Mindless TV…I’m already pretty decent at this one, but I really want to make a conscious effort to not turn on the TV unless it’s to watch a specific show. I love my weekly TV shows, but there is no reason for me to turn it on just for the sake of watching something.

–       Less Sweets….Yeah this is definitely a problem.  I’ve been conditioned…we all have really…to crave sweets.  And it’s even more unhelpful when they are available everywhere. My current office is full of them, and I have become worse and worse over this last year about just eating them for the sake of eating them.  Not moderating or saving them for special occasions.  There has got to be some moderation in 2013. Reading “I Quit Sugar” is on my list of books, and even though I would probably not lose it completely, the concept of much, much less is appealing.

The New Habits

–       Write Everyday…Creatively…Always a habit I’ve tried to start, and usually one that didn’t last very long.  Probably because I usually set too large a goal.  If I can start out with just 5 or 10 minutes a day, I think I can build on it.

–       Practice Meditation/Breathing Everyday….even if it’s just for 5 minutes.  I had a mediation/yoga teacher tell me the other day that if you just took 5 minutes in the morning and in the evening to breathe deeply, it could change your life.  Sitting still and mediation are terribly uncomfortable to me because of said Monkey Mind…but I know they can also be terribly beneficial to me if I just stick to it.

–       Putting more music back in my life…I haven’t played my Saxophone in more than 2 and half years and I barely touch the piano since I stopped teaching last Christmas. Starting the guitar is a start, and I hope to play the piano more and perhaps pick up some reeds and try the sax again.

–       Cooking Healthy Meals…Ask my dear husband…I can be a terrible cook at times, burning even the simplest mac ‘n’ cheese.  I have my select few dishes, mainly appetizers, that I’m good at making but that’s about it.  This year I really want to find new healthy meals and take the time to plan for and make them and enjoy them, and eat out less.

The Big Stuff

These don’t need as much explanation as they likely have to do with a lot of the above.  But these support it all.

–       Work through anxiety and stress by creating space for myself

–       Declutter and simplify our house and lives – The Joy of Less is on my book list.

–       Be mindful on focusing on the now, not the past or the future

–       Be Happy and make the changes in life that allow for this

–       Research and try and dream and discover what works for me. My passions.  The creation of what a happy future looks like for me and our family.

And finally:

Spend more time with the people who matter.  Cherish and support the meaningful relationships in my life and quit worrying about the peripherals.  Because you are only as strong as these relationships.  I am lucky to have a supportive and amazing husband and friends and family who love me.  Sometimes I take this for granted and forget who these special people are.  But when they show themselves in the darkest of times, it makes them all the greater. Thank you, friends. So much.

And if you made it to the end of this post, thank you too! I know it was long, but it was a path I needed laid out for myself.  I hope to be able to stay accountable for all of it via this blog, and the wonderful people in my life.

What are your resolutions? Care to join me in any?

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