New Year's Resolutions

My New Year's Resolutions

I told myself, about a month ago, that I wouldn't be setting any New Year's Resolutions. 

However, as January 1 gets closer and closer, I find myself getting that familiar feeling. I want to set goals. I want to try to do things that are tangible and measurable. 

Sometimes, I think people get caught up in the word "resolution." All resolution means is "the firm decision to do or not do something." It doesn't mean to make a vast, sweeping change to your life. It doesn't mean anything different than a goal or a desire. 

So, my advice to others is: set the same goals for yourself for 2017 that you would for a month, or a week, or whatever. Then build on them. 

These are my goals for 2017. 

1. Write 600,000 words.

This is my biggest goal. I want to write 600,000 words in 2017--and my blog posts, my daily writing at work, and my journals don't count. I want to write 600,000 creative words. Words that are for me, as a writer. This divvies up to 50,000 words a month. A NaNoWriMo every month. 

Also included in this will be editing & rewriting my NaNoWriMo novel--and potentially previous years NaNoWriMo novels. 

2. Support more bloggers & writers. 

My newsletter is a big part of that. I want to give a platform to other creatives who are just doing what they do: running Esty shops, writing, creating content, whatever. 

3. Be brave & stand up for myself more. 

I had an experience two weeks ago where I felt more empowered than ever to stand up for myself and take charge. It was terrifying, but exhilarating. I loved every second of it. Usually, I'm the type of person who rolls over, who apologizes, who lets other people make the decisions. But not anymore. I'm done. I'm over it! 

4. Practice intuitive eating. 

The best thing I did for myself in 2016 was starting to listen to Food Psych, a podcast about eating disorders and intuitive eating. It really, truly changed my life. If you're a podcast listening, it's a must-hear, especially if you've ever had issues surrounding food, anxiety, and body image. Since then, I've been tiptoeing around intuitive eating, trying to implement it but still preoccupied with using it purely to lose weight; in 2017, I want to take bigger steps towards freeing myself from restrictive eating and embracing food. 

5 New Years Resolutions I Wish My Baby Would Make

It's January, which means it's time for everyone to make (and probably break) a few resolutions. I've made my list of resolutions, but when my sister-in-law asked what Forrest's goals for the new year were, well, I had a few ideas. 

1. Sleep in the crib, Rock'n'Play, Swing, Bassinet, ANYWHERE

Forrest is a certified catnapper and he hates being put down for said naps. If he could work on taking a nap anywhere than craddled in my arms, it'd be pretty cool. 

2. Find Hands

If you hang out with Forrest and I enough, you will inevitably witness me grabbing his hand or foot, waving it in front of his face, and saying, "Find your hand/foot!" Get on it, kid, I'm ready for you to enjoy toys. 

3. Become a Car Seat Lover

Danny and I have big plans for Spring Break (an Idaho trip) so I'm really hoping Forrest turns into a road warrior this year. He is so far indifferent regarding his car seat--sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he screams. 

4. Give Mama Some Free Time

Mom spends a lot of time holding, rocking, playing, and feeding, not to mention pumping, washing bottles, and sanitizing everything in the house. A nice, long nap during the day (in a swing, bassinet, anywhere? See resolution 1) would be awesome. Even once a week. 

5. Continue to Rock at Everything & Be Awesome

Ok, let's be real--aside from the co-sleeping, the catnaps, the cuddling obsession, and minor car seat aversion depending on his mood, Forrest is a pretty fabulous baby. He sleeps 4-5 hour stretches at night, doesn't spit up too often, eats really well, smiles a lot, and is adorable. Keep on keepin' on, kid. Hey, and how about we skip the 4-month sleep regression? That would be cool!

I Set a Goal to Read 100 Books in 2015 & I Have No Idea Why

A book a week is hard, but sane. Two books a week is self-sabotage, obviously. 

A book a week is hard, but sane. Two books a week is self-sabotage, obviously. 

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. When I was younger, I used to worry about how the small choices I made throughout the day could impact my life later; as a child, this meant I would sometimes wonder if a choice I made, like between ice cream or a cookie for a snack, could impact me later on. Like if I chose the ice cream, I'd be okay; but if I chose the cookie, it would start a sequence of events that could hurt me. I don't know why I thought this way, but I did and it's an idea that's followed me forever. I've occasionally attributed big mistakes or big accidents to little decisions I made that really had nothing to do with anything at all, probably because of my childhood theory. 

What I'm trying to say is: I've made a lot of mistakes and sometimes, I blame them on weird things. 

Take, for example, my typing in "100" in the little box on Goodreads for my 2015 reading goal. I felt really ill on Friday; my legs hurt, my throat started to hurt, I was uncomfortable and cranky and feverish. I didn't feel good, so I ate a lot of chocolate and ice cream. Clearly, this junk food binge lead me down a path towards a moment of temporary insanity because as I was selecting books I wanted to read on Goodreads, it really did seem like a good idea to pledge myself to reading 100 books in the coming year. 

Ha! I'm a fool. 100 books? Madness. 

Saturday morning, having woken up with an even worse sore throat and a fever, I set myself to quietly drinking coffee and making a list of 100 books to read in 2015. The fever had obviously lengthened my brief moment of insanity. However, as I wrote out a list of 100 books, it started to dawn on me that... 100 is a lot. It's 2 and 1/4 pages typed in a list. It's 100 books, Michelle, what were you thinking??? 

The deed is done though and once I announce something (and by hitting "save" on Goodreads, I announced it plenty), I don't back down. It's about honor now. Principle. Dignity. 

So I started to fool myself into it, as I continued writing my list of books: "100 books isn't that many, really. I mean, two a week! You can read two books a week! You've read way more than two books a week before." This is true; I can easily read two books a week if I already own those books. But buying two books a week and reading them and having time for, um, everything else??? That's a lot to ask of myself. 

It's been done though. I have a list of 100 books. In 2015, I'm going to read 100 books. To follow my progress (or, um, lack thereof), you can add me on Goodreads

My New Year's Resolutions

I do best with accountability & patterns. 

I do best with accountability & patterns. 

I have never once kept a New Year's Resolution. But then again, I've never really made them. Every year, I half-hearted set goals that I then toss aside when real life kicks in; in that lofty space between Christmas and January, life feels as full of possibilities as I feel of cookies. I indulge and I want to change, but then once the time-travel feel of the last week of December wears off, I forget about that and go back to what I always do. 

Not this year. I say that with conviction and, despite my doubts, I intend for 2015 to be the year where I toss out my bad habits and replace them with at least decent ones. Here are my resolutions:

  • Complete the Beach Body Guide by Kayla Itsines. You can check Kayla out here or on Instagram. I've been hearing about Kayla for a few months, but didn't put a lot of stock in her guide. However, after following her on Instagram and seeing some of the insane before & after photos (posted by real people on real Instagram accounts!!), I have to admit I wanted it for myself. My goal, instead of having a goal to work out or lose weight or whatever, is to finish the first 12 weeks of Kayla's BBG.
  • Eat healthier, smaller meals. I have an unfortunate habit of not eating throughout the day (when you sit in front of a computer for 8 hours straight, it's difficult to actually feel hungry) and then going crazy in the evenings. I eat healthier than I used to, but my portion sizes are still a little messed up. I want to focus on eating more protein, less empty carbs, and drinking more water! 
  • Start, and finish, a project. I have half-finished scrapbooks all over the place. Half-started stories everywhere. Blog ideas scribbled down on post-it notes and hastily shoved into a drawer under my desk. It's time to finish a project, self, at least one. C'mon. 
  • Read at least one book a week. And not just fiction! As I read the Romanov Sisters, I am reminded of how much I love history books. I read a lot and I want to continue that trend this year. 
  • Make date nights a thing. Danny and I both have very short attention spans. Sometimes, we will dedicate a Friday night to watching a movie -- but I'll often end up reading during it or just going upstairs to write. I want to dedicate at least one day a week to doing an activity with Danny -- whether that is cooking dinner, baking something, going to a movie, or working out.