Monday, December 30, 2013

Fifteen Resolutions for 2014 That I Can Actually Keep

So, I saw this amusing post on Facebook the other day that gave me the idea for today's post.  And that would be a list of resolutions for 2014 that I can actually keep.  I will work on a more serious list of resolutions I'm going to try and achieve, but to get me in the mood...let's psych myself up with these realistic aspirations.

1.  Spend Less Time Wearing Pants

Having a pool in my backyard has it's perks.  I don't have to wear a bathing suit in public.  With that being said, I want to spend 2014 wearing pants less, and my bathing suit more.  Of course, it has to get warm enough for us to clean out our pool and fill it with water.... but, you get the idea.  Until then, I'm perfectly content with wearing pajamas and sweats more.  Technically they are pants, but they are comfy pants so that's not the same.

2.  Forget past mistakes.....and press on to greater mistakes.

It's no secret that I like to make a fool of myself.  I don't mind one bit dressing up and looking like a total moron for the sake of amusing others.  I never seem to take pictures of a lot of memorable moments in my life, but it always seems as though I have pictures of my various spirit days.  One thing I have no intention of giving up in 2014 is my passion for acting the fool.  If anything, I'm just going to go on to bigger and better.  What will I think of next?  

And to go right along with that, I intend on making plenty of mistakes and learning from them.  I truly, 100% believe that my life has turned out as great as it has due to the mistakes I've made, and my ability to move on from them taking away any lessons I need to learn.  I don't dwell.  I don't give up.  I know that 2014 will hand me my share of mistakes to learn from...and I'm ready for them.

3.  Don't waste time!!!  Use time wisely doing something silly.  Or sleeping.  

I am the worst when it comes to complaining about wasting time.  If I really think about it, I waste a lot of time whining about wasting time.  There are a lot more productive uses of my time.  Like being silly, or sleeping.  Sleeping is always good.  But, one thing I really want to focus on in 2014 is having a little more fun, and not just for spirit days at school.  

I may be pressing in to my thirties, but that doesn't mean I have to act that way.  I want to spend more time with my friends and family, having fun, and letting my hair down.  Time seems to fly by so quickly that I need to take a few seconds to stop and smell the roses.  Or roll around in them.  Although, rolling around in roses would probably hurt...maybe I should stick to rolling around in the grass.  

4.  Take every disappointment as a reason to grow....or hit something.

I have somehow perfected the art of masking my emotions.  Even on the toughest of days, I have the ability of keeping a smile on my face.  These past few months, I have become an expert at smiling on the outside while crying on the inside.  I'm tired of being that way.  I'm tired of acting that way.  Instead, I'm going to start focusing on channeling my energy to more healthy approaches.  Like hitting stuff.  Not violently... just metaphorically.  Maybe.  I'd really like to get back in to boxing.  And running.  And finding other ways to release stress and anger so that I'm not bottling stuff up.  

But, one thing I know I can do is start telling people how I'm feeling.  Rather than just being polite for the sake of keeping the peace, I can find ways of sharing disappointments, letting out my frustrations, and moving on.  Disappointments come...they're inevitable.  But, they tend to get worse when they are just pushed down to the pit of the stomach awaiting more disappointments to be piled on top. That's not happening this year.  My stomach is going to carry a sign saying "NO DUMPING OF DISAPPOINTMENTS ALLOWED!"

5.  Don't let anything get in my way....of eating an entire pint of ice-cream in one sitting.

I like to think that I've always had a "go get-em" attitude.  If I have my mind set on something, I continue working towards it until I have it.  I wanted a teaching job...I worked my behind off until I got one.  I wanted a new car...I did everything in my power to get one.  I wanted a new house.... I hunted high and low until we found "the one".  I just don't give up that easy.  If at all.  

Except in one area, and that seems to be losing weight.  No matter how much I focus my mind on it.  I always lose weight, but it's keeping it off that's the problem.  This year, rather than start the year off with this "I'm going to lose tons of weight" attitude, I'm going to start the year off focusing on getting healthier.  Give up some bad habits, focus more on exercise, blah, blah, blah.  But, I also want to know that I'm not going to be all crazy about my diet.  Sure, I will try and eat better... but I'm refusing to go through any fad diets, eliminating anything from my diet, and making harsh rules that I won't end up following.  I doubt there will be any consumption of entire pints of ice-cream, but if there is?  So be it!

6.  Take a walk everyday.... or briefly consider it.

I don't really need to explain this one.  I know that I will talk a lot about wanting to walk more.  I will even spend many days actually following through and going out for that walk.  But, if I can at least think about doing it, I'm not giving up hope.  

My doctor says I should be walking 3 miles a day.  At least three times a week.  And all the walking I do while I'm at work doesn't count, because I'm used to doing that much walking each day.  Oh yeah?  If that's the case, why the heck am I so stinking tired at the end of each day?  I'll start the year off with the intention of getting in more exercise, but on the days I'm exhausted... I'll consider doing more exercise.  That will be a resolution I KNOW I can keep.

7.  Stop being afraid of what could go wrong.....and just focus on Channing Tatum

How can anyone think about problems while looking at him?  He has the power of making all the bad disappear.  Even on my worst of days, I know that I can look longingly into those gorgeous pecks eyes and make myself feel better.  While some people will be counting to ten to release pressure, I'll be repeating my soothing mantra "Channing Tatum, Channing Tatum, Channing Tatum".  I guarantee that as long as I keep those words running through my mind, I will stay calm and relaxed all year long.

Seriously, though, I do tend to worry way too much about stuff that could go wrong.  That's for the birds, this year.  My boy, Channing, is going to help keep my mind focused on the positive things in life and away from the what if's?  The only "but" I'm going to be thinking about is his!

8.  See the world....with the magic of the internet.

As much as I'd love to travel the world, the chances of that happening in 2014 is none.  No chance.  But that doesn't mean I can't stay up to date on the happenings, and being in contact with my family who live on another continent.  I've found a lot of new uses for my iPhone, recently, and it's become a big help with a lot of my daily tasks.  This next year, I'm going to continue finding new ways for my phone to keep me entertained.

But, I do plan on being out more.  Locally.  I'm going to use the power of my phone to find me some ideas on where the kids and I can go that doesn't cost too much, but gives us a chance to be silly, have some fun, and explore.  You'd be surprised how much something as simple as an iPhone can be when planning small adventures.

9.  Hold someone's hand at sunset.... Just kidding.  That's dumb.  I'm just going to post more pointless photos to Facebook.

I want to take more photos of memorable moments this year, and share those memorable moments with family and friends on Facebook.  However, I have every intention of continuing the fad to post photos of just about everything.  Everyone needs to see what I'm eating.  I'm sure all my friends are interested in the two snowflakes that fell from the sky and got everyone worked up.  I just have to post all the pictures of my cat asleep in various locations around the house.  And I'm positive I'll find some clouds that look ominous enough to get opinions from everyone on Facebook about whether or not a tornado could come out of them.  And, now, thanks to the awesome new photo editor that helped me create the photos for this blog post, I can even include funny little captions and cool effects.

Photos are a way of capturing memories.  Preserving them.  Even the silly ones that make no sense to many people.  To someone scrolling the Facebook feed, a picture of a person walking along the beach at sunset holds the same amount of significance as the picture of my cat sleeping upside down on the couch.  I like to see what other people are doing, but that doesn't mean I really care.  The same way I'm sure people don't really care about all the stuff I post.  But, it means something to me... so I'm going to keep doing it!

10.  Spend more time doing what really matters.....Watching Netflix.

Another resolution focused on time.  And what better way to spend spare time than watching Netflix?  I spend so much time working on the weekends and stuff, I want to spend more time just relaxing in front of the TV.  I've been neglecting my regular shows that I DVR, but that's because Netflix has added shows that have really caught my attention.  Even Katniss has taken a liking to Netfilx.  

As much as I want to fill my time doing silly things, and having fun, and exploring... I also want to just relax.  Take a load off.  Not having to be go-go-going ALL the time.  Hubby tells me all the time that I always have WAY too much on my plate (and he's not talking about eating).  He's right.  With school events, sports, and visits with family, there isn't much time carved out just to sit and do nothing.  Well, 2014 will have time for me to sit and do nothing.  Well...watching Netflix, anyway.

11.  Lose 5lbs a month, then gain it back, then lose 10lbs, then gain a few pounds back.

I'm not going to pretend that losing weight is a big joke to me.  In fact, I know that I will once again focus on trying to lose weight the minute the clock strikes 12.  It's just what I do.  I have done it every year for as long as I can remember, and I'm convinced that one year I will actually lose a bunch of weight and actually keep it off.  However, I also know that I will have success and I'll have failure.  I'll lose weight, and I'll gain some back.  It's just what I do. This post is all about resolutions I'll actually keep, so I might as well be honest with myself from the get-go.  

January through March are usually pretty good months for me, in terms of weight loss.  Then, I tend to slack off a little. When it's time to bring out the bathing suit in June, I will find some more motivation that will last until the bathing suit has to be put away.  Then, I'll start focusing on holidays, and know that some weight will creep back.  Again, one year I'll actually change all of that... will it be this year?  Who knows.  But, if I can end the year lighter than I started... I'll take it!

12.  It's never too late to learn a foreign language....there's an app for that.

A few days ago, I downloaded Duolingo.  It's an app that's completely free, and teaches foreign languages.  I've been playing around with it every day, and I'm actually learning some Spanish.  So, I'm making the resolution that I will not necessarily learn Spanish, but will give the app a good go and see how I do.  Move aside Rosetta Stone, I can actually try and learn a language without it costing me a penny.  

What I like about the app is the fact that it promotes translating from English to Spanish and Spanish to English.  So even though I can't necessarily have a conversation with anyone in Spanish, just yet, I am getting pretty familiar with what certain words are in Spanish.  However, for a totally free app, it's pretty fun and educational.  I'm even considering downloading it on Jelly's Nook.  It's done in a level/game style, earning points and prizes.  I'll give them a free plug.  It's worth checking out by anyone who has a slight desire to learn some words in a different language... Spanish, French, Italian...and more!

13.  Read more books.... or restaurant menus.

I had no intention of so many of these resolutions to be about food, just so you know.  It seems like since becoming a teacher, I've had a lot less time to read for fun.  I read to my kids each day.  I read books for book studies.  But, when it comes to just picking up a book I want to read, and reading it all the way through.... well, let's just say it's been a while.  In 2014, I want to read more books.  For fun.  Just because.  

If for fun reading also includes menus at new restaurants, I'm totally up for that, too!  But, that was merely to add some humor.  I don't plan on spending 2014 eating entire pints of ice-cream, sitting in front of the TV, and perusing new restaurants to choose from their vast menus.  Just in case anyone was worried about that.  I have no intention of gaining tons of weight in 2014, despite how these resolutions seem to be pointing towards that.

14.  Something, something, saving money.

Every single year, I make the resolution to be better with money.  Either budgeting, or saving, or decreasing spending.  Three years ago, I spent a year making absolutely NO money because I was going through my senior year of college.  Two years ago, I made $13,000 that year working as a teaching assistant because I couldn't find a teaching job.  Both years, money was extremely tight.  We tightened the purse strings, and there was no spending on anything but necessities.  Then last year, I bought a brand new car.  That hit our budget pretty hard.  This year, we bought a new home.  That took it's toll on rearranging the budget.  

We are not rich, by any means, but we have lived a pretty darn good life these past couple of years.  Even with all the budgeting and new car and new house.  Sure, I've had to use credit cards a little more than I'd like, but I've also kept the balances paid down and I'm not maxing out my credit cards for the sake of spending money, and we've been able to take care of situations when they arise.  My goal for 2014 is to not be so aggressive with the money saving.  Of course, our budget has to be a priority, but I wouldn't mind having a few dollars each month to do something fun.  Whether it be a trip to the zoo, crazy golf, bowling, dinner, or a movie, I just want to be able to not worry about money so much and just have fun.

And last but not least...

15.  Laugh more.  Actually laugh out loud.... instead of just typing "LOL" all the time.

I am one of those people that overly abuse the "LOL" abbreviation.  I'm not really laughing out loud each time I type those three letters.  I don't know why I type it if I'm not actually laughing, but I'm going to actually make the conscious effort to either laugh out loud when I type "LOL" or only type it when I'm actually laughing.  If it's not funny, it doesn't warrant a LOL.  Period.  I actually laugh all the time, but I never actually seem to be when I'm telling someone I am via text message or Facebook.  

2013 Conversation:
FB User:  Did you see the weather?  We might get snow tomorrow!

Me:  YAY!! Bring on the snow!!! LOL

2014 Conversation:
FB User:  Did you see the weather?  We might get snow tomorrow!

Me:  That's not funny whatsoever and I'm not currently laughing out loud about it, but I would be happy if we get snow.  

All texters have a bad habit of over abusing those quick abbreviations.. LOL, OMG, JK, BRB, IKR.  Texting jargon is killing conversation.  But, I'm not going to stop using them.  I just want to be more conscious of using my texting appropriately.  Again, LOLing when I'm actually laughing.  Laughing is my favorite, so I should have plenty of opportunities to use LOL.  Just not when something isn't funny.

OK, I think I might actually be able to keep these resolutions.  Tomorrow, I'm going to make a list of my real resolutions.  And before anyone starts sharing concerns about some of my plans for 2014, know that this post was all in good fun.  Do I intend on actually following these resolutions?  Absolutely!  Most of them, anyway.  

I always get so serious around New Year, and I wanted to shy away from least for a day.  Making New Year's Resolutions can be fun.  They can be silly.  They can be honest.  

Who knows, maybe this is the year that things will be different.  Maybe I'll actually be able to keep ALL of my resolutions.  Both serious and not so serious.  We shall see.

Either way, I'm excited about what the new year has in store for me.... new challenges, new adventures.  Bring it, 2014!!


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