Happy New Year and welcome to my blog! For some reason or another, you have stumbled upon this post and I hope that you consider checking back from time to time.
The purpose of my blog is this: I have set five goals for myself for the coming year and I want to share them with you. They are things that are important to me and that I want to continue improving in my life. They are my goals, but I suspect that many people out there would like to focus more on them as well. I chose to make the goals into positive actions that I can take, instead of fixating any of the goals on the absence of negative things. I hope that this will be helpful and I look forward to checking in each week to gauge how I'm doing and share what I've learned along the way. I'm using the blog partly as motivation to keep focused, but I also thought it would be fun to write and share with people. So let's get started!
1. Cook more meals at home and eat at least five servings of fruits/vegetables a day
I have made a lot of progress in the past few months, but it's still a struggle at times to cook and eat healthy meals. It's so much easier to eat out or just warm up something from a box, but I think that I can improve a lot with some foresight and planning. I'm hoping to share recipes, organization tips, and general musings about food.
2. Run more races and exercise at least three times a week
I have had a love-hate relationship with running for a few years now. Every summer, I would decide to "become a runner" and then a few weeks in, I would feel overwhelmingly out of shape and give up. About four months ago, I decided to try again... and I have actually stuck with it. I think this time I just accepted the fact that it was going to be really hard and that it was okay. I ran my first race on Thanksgiving 2011 with my boyfriend, sister, and brother-in-law, and it was a really great experience. I want to continue being active and although I'm not going to promise that I'll always run three times a week, I will say that I want to run more races in 2012. I'm planning to do another 8K with my family in March and I'm half-considering the Buffalo half-marathon right now. Best idea ever...or worst idea ever? Stay tuned!
3. Be a more budget-conscious shopper and put more money into savings
I had a big wake up call in 2011 in regards to my budget. For the first half of the year, I was driving my little 97 Ford Escort and living with two roommates. I had ridiculously low living expenses that afforded me the ability to buy just about whatever I wanted or needed all the time. Then my car gave out and I had to buy a new one. A few months later, I moved into my own apartment and learned quickly that buying furniture and paying all the bills wasn't that fun. At the end of the month, I would look at my debit card statements and be shocked at how much I spent on eating out, entertainment, or even just groceries. I was spending way too much on things that I could (and should) cut back on. I've been a lot more conscious of this the past two months and have taken a lot of steps to make wiser choices with my money. I'll be sharing the changes I made and will hopefully continue to make more.
4. Use more of my time to volunteer and learn about good work that is being done
Throughout high school and college, I felt like I was always volunteering. Then after I graduated college, I volunteered full-time through Americorps VISTA for a year. It was an exciting time and a time filled with a lot of hope and optimism. I was becoming something and working towards something. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I've found that I have become pretty settled into my work and home life and haven't invested too much time into giving back and connecting with my community. And I miss that feeling. I also miss the constant reminder that good work is being done in Buffalo and I want it back. I'm still a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters right and I'm going to continue doing that until my now-teenage little sister decides she's too cool for me, but I am also hoping to get involved with another organization. I'll keep you updated and reflect on what I find.
5. Explore and enjoy more of Buffalo (and the world)
I would love to say that 2012 will involve international travel, but that may not be in the stars for me (see Goal #3.) The good news is that you don't have to travel far at all to explore and learn new things. This year I'm hoping to check out awesome places that are in my backyard or maybe a short drive away. Whether it's a nearby city or a business that I pass by everyday, I'm hopeful that I will find great things.
Thanks for reading!