Happy 2014, everyone!
Another year has come and gone. 2014 brings with it a fresh new start with new beginnings. And as always, it’s the time of year when resolutions are made to be broken.
Hey, I’m not trying to be negative here, but isn’t that the truth? How many new year’s resolutions have I ever kept? None – and I’m not ashamed to admit it. They all start off promising, but by the middle of January, it’s back to old habits and thinking, “resolution what?”
So this year, I’m doing something different. The past 30 years haven’t worked out so well when it comes to making resolutions, so I’m adopting a theme for my life that I can carry through in 2014 and beyond on realistic, long-range goals.
That theme is Simplify.
I feel that, especially over the past couple of years, I’ve cluttered my life with too much… stuff. The stuff that I’m referring to isn’t just material things, but emotional and mental things. Stuff like wanting to do too much and not having any clear, defined goals. Stuff like procrastinating on the things that I should be doing because of not having any clear, defined goals. And stuff like caring and worrying too much about things out of my control, rather than focusing on the things within my sphere of control and influence.
All of this stuff has culminated into looking back on a year that I feel grateful to have just survived, rather than being proud of the things I accomplished. This, on a year where I got married, revived this blog to something that I’m really happy with, and reconnected with my ethnic roots. I’m disappointed that I feel so badly about 2013 when I had three major, awesome things (and on a smaller scale, a lot of other awesome things) happen in my life.
So to kick off 2014, I’m simplifying all aspects of my life and focusing my energy on just a handful of big, long-term goals. These goals will serve as the road map to which I hold myself accountable for my actions (and more importantly, my lack of actions). These goals won’t have a hard deadlines attached to them; rather, the big goals will have several small goals (or milestones) to reach along the way to keep myself in check and engaged throughout the process. The one thing I find about myself is that I’m less likely to reach a goal if I put a time constraint on it (i.e. I will lose 10 pounds by March. This never, ever works for me).
One of these big goals is a renewed focus and commitment to this blog. Sounds simple enough, but to put some more specific parameters and goals around it:
- Keep the design simple and stick with it – I reverted back to a previous layout that I really love and keeps my content easy to read and navigate. This also means I spend way less time tweaking individual posts to fit a new theme, which could get incredibly time consuming the more I blog.
- Do something for my blog at least 3 times a week – notice I didn’t say something as specific as “publish at least 3 posts every week”. That would be too constraining for me. When I say do something for my blog, that means thinking about what to write about next, spending some time editing photos, or just simply writing drafts to be picked up later. It’s still a commitment to do something tangible at least 3 times a week, but I’m not pressuring myself to write publishable posts regularly.
- Post more recipes – one of my goals with Mark is to be more committed to living a healthier lifestyle. 2013 was a year full of cheating – the junk eating and not exercising kind, mind you. We went through many ups and downs when it came to our healthy eating and exercising routine, and found that we both padded on 10 pounds in the last year. With this in mind, we’re limiting restaurant visits to once or twice a month, which will significantly cut down on material to write about. So, to fill in the gaps, I’ll be cooking a lot more, with healthy eating in mind. Of course, I’m still going to make ice cream and baked goods, because what’s life without a little bit of indulgence?
- Take a break when I start feeling like blogging is becoming a chore – I felt this way several times last year and I don’t want to feel this way about one of my favourite hobbies. I blog because I truly enjoy the experience – writing, taking photos, and sharing a little piece of my life with others. I need to keep reminding myself of this and be okay with taking breaks so I don’t fall into the “chore” trap.
- Just enjoy the ride – wherever this blog takes me, whatever it becomes, I’m just going to enjoy it and go with the flow.
The great thing about this new mindset is that I can always come back and tweak some of these goals if I find they’re not fitting into my “simplify” theme. I can always add more goals, be more specific, and let it evolve as I continue to evolve.
This is my pledge for 2014 – no resolutions, just simplify.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy year ahead, and thank you so much for continuing to visit my tiny piece of the internet!