The other article says we should count blessings instead of making resolutions. This ties into a number of articles I have seen suggesting that people take a jar, and put in notes about good experiences or happy occasions or blessings or whatever, and then read them at the end of the year to see what a good year it really was. Some say to do this daily, or weekly, or just whenever.
In that vein, I like this "Alphabet for the Year", as it has many suggestions of things to do that I think can be accomplished:
If you know me, the "get enough ZZzzzzs" might be a challenge, but I'm working on it.
The "Make (cake)" suggestion is a bit reminiscent of the suggestion from America's Test Kitchen that you learn (with their recipes and online classes, of course) how to make three things: Authentic Baguettes, Soufflés, and Latin American Flan. While I bake bread, I'm not crazy about baguettes, and I've made flan I consider perfectly lovely, but soufflés are something I've not really done, so I think I may try it this year. Not making a resolution about it, though, if only because I have to find time to do it when eating with friends (and probably at their house) or figuring out how to scale it down to a single serving. If I do that, I'll definitely report about it.
It's been interesting seeing what people I know have resolved, and how they are doing, and all the recommendations for what resolutions people should make this year. One acquaintance said she wants to read a book a month. I like that goal (it's the "R" of the alphabet above), but finding the time to concentrate on a book can be hard. I also have three or four almost-finished books that I should finish - maybe that is a more realistic goal this year?
RESOLVED: Finish the books I have unfinished, including Dreams in the Golden Country (near the end, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is involved, and I'm almost afraid to finish it), Rookie of the Year (started while at camp last summer, so maybe I should wait until at least spring training to get back to it?); The Fortune Cookie Chronicles (the book in the bedside table at my parents', so I only read it when I am visiting them) which started when an unusually high number of people won the multistate lottery in 2005 and it turned out they had all played the numbers on their fortune cookie fortunes; and The Whisperer which I picked up at a dollar store and had forgotten about until I remade the bed and found it along the other side where it had fallen, so maybe that one I don't need to finish? BONUS RESOLUTION: Read at least two more books!
Yes, this sounds like a very low bar for a voracious reader such as myself, but I spend more time on articles and short stories these days. Plus, I expect - or hope! - to surprise myself with how many books I do read. And no, I won't go with the belief that you need no more than thirty books in your life; there are so many more reasons to have books. On that subject, an artist I dearly enjoy created this picture, and I agree with it too:
RESOLVED: I will finish at least two WIPs/UFOs for me this year. I have three shawls in various states of work-in-progress that I can finish, an "Omega" in Shawl in a Ball "Feng Shui Grey"; a KAL shawl in blue, purple, and grey that I started during the sabbatical in Madison and want to wear, especially in this cold weather; and one out of handdyed, handspun from a friend and her mother that I bought at DFW Fiber Fest a couple years ago. I also have UFOs which are the longer-term UnFinished Objects, such as a vest for my grandmother (it's plain and textured and I keep putting it aside to make more sparkly ones for her) and a sweater that was going to a charity group but it's not coming together as I wished and it turns out one of the organizers is deathly allergic to mohair so I am going to frog it and reuse the yarn for other purposes. That counts to make a UFO disappear!
RESOLVED: Organize the pantry. At some point this year. This probably includes another weeding-out of cookbooks, but I've done well in that regard (as well as not collecting more) over the last year, so I feel hopeful. I'm also trying to work through the food stores, both in the freezer and dried and canned goods, so I don't have stocked-up things that go bad or end up with multiple packages of similar items, beans and pulses especially.
I found one list that someone posted as a "31-Day Decluttering Challenge" interesting partly on the basis of how many items on the list I do not own:
RESOLVED: While I am at it, finally get rid of china cabinet and build replacement item, which is lower and should hold as many items, but allows for artwork to be displayed above.
RESOLVED: Have one week where my FitBit records both the hourly movement requirement every day and I exceed the exercise minimums. COMPLETED!!! One reason that I haven't posted is because I thought I'd be able to accomplish it early in the year, and I did. My FitBit week starts on Monday, so it's hard to meet this type of challenge while traveling because I may be on a plane or in meetings during the day and unable to get steps done. In fact, I joke that when I have lots of meetings, the tracker thinks I've forgotten to wear it. I was home last week, which means it's easier to do the hourly steps because my meetings are by phone. The only tricky day was Saturday, which I knew would be easy for the exercise limit due to my yoga class, but I was thinking of going to a movie in the afternoon and that makes hourly steps hard. The timing and shortness of the film might have just worked, but we had a storm coming in and in case some of the early start predictions were correct, I decided to skip it. Of course they were not right, the storm started later, and I'll have to see "Tea with the Dames" some other time. I'll try to repeat this week when I can, and not obsess when I cannot.
Now that I've stated my resolutions publicly, I guess I'll have to keep up the blog to report on progress. In the past, I've made resolutions to blog monthly and to cook from some of my historical cookbooks which I've failed to do, so we'll see how I do with this year's resolutions. Stay tuned.