Today is the last day of 2013 (in case you haven't noticed), which means it's time to set some New Year's Resolutions! There are two big resolutions I want to set for myself this year:
Resolution #1: Be Financially Responsible
One of the biggest changes for me, moving to Ohio, was leaving my full-time teaching job in Boulder - and the salary that had sustained my lifestyle for the past 5 years. It's been harder than I had anticipated to adjust my spending accordingly.
Sure, there were some unforeseen expenses such as rabies shots and computer replacement, but there are some day-to-day expenditures that I need to adjust as well. One that I've already made is ending my latte-a-day habit. I estimate that brewing coffee at home rather than buying lattes at the coffee shop has saved me at least $100/month (and that's a conservative estimate since I'm not factoring in the tips I leave for my favorite baristas).
Next habit to end in order to be more financially responsible: shopping for clothes online. Raise your hand if you're with me here.... I recently realized that I buy the same types of clothes over and over, and I never buy the things that actually need replacing. For example, I love buying fun shoes for work and play - high heels and boots (yay!). Yet I haven't bought a new pair of (desperately needed) running shoes in about 5-6 years.
One of my January 2014 goals is to do an inventory of my closet and figure out exactly what I need and what I can consign. Once I buy those things I need and get rid of the things I don't wear, I need to sit on my hands and not buy anything else online!
The last step in becoming more financially responsible is to track grocery spending. I think we do fairly well, but groceries are definitely one of our biggest expenses. I like to shop at our local co-op and farmer's market, which is pricier than the giant Kroger, but I think it's worthwhile in meeting my second goal of 2014...
Goal #2: Live a Healthier Life - Physically and Mentally
I would say that in general I'm pretty healthy, but there are some tweaks that can be made to make my life more enjoyable. I have a bit of a vain motivation, too, which is a vacation Ted and I are taking over Spring Break (end of March). I can't say where we're going because we're traveling with a friend who wants to be surprised by the destination, but I will say this: I definitely don't want to have a bloated tummy and flabby legs on this trip!
So here are the things I want to focus on in 2014 in order to be healthier:
1. Continue to cook at home. We've gotten pretty good at this in Ohio since there are few restaurants in town that we really love. To take it even further, I want to find some staple recipes that can be adapted with seasonal ingredients to reduce cost and provide variety. This will also help us to buy local produce - good for the environment and the local economy!
2. Find some healthy, hearty breakfasts that are low in fat. We love cooking eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast, but I don't think we should have that every day. The winter is the hardest time for healthy breakfast, in my opinion. Last fall we had lots of healthy green smoothies for breakfast, but a cold smoothie just doesn't do it for me on a dark winter morning!
3. As much as I hate to say it, cut down on coffee. **Long siiiigh....** I love drinking coffee, and it does wonders for my mood. BUT, it does give me the jitters, and long-term, it makes my body ache.
4. Do. More. Yoga. I love the way yoga makes me feel, and I've been to enough classes that I know I can lead myself through the vinyasa flow at home. I just have a hard time actually getting down to business. So in 2014, my goal is to do yoga, either at home or in a class, 4-5 times a week. I shall even make myself a schedule.
5. Cut down on technology. The number one thing that is going to get me moving and more productive is limiting my technology use. I need to do a little experimentation to find out what the right number of hours is for TV and computer time, but I think I need to aim for 2-3 hours per day. Setting a limit for myself will help me to get off the couch and do all the other things I want to do - especially on the days I don't teach.
6. Last, but certainly not least in living a healthier life, is to be more positive. You may remember that this is an ongoing goal of mine. Ever a work in progress. But I really believe in the mind-body connection, and looking for the good in other people and myself can only serve to make me feel good!
So there's the long-winded version of my main resolutions for 2014. What are your New Year's Resolutions?