Thursday, January 3, 2013

The year of 13

It's that time of year, it's resolution time! I always stink at this, I have lofty goals that are never actually met. I work at it for a week or two, then something happens, and suddenly I give up entirely. I've decided 2013 is going to be a year of growth and change, and that requires significant work. So to force myself to think creatively, I decided to come up with a list of things I want to work on. 13 of 13. They aren't resolutions per se, I'm not going to beat myself up if they aren't met exactly, in fact most are not exact goals. However, I intend to aim for the spirit of each item. In no particular order:

1. Write 13 blog posts a month- I love writing; it's how I best process my experiences. I know I don't have a significant following, but I never started a blog intending for it to be big. It is a (public) forum for me to express myself, to work through issues, and to commentate. If other people gain some insight from my thoughts, then great. However, I have been inconsistent in the past and I want to break that habit. I think it's unrealistic to think I'll actually write a post every day, inspiration doesn't always hit that often. However, 13 posts a month is roughly 3 posts a week. Will I meet that number? Probably not. I want to be more deliberate in my efforts is aLL.

2. Walk 13,000 steps a day.- Let's be honest, a "I'm going to exercise regularly" will probably not be realistic for me to state. However, most health experts recommend getting at least 10,000 steps a day. Given how much I walk at work, this shouldn't be too difficult, but I want to focus on improving my activity level at a realistic and beneficial pace.

3. Clean out/Give away 13 items a week- I'm an emotional packrat. I have trouble getting rid of things that have any sentimental value. My goal is to weed through my belongings and really take a hard look at what I own. Do I really need the top that I wore on a significant occasion but not again in the next four years? Do I need to hold on to books I know I will never read again? 13 items is arbitrary, but I want to consistent in clearing out and getting rid of things.

4. Visit 13 new places (cities; historical sites; etc).- I love travel and new experiences. I want to see more, more of my own city, more of my own country, more of the world even? This is a jolt to my psyche to make a deliberate effort to make plans for these trips instead of just waiting for them to happen.

5. Make 13 new friends- Shouldn't be too difficult, but will be necessary. I'm faced with the reality that the majority of my social network in Miami is graduating/leaving in May. If I end up staying here i need to branch out and meet new people. If I happen to leave at any point in the next year (you never know, anything can happen!), then I want to make a conscious effort to reach out and build a new network.

6. Try 13 new foods- Im very unadventurous with my eating habits. It's time to expand my palate and try new foods

7. Spend 13 minutes a day reading the bible- Last year I set a goal during Lent to read the bible every day, and surprisingly I have kept it up. Every morning (more or less) I read approximately 3 chapters. I am on goal to finish right around a year after I started. However, I often just 'read' without really processing. It becomes a chore to get through sometimes. So this goal is to not rush, and take time to really absorb what I am reading.

8. Read 13 classics- There are so many amazing books I have never read but always mean to. My goal is to read a different classic every month or so. Dickens, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, etc. The only catch is they must be something I haven't read before. Suggestions are appreciated.

9. Sew 13 new items- I love sewing, and Im actually quite good at it (with practice). I get frustrated by how much effort it takes to get everything set up and taken down, so without specific projects (aka my sister's wedding) things don't happen. I want to be more deliberate and use my fabulous sewing machine more often.

10. Spend 13 minutes every evening straightening up- I can get lazy at times, particularly after a long day's work. Usually i let things pile up for a day or two and then do it all at once. I would like to be deliberate about taking time every day to get things organized.

11 Give to 13 different charities- I think giving financially is a great way to shift from materialistic thought and to help others. I want to expand my giving, share my blessings, and give to those who need it more than myself. I'm also going to be more deliberate about tracking my spending.

12 Ask 13 people how their day is going every day- aka be more deliberate about talking to other people and getting to know them. I am an open book with my own life, but I think it's better that I spend more time listening than doing the talking.

13. Enact 13 acts of random kindness- One of my favorite stories from this past year was the time God encouraged me to give away a very significant chunk of money, even when I couldn't really afford it at the time. To this day the person has no idea it was me, but I've felt blessed seeing what a difference God made in her life through me. I want to make an effort to find more of these opportunities. It's not about giving money away, it's about going out of my comfort zone for someone else. So creativity is a big part, as well as keeping my ears and eyes open for situations as they present themselves.!

So that's it. My 13 goals for 2013. I'm going to update at the end of every month where I am at with each in an effort to keep myself accountable. Happy New Year everyone!

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