I don’t really make resolutions, but I always like the hope that a new year brings. And I’m normally really good with goals if I take them seriously. Instead of making a few general goals for the year and probably forgetting about them by February, I thought I’d take a different approach (inspired by the Happiness Project, actually) and dedicate each month of the year to a different “resolution”. Maybe this way, a few of them will actually stick and become habits. Here’s the plan:
JanuaryCook with a new vegetable/try a new recipe at least once a week. We get stuck in the same asparagus, brussel sprout, broccoli rut dinner after dinner. Hoping this will help me learn about some new veggies and have fun experimenting in the kitchen! {note: last week we cooked with pumpkin from scratch for the first time, and made a stir fry with Bok Choy and Cabbage – all thanks to our crate we now get delivered every Saturday}
February: This one is simple, but one that I struggle with. Drink more water. The goal will be to drink the recommended 64oz of water a day. And on top of that, I want to stretch every night before bed. I’ve been wanting to work on my flexibility for years, and now I have no excuse!
March: Work out at least three days a week (trying to set realistic goals – obviously I’d like to try 4 or 5 days, but baby steps!). Doesn’t have to be super intense, just get to the gym and get at least 20-30 mins in. Bonus points if I get to the killer workout classes at our gym at work!
April: Learn to use the film camera (Canon AE-1) my father-in-law so generously gave me last year. I’m really intimidated by it, but I have the manual and I’m learning more and more about photography with my DSLR, and this is something I really want to master!

May: This one is straight from The Happiness Project: Don’t Gossip. I hate to admit that I can definitely be intrigued by a good piece of gossip, and even worse, sometimes I find myself actually contributing to gossipy conversations. Yuck. Let’s be honest, while sometimes it can feel fun or even enjoyable to take part in these sorts of conversations, do we ever feel good once we walk away and it’s over? For me, no way. I always remorsefully ask myself why I opened my mouth, whether it be a piece of juicy work gossip or telling my mom something my sister said. May is going to be all about keeping to myself  – unless I’ve got something nice and productive to say, of course J
June: Don’t complain. Simple, right? I do it a lot and it’s  habit I plan on breaking.

July: Step away for the iPhone. Over the last couple years my iPhone has pretty much become permanently attached to my hand. I always have it on me, I’m constantly checking email, twitter, Instagram, etc etc. It’s like I feel that if I’m not checking everything all the time I’ll miss something. And when I do have time away from my phone (like when I was just home for Christmas my phone wouldn’t work) I have a mix of feeling pure bliss to be so free of it all, while experience severe anxiety that someone is trying to reach me and I’m not responding. I want to pay more attention to what’s going on around me, be more attentive to my husband and just realize that I’m missing a lot more being on my phone than if I were to just forget about it.

August: Choose joy. This one’s inspired by Ashlee (have you checked out her blog? It’s an all-time fav). I want to wake up and make every day a good day. I want to find the good in everything, even the crappy days/situations that get thrown my way. Life is what you make it – and I want to make it great.

September: I want to use this month to organize. Clean out the closet, unsubscribe from emails I hate getting, clean my desk at work… All that good stuff.

October: Learn how to paint. I have no idea how I’m going to do this, but one thing this winter has taught me is that I need an indoor hobby I can partake in that doesn’t involve a computer. I love blogging and social media, but sometimes I feel like between that and work I live on my laptop. Not good. I’ve always been intrigued by people who can paint, and I think I want to be one of them 🙂

November: Send more mail. We travel so much and I think it’d be fun to send postcards and such. Also, just random notes. Who wouldn’t love a little unexpected card in their mailbox?

December: Start a new holiday tradition. 

So what do you think of this approach? Would you try it? What are your top resolutions for 2012? 

37 thoughts on “{2012}”

  1. Wow. I think this is awesome. Most of these are my resolutions, especially Jan, Feb March, June and July! I think I should actually write them all out, frame them and hang them in the entry.

  2. i love this approach! setting a goal for each month is perfect! good luck with accomplishing it all!

    i think i just might have to do something like this 🙂

  3. i like this idea-more achievable than a year. Although , i know a few people who need to do the iphone (smart phone) NOW.

    PS-snail mail is great!Even if it does mean opening christmas presents on jan 11th!

  4. Great list! I always had a hard time drinking water too. I started using mio {the liquid water enhancer} and I swear it's a miracle worker. 🙂

  5. Hi Liz! Love the 2012 list. What a great idea/alternative to New Years resolutions. I think I might just have to try this!

    p.s. I love your blog. I stumbled upon it right before you guys moved to Amsterdam and have loved following your journey and reading your fun blog posts!

  6. I love your goals! I have done something similar this year….tried to create positive steps to add to life rather than shorter term things that I break in february. Good Luck!

  7. i read the Happiness Project this past summer & am just now getting around to starting on my goals (& just about to post a blog entry on it!). 3 a month! This month Ill be working on my attitude – wish me luck!

  8. I absolutely love this, especially your July goal of stepping away from the iPhone. I feel exactly the same way about “missing something” without it and how putting it down will allow you to be more attentive to your husband. Very well said.

  9. these are good ones! and your vegetable endeavors are so adventurous. we get stuck in the broccoli/asparagus rut, too! but bleh, there are just so many veggies that i don't want. i am a child when it comes to food. and iphones! they will just take over your brain, won't they! i'll instinctively go to look at mine ever 2 seconds and i'll have to remind myself that i JUST looked at it so i should probably look at something else. like a tree. or a flower!

  10. I haven't done resolutions yet but I LOVE your idea of these monthly installations! Seems much more manageable, focused, and maintainable!

    P.S. I did the add more vegetables thing every year for probably about 6-7 yrs now! It's great I love veggies now considering I never used to even eat the lettuce in a sandwich or burger!

    I might have to steal this idea!

    xx Vivian @

  11. I love this idea and I should really join you in June. It's so easy to say “I'm venting!” as a way to excuse complaining, but let's face it, there's not always a need.

  12. pretty cool approach. 🙂 I love the trying a new recipe/veg each week, I should implement that in my life. I tend to cook lots of curries, because i just LOVE LOVE LOVE curry. I started drinking water and I gotta say I do feel better. My skin started breaking out slightly though, so it might be toxins coming out? I also gave up alcohol for January. Completely and at the same time haven't had a cigarette for 11 days. And am hoping that's how it is going to be. More fruit and veg another goal of mine. and just eating healthier. More salads and fish!
    Good luck!

  13. love your goals! I, too decided to start using my film camera this year. I even shot an engagement session recently and am sooo nervous to get the film back. Can't wait for you to update us on how that goes!

  14. I like this approach! I'm on the waiting list at my library for The Happiness Project and I can't wait to read it.

    Funny – we are in a broccoli/asparagus/brussels sprouts routine and I was all proud of us for having such diversity in our vegetable consumption! 🙂

  15. I loved the Happiness Project! Best of luck on your goals 🙂 I was inspired to do a similar type of project but haven't quite gotten started. January's goal: make goals for the rest of the year!

  16. I love this list! Especially August 😉 When you break down goals into months they seem SO achievable! Keep us posted on your success!

  17. So funny, I decided to take the same approach this year and even have some of the same resolutions (no gossiping!). Can't wait to hear how these go for you!

  18. i love this liz! i think it's such a great idea, and will hopefully make you “keep” the resolutions/goals better since they are spread out! great inspiration! xoxo

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