Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Inspiration and Motivation For a Better 2012

I'll be the first to admit that my New Year's resolutions each year contain MANY repeats. I am not the best at following through and finishing projects, but it is important for me to have goals for myself, to at least have some direction in what I'm doing with my time.

So without further ado (and in no particular order) this is what I will be striving for in 2012:

1.  Keep posting regularly on my blog. I am ALWAYS inspired - that never goes away, but I will need to work to be organized about my inspirations and happenings in my life. This blog is as much for me as it is anyone who may be reading or eventually stumble upon it. I have always loved documenting my life - and to be able to gather all of the things I love along with what I'm feeling and doing in my everyday life will be monumental.

2. Try one new recipe per week. This is a toughie and it's been around for a while, but I really need to add to my repertoire or my boyfriend is going to start wanting takeout all the time, which is no good for my wallet, or my physique (note next resolution). I have tried more in 2011 than I ever have since I was living away from home with a kitchen for the first time, but though many of them were delicious, they're not entirely practical for an everyday meal in terms of ingredients and time it takes to make them. But - I will be documenting those endeavors here, so stay tuned! My last success was homemade pizza (quattro formaggi, just like my favorite restaurant in Perugia). You can freeze the dough to cut down on prep time, and my boyfriend is a pizza fanatic, so this was a double win!

3. Get into a real, live gym routine. Finally - a goal that is piggybacking off of last year! I have been in a LONG (2ish year?) phase of not going to the gym or really having any sort of regular exercise, so last year's goal was to join a gym and start working out at LEAST once a week. Aside from the holidays, this has been achieved as of October 2011, but now I need to overcome some of my fears and start changing up my routine so I don't get bored. Even though I've been a member for 3 months now, I have yet to set foot in the weight room or any of the classes - not because I don't want to but because I'm completely intimidated (sad, I know). By the end of the year I want to find at least one class that I love, go every week, and be able to change up my normal hour of cardio with some strength training mixed in there so I can finally get some semblance of tone back in my muscles!

4. Read more novels. This is a recurring goal, but I feel okay with that because there is no end goal to achieve and then move on. As an English major in college I read countless novels - at least 5 a month - but when I graduated, I admit I was burnt out. It's been long enough, though, and it's time to get back on the proverbial horse. I have always been very anti-digitized books, but my parents got me a Kindle Touch for Christmas and I have to say - it is getting me to read more than I have in a LONG time. Something about it is so quick and easy, not to mention cool & fun, and who doesn't love another gadget to accessorize? Let's just say that I am 75% through Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close after just two days - so there's hope for me yet.

5. Be more responsible with my money. I will be the very first to admit, again, that I can be frivolous with my money. I like to blame this on my over-inspiration, as so many of my purchases are impulse - often online - and coincide with something I saw somewhere (like this little thing i saw on Atlantic-Pacific - not that it's expensive, but it all adds up!) and just "needed" to have immediately. I can click the button without ever thinking about how that particular item will fit into my actual life, and it leaves me with an exploding closet (and thus putting a bureau on my Christmas list). As I was re-packing my clothes into the drawers, I found things I hadn't worn during the course of the past year since I moved into my apartment and items with the tags still on them (that I didn't even know I had), including THREE of my staple wardrobe item (the shame!). All that said, it's time to take a step back and really think about what I do have: what I love, what I love but never have the chance to wear, and what I thought I loved but ended up hating - so that I can start saving my hard-earned cash for investment pieces that I will actually wear/use. Really, I just want to accumulate things that will actually make my life better (read: REAL furniture, actual decor for my apartment that I will keep, not hundreds of frilly tops from Forever 21...).

6. Take more photos (365 project). I used to be a photography fiend. I couldn't get enough - and with my (then) brand new Nikon D50, how could I? But somewhere in the last few years, my passion was lost amidst a day job and moving to the city, where being inspired to photograph your surroundings, and then actually doing it, takes a lot of time and effort. A few weeks ago a good friend from college asked me if I would take engagement photos for her and her fiance. She told me that because they're working on a strict budget for the wedding and because she has "always admired my photography," she was hoping I could help out. I was BEYOND flattered, as I have zero experience in engagement shoots - and also because my work that is in the public sphere is very limited. I seemed to me that if she was impressed by the few shots that are actually out there for all to see, maybe I do actually have something to offer (if I continue to hone my skills and save up for more advanced lenses, Photoshop, etc.). I am going to try (again) this year to do the 365 project, during which I will take (and post) one photo each day for 325 days. Because I have a full-time job, and I do travel, etc. I can't promise that these will all be good-quality DSLR shots, but with an iPhone I think this may actually be possible in 2012! And on that note, my photo today is of my new bedroom setup, complete with Serena & Lily Caroline bedding (green & pink, and almost my name = made for me) and the new bureau (topped with my beloved Laduree candle from my trip to Paris last week!):

I was going to stick to a top 5, but these 6 are the biggies. As this blog develops this year, hopefully my work toward these goals will too - but if not, it will be documented for all to see. No hiding in 2012.

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