Monday, November 27, 2017

Looking ahead to 2018

Every November and December, I start thinking about the upcoming new year and what things I want to learn, experience, improve, purchase, etc. I've decided to try and come up with 12 items, one for each month of the year. I like doing this more than I like making resolutions that I may not keep and end up feeling guilty about!

So far, here is what I have come up with:

1. Learn how to embroider - I planned on doing this a few years ago, and started the process, but never finished. I have some wonderful patterns that I am looking forward to trying. My main goal is to learn how to make all of the different stitches.

2. Using The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes book, I want to learn how to make good hard crusted bread for dinners. My husband loves French bread and has requested this of me and I am happy to oblige! There is also a gluten-free version of this book that I hope to purchase and try out as I try to limit my gluten intake.

3. I studied essential oils a few years ago through the Aromahead Institute and only have to write a research paper to become a certified aromatherapist. However, I have never gotten around to writing the paper. I hope to study my course materials again and finish a few classes that I never started as well as use my essential oils more to help me with certain issues. I might even get around to writing that paper!

4. I will join Planet Fitness so that I can get in a daily walk during the cold months. I love the cold weather, but am not keen on walking in the cold early in the morning. I was walking and lifting weights before my tummy tuck and I am ready to get back to it! Once the weather warms, I will head out to the local parks for some early morning walks. I do intend to be "fit by 50." I hope that one of the side effects of getting healthier will be that I can get off some of my medication that I have relied on for so long!

5. I love to read and have LOTS of books on my shelves that I need to read through. NO buying books this year! Whatever I read comes from my own shelves or the library.

6. Incorporate a low-carb and/or keto diet into my way of life. I love the keto cookbooks by Maria Emmerich, but I am really looking forward to her Easy Dairy-Free Ketogenic Recipes book that will be published in January. I have found that dairy and grains are not my friends. They both make me bloat if I eat them regularly. I haven't totally eliminated either from my diet, but I do limit how often I eat these items. I am also sensitive to nightshade vegetables which includes tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and certain spices. I limit these items as much as possible as well.

7. Save as much as possible into our emergency fund and spend as little as possible in 2018. I honestly cannot think of anything that I HAVE to purchase except for some clothes that I will have to replace because I am smaller now due to my tummy tuck. I have all of the crochet supplies that I need, but will need a few items for the embroidery. My husband and I each get $100/monthly to spend as we want and that should be plenty of money to buy any clothing or craft supplies I may need.

8. Focus on the concept of hygge and incorporate more of it into my life. I am looking forward to more crafting, reading and cooking new recipes. I also want to spend more time outdoors and find contentment in the smaller things.

9. Blog regularly. I enjoy sharing my life and all of the wonderful things that I find online. I started this blog with the intention of blogging regularly, but got a bit sidetracked. SO, I am making a commitment to be better about that. I don't expect to have any sort of online presence, so I am really blogging just for myself! Obviously, I will be sharing all kinds of information about the various topics that I am discussing on this page, so feel free to follow me and receive emails when I update this blog (link in top of sidebar).

10. Make hiking a regular weekend activity with my husband. Living near the Appalachian Trail and all of the wonderful mountains in my area (Blue Ridge and Smoky), I have no excuse for not making hiking a more regular form of exercise.

11. Research and find the best body and face products to use. Our skin is our largest organ so what we put on it matters! I've thrown out all of my Bath & Body Works products and am starting from ground zero. Natural and/or organic skin care is more expensive, but I feel it is important to find products that are not adding toxins into my system on a regular basis. On the other hand, I do need to balance this with the fact that the skin on my face and neck are aging and I may need the help of anti-aging facial products. I'm sure I will figure it all out by the end of the year. Creating a facial skincare plan is high on my priority list for 2018! I do intend to use the services of an aesthetician to get me started and my appointment is already set for January 5th.

12. Starting in January and working through March, I will be decluttering our home using the KonMarie method that I read about in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing which I purchased this past summer. I also bought her workbook, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, and will begin going through this book once the new year begins. I will be taking a very hard look at each item in my home and I do believe that we will have enough items for a nice-sized yard sale in April! We need some new landscaping in our front beds, so any money earned will go towards that home improvement project.

13. And, just to round this list out to a baker's dozen .... I would like to figure out how to make my own planner/daily organizer that works for ME! I keep looking at all of those fancy (and expensive!) planners online and none of them are just right. I started working on this project late summer when I bought an inexpensive planner at Wal-Mart. I ended up adding free printable planning pages that I found online to it to make it work for me, but never went any further with it. My husband says he can help me with this project, so I hope I can do it and have my very own perfect planner ready to go in July when my current planner ends!

Well, that's a pretty long list for the year. Some of these items I will work on all year, while others will only take me a few months or less. I'm looking forward to learning new things and improving areas of my life as well as doing the hard work to keep myself healthy. 2018 looks to be one of my best years yet!

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