Monday, December 15, 2008

The Elf Is Makin' Resolutions!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been a busy little elf trying to get gifts completed before Christmas sneaks up on me. I’m still not finished with everything, so this may be my last post before Christmas. Once the holidays are over, I’ll be sure to post photos of what I’ve been working on.

A friend asked me, the other day, if I make New Year’s resolutions. My response was “no”. I used to make resolutions, but I never stuck to them for more than a couple of weeks to a month, at most, and so I just quit making them. After a lot of thought, though, I’ve decided that I’m going to set goals for myself for the upcoming year. You can call them resolutions if you’d like. Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about and these are in no particular order:

1. Eat Healthier – For the last five years, I’d say I’ve probably eaten out NO LESS than three times a week and as many as five to six times a week. And that doesn’t even include lunch, only dinner. I’ve almost always gone out for lunch and there really aren’t that many healthy options when eating out. I’ve already started taking my lunch to work most days and will continue trying to eat out less for evening meals.

2. Be more physically active - In past years, when I DID make resolutions, I always resolved to lose X amount of pounds. That lasted all of two weeks or until I was presented with some sort of dessert that I just couldn’t resist and then I’d decide that eating that dessert was going to make me far happier much faster than losing weight. I’ve decided, this year, that if I try to eat healthier and be more physically active the weight loss will follow. We’ll see…

3. Spend a LOT less time on the computer – My job revolves around working on the computer eight hours a day. When I come home from work every day I’m checking two e-mail accounts, checking for updates on the Stampin’ Up! website, looking at new projects posted to SplitCoast Stampers, checking my Facebook account, checking my MySpace account, reading my hometown, local, and national news, etc. It just gets to be addictive and all-consuming and then I’m more tired than I would have been had I been out being more physically active.

4. Make time to write “real” letters with pen and paper – This kind of goes hand in hand with #3. We’ve become so reliant on e-mail as our primary means of communication and I just don’t find it as personal as an actual letter. I think the recipients of those letters will enjoy them much more than an e-mail, as well.

5. Be more frugal – I’m one of the world’s worst about clothes and shoe shopping. I can never have enough. And if there’s a sale or I have a coupon for Penney’s or Kohl’s, you can bet I’ll be there so I can “save” some money. Going back to #1 and #2… If I eat healthier and am more physically active I’ll probably lose some weight and be able to get back into all those clothes that now make their home on the top shelves in my closet. If that happens, I won’t NEED to buy more clothes and will REALLY be saving some money by not going shopping at all. I have also found, by volunteering some time and making donations at the Salvation Army this past year, that they often have very nice name-brand clothing and it can be purchased at yard sale prices. Plus, the money you spend there goes to a VERY good cause. Stamping has also been a VERY expensive venture for me and I’m going to cut WAY back on that, as well. This will be the most difficult cutback for me!

6. Recycle more; be more “green” – I have never recycled much on an ongoing basis and am ashamed to say that. I have been doing some research, lately, and there are lots of options for recycling in my area and most of them don’t cost a thing. It will just require a little more thinking and planning on my part to separate everything so it winds up in the right place. I’m going to start using the reusable canvas grocery bags instead of using plastic every time I go and I’ll be making those bags myself. That way I can have them in some trendy colors and patterns and maybe even add a little bling!!

7. Read more – I LOVE to read. It’s always been one of my favorite things to do. Going back to #3, though, in the last several years most of my reading has been done on a computer screen. I’ve seen the new Sony Reader and would love to have one since I’m a technology geek, but there’s nothing like holding a real book in your hands. I’ve also been bad about buying all my books brand new from a bookstore or an online book club in the past. I LOVE the smell of the pages of a new book! Along with reading more, I’m resolving to borrow my books from the library or from friends, which will also help with #5 (being more frugal). There are a group of us at work who enjoy most of the same authors, so we’re already doing a little book swapping, anyway.

8. Spend more time with friends – There’s a LOT to be said for really good friends! Another of my favorite things to do is to get together with girlfriends to just chat. If we wind up stamping or sewing or doing something else, that’s great, too. But I LOVE just sitting with friends and chatting over a glass of wine. Getting together for a good board game or several rounds of Dance Dance Revolution on the Xbox360 is always fun, too!

9. De-clutter and be more organized – I know, I know… some of you are thinking that I’m already dangerously anal (to put it bluntly). ;) I DO still have a lot of clutter, though… things that are sitting in my garage because “I MIGHT need it someday”. I’m resolving to get rid of all that extra stuff that I’ve had sitting there for more than a year untouched just because I MIGHT need it. It’s just taking up space and making my life more stressful because it prevents me from finding the things I really DO need.

10. Be more diligent in paying off debt - This, too, will go hand in hand with being more frugal. The more I can save in other areas, the more I'll have to apply toward debt. Hopefully, I won't have to get a second job to accomplish this!

This list may grow between now and New Year's but, for now, these are the things I'm going to focus on the most. I think I'll print my list out so I can put it in a very visible place where I'll see it every day. What kinds of resolutions will you be making?