My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions

We’re one week in to the new year already! It’s felt like a funny time to try to make any changes. First, starting the year with a three day weekend is definitely not the time to do a juice fast or anything. Jack and I enjoyed the time off together and with our families, and there was absolutely no cleansing going on 😉 In fact, there was one night that we had pizza and linguine for dinner (along with giant martinis) and then went to a bar, where we had tequila shots and soft pretzels and Oreo cheesecake. I am still a little bit in shock at our gluttony.

So then we headed back to work, but we had Christmas #6 with my stepdaughter, which consisted of more linguine and wine and exciting news that she is moving to California. Now, we’re trying to settle in and behave ourselves, but we’re going to Mexico in a week so I’m kind of like, what’s the point???

The good news is that I’m sticking with my diet (in spite of the previously mentioned carb-a-thon) and am now officially down 10 pounds from my summer chubster-ism. Woo hoo! In my dreams I will lose another 8, but no pressure right now.

In terms of my goals for the year, I’m going to start off by focusing on the first half of 2016. And I’m not going to have as many lofty goals as I did last year; this time, they are more specific.

Fitness/Health

  1. Continue my diet for as long as I can stand it.
  2. Eat primarily vegan meals, but not freak out when I have a cheeseburger or some ice cream.
  3. Learn to use the kickass Garmin I got for Christmas.
  4. Run a sub-25 minute 5k by July.

Organization

  1. Clean out the linen closet.
  2. Clean up, organize, and decorate our home office.
  3. Follow a schedule with my volunteering.
  4. Focus our donations on one nonprofit, rather than giving small amounts to a lot of groups.
  5. Make new passwords for all our accounts (and keep track of them!).
  6. Replant all my sad houseplants that have outgrown their pots.
  7. Unsubscribe to a LOT of email lists.

Reading

  1. Stop buying Kindle books. Reserve books at the library.
  2. Read: On the Move, H is for Hawk, M Train.

Finances

  1. Start using Personal Capital (or something like that) to track our expenses.
  2. Pay off my $8700 private student loan.
  3. Limit our weekly going-out budget to $100. Related: learn the weekly specials at restaurants in our area 🙂
  4. Cancel our credit cards that we never use.

I feel like none of these are overwhelming. I’ll probably do something like take on one of these each Saturday, so that I stay on top of everything over the first half of the year. The second half of the year will see me examining my job and what I want my future career to look like, but for now, I want to keep learning and see how I feel after a full year in this role.

Did you make any resolutions? Do you think it’s more important to make lofty, dreamy goals, or (kind of boring) check-off-the-list goals that are more easily attainable?

 

Get You Some: OysterBooks.com

I am assuming, if you are reading blogs here on WordPress, that you enjoy reading. Personally, I tend to be reading two or three books at a time, plus whatever fun articles my friends are sending me, plus a bajillion different blogs. Oh, and magazines, as I have a little bit of a problem saying no when my niece is selling subscriptions for her school’s fundraiser.

I do enjoy reading real, live books – from the library, from my mom, from the rare occasion I purchase one from the store. I also enjoy getting books from Amazon on my Kindle app for my iPad and my Galaxy 5. The biggest issue I have with buying books is that I am a very, very fast reader. I hate spending $20 on a book that I’m going to finish in a couple of days. I also find myself slogging through not-very-enjoyable books just because I paid for them.

Because of this, I was so, so excited to discover OysterBooks.com (no affiliate link; I just love them). For $10 a month, you have access to hundreds of thousands of books for download. You also have the option to purchase newer books, should you so desire. I know Amazon Prime has a similar offering, but Amazon already gets enough of my $$$ (and my data!).

I’ve been very pleased with the selection and the app itself. Not only can I go back and forth between a few books at a time, I can also give up on books I’m just not that into. I can read what most fits my mood in the moment. Some books I’ve really enjoyed this summer include Holding Silvan (be prepared to cry your eyes out), You Are Dying and Your World is a Lie (actually a lot more fun than it sounds), and Left Neglected. There is a great selection of books for every category, and they offer tons of recommendations. I love this: 16 Books You Say You’ve Read (But Haven’t).

I also have a monthly membership to Audible.com, which covers one audio book each month. I’ve actually just suspended it, since I have a backlog of downloads to catch up on. I’m a faster reader than I am a listener, apparently. It’s linked with my Amazon wish list, which is convenient. I love listening to books on road trips and long runs, when reading an actual book is frowned upon.

What are you reading this summer? Do you like this type of subscription service?