Monday, December 30, 2013

12 in 2014: The Master List

My life motto, on my planner. Artwork by Yoshitomo Nara. 

Well, Dear Reader, after much deliberation, agonizing, and drinking copious amounts of coffee, I have come up with my 12 New Year's Resolutions. 

It was much harder than I thought it would be. As a person with clinical anxiety, I have generally have that classic background narrative of criticism and doubt running throughout my day. Given that I find about 40 things to improve about myself everyday, I thought 12 in a year would be a simple task. Ha.

What actually happened was that I carefully considered many changes I wanted to make, and then decided if, 1) something was really a change worth making, and 2) if it was important enough to focus on, above all else, for an entire month. While those parameters culled out many ideas, (bake more cookies might not be the best resolution, health-wise), they also presented some rather unexpected, or perhaps embarrassingly unwanted, candidates (no, I don't want to talk about the dishes resolution, thank you very much).

Next, I considered what will be going on in 2014. Among the major changes: an international move, a local move, a new job. Given the madness that I am already beholden to, I distributed my resolutions strategically based on if they would be convenient to enact when they were scheduled. For example, I'm not planning to develop an exercise routine in the middle of moving house--that will be enough exercise on its own.

My final caveat is to remind myself that the purpose behind all of this is to build a habit. That is why most of my resolutions will be daily activities, even if the habit developed may not continue that way forever. (I'm looking at you Man-Person, you're not dishes-free forever). So without further ado:

12 in 2014: The Master List

January: Yoga, Everyday
Yes, I know, I know, you didn't sign up for this hipster business, but hear me out: I have a bum knee, and, at my current state of fitness, I get winded doing laundry. I'm not running any 5Ks any time soon.

February: One Photo A Day
I couldn't take on this experiment without paying tribute to my Flickr inspiration. February is short, but event-filled, so I should be surrounded by inspiration. Also, this will be a chance to really explore all the things my camera can do.

March: 2 Hours of Computer Time A Day
And no more! This is my last month in China, so I won't be spending it online. This is the resolution I feel I am most likely to fail at. Stay tuned.

April: Wake Up By 9 a.m. (Even on the weekends)
If you know me, then you know why this has gained resolution-levels of seriousness.

May: Daily Expenses Log & A Budget

I am something that resembles an adult now, so I should try to make sure I don't bankrupt myself with too many trips to Savers and Target.

June: Cook A Meal Once a Week
I always prefer eating over cooking. It would probably be efficient of me to feed myself. Also, I'll be living at home this month... so it's the least I can do for my poor parents.

July: Learn to Play the Banjo
I have a banjo, and I miss having an instrument to play. I used to play taiko, but those are rather difficult to come by.

*Midway Point: Progress Check*
This is when I see if I'm still doing the previous six months' of things. If not, time to pick it up again in the coming months!

August: Dishes Once A Day
New house, new semester, might as well have something under control.

September: Develop a Full-Blown Business Plan
As some of you may have gathered, I am (what I consider, anyway) a small business owner. While I have had marginal success so far, I want to expand and make a full time job of this. To do that, I am going to need a plan.

October: No More Perpetual WIPs
Oh, the WIP, or Work In Progress, for you luddites. I accumulate these like mad, often stalling as they are 95% finished...paintings, crochet projects, cleaning projects... the list goes on! October is the month to finish them. 

November: One Sketch A Day
Useful for business, useful for my sanity.

December: The Costs Twice As Much Rule
Here's the thing about Christmas: I love buying presents, but have never had much money to do so with. Ideally, however, by this December, I will have a steady, paying job, which means I will have money to spend. Alas, that money is spoken for already. Loans before...scones? Okay, well, clever rhymes aside, I need to pay off some student loans! This rule is designed to discourage out of control gift purchasing. Beyond a set gift limit, if I want to buy something extra for someone (or anything for myself) I will also have to pay that amount extra to my student loans. So, that cute scarf at Target that costs $15? Yeah, now it costs $30. Is it $30 cute? No, didn't think so.

After re-reading my list, I'm both excited and intimidated by the year ahead. I'll be keeping you all updated on my progress, naturally. Are you also doing 12 in 2014? Tell me about it, so we can encourage each other. Normal resolutions are welcome too!

Cheers to the New Year, and thank you 2013!


  1. This is great Cat! You are an inspiration. The new year hit me so quickly that I still haven't had the time to recover yet...and January is almost over!

  2. I was only on it because I needed a new blog topic! Luckily, it's turning out interesting. The great part about this style is you can jump in with a resolution whenever a new month rolls around.