Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

It's that time of year - turn over a new leaf, start anew, make plans to be a better version of yourself. And I shall start by reviewing my resolutions from last year:

1. Start and keep a blog for one year
2. Take one photo every day
3. Stop messing with my phone while I'm in the driver's seat!!

One out of three is a pretty lousy track record, no? And since you're reading this post (for which I thank you very much!), it's pretty obvious which one I stuck to.

I truly enjoyed this blog over the last year. There were times when it felt a little bit like another chore, but it's been a wonderful outlet for me to write, share triumphs, disappointments, and most importantly, the little moments that made up 2013 for the Coussoules. So while my resolution was originally to keep the blog for a year, I think I'll see what 2014 has in store. Less pressure in my mind to keep it up this year, but keep it up, I will.

That brings me to 2014, a year full of promise and unknown blessings. Also, a year for resolutions - more than last year. I mean, maybe if I make more than three, I'll have a better chance at keeping more than one.

For the record, with all of you as my witnesses, here are my official resolutions for 2014:

1. Write one snail mail letter, card or postcard per week - I'd love for you to be on the receiving end, so if you comment here, you'll be at the top of my list!

2. Achieve a higher Marathon Maniac level - now, this one is a stretch. In fact, I would say it's more of a goal than a resolution, but I feel compelled to write it down, as that makes it much more real than just hoping for it. I am currently a Bronze Maniac, having run two marathons within 16 days back in 2012. I did the Hogeye Marathon on April 15th and then the Nashville Marathon on April 28th. The next level up requires three marathons in 16 days or six marathons in six months. I think I can do six in six months, but it will require a lot more advance planning than I've done at this point. So like I said, doing this one in 2014 is a stretch. Be prepared for it to show up again on my list in 2015.

3. Be on time to meetings and events. Truth: I suck at being places on time. It doesn't matter that in general, it's culturally acceptable at work for every meeting to start a few minutes late. Being late is rude and shows disregard for others' schedules. I'm going to try and remember that little fact this year at work and at home, regardless of how much I may not want to be wherever I'm going. On time.

4. Treat myself to a manicure/pedicure/massage once a month. You'd think this would be an easy resolution to keep - I mean, you can get an express manicure in something like 20 minutes, right? But without planning for it, the days, weeks, then months fly by, and I haven't done anything to pamper myself. Or recover from a race, either way. I hope by writing it down, I'll put it on my calendar, then actually schedule it and make it happen. My cuticles and hamstrings will thank me.

5. Make a list of scrapbooking projects and FINISH THEM. Just like my sewing projects, I have beaucoup pictures piled up with accompanying paper and embellishments just waiting for me to sit down and put everything together. I haven't made the list yet, but I will before I go back to work. And my deadline will be December 31st again - though this time, I'm giving myself the entire year instead of starting in August. Pretty generous, I think.

6. No eating straight from the chip bag. I KNOW!!! I honestly don't know if this is humanly possible. I mean, look at it:
Party of ONE, they mean. This resolution is going to take some serious self discipline. I can walk by an entire buffet of sweets, but you put a bag of potato chips (or Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, whatever crunchy/salty) in front of me, and I'm down for the count. But it's a terrible habit, mindless consumption of empty calories, when I work so hard to be fit and keep my body in shape. So that's it - it's straight cold turkey come January 1st. All chips must be in a bowl or on a plate before consumption. ** Disclaimer - snack size bags don't count. I mean, the whole point is that you eat them from the bag. But I must limit myself to one snack size bag, if I stoop so low as to raid my kids' lunch chips. **

7. Stop using air quotes. Do I even have to justify this? I do it so often I annoy myself.

8. Do pushups and sit-ups before every run. My team building trip to the rock climbing wall gave me several days to acknowledge my pitiful, pitiful lack of upper body strength. And since yours truly is not about to start lifting weights unless they come with a personal trainer, a tropical island, and endless wealth, pushups and sit-ups it is. I've tried doing them after my runs, which lasts for about a week and then peters out. But I think this time, the before-the-run part is the key piece. Also, that I have a friend willing to do it with me, so I have accountability. Nothing like peer pressure.

9. Mark at least one thing off of my life list. This year, I think it's going to be "grow strawberries in my garden." That feels manageable, especially since last year we decided we'd had it with everything except tomatoes, green onions, carrots and radishes. There is some mysterious something that has wiped out our cucumbers and squash the last two years, so we're done trying that. But strawberries - well, we will give it a go, at least.

10. Finally, to round out the list to an even ten, I need to try once again to stop messing with my phone while I'm in the driver's seat. I at least progressed to acknowledging how dangerous it is every time I did it. But my kids aren't getting younger or less perceptive, and I absolutely must do a better job of setting this example. Lord knows, I'm going to blink and they're going to be asking for the car keys.

I'm ready - bring it, 2014. I've got goals and resolutions, and I expect I'll have both successes and disappointments along the way. To paraphrase a friend, though, life without goals is just the repetition of waking up everyday.

Here's to making the most of the next 365. Happy New Year!


  1. I'm giggling at the air quotes I do that too :) :)

    1. I'm worried I'm going to replace them with the finger hashtag now. LOL

  2. Witnessed! I've enjoyed your blog this past year and look forward to more awesome posts in 2014.

  3. great blog, Amanda!!!

    1. Thanks, Caren! Hoping to see you in Raleigh in April??

  4. Good grief, woman! 10?! I chortled at air quotes. Is that still a thing?! Get with it! :-P {Maybe one of mine should be to stop using (overusing?) emoticons. I am addicted.}

    1. Oh, it's totally still a thing. Where's your list?? ;)

  5. Love your blog Amanda and look forward to more in 2014! Good luck with #6, that will be the hardest resolution to keep. If you need someone at work to take the chips out of the bag and put them on a paper plate, I will do that for you any time!