New Year's Resolutions

Usually I don't make New Year's resolutions.  Instead I set out new goals at the beginning of each school year with the same success rate that most people experience with their new year's resolutions.

This year is going to be different.  There are a few things that I would like to do and I'm going to set them down as resolutions.  I don't know if this means I'll be more successful at following them than I am with the August resolutions, but I'm giving it a go anyway.
1.) Drink Water
Sometimes I get to the end of the day and when I look back I'm shocked at how little I've had to drink throughout the day.  I know that water is a key component in a healthy lifestyle and I don't drink nearly enough.  In fact, this goal is just to get me to normal people level.

2.) Slow Down
I have to think this comes from having a 20 minute lunch most of the year, but I find that I wolf down my food, even when I'm not at work.  I eat too fast.  This is going to be hard because it is such an ingrained habit, but I want to slow down when I eat.  Put the fork down between bites.  Chew slower.  Reach for the water.  

3.) Eye Contact
I don't make eye contact with people.  I think I do when I am with people I know, but even then not as much as I should.  I definitely don't in my every day interactions with strangers.  I know that it has to do with lack of self confidence and with social phobias, but knowing that doesn't stop me from averting my eyes.  This year will be different.  I just hope that I don't become that weird staring lady.

4.) Travel
This is the biggie.  There was a recent wanderlust theme at Assignment: Houston and looking through my photos selections I realized I only had photos from Houston and San Antonio.  That's pathetic.  Yes, 15+ years ago I went to Europe, but that was a long time ago.  Now my travel adventures only involve I-10.  This has to change.  And to change this a lot of things have to change along the way.  

First, fear. I have become afraid of flying in recent years.  I haven't flown in years (I think since before 9/11).  This doesn't have anything to do with 9/11 but more with the fact that I'm afraid of an accident and all it takes is one mechanic to make a mistake.  People don't survive plane crashes.  Of course the huge irony is that I adore airplanes and I love seeing them fly.  I used to love to fly and I want to get that back.  You don't have to give me the statistics about flying versus driving.  I know that this isn't a rational fear.  It is just something I have to work on.

Next, money.  I need to change the way I spend my discretionary income.  I've discussed where my money goes on the blog before.  I need to change from casually letting the $10 and $20 purchases slip through my fingers and instead let it build up in my account.  Because this just isn't about one trip at Spring Break anymore.  I want it to be a real change.  I want travel to become part of my life.   One step towards this is a new budget program I bought for my iPhone.  It is a lot like the envelope budget method.  I didn't put stuff in there that isn't going to change like rent and bills, but I set up categories for the things where my money usually flies out of the wallet (like eating out).  I think if I'm good about entering my purchases this will really help me control the spending.  Fingers crossed.

Finally, mindset.  In my mind going on a trip is a big production.  It requires months of planning, lots of money and lots of time.  It doesn't have to be that way.  I could take short 2 or 3 day trips with no problem, but I have to change my mindset.  Sometimes when I think of a city like Boston or Seattle, I think of ALL the things I want to see and do and just know that there is no way I can do it all in 2 or 3 days.  My mindset then blocks it out.  If I can't do everything, then do nothing.  This is the wrong way to approach it.  While I was talking about it with my mom she said to just pick one or two things that I really want to do on a trip and that's it.  Everything else can work around that.  That makes sense.  It will just take a new way of looking at things.

And one other detail that is going to go along with all of this.  I'm going to have to learn how to pack light.  I'm really bad at that, but since I will be taking my camera as a carry on I'm going to have to learn to pack all my toiletries in the suitcase.  That may be the hardest task of all.

So there you have it.  Items 1, 2 and 3 are definitely achievable with daily work.  Item 4 is going to be a much longer, slower process.  Bring on 2009!

Approaching the Monument

Year in Review