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When it comes to New Years resolutions, I’ve gone back and forth. Some years, I think that goal-setting is the key to making the most out of the next 365 days. Other years, I think establishing “resolutions” just because it’s a new year is dumb – after all, why can’t I simply start them on Feburary 17th? What makes an empty calendar so special?

The truth is, it’s not. The only magic of the new year is the faith we put in it, and some years I just don’t feel like doing that. But after looking back at a mediocre 2014, I’ve decided to once again experiment with this whole resolutions thing. Unlike years past, I’m creating a very long list this time around – either out of impatience, boredom, disappointment, wine… or all of the above. Some of my goals will be harder to achieve than others, but that’s kind of the point. If 2015 is an empty vessel of possibilities, I want to reach outside of my comfort zone and see what happens. Let’s get started!

Personal Goals

1. Create a separation between work and home.

Working from home has some tremendous advantages: freedom to work wherever I please, freedom to work in my pjs, freedom to work my own hours, etc. It also has disadvantages: freedom to work wherever I please, freedom to work in my pjs, freedom to work my own hours, etc.

Notice that those lists are both the same? That’s because this kind of freedom can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re not disciplined enough, freedom to work whenever you want can result in not keeping yourself to task during the day because of all the distractions (the dog barking, the TV, laundry, etc.). You can also have the opposite problem, like I do: being able to jump on my computer at a moment’s notice results in working all the time and ignoring everything else. Sure, it’s 11pm and I have the TV on, but I’m still on the company website or drafting emails. For me, this kind of freedom has interrupted just about every aspect of my life;  many days, I’ve worked a majority of my day from my bed, not gotten out of my yoga pants, and/or absentmindedly snacked (worst of all) while doing these things. This inevitably leads to poorer sleeping habits, poorer eating habits, and a general loss of finding time to relax.

To put an end to this, I’ve made myself a new rule in regard to my computer: no more working from just anywhere in the house. From now on, my computer will reside in my home office, and only in my home office. At first glance, it seems like I’m torpedoing one of the major advantages of working from home; but for me, keeping a designated spot for my computer will help split a more defined line between work and leisure. This will lead to better sleep, better eating (snacking in the bedroom: no more, no more, no. more.), better focus on the task at hand, and better overall well-being (I won’t feel like such a bum).

2. Clutter control.

No, not organize. GET RID OF. Last fall, I started a habit of trying to clean out one (tiny) spot in the house each week. This almost always resulted in a donation pile or trashing things I’ve been holding on to for way too long, so I’m sticking with it. 2015 will be the year of less stuff. This past Christmas, it was the same thing: all I really wanted was a coffee maker. I got way more than that (some really great stuff too!), but I found that I was also more grateful for all of the other unexpected and thoughtful gifts.

(2a. This doesn’t really belong as a separate item because it’s so closely connected to goal #2, but I’m aiming for no clothes shopping until after Lent. I’ve given up shopping for Lent before, but I want to start even sooner this time. This will be tough for me, since I’m the type of person who will buy a shirt in 3 colors if it fits really, really well. I guess this goal essentially means no shopping at Target until the summer!)

3. Get out of the damn house and go out to dinner

In 2014, I couldn’t make my mind up if bothering to go out on dates was even worth it. The whole getting dressed up and mystery of first dates was fun, but the effort seemed almost laughable with some of the whack jobs I met. There were one or two guys that were worth seeing a second or third time, but ultimately no spark to be found (which I dunno, in some ways is worse than the crazies for lack of entertainment). It felt like a giant waste of time, but sitting at home made me feel like I was purposely avoiding dating (which wasn’t true, but kind of felt that way). I’m on the fence about this one, but I’m taking a friend’s advice and picking a completely arbitrary number (15, for 2015) of dates to go on this year. And of course, sprinkling in some much-needed dinner time with friends each month will accomplish the same thing but with a much more reliably fun outcome.

Blog Goals

4. Set a posting schedule and stick to it.

As I mentioned in my 2014 recap, I took a step back from my post frequency last year while I got used to a new job. While it was necessary, I didn’t really like it, and there were some frustrating moments of writer’s block. To help matters, I’m setting some new goals to create a more steady pace for regular updates on this site, whether they are personal posts, small projects, or larger DIYs (now that I’ve got a better handle on work, it’s going to be easier to manage home improvements, which I hope means getting back to a pace I’m more content with).

5. Do one creative DIY per month.

To that end, I’m setting a goal for doing more small projects that will keep the creative momentum going. Most of last year was about finalizing some large and often messy tasks (skim coating. shoot me.). Which can also be boring. I’d almost forgotten how much I like doing the smaller projects, like creating wall art, small woodworking DIYs, or sharing small home improvement tips that make projects go more smoothly. This year, I’m hoping to do more of those, which will also help with goal #4. I just started one tonight, so I’ll share as soon as it’s done.

6. Be more honest and open (aka, Haters Gonna Hate, and They Can Do That Elsewhere)

Ok, time for a confession: I had a moment of dishonesty on this blog last year. I don’t mean a well-intentioned dishonesty, like taking too long to get a post published (which I’m super frustrated at myself for doing too often). I mean I actually went against my better judgement and posted a response to a comment that wasn’t true to myself. And I regret it, but not for the reasons you might expect.

I could go on and on about how bloggers feel when they post something personal, because I know that most would say something similar (and have). But I’m pretty sure that you’d all understand how vulnerable someone might feel to share personal stories on the web, leaving oneself open to an influx of criticism. Thankfully, my readers are some of the most amazing people on the planet, because 99.99999% of you (that aren’t unavoidable self-promotion spammers, of course) leave wonderful, encouraging comments (and I read them all). But as you might expect, all it takes is one insult in a sea of encouragement to make someone fixate on the negative. I’m certainly not immune, which is why some comments don’t get approved. Constructive feedback is good and necessary, but this is also the internet; sometimes, someone’s just being a dick, and that really has no place on this site.

One such nasty comment took place late last year during a personal post, and instead of deleting it, I chose to respond. I took the time to craft a polite response and published it, but what I really wanted to say? Bye, Felicia.

True, this response is not at all kind, and I probably would have regretted saying it just as much as not saying it (and it’s not all that clever either). But instead of feeling better for being polite, I was upset at myself for being inauthentic. It felt a lot like the times in high school when I tried to be nice to make people like me more, only to become exhausted and just decide to be myself anyway. This is, after all, my little (tiny) corner of the internet. I don’t expect that everyone is going to like this site; or want to read it, even if they’ve read it in the past; or agree with me 100% of the time. I don’t plan to be obnoxious either, but I am perfectly okay with being a chatty, beer-drinking, power tool-loving, cursing, sometimes funny blogger who takes pride in her accomplishments (however slow-going at times). I felt guilty for saying the too-nice thing, not because I wished I had a witty comeback, but because it wasn’t me. So for as much flak as I might risk for saying the wrong thing in the future, I am setting a goal to continue to push myself to be exactly who I am behind the computer screen.

7. Tell my love story (so far).

In the same vein as #6, I’ve been meaning to share a story with  you guys for a while. It will be hard to write, but I feel like it’s time. There are lots of bloggers that happily tell tales of finding forever love, but what about the stories that aren’t complete yet? I had a few unexpected realizations in the last year when it comes to love and heartbreak, so I’ve been working on getting these thoughts down and ready to share.

Home Goals

I’m keeping this list short, but mostly because they probably aren’t at all surprising. More will be added to the list later this year once I’ve checked off one or two of these.

8. The kitchen.

Ugh. Only one last room to skim coat and paint. Can someone pretty please just send me some magic elves to finish these walls while I sleep? I will be forever grateful. For a recap on the plan in this room, check out the mood board.

9. The laundry room.

At the end of 2013, I’d just finished installing the tiled floor in time for my new washer and dryer. In 2014, all I managed to add was tile to the back wall. The final work needed on this room is relatively small, so it’s time to get to it! I’m feeling that old familiar excitement of seeing this project come together, so chances are you’ll see some updates about this room soon.

10. The office.

With my #1 goal splitting a defined line between work and home, it’s become obvious that I need to work on improving my home office (formerly called my craft room or study-o while in school). This means finishing the desk chair, building a shelving unit for the back wall, and putting up some art to make things more inviting. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I created a new mood board after changing the room color, so I’ll have to work on that shortly.

Ikea hack DIY
Ikea hack: desk lamp DIY

11. More landscaping & exterior work

I didn’t share this in 2014, but I bought a large number of plants last fall and have been trying to figure out what is going to grow/look best in both the front and back areas of the house. I decided that seeing how they fared over the winter will help me figure out which areas need to be filled in more, so expect a post on that when spring rolls around. I also have a few more interior plants, but just like the fiddle leaf fig, I’m waiting to see if I can keep them alive before I share!

 

UPDATE:

One more to add! I love to learn new things, so honing a new skill this year would be nice. I’ve been debating taking either singing or guitar lessons, but keep waffling* back and forth between which idea I like more. Which would you choose?

What isn’t on this list:

1. “Balance” – sure, I could have used this over-hyped word in goal #1 this year, but in my opinion, there’s really no such thing as true balance. It’s always going to be give and take. Some days will be more about work; other days will be more about the blog (aka my work-hobby hybrid); and some days will be more about watching @Midnight on Hulu and having pancakes for dinner. By accepting it from the start that I’m never going to find the perfect balance with any part of my life, I don’t feel as guilty that my house isn’t Pinterest-worthy at every any waking moment.

2. Weight loss. Would I love to lose a few pounds? Sure. Of course. Yes. Absolutely. Da, darling. But what I really need to work on is bringing healthier eating habits into my life rather than side-eyeing my bathroom mirror. Last year, I kicked my unhealthy soda habit, but not my constant eating out (conveniently, I had an unfinished kitchen to blame). This year, I want to rededicate myself to keeping fresh snacks around the house to replace the crap I usually grab. It may not be a complete overhaul to my diet, but that’s kind of the point. Little changes are easier to stick to, and ultimately result in a healthier me. Same goes for my workouts: I’m focusing on stronger, not skinnier.

Phew! Another long post complete. If you got through all of that in one sitting, you deserve a cookie (and maybe coffee?).** Anyone else ready to tackle 2015? Did you set resolutions too?

*Anytime I use that word, I almost instantly crave waffles.

**Acceptable substitutes: beer, wine, Mexican food, pancakes, chocolate, ice cream.

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26 Comments

  1. Fantastic list! My colleague works from home and turned a backyard shed into an office. Perfect way to have that work/life split.

    I don’t do resolutions per say but instead for 101 in 1001 (101 things to do in 1001 days).

  2. #1 and #2 are big on my 2015 goals list as well (along with actually blogging on my blog… ). I work most days in the family room, which is comfy and has the big tv, but it’s also where we relax at night, which I have trouble doing because my laptop and to-do list are right there, and it’s where the guy and the dog go through in and out all day, which is distracting. I totally need a space to set boundaries, both for me and for the rest of the house.
    (And haters gonna hate, and potaters are gonna potate, so just be you. That’s why we’re here, right?)

    1. Ha, don’t think I heard the potaters line before. Lots of luck with keeping to the same goals this year. Let me know how you do… either you’re going to make me feel shame for not sticking with it (while you do), or you’ll have someone to help motivate.

  3. Good for you for setting some work/home boundaries! I have worked at home for almost 10 years, and it is VERY hard to turn it off. I have always had a designated home office and a set work schedule of 9-6 — but it’s so easy to come back in here at night… and I do it every night, almost without fail – sometimes it’s just a last email check, but on other nights, I end up putting in more… and need to stick to take my own advice! ;) Good luck – I am a first time commenter, I think, but have been reading your blog for awhile and enjoy your posts. “Bye Felicia” made me laugh, since I *love* that movie, and it only took 20 years for that particular line to become popular. ;)

  4. I love you even more for number 6 and look forward to the second number 6 (you make me feel less alone in this world with those posts).
    I also love that there are two #6 ;)
    All the best from the other side of the pond
    Jenn(ifer)

    1. Oops. I just KNEW I’d missed one. When I write lists, I often shove one or two extras into the mix when I start to think of more, and I then have to remember to renumber them. Thanks for pointing me to it!

  5. I don’t think I could work from home […] especially when I lay down from a hard day of work and my wife is shoving a poopy baby in my face. No thanks!

    My goal is to be diligent on my home renos. So far, so good 8 days in. Also, I would like to climb the Diamond on Long’s peak [which means loosing weight and getting in shape]. Those are the big personal goals I have.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’m actually most looking forward to the love story sharing…. as a single early 30’s independent lady myself, I really love when others share these stories as opposed to being inundated with only the fairytale type endings…. Happy 2015!

  7. I love this post. I agree, it always kind of feels weird to say you are going to set all these goals just because it’s January 1st. I struggle with that.

    You are awesome:) I think you’re hilarious and usually laugh out loud when you get a little curse-y, so feel free to be as YOU as you can on your blog. Screw the bitches.

    I would vote for guitar, because of one reason: I was a music major (briefly) in college. One thing I learned was that if you are learning the guitar, you will be singing. A guitar teacher taught me that – whether or not you CAN sing, if you are playing guitar – you WILL be singing. You’ll be trying to learn chords at first, but soon you’ll be searching the internet for tabs (guitar music sheets) to learn your favorite tunes. And when you are trying to learn them, you’ll be singing that song. So learning guitar is like a guarantee that you’ll be singing more, and really the more you sing, the stronger and better your voice becomes!!

    If I lived closer I’d totally come help you skim coat your kitchen, I love DIY stuff but I live in a rental. I drool at DIY blogs like some girls drool at … designer clothes? Who knows, I shop at target too. ha!

    1. Ooh, “tabs” – tucking the lingo away for later use. Thanks for the first lesson, ha! ;)

  8. I would go for the guitar lessons, mostly since I can’t sing. Plus, if you play the guitar, you will likely sing along!

    By all means go to dinner! If it is one thing I have learned, it is that the people you spend your life with are much more important that the things you own or what you do. Develop a good circle of friends and spend time doing things you all enjoy together. I don’t really have any advice on the love front other than to keep trying. You never know when the right one will come along. (And if he is the right one, he won’t care how you are dressed.) I met my wife on a blind date. I had no real expectations that anything would come of the date, I was just doing a favor for a friend. That was over 30 years two grown kids ago. Life will bless you if you give it a chance.

    I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

  9. Ok – so great post – but to be honest I’m here just to say – THANK YOU FOR THE LINK EXPLAINING BYE FELICIA!

    I’m usually pretty good with memes but that one came out of no where to me in the past few weeks and I was feeling less than hip. And now I almost feel worse realizing that I didn’t recognize it from one of my favorite movies from high school.

    Anyway – good luck in 2015!!!!

    1. Haha, I realized about a year and a half ago that I use a lot of idioms and trendy phrases here and there. Knowing that some of my traffic is international, I guess I just decided one day to start putting links to Urban Dictionary, just in case someone may not know what I mean! Ha! Glad you found that helpful (it means I’m on the right track!). Good luck to you, too!

  10. love your goal list of 2015. I usually try to have achievable goals for house, personal, outside of the box too. BTW – guitar lessons!!!

  11. In my little world, the only good thing about dating was being able to regale my buddies with “Tales from the Dating Side”. If a date was merely “Meh”, it felt like a waste of time. I nicknamed one of them “My What Shiny Swords You Have”. Literally.mounted.everywhere.in.his.apartment

    1. HAHA. I never wound up seeing too many apartments last year, and after your comment, I’m pretty thankful for it now. ;) If you hadn’t caught the Tinder date recap I did last Valentine’s, you should give it a read. Very similar stories to swap there. Enjoy!

  12. Ok, first, why am I thinking I wrote something where you fibbed to my comment? Why? Because I say what I feel (but always try to be nice) and kick myself after?

    I never set resolutions. I have a problem with swearing. With kids that is not cool. So, I work on it. Wouldn’t it be stupid to not start until January 1st for something like that. Or being hugely overweight and riding it out until January 1st. Not the brightest idea so I don’t do the whole New Years word or resolution. Just do my best everyday.

    I love your posts and look forward to the love update. The best was your Tinder dating post. I laughed so hard. And sometimes a naughty word is all that cuts it. Like when I burned my arm on the iron and it felt like a knife slicing through my arm! Be you, we love visiting with you here on your blog. I honestly was trying to weed down my blogs but I have to keep yours on my feed. You provide too much entertainment and I feel like I need to know how things are going for you.

    You cracked me up with just these words, “I am perfectly okay with being a chatty, beer-drinking, power tool-loving, cursing, sometimes funny blogger who takes pride in her accomplishments (however slow-going at times).” That is who you are and we (the ones that matter) like you that way! And who else would clue me into things such as “Goodbye Felicia”. I would be SO out of the loop! I look forward to hearing more from you this year.

    1. Don’t sweat, it wasn’t a comment you left :) It was to another (particularly nasty) statement I didn’t appreciate but didn’t want to repeat (I thought calling out the commenter by name or by comment would be in poor taste, since this was more about how I betrayed my own feelings on it rather than an actual response to the commenter themselves).

  13. I just started following your blog and I love the way you write! I am so excited to read more of your posts after reading this one. I think the idea of separating “work from play” is such a good plan! Especially when you’re working from home it’s hard to “keep work at work” so designating an AREA that’s for work is a clever way to do it. Good luck with that and I look forward to reading lots of your upcoming posts!

    xoxo, Sam.

  14. You have so many died in the wool supporters – count us when you are feeling down! Or as they used to say in the old days (only in Latin) dont let the bastards get you down!

    This turning point seems really good for you and it makes such good sense too (imagine!). Start 2015 by feeling calmer, less stressed and more amused – we willl be here for you through it all! You are human…nice to know…just like we all are…tho we forget that too, often. :)