Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's resolutions, baby!

I'm a firm believer in New Year's resolutions, and can't remember a year in the recent past where I haven't made at least one. In my pre-internet days, I'd scrawl them out in marker on a piece of notebook paper and tuck them away in a shoebox (where I also stored all of the notes my girlfriends had given me during the school year with our highly sensitive, *cough* boy gossip *cough*, during the year), and would pull them back out around New Year's to see how badly I've failed at keeping them. Now I tend to post them in my blog-of-the-moment - whichever one I spend more time on or relates most to the goals I've set for myself this year. Therefore, I give you my 2009 resolutions that I will hopefully meet and/or exceed during the next calendar year:

1. Read more books for pleasure. 50 this year, to be exact. And school books don't count.

2. Apply to PhD programs. Preferably after the masters degree is finished, so there's that caveat of this process. So basically, at least one application has to be submitted to a school by December. Lots of work, but doable.

3. Win the biggest loser competition at work. This starts on January 5, and ends on March 13. Prize money is $450, which will put a nice dent in my vacation costs (see below). I entered with my friend Rachel, who's going to give me a pretty good run for the money I think - so basically, if either of us wins, I'll consider this resolution achieved. :D

4. Get my passport. Now that my new project at work will be sending me to Texas and not freezing cold snowy Calgary (sorry, Canadians, but after Spokane's winter I'm just not in the mood for more!), this is a pretty high priority on my to-do list.

5. Make a budget and stick to it. I've been monitoring my spending habits for the past few months so that I can make smart estimates about what I need (or don't need), so I'm hoping to sit down sometime in January and draft out a plan that will work for this year. The main purpose of this will be to establish an emergency fund that is separate from my savings fund, as well as pay off my student loans entirely.

6. Meal Plan every week. It's so much better than constantly running to the store because I don't know what I have, and haven't planned what I'm making until that night.

7. Go on 2 mini-vacations (as in 3- or 4-day weekends. Both must be to places I've never been before - right now, Las Vegas, Colorado, and Southern California are pretty high on that list. Both must not include visiting relatives for a holiday. One must be without Matt.

8. Go on an extended vacation (as in a week) with Matt. We've been discussing Hawai'i next fall, or something else hot/tropical.

9. Set up a weekly volunteering activity again. I used to volunteer at the Women's and Children's Free Restaurant once a week, and I really enjoyed that - it's a great organization with a mission that I really believe in. Unfortunately, it now conflicts with all of my classes. So this year, my goal is to reorient my schedule enough to make a similar situation feasible for me.

10. And last but not least, make a better effort to keep in touch with all the people that I love that are far away from me now. I've always sucked at keeping in touch with people, and I need to get better at that. Also, I want to write people letters. They're so old-school that they're fun, and everyone loves getting mail, right?
What are your resolutions for the new year?

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