I love the new year. Even if my life isn’t changing drastically, I always feel like the new year is a clean slate. The beginning of the year gives us an opportunity to assess ourselves and our lives that we don’t often give ourselves otherwise.
So I spent a little time thinking about what I want from this year and this is what I came up with.
Read more books. Since I can’t manufacture more time in the day, this will probably be at the expense of tv. I am currently on the third book of a Swedish crime series by Camilla Lackberg that I’m reading in French. I bought the first book when we were in France for our honeymoon, so it just made sense to read the rest in French too. Waiting in the wings are World War Z, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and a giant collection of Edgar Allan Poe. Related to this, I would also like to use my cookbook collection more often. With all the amazing blogs that I read every day, they are often forgotten.
Take more time to create. This year almost all the Christmas gifts I gave were handmade and it was really fun! I would like to spend more time making things and exercising my creative brain for something other than cooking and baking.
Take care of myself. I am lumping a lot into this category. Apart from the usual intention of working out regularly and cutting down on the junk food, I would like to add some new things this year. I would like to eat more and more varied vegetables. I would like to try and get these veg from local sources at farmer’s markets or local veg deliveries (I’m looking at this one) as much as possible. Inspired by Todd and Diane of White on Rice couple and their amazing new cookbook Bountiful, I would also like to try growing some things on our balcony this summer. I would also like to make an effort to stretch daily, and to meditate/relax a couple of times per week.
Take care of our home. Recently, I’ve been inspired by some wonderful lifestyle blogs like Rue Magazine, Camille Styles, and Coco+Kelley to take more pride in my home. I would like it to be a place people enjoy being. I would like to keep it beautiful so that every surprise visit is not preceded by panicked tidying. I’ve been using fresh flowers more often, and I’d like to revamp our space by changing up the couch cushions, using a fur chair cover, or trying out a rug.
Work hard but keep work at work. When I first started my PhD, I would work all day in the lab and then come home and read more work-related papers. It didn’t take long for me to go crazy. I find that not working at home helps keep me motivated to work hard during the day and gives me time to refuel and recharge. Taking time off doesn’t mean you’re lazy and you definitely shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I would like to continue this trend this year.
Be happy when good things happen. Some time ago I wrote about this happiness complex and shared a video about it. We’re always looking forward to the next things so that we can be perfectly happy. This year, I would like to try and recognize when something good happens and let it linger for a while. There is no such thing as perfectly happy. There is always something to achieve or something to improve. This year, I want to try being imperfectly happy.
I hope this list inspires you to assess your own life and decide what you want out of this year. Bring it on!