New year’s resolutions, part 1: 2014 resolution review

2015 new years resolutions

Photo courtesy nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Text added with Fotor.

I had two sets of resolutions for 2014: major and lesser. The major ones were thought up at the end of 2013, like most new year’s resolutions, but the “lesser” ones were concocted later. There was also a mid-year vow I have managed to stick to that I did not announce on this blog.

Major resolutions:

  • Savings. Last year I vowed to put away a certain small amount from each paycheck. This worked about half the time, which is better than not at all. Better yet, over the course of 2014 I went from being pretty OK at paying the bills to being pretty goddamn good at paying the bills, and with my new payment schedule integrated into the 2015 calendar, this goal should be much easier to attain. Someday I would like to sock away an automatic 10% of every check, as the old advice goes, but I’ll have to work my way up.
  • Reach goal weight. Fail. I want to explain how this isn’t my fault but that is a very long story and extremely unpleasant and possibly offensive to some readers (like I said — long story). Suffice it to say I was doing fan-freaking-tastic until about midsummer when I received some emotional blows directly related to my weight loss efforts.  They seemed to be petty annoyances at first but ended up becoming enormous emotional hurdles. My weight loss graph for 2014 makes a perfect U-shape: a smooth parabola down to ten pounds away from my goal around the 4th of July and then just as smoothly right back up to where I had started by Christmas. I cried, I binged, I meditated, I became a virtual recluse, I read more than a dozen books about emotional eating, and I eventually identified the issues and wrote battle plans for handling them. I now feel armed and dangerous. I have my feet firmly back under me and I have learned harsh truths about myself, my foes, and weight loss in general, and I am ready to go to war. I have tools to fight those who would keep me fat and unhappy (including myself) and I can finally really say that I have made a lifestyle change. Bring it!

My “good things” journal.

Lesser resolutions:

  • Fix my bangs. The idea here was to grow out my bangs, which were beginning to take over my entire head, and then cut out a new, shallower fringe. I did not cut my bangs once in 2014. I unrealistically expected that this meant that they’d be long enough come summer to count as “just hair” and no longer “long bangs” but I failed to take into account the curliness of the hair at the front of my head (it’s curliest right up there and gets progressively straighter as you get closer to my nape). When I pull them straight they are now just below my chin, but left to their own devices they corkscrew up to about eyeball level. At least I can finally tuck them behind my ears. Everyone tells me they like my hair now (especially Matt) and I agree that a center part is flattering to my long, long face — but I love the goddamn bangs and I will have them again no matter what anyone says! . . . I just don’t know when anymore.
  • Write in my “good things” journal every day. Bust! I was utterly faithful to this for almost three months. I had an adorable palm-sized sunshine-yellow Moleskine and I wrote something positive in it every day, whether it was a gush of scribbled joy or just a terse “had coffee.” But it stopped quite abruptly on the date of the Oso slide and I never got back in the habit. All I can say is that the slide messed me up quite a bit more than I could have anticipated.  And that I should stay the f@*% away from the online emergency services scanner.
  • Stop hoarding recipes. Success! I no longer put any clipped or internet-printed recipes in the big black accordion folder of dormancy. Now they go on top of the cookbooks in the kitchen and go on that or the next week’s menu. This has resulted in a buttload of interesting and delicious dinners and whole new series of posts, the Recipe Roundups.
  • Read the books on my library lists before they get out of control. I tried. Failure on this front is not really my fault. The lists keep growing because I keep getting stellar recommendations from the library and bookstore newsletters I receive by e-mail or follow on Tumblr. And I have been ordering them from the library by the dozen but they just sit in my queue forever because A) another patron is hogging them B) another patron has lost them C) they haven’t actually been released into the system yet because I requested them before their actual publication date D) there are 300+ other people on the list. I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

And another thing:

  • Sorry not sorry.  Several studies this year, the book Lean In, and, notably, a Pantene commercial, pointed out that women have been culturally conditioned to begin almost every sentence with “sorry,” particularly in the work place.  It was a wake up call for a lot of us.  I began noticing that I said it all the time — and also that when it comes at the beginning of a sentence I am never ever actually sorry at all. So no more of that crap.  In July I vowed on my Tumblr to stop apologizing when I have nothing to be sorry for, and I haven’t looked back.

Next post: 2015 resolutions.

— Amanda

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One thought on “New year’s resolutions, part 1: 2014 resolution review

  1. Pingback: 2016 New Year’s Resolutions | SterlingFink

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