January 2014: Looking Forward

If I’m being honest, part of my hope in starting to blog about my daily life is to inspire myself in little ways to focus on choosing fulfillment over less satisfying pursuits. In effect, I want to live a life worth writing–and reading–about. As I look forward to the first month of 2014, I’m making a list of short-term goals and posting them here to keep myself accountable. In January, I plan to keep things pretty simple and start small.

  • Learn to make bread – With my nuclear family spending the recent holiday season in different countries and on separate coasts for the first time, I was struck by the importance of learning to carry on our most cherished family traditions–like eating fresh baked bread with ham on Christmas morning–even when we can’t be together. New skill bonus: a slice of a hearty, homemade, whole grain bread with a pat of butter will be the perfect complement to the soups and stews I’m planning to make as a remedy against the cold, damp Pacific Northwest winter.
  • Knit a pair of fingerless mitts – Since September, I’ve been focusing on mastering one hobby a year and the past four months have found me in the thrall of two (or five) needles and some yarn. Before I begin work on my first big project (more to come on this soon!), I’ve decided to whip up this fingerless mitt pattern as a gift for a friend. Yes, I could probably just buy smartphone-friendly gloves for her, but then I’d miss out on the hypnotic, seductive rhythm of knitting that I’ve come to adore.
  • Purchase a thrifted nightstand – It’s been almost two months since I moved into my apartment and slowly but surely, I’m filling it with things I love. I just took delivery of a new bed (finally!) and hope to buy a new sofabed soon, but I plan to thrift (and hopefully refinish and/or reupholster) almost everything else. Thankfully, there are quite a few consignment and second-hand shops in the general area just waiting to be explored.
  • Reignite my fitness routine – I’m recommitting myself to spending more time off the proverbial couch and away from the computer. I’m starting out slowly (just walking) because I firmly believe easing myself into an exercise regimen will be more productive in the long run than going into it gung-ho only to get burned out within weeks. I’m starting with half-hour walks three times a week with bi-weekly strength training sessions this month.
  • Read two books – Being an English Literature major at both the undergraduate and graduate levels spoiled reading for me a bit, I’ll admit. Now that I’m a few years out of the classroom, I’m re-learning how to read for pleasure and hope to get The All of It by Jeanette Haien and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman under my belt in January. As a writer, I know reading is a critical component of the skill growth process, so I’m excited to discover new favorite authors while absorbing pointers on improving my craft.

I’m looking forward to accomplishing each of these goals by the end of January and sharing what I’ve learned in the process.

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