This past January, I made a list of 11 goals I hoped to complete throughout the year. I got about 6.5 out of 11. Not great but I’m happy with what I accomplished.
1. Buy less plastic: Check! More specifically, my goal was to cut back on buying new, disposable plastic. Here are some small changes I’ve made: using reusable shopper bags, buying dry food goods in the bulk section with reusable containers, making full use of our food waste bin (less trash bags), skipping plastic bottled beverages, packing lunch in reusable containers, making more food from scratch (almond milk! hummus! vegan pesto!), switching to solid shampoo (obsessed with this one), switching to homemade deodorant and lotion (gifts from Kristy), switching from tampons to a diva cup, and bringing my own leftovers container to restaurants (admittedly, this can be awkward). I’ve slipped a few times but I think I’ve done OK. James teases me about being a hippie now but, eh, I’m fine going a little granola as I get older.
2. Practice photography: Let’s say I hit this halfway even though I quit my 365 challenge all the way back in April. I started that challenge for fun and after some heartbreaking loss this spring and summer, it was hard to do fun things for awhile. On the bright side, I learned to get comfortable with the manual settings on my trusty micro four-thirds and I think the photos didn’t come out too bad. Here are a few that made me smile as I looked through my failed 365:
3. Paint more dishes: No. :( This was not an arts and crafts year.
4. Study French: No again. Like photography, I started off strong but lost momentum in the spring. Um, does it count that I listened to France Gall today?
5. Study Geography: Check! At last, I can identify countries, capitols, and major bodies of water. This probably sounds like basic knowledge that most adults learned long ago but better late than never, right? I still struggle with Oceania and can’t identify all the flags but I’m working on those. My study method was to stare at maps (between real atlases and the National Geographic app, then quiz myself on this study site for kids, THEN draw maps from memory. If you want to see my map drawings, be warned that they look like the doodlings of an idiot but it really helped to draw my own dummy-maps again and again until I had everything down cold.
6. Learn to drive: Check! I put it off for about a dozen years but I finally got my driver’s license. Driving used to scare the shit out of me but I overcame my fears long enough to plunk down some serious ca$h for a month and a half of driving lessons. Not gonna lie, I’m still afraid of driving but at least I have the minimal amount of confidence to do it safely now. Still practicing. ;)
7. Write real letters: No. I only wrote two letters of any substance and they were sent under sad circumstances. I’d still like to try writing more letters this coming year.
8. Exercise twice a week: No. I add this to my New Year’s resolutions every year and every year I fail miserably. There was one miracle month this summer where I went for a run three to four times a week but that didn’t last. I’m going to have to rethink my get-in-shape goal for 2014…
9. Organize: Check! I organized our trunk (aka the Chaos Pit) with all our important paperwork, cleaned out our kitchen drawer of randomness, culled the hell out of our possessions, bought proper spice jars and organized our cupboards. Feels good, man.
10. Thrift over buying new when possible: Check! I wish I’d done thrift score posts… though the best things I picked up this year were boring household basics. Here are a few of the prettier things I got at yard sales and GoodWill this year. (Note to self: I have to get photos of all the incredible things Martin has found at the bins and decorated our office with- psych ward paintings and amazing album covers…)
11. Cook and bake more: Heck yeah! I may not have documented it all but I planned and prepared almost all my breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts this year. I have to say, this was the only goal I never had to push myself on… I guess ‘cos I always want to eat something delicious. Here are my top 3 eats:
I love hearing about other people’s goals- feel free to link me yours. I’m already nerdily jotting down goals for 2014. Gawd, I’m ready for a new year.