My Goals & Intentions for the New Year

Here we are again, at the dawn of a new year. No matter what kind of year 2011 was for you, the new year is a chance to start fresh and do things right. Last year, I gave you tips on how to make the year ahead your best ever. Those did and hopefully still do work. So, instead of repeating myself, I thought I would give you an idea of the goals and intentions I have set for 2012.

Getting Organized
My level of organization is usually hovering closer to chaos than decent order. This year I will move toward perfect domination of occurrences. I will use all those cute note pads I have laying around to write things down. I will make To-Do lists and take pleasure in checking them off. I will finish everything I need to do at least a day before it’s due. I will arrive five minutes early to all meetings. And, I will even try to write weekly food menus and shopping lists. It will be great.

Getting Back in Serious Shape
I used to be the kind of person who would run 25 miles a week, get up before work to bike half an hour to the gym for an hour-long workout and wake up early on Saturdays for a grueling boot camp class. Even though I am still decently fit, I miss that girl. She’s going to make a comeback this year, by way of a workout routine that includes a combination of trail running, biking, strenuous yoga practice and kettlebells. When moving from New York earlier this year, one of the saddest things for me was that I had to give up my long-time Crunch membership (I had such a good rate!). I can’t quite afford a gym membership in my new town, so doing all this all on my own will be the biggest challenge — I really love going to workout classes, being surrounded by sweaty people and good energy. Occasionally, I will splurge on a really good yoga or zumba class, but otherwise it’s just me and the great outdoors. I’m so excited I want to go swing some kettlebells around right now.

Taking Control Over my Career
Many of us have a backlog of ideas that we swear to get to one day, “when we have more time.” Unless you actually take it upon yourself to create this time by making changes to your life, this will most likely never happen. Taking a leap of faith and putting your effort into something new but uncertain is scary. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but you still owe it to yourself to try. You’ll be happier to know that you tried and failed than to regret never trying at all. Last year, I left a comfortable, secure job and a city I adore to embark on a new life and career on the West Coast. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that this will be the year when many of my dormant creative endeavors will come alive. Life is just too short to do something you don’t enjoy.

Making Something Every Week
My life has always been filled with creativity, to the point where I have made a career out of it. I love creating things and even though most of my work is done on a computer there is something very fulfilling about making things by hand. This year, I will make a point of making something new every week, be it a drawing, a DIY project, a knitted scarf, a bracelet or something I just never thought of before. I may even get so excited about this that I start doing weekly posts about it.

Reading Before Bed Every Night
I want to do this for two reasons. First, there are so many books in my house that I haven’t read, and even more at the library that I am dying to check out. Second, spending the last hours of the day in front of a bright screen, like I tend to — working on the computer or watching something on Netflix — tricks your body into thinking that it should still be active. To ensure that you get quality sleep and that your body gets a chance to unwind, the hour before you go to sleep should be spent away from screens. Turning the lights down low, maybe lighting some candles and drinking a cup of (caffeine-free) tea while reading a book is the perfect way to end the day. This year, I will make this the rule instead of the exception.

Not Buying Anything I Don’t Need
These are interesting times we live in; for the first time in history people — rich or poor — have more stuff than they know what to do with. We all dream of downsizing and finally being able to get rid of those storage units we pay too much money for. Before moving, I sold or gave away a lot of my stuff. I still have too much, especially clothes, shoes and books, but it’s all a bit more manageable and I will continue to ruthlessly get rid of things that I don’t use or need. (Besides food, there are very few things one actually needs). Quality over quantity will be my motto this year — with everything from clothes to food. I will buy less and I will buy smarter.

Will I do all these things successfully in 2012? Only time will tell, but I am so ready to embark on this journey toward a better me. My ultimate goal is simply to be the best person I can possibly be.

Happy New Year.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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