As promised, today is about resolutions and goals. Some people aren’t big on the lists, but I am not those people. Partly because I’ve never felt too much pressure to perfectly complete my New Year’s resolutions. It took me two years of resolving to stop cursing for it to really work. The first year was an improvement, but the second year I really kicked it. Now I only swear in very dire circumstances, which I think is a pretty okay way to live life. A few years ago, I resolved to stop using cans and jars of pre-made sauces in our cooking and we’ve nearly cut out all of that as well. I could do better on salsa and pasta sauce, but they’re the only hold outs of the bunch, really.
So in the spirit of making resolutions again and making them stick, here are this year’s! Full disclosure, 1,2,3 and 5 are repeats from last year with a little tweaking.
1 / Take a painting class. This is exactly the same as last year. I got so close this year and even put it on my calendar several times, but then I wimped out. Sometimes it’s just so scary to start something you’ve put down for so long.
2 / Ask my mother-in-law for piano lessons. Mother-in-law, this is me asking you for piano lessons. Please? (The back story, so far as I understand it, is that my dear mother-in-law was planning to teach all her children to play piano until her darling son Aaron made it miserable for her and she went on strike. Twenty years ago. She still plays and they still have a piano, so I just want a few refreshers!)
3 / More books, less phone in bed. Michael and I both use our phones as alarm clocks, and we both check our social media and email before bed and when we wake up. So far as I can tell, it’s not really affecting our sleep, but everything everywhere says it’s terrible for you, so the phones are getting left in the kitchen to charge overnight and I’m on the hunt for two cute alarm clocks for our bedside tables.
4 / Spend more time with friends. Michael and I are both feeling so passionately about this one, too. Last year, so many times we would say to each other, we should really make plans with so and so. And then we would forget. So this year, we have a list and we are getting started this month!
5 / Back up my photos and print photo books. I have no excuse other than the thought of this is so miserable and time-consuming that I can’t bring myself to do it. This might end up on next year’s list, too.
6 / Create a better schedule less dictated by travel. I realized in the last few months that my plan of cramming in as much work between trips was making those in-between times unpleasant and the trips themselves more stressful. We already have several trips planned for the first half of 2015, so I’m not sure how this will play out, but I do not want to be a lunatic whenever I’m in Ireland this year!
Last year, I also made some goals for my professional life and I was a little more successful in completing them. For example, I finished Delightful Dublin, started hosting advertisements on the sidebar, filmed more video content, and hosted another lifestyle blogger meetup. Four out of five ain’t bad! So here are a few goals I have for From China Village for this year.
1 / More quality, less quantity. I’m realizing that the blog posts I love the most on blogs I love are longer, more thorough and more thoughtful. I’m toying with the idea of posting less frequently on From China Village but with deeper posts. As I work on the editorial calendar for the next few weeks I’m going to see what might work.
2 / More video. I’m still excited about adding more video to the mix, but I’m thinking possibly travel-related instead of DIY, at least for From China Village.
3 / More routine, less reactive. I have to admit that the latter half of 2014 felt like I was always reacting or posting content I was writing in other places. I still want to share with you my writing in other places when it’s something I think you’ll enjoy, but I also want to spend more time creating content just for From China Village.
4 / A makeover, maybe? The last time From China Village got a makeover was three years ago. I still love the design, but it might be time for a little facelift.
5 / Get Delightful Dublin printed. On paper, for you to buy in a bookstore. I love Delightful and I know it would be beautiful to flip through whether you’re actively planning a trip to Dublin or not. I haven’t figured out how to make this happen, but I will! And I’m open to suggestions…
6 / Grow. This year, I would love for From China Village’s audience to grow, and I want to spend more time making that happen.
Last year I also made goals for improving our little corner of the world and we actually did pretty well with those too! I don’t have big plans for our apartment in the coming months, but I am planning on sharing our finished living room and entryway with you very soon. They’ve been 95% finished for months now and this is just the push I need to make it happen! For those who are especially curious how last year’s house resolutions ended up, we did install a motion sensor light at the front, we still don’t have a functioning doorbell, we haven’t landscaped the back garden and the floors are only one step closer to being fixed! See, very far from perfectionism, but a good dose of improvement.
I’d love to hear what resolutions or goals you’re making for the new year, or how it’s going so far?! It’s almost hard to believe 2015 is already underway!