Welcome 2012

Monday 2 January 2012

I'll come clean now and say- I like New Years Resolutions. I adore lists and plans and clean slates. Each year I make a long list of ambitions- most are generally achieved, a few fall by the wayside and are perhaps picked up again later. But making them makes me feel I have a modicum of control over the chaos of life.

Resolutions are the marmite of the moral world and seem to divide people between love and hate for them, but I'm never happier than when in the midst of a planning session, so they represent a world of satisfaction to me.

Whether I stick to them is another matter entirely, but here they are anyway, laid out for all to see:

1) To maintain a good marriage through compromise and communication- obviously, it's my first year of married life, but having been together for 8 years, I like to think I'm not entirely naive about how it all works. I know a good marriage takes work and I want to try my best to be tolerant and dutiful in the little domestic aspects that make up our daily lives together. Also to keep the channels of communication flowing.

2) Keep up my exercise schedule and run a full 5k- so the end of 2011 was unexpectedly a good one for me and getting fit. I felt like I finally began to enjoy exercise for its own sake, rather than doing it because I had to. And I really want to build on that this year (after a complete break over Christmas). I'd also love to complete my C25k training and complete a race. I have done a 5k before, but I didn't run the whole thing, so I really want to do that this year!

3) To make more fresh, seasonal dishes- much to the amusement of my hard-partying inner 18 year old, I've gradually got more and more involved in cooking over the past few years. D.H is also a big fan of playing chef, so it's something we enjoy together. And we've gotten to the point where we don't eat much frozen or processed food anymore but I want to go further and cook more extensively and with seasonal produce, not just fall back on failsafe quick standby dishes all the time. And as we got 7 new cookery books between us over Christmas, there's a lot of recipes at our fingertips to try.

4) Write two chapters of my novel by February- this is a perennial one on the list since I graduated my English course at university! Oh, I just never seem to have the mental energy for creating a novel after work (blogging is different as I've chosen quick-and-dirty stream of consciousness here). But I feel like there will never be a good time, and I just need to take the plunge and put a few words to paper and see where it takes me.

5) Check my bank balance at least once a week - compared to my younger self, I am a much more financially savvy animal, but I still sometimes like to bury my head in the sand when it comes to watching my pennies. But this year, I want my money to work hard for me and buy me some nice things, so I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on it!

6) To go to the next level with organisation at home and work- again, compared to how hopelessly messy I was as a child, I'm a paragon of organisation now at home and in my busy work life. But this is the year I want to refine my systems and go really OCD! I want showhome levels of tidyness and cleanliness at home and a file for everything at work. I have too much on not to be like that! So in my home, I'm focused on being more proactive about little things I spot as they occur rather than letting them build up, and in the office I'm likewise troubleshooting before things can flare up. It's the micromanagement and breaking it down before it really begins.

7) Take more pictures and record our lives more- I used to be good at this, but lately I realised I don't do this as much. But I love family history and looking back at moments in time, so I'm going to document the day to day a bit more, on this blog and in more pictures.

8) Bake a different cake every weekend- okay, so this one is a bit ambitious, and probably where I'm most likely to fail but dammit, I'm going to try! With so many new recipe books, there's so much I want to try. With the exception of weekend I might be away, I want to try and bake as many new recipes as I can!

So, there you have it. Wish me luck!

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