These Aren’t Resolutions

So… It’s already March. In case you didn’t notice, I did not post my new year resolutions for 2015 back in January, as is my habit. Not that it matters: as I so masterfully demonstrated in 2014, I’m not always the best at keeping said resolutions. Which is why I’m not making any new resolutions for 2015. Resolutions – I’ve determined – now fall under the perview of Project New Leaf, and I’m not ready to alter that yet. Instead, I’ve compiled a short list of my goals for the next 10 months. What’s the difference between a “goal” and a “resolution”? Mostly personal semantics.

Read Two Books Each Month

Last year, I didn’t even come close to meeting my goal of reading 20 books. I think that I maybe read… 5 books? I honestly don’t know the exact number, but sufficed to say it was low. For whatever reason, I just never made reading a priority in 2014, and given that I’m planning to write a novel or two (more on that coming up), I really should have put more effort into broadening my literary horizons.

That’s why I’m challenging myself to read – at minimum – an average of two books each month. Reading 24 books in a single year seems very doable – heck, I think I once read that amount over a Summer break back in high school.

Make a Cookbook

Cooking has – in recent years – gone from a task that keeps me alive to a task I honestly enjoy. I’m constantly looking through Pinterest for recipes to try, and at this point, I’ve curated a pretty nice collection. They run the gamut too: from breakfast to 2nd breakfast to elevensies and all the way down, covering all styles of cuisine and difficulty level. My problem, however, is that my voluminous compendium of recipes is not compiled in any coherent manner; it’s scattered and disorganized and generally not very useful. Where’s that cookie recipe my coworkers love? Pinterest? Evernote? Google Docs? In one of the cookbooks I own? Even if I know where the recipe lives, sometimes the instructions are unclear or the ingredients need to be altered based on personal preferences (such as my preference for spinach over kale).

For my own sanity if nothing else, I really want to make my own cookbook. This won’t be a simple task: between cooking each dish, recording alterations, formatting each recipe, and organizing them all into some kind of coherent structure, I’ve got many long hours ahead of me.

Perhaps if it all turns out well, I’ll make copies for my friends and family. Sharing food is half the fun of cooking, after all.

Write the 1st Draft of a Novel

I’ve had some ideas bubbling and brewing for a few months (or years, in a few cases), and I feel like I have at least one or two that are fully-formed enough to actually commit to paper. I almost participated in NaNoWriMo this past November, but as usual I let life get in the way. If I write a little here and there between blog posts, I’m hoping that I can have something resembling a first draft by years end. Perhaps I’ll even pull a Thoreau and go spend a week in seclusion up at my sister’s cabin; it’s amazing what you can accomplish without Twitter nagging you incessantly.

Get Back Down to 160lbs

My overarching goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, through a combination of increased daily activity and balanced diet. My short-term goal, however, is to get back down to my all-time healthiest weisght: sub-160lbs. I’ve got the tools – a new Jawbone Up, a gym membership, a walking commute to work, the aforementioned recipes – and now I just need to put in the effort to make my goal a reality.

Get a Passport & Start Saving for a Trip Overseas

As part of my Quarter Life Crisis, I became very envious of all my friends who somehow managed to travel the world while I was still figuring out how to afford rent, car insurance, business attire, and groceries that consisted of more than just Top Ramen. A trip – especially overseas – was the last thing I could consider adding to my very meager budget. I’ve managed take a couple of vacations since then to places like New York, but my great travel shame is that I’ve nevet set foot outside of the United States (not even to Canada or Mexico), which is something I need to fix ASAP.

Step 1 towards that goal is simple: get myself a passport.

Step 2 is to start saving for saving for my trip. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, and local cuisine all cost money, and considering how much I have to save for a simple week-long vacation in New York, I definitely want to have plenty of cash in reserve when I finally spread my wings and soar across the globe.

Now I just need to figure out where I’m going.

Start a Podcast?

Long before Serial was a twinkle in Sarah Koenig’s eye, I’ve been an avid listener of podcasts. As a result, it’s long been my dream to gather a few like-minded friends together and chew the fat for all to hear. I don’t have the equipment, technical know-how, or even a notion regarding the subject matter of this hypothetical podcast (besides “assorted nerdery”), but it’s something I’d like to investigate and potentially start producing before the year is done.

Will I actually accomplish any of these “not resolutions”? I guess we’ll all find out come December 31st.