I’ve been kind of putting this post off. Last year, I had it out in December. I was all prepared for 2013. I had my shit together last year, guys. This year, though. This year kind of snuck up on me. One minute, my wonderful boyfriend was down on one knee, asking me to marry him, & the next I swear it was New Years Eve. I swear that’s exactly how it happened.

I’ve said before that I believe in setting goals when you realize they need to be set instead of waiting for something like the New Year to take action. & I still believe that if I need to change something, that change should happen as soon as I realize it. That’s definitely something I try to live by, but like I said last year, it’s nice to look back on last year & decide what to do better this one.

Last year, I attempted to:

I can’t say I was entirely successful with any of these except maybe number three. We really don’t eat grains very often anymore. I’d say we’re usually 80% grain-free, 20% eat whatever we want. It’s a good balance, if you ask me, & something I’d like to continue. I’m still often very hard on myself when we do slip up, but I want to put it in writing: we did well, friends.

I wasn’t entirely unsuccessful with the other goals. There were months where I really did follow our budget better. & overall I think I’ve cut my shopping spending a lot. There were also times when we opted to have friends over instead of going out. I think we made an overall improvement there too. & there were times when I chose to be more appreciative & tolerant. That one is probably the biggest one I need to work on though. I promise to try, N. I promise.

With that in mind, here are my 2014 New Years Resolutions. (drum roll, please).

I think these are four challenging, but very achievable goals for me this year.

I generally try to be more specific with goals, but I made an exception with the first one. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on our health (of course, as I write this I’m a bit sniffly). We weren’t sick often this year & when I was I could usually pinpoint why. Fitness Friday is still going strong & I’ve been making workouts, in & out of the gym, a priority. I’m not going to a CrossFit box like I would like to be, but I’m still making strides when it comes to my Fitness goals & that’s a good place to be. (I will master a handstand this year. It’s coming!)

This second goal probably seems odd to those who know me or follow my instagram. I do take a lot of photos. But I want to be more conscious of the photos I’m taking & make a better effort to use my DSLR. I’m trying to shoot primarily with my 35 mm lens. I like it so much better than my kit lens. I want to try to take more photos with it & not fall back on my zoom lens just because it’s easier. It’s time to challenge myself a bit with photography.

I’ve blogged way more this year than any other year & I couldn’t be happier about that, but I haven’t been actually, physically writing. Whenever I’ve lived abroad or travelled, I’ve kept a journal & writing in it – the physical act of writing things down – has always been very therapeutic for me. I’d like to get back to that. (& I’m starting today – my journal is currently in my purse!). Instead of mindlessly checking Facebook or Twitter in my downtime, I’d like to get back to writing.

This last one is a big one for me, & I think it’s a good one for this year. Too often I get pessimistic & over dramatic & let things bother me. I forget that this is a choice I make & that I can choose happiness instead. I’ve let myself forget to choose to be happy too often. I’ve let myself get carried away by the negative what-ifs & that’s not the person I want to be. As much as I’d like to be able to control every little aspect of my life, I can’t. There is so much that I cannot control. But, I can control how I react to things. & I can choose to be happy. This is largely inspired by the fact that we’re planning a wedding & wedding planning is notoriously stressful. This essay was another huge inspiration (thank you for that, Natalie. I don’t even know you for real, but thank you). I’m going to make this one happen.

So let’s go, 2014. Bring it on. I’m so ready for all the wonderful things you have in store for me.

Photo by 3haus Photographics