Monday, 11 January 2010

New Year Resolutions

Did you make any? Are you sticking to them? I don't usually make resolutions as such, but I do like to look back and take stock of the previous year and make a few goals or intentions for the year ahead.

2009 was the year I started this blog, and my Etsy shop. We didn't get to travel really, but we did have a visit from my parents and we all went to Himeji for a few days together. I went back to teaching part-time at the university in April, and I set up a new class at the local community centre in October. Of course it was also a year of big changes for K, who went from being a little baby to a very active toddler. And it was also the year that a very good friend of mine fought cancer. I look forward to seeing her, healthy and strong, again soon.

For 2010 I don't have any of the usual, negative, resolutions. Instead my resolves are more positive and are all focused on making the most of life:
  • Go out with H (without K!) once a month, for a meal and a film or something like that. I can count on one hand the number of times we have done this in the almost 2 years since K was born, and it's just not enough.
  • Spend one After-K-Has-Gone-To-Bed evening a week with H doing something fun. We tend to spend that time in front of the TV or on the computer or doing our own separate things. I think we can manage one screen-free night a week!
  • Spend more money. I bet that one surprised you! Of course, my goal is not really to just spend. It's more about allowing myself to spend a little more on enjoyable things and treats without feeling guilty. Even though I'm earning more than I was a year ago (though not as much as 2 years ago), I still feel bad if I 'waste' money on myself. But I am putting money into savings each month and I can afford some pocket money. While it may be true that if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves, and that money can't buy happiness, the occasional treat makes a big difference between just existing and really living. After all, what is money for if not for spending now and then, and why am I juggling work and childcare if I can't get a little reward occasionally (justify, justify)? And you know I'm hardly going to be splashing out on designer bags and expensive jewellry...

My other general intention is, well, be more like Mary Beth :-) Her beautiful blog, Salt and Chocolate, is a real inspiration to me. She makes the effort to celebrate the little things in life and is so mindful of the seasons and the changes in the world around her. Mary Beth takes (makes?) time to cook and bake and really spend time with her family, but never in an unobtainable, super-woman kind of way. She keeps thing simple, low-key and realistic. If I could just make a few steps in her direction...

While I'm mentioning other people and their websites, have a look at Gretchen's Happiness Project. It's full of useful ideas and practical tips on how to increase the happiness in your life, without being touchy-feely :-) It's another site which has been inspiring to me and has helped to shape my goals for this year. There's also some great advice on keeping your New Year Resolutions! Good luck...


  1. Aww, thank you Diane. Such sweet words. I really appreciate them. I am happy to see you take the blog the way it is intended--as down to earth and a celebration of the little things and not some "super woman" blog. I do struggle with finding and keeping balance and I hope I keep it "real" on the blog.

    I love the Happiness Project too! Did you get the book? I received my copy (I had preordered it ahead) just before the new year. Am still reading it and it is wonderful. I love how Gretchen also keeps it very real and down to earth. I want to start my own "happiness project" soon.

  2. Thanks for commenting Mary Beth!

    No, I haven't ordered the Happiness Project book, but it's on my mental wish-list...

    Keep up the good work on your blog :-)