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I was going to do twelve months of change, but I thought that my resolutions shouldn’t really be about necessarily changing, but improving.  I’m happy with the person I am, and twelve months of improvement seems like a better fit.  A lot of times resolutions are very vague, like, “I’m going to get in shape,” or, “I’m going to be a better person.”  I want to make my improvement goals specific, but I also don’t think I need to make them restrictive – I want to improve my health by doing something every day rather than lose 10 pounds.  I may not push myself as hard without a specific number in mind, but I’m okay with that.  I want to be able to measure my progress by striving to do something a certain number of times, whether it is daily or weekly or just once, but as far as the end result, I just want improvement.

I have a plan for the new year, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it if my plan changes or if I need to adapt it.  I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to change/break a habit.  I don’t know if this is true, and I’m not even going to look it up (researching is an obsession of mine).  I’m just going to go with it.  My plan is to start one small, positive improvement each month in the following categories:  physical health/nutrition, finances, and personal growth.  If it does take 30 days to change/break a habit, then focusing on one small thing for 30 days should make these things more likely to be lifestyle changes than temporary fads.  My small improvements may not seem impressive, but if I can look back at the end of 2012 on all the improvements as a whole, I think I will be proud.  If I don’t follow through some months, or if I can’t succeed in making improvements in every category, I’m okay with that.  I will definitely try my best, but if at the end of 2012 I have only accomplished one real improvement, that is still something, and it means I have still succeeded somewhere.

Some ideas I have are below:

Physical health/nutrition –
We eat a lot of organic, but we also eat a lot of McDonalds.  I do okay exercising but am very inconsistent.  I just went through my second pregnancy and it was a pretty rough on me physically, so I want to get where I feel fit and have more energy, but I also have a family now that I want to raise to eat and be healthy.
•    Not keeping store bought sweets in the house (ice cream, cookies, etc.)
•    Eating a vegetable serving every day, other than salad (I always convince myself that lettuce counts…)
•    Exercising in some form every day (and this does not include doing curls with my full grocery bags while I am walking from the car to the house – am I the only one who does that?)
•    Lowering my intake of processed foods by picking a few foods to switch out at a time
•    Limit eating/ordering out to a specific number – maybe once every other week (this will also go under finances)

Finances –
We need to work on our spending.  I don’t spend much money on clothes anymore, but vet and car bills have more than replaced that!
•    Create a family budget
•    Limit eating/ordering out
•    Try to refinance our mortgage
•    Organize everything we don’t use/need and sell as much as possible on Craigslist or to a consignment shop

Personal Growth –
This is kind of a catch all category for me.  I want our family to be more “green,” I want to do more together as a family, and I want to make sure I am spending enough time on things that I am interested in so that I don’t lose my sense of self.
•    Read the Bible
•    Start composting
•    Do one thing each day that makes someone else’s day easier
•    Do one outing a week as an entire family
•    Learn a new aspect of photography just for fun
•    Photograph something each week, not including family, just for fun
•    Meditate for a certain amount of time every day

Those are just some ideas.  I would love to hear other ideas, if anyone wants to share them with me in the comments – I’m open to trying new things!  Keep in mind that I’m not doing all of these things at once.  I will try to make the improvements in one month, hopefully get used to following them, and then continue to follow them without focusing on them the next month.  More than anything I want to feel good and make positive improvements.  Some may be more significant than others – I might be able to stick to a family budget, but maybe I don’t do so well giving up on my ice cream indulgence.  I’m okay with that.

I know most of this seems to having nothing to do with my business, but I believe being happy and healthy has EVERYTHING to do with running a business and being successful.  The less time I spend worrying about money, health, diet, you name it, the more time I will be able to spend helping my clients.  I also think clients want to deal with confident, happy, and balanced people, no matter what the business is.  While I consider myself a happy person, I have a lot of room to improve in my life!  I think this is all about balance, and I’m not afraid to fail.  A recurring theme in writing this is, “I’m okay with that.”  This is because the one thing I am going to focus on all year long is not being hyper-critical of myself.  I may slip up and curse if I notice a grammatical error after I post this, but I’m okay with that!

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