New Year: Birthday and Resolutions

I was born in the most hopeful, transitional month of them all: January. To have a birthday in this month each year adds a freshness to becoming another year older.  A sense of endless possibility.  This month starts off a new year, a time of new goals and second chances. You didn't pay off your credit card last year? Here's another chance. You didn't hit your goal weight? This year is your year. It's uplifting, really.
Goldenrod or some such bursting from a rock in Ohiopyle State Park
After a long, wonderful break over the holidays in Texas, I came back to celebrate the new year with new friends, surrounded by a blanket of beautifully white snow.  There's nothing more dazzling than the site of soft, unblemished snow.  Side note: For those that don't live in Western PA, I'd tell you that driving here after it's just snowed is not a big deal at all, unlike trips on the treacherous icy roadways in Texas. The snow stays snow rather than transitioning into ice, as it remains below 32 degrees usually. Also, the salt helps.

I wasn't always so chipper about my birthday, however.  When I was younger, I used to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of smaller Christmas and birthday gifts, as money is tight directly after the holidays.  To a kid, this is most terrible hand you can be dealt.  I'd be so jealous of my classmates who had pool party birthdays in July, stacking their large present boxes on their patio tables.  Now, in my late twenties, being a 'January Baby' is a delight.

With my birthday comes a chance for new beginnings.

This year, my resolutions {yes, I love setting resolutions!} again surround my overall health, mentally,  physically, and emotionally.

1. {Reach My Healthy Weight}  In the past year, I've lost a meager 10 pounds {adding little to no muscle}, and going back-and-forth with those ten, struggling to maintain the loss through the visitors, vacations, holiday foods, etc. 2013 will be the year I buckle down, and slowly reach my healthy weight I've been working towards for several years now.  And, my favorite weight loss encouragement source is back again - starting this Sunday night.  I'm such a geek.

2. {Make Decisions for My Career/Education}  Now that I'm back in school completing my graduate degree, it's time to get serious about the details {residency vs. practicum, master's essay/thesis topic, etc.}.  I only have two and a half to three years left, which might sound like a long time to some full-time students, but I'll be continuing part-time.  This spring, I'm considering joining a national professional organization for my field to expand my networking opportunities and find other potential mentors.

3. {Keep in Touch With Family and Friends}  I'm ashamed of my basic-at-best contact with my nearest and dearest; cards and gifts on holidays and birthdays have been my crutch, but I'm hoping to rekindle my love of writing letters and substantial cards this year. I asked for {and received} several sets of good quality stationary, so I'm fueled and ready to go!

4. {Blog More}  In the past few months, I've let my blogging drift to the wayside. As obvious as that is. I'd like to regain my post quota I set earlier this year, about 2-3 times a week. This is ambitious, I know, with the aforementioned goals to be met!

5. {Complete My Reading Challenge}  For the third year, I've signed up for Goodreads' Reading Challenge.  In the past, I've set my goal at the same level: twenty-five books in twelve months. That doesn't seem like a lot of books, but for me, it's certainly a challenge.  I only count books I read in their entirety. Every page. No skipping or heavy skimming. I also don't typically read/count YA, cookbooks or short stories.  With that being said, I've never reached my goal. {2011 I reached only 10, and in 2012 I was closer with 19 read.} To help me with my challenge, I'd love your recommendations for engaging reads!

What are your plans for 2013?  


  1. Fabulous goals! I would love to write letters with you, btw. I find that I am able to really think about what I'm saying with a letter versus email or facebook comment. Plus, it feels more personal/private.

    I didn't make and hard and fast goals, but I'm definitely refocusing on health - right now, it's sleep! I need to be sure that I am getting enough sleep to stay healthy and happy. :)

  2. You are at the top of my list for writing letters. I think it will help me stay close to those I love and miss without having to call/text/tweet/email/smoke-signal every day.
    Sleep is an excellent thing to focus on - I am rethinking my new work schedule for that very reason (I start at 7:10am!). Let's have a sleep party this weekend.

  3. Ah, the snow doesn't always stay snow. You have to watch out for black ice! Also, the cold/snow/wet will start to wear you down, so try to maintain that positive attitude as long as possible. February is generally the worst. Buy lots of booze, that's the trick ;)

    I generally don't set new year's resolutions...but I do make summer goals (i.e., when I have free time). January seems a bit arbitrary as a date to decide to improve my life, I generally try to do that throughout the year!

  4. January doesn't seem arbitrary to me because of the birthday proximity. I guess it works for me. :)
    I hope you're enjoying your trip/work!


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