I love lists. I make “To Do” lists daily, dream lists, grocery lists, reading lists. Middle school journals are teeming with lists, a fact I decided means I love them, not that I didn’t want to write real entries.
That being said, I was never big on New Years Resolutions. As a kid I scorned anything else in my life that would end up as a broken promise, “No one ever follows their stupid New Years Resolutions.”
But with a hurricane of changes (graduation, serious relationship, moving abroad) last year I decided to make some resolutions anyway. I was heading to Italy, and needed my list to help keep control in a transition where little control existed. I made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish while living abroad in 2013 – and I accomplished almost all of them.
Though not every single item was crossed off, in some big or small way, the goal was accomplished. I never did run the half marathon, but I did train for months, getting up to 10 miles, learning how to run with a partner and finding a great emotional outlet. I didn’t run the half marathon, but the benefits were the same.
So I’d like to continue the list – something I’ll do as long as it serves me and remains a positive motivation and not a ball and chain toward failure. 2013 brought graduation, a move to Italy and marriage, among other things. 2014 will bring my year anniversary in Italy, in marriage and a move into our very own house! I think ima need the mental list!
So if you hate hate hate New Years Resolutions – don’t read on. If you love’em or love me, by all means read, steal, edit and share your own list in the comments!
2014 Goals for a Healthy, Happy Year:
1) Say Yes to Travel
An easy one for me, overall, but what I mean is to be open to the travel that will present itself to me throughout the year. Our budget permits (at least….I’m hoping) one weekend trip in Europe – where we’ll go is completely undecided. To visit a friend in London? Head to Amsterdam in spring? Vienna for Marco’s conference? Spain just because? I hate not having set plans, but I’m saying yes to whatever presents itself (I think this is called, “opportunistic travel.”
2) Travel at Home
I’ve made it a point to explore Milan more – my travel backyard and am happy to say I’ve already started, climbing the Milan duomo, trying Luini’s panzarotti, visiting the markets and temporary art exhibits. I’ll be traveling more at home for sure, continuing to explore Milan but extending “home” into the region in general, driving to go snowboarding or exploring more mountain towns for new hiking points.
As I mentioned before, it’s all about the travel spirit, and living the travel life is possible without setting a foot outside your town!
3) Learn Spanish
My motivation to learn Italian was strong, driving and more or less unceasing. I wanted to learn Italian simply because I wanted to learn Italian. Spanish is a bit different and I’ve had a couple false starts. I’m motivated because I think it’s useful, because it’s so similar to Italian and because I love languages, but being out of school means studying doesn’t come as naturally, and studying on my own even less. Still I know I can learn the language and am not wasting any more time to get started!
4) Write More
I’d like to publish more articles. I was thrilled to get some published last year, but wrote sporadically and pitched when I could. I’d like to carve more time out and specifically try to build a connection with editors. That being said, this resolution is that I want to write more, period, published or not. I want to explore new types of writing and get comfortable again with the process.
5) Go Snowboarding
After searching all over town for a ski jacket and getting a board bag I’ll be heading back to Italy with my gear and ready to start the ski season! This is my introduction year to boarding in the Italian Alps and I’d like to go as much as possible – something that will be easier since they reopened the lifts behind the fam’s cabin!
6) Work Less Evenings
Actually, I’ve moved toward this goal starting in October of 2013 when I finally realized there wasn’t enough time in a day and had to cancel some lessons. It was difficult (I hate saying no) and took some getting used to, but fixed my schedule and brought along with it so much more mental sanity. I’ll definitely have some evenings of work, but I’ll be choosing more clients who are available during the day, and pass on those at night.
7) Athletics – Half Marathon, Swim Across Lecco Race
Though my half marathon plans fell through (basically, we needed a “certificate of good health” which required both a endo and eco cardiogram which requires money and time to get into the doctor and we had neither) that doesn’t mean I don’t ever want to do it. I had prepared all summer and loved it, and miss putting my body to the test. This year I’m not choosing a specific one just yet – I prefer to see how the year starts – but I’d like to run a race or swim across Lecco in one of its various attraversata races – 1, 2 or 3 kilometers across. Swimming again for the first time since high school, it seems nearly stupid to do – but fun!
8) Make a Budget
I expect that this new year will be particularly busy. After moving to Italy in 2013 I finally feel more settled down, only to uproot everything again for another move! Though this time it’s just a town over, a budget is necessary for the transition into a new house, visits back to America, changes in mine and Marco’s job and life in general. Our budget is started – we’ll see how it goes.
I have hundreds of little goals and big dreams, but these are my major focuses heading into the new year. Marco and I will be back in Italy January 2, right on time to hit the ground running! And I couldn’t be more ready.
Happy New Years!