Goals for 2011

I’m never been a huge resolution maker at the end of the year, mostly only those obnoxious ones that everyone vows, ya know, like “lose weight”, “read more books”, “exercise more”, yadda yadda.  This past year, I accomplished a lot, things that weren’t even actual goals — I exercised regularly, even weight-training, and I even took up running.  Let’s face it, had you seen me in 2009, you would have your mouth hanging in shock at that last part.

So now, the year will regenerate itself tonight (I will love you lots if you catch that reference) and I will continue to improve myself and my quality of life.

11 Goals for 2011

1. Run my first race – I’m going to do it, peeps.  I’ve signed up for the 5K at Berry, and that’s where I’m going to start.  If I feel great at the end of the 5K, I will know I can move on pretty quickly to a 10.. and then a half… and so on and so forth! I’ve been working pretty hard (‘sept for the Christmas season) and I know that with dedication and a strong, cooperative body (which I have) that I can do this.

2. Visit a new city – There are tons of places that I’m dying to visit that I’ve never been to.. both countries and US cities alike.  In our current situation, it would probably be a bit extreme to hope for a new country (we’d take it, though!), so a new city will do just fine! San Fransisco is at the top of my list, of course, and a few others.  I’m open to suggestions!

3. Start a big investment – This past year, Robert and I opened up a small savings account with a higher interest rate, and we’ve done well ending the year with a full emergency fund and savings for things like potential moving expenses and such.  However, we would really like to learn more about bigger investments like mutual funds and IRAs because we are two non-math and non-finance nerds that know nothing of the sort.

4. Pay off 75% of our debt – Obviously things like student loans will take much longer to pay off, especially considering we both anticipate still being in school this year, Lord willing, but we would love to be rid of things like medical bills.  We did excellent this past year and paid off three different debts (amazing, considering we were both in school full-time and only working part-time), and we will continue to snowball in 2011. I feel very proud that we’re starting this so young because, unfortunately, many people don’t even consider being debt-free until later on in life.  We hope to be 100% debt-free (except for mortgage and education loans) by the time we have wee little Raders.

5. Expand my blog – I want to focus so much more on this little blog and make it something valuable for people out there that are in a similar situation in life, that are longing to lead a healthy, happy, and clean lifestyle.  I run around more than I can tell you guys, I have a sweet husband to be a wife to, friends, siblings, several sets of parents (wink), a full-time job and big huge dreams… but without a good clean diet, regular exercise, and the rock upon which my faith is built, I wouldn’t be able to function.  I’m always available to answer questions, and I hope that I can get the tech nerd within me to really spruce up this page.

6. Finish P90X in its entirety – Sigh, we knew it was coming.  Despite my routine of cardio/strength/cardio throughout the week, which I feel is no less than great, I want to do justice to the bundle of cash we threw down on this baby.  We did it for about two weeks, but then life got super crazy what with getting married, honeymooning, graduating, and starting a grown-up job.  No one can blame me, right? Well… even if it’s not at the immediate start of 2011, I will complete the 90 days at least once.

7. Read more – As much as I loved being an English major and getting to spend hours upon hours writing up beautifully constructed literary analyses, I also spent a great deal of my college years complaining that I never had time to “read for me”.  Now, the true nerd shone when, at summer break, I wouldn’t be found with a mind-rotting chick-lit novel, but instead with something more like… Paradise Lost. What? I had plenty of time to read it, to highlight it, to take a break in the middle to read articles about that one phrase that just absolutely touched my soul… and yeah, okay, the bottom line is I love words.  Since graduating, I’ve tried to make it a habit (which I will continue in 2011) to read at least one “academic” book and one “fun” book per month.  With my commute, I have jumped in to the word of audio books and I absolutely love them — if it’s the right one… some books are just not meant to be read aloud. By “academic” I simply mean something classic or something I would have been assigned to read somewhere along the path of academia.  By “fun” I mean something that has absolutely no intellectual benefit and is about some British girl trying to lose weight and snogging blokes while intoxicated.  It’s good for relieving stress, I promise.

8. Cook and bake more – Okay, I had to give myself an easy one! Can I count this one as a success already? But no, really.

9. Go on more adventures – I don’t want to become the boring grown-up that writes Facebook statuses all the time about how tired they are and how they spent the whole weekend doing laundry and mopping floors.  BOO! The world is my oyster… and I have a super handsome man to share it with, so, why not?  Again, totally open to suggestions.

10. Get into grad school – Oh, grad school.  I plan on taking the GRE in February and applying in the spring to see who will take me! It will, obviously, have to be somewhere near and around Chattanooga, or online, even, depending on what I decide to pursue.  My mind has been hopping around between my first true love, English, Dietary Sciences, and Computer Sciences… all things I would love to spend the rest of my life doing.  A lot of prayer and thought will go into these decisions, so, keep me in mind when you meditate/pray/whatever you might do! In this, I hope we are able to find some stability for a little while.  Somewhere to call home that doesn’t require an hour and a half commute, a good part-time job for the mister while he finishes school, and a fun environment for us to stretch our legs in.

11. Write a book – What would be a gigantic goal for any English grad? To write a book, of course! I have a million and one ideas and I’m going to start some creative writing exercises in the new year to get some writing juices flowing.  I can’t wait.  I’ve wanted the time for this SO badly for SO long and I feel like, if I buckle down and get it done, I could produce something pretty great.  I’ve had encouragement and education from some brilliant people along the way and I know I can do it.  Don’t be afraid to push me, either.. “How’s that book coming along?” will urge me!

And that’s that for this year, folks!  Have you set any goals for the coming year? T.S. Eliot describes why I love the new year so much better than anyone else…

“For last year’s words belong to another language and next year’s words await another voice..”

Make this voice a beautiful one!



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