Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A new year & new ideas

As we look back over the last year, it's also time for me to look forward. What are my goals and ambitions for this year -- 2008?

Well let's start with our resolutions from last year shall we?

1. Start saving money again. Well let's just say that I'm not off to a very good start with my list. S and I did come up with a budget last year (a week by week budget) and I think we stuck to it for about 7-8 weeks before we just fell off the wagon. This one will have to stay on the list for 2008!

2. Live healthier (eating healthier foods, exercising). Here at least we get a mixed report card. In January I joined rachel's (yarn-a-go-go) run-a-go-go (100 miles by April 1st). This solidified my commitment to walking daily and helped push me a little further. Every three months I set my goal a little higher and I'm please to say that I finished 2007 having walked 526.7 miles (those are extra, exercise miles, not part of my daily getting from here to there steps)! This I feel good about.

The less than A+ part, well the healthy meals of course. While I wouldn't say that what we eat is terrible, we still eat out way too much, which means we overeat. We have had waves where we've cooked at home more, but work always seems to get in the way. When you work until 6, who wants to cook? I'm not sure how we'll actually fix this one but it does need to be addressed (it ties into goal 1 above). S came up with the idea of using "eating out coupons" -- we use up the coupons for a week, no more eating out. We'll see how that goes.

3. Continue to study Spanish. Wow... another area that I didn't do so well in... sigh. I'm still no further along in my quest. After the progress I made in 2006 with classes, I never managed to get back in 2007. Another goal to keep on the list.

4. Continue to knit and blog. I will finish my first pair of socks and maybe start my first sweater. Wew... another one where I made some progress! In fact, I suspect there may be an inverse relationship between the amount of blogging and knitting I did and my completion of my other resolutions [laugh].

As I summarized over the last two days, my knitting was quite successful this year. Not only did I finish that first sock (I finished two pairs), I also managed to knock off several sweaters, shrugs, and cardigans. I managed to finish my first shawl, learned to knit continental, and generally became more confident as a knitter.

Blogging was quite fun for me this year too. I managed to post fairly regularly (with the exception of December when I lost my mind at work) and read lots and lots of blogs. Lot's of inspiration there!

5. Increase my research productivity at work. I would say that I did OK with this goal. I did get several research projects done this year... it could have been more, but it certainly could have been far worse.

6. And on the personal front, I commit to being more present and positive with people at work. Changing personality... that's always tough isn't it? I think I made reasonable progress here. Always room for improvement, but for the most part I do think I managed to be a more pleasant person at work.

So having taken stock, what are our goals for this year? Let's start with the parts that most of you are probably the most interested in -- fiber related goals.

1. More quality knitting.

Having evaluated my finished projects over the last year, I've realized that the things I'm happiest with are things that are warm and cuddly -- things made out of quality fibers. I, like many Americans I think, am frequently called by the sirien of cheap yarn. The bad thing of course is that cheap yarn is just that -- cheap. I think one of my important goals for this year is to focus on knitting higher quality items, even if I knit fewer of them.

Second, I think I'd really like to knit more socks.

Third, I could be wrong about this, but I think I'll get the most use out of knitted long sleeve cartigans. My office is really cold (both in winter and summer). The short sleeve things I've knit are cute, but I find myself needing to cover them up with more clothing. One goal I have for this year is to try knitting a long sleeve cabled cartigan to see how much use I'd get out of that.

2. Higher quality blogging.

One thing I have really come to realize over the last month or two is that I could really improve the visuals in my blog postings. As I posted in the meme, I've been overwealmed by the great imagery in a number of blogs I've found recently. One goal I have for the next year therefore is to improve the quality of my posts.

Maybe consistent with this goal, or maybe not, I'd also like to try to get more of me into the blog. Lots of my posts are very short. Maybe more of my thoughts and ideas should be shared here.

3. Spinning.

This year I took two spinning classes and purchased a wheel. My goal for this coming year is to take more classes and begin to spin in serious. I look forward to taking my first project from fiber to finished project.

And my other, non knitting, non fiber related resolutions... very similar to last year.

1. Live within a budget and save money.

2. Live healthier (eating healthier foods, exercising). I finished 2007 having walked 526.7 miles -- my mileage goal for 2008? 540 miles (135 miles every 3 months)!

3. Learn Spanish.

4. Increase my research productivity at work.

5. Commit to being more present and positive with people at work.

6. Work on being more outgoing, less introverted, with others.

7. Continue to do the things that are being done right: appreciating what I have, being mindful, managing my work-related stress, enjoying nature.

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