Friday, December 31, 2010

My plans for 2011

So it's New Year's Eve and therefore time to make my resolutions. I feel like putting them in writing on the blogosphere makes them harder to break, and holds me more accountable. I just looked up last year's New Year's resolution post and, well, I think I did okay. I fell down on the running at the tail end of this year (no pun intended), and I did struggle a bit with the whole "not comparing myself to others" bit. But I did gain a measure of control over my life, and feel much more like the master of my own destiny at this point. I'm looking forward to 2011 to growing stronger in that resolve.

But now for next year. There are only a few resolutions, but they are multi-layered with various components that I think will help me achieve them. Caveat: because of the really long winter break from work, I'm starting all of this on the 4th so I still have 4 days of hedonism. So without further ado, let's take a look at my self-styled future.

Lose weight.
Yar, yar, yes I know. Everyone says the same thing every year. But. Friends, I am fat. This corresponds with me not really running anymore, and not really practicing yoga. You may say, oh, it's okay, D. But it isn't: I took a dress to Dublin to wear on Christmas and IT DIDN'T FIT - I couldn't zip it up. Full disclosure: I am 5'4", not that tall, and I am fluctuating around 10 stone 10 lbs (that is 150 for the Americans). That is unacceptable both for my self-esteem and my health, not to mention my wardrobe. I have two weddings to attend in April, one of which I will be a bridesmaid in, so this needs to be resolved. ASAP.

The plan is thus:

1. Detox January and February
That means: no alcohol, no sugar, no meat for the first 2 weeks and lean meats thereafter. I'm keeping coffee with sugar, because I can't get rid of everything, but am limiting myself to one cup per day. There will be little exceptions, of course, but I am really excited to have my insides feel clean again.

2. Improved diet
The Irishman and I really like to eat. It's true, and it's not a bad thing. But we have jointly decided that we need to limit our restaurant eating, and when we do it we should go to the really amazing restaurants we always read about rather than little dinky places that aren't worth the money or the takeaways to which we've recently been defaulting. We are signing up for a veg box from Farm Direct, which I'm really excited about because I love the idea of having to cook something that I wouldn't typically choose. Plus we're supporting UK farmers and eating food that is in season, which is clearly win-win.

3. Training for a marathon
I turn 30 this year (gaaaah) and feel like I need to achieve something spectacular to prove to myself that I won't shrivel up and die. I successfully completed the half marathon earlier this year, so I think it's the right time. The Irishman and I decided to be realistic so we're aiming for the Dublin Marathon in October for 3 reasons: it's flat, we have free accommodation, and we have all summer to train (rather than starting to train NOW). Apparently there is also really good crowd support which is crucial. So I'm going to start running now to get myself in shape, and start training seriously in May. My office will be moving from Clerkenwell to London Bridge in April-ish, and there are promises of a shower in the building so I will hopefully be running either to or from work by then. I promise the blog won't be all about running all of the time. I hope.

4. Recommit to yoga
There are pictures of me from 2006 when, funnily enough, I was a bridesmaid, and I looked good. Really good. And I realized that it was because I was practicing yoga 2, sometimes 3, nights a week for an entire sweaty summer. I was also using Dove Self-Tanning Lotion religiously, but that's besides the point - my glow was more from an entirely toned body and mind. And I miss that. So I'm going to make that same promise to myself that I did so long ago - yoga nights are sacred, working late is not an option, and I am going to go to class and actually be IN the class rather than thinking about getting home to the sofa and some pasta. There is a new studio around the corner from my flat called Pop-Up Yoga and my lovely yogi Kim is expanding her yoga empire so clearly I have no excuse for not getting back into my vinyasas, stat. To encourage me, I'm getting a new mat and some new yoga togs. But that leads me to...

Be better with money.
It is a truth that I have been avoiding for a while: I am terrible with money. I save and then I spend my savings; I waste money like it's water, and I am generally just not in control of my assets. When I lived in New York, I was really responsible. I had a 401k, a Roth IRA, and a decent savings account balance. Here, I am not really saving for my future and I'm practically in my overdraft every month. I'm not in trouble, but I know that one day I will need money I don't have put away and it is starting to stress me out. So the plan is:

1. Stop spending
This is hard for me. THE SALES ARE ON. I went into Brown Thomas in Dublin and nearly weeped. I haven't gone into town; Liberty at the moment would be too hard for me. I sort of feel like an addict who's gone cold turkey. Sadness. I allowed myself 1 purchase, this pair of shoes to wear with this bridesmaid dress for my friend's wedding in April:

They were 50% off and free shipping and returns, so, you know. And now, I'm done. Sigh. The new yoga mat will happen soon, but not until after the January paycheck. And any new yoga clothes will be cheap-o-s from Decathlon - it's silly to spend a lot of money on togs you essentially just sweat in. It's going to be hard, but I think worth it.

2. Save more
Currently, I put a paltry £100 in my savings account each month, and, as I said, I more often than not use the full amount for some sort of expense after a few months. So as of January I'm upping my savings account contribution to at least £200 per month, and locking it down. It's not to be used at all. For anything. Ever.

3. Be less wasteful
This goes along with some of the things I'm doing to lose weight. I want to waste less food - eat what we have and not let it rot in the fridge. Hence the veg box. And I want us to spend our money more wisely - thus going to nicer restaurants less often, rather than defaulting to going out to dinner. We have a lot of big expenses coming up in 2011 (3 weddings! 2 big trips! 1 big birthday!) so I'd rather us spend it where it counts rather than pissing it away on crap.

Be more creative
This one is big for me. I have been whining for a while to The Irishman and friends of mine from my design program in college that I've found myself creatively stifled for a while now. While I work in the design industry and am surrounded by creativity (managing it is my job), I'm finding that my contribution is paltry. I knit some stuff, usually baby gifts, and make Christmas cards once a year, and that's about it. I want to get back to making and doing, rather than consuming. I've decided, then, to:

1. Keep a sketchbook
I haven't done this in like, 8 years. I used to have at least 3 on the go at any one point in college and now I just tag shit on the internet. I'm going to go down to Cass Art today and get one, and stick all of the lovely stuff in it that I find and sketch out all of the lovely ideas I have in my brain. The first inclusion? A beautiful Dutch house profiled in Grazia few weeks back and the Christmas card of a beautifully stylized penguin from my friend Allison.

2. Take screenprinting classes
I've been stalking this workshop for 6 months to get in on a weekend class and I'm finally booked in for the end of January! I used to make prints of various kinds all of the time in college, and I miss the feeling of having dirty hands. I can't wait to get back into it.

3. Make more, buy less
This goes along with spending less. I'm currently making knitted throw pillows for my bed. I'm going refinish a table in our house, rather than buy a new one. I'm framing my own art for the wall, rather than buying some. In short, I'll help the economy by buying supplies rather than buying someone else's stuff.

So that's it. 2011 in a nutshell. Ambitious? Maybe. Inspiring? For me it is. I'm actually really looking forward to self-improvement, and starting my 30s right. But now, I'm off to go make the last batch of chocolate-chip cookies I'm allowed to devour.

Happy New Year, everyone! xx


  1. Could have written the same post myself! Only I'm taking up knitting, not screenprinting!

    Treadmill starts tomorrow...

  2. Haha, thanks for the solidarity Krista. Knitting is great - you can do it in front of the tv and it makes you feel a bit less guilty about sitting on your butt because you're not doing nothing! Happy New Year!