On 2017 and New Year's Resolutions

Hello and happy new year! To whomever is reading this, I hope your 2017 has gotten off to a great start.

My 2017... well, let's just say things are interesting. Less than a month into this new year, I find myself a little bit aimless and a lot jobless. With nothing but free time on my hands, I'm definitely struggling somewhat: struggling to feel productive and engaged, struggling to persevere and find a good next career step, and even struggling to get out of bed on some days. 

While circumstances are less than ideal right now, it does feel right to some extent that all of this is happening at the start of a new year. Yes, January 1st is just another day in the calendar. There's no noticeable difference between that day and any other; the earth keeps spinning just as it always has.

But, as someone who prefers things to be as black and white as possible, the idea of seeing January 1st as the start of a blank slate -- a turning point and an opportunity to start a new phase of my life -- has grown on me over the last few years. My birthday is also very close to the start of the year, so this day has become more and more meaningful for me. 

That's why, even though things in my professional life aren't going too well right now, I've decided to commit to a series of goals for this year:

  1. Exercise: I miss the strict routine of exercise that I had in high school. After taking a years-long break from any sort of workout regimen, I'm going to do my best to exercise at least 4 times per week, running at least 9 miles per week. I'm also running the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon in May and am aiming to run the Detroit International Marathon in October. Hopefully, shelling out the hefty registration fees will serve as good motivation...
  2. Diet: Anyone who knows me, even remotely, knows that my diet could serve to become much healthier. I'm hoping to bring more vegetables into my meals over the course of this year (I'm still staunchly anti-fruit) with the goal of becoming fully vegetarian by January 1, 2020. I'm also planning to spend less money on eating out and to do a better job of meal-planning and cooking what I've got in the fridge.
  3. Keeping in Touch: I'm embarking in a "postcard project" this year, aiming to send 2 postcards per week to friends, family, and other loved ones with whom I'd like to stay in better touch. I've become frustratingly bad at sending even the shortest texts, so in an attempt to show the people in my life how much I care about them, I'll be sending more than 100 pieces of snail mail in 2017. Who doesn't like getting snail mail, am I right?
  4. Passions/Hobbies: I've often told people that I don't have hobbies besides watching TV. While this is a slight exaggeration, my goal for 2017 is to spend my free time in pursuit of the causes and topics that interest me. More specifically, I'm hoping to start volunteering regularly with Planned Parenthood (or other organizations that I believe in) and donating regularly to causes I support, to the extent that I can financially. Keep an eye out for blog posts and events that I want to plan this year, specifically centered around community financial health and women's health awareness.
  5. Reading/Writing: My goal of reading one book per month hasn't quite worked out as originally planned. I'm pretty bummed about that to be honest, but I'd still like to push myself to read more this year. I also want to grow this blog to be a fuller picture of my life, my interests, and my thoughts on various topics.

Thank you, in advance, to anyone who reads these and helps keep me honest! As much as I'd like to be able to accomplish all of these goals on my own, I know that every bit of support and encouragement from friends and family will help!

With love, and with hope for an exceptional 2017, 

Paula