Goals for 2016

After a bit of thinking and a lot of doodling I have come up with THE LIST. Since I won’t be starting until mid-January there may still be some tweaks but for the most part this is what I am going with.  They are in no particular order and I will be implementing these habit changes one at a time using the “Zen Habits” method.  I doubt they will all get done, actually if I have just two or three new habits firmly entrenched by the end of the year I will call it success.

  •  Improve eating habits
    • reduce grain intake and search for healthier grains
    • keep sugar intake low
    • avoid chemicals, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
  • Steps
    • experiment with grain free recipes
    • eliminate processed treats (no more store bought cookies, desserts etc)
    • decide ahead of time when I am going to break my rules and keep track

Goal: better sleep, better mood, less joint pain

@ I am already doing most of these things to some degree but I want to try a little harder.  I have begun looking up all the ingredients on things like crackers and cereals and researching to find the healthiest flours.

  • Increase my physical activity
    • longer walks with dog (10k steps per day goal)
    • yoga
    • jump rope
    • biking
    • hand weights
  • Steps
    • create a schedule
    • start small

Goal:  better sleep, better mood, tone muscles, increase upper arm strength

@ this one is going to be tough because I don’t really like to exercise. I also need to be flexible and adjust my routine to fit the time of year.  Swimming in the summer instead of walking for example.  But this is where the Zen Habits will be very helpful.

  • Meditation
    • two 5 to 10 minute sessions per day
  • Steps
    • start small
    • be patient with myself

@ I had already started on this goal, I thought it would be a good one to give the “Zen Habits” method a practice run with.  But then I got sick and now I need to start over.  Such is life.

Goal:  peace of mind, better focus

  • Writing
    • finish writing something, anything
  • Steps
    • set time or word count goal
    • investigate entering some contests

Goal:  to write enough that I can think of myself as an author, to feel a sense of purpose, to add another dimension to my day.

  • Photography
    • take better photos
  • Steps
    • watch a Great Courses DVD I bought this year
    • read blogs about taking photos
    • look into photo editing software

Goal: become a more knowledgeable photographer

@ I enjoy taking nature photos and am ready to up my game.  The last few years I have made myself a calendar and I want 2017’s to be fabulous!

Hopefully I will have the patience to take my time and attend to each new habit properly.  This time next year my days will look very different if I am successful.  I am looking forward to change, feeling better and discovering who I can be in this next phase of my life.


Don’t hate me but it is time to talk about…

goals for next year. (Ha! You thought I was going to say Christmas didn’t you?)
I don’t make New Year’s’ resolutions perse, instead I like to set goals for the whole year. But lately I have been thinking about habits. Specifically my habits, ones I want to adopt and ones I want to resume.

The reason I am thinking about this two months early is because now is a good time to make plans, before the chaos of the holidays kick in. I have read Leo Babauta’s book  “Zen Habits” and it makes sense.  You have a better chance of success establishing habits if you make one change at a time and do it slowly.  So that is my plan.

In addition to deciding what habits I want to add to my life I need to prioritize them and make sure I understand my reasons for wanting to add them to my days.  All this is going to take a bit of thinking and I want to make some observations about the behaviors I want to change.  For instance I am going to write down all the sugar and grains I eat for the next week to see exactly what my intake is.  I am also going to wear my pedometer and see how many steps I average in a typical day.

I have five different habits I am thinking about so far.  The plan is to have a strategy mapped out by Thanksgiving so stay tuned!

And a couple of completely unrelated to the post photos, but I am all giddy about autumn these days!


Yams with a maple cranberry sauce.


Our Trader Joe’s haunted house. It may be all autumn in my head but it is still in the mid-80s here so the icing got a little drippy. We decided after that we liked it better that way!


The back door.  It looks kind of like a face.