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Attainable Goals for New Year's Resolutions

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


The holidays are wrapping up with the last fiesta just days away - New Year's Eve. Every year, I feel a tinge of sadness when January comes up, because things feel so final. Not to mention, I'm no fan of the winter months as a whole, as I simply hate cold weather. After forty years, people would assume I'd be used to it, but nope. I'd rather deal with those Texan summers than the Chicago winters.

At the same time, there's a certain amount of hope that comes from using a new calendar, that somehow, something will improve. My health? No guarantee on that, because even losing a ton of weight doesn't mean I'll be happy. My home life? A third bedroom would be really nice so we both have our own space, but would we be able to keep up with the costs? How about making more money? Sure, we'll keep plugging away as long as the outside influences maintain.

Those top resolution goals usually fail, because they're huge. I say, why not try for something more attainable? They say the way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, so perhaps this is the year you don't set the bar lower but just set it to fulfill a single bite - even if it's more of a mouthful that needs a lot of chewing over a nibble. Also, why not set your goal to be something you've already started? It's not cheating; you're completing a back burner task that otherwise may always be sitting there waiting for someday. You can even choose your resolution to be a whole cluster of half-finished items as one larger goal. That way, you feel accomplished every time you get one knocked down.

Please note too, I feel a New Year's resolution is different than a Samhain resolution, which you can read about at this link.

Here's my list for my overall New Year's resolution:

- Continue improving on our showroom-ready home. That link is one of my most popular articles here on Witches and Pagans, and it's no surprise why that is. People have so much going on in their day to day lives that keeping up with household chores falls by the wayside. We have lives, doncha know! But with every extra bit of organizing we do, we find the chores become that much easier. Not to mention, the more we change things up a bit, the more living we provide ourselves!

About a month ago, we made another excursion to Ikea to get more of those spice jars I love, plus a few extra mini fish bowl containers and a rack. From that, and a few other things, not only is my herb and spice cupboard even more functional and ready to make just about anything gourmet, I now have a "cafe station" that's even better than many cafes in my neighborhood - pared down for size, natch. Take a look!


That's not to mention Ron's bar:


Ryan got us a SodaStream for Giftmas, too, so now we can easily have company over and provide plenty of beverages for just about everyone's tastes. By us having a nice and tidy home at all times, I don't shy away when people want to stop by. Which means...

- Make more time for people. My brother and his family came in town last week, and we went out and did some fun stuff! I'm not as up for going out as I used to be, so most of what I personally did was simply enjoy their company. Afterwards, I suggested they come by our place to watch some movies and get delivery. It's the little things that make life worth living!


(Notice I took the picture instead of being in it. But that's cool, because just seeing everyone being happy is all one can really ask for.)


Our place is on the small side when it comes to having people over, but as you can see, we managed just fine! You'll also possibly enjoy reading my week at Pagan Spirit Gathering!

- Up my sales game. I feel part of improving on myself means earning more money without sacrificing what's most important to me (the stuff above). We really could use a third bedroom, since Ron and I do a lot of work from home, and having a dining room again would be super nice to have more company.

Since I work for myself, going up to bossman and asking for a raise isn't the same for those of you who work for others. I can ask for a higher commission, but if I don't rent anything, I don't make any money, making it 0% of $0. So instead, I'm doing stuff like talking to more clients, getting new ones, attending sales conferences and doing little things to draw more attention to what I'm already renting. Like this:


(Yes, you can call me if you're looking for an apartment in Chicago. No telemarketers, please. I have plenty as it is.)

- Learning something new. In this case, it actually directly applies to upping my sales game, as I'm learning Latin American Spanish. I didn't do very well in high school, and part of it is it just didn't click with me. Maybe I was too busy having fun in high school, and maybe the teacher wasn't all that great. Maybe I just wasn't interested at the time. But with me doing a lot of rentals in Hispanic areas, even having a basic understanding would sure make things easier on me. I'm tackling it the same as learning something like Excel. I hate spreadsheets, and I hate formulas, but I have a huge need to know how to use the program. (I'm not saying I hate Spanish, but learning the language is not something I'm doing for the sheer fun of it.)

- Be more healthy. Did I ever mention I'm a little overweight? Yeah, I am. I could pat myself on the back for at least being overweight and not obese as far as the BMI is concerned, and I shop at "regular people stores" for clothes, but then I would be rewarding myself for being a jackass in general and specifically as a self-loathing fat-shamer. So while that bit has actually been said to me before as a motivator, I see it as awful.

Let's be honest: We could all stand to do better for ourselves in this department, but the #1 resolution of losing weight is just a setup for failure. How about instead, I'll just go ahead and resolve to dedicate 10 minutes a day toward something healthy. Maybe I stand in front of the TV or sit on the bouncy ball? How about I just not bring home as many goodies? How about I park further away from the door, which will also prevent dings? How about I use my herbs and spices more? How about I drink more tea?

This picture below is a clear-the-pantry/crisper soup I make every so often when there's "nothing to eat" or when the veggies look like they need a dose of Viagra® (because they're limp. Get it? Haw haw.) Doesn't this look good? I always have a well-stocked pantry, but every so often, that stuff's gotta get used up to make room for fresher stuff. And yeah, sometimes that $2.99 for a 5lb. bag of carrots seemed like a good idea at the time - until I started running out of time to use it all!


If you can boil water, use a knife, peeler and can opener, you can make this, too. And, it makes a whole pot of soup, plenty for me to eat by myself over a couple of days or feed a family well for at least two meals (depending on how hungry you are!). It takes only an hour on the stove, or you can throw it in a crock pot for a day. Also, if you learn to use herbs and spices, you can make bland food taste great and save a ton of money.

Another thing I could do is actually visit the dentist this coming year. I'm actually friends with my dentist, so it's kind of sad I don't just do that. A doctor though? No. That's not going to happen unless I really have to. I saw enough doctors in 2014 as it was.

- Be more creative. With me having my own office space, I have been able to do artwork - something I pretty much put away while Ryan was growing up. With it now in the slow season and the holidays just about over, I'll be able to jump back on that. I paid for a double booth at PSG for 2015, so I am going to need to do more art just so I don't look like a dingus with a huge booth (24' long) and nothing to sell in the space. I don't charge a lot, as I don't make a living on it, and I enjoy painting more when people buy them. To me, it's like justifying my interest that costs me money and storage space, as I'm an admitted cheapo.


(This one is one of my favorites!)

- Connect with my faith on a deeper level. My artwork also helps me explore my faith in ways reading books just doesn't. Of course, that's not a be all, end all, so I need to actually connect with other Pagans in person more in 2015. Even if it's just to chillax at a barbecue, I need to do that. Going to a single, or even three events in a year isn't good enough. Hanging out on Facebook isn't good enough. Reading articles online isn't good enough. Casting a spell when I need something isn't good enough. Do you see where I'm going with this? I really need to put in more effort, and that means time it needs is going to have to come from someplace. Hopefully there isn't enough stuff I want to watch on this year. Ha!

- Be more charitable. I'm again an admitted cheapo, but that doesn't mean I'm stingy. I do have a living comfort level that may be different from my most charitable friends, so I can up my ante in some places. Perhaps I can trade off some more of the money I save with giving it out? Maybe I can offer more time? I'll have some fun with it! I will say, the guilt-trip fundraisers don't get my money, like the "sad puppy and kitty show" commercials, because I just can't get behind a charity I don't enjoy doing. Then it becomes a chore, a nagging one at that, and I end up hating it.


(This was what I donated for the Pagan Pride day this year. I think I can do better than this, even though it's actually a lot compared to the single item they ask for - those Aldi® carts are huge!)

So there's a bunch of little things I have for a big overall goal. Which ones did you like? What ideas do you have? Think about it and hone in your resolution for this coming year. Whatever you decide to do, do it because you want to!

Happy New Year to you and yours!



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Lori Dake is a life-long native several generations back, a mom to an adult son and has been together with her husband over twenty years. She is a real estate broker primarily serving the North Side and has also worked as a paralegal for several years. Sometimes, she’s a hardcore fashionista, and sometimes a concert shirt and jeans are more her style. Hobbies include painting while listening to 80’s metal, writing, participating in various forms of philanthropy and creating fabulous meals on a budget.


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