2013 Resolutions: The Final Weigh-in

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Greetings from a wintery Cape Cod. As you know I make a huge resolution list, and in 2013 it was no exception. HERE‘s my initial 2013 list. HERE is when I checked-in and took stock of my progress in July. And now here we are, on the last day of 2013 and it’s time I see how successful I was.

Resolutions for 2013:
– “SAVE SAVE SAVE!” – Check! In 2013 I knocked off 1 of 2 student loans and got rid of all my high interest loans. I’m hugely proud of myself for this because otherwise I’d still be paying off these loans at 50 years old. Just a little more to go.
– Go Cross Country skiing for the first time! – it didn’t happen in 2013.. maybe 2014?
– White water rafting. – I didn’t get to go in 2013, but hopefully next summer.
– Go kayaking – Check! I went in Cape Cod in the fall.
– Walk 5 times a week at least (mornings + nights!) – Check! I was pretty good about walking and added the Silver Lake Reservoir to my regular walks.
– Do a Monster Walk! – Nope, but I still did plenty of walking in 2013.
– Do more hikes from my hike book – Nope, in 2014 I need to hike more.
– More camping! – I hope to do a lot more in 2014 and I’m aching for it!
– Run a race! 5k and work up to 10k? – It’s about time I trained again.
– Whiten Teeth – Check!
– Do a secret stair walk with the facebook group and meet other stair walkers. – I still need to do this. It will happen in 2014.
-Do taxes in January (to get money back sooner!) -Check!
– Take an art class – Check!
– Do more artwork. I have the supplies, so no excuses! – Double Check!!
– Learn French I- Rosetta Stone – Check!
– Learn how to sew – Check!
– Learn how to knit – I still need to do this.
– Take vitamin b – I’m bad about doing this every day, but I’ll work on it in 2014.
– Keep up water intake! – Check!
– Clean bathroom drawer + cabinet – Check!
– Do projects from the Young, House Love book – Check!
– See a dermatologist – I’ve put this off for years now. It’s time.
– Read typography book I got for Christmas – Check! I’ve also read a handful of books in 2013, which is the thing I have the most trouble making time for.
– Clean out closet again this year- Check!
– Clean garage and organize with plastic bins – Done, but I wonder if I should do this again.
– Clean out wallet – Check!
– Clean out all emails – Check! But this is a life project and will have to happen again.
– Clean out computer and back up files – Check! But this is another thing that is a constant issue.
– Get a new cell phone – Check!
– Keep going out during the week -I’m always up for week night fun, I’ll sleep when Im dead – Check!
– Do more running outside – Check! But I still hope to do this more.
– Living on my own?? – Not this year, but it’s another year of saving for something better in 2014.
Improve my blog! Change is a good thing! – Check! I redid the header and I’ve been working away on my shop site.
Keep saying yes.. to everything! Yes to life! YES!
GROW A PAIR!

Trip Ideas:
O Visit 2 presidential libraries – Went to the Nixon Library, still need to see the Reagan Library.
O Take the train somewhere for a day trip outside LA -I haven’t taken the train, but I’ve been north and south for day trips outside of LA in 2013.
O Chicago again? -We shall see
O Beach camping up the coast?
O San Fran? more north? Portland? -I decided to skip this and some of the expensive travel items because I went to Israel and Istanbul with my sister and uncle in November. When I made this list last year I had no clue this was doable, and we made it real!

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Well everyone, thanks for reading in 2013! Tomorrow I’ll be posting my 2014 New Years resolutions and in January my Israel + Istanbul travel posts will begin. I can’t wait to share all of this with you, as well as all the excitement that 2014 is going to bring. My horoscope has been saying for years that 2014 is going to be a big year of change for me, and I’m really looking forward to the needed change!

2013 Resolutions: July Update

This is 100% for my benefit, but sometimes you have to publicly list your goals in order to successfully follow through with them (accountability). Since it’s already July- wow! – I figured it’s a good time to take stock of my 2013 year long resolutions and see what’s changed, and what I have left to cross off the list.

Resolutions for 2013:
“SAVE SAVE SAVE!” – I’m always saving, and this year I’ve already knocked off one of two student loans. I’m pretty proud of that, but there’s still more to go. 
Go Cross Country skiing for the first time! – There wasn’t enough time to do this, but it can still happen later this year.
White water rafting. – I’m hoping for a summer trip, but still working the dates out.
Go kayaking – In fall I have plans to visit Cape Cod and get my kayak on. 
Dig out the bizarro la book and see what else is worth doing
Walk 5 times a week at least (mornings + nights!) – This is always a challenge (balancing exercise with work and comedy) but I’ve been good so far and even added a new walk route to the mix.
Do a Monster Walk! – Hopefully this can happen in the fall when I’m funemployed.
Do more hikes from my hike book
More camping! – I haven’t camped yet in 2013, and I’m aching for it! 
Run a race! 5k and work up to 10k? – It’s about time I trained again.
Whiten Teeth – done! 
Finish Secret Stair Walks – Like 5 more to go, but I don’t want them to end so I’m spacing them out. 
Do a secret stair walk with the facebook group and meet other stair walkers.
Do taxes in January (to get money back sooner!) -Done! 
Take an art class – My plan is to start a design class this month
Do more artwork. I have the supplies, so no excuses! – I bought my miter saw and have been nonstop with it ever since. I love it! 
Learn French I- Rosetta Stone – I’m in level 2.
Learn how to sew – I already sewed a pillow and some of my barrel chair.
Learn how to knit – I still need to do this. 
Take vitamin b – I’m bad about doing this every day, but I’ll work on it.
Keep up water intake! – I try
Clean bathroom drawer + cabinet – Check! 
Do projects from the Young, House Love book – I’ve done several, and should do more.
See a dermatologist – I’ve put this off for 3 years now. It’s time.
Read typography book I got for Christmas – Done. I’ve also read a handful of books in 2013, which is the thing I have the most trouble making time for. 
Clean out closet again this year. Maximize space and make it pretty!
Clean garage and organize with plastic bins – Done, but I wonder if I should do this again.
Clean out wallet – I carry around so many unnecessary things. Check! 
Clean out all emails – This is a life project.
Clean out computer and back up files – This is another thing that is a constant issue.
Get a new cell phone – Done! 
Keep going out during the week –I’m always up for week night fun, I’ll sleep when Im dead.
Do more running outside – Train for that 5k/10k above!
Living on my own?? – Can I afford it? I’ll find out closer to Novemeber
Improve my blog! Change is a good thing! – I’ve been working like crazy on my blog shop which is coming soon. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Keep saying yes.. to everything! Yes to life! YES! 
GROW A PAIR! 

Trip Ideas:
O Visit 2 presidential libraries – Went to the Nixon Library, still need to see the Reagan Library.
O Take the train somewhere for a day trip outside LA -I haven’t taken the train, but I’ve been north and south for day trips outside of LA in 2013.
O Chicago again? -We shall see
O Beach camping up the coast?
O San Fran? more north? Portland? -This local trip has been nixed for the year, mainly because I have more exciting news: I’m going to Turkey and Israel in November! In an attempt to save money, I thought a road trip would be my big trip of 2013, but when an opportunity knocks you have to accept. This means getting to meet up with my sister while she’s on her 2013 quest around the world. 

Two Out Of Twelve: February

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Can you believe it’s already February?! It’s no longer a “new year”, but now officially “the year” 2013. It’s around now that statistically people start forgetting about their new year resolutions, so I’m going to take this time to re-dedicate myself. As you know I have pretty lofty goals for 2013, and to make sure I complete most of them I just need a little reminder.

In the past 4 weeks I hiked almost every weekend, did many secret stair walks, spent a weekend in NYC, created some thrifty DIY artwork, saved up funds and payed off more student loans, and saw several comedy shows. I’m in the middle of reading and new book and even finished level 1 of my Rosetta Stone French program. I’m not saying these things to brag, but sometimes you need to make a list of accomplishments to feel like you’re not just treading water. How did you spend your January?

I expect February to be about more French and reading as well as exercise. I renewed my gym membership and want to spend February running and working towards a 10k. I also want February to be about cleaning up loose ends, finishing projects, and finalizing some artwork. Hopefully I’ll get in some cross country skiing and read up on typography as well as learn how to use my sewing machine. And of course, I hope to save, save, save!

2013 Resolutions

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(Photo from Design Love Fest– my fav design blog)

This is another just-for-me post, but posting my resolution list for everyone to see makes them that much more real. And it means I’ve gotta work hard to do them. I won’t let you down!

Resolutions for 2013:
“SAVE SAVE SAVE!” – This is my mantra for the year. I really want to knock away a lot of student loans this year in the hopes of saving and one day being able to afford a house (we’re talking 10 year plan). It’s gonna be lots of adventure on a dime in 2013!
Go Cross Country skiing for the first time! – There should be snow this year!
White water rafting. – If there’s snow now, there will be rapids later!
Go kayaking
Dig out the bizarro la book and see what else is worth doing
Walk 5 times a week at least (mornings + nights!)
Do a Monster Walk!
Do more hikes from my hike book
More camping! – This past year I had 3 camping trips, lets beat that in 2013.
Run a race! 5k and work up to 10k? – It’s about time I trained again.
Whiten Teeth
Finish Secret Stair Walks
Do a secret stair walk with the facebook group and meet other stair walkers.
Do taxes in January (to get money back sooner!)
Take an art class – I’m going to sign up for one this next week.
Do more artwork. I have the supplies, so no excuses!
Learn French I- Rosetta Stone – I got it for X-mass, no excuses!
Learn how to sew – I have a sewing machine now and I’m gonna use it!
Learn how to knit – I can save money making my own scarves? 
Take vitamin b – I’m bad about doing this every day, but I’ll work on it.
Keep up water intake!
Clean bathroom drawer + cabinet – That’s been on my todo list for a while.
Do projects from the Young, House Love book – I’m so inspired already!
See a dermatologist – I’ve put this off for 3 years now. It’s time.
Read typography book I got for Christmas
Clean out closet again this year. Maximize space and make it pretty!
Clean garage and organize with plastic bins
Clean out wallet – I carry around so many unnecessary things. 
Clean out all emails – I have 1650 unread emails. I gotta fix that. 
Clean out computer and back up files – I need to make space for 2013 fun!
Get a new cell phone – This will greatly improve blogging cell photos!
Keep going out during the week
Be more consistent with my night walks
Do more running outside – Train for that 5k/10k above!
Living on my own?? – Can I afford it? We shall see if this happens in 2013.
Improve my blog! Change is a good thing!
Keep saying yes.. to everything! Yes to life!
GROW A PAIR!

Trip Ideas:
O Visit 2 presidential libraries
O Take the train somewhere for a day trip outside LA
O Chicago again?
O Beach camping up the coast?
O San Fran? more north? Portland?

2012 Resolution Recap

It’s that time! Time to see what I was able to get done over the last 365 days. I’ll start by going through my 2012 New Year Resolution List. (Sorry for another pictureless post)

Life Absorbed’s 2012 Resolution List

– Complete all 42 walks in “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA”
I wasn’t able to finish the entire book due to some health issues, but I certainly did 80% and now I have the pleasure of enjoying the walks as I complete the rest in 2013.

– Go rock climbing! I got to go indoor rock climbing with Amber, Lindsey and Adam thanks to a groupon to Hangar 18. Despite my crazy fear of hieghts, I was actually pretty good and got into it. I’m no pro, but I would gladly go again.

– Do at least one “monster” walk in 2012. Use my new “Car-Free LA” book to find a good really long walk and make a day of it. This didn’t get to happen. I’ve done monster walks alone, but they are more fun with a friend and my walking buddy Michelle had a wild year of getting pregnant and giving birth to lovely Cole. This goal will have to pushed to my 2013 resolution list.

– Resume hikes from my hiking book! Give those new hike boots a work out. I wasn’t too successful completing a ton of new hikes from my hike book, although I did complete a handful from the book in 2012. Bigger than that, I hiked Mount Whitney! That’s a pretty big goal for 2012, in fact I was so concerned I wouldn’t follow through with it, I didn’t add it to my resolution list from 2012. And I did it! 

– Go camping! Camping happened for a few days around Mt. Whitney as well as on The Channel Islands and when I went tubing the Kern River. 

– Hike (or ski) Mt. Baldy. I got to complete this with weights as I was training for Mount Whitney. I actually found this to be more of a challenge. 

– Go back to Catalina! When my parents came to town in September, we got to take them to Catalina and took them parasailing. My sister and I had so much fun doing it last year, that when another groupon deal came up, we bought enough for all of us to go as an anniversary gift to them. 

– Keep filling my nights and weekends with fun activities, even if it means being tired the next day. It’s worth it! This is of course hard to gauge, but I think I did a really good job at going out a lot after work and on weekends. In fact I went out so much didn’t get a ton of my night walks in. It’s about finding a balance and I have to be better about that in 2013. 

– Visit Hearst Castle. Check! I got to go when my parents came to visit and loved it. As a family we took a weekend trip up there and drove back along the coast stopping at the small beach towns. 

– Go cross-country skiing for the first time. I wasn’t able to complete this (due to lack of snow last winter) but the groupon was extended into 2013 which means I’ll be going this winter and already Big Bear has gotten some great snow. 

– Go white-water rafting. Another side-effect of no snow in the winter, is that the run-off over the summer is so depleted that there’s not enough water to make it “white water”. But in place of rafting, we got to enjoy tubing down the Kern. I’m looking forward to white water rafting in the summer of 2013!

– Go kayaking. I got to do this during my weekend excursion to the Channel Islands as well as doing it about 3 times when I was visiting my parents in Cape Cod this past summer. I love it.

– Try yoga. Did it repeatedly! I love the Core Power Yoga free Sunday noon class. Although I didn’t realize you needed to pay to borrow the mats, so I didn’t realize I was stealing every time I went. But now that I’ve realized it I will be investing in a yoga mat in 2013 🙂

– Try spinning. I did not do that this year, although I really need to. I ended up canceling my gym membership this year, so now I’ll have to pay to go to a class but I still want to do this. The only reason I didn’t complete this goal was because I was busy, and frankly I forgot about it. This is why it’s good to do midyear resolution recaps, to remind myself what I still need to complete. 

– Make new recipes to last during the week. This I did only a few times. It’s hard to make meals for one. Also my job often provides meals that are around dinner time, so it’s nice to save money by eating that food and leave the cooking to the professionals. 

– Go to Chicago to visit my good friends and see a new city. CHECK! This was a really fun resolution. I got to lump a short stopover in Chicago onto my summer trip to Cape Cod. I had such a great time visiting friends and seeing the tourist sights (the FLW House!). 

– Keep up my nightly walks. An hour a day does so much. As I explained above, I did this but not as regular as I used to (since my walking buddy was busy having babies and I started doing more event stuff at night). But in 2013 I’m going to go back to doing this a solid 5 times a week, if not more. 

– Try new bars, restaurants and museums from my “L.A. Bizarro” book. (As Amber pointed out to me, we don’t have to see any of the porn-esque stuff and that is agreed). I got to do a bunch of these with Amber earlier in the year, although they did take a back seat to all of my other goals as the year went on. It’s worth digging this book out again and going more in 2013. 

– If someone says, “try this hike with me” or “lets do this sport” or any other physical activity, say yes! So far so good. Saying yes to life has only meant good things.

– “Grow a Pair!” In 2012 I need to face the little fears. I successfully faced giant fears in 2011, so this should be easy right? I’m always working on that, and that’ll continue into 2013. 

– As a part of “Growing A Pair”, I’m going to go on dates in 2011. It’s something Ive been putting off because I hate doing it, but why not? If it’s the worst, then oh well. If it’s great then maybe I get a new friend out of the deal. I’ve jumped out of a plane, I think I can handle a silly little date. So send your single, outdoorsy, male friends my way. This remains true in 2013. Also, I’ve decided that “date” is too scary a word, and only call them “friend meetups” in an attempt to making dating less scary. 

– And of course I will work hard to maintain you, Life Absorbed. I wish I had started you last Jan. 1st, so now I must make up for lost time. I feel like in one year I did a lot to improve the blog. I tried (and I’m always trying) to come up with new features like Font Friday and Do This Today. I try to blog 1 or 2 times daily midweek and once on the weekends. I also designed a business card for the blog and changed the layout a bit. The “Life Absorbed” logo photo shoots where fun, and I hope to do more in 2013. Now all my photos have watermarks and I really work hard to make improvements as I get feedback. I’ve gotten retweeted by Scott Aukerman this year. I’ve gotten “shared” on facebook by some of my favorite comedians and even CBS included me in an article about the Secret Stairs of LA. It’s been good progress and I’m looking forward to more improvements in 2013!

This completes my resolution list for 2012. I can honestly say I gave it 110% and filled my time to capacity. There’s only so much time to get things done and I have no regrets with how my time was spent in 2012. I also want to share some things I did that weren’t on my 2012 resolution list:

A big Hawaii trip that included zip-lining, snorkeling, and hiking around an active volcano. Visiting the Queen Mary with my parents. Sitting in the UCB green room with Doug Benson and Zach Galifinakis (thanks Gabe!). The 1 million comedy shows I saw this year (I’m only exaggerating a little). Finally seeing David Cross do stand up! A fun weekend getaway to Palm Springs. My first hospital visit (not a good situation, but it could have been so much worse). Running the Denver Turkey Trot and getting to enjoy Denver fun. Getting to be Shari Lewis for the day. Doing all my DIY projects. Brunches with the girls. Visiting the JPL and going to about 5 neighborhood festivals. Doing the Color Run with Lindsey. Having my celebrity crush, Harris Wittels, comment on my blog. Tubing Mt. Baldy with Michelle and Lindsey. A weekend getaway to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. Visiting the horse racing park for Tom’s birthday. Going to a Beer Collaboration event. Magic Castle with the girls. Celebrating Chinese New Year in Chinatown. Gosh, this has been a busy year!

Rules for Resolutions

It’s almost 2013, but Im still not ready to share my resolution list. I keep adding and whittling away at it. I just need to note, when I’ve asked my friends about their resolutions, they have all said “I’m so bad at following through, so why make the list. I’m just setting myself up to fail”. The point of the list isn’t to complete every task (as I certainly don’t), but by making the list it makes you aware of what your goals are. I have friends that say things like “I don’t know what I want” or “Im bored and I don’t know how to fix it” throughout the year. Just by making this list, you’re ahead in the game. Whenever I’m feeling in a rut or bored or lost, I just pull out the list and put that energy into crossing a task off the list, and that pulls me out of my rut. You certainly don’t HAVE to make a resolution list, but why not take 15 minutes and make a list of goals.

Rules For Making A Resolutions List:

1) Be Realistic With Money. Don’t make a list of goals that you know you can’t afford to complete. For example “buy myself a Fendi Bag” (BAD) should be “work to save money for a nice bag by setting a little money aside from each paycheck, and invest in a nice bag by 2014” (GOOD). Just avoid making resolutions that you know are outside your budget, because you’ll never follow through with something if you can’t afford it.

2) Be Realistic With Time. There are 365 days in 2013, and only 52 weekends. When you’re trying to complete a list of goals, those weeks go by REALLY fast. While I think it’s important to shoot for the stars with your list and be over ambitious (whatever you don’t complete can be moved on to the following years list) it’s important to be at least somewhat realistic. If you work full time “Spend 1 month in Spain” isn’t a realistic resolution. Although maybe a baby-step towards that goal is doable: “Investigate if my job would let me take time off to travel, or if there are work opportunities abroad with my job”. The goal can be to lay the groundwork, so that “spend a month abroad” can be a realistic goal for the following year.

3) Be Specific. I’ve found with me, I’m much more likely to complete a goal if the game plan to achieve it is part of the resolution. For example a goal of “See more towns outside of Los Angeles” is so open-ended that I’m less likely to take it seriously. A great alternitive is actually looking up the names of some sights to see outside of LA, and then making each location a different goal: “Visit the Elmers Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande” or “Visit the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda”. This way if you have a free Saturday, you just go to the list, google the location and then make a day trip. Plus by separating the locations you can cross more off your list (it’s such a good feeling crossing items off the list).

4) Make Some Easy… Very Easy. If all of your goals require a ton of time and dedication, you’re much more likely to fall off the wagon. It’s such a motivation to be able to cross off items from the list, so make some goals easy and extra fun. For example, I often don’t let myself eat too many sweets (gotta watch my girlish figure) but “Treat yourself to a cupcake at that shop everyone keeps telling you about” is a fun awesome resolution to throw into the mix. It’s a resolution because it’s getting you to try something new and it’s not “buy a box of cupcakes” but it’s just one, which doesn’t hurt your wallet or your waistline. For the record “Eat a bag of cheetos alone on a Saturday night” is not a resolution, but a cry for help.

5) Include That Thing You’ve Been Putting Off. I hate going to the doctors. Whether it’s eye, skin, foot, or just the regular doctor, I hate it. The resolution list is a great time to include that dreaded doctors visit. As much as I hate doing it, I can tell you “Visit a dermatologist” and “Finally buy eye glasses” are on my resolution list for 2013. Maybe for you it’s “Clean out that scary drawer full of crap” (also a good resolution). With all of these dreaded tasks, you’ll feel so good finally completing them and then you get the reward of crossing them off the list and putting them out of your mind.

Well, I hope these are helpful tips for generating your own resolution list. I know you probably think resolution lists are crap, but seriously give it a shot. In the next day or two, I will take a look back at my resolution list and see what I’ve completed over the last year. I will also finally reveal my 2013 resolution list.

Holiday Blues

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Now that you are caught up on the fun times of my Denver Thanksgiving, you can imagine the second part of that trip was not so much fun. Typically that Saturday after Thanksgiving is when I allow myself to start celebrating Christmas. I start writing Christmas cards and listening to holiday music. Since Saturday was spent in the hospital and then it was a mad dash to get back to Los Angeles once I was released on Sunday, that switch from Thanksgiving to Christmas never happened for me.

I’ve spent this weekend laying low (still fighting the allergy, although it’s getting much better) and I decided to let myself start celebrating. I woke up early today and went to World Market to buy Christmas cards. I dug out my old roommates mini tree (see above) and decorated while listening to the Holiday Pandora station and breathing in my cinnamon scented candle. It’s like Santa threw up all over my room.

In all this holiday cheer, I must say I’ve got a bit of the holiday blues. Maybe it’s being single around the holidays or perhaps it’s this allergy/cold issue that’s sucked away the past month of my life, but I’ve got the blues today. I’ve also come to the sad realization that I can’t finish all my Secret Stair walks by 2013. Having lost the last 4 weekends to this cold, I’ve fallen too far behind. It’s painful to admit this, but the only way to complete them by 2013 is to rush and that takes all the fun out of it. I don’t want the walks to be a chore, but something I look forward to enjoying. So that goal is being stretched into 2013, and since I’m back logged on those posts, you’ll get to enjoy those well into 2013.

This all has me contemplating my 2013 goals, as I’ve got one month to make next years list.  Have you started thinking about 2013?