Like most people and most blogs, it’s time to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. I usually make them, but also like many people, I quickly forget about them, or at the very least, ignore them. I start off with the very best of intentions. They quickly fall flat. Some people are very good at keeping track of their goals and resolutions for the year. They make actual lists and keep them in their planner and as the year progresses, look back on them to see where they are in the process of completing them. I have never done that. Sure, I come up with a few things I’d like to do or change for myself, but I don’t keep an actual list, and I certainly don’t check back on it as the year progresses.

This year, taking my cues from my Philofaxy friends, I think I will try to keep a list, look back on it throughout the year, and update the list as much as possible to make sure my main goals are sought after. I’m not going to beat myself up if something doesn’t get done, or if it isn’t done perfectly, but I am really going to TRY. And sometimes, that’s all we can do.

In the past, I have come up with many resolutions (eat better, exercise more, lose however many pounds, etc.). This year, I’m going to try for goals that are not so concrete, resolutions that are more personal, more emotional, spiritual, and more soul-fulfilling. With that said, here we go:

1. While we have all (presumably) been at the “must lose weight” point in our lives, my first resolution is to be healthier. Yes, I’d like to lose some weight, but this is not my first priority. I just want to be healthy. This of course means exercising more, eating better, generally living a more fulfilling life. I have done several things in the past year to help me get on that track. But my problem is actually sticking with those life-changing moves. I do really well for a while, don’t do anything for a while, beat myself up about it, and have to start all over again. Maybe it’s time to let go of the all-or-nothing attitude and do what I can do, when I can do it, and be happy with that, be happy to be where I am compared to where I have been. So…more yoga, more running and walking, more resistance training, more vegetables, more water, and more relaxation and down time (and for us type A people, this is an absolute must!).

2. I’d also like to face some of my (ridiculous) fears head-on. I won’t be going into detail on what they are here, but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and typical of a catch-22, have been too fearful to even try. Some of those fears hold me back from doing certain things and it’s high time to let them go, or at least to try and acknowledge them. It might be frightening at first, and I may have to face a panic attack or two to get there, but in the end, this will make me a stronger, more independent person, which can only make me happier, which of course is the ultimate goal.

3. Another resolution I have for 2010 is to be more spiritual. I was raised a Christian and did all of those Christian things, like go to church, get confirmed, etc. In college, I let that go, mainly because of laziness, and it’s been difficult for me to get back into it. I still follow Christian teachings (in other words, I still believe in God, even in the face of tragedy when I’ve questioned everything I was supposed to believe in), but it has taken a back seat to many things. I haven’t been to church in a long time, for various reasons. And while some of these reasons still hold true to some extent, I am going to try to find a way around them. It may take some time to get back into these old habits, but again, the idea is to try.

4. I’d also like to be more in touch with my faith, not only in other people and certain situations, but to put more faith in myself. I think this is where a lot of my hang-ups come from – deep down, I know I can do certain things, accomplish more, but I lack the faith in myself to get it done, and because of it, give up too easily. Then I get frustrated and mad at the world, feeling that there is somehow a huge conspiracy against me that keeps me from accomplishing those things I want to get done. In reality, I have no one to blame but myself and it’s time I realized that and turned that around to use it in a positive way.

5. My last resolution is to be more careful with my finances. True, this is more concrete and common a resolution than the others, but I’ve never made this resolution before. I don’t spend lots of money. I do keep track of what I spend. But it wasn’t until recently that I came to the obvious conclusion that I could save a lot more if I didn’t spend so much. I’m not a shopaholic by any means, and actually restrain myself a lot more than many people I know, but I have two very bad habits, both that include certain collections: handbags and planners. I (perhaps stupidly) struck a deal with my husband…

In the past, my handbag collection consisted of low-price-range bags. A few months ago I moved up to designer handbags, which of course cost more. And while I have been buying fewer handbags because of it, I really do need to stop altogether. I have plenty. I have a variety. There isn’t a style, color, or seasonal bag that I haven’t at one point had and none of them changed my life. I’m good. So, with the exception of a particular bag I’ve wanted for a while that will be paid for with gift cards that I received as Christmas gifts (very little of it, if any, will be paid for with my own money), I will (try) not to buy a new bag for the entirety of 2010. The only way one can be purchased is with a gift card that covers the entire amount.

You can see where this is leading planner lovers…the same will go for the planners. As anyone who purchases Filofax binders can tell you, they are not inexpensive. And I have a habit of collecting more and more. So, with the exception of paper refills and the like, no more binders for all of 2010. Of course you know what this means – Filofax will come out with a new binder that I just have to have and I will torture myself for having made this deal. I can only keep my fingers crossed that this will not be the case.

And if I can accomplish these two financial feats throughout 2010, I will reward myself with a new bag and/or planner come 2011. Matching bag and planner, of course.

My plan is to keep a handwritten list with more details for each item in my personal planner. Every once in a while, I can look at the list and make updates as to where I am with the progression of each item. I’d also like to write another post, perhaps one every few months, evaluating my progress. Perhaps I’ll be more likely to move closer to these goals knowing that other people are reading about it and (maybe, just maybe) keeping tabs on my progress as well. Maybe that’s the push I need.

Happy 2010! May it bring you lots of happiness, keep/make you healthy, and bring peace into your lives.