2013 Resolutions

My brain today felt a bit like an empty train: speeding along without actually getting anyone anywhere. For all of the lovely ideas I’ve got, sometimes the rest of me isn’t really on board. It seems sometimes that the Lord gave me a quick, creative mind, but the world stole my heart. So I’m asking God for a new heart, and the will to make my 2013 resolutions work.

What does it MEAN?

I asked Mary just know what the word “resolution” means. Her answer: “Something that you resolve to do.”

Me: “Well what does resolve mean?”
Mary: “I think it means to end a problem. Like when you resolve a war, it’s over.”

Ethan, being my little tech, thought of another kind of resolution: it determines how much you can see, and how clearly you see it.

Maybe I should see New Year’s resolutions less as a bucket list, and more as a means to see the big picture clearly and a way to solve problems. In fact, it seems those are the only types of resolutions that really worked for me in 2012.

I didn’t blog it here, but my goal last year was to stop thinking of fitness in terms of body composition and more in terms of what I do. I wanted to do this by a) learning to dance and b) hiking more.

Sadly, I’ve gained back almost everything I’d lost in 2010-2011. But I feel better. While trying to button some too tight jeans, I exclaimed, “Do you remember when these pants were loose?!” Responded Miss Mary: “Yup. Do you remember when you were too weak to dance or hike or even carry in the groceries? Because I sure do.” Touché. So I’m not entirely off the body composition bandwagon, but I have convinced my girl that ability matters more. I also think my actual body composition would have been fine had I been more consistent with my other resolutions. I didn’t hike much, and I did not dance every week, either. But for the first time in my life, I really did learn how to dance. Problem => Specific Action => Result.

2013 Resolutions

Problem: I don’t like Walmart, but I still go sometimes. I could talk about how their policies affect small businesses, communities, the nation, and the world, but I’ll say this: it has an effect on me. It makes me greedy. It makes me buy junk I don’t need. I don’t like that.
Resolution: Put my money where my mouth is. Last year I spent $1468 at Walmart. This year, I’ll cut that in half or more. I’ll also take $734 and use it for charities or service projects that affect local communities, the nation, and the world.

Problem: I’m overweight and not happy about it.
Resolution: This time, put my mouth where my money is. My fast food spending for 2012 totals just about $480. I’ll cut that in half, too. Also, the kids and I are striving to live by a new rule: we’re done eating by eight (“Ate by 8”) except on holidays. No more dinners at 9 or late-night treats. We’ve been test-driving this resolution. It feels AWESOME.

Problem: I’m still afraid to swim. I used to love it, but haven’t swam regularly since I was pregnant with Ethan. Consequently, the kids don’t swim either. All this makes for awkwardness at summer parties and scouts.
Resolution: $240 I could have spent on fast food goes toward swimming lessons. We’ll work on our own, then hire an instructor for some private lessons in April.

Problem: Politics. Current political discussions seem to create more problems than they solve. I always wish people would took a moment to understand our problems and our history, we could solve more problems. My problem? I don’t understand nearly enough myself. I’m terrible at history, worse at debate, and I’ve never even read the constitution.
Resolution: Read the constitution by Presidents’ Day. Read it again by July 4th with my kids.
Also: know the Logical Fallacies (I’m getting a poster, even!) so we can avoid being fooled or fooling ourselves.

Problem: I feel frumpy. Since I starting working with Automattic, I don’t get out much. I wear scrubs that were once way too big. I love not worrying about appearance. I do think makeup for the most part is bunk. But if there were a spectrum between vanity and slop, most days I’ve fallen off the latter end. I clean up for special occasions, but I know I’m not taking good care of myself. Part of that is due to some super crappy dating stuff I dealt with in 2012. I don’t need a to-do list or a beauty routine. I need an attitude adjustment.
Resolution: Be my best me, for me. Get ready for each day like I’m gonna spend it with someone I love, because I should love myself.
Also: FIND A GOOD THERAPIST. Seriously I’d recommend that to anyone.

Problem: I’m not where I want to be spiritually.
Resolution: God’s gonna have to fix this one, but I’ll do my best to help. I have four devotional workshop packets (Thanks Amy!) covering Meaningful Prayer, Studying the Scriptures, Fast Observance, and Temple Attendance. I’ll spend a month in each packet, then repeat.
Also: Along the same lines for the kids, we’ll do the same thing with our cool new spiral-bound graphic novel versions of the scriptures (Thanks V! (Superfriend Steve’s mom)). One month on each book, repeated through the year.

The final list!

Of course I always intend to make improvements to my daily routines. Yeah I want to get healthy and be nicer, and do well at work, and be a better mom and friend. It’s good to have some overarching goals. But I’m feeling good about fixing these problems and meeting my resolutions with a specific, measurable, finite task in each of these areas:

  • Physical (caring for my body) – Cut fast food by half; “ate by 8”, swimming before Summer.
  • Mental (using my mind / talents) – Read the constitution by Presidents’ Day, then read it again by July 4th with my kids.
  • Temporal (being grateful for my ‘stuff’ and using it wisely) – Cut Walmart & Fast Food spending in half.
  • Social (loving others) – Find the best projects and charities for $ I would have spent at Walmart.
  • Emotional (loving myself) – Be my best self, accept myself, and find a good therapist that will help me make some measurable progress.
  • Spiritual (loving God) – One month on each of Amy’s Workshops + Graphic Novel Scriptures with the kids, x3

So. I’ve got a map of where I am now and where I want to be. As Dieter F. Uchtdorf put it in his last conference talk — “good intentions are not enough. We must do.” I must do. I must go. I must be. And with God’s help, I will.


  1. Amanda

    I made a resolutions post too… I tried to keep it short and doable (even though I did come up with quite a list). The thing is if we set goals that are too far away from we are right-now-today it does not seem achievable and we end up letting it all go.
    As for the exercice, last year I vowed to run together with Mark, alas , we (I) did not do it, not even once (he did go a few times by himself, but he finds running boring). So, we have decided to take dance lessons, at least it’s a change from sitting in the couch more hours than I dare to recognize.
    Regarding the spiritual part, we have been reading “Velvet Elvis”and I really like how the author makes a point in showing where God is in our everyday lives, and what our faith should be about. (If you haven’t read it I can send it to you once we both finish reading it). I also want to get more involved in the community in that sense (I do believe, but I do not go to church a lot… except on special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Epiphany… and weddings).
    Not eating after 8 is a really healthy choice… and you actually don’t need that much energy at that time. We try to only have tea or water at that time.
    I wish you all the best for 2013, I hope it will come full of nice surprises and that your dreams will come true.
    Hugs to Mary and Ethan too.


    1. Velda

      Love you, Amanda! I will have to check out Velvet Elvis. And I do think that the community aspects of church are super helpful so I hope you can find a church there that you can grow to love! Where are you guys living these days?


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