Well the holidays are over and to be honest I am relieved to be through with the frenzy and am ready for a fresh start. Who knows what 2011 has in store, but I have some grand things planned.
I hear a lot of anti-resolution rhetoric on the news this time of year and while I understand the reasoning, I rather like setting goals for myself and comparing them to how I’ve stacked up by the end of the year! I harbor no illusions that I’ll accomplish everything I set out to do, and as long as I keep the right attitude, I’d always rather try and not succeed than not try at all.
So here are a few of my 2011 resolutions, in no particular order:
1. Read at least 50 books
Let’s be real here, I don’t think I’ll quite achieve that number! But I figure if I set my goal high, maybe I’ll end up reading 25? Which would be, oh, about 20 more books than I read in 2010.
I do read the newspaper religiously every day, but after several hours of pushing through articles with titles such as “Inferring Metapopulation Dynamics from Patch-Level Incidence of Florida of Scrub Plants” for school, reading books falls to the bottom of my priority list. Now that I am done with school, however, I have no excuse, and I am starting this goal with the book John Adams by David McCullough. I am about a third of the way through and am LOVING it so far.
2. Complete a triathlon
Well I am registered and paid for the Iron Girl triathlon this summer so I better be ready for it! My goal is just to finish and I have no particular time frame. It’s been about a year since I’ve been in a pool so I should probably start working on that…
3. Learn to knit
This is a skill that really every person should possess.
4. Eat less dairy
You would never know from reading the recipes I post here, but I am actually lactose intolerant, a condition I routinely ignore, much to the unhappiness of my digestive system. But this year I hope to be kinder to my body and stop eating so much butter and cream! Unfortunately this goal is a bit at odds with my next one…
5. Dabble in the art of cheesemaking
This has long been a goal of mine and I am pleased to report I made my first batch of cheese today, which I will post about in the near future.
(For those who may be curious about how I can possibly reconcile this goal with my previous one: to make cheese involves the separation of milk curds from whey. Most cheese, ricotta being a notable exception, is made exclusively from the curds, but the lactose in milk is water soluble and is left in the whey. Obviously, some residual lactose can be retained in the curds, and very fresh, soft cheeses do contain a small amount of it — an amount that my body can generally tolerate if I am careful about avoiding dairy the rest of the day. But hard, aged cheeses have almost no lactose at all.
By making the cheese myself, I can control the aging process (which is often reduced in commercial cheeses) and can also be sure to choose high-quality ingredients — I find that organic milk from grass-fed cows is less problematic for me.)
6. Expand my photo hobby
I need to learn photoshop, acquire a shoe-mount flash, and perhaps new lens or two…of course this is dependent on spending money more than anything else! But there are always new things to learn even with the equipment I have.
7. Attend church more regularly
I grew up in the UU church but my attendance fell off drastically somewhere around 2003…and it’s only been in the past few months that I’ve picked this habit back up again. I hope I can keep it up through 2011 — it always makes me feel uplifted and inspires me to be a better person. Being a good, churchgoing Unitarian is also how I met my husband so clearly I was doing something right…
What new year resolutions have you made for 2011?