Sayonara, 2011

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 31, 2011

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Even though my Northwestern Wildcats lost to the Texas A&M Aggies (final score 33-22, with an attempted 4th quarter comeback), we are still all smiles in Arizona on the last day of 2011.

The delicious blueberry Belgian waffles made by Mama Bender might have something to do with it.

But beyond the waffles, I’m smiling because the last day of every year gives me a surge of optimism. Sure, the past 365 days have had their fair share of ups and downs – it has, by definition, been a true “roller coaster” of a year – but in less than 12 hours, there is a chance to start fresh, begin anew and embark on the 2012 journey.

In past years (2010, 2009, 2008), I’ve taken a look back at all of the posts, pictures and major life events that have defined who I am and how I’ve grown since January. It’s a fun way to reflect and, in all honesty, laugh about the laundry list of resolutions I felt so sure I would accomplish, only to have them drop off by the first of February, if not sooner.

For 2012, I’m approaching things a bit differently. Rather than recap the highlights – though if forced to choose, meeting my nieces, Caroline, Kelly and Claire, would automatically be at the top of my list – I am looking forward. There are resolutions goals I am looking to accomplish, not overnight, but over the course of the next 12 months. And since I’m a big fan of lists, I’m including them here.

12 Goals For 2012

  1. Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night, and establish a regular bedtime.
  2. Be active for at least 30 minutes every day – even (and especially!) during the winter.
  3. Create a “gratitude list” journal to be filled out before bed every night.
  4. Train and complete two half marathons – one in the spring and one in the fall.
  5. Take a minimum of one day per month to go completely “offline” – no computer, no T.V., etc.
  6. Make an effort to cook better dinners on weeknights, rather than just saving them for weekends.
  7. Dedicate more workout hours to strength training – specifically arm exercises.
  8. Spend at least 10-15 minutes of every morning reading and catching up on current events.
  9. Explore with my brother to figure out “what’s next” after his high school graduation in May.
  10. (Finally) take my mom on a girl’s weekend trip of her choice. It’s long deserved and overdue.
  11. Eat more produce. It sounds easy, but this is one of the most lacking parts of my diet.
  12. Become a published writer, whether in print, online or – fingers crossed – with a book of my own.

I am a firm believer that putting goals down on the proverbial paper is the fastest way to motivate and make them a reality. It’s going to be an exciting year, full of new experiences and half-full glasses.

I wish the same for all of you. :)

Hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve! What are your plans for tonight?

“See” you next year!


1 Erica December 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Good stuff! I so need more sleep!! And love the moms weekend idea! We are doing dinner tonight and just hanging

2 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thanks, Erica! I’m trying to decide the best place to take my mom – Napa comes to mind first! :)

3 Cara (Twinthusiast) December 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Nice goals Jenn. I have no doubt you’ll go 12 for 12! XO

4 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thank you, Cara! :)

5 BroccoliHut December 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Fabulous list of goals, my friend. We’re just making pizza and watching the Godfather for our NYE celebration:)

6 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Thank you! Hope you had a blast celebrating the last day of a phenomenal year!

7 emiliesenjoyables January 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Adding more strength training into my exercise routine is a goal of mine as well! I hope you accomplish all of your goals!

8 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Awesome! Let’s motivate each other to stick to it! :)

9 Cheryl Madliger January 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I really like how you have more positive goals instead of “avoid” or “stop” or those kinds of things that so many people seem to focus on. Good luck!

10 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Thank you, Cheryl! I really appreciate the compliment, as it’s something I make a conscious effort to do every time I make these lists!

11 Melissa @TryingtoHeal January 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

We should keep up our page for our winter exercise! I can help you out with the strength training motivation since I need it too!

I hope you get published too! And I totally agreed with the disconnect for one day a month and making better meals during the week! I think I’m going to have to start a weekend prep session for the weekdays, ya know!?

12 Jenn (eating bender) January 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

That sounds great! I finally got caught up on last week – looking forward to continuing it and adding strength training to the mix! I love the thought of a “weekend prep session” and think it would really help me to make more meals. Maybe we’ll have to create a prep Google doc, too? :)

13 Jesse Fuller January 3, 2012 at 5:12 am

Those blueberry waffles look yummy ! There goes my new years resolutions out the window !

14 Megan (Braise The Roof) January 3, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hope you had a great NYE, Jenn! I need to get back on the produce bandwagon, too- and back on the going to the grocery store regularly, thing, too. :)

15 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Same to you, Megan!! :)

16 Shannon January 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

glad you had such a wonderful time in az! happy new year jenn :)

17 Jenn (eating bender) January 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks, Shannon! Happy New Year to you, too! :)

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