In with the old? My modified, rehashed New Year's resolutions

I think the whole "out with the old, in with the new" saying is kind of misleading. I mean, yes, we are looking for a fresh start, new beginnings, getting rid of old habits from the previous year, and yada yada yada. But how many of us actually start something completely fresh in the new year that hasn't been attempted before? I think many people would agree that the most popular New Year's resolutions tend to be the ones that keep getting rehashed over and over again - get fit, spend less, etc.

For myself, 2010 was a year of change and interrupted projects, between my wedding, new house and new job. Many of the stuff I attempted in 2009 and 2010 didn't get finished as my husband and I got caught up in the craziness of wedding planning, adapting to new surroundings, and entertaining by ourselves for the first time.

So as I return from the whirlwind that was my first Christmas/New Year's with my husband, I solemnly pledge in 2011 to get back to doing stuff that I used to do before/projects I started earlier but didn't complete. The trick, I hope, will be to actually set down some actual goals, schedules, deadlines and strategies so I actually complete them.

1. Putting God first: We got off to a good start this year with our young adults' retreat and Bible study, but I'm really hoping to getting back into memorizing the Book of Ephesians (my 2010 resolution that never took off), designating at least one day a week towards sitting down for half an hour with my Bible, and spending at least 10 minutes every day praying beyond saying grace at mealtime. I'm hoping those are concrete enough goals that aren't too ambitious. This is so important for me this year, and I don't want to sound too kooky, but with all the weird stuff going on lately with the dead birds and fish, the wars and rumors of wars and earthquakes, it's always good to be prepared for the end. I don't think we can predict anything and I don't think we ought to try to be fortune-tellers, but I still don't want to be caught off-guard whether it's the end times or not.

2. Changing my hairstyle: A lighter note now: Friends of mine have heard me talk about getting a perm or a pixie cut FOREVER - the plan is to get the fancy 1940s/Gossip Girl perm first and then when I get bored of that, to chop it all off into a style I can hopefully hang on to as I get older. The first step of this will hopefully happen in the next few weeks =)

3. Training for my first marathon: I've already run two half-marathons and I'd started training for my marathon in 2009 when I got injured. Then I got distracted, discouraged and demotivated so I haven't really run since. So maybe if I mention it to enough people - like you good folks at BlogHer - I'll at least get started on running again. I was thinking about it today, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays seem like a good schedule to start.

4. Make a family budget: OK, so I kind of lied, as this is sort of a new endeavor =) I was doing alright as a single girl of keeping track of my finances and I have never been in debt, but I'm looking forward to tackling a family budget with my husband. I've read some pretty good budgeting tips from John Frainee over at The Christian Dollar, some of which were posted on my company eBillme's blog - I think I'm going to use the suggestions from his post "Two Crucial Budgeting Tips," which talks about how you choose the preset amounts for your budget. Handy!

5. Finish my wedding thank-you cards: For the life of me, I don't know why I'm still not done yet with these four months later, since I got my bridal shower thank-yous done a month after. Not quite sure how to strategize this properly, but as a former journalist who works best under pressure, I think I'll set a deadline of finishing all my cards by March 6. (Feel free to prod me about it =P)

6. Learn a new recipe every month/Create something without a recipe by year-end: Being fairly new to cooking, I still don't know how to randomly throw a bunch of ingredients together and make it taste good, especially when it comes to baking. So my goal this year is to cook and read enough that I will have learned the perfect temperature to bake something, or how to eyeball the right amount of baking soda/flour/cumin for a recipe.

7. Get back to knitting/crochet and finish making something useful/pretty: I used to love knitting and crochet and have made a few things here and there in the past - couple of bags, a copper wire necklace for a friend, a few funky scarves - but I haven't made anything or even picked up my needles/hooks in ages. This year, I'm going to get back to that. If you have any suggestions for fun patterns, let me know!

Also check out my personal finance, shopping and saving posts at my company's blog, eBillme!

Follow Krystle C. on Twitter @krystlechow

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