Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Resolutions.


Despite what the above image implies, 2012 was by no means sad, sad, sad. If anything, I am somewhat sad to say goodbye! (I have never, ever been good with change.) In 2012 I got engaged, wrapped up my first year of teaching, celebrated with lots of friends as they got married, didn't have to move, started my second year of teaching (way more confident and put-together than my first), presented at my first conference, and *drumroll please* found out that I'm going to become an aunt in 2013! To... TWINS! (I could go on about this at length, but I'm going to refrain until I know that I have full permission to share with the internet community.)

And now 2013 has begun, filled with many uncertainties. I am hopeful and excited, but it's also tinged with some fearfulness. N. is going to graduate from law school in May 2013, and while I am so proud of all his hard work and accomplishments, simply graduating doesn't guarantee employment or passing the bar. We need to move this summer, but if he doesn't have a job yet, the decision becomes somewhat complicated about where to move. We're city people, but my one-hour commute is taxing. And then regardless, he'll be deeply entrenched in studying for the bar, while moving and wedding planning responsibilities will fall mostly on my shoulders. That is okay, because his job will be to pass the bar, while my job will be to make that process as painless and stress-free for him as possible. It just means that I am afraid of these unknowns... mostly about how this summer will go... and I don't want fear to have a place in my life.

The above image holds such a powerful message: curiosity is so much more acceptable (to me) than fear of the unknown. I want to remain curious and excited by the open possibilities of this summer, not afraid of what will come... because I don't even know what's in store!

All that being said, I have numerous resolutions this year. In fact, I have more than I ever remember having in the past. The good intentions of these resolutions are to keep me creatively, emotionally, and physically healthy as possible so that when / if the going does get tough, I'm tough enough to... handle all things with grace, compassion, and perspective.


1. Running

The last time I ran, I was in middle school struggling through my personal "best" of a 15-minute mile. I was overweight, and clearly, out of shape. And it was traumatic. N. and I ran together three days ago, on December 29th, 2012, for what I'm really going to consider to be the first run of my adult life. I'm a dedicated elliptical-enthusiast, but this was the first time I really ran, not on a piece of equipment. I expected the experience to be, well, traumatic. To my surprise, we did a mile in a little under ten minutes... and this was after a pretty intense workout that included weight-lifting, abs, and about twenty minutes on the elliptical. I was stunned! And it wasn't traumatic! I was so proud of us! So I went to run another mile two days ago, on December 30th. This time I did the mile in 9:17. Um, whaaat?! Not amazing by other people's standards, but pretty amazing by my own standards.

So. In 2013, I'd like to run 365 miles. That could be...  a mile a day. Or many miles on some days, and no miles on other days. It's a lot of miles, especially for a beginner runner. And my legs are already sore from my *two* days of running. But! Soreness is good. Challenges are good. Tangible challenges seem attainable, as opposed to something like "run a lot in 2013." So here we go.

2. Working out

In 2012, I "worked out" 92 times (that includes the runs on December 29th and 30th). My goal at the beginning of 2012 was to beat my 2011 number of 68. Woo! Did it! New goal: work out 3x a week, to top 92 workouts. I will be happy if at the end of 2013, I have worked out 93 times. Of course I'd be even happier to go way over that number. On the days I just run one mile however, I'm not going to count as a "workout." Over one mile, or running + weights, abs or additional cardio can count as a "workout." We'll see how this goes.

Summer 2009.
Summer 2010.

The difference between these two pictures is about one year, twenty pounds, Weight Watchers, a whole lot of Zumba classes, and many good decisions made along the way. The weight has started to creep back on, and I'd like to get back down to my summer 2010 weight and exceed my level of fitness at that time. The March 2014 wedding is a huge motivator, but so is regular, lifelong fitness.

3. Less soda

For as far back as I can remember, I have been a soda-drinker. I grew up on Coca-Cola. It was always in the house. I switched over to diet sodas at some point in my teens, and loved that I could drink as much as I wanted without any caloric impact. I got through undergrad by consuming a steady diet of Diet Coke and M&Ms (hence, twenty or so pounds overweight and gym-phobic). The only time I ever "gave up" soda was for the four months I studied abroad in Ghana (Diet Coke was hard to come by and expensive).

Currently, ever since N. and I have lived together, we have had Coke Zero and Diet A&W on hand at all times. My routine is typically to have one can of Coke Zero with lunch and one can of Diet A&W with dinner. On weekends, I would consume more, sometimes up to three diet sodas in a day. I also drink a lot of water, too. But... a lot of soda, as well.

I've always known that these habits were unhealthy, but considered it okay to have this one vice. It was my one consolation when I was initially dropping weight-- at least I could still have my Coke Zero. But with babies on the way in the next few years, it's a habit worth breaking. It grosses me out to think about "feeding" my unborn child a carbonated, caffeinated chemical-cocktail.

New rules: not allowed to purchase cans of soda to drink at home or pack in lunches. When eating out, soda purchases are allowed with meals.

I anticipate this resolution will be hard, initially. But I do remember that when I was in Ghana, the cravings eventually subsided and soda wasn't even something I thought about consuming.

4. Less Subway

I have a confession: I'm addicted to Subway sandwiches. Namely, a 6" turkey sub on honey oat bread, with lettuce, tomato, onions, cucumbers, and light mayo. This sub was instrumental in helping me lose those initial pounds back in 2009-2010. But since moving to our second apartment in Baltimore where the Subway is literally one block away and on my way home from the parking garage, it's become a bit of a problem. As in, while the sandwich is filling and healthy, it's expensive when you eat there three-four times a week. And inexcusable when there is perfectly good food at home in the cabinets and the fridge.

New rule: Subway only x1 a week. It's not goodbye, Subway, it's just not 'hello' as often :)

5. More saving

One resolution that N. and I started at the beginning of 2012 was to keep receipts and record all purchases (outside of regular grocery runs). While N. dropped out of this resolution about two weeks in, I managed to do it for the whole year. Only problem was... I pretty much functioned as my own ineffective automaton. I recorded the purchases, but made little to no changes to my spending / savings habits, which was the whole point of recording in the first place. That needs to change this year.

Back in November I committed to putting away a certain amount of money into savings per month. This might seem like a no-brainer, but this is something I've never done before. In my life. So, in 2013 I will continue to do this, and make an active effort to not only record all purchases, but analyze and synthesize my spending habits, and think before spending. I've printed out Anna Newell Jones's "Should I Buy It?" Take Along Decision Card and plan to make good use of it.

6. Project Life

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm going to take up scrapbooking in 2013. I've mentioned my girl-crush on Elise Blaha Cripe before, and one part of that crush is due to the artful layouts and fresh documenting style she captures in her Project Life pages. I didn't even know what Project Life was before I started reading her blog. But after seeing week after week of how she records her daily life using this system, I was inspired enough to ask for some supplies for Christmas. I have a small pack of page protectors to get myself started, and I'm waiting on the binder and Core Kit that Elise designed to become available through Amazon.

In the meantime, I have already gotten started! I hope to share my weekly layouts here. Win-win: more creative output in my life and a blogging-motivator!

7. One Word

Also inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe, I've decided to choose one little word for 2013. 

My word is:


More on that later :)

8. Blogging

More blogging needs to happen, obviously. My goal for 2013 is to blog at least twice a week. Not only do I want to share my progress with Project Life, but I'd also like to do the following--

9. Instagram posts

As mentioned before, I got my first iPhone for Christmas. With iPhone came Instagram, and I was instantly obsessed! Inspired by yet another blog, Daina at New York State of Mind, I'd like to start to do "This Week Brought to You by Instagram" weekly posts. Oh, and you can follow me! My username is kristen_crayon :)

That's it for resolutions! As I read over this post, I wonder if the focus of this blog should shift a bit... is it becoming more of a "lifestyle" blog and less of a "teaching" blog? In this new year I might rethink my header and the direction of where this little blog is headed.

Happy New Year, friends! May it be happy, healthy, creative, fulfilling, and whatever else it needs to be!


  1. Great post! The bottom comment about the focus of your blog is something I struggle with too! Photography vs. lifestyle vs. teaching. Have a great year!

    1. Thanks, Ashley! Happy New Year! I feel like you handle the divisions of your blog very fluidly. But it is a tricky business!

  2. I'm with you on the losing weight thing! I'm also addicted to diet coke. I love project life and havefkilled up 2 scrapbooks with it already. I'll add you on istagram. You should check on my personal art blog too bc I have some project life stuff on there.

    1. Marcia, I am SO NOT HAPPY about cutting back on the diet sodas :( And just today I saw your Project Life stuff on your 2012 wrap-up post! How cool. I will definitely check out your personal art blog!