Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012

2011 was a big year for us. We have been truly blessed to be able to celebrate our first year of marriage, go to the Superbowl, travel to Asia, start new jobs, and move to a different state. It was a lot of adventure and it will be interesting to see what 2012 brings! Aaron suggested that we share some of our goals for this next year, so I have been muling over my goals for 2012 the past few days and thought I would share them.

1. Budget. This has always been considered a bad word to me. I am not good at it and was more than happy to give the financial concerns over to Aaron when we got married. But, budget is good and I really want to spend our money wisely. Plus we need to save up some more for future "Russell sprouts" and a house someday! We are going to a cash system meaning that weekly I will take out a certain amount of cash for groceries and household items. This will mean being a little more creative with what we already have, especialy by the end of the week, but that's not a bad thing. I think I am up for the challenge.

2. Local/Organic. As part of spending that grocery budget, I am going to focus even more on local and organic. We recently have been enjoying some grass fed beef from part of a cow we purchased from Montana. Buying organic has been a lot easier since moving to Minneapolis and having Trader Joe's and Whole Foods so close by, but we can do more for buying local.  I signed us up for a CSA yesterday which means we will enjoy locally farmed produce for 18 weeks this summer/fall. I can't wait! I have been wanting to do this for years, but I recently read "The Dirty Life" which spurred me into action. The premise of this book first intrigued me because it is written my a girl who was a journelist living in New York City who leaves the city to marry a farmer. What? After having just visited New York and loving the excitement and energy there, I find this unbelievable. So I read the book. What I learned was how hard having a farm really is. I mean, I had no idea. These people work harder in one day than I have worked in all of my 28 years so far. I want to support farms in a any way that I can. With commercial food, farmers are struggling, which should never be the case. I know our one farm share does not really make a big dent in this problem, but it is a start for us.

3. Reading. Have you heard of the website Goodreads? It is a fun way to organize the books you want to read, are reading, and have read. I have always loved reading. My summers growing up were especially filled with book and more books. My mom will tell you that they had a hard time keeping new books in the house for me to read. Since college and then graduate school I haven't been able to read as much as I would like, so that's one of my goals for this year. I plan to put aside at least 30 minutes per day and want to add 24 books to my "read" shelf on Goodreads. Doable? I think so.

4. Exercise. Since college I have been pretty consistent with exercise, can't say I have always enjoyed it, but I've tried to be pretty consistent. Last year at this time Aaron and I were even starting P90x. If you have done it or have heard about it, then you know it is pretty intense. I didn't love it, but it got the job done. Since moving here and since winter has set in, for some reason my drive for exercise just hasn't been there. Plus I have this idea in my head that I have to have at least 45-60 minutes to exercise and it needs to include intense cardio and/or weights in order to be worth it. That is simply not true. So instead of finding excuses for not haveing time or energy for an intense 45 minute workout, I am going to focus on 30 minutes every day. 30 minutes of walking or stationary bike if that's all the energy I can muster up. I am going to simply my idea of exercise, keep it enjoyable and see what happens.

There are other "small" things I want to do like organize my piles of recipes, learn to play guitar, learn to speak Spanish, that are nice goals that may or may not happen, but I am committing to at lest working on the above goals. What are your goals for the next year? There is something about sharing them out loud (or online) that makes them real and sets you in motion! So, onward to 2012! Happy New Year! (more recipes to come)

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