Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflections on 2012 and Resolutions for 2013

I had such a great time in 2012, with my birthday trip to Boston, the reunion of college friends I hosted in July, my Philadelphia daytrip in November, meeting new people throughout the year, as well as numerous other times well spent with the ones I love. I spent the entire calendar year in my apartment that makes me happy everyday. 

Still, I hope that 2013 is my year. I am ready for more. For big changes. Particularly, for developing closer relationships. 

...but, I can only change myself, so here's what I had resolved for the past year and what I do for the upcoming one. I'm a big fan of resolutions. Even though I feel that any day, or any minute, is the right time to start to change your life, I still do like to make resolutions for January 1st.

My resolutions for 2012 were:

1. To diligently work towards the life I want. With this one, I resolved to do little things everyday that would lead me to the life I've always wanted to live. I have had both successes and failures in this pretty broad resolution, too broad really. I actually didn't pay down my credit card debt significantly or relearn Italian. I truly try to live in the right way and am pretty productive every single day. I did, however, save money for my little birthday trip to Boston, a city I've really wanted to visit for years and a highlight of my year. I also took part-time employment in August to help pay bills. And worked like whoa since! The job is in retail, something I was very proud to escape in March 2011. ...oh well, I do what I need to do. In addition to increasing my income, I have decreased my spending. As a result, I have grown very picky in what I purchase. It must be perfect, which I found to be very frustrating when I need something or someone very generous wants to treat me to anything I want and nothing reaches my high standards. As documented on this blog, I thoroughly enjoyed my summer checking items off a fun seasonal to do list. 

2. To live a more chic life. I accomplished this goal. I really took care of myself and my home on a regular basis throughout 2012. For example, I apply a conditioning treatment on my hair and a mud mask on my face once a week. My apartment could be ready to show at nearly any point on any day. I respect my beloved home and keep it neat and clean. I also constantly declutter. I even developed what can be called a capsule wardrobe, for the fall/winter anyway. With fewer things, I can care for the remaining precious few even more. 2012 was the year I finally kicked the habit of sleeping in. 7:00 AM is sleeping in now; in fact, that's the time I climbed out of bed on New Year's Eve, my day off. I can truly live each day when I am not hiding under the covers for hours. I do not stay in my pajamas all day, or even half of it. I wear clothes I love, apply makeup and straighten my hair every morning. Furthermore, I enjoy dressing up when I go out. On days I work, rising early also means I have enough time to enjoy breakfast. Instead of possessing a lot of cheap stuff, I try to buy a few items of quality, even for everyday experiences. I often enjoy a glass of red wine in its appropriate glass with a homemade dinner, along with good bread and flavorful olive oil for dipping. 

3. To blog more frequently. I didn't actually succeed in this one. I posted the exact number of times in 2012 that I did in 2011, 99. Luckily, I make myself post on the subject of style every Sunday, which did start in 2012. I will try harder this year! I can post on my progress of the following resolutions...

My resolutions for 2013 are:

1. To lose weight. I hope to drop 12 pounds. I figure that's doable since it's one pound for each month of 2013. I really like feeling thin and am looking forward to a slimmer silhouette. Plus, it's pretty important to me to take care of myself and be healthy. In addition to incorporating more exercise into my life and drinking more water on a daily basis, my major plan of attack leads me to my next resolution...

2. To master portion control. I love to eat. I also love to eat a lot. Coming from a family of big eaters, I have learned to consume until I feel full (...or absolutely stuffed!) or everything is gone on my plate whenever I eat. I have to break this habit in order to have a much healthier relationship with food. I can accomplish this in a number of ways. I can savor my food even more than I do now. I can use smaller plates than I already do. I can reward myself in order ways other than with food. I actually don't dine out much anymore, due to budget constraints, but, my boss at my full time job and I order Chinese about once a week. Instead of eating nearly every bit of the huge lunch special, washing it down with a can of Coke, and a fortune cookie on top, and feel so stuffed that I am lethargic for a bit, I can divide my usual beef and broccoli with rice into half and save the other remaining portion for dinner that evening or lunch the following day. 

3. To escape my hometown. I haven't revealed the town I live in on this blog partly because I'd like to remain anonymous, but mainly because I don't like living here anymore. I also don't relish telling new people I meet where I currently reside. As a traveler, I deeply love places, so it's important to me to love where I live. I loved it growing up here, but it simply doesn't fit me anymore. This suburb is family-oriented and I am not. I want to give up driving in favor of walking and public transportation and trade a boring, commercial suburb for an exciting, cultural city. I want to walk everywhere, to pick up a loaf of good bread at a local independent bakery or to meet friends for happy hour at a charming bar. I hope that this change allows me to make new friends. I figured that entering my career field of choice would give me the opportunity to move, but unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet. I plan to start seriously investigating other options to move. Maybe another job as a Leasing Consultant in a city? I'm here because I'm so poor that I depend upon my parents nearby. (I do all of my laundry at their place, for instance.) If I landed a job with better compensation, I am ready to move. Maybe I'll move in with a boyfriend sometime in 2013! I'm pretty open to any big city.

4. To break into the international education field. My dream is to work in a study abroad office on a college campus and had been since November 2008. Traveling to Italy changed my life and I want to encourage others to participate in an international experience for a living. I will continue to apply for jobs in this field, even if it's at a provider of international internships like I interviewed for this past year.

5. To plan my 30th birthday trip in 2014. I really want to go to at least Paris and an Italian city during the spring or even early on in 2014, so I need to plan and save money throughout 2013. I already renewed my passport in 2012.

That's kind of a lot! But, hey, you should always dream big.

Dear readers, I hope that you enjoy bringing in the new year, first of all! Secondly, I hope that you have the best year ever, that your dreams come true.

To 2013!


  1. Ciao Michelle,
    I wish all your resolutions may come true.
    Have a GREAT 2013!!!
    A Happy New Year to all your readers too.

    Antonio, from Italia

    1. Ciao Antonio!
      Thank you! And the same to you!

  2. I love your past goals as well as these new ones. I've made a goal to connect more with people and live life more fully rather than making excuses.

    And I think all of these goals can be done on a budget. Who says you have to go out with friends? I actually enjoy cooking in my home or having people over for coffee and some pastry!

    Portion control can be very hard, but I always think, I'd rather underestimate than over. It's worked well, because if you're not satisfied you can always have a little more. We should get together for walks this year...it'll help with goals and get us out moving like the women in countries we admire!

    1. Really? I kinda don't know what I was thinking with such broad resolutions last year! I like your goal too.

      I also like the idea of walks, especially if half of them are around Charm City! We also have nice bike trails near me, nicer during springtime.

      I have all these ideas about portion control and I have eaten less for stretches of time before, but I am still unsure how to go about it... It's my big problem, but I'll figure it out.

  3. I love reading your blog and am impressed by your resolutions. Good luck with these this year. I am sure you will reach your goals.

  4. Great list. :) I know what you mean about growing out of your hometown. That's what led me to Firenze! lol. I hope you reach all of your goals and have a great Euro adventure again in the future! Btw...I, too, would love to nail down a STAB job over here.

    1. Thank you for your support. I can't tell everyone that I need to get the heck out of here, especially to people I talk to on a near daily basis like my mom and current bosses. I'm happy to know that there are plenty of people out there rooting for me on this particular one, not that they don't want me to be happy, they'd prefer to have me around. I can see me out growing America too! :)

    2. No problem! I understand your line of thought. And I love your blog, especially the home decor and style pieces. I discovered Madame Chic thanks to you. :)

    3. I'm so pleased you love my blog! Thank you!