What I'm Setting: Goals for the New Year

{photo credit: tomKphoto from our 2009 wedding,
 yeah, I totes used this photo last year, too}

2013 was a good year -- I learned how to cross-country ski, D and I traveled to California to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday and do some wine-tasting in the Napa Valley, and we bought our first house (with 60+ acres). As the new year begins, I thought I'd take some time to write down some of my goals for 2014. I figure putting it out there will help hold me accountable, right? 

1. Hone my cooking skills. This year, I would like to attend an intensive culinary boot camp course to become a better cook in the kitchen. As a corollary, I would like to have more friends over for dinner this year. Guess we need to reclaim our dining set from my in-laws in Michigan, where it has been in storage since our (small apartment) Philly days.

2. Turn off the technology. I have to admit I am one of those people who obsessively check their phones/social media. (Ugh, so annoying!) This year I'd like to use technology less in my downtime and read/write more often. I think implementing tech-free evenings in our household would be a good thing! 

3. Eat healthfully and mindfully. Given that I write a food blog, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I love eating food. This year, I would like to remind myself to eat more healthfully and mindfully. I am a huge lover of sweets and carbs (and as a Wisconsin resident, I can't forget to mention my love for cheese), but given that my metabolism appears to no longer be my friend (if it ever was), I need to start watching what I eat a bit more closely. I've flirted with the idea of trying the Whole 30 or going paleo, but honestly, I'm more about moderation versus restriction when it comes to the food I eat. I think it wouldn't hurt to lower my intake of carbs and dairy, but I'm not going to completely knock it out of my diet. 

4. Get back in the gym/workout habit. I have a history of going gung-ho on my fitness and then letting it drop to the wayside. Last winter and spring I attended spinning classes once or twice a week at our local Y, but when the noon classes stopped during the summer session (and didn't resume in the fall), let's just say that my gym attendance took a nose-dive. I took a gander at the upcoming winter session's schedule and I was happy to see that it is chock-full of noon-time classes this time around. Hopefully this will motivate me to get back to the gym. That and the fact that I'm staring down a girlfriend vacay to Mexico in five months. Quantitatively, I would like to get in at least 20 minutes of exercise every day (in addition to my daily walk with Leroy -- well, when it's not -20 out, or -5, for that matter). 

5. Grow (some) of our own food. Our goal in buying a house on large acreage was to start growing/raising some of our own food. D just put an order in for heritage breed chicks, which are set to arrive in early June. We would like to raise both layers and broilers. I'm not looking forward to the harvesting portion of events, but it does make me feel good that I will know exactly how the food I eat was raised and dispatched (as it were). We also plan to get our garden going this year, though on a small-scale. In addition, we plan to plant several apple trees and get a berry patch going. It should be a busy year on the farm this summer! 

What are your goals for the New Year?