Thoughts About New Year’s Resolutions

December 17, 2009

For today’s Talk It Out topic I would like to hear your thoughts on a subject that will no doubt be discussed frequently amongst your circle of friends and family during the last week of the year. Magazines and websites are already a-buzz… This topic is meant to encourage and support you — it’s on New Year’s Resolutions — and I thought for a moment we could put them into perspective. So today, let’s talk about yours, not the ones that you plan to make, but the ones that you made last December for 2009.

Thoughts About New Year's Resolutions

Thoughts About New Year's Resolutions

Thoughts About New Year's Resolutions

Stop for a moment and think back… you don’t have to list them all, but it would be really helpful to you and to the rest of us reading if you could highlight the resolutions that you turned into a reality and with what results.

Also feel free to highlight those that you made that did not see the light of day and explain why you think they didn’t lift off and whether or not you are glad about that or not. And if not, will you add it into your 2010 list of resolutions? You can also list some of your goals for 2010, but try to focus more on what you accomplished this 2009 calendar year because I believe that putting all this in writing, publicly, helps to give the new year a more realistic approach as you begin exploring what will come in the months ahead. While I’m not one to live in the past, I do believe that it’s important to look back with a view to learn from our experiences. I’ll join in on the conversation as well… So let’s get started in the comments section below, shall we?

By the way, these photos were taken today on my desk, where I am working by candlelight with tea at my side, waiting for the snow to fall…

(image: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply decor8 December 17, 2009 at 9:06 am

    My goals for 2009 included:

    * Move out of New Hampshire
    – Yes, I moved. In a major way. My life is one thousand times better. I never realized just how isolated I really was in my small town.

    * Develop my idea for doing e-classes and teach one.
    – Yes, my first one was in April and my next one is in January. Yay!

    * Get more fit
    – Well this did not go as planned. Bah. There is always 2010.

    * Make some more friends, locally, real life companions (so much of my world is virtual in my line of work).
    – Yes, I’ve made several good friends in my new city.

    * Get rid of things that I do not need/use regularly and stop hoarding in my spare room.
    – Yes, I had several yard sales and brought a lot of things to the local charity shop. It felt really, really good.

    * Take a vacation.
    – No, didn’t do that — I spent 5 days in Boston in a fancy hotel but that was because we had to leave our house and our flight to our new home in Germany was 5 days after we needed to leave. Wasn’t my idea of a “rest and refresh” vacation. I really need to be better to myself and vacation at least 2x per year for 2 weeks each time. But I don’t. This needs to change.

    That’s all I can think of… but there were many, many more. For next year my goals are:

    * Go on vacation, several I hope!
    * Fly my mother here to stay with us.
    * Move into a larger flat
    * Buy a bike
    * Get my driver’s license in Germany
    * Learn German by going to back to school
    * Get more fit (hopefully the bike will help!)

    Okay, enough about me. Your turn!!!!

  • Reply belinda December 17, 2009 at 9:09 am

    ooh you’re waiting for snow and I’m swimming in my own sweat from the absolute stinker we had here today – soo hot!

    i don’t make new year’s resolutions. i don’t need the guilt that comes with not sticking to my “plan” and much prefer to go with the flow, enjoy each good moment and learn from each mistake.

    the new year does get me excited though – i love that shiny-new feeling you get when you sit down to work for the first time after a break all refreshed and inspired with brand new stationery and crisp blank white pages in front of you waiting to be written on… so that i’m looking forward to!
    .-= belinda´s last blog ..mini chefs cooking up some dandi winners…. =-.

  • Reply Iva December 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I have candles right next to me as well, in fact I just uploaded a photo and added it to your lovely new flickr group!

    Anyway, let’s get to the point! I had a really bad 2008 – I lost my grandmother, my parents’ business was really bad due to the economy, I couldn’t find a job because nobody was hiring and it was my most stressful year at the university that one can ever imagine. So on New Year’s Eve I decided that even if everything else is bad, as long as my family and friends are healthy and have some money to live with I would be happy. And what I’ve been trying to do for the last year is rediscover myself, try to do the things that I love (I started painting again) and support the people I love. My little niece, for example, following my advise, took drawing classes and it turned out she really loves it.

    What I didn’t get to do is start my own small business. I wanted to open an Etsy shop but after a lot of research I found out that I have to pay health and retirement insurance every month if I do so, no matter if I make any money or not. And that meant that I could be living with half of what I am now so I decided to find a regular job first to cover my insurance and then open a shop. So I guess this goes to this year’s resolutions :)
    Oh, I’ve also created a 101 things in 1001 days list which pretty much sums up my resolutions and is in my opinion a great way to follow your progress:)
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Lovely Mail =-.

  • Reply Victoria Klein December 17, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I intentionally didn’t set any New Year’s Resolutions for 2009 since there is no better time to start doing better things in your life today.

    That being said, I do have a number of goals & plans for 2010, both professionally & personally :)
    .-= Victoria Klein´s last blog ..Yoga Book Project: Outline Approved! =-.

    • Reply decor8 December 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

      Victoria – Goals, resolutions, what ever you’d like to call them — what are they? Please share!!! :)

  • Reply Valerie December 17, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I hate to be in the camp that says I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but there it is… But it’s really more of a technicality, because I do believe in thinking back over the past year(s) and pondering the coming one. I think of it as setting a course for the year, rather than “resolutions” which I sometimes think of as strict or punishment.

    When I look back over my recent past, what I most regret is how much I’ve worried over things and how much I’ve put on hold or didn’t do out of fear.

    So, the course I’m setting for 2010…

    Stop worrying about where I’m at in life and how things will turn out
    Start enjoying my present life to the max
    Try a smorgasbord of new things that make me tingle, laugh, smile, and stretch
    Step into the unknown
    .-= Valerie´s last blog ..Chevron punch =-.

  • Reply juliette December 17, 2009 at 9:30 am

    one of my goals for ’09 was also to become more active.
    I tried taking a rowing class at the university to recapture the joy of a sport of my youth, but in way that I could learn the German vocab. In short, it was a bad experience. However, I have hopes for 2010. Serious ones that include looking into a gym membership that has a built-in-reward system (aka spa center as part of the complex) =)

    Another goal was to learn to sew and be more creative – which totally happened! I’m so psyched about this! Most of my gifts this holiday season are handmade and I’m proud of the efforts and achievements made in this area this past year.

    I also wanted to get working this year, as opposed to just studying German. I’ve officially started my own business as a freelance copy editor and have been teaching graduate classes at my local university in addition to working on private projects sent my way. It’s been nerve wracking and empowering all at the same time – and it’s a goal accomplished!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Silent night creation =-.

  • Reply Caroline December 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I made one and I kept it: to start exercise after two children. Two times a week I run 6K and am aiming for “Broloppet”: a half-Marathon in June across the bridge in Öresund/Copenhagen/Malmö.

    Next year? To make more images!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Skånsk sommar =-.

  • Reply Natalie December 17, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I’m not good with resolutions for the same reasons as Belinda, I hate letting myself down. For the past 5 years my NY resolution has been to run in a 5k. Every year I struggle to run to end up hurting myself or giving up. I realize: I am not a runner! And I also realize that that is okay. Instead I have shifted gears to lifting weights, and calisthenics. I feel great (i’m on a slight hiatus right now though)

    This year, however, I am making some resolutions..including successfully making it through my wedding (mostly the planning), opening up an etsy shop, and my fiance and I plan to downgrade from a house to an apartment (owning can be overrated, stressful, and we don’t need all this house for two adults and a pup) and just working on finding things that truly make me happy.

    Great post!

  • Reply Laura C December 17, 2009 at 9:43 am

    In December of 2007 I made a resolution on my personal blog to quit a job that I dreaded going to every day to work for myself before the end of 2008. By the fall of 2008, I was feeling pretty close. I figured I would suffer through the winter and be done the following spring when wedding season took off. The day before Thanksgiving, my husband was laid off from his job. So, unfortunately my plans were shattered and my only resolution for 2009 was for him to get a job so we could get back on our feet.
    This year, I am feeling much more hopeful. I am working harder than ever and stepping out of my comfort zones to take my business to the next level. I don’t know what my resolutions for 2010 will be yet… but I am looking forward to a successful new year! :)
    .-= Laura C´s last blog ..Change in plans =-.

  • Reply Brigitte December 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I love these photos — thank you for sharing them here. They really set the perfect mood for this topic.

    I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, although I do sit down with my husband and review our budget at the beginning of the year. While this may not sound as thoughtful, we really dig deep in our process.

    We start out by talking about our values, shared and individual. Then we match goals (using this term loosely, more like aspirations) to those values. They can be as simple as taking a vacation or as far-reaching as deciding that we would like someday to be able to help fund green start-up ventures.

    Based on this discussion, we decide how our dollars should be allocated. We’re both committed to the principle of conscious consumption, and we find that this process helps us align our spending with our values.

    In the past, this has resulted in a budget set-aside so that I would begin taking sewing classes and a decision to support certain non-profits.

    I was quite influenced when I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A lot of our method is based on the book. Also, there’s an exercise where you write out what you’d like people to say about you at your funeral changed my life. It’s very powerful and helps you commit to integrating your values into your daily life.
    .-= Brigitte´s last blog ..My Gift to You =-.

  • Reply Anna Marta December 17, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Well, 2009 was an extremely busy year for me. I moved out from Japan, where I was living for about a year. I came to Brazil, the place I wanted to live together with my husband. We left Japan because of the crisis and we believed here we could rebuild our life… But, unfortunately it didn´t happen. We continue to struggle. So, 2010 will be and must be a mile stone for us.

    What I want to achieve?
    – find a good job
    – care more about my and my hubby´s health
    – become a better translator, writer and blogger
    – decide if I stay here or move back to Europe (I am Polish, btw)
    – participate in Interior Design curse…

    Wish me luck :) And yes, I wish good luck to you, Holly and all of your readers!
    Einen guten Rutsch for us all!!!

  • Reply Kim December 17, 2009 at 10:00 am

    My resolutions are always to get more fit and be a better person. Period. My goals are somewhat different and although I did tackle some, there were many left on the table.

    I sympathize with the getting fit part. It’s so hard when half the year in spent plunged in cold weather. It’s currently 8 degrees in my snow-covered NH town. (Not far from Holly’s old stomping grounds.)

    What I would love to do in 2010???

    Take a European vacation. (This is a dream really.)
    Pare down some of my classes and create new models.
    Create more – not just for work, but for myself.

    I think 2010 is going to be a better year all around for everyone!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Stylish Books =-.

  • Reply Angela December 17, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I didn’t make any resolutions as such but journalled at the start of the year that I had a real feeling of impending boom – I had had so many good years that sooner or later I was due a bad one. I asked myself to try to think positive and I focused on remembering the good things in my life and being happy with them. It sounds very sentimental I know. But I think it worked. The start of the year was frankly pants, but it turned out to be one of the best years of my life. I had lovely holidays in Paris and Edinburgh, started a blog, got engaged and took online classes which I loved. In 2010 I’m hoping to take part in a photo-a-day-for-a-year project to record all my wedding planning shenanigans. Thanks for giving me a chance to review the past year and appreciate all I have x

  • Reply Stratos December 17, 2009 at 10:11 am

    My resolutions for 2009 were:
    1. Fix my financial situation – well I did partly but still got a long way to go.
    2. Fix my love life – I ended an 11 year old relationship and after a while started a new one – things look much much brighter!
    3. Be more creative – I think I did, got so many different projects to do this year and I enjoyed them too!
    4. Be there for friends and family when needed – I think I managed that too much better than other years.
    5. Be more environmentally concious – I now recycle most of my garbage (Greece is not an easy country to recycle), use only environmentally friendly lamps at home and try to spread the message to my community.
    .-= Stratos´s last blog ..Top 20 Countdown – no.5 =-.

    • Reply decor8 December 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm

      Stratos – You were there for me!!! (#4) :) :) :)

  • Reply marisa December 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

    i made seven ‘resolutions’ although i tend to think of them as promises, things to work *toward* through the year, rather than rules i keep for a week or two and then drop, and abandon, thinking i shouldn’t bother now because i already screwed up – that’s how i used to think, until someone taught me how to be so much more gentle with myself. so.

    spend time outside every day – easy, very easy, in the spring and summer. winter, not so much! and although fall is my favorite season, we had a very rainy fall, which i tried to enjoy but i could only be pollyanna about it for so long. however, i did better in ’09 than in the past and i can keep doing better.

    practice reiki – not as much as i’d like, but yes, i have been, including last night when putting my sweet boys to bed.

    play my piano – ugh. maybe a couple of times. but we will be reunited, i swear!

    sew – yes!

    wear jewelry – not every single day, but it did become a habit. i feel so much cuter in jeans & a t-shirt if i also have a pair of dangly earrings on.

    grow and prepare food – um . . . my gardening plans didn’t happen this year. 2010, though. for sure. even if only in my neighbor’s plot or a few pots on the porch. i did okay with cooking from scratch but i do love to call for delivery!

    amber’s yoga class – yes! i did this, but when it ended in march, i didn’t sign up for another one. it’s expensive. i should practice yoga at home with my kids. maybe that’s a good one for 2010.

    thanks holly!
    .-= marisa´s last blog ..old times =-.

  • Reply Jules December 17, 2009 at 10:21 am

    One of my New Year’s resolution for 2009 was to gain control of my health. I lost fifty pounds. :) The rest of my resolutions…well, they kind of went to pot. Hah!
    .-= Jules´s last blog ..Snow Balls =-.

  • Reply gina December 17, 2009 at 10:23 am

    For 2009 I did not make a “list” but I did decide that I was going to spend the year putting together a plan for what I really wanted to with my work life. I am happy that I went about it in a more organic way and to find that I do, a year later have some clarity and goals set for 2010.

    I did also make a decision to get more involved with handmade community, and that too has genuinely enriched my life and provided some great connections with people who spend their days doing the same work as me :)

    Next year I would like to make some new friends (offline) that are also self-employed and spend their time making things that make them happy. I also hope to sell my house and move to a community more in tune with a life that my children and I would like to live. ( kinda big! ) I can’t wait for 2010-
    .-= gina´s last blog ..itunes splurge =-.

  • Reply Julia December 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I made a couple of resolutions last year… The most important ones were:

    * Get my driver’s license.
    * Work less (baby born in March 2009, so I didn’t want to keep working 4 days a week and put him in daycare at 3 months old)
    * Start my own small business.
    * Start on a 4 year program to become a goldsmith.

    I managed to do all these, which is something I’m very happy about!

    These are a few of the things I’m considering for 2010:

    * Take some time to do something just for myself, every week.
    * Get my homework done on time….
    * Get all the boring household chores done before the weekends – then the weekend truly is a weekend :)
    * Push the limits when it comes to new creations. It’s easy to stay within the comfort zone.

    Hope you’ll get some snow soon Holly! I’m in the Netherlands (Eindhoven) and we’ve had snow the entire day… Maybe it’s now moving your direction?

  • Reply Alex December 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

    To sell a piece of land we still owned***done***
    To get represention with a gallery***didn’t manage, maybe next year***
    To get my work published***I had an interview with O&P and had two pieces published in the magazine Central New York***
    To loose weight ***I didn’t but I did stop the steady gain***
    To see my mom a sister*** with my moms help I was able to do that***
    To learn to ask for help***I think I am getting better with this***
    Next year; finish my degree, write, make art, be kinder….
    It is so fun to read the comments thanks for faciltating this space Holly.

  • Reply LobotoME December 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

    My main 09 resolutions & aspirations were to:
    – be more present with the kids (work in progress)
    – to work less and play more (work in progress)
    – to pay off all of our non-mortgage debt – school & car loans – SUCCESS!

    still working on 2010 resolutions & aspirations but leaning towards…
    – travel for a month with the family to the dominican republic
    – take my 6 yr old daughter to NYC during holiday time next year
    – pay off mortgage within 5 years
    – continue to grow our businesses

  • Reply Brigitte December 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

    By the way, congrats on your Times of London spot! You’re number one in my book. :)
    .-= Brigitte´s last blog ..My Gift to You =-.

  • Reply beth cupitt December 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

    my goal was to be more official and organized in my business. i tend to be more creative and only focus on that, but it takes more than vision to make a business a success. it was going ok, but i didn’t get as far as i would have liked to. i think that’s going to carry over. i plan on making it a reality by breaking it into monthly goal focuses this time.

  • Reply Heather December 17, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Easy! I decided to start a blog and I did! I also have made attempts to decorate our house which is an ongoing process, but it’s underway! Let’s see what 2010 brings!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Christmas Decorating =-.

  • Reply Antii Sullivan December 17, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Wonderful, I love the ringwood!

  • Reply michelle December 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I’ve never been a big resolutions person, however, inching closer to a brand new year and the thought of turning one year older brings a sense of urgency, a bit of despair, excitement and introspect. in 2008, after being a web designer for other people I wanted to go back to my roots and start illustrating again. Because I knew that deadlines are how I can produce results, I booked 2 art shows in our coffee shops (my husband operates). I couldn’t back out or give up so I began illustrating, bought a Gocco printer and, before I knew it, had a series of prints! I opened an Etsy shop (kidshaus) and got the ball rolling. So, by the beginning of 2009, I had big dreams of doing a dozen more prints and inching toward my dream of being a textile designer…errrrr…barely gained traction! I only squeaked out 3 prints, barely sat down to draw in 2009, felt disconnected from my dreams and didn’t get any closer to doing textiles mostly because I’ve got 2 little girls (7 & 3) that needed more tending, husband was designing & opening a big restaurant – so illustrating (and me) had to come second. After all of that, my husband assured me that he would support my dreams now and he’s been amazingly supportive. I just met with my longtime, dear friend whom I illustrated kids textiles with over 12 years ago and found we’ve got identical dreams and decided to join forces in 2010. with a little camaraderie, I think we can make this happen. whew! writing this down really does make all of the fogginess appear a little crisper and, again, gives me a sense of holding myself to a deadline. Time is of the essence and I always believe that we should make our dreams happen even if it’s taking the teeniest advancements — i believe all of those tiny steps will lead up to something!

    so, let’s get this year started! thanks for your beautiful blog – i love what you’re doing.

  • Reply Eliza December 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Brigitte~ I love that idea of sitting down with your husband and going over your goals/budget. This will be the first “new year” with my husband (we married in August). What a great way to start it!

    my goals for the year were:
    *do Anusara Yoga Immersion Program and start teacher training
    ~I did! and I started the teacher training in Nov. and will be certified to teach in May
    *go back to graduate school
    ~Yup! Lesley University and I’m doing a self-designed major in yoga and creativity
    *plan a DIY wedding
    ~Yup! August 1st!
    *start working for myself
    ~this one is still in the works…I am on the verge of starting my own art business…so for 2010 my goals will be
    *build my art business
    *finish Yoga teacher training and start teaching
    *finish graduate school

    Yeah! Thanks for inspiring me to put this into writing!
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..Perched =-.

  • Reply Beth @ 990 Square December 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I’m with several others here in not really believing in new years resolutions. why not start doing it today? Several experiences in life have taught me that you can’t always count on tomorrow being what you expected, so you really have to live the life you want today.

    That being said, I look back at where I was a year ago, and where I am today, and wow! In the spring of last year I made a decision not to take a major career step. It would have totally changed my life, and would have really advanced my 9 to 5. But it would have totally killed my 5-9 “hobby”–mainly cooking and photography. After I made that decision I felt an urge to really jump into my passions more, and it has left me feeling so much more fulfilled and happy. In 2010 I want to continue to grow that part of myself and continue to make my dreams (which for a long time I thought were off base and crazy) into reality.
    .-= Beth @ 990 Square´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday 12.16.2009 =-.

  • Reply Laura Gaskill December 17, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Hm. Can my brain think back that far now that I am 30? I’m just kidding – but it is easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself at those “milestone” birthdays, and knowing I would hit 30 this year definitely made me go a little overboard with the resolutions this past year.

    First, the negative: I wanted to get in shape, decide on a new career path (I just got out of teaching), learn to sew, and go back to Europe. None of those things happened. But…

    I did purchase my first home with my husband (which is huge, I know!), start my blog, and take design courses at RISD in the fall to see if that might be something I want to pursue further.

    I still want to learn to sew, go back to Europe, get in shape, and keep taking steps toward figuring out my career path – so all of those things are still on my list for 2010. And I would like to add a new one for this year: make a few real friends out here in Rhode Island. It has been difficult meeting people since moving here from California in ’08, and it would mean so much to me to build up a little circle of friends here!
    .-= Laura Gaskill´s last blog ..Inspired By…Lonny Magazine {Winter ‘09} =-.

  • Reply Sasha December 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I can’t quite bring myself to disavow making New Year’s resolutions altogether, but after everything that has happened in the last year I’m hesitant to make specific resolutions. The biggest things in life, for me in 2009, were completely unanticipated- being laid off (ouch, but thankfully it ended up making my next big event a little easier), moving from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest, making new friends in my new geography, and travelling abroad (to Berlin during the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, no less) for the first time.

    For 2010, my goals are to create opportunities, to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves, and to keep learning new things.

  • Reply Janice December 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I became unexpectedly unemployed at the beginning of 2009. My life felt so out of my control that I was afraid to have resolutions. My goal was to get through it, to keep a roof over my head, to access any resources available to me. Thankfully, I was eligible for unemployment compensation, and that the economic stimulus program offered extended benefits because so many people in the US are in the same boat as me. I only worked a short term job this year, but I’ve used my time to do alot of soul searching and finished the graduate program I was in the middle of, which improves my opportunities for employment. One thing I’ve learned is to set tiny, doable goals for myself every day, rather than huge resolutions at the beginning of the year. All of the small victories add up to tremendous growth and greater confidence, and a sense of empowerment. It keeps me moving in the direction of my goals and hopeful that they will come to fruition. In 2010 I will continue to put one foot in front of the other, appreciating each day that my needs have been provided for, and trusting that things will continue to work out.

  • Reply kitty December 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    My New Year’s Resolution for 2009 was to rekindle my passion for photography. Over the years it had been reduced to just a sometime hobby (my camera would sit in my closet for months without use), and because of this, I had become almost scared of it…the controls I had forgotten how to use, the ho-hum pictures I had taken the last time I brought it out.

    To make sure I followed through with my resolution (I have a history of starting things and never finishing them!), I started a daily photo blog to document my progress. That way, if I missed a day, I’d have family and friends to answer to! ;o) The response I received was overwhelming, and before I knew it, I was doing portraiture sessions and opening an Etsy shop to sell my work.

    What started out as a simple, personal, New Year’s resolution has turned into a new way of seeing the world and my place within it. I have discovered things I never knew before…how quickly the light passes over things during the day, how beautiful the world really is if we only take the time to look. Each of the photos I have taken represent a moment, discovery, or emotion that, if not for this project, might never have been experienced.

    Life is much too short to waste even a moment on self-doubt. If something keeps calling to you…tugging on your heart strings and not letting go…listen. And go for it! Your spirit will thank you… ;o)

  • Reply cotton and cinnamon December 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    i was actually reading through my list of resolutions and goals for this year yesterday, and i’ve not done too badly, here they are:

    *learn two new and different skills this year – i’ve been on a facials and makeup course, as well as learning how to knit!
    *go to a movie every month – actually i should have edited this and made it go to a movie or the theatre, and then i would have completed it!
    *cook for other people every month and try new dishes monthly – i’ve totally done this, but probably weekly instead!
    *learn to do things at the beginning of the day – i’ve got a lot better at this over the year, and have actually had plenty of days when i’ve been able to relax after completing my tasks
    *build ladylike quality and knowledge – this sounds like a silly one, but i’ve immersed myself in jane austen and watched loads of classic period movies so i improve my language and hopefully copycat their ‘air and manner of walking’, and i actually do feel a tad more sophisticated and ladylike now than i did last year!!
    *plan, research and take awesome round the world trip – i actually did take a two month trip this summer visiting all parts of the world, which was amazing!!

    i think the key to setting goals, is to choose ones that your heart is firmly in, that you know you need and will be good for you. this will give you the incentive to acheive your goals. i also printed out my goals for the year and put it on my wall so that i didn’t forget them and was always reminded of them. very very helpful.

    i haven’t decided on next year’s goals yet, because i always do them between christmas and new year when i have more time off, and am feeling reflective, as one always does at christmas. as well as being constantly reminded of what you have and haven’t acheived by being close to your family, and also affirming who you are and want to be.

    though they might include: paying off my credit card (that would be good), completing my therapy course (pretty necessary really), getting a dog (i have my heart set on a blonde cocker spaniel), reading 6 classic books (i’m writing my reading list this week), learn new craft skills (i’d love to take cookery, dressmaking, pottery, painting) and coming up with some sort of amazing business idea that doesn’t involve spending all my time on a computer.

    how therapeutic it is to start thinking and discussing resolutions now, rather than making up silly ones on New Years Eve?!! thanks for the opportunity ?
    .-= cotton and cinnamon´s last blog ..the swedish lake house =-.

  • Reply Heather C December 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I set the goal last year to become a new me. I have survived a horrible medical problem, and I just never quite recovered, physically or mentally. I knew that if I didn’t force myself to “get over it”, I would drastically shorten my lifespan.

    So, in January, I started with a personal trainer twice a week. Without her to push me in the beginning, I don’t think I would have made it. After 2 months I moved to Reformer pilates classes, and a bit of elliptical machine. Now, I am working out 5 days a week, have built a ton of muscle, and slimmed down a fair bit.

    I also have become way more social. On top of that, I managed to get my husband to start working out. Everyone we know is jealous, and when we tell them that it’s easy to change, they scof. Maybe that will be my next year’s goal, get my whiny, sedentary friends exercising!
    .-= Heather C´s last blog ..Sometimes a hiatus is a good thing =-.

  • Reply Rachelle December 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    In 2009 I hoped to:

    -Launch a hunger project: I finally did in September at http://www.onemindfulact.com

    -Be more creative each day: I am stumbling through this challenge at http://www.onemindfulact.com/blog

    -Be more present: This continues to be a challenge…and will be my one resolution for this next year…to really master living in the present and enjoying each moment in life :)
    .-= Rachelle´s last blog ..Day 147 =-.

  • Reply Piper December 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    A few years ago I stopped making new year’s resolutions because I constantly felt disappointed in myself for not sticking to them. Instead for the past few years I’ve been taking January 1st as a day to reflect on everything I accomplished the year before….and honestly, it’s amazing to find out how many things you’ve accomplished in a year! I find i’m amazed, even when i think it was maybe an off year or that I didn’t reach any of my goals, that i actually did have accomplishments! (even if they were small)

    But I do have to say that one of my goals this year was to start my online boutique…and i’m on my way….albeit a very slow and winding way:) i filed my LLC paperwork, did tons of research and even started my blog!

    I also realized that year after year I find that one of my goals is to have more spontaneity and creativity in my life….

    so i decided in January to do a 31 days of creativity + spontaneity on my blog to help get me going towards that goal! feel free to check it out for those of you that need more of this in their lives too!
    .-= Piper´s last blog ..{gingerbread houses} =-.

  • Reply Jessica December 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    It took me awhile to even find my list. I think for me keeping the list handy will help me be more focused on it. I do make a list but I try to make the items attainable, because agreed, who needs to impost an automatic fail on themselves?

    I finally succeeded in drinking more water, which is a goal I’ve had my entire adult life. I visited Portland, OR in winter as part of our mental preparations to make the Big Move from the Bay Area. I visited my family in San Diego, not even remembering it was on my list.

    I had some goals for an old creative dream & related Etsy shop that did not get accomplished. However I did accomplished the ideas in a different way by renaming my blog, refocusing the content and opening a different Etsy shop. So that’s all good. I will continue to focus on these things next year.

    Things that didn’t get done don’t bother me much except for one item: to use my SFMOMA gifted membership with my son. We only went one time all this year. I am sad I didn’t make that a higher priority with our time.

    Next year my goals include making more lists to keep me focused and keeping my lists within my field of vision.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Sweet Links =-.

  • Reply Jessica December 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I had a couple of responses to other comments but my comment was getting long enough so I’m posting them separately. :)

    Stratos, I am so impressed by #5 on your list! That is so commendable to work so hard at that when it’s not easily supported where you live.

    Marisa, that is so true about jewelry! I have tried this year to wear more too for similar reasons, even though it was not officially on my list.

    Sasha, congrats on your successful move to the PNW. I hope to join you in 2010 thereby fulfilling years of dreaming about it.

    Heather C., your story is very inspiring! Congrats on how much work you’ve done.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Sweet Links =-.

  • Reply Sarah December 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I had really lofty goals for this year, and looking back on them I really think I accomplished a lot!
    Firstly, I was determined to make this year a time of living in the moment, not wishing for the next big thing to happen in my life. I have always been guilty of thinking that “I will be happy when…” (insert any number of things here) Instead of really enjoying the fact that I have so much to be thankful now in the present. I made it a goal to really appreciate everything that I have, and something magical happened; I have developed more friendships, I have come to love a city that I thought I might just be living in while my husband finished medical school, and most importantly I have become a happier person. I sleep better too.
    The next things I set out to do were more tangible. Feel free to stop reading whenever you have had enough :)
    1) Blog about the things I find, even if no one reads them. I blog, and not very many people read it. Thats fine!
    2) Take a class. I started taking Spanish conversation classes and i LOVE IT. I lived in Barcelona in College and really miss speaking. There is something about learning a new language that I find so liberating. I really look forward to Thursday nights when i have class!
    3) Sew more. I have made 5 quilts, one failed toy, and am in the process of making a dress for my niece. I am getting better at it, but far from a master.
    4) Get in shape. I go to the gym 6 days a week and work out hard (i really like to exercise), but it wasnt until I really started paying attention to portion size that I noticed a change in my body shape.
    5) Get Married. Check :)
    It has been a VERY good year.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Holiday Stockings! =-.

  • Reply Eileen December 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I was just thinking about this the other day when I was about to put off doing something. I normally don’t make resolutions around New Year’s but my birthday is January 5th so it’s like I am starting my own year and as each year passes there’s more that I start thinking that I have never, for example, learned to play the piano so I look into that. I did tick off some of life’s “always wanted to” list last year and I did get back into focusing on art even if it remains a side adventure (I try to do a painting or drawing a day and post it on my blog). BUT the one real resolution I made was to not put things off. I have a terrible habit of putting things off and they may be something really simple but then it will be added to another really simple thing that I haven’t done and they mount up and get blown out of proportion in my mind. When I sit down to even do a list of things it could take 10 mins but in my mind and after a length of time I think it will take hours and so it gets put off again and then I feel guilty and overwhelmed. I’m trying not to do that and it has worked and I feel less stressed for it.
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..December 16, 2009 – New York park bench =-.

  • Reply Flavia December 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I enjoy making resolutions. I meet with a friend at the end of every year to go over what we’ve accomplished and what our goals for next year are :)

    For 09, some of my goals were:
    – to move forward with my new career path (Interior Design): I did, by going to school and starting my blog!
    – keeping in better touch with my extended family (in Brazil): I can say I’ve made improvements but still don’t talk to them as much as I’d like
    – to spend more time with friends: still working on this one, life has been so busy lately
    – do more yoga and pilates: check!
    – cook more: check!

    For this upcoming year, I hope to continue some of those goals plus:
    – finish decorating and declutter my home
    – find more time for self-reflection
    – attend more events and performances (hopefully with friends!)
    – blog more regularly (I know I’ll be doing this with your BYW class!!)
    – continue to work towards my career
    .-= Flavia´s last blog ..From Condo to Home – the Dining Room Complete! =-.

  • Reply Melibu December 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    On January 1st 2009, with 3 friends of mine, we wrote 10 resolutions for 2009 on a paper, we read them, and we sealed them in an enveloppe.
    The goal was to achieve a maximum of these resolutions, and we are all judges for eachothers.
    We should open the enveloppe on January 1st 2010, so I can’t tell you exactly what’s inside cause I don’t remind all my resolutions… yes I know, I know…
    I had to loose 8 kgs (I lost only 5), have an open-ended contract (done), go abroad (done : Ireland, Italy, Spain), continue not to smoke (done!) and so on and so on…
    I can’t wait to open it !
    .-= Melibu´s last blog ..Mon vrai sapin de Noël / My real Xmas tree… =-.

  • Reply J. December 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I have to admit, I do love New Year’s resolutions (I know, I’m probably in the minority). Resolutions are just goals you set for yourself, though; it doesn’t matter when you decide to “start” accomplishing them. But I love the symbolism of Jan. 1st.

    My resolutions for 2009 were:
    *Finish my dissertation and graduate with my Ph.D.
    I did accomplish this, though it seems a bit unreal still. It took about 9 years (2 years longer than it really should have), but I did it.

    *Buy a home and become debt free.
    We did buy a 2-flat. Clearly, taking on a mortgage is not the way to become debt-free! But we have renters in 1 flat, we will live in the other, and developing a plan to become debt free is one of my 2010 resolutions.

    *Connect with family and friends.
    I did do a better job of this than in previous years, though some of the best and most memorable interactions came about because of sorrowful situations (primary example: my grandfather’s death this summer, which really brought my family together near the end of his life). I learned that making the effort to connect, even if it’s something simple like commenting on people’s Facebook updates, really gives me a positive charge and I really need to make this goal an even higher priority next year.

    *Maintain an orderly and nurturing home.
    Ha! This was pretty close to a complete fail. But I’ll have a chance to start over and create an orderly and nurturing home in our new place.

    *Find a new job with a better commute.
    This did not happen. But I realize how lucky I am to be working in my chosen field at all in this economy. And I’ve made more of an effort to make my current job interesting and position myself for a future move to a more suitable position at a new institution (by networking, attending conferences, taking on new projects, etc.) when an opportunity arises.

    *Improve my health and lose 25 pounds
    I lost 3 pounds, and I wouldn’t say that my health is much better. Some of this is due to factors out of my control (an autoimmune disease that requires occasional steroid usage) but taking in hand the factors that ARE within my control (getting enough sleep, eating more nutritious foods, exercising when I’m able to, etc.) is my #1 resolution for 2010.

    In 2010 I’m going to try to achieve the resolutions I didn’t manage to in 2009 (health, debt, job, family/friends), plus do something creative everyday (photography, crafting, baking for fun, etc.).

    I don’t really mind that I didn’t achieve all of what I set for 2009, because it was a lot to take on in a single year; but setting the resolutions still got me moving in the right direction in important areas of my life. I’ve been tracking my goals at lifetick.com since they started, and it does really give me a sense of accomplishment to look back on what I’ve actually done when I sometimes feel like I’m just treading water.

  • Reply sarah December 17, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Hello Decor8- Love the postings! I had a big year- My overall goal was to begin working less and enjoing work and LIFE more through simplification- sounds simple right?

    TO achieve this my husband and I sold our big fancy house (you know the one with the designer kitchen, acid washed marble countertops – the one you thought would “make you happy”!) sold our piece of land and our small lake property and bought a foreclosed home. WE were fortunate to magically sell all of these in a financial downturn…its was a daunting task of downsizing including a big estate sale and many nailbiting months before the big place sold.

    We now live in a smaller home (that I LOVE!) with much less STUFF and I reduced my “day” job to 2 days a week- and now am working (my dream job) in the new free time (created) as an interior designer and inspiring people through our website- its pretty great

    This coming year I feel that I am ready to simplify even more- with “stuff”/belongings and “committments”- trying to ask the question “Does this (thing, acitivity, person) – contribute to my overall sense of well being and peace- in other words – will it help me to be the best me I can be?

    Also I will be committing to catch myself from “overthinking things” as that activity appears to be quite unhelpful for me! Now- I just need to catch myself before I start!

    CHeers to all on their journey! Sarah
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..The holiday stories Suzi and Sarah have told themselves… =-.

  • Reply joy December 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    cute notebook ;)

    • Reply decor8 December 17, 2009 at 5:42 pm

      Joy that’s the one you gave me! :) :)

  • Reply Pixie December 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I decided not to do resolutions for 2009 and instead did (or is doing) something that I’d seen on a few blogs. I made a 37 Before 37 list, 37 things I wanted to do, see, accomplish before my 37th birthday.

    I still have a few months and a few things to accomplish but I don’t feel the pressure of a New Year’s resolution. There’s all kinds of things on it such as seeing a certain exhibit at a museum, going to a different part of the city that I never go to, a savings goal that I may just meet, etc.
    .-= Pixie´s last blog ..Lonny Love =-.

  • Reply Travelingmama December 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who doesn’t like setting the only-going-to-be broken New Year’s Resolutions. I try to focus on changes I can make now and smaller morsels rather than “I’m going to look like a supermodel by the end of the year in spite of the fact that I’ve had three kids and I live in a country where most women do not believe in sweating.” My goals for 2009 were to truly be “present” in Morocco, not just taking in air and space, but being a part of the culture. I felt very much like I accomplished this! I also wanted to make a difference and make my time count for something bigger than myself, which of course you know was accomplished through He{art} for Morocco.

    On the smaller scale I wanted to learn to make better choices in what I cook, serve, and eat at home. I learned how to cook so many new foods and little by little my children discovered that they could eat vegetables without dying!

    Next year I hope to move to Denmark, which you know is a huge goal! I would also like to continue learning how to cook more. I wouldn’t mind getting in better shape, so I am also planning on buying a bike. And I cannot WAIT to join a gym again. That has been the hardest part of all these three years here in Morocco. Kick boxing classes here I come!
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..Corner View: Books =-.

  • Reply Angela December 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    My resolution was to not eat any french fries all year. Yes, I have done it. And, yes, I will be eating french fries Jan 1, 2010.

  • Reply sciencegeek December 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Every year I make a lazy environmental resolution – something that will make the most impact with the least effort. This ensures that I actually stick to my resolution. Now before you look down your nose at this, think about it; these are the kinds of things that you could persuade people to actually do.

    I’ve switched from bottled water to a faucet filter, got myself reusable bags to carry my groceries in, and last year got a bunch of surge protectors to reduce my electricity usage.

    Not sure what I’ll do this year. I’m thinking about decreasing my meat consumption from 5-6 days a week to 3-4 days a week. I need to get my boyfriend on board with this one though.

  • Reply Laurie Jones December 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t make the usual resolutions like lose weight or save money etc., but I do try and focus on improving myself in some way, I think its great a new year with a chance to start over again with a clean slate. In 2009 my big resolutions were to stop worrying about what people thought of me and to stop over-extending myself and volunteering for everything under the sun. I actually took time for me, started journaling, going for walks, listening to more music, even buying myself something pretty instead of spending the money on my daughter a few times! I’m telling you there’s something behind the saying, take care of yourself and put yourself first. I’ve never been happier in my life and when I do volunteer its because I want to not because I feel guilty! My family has noticed I’m happier and less stress too! Its win win!!

  • Reply Out and About Africa December 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I’m not so good on the actual resolution part but 2009 has definitely been a good year. I always like to focus on doing something that I find challenging or at least different and I’ve managed to do a ton of new stuff throughout this year:
    – take pottery class (first time since high school)
    – take a painting class (loved it and trying to fit more classes into my 2010 budget)
    – bought a bike and literally rode as much as I could…didn’t realize it would make me so happy! I can’t wait for the weather to warm up again so that i can get back outside.
    – Starting photographing more seriously which has been incredibly fun. I even got a polaroid which has taken my love for the art to a whole new level.
    – Officially started running. Once the weather turned cold, I figured I needed a new challenge and picked up running, an activity I’ve always detested but wanted to see if I could raise above myself. Months later, I’m running a 5k and constantly trying to push myself more.

    For 2010, I’m still not making any official resolutions but I am hoping to do a few (if not all) of the following:
    – learn to sew (seriously I’ve been thinking about it forever and just need to hop to it)
    – run at least one 10k
    – enter at least one bike race (although this depends on me switching my hybrid to a road bike and a WHOLE LOT OF training)
    – make at least one trip back to Africa (I’m dying to go to either South Africa, Tunisia or Madagascar)

    Thanks for this activity! I didn’t realize how much i had indeed accomplished this year!

  • Reply ChervelleCamille December 18, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Well, my 2009 New Years Resolution was “CHANGE”. That would be Change in: attitude, approach to situations, motivation, perspective, growth, understanding, knowledge, creativity, ability, perception, outlook, appearance (inside and out), work ethic, decisions, choices, optimisim, friendships, relationships, JUST CHANGE. And they are all for the better of improvement in my life. I just wanted growth, and was really craving it. I deliberately went through carefully the things that held me back and that took away from the very beautiful being I used to be and as a result, I decided to sort my life out. I broke chains and let go of the “trash” and moved on. In the past I have always wanted to be a person to not hold on to thoughts or situations and not constanly look to the past, but this year I made it a priority. I have let go of the past and made it a duty to not look back, and boy has it been an uplifting process!! My life has expanded tremendously! I have GROWN in so many ways, and I feel so blessed. It was always hard for me to take constructive criticism in the past, but I made it a deliberate action to listen to those around me who may know better and are perhaps telling me things, that may not make sense to me, but it is good to atleast pay attention to their advice, ponder on it and take it into consideration. I am truly blessed to have the people in my life, that I do now. These are the people that I figured I should keep, and who have seen me in the good and bad and will always give me constructive criticism; and it’s all because they love me. Change, has helped me alot this year. It helped me to also see that I cannot live in expectancy of others, the only one I can really worry about or expect from, is myself. No one can do anything for you. They are only human and will in some way or the other let you down, sadly enough. We all make mistakes. So the only one you can answer to, is yourself. Make a change for you, not for the purpose of “pleasing” others.
    Along with change, it also meant that I needed to “listen and pay attention to my conscience and gut.” Me, as a Christian, it’s listening to what I believe God is telling me. (This is not meant to spook anyone). So, it has become a behaviour of mine to pay attention and listen, do and act. Not react. Have a plan to handle stituations, so if one were to occur I know how to handle it.
    And thirdly, to connect it all, I made goals. I like to write things down, that way I know it is written and therefore it means something for me to take attention to. So, I have a day planner I keep in my purse, my wall schedule/calender, and my mobile to all hold me accountable. It also helped that at the ending of last year I was checking out a photographers blog. On it, he had an entry where he spoke of making goals, in which he then mention he got a hint from someone previous to make a list of goals. This is not any ordinary “list” of goals, it is a list where you mark down 101 things that you would like to do in 1001 days. It’s called “101 things to do in 1001 days”. I loved it so much, that I just had to do it myself! So right away I made my list that I decided I will begin process Jan 2, 2009 and will end on Sept 30, 2011. I must admit, I have not finished writing out my list. I have made it to 79. I will have to continue adding more. But I did accomplish some items on there. Which is a great feeling! I have another year and a half to go, and it will be all accomplished! Somehow I am sure of it.
    As for 2010, I have the remaining goals on my list, and I do plan to continue looking forwad, rather than backwards. And always always always to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty. I never before understood that phrase, to be honest with you, if not nieve; but this year has shown me a whole new meaning and world, that it makes perfect sense now. I am not sure what 2010 has for me, but I do know that I am very excited for what is next. I know the “outline” or “concept” of what is planned for the year, but I am in the unknown of the actual “product” or “final reveal”. This year was a mix of challenge, mistakes, inspiration, gorwth, and starting over. I still look back at it and smile, for I know CHANGE occured! And I look forward to the next.

    All the best to everyone in the New Year! and Merry Christmas!
    Sorry for this turning out to be as long as an essay, Holly!

  • Reply Alice at Simply The Nest December 18, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I don’t make New Year resolutions in January. I make my resolutions in September, which despite the fact that I haven’t stepped into a classroom in over ten years, I still associate irrevocably with new beginnings – shiny new tin pencil cases, freshly sharpened pencils, pristine exercise books. January to me feels like a month for hunkering down, conserving, taking stock – but September is the time for a fresh slate. It’s also my birthday at the start of September, so it’s literally a new year for me.

    So my September resolution for 2009 was to start blogging. Which I have done. And I love it :-)

  • Reply Elizabeth December 18, 2009 at 6:52 am

    This time last year I was unemployed after leaving my job in order to find a more promising career. My goal was to find a decent job with room to progress, and then to work really hard at it.

    I succeeded in finding that job, and started in February. I’ve been working about 55-65 hours a week, and have since had a lovely bonus, a promotion and a payrise.

    This year, I’m reflecting on achieving that goal, and realising that I am more tired, more angry and frustrated than I’ve ever been before. Whilst I am getting some very good experience at the moment, I now know that my ultimate goal is to have my own company.

    You’re right Holly, it’s good to put it in writing!

  • Reply Maike December 18, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Hello Holly,
    what a nice topic. I think it is good to take the new year as a chance to think back and to think about the goals you want to reach.
    I started a therapie in the winter of 2008, because of several problems, depressions and fears. So 2009 should be the year, when I began to fight against the problems and learn to deal with them. And that all happend :) .. it was the best thing I could do, going in therapie. I am feeling so much better know, as I know much more about myself and my problems. I learned to deal with all of them, so that I am looking happily back. It was not always an easy way, but just the right one for me.
    As I never had a relationship with a man before, I was wishing for that too as I always was. I wanted to do the step to make a real connection to someone. I think thats brave hehe … and that happend too. In late Spring I met a really nice man and he became my man in Summer and the relationship is still lasting. I am so glad I know him now. It is difficult and still fearfull for me to have someone so close and to trust someone so deep. But the nice things definitly overweight ;)
    I don’t like to make plans like I want to loose weight or something, but these two points were really improtant to me and they worked out in 2009. So, it was a really good year, even though other things didn’t work out so good.
    It think for me 2009 was the year, when I found out a really big part about being myself. And thats just really important for a healthy live. Knowing who you are and being glad that you are like that.

  • Reply April (Everything Little Miss) December 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

    At the end of 2008 my only goal was to not quit my job until I’d found a new one. But I was laid off on Christmas Eve and suddenly my life was very different. My new goal was to recover and rediscover myself, because I’d really lost myself in a job that was emotionally stressful & exhausting.

    I was 100% successful. For the first half of ’09 I did freelance work here and there while looking for jobs. I enjoyed it so much that I stopped looking for jobs and started my own company. I’m now a self employed graphic designer with an Etsy shop. I’m feeling healthy and I’m 100000000000 times happier than I was at this time last year.

    In 2010 my plan is to grow my company (Everything Little Miss) and get my line of note cards into stores in and around Boston/New England.

    I never used to make resolutions because it was sorta scary. Putting it in writing made it feel like more of a failure if I didn’t reach a goal. But that’s what holding myself accountable is about; if I want to succeed I need to have a plan and goals and feel responsible for reaching those goals.
    .-= April (Everything Little Miss)´s last blog ..lost in thoughts #36 =-.

  • Reply Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life December 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I know this is entirely off topic, but it’s images like these that make me so excited for your blog class! I got out my digi cam and have been fooling around with all of the manual settings. Def. getting better but can’t wait for your insight!
    .-= Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life´s last blog ..Battle: Wisteria vs. Hudson =-.

  • Reply ruthie December 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Great topic Holly!
    I read all the comments and I was surprised that no one said that their goal was/is to become a parent.

    In 2009 my goals were:

    *Getting over a painful breakup.
    I did and I started taking care of myself again and enjoy life more.

    *Make at least one new friend.
    I did, and not only one but several ones,yay!

    *Cook/entertain more and learn new recipes.
    I cook for friends and invite them home very often. I also learned how to cook new dishes and cookies!

    *Learn German.
    Didn’t do it, maybe next year…

    *Spend more quality time with my pet and my family.
    I did. I take my dog to the park every day/go for long walks together. I also visit my family more.

    *Go on vacation with friends.
    We went to Italy.

    *Visit my sister in Southern Spain and try not to argue too much.
    Spent wonderful summer days in her company.

    *Improve my financial situation.
    This wasn’t easy but I’m doing better and I’m becoming debt-free.

    *Move to a bigger and better apartment.
    I did! I found a beautiful and sunny apartment downtown.

    * Start taking steps towards a major dream; becoming a stylist.
    I saved money to apply to design school and take a course in styling.

    So in 2010 I hope to:

    * Make the transition and quit my current job to become a full-time stylist.
    This is a big one and of course money is a concern but you can’t sacrifice happiness for security.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    • Reply decor8 December 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

      Ruthie – That’s a very good observation. Maybe no one wants to admit it or something. Or perhaps it’s not the year of babies. This year and last was truly the year of babies, so many of my friends had them, it was so much fun to watch.

  • Reply Beautymist December 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Hi all!

    Lovely and inspirational comments from everyone. Thanks for sharing!

    I do relate to what “Alice at Simply The Nest” says, new beginnings are in September for me, maybe because i’m half Jewish, and the Jewish New Year is in September. And also the “back to school” excitement Alice mentioned is still a big thrill for me as a grown-up – I still love to learn and take new classes (be it pottery during 2008/2009 or lyrical singing in 2009/2010).

    My first reaction to Holly’s question was “2009?! I can’t remember!”. But in fact I do. One of my biggest achievements of the past year and the most surprising to me is that I have actually LOST WEIGHT. All 15kg of it! I still have a lot to loose, but I have made a nice start towards my final goal. For all those of you out there wanting to get fit and healthy, i can only recommend a free and non-profit website called http://www.sparkpeople.com Give it a try!

    Second, I learned to hand-throw ceramics and I’m pretty proud of the results after a whole year of hard practice and efforts! You can see my ceramics classes outcome set here on Flickr if you wish : http://www.flickr.com/photos/19237938@N00/sets/72157617649440451/

    What i want for the year to come and have already started to add in my life?

    * More time for art, making art (collages and drawings in particular) more often.

    * Becoming even better at singing.

    * Mastering my budget – this is a recent issue for me. Really need to know where I’m standing and where I’m headed to financially.

    *Be more often grateful for what i have and live in the moment.

    *And last but not least : simplify, simplify, simplify!

    Happy New Year everyone!
    .-= Beautymist´s last blog ..A Little Hiatus =-.

  • Reply Amy December 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I was actually thinking last night in the shower about my 2009 resolutions and wishing I had someone to share them with.. how serendipitous!

    Last year was my first real ‘grown-up resolution’ year. I decided to keep the list short and manageable, and I gave myself the whole year to complete it.

    First off, I decided not to resolve to lose weight – just to not gain any! I *may* have indulged a little the past month so my jeans are a little snug, but other than that, I’ve maintained all year! Now that I know I can do that, maybe for 2010 I’ll resolve to use my new Wii Fit a little more regularly.

    Secondly I resolved to find a job. With the economy the way it has been, and without a college degree, it was a lot harder than I thought, and ultimately I realized that my hopes for a glamorous entry-level position in a big high-rise downtown building would have to be put on hold. I finally found a job at Old Navy and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been at work. I love my job, my bosses, and the people I work with!

    I also decided that 2009 was going to be the year I started to work on improving my credit. Careless credit card use and a drug problem in college really hurt my score (go figure). The first week of January, I was contacted by my student loan company. I’d been in default for two years and that was the first time they’d called me. I set up a payment program and by October my loan was listed in good standing!

    My last goal was to move into my own place. My fiance and I had been forced to move in with his parents two years ago when we realized we weren’t very good at managing money. We did better than find a cheap apartment – when my in-laws decided to put their house up for sale, we were able to buy it from them! We didn’t even have to move, and we live on 5 beautiful acres in the country.

    I can’t wait to see what 2010 holds for us. Congratulations to everyone else on your successes, and best of luck in the new year – and thanks for the opportunity to share!

  • Reply Chloe C. December 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    generally in the no resolutions camp, but did have some specific things I wanted to accomplish this year.
    I wanted to get better at taking pictures, and start to document some of my work. I bought a Flidkr pro account, and have been busy with it a lot. I bought a slightly better camera, and have been working away at it, in between the demands of family and paying the rent. Now I am actually trying to figure out my “point of view” in picture taking, after realizing that I tend to crop & frame the same way I compose paintings.
    I wanted to get my website off the ground. Partially to reach out, partially for some income. It is still lanquishing out there, going nowhere. I had started a blog (inspired a lot by you, Holly) was enjoying it and then it disappeared and I am discouraged. oh well.
    I wanted to get back to Art for no reason. I am an Artist.
    Working as a designer (as a trained seal who does tricks for fish) can suck the life out of my own artwork, and I wanted to fight that more.
    I feel that at least this boat is pointed in that direction now, couldn’t turn on a dime!
    So that is my mixed review of last year’s ambitions.

  • Reply Chloe C. December 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Oh, and if Laura would like to meet I am in Providence almost every day.

  • Reply Jules December 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I didn’t mention having kids because I already have two beautiful boys age 5 & almost 3. :) They have completely changed my life, and in all the best ways. Maybe most of the people who commented are already blessed with children and feel the same way?
    .-= Jules´s last blog ..Snow Balls =-.

    • Reply decor8 December 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

      Jules – I guess I’m not blessed. :*( But I want to be someday, so we’ll see. :) :)

  • Reply Kristin December 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    What an amazing post! I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the comments that everyone has left thus far. After a very hard year of being laid off, failed relationships, and having to move out of my home… I resolved to have faith.

    That is what my 2009 has been all about… Having faith and trusting that the world wasn’t against me and that I would come out of this year a stronger and better person. And definitely undefeated.

    It wasn’t always easy, but having a positive attitude has paid off in many ways. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m really excited about the year to come – next year’s magic, in all her messy, imperfect, undisciplined glory, has yet to reveal herself.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Spotted: A Neutral + Green Christmas =-.

  • Reply becky from hatch December 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Oh wow, “Get More Fit” is on my list every year. I did lost 25 pounds. Unfortunately, it was in 5-10 lb increments that were gained back in 5-10 pound increments, so I’m right where I started! So typical.

    I got my finances in order by paying off a lot of my house and refinancing. It was a huge PITA, and apparently underwriters can’t read or add.

    I quit smoking. For 2010, I need to quit the McFlurries that replaced the Camels.

    I did not stop what is turning into a hoarding problem. I have so much crap I cannot QUITE get to the thrift store with the things that make me think “oh, I can get some good money for that on eBay.” It would be OK if I ever actually LISTED that crap, but I NEVER do. I have found a solution though. I watch HOarders on A&E and then it helps me let go put that stuff in the giveaway pile.

    That’s about it. I never opened an Etsy store or figured out what I wanted to focus on in my own blog or was published in a magazine. There’s always 2010, and I’m hoping your blog class in January can help me find direction and give me a kick in the butt! ;) Happy New Year Holly and everyone else hanging out at decor8!
    .-= becky from hatch´s last blog ..Great Etsy Article in The NYTimes =-.

  • Reply Merry Fenton December 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I didn’t do a resolution this year but instead picked a word for the year and tried to keep it in mind for all I did. My word was Enough. When I was tempted to buy something I would ask myself if I really needed it or if I already had enough. It worked very well with not bringing more crap into my life, which helped decrease the clutter and increase my savings account. It also helped with culling stuff already in my house. For example, had a held onto the unused craft supplies long enough? Yes, so I donated them to a charity garage sale. But it also worked another way too. Had I had my old color TV long enough (I had purchased it in 1983)? Yes, so I splurged on a new flat screen digital when the DTV conversion was happening. The one area I could have done better on was over buying produce. I wasted a lot of it this year (yes, it does count as wasting if it goes in the compost heap!) so need to figure out a happy medium on that. Of course I could just eat more fruits and veggies. Maybe in 2010. : )

  • Reply Stratos Bacalis December 18, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Holly: “Stratos – You were there for me!!! (#4) :) :) :)”

    You made my day! Hugs
    .-= Stratos Bacalis´s last blog ..Top 20 Countdown – no.3 =-.

  • Reply Emma December 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    This time last year I didn’t want to make the usual HUGE list, I knew that it was just unrealistic, so I had one, simple but HUGE resolution: I was going to quit my job by the end of 2009 so pursue my photography/crafty career. Deep breath!
    Then on February 7th my local area was devastated by the Black Saturday fires, everything from there on out was chaos, so draining and set me back 6 months as I scrambled in my job to help people who had lost everything.
    I am very excited, scared and happy to say though that last week I handed in my resignation letter. 2010 is the year of a successful and happy me!
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ Christmas Day Dresses } =-.

  • Reply Laveena Kukanesan December 19, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Hi Holly. This is my first comment on your blog, and I’ve been reading it for some time now. You’re an awesome bloggist! My favourite, in fact. You and your friends have inspired me to redecorate my room – something I have not done in my whole 20 years!

    As for New Years resolutions, I’ve had them for many years but the flame would always burn out by February, March latest. So this Jan 08 I made no resolutions. I had no goals but to just relax and discover myself. As chance would have it, I came upon a few things that made me go ‘I want this in my life!’ They are :
    1. To do things then and there. I used to procastinate a lot!
    2. To be honest, more importantly to myself (reading Gandhi’s
    inspired me).
    3. Oh my god I forgot my third! Lol.. (It’s there somewhere in my diary)

    But I DO know that I exercised these three ‘resolutions’ pretty fine :)
    Next year is just going to be a continuation of these and anything else that comes along the way.
    Have a great year, world! I love you!

  • Reply Jonathan December 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I never did New Years Resolutions until 2009. And, I am glad that I did so. I had so much successes with them that I’m going to do the entire process again in 2010.

    Some of the resolutions that I completed:
    – buy a house in a walkable neighbourhood, which then shortened my commute from 40 minutes to 5 to 10 minutes.
    – travel to Hong Kong, Macau, and Shenzhen
    – write a card to thank to those ten people who brought upon positive impacts on my life (I think this was your idea that I borrowed at this time of the year last year…it’s been great getting responses from those who I sent those cards to!)
    – become debt-free (but then an accident with my car and taking on mortgage got me back into debts)
    – gain 20lbs. I actually gained about 25lbs, to my surprise. :)
    – complete a 5km run.
    – to exercise on a more regular basis
    – to create more time for myself and not so much for others by scheduling these time into my schedules and calling them appointments when I need to (so that I won’t be convinced by others to drop them).
    – group my errands into fewer trips
    – to go biking for the first time in 9 years
    – get a laptop
    – join a non-profit organization
    – to go to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to attend a national conference.
    – go on a 5-hour-of-tv diet per week
    – stop biting my nails unconsciously, something that I’ve been doing for over 20 years

    Resolutions that I didn’t complete
    – learn how to do a handstand and to walk on my hands
    – come up with ideas or an idea for a business to have on the side
    – learn how to cut my fingernails without biting them off

    I haven’t fully flushed out what I want to achieve in 2010, but here are some things that I want to work on:
    – learn how to do a handstand and to walk on my hands
    – come up with ideas for having a business on the side
    – learn what I need to cut my fingernails with and how to do it
    – gain 20 more pounds.
    – keep exercising on a regular basis
    – develop a plan to become debt-free and to have a savings plan established
    – expand my cooking repertoire
    – learn how to chop food up more quickly
    – take up a hip hop dancing class (if it’s going to be offered at the local college)

    That’s all for now…

  • Reply lindsey clare December 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    i can’t remember my resolutions for this year. i had a spreadsheet with a bunch of goals in different areas (health, family + friends, career, etc). and i think i reached at least half of them. but i do think it was a successful year. i managed to do a bunch of things which i am quite proud of!

    in 2010 i have a bunch of new goals. i want it to be a year of having fun and being myself, because i’m planning on maybe having a baby the year after that. so i want to make the most of my freedom and spare time :) i want to do more creative endeavours, and i want to be able to touch my toes! i want to complete a local 14km fun run in less than 100 minutes. i want to get back into sewing. and i want to try a bunch of new recipes and use my cookbooks regularly.

    happy Christmas, Holly! i hope you have a beautiful break. thanks for all that you do with Decor8. it is up there in the ranks of my favourite blogs, and i feel such affection for the community you’ve created here.

    .-= lindsey clare´s last blog ..street art =-.

  • Reply christa December 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Since the year 2001 I have written a letter to myself every New Years to be read the following year. It is a wonderful, quaint tradition in which I am magically surprised about how “right on” I was the previous year about the direction I felt my life was heading. I always like to start my letters by saying, “What wonders this new year will hold, if only you knew then what you know now…” It’s kind of like a time capsule of sorts- peering into the future and describing what we see there. Some of my friends have adopted this tradition and it has been a moving experience for them. One said, “It was one of the most crazy, life changing, amazing things I have ever done. When I read the letter to myself, I couldn’t help but cry. I had done everything that I had hoped.”

    I like to close each letter to myself with ten wishes that I hope for the coming year. It may be things like; I wish I would become a more peaceful person or I wish that I would look back on this year and be pleased. These are not so much “goals” (I do write those up every year) but more attributes that I hope when I look back on the passing of a year that I would have amassed into my character.

    This is a wonderful tradition to incorporate in your New Years traditions, and to help spur you on I have designed some fab stationary you can print off to begin your own New Years Letter. You can download it here: http://bacacreative.blogspot.com/2009/12/since-year-2001-i-have-written-letter.html

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