New Year’s Resolutions

I find it very important to make New Year’s Resolutions that I think will improve my way of life or achieve various goals I might have.  Yes, I know, everyone makes the resolution to go to the gym every day and to lose a bunch of weight.  Of course, I want that too.  I try to make mine a little more realistic to where I’m certain I will be able to go the distance and finish the year achieving my goal.  I was very successful this past year.   I allowed a one-time lapse on my birthday though; I was craving some McDonalds French fries.  This year I am planning on having some New Year’s Resolutions that are both personal and work related.  I have a lot of big goals that I want to achieve, and I need to make the effort to get there.  I’m sure I won’t achieve all of them, but I desperately want to.

Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are anything from quitting smoking, learning something new, spending more time with friends and family, enjoying life, and even getting organized.  These are all good, but kind of generic.  These are all process focused and have no distinct objective.  I try to be more specific with mine.  This past year I decided to give up drinking soda and eating fast food.  I think the only time I had a little taste of soda was when I absentmindedly ordered a Whiskey Coke out somewhere.  I allowed myself to have fast food once, as previously noted.  Otherwise, I mostly observed through the year. There were a few that I did not do so good on, such as working out more, working on my house more, and walking my dog every day; we walk him often, just not every day. I did not include many career focused resolutions, but I know that I will this year.

This year, I’m going to continue not to drink soda and eat fast food.  I am going to try to expand on that to where I’m not going to eat fried food, especially if its battered.  I had to give myself a loop hole, so I can eat chicken wings; they are fried, but I don’t like them if they are battered.  Great, now I’m hungry.  Another personal one is to work out more. I want to go to the gym at least four days a week, hopefully more.  Along with going to the gym, I want to get up early at least three days a week to take my dog for a run.  I’m not excited about this one — I love my sleep, and I don’t like to run.  Another with health in mind, is to eat healthier.  I already don’t eat much candy, but I will try to not eat any.  Holidays will be tough for that.  Another idea, that I literally just thought of, is that I will cook at home more, trying out new recipes and challenge myself in the kitchen, all while being healthy.  I know, this is process focused, so I’ll have to work out the specifics.

For my job-related resolutions, they are most simple.  I don’t want to get discouraged and fall back on bad habits.  I think I will set one or two for now and add to my plan for the year as they become ingrained in my routine.  One that I don’t feel will be a challenge will be to continue to write this blog.  I hope to get better in my writing, and what I’m writing about, but that’s a different issue.  I’m not counting that in my one or two resolutions.  For those, I will say that I want to make it a habit of going and previewing houses at least four days a week; that could help my going to the gym goal too.  I enjoy previewing houses in the areas that I work, I just don’t do it enough.  The second one will be to call and visit expired listings and for sale by owner houses.  It can’t hurt, the worst thing that could happen is they tell me no and to go away.  At least they will have met me and will have a face to go with the name.  All my goals are to get my name as a REALTOR® more recognized, so more people think of me, when they want to buy or sell a house. 

My theory is that if you have a larger goal that you want to achieve, set interim objectives that will lead you on the path to your larger one.  I use the New Year as an opportunity to start setting those smaller goals that will help me achieve my dreams.  Dream big, and then dream small to get you there.  Have a great day, and New Year, and let’s go see some houses (I’ll be going four days a week, so come join me).

Holiday Traditions

It’s that time of year again.  Lots of bright and sparkly lights around.Time to decorate your house and tree. Time to hunt down the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Time to visit with family and friends.  It sure can be a hectic time of year, and expensive.  Everyone has different family traditions.  I will explain how my holidays are, and truly will be, hectic this year.  My craziness has already begun, with work holiday parties– my girlfriend’s work party was crazy as usual. 

This past Saturday the craziness truly began.  Well, I guess it really was the week before when my work holiday party was.  It was fairly low key, but it was still a fun time and great to see everyone outside of the office.  There were a few epic Giant Jenga games that were over 40 levels high. This past Saturday was my girlfriend’s work holiday party and they go all out.  We were at her boss’ country club where there was an open bar from 7 PM through 12:30 AM.  Do I even have to say that it got a little crazy?  Well it did, but in a good way.  They had some great food, a freshly made Chinese buffet at the country club. I definitely made mine way too spicy. This week, hopefully, won’t be as crazy, which will allow me to recover from the weekend.

This weekend, my girlfriend will be flying back to Michigan to be with her family for the holidays while I will remain here, in St. Louis,to be with mine, and take care of the dog. I know, I know, we should be spending this time together.  We keep talking about starting to rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas for where we are:  just can’t seem to start it.  I have family that comes in town for those two holidays and I enjoy spending time with them and she doesn’t get to see her family that often, so she takes advantage of the holidays to go home to be with them. 

My family’s tradition is that we do my immediate family’s Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Both my brothers and their families and I go over to our parent’s house to have some great food and open presents.  This is crazy, but actually is the calm before the storm.  I’m not sure what food we’ll have this year,but there is no doubt that it’ll be very good. My Mom will make something amazing, as usual.  We will have a great time, and my nieces and nephew will be entertaining as always.  Oops,I just remembered that I still need to make my family’s version of Chex Mix!  My Grandma had a great recipe and I now have the task to make it for the family.  I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon now.

Time for the big day, Christmas.  I will be doing my usual thing, making chicken wings for my Mom’s whole family Christmas party at, again, my parents’house.  This has been a tradition as long as I’ve been alive!  There will be at least forty people there, a little crazy. Again, it will be a great time, and great to get all of us together.  There aren’t many occasions where it is possible for all of us, especially the cousins, to get together.  We don’t exchange presents with the big family,though I believe the little kids get something. I can’t even begin to explain the shenanigans that go on this day.  My parents have always put a Where’s Waldo ornament on the tree, so there will be hunting for him, possibly even a ransom letter for him, yes, that has happened. We are also a family that has an ornament that is a pickle, which is another thing to hunt for; this one stays on the tree though.  Another odd tradition of my family is a Christmas Crocodile.  I think that came from when my oldest brother gave a giant plastic crocodile to my parents as a gag gift and it now always comes out to guard the tree.  We are a special (weird?) family.

Then its time for New Years. This year will be even more hectic for me.  We are planning on having friends come in from Chicago and Kansas City to stay with us so we can go to a party.  They will be coming in on Saturday.  My girlfriend, thankfully, will be coming home on Friday.  I thought about going up to Michigan after Christmas, but I would be way too stressed out about people coming and needing to get so much done to get the house ready for guests.  I need to clean our 2nd and 3rd floors, install the vanity in our bathroom, finish mudding and re-paint the bathroom wall, make sure the bathtub has stopped leaking, and vacuum all the dust from dry walling.  But New Year’swill be fun. It always is.  I am just glad that our friends are coming to us, so we don’t have to drive home the next day.  We usually go to Kansas City for New Years, so the next day is a bit of a struggle.

Well, that is my hectic holiday schedule.  I’m sure you all have just as crazy times.  I hope you have a crazy family like mine and have such fun traditions. Please share them in the comment section.  You never know, other people might share the same traditions, or you might get ideas for cool new ones that you want to try.  I hope you all have great holidays and let’s go see some houses.