The 2013 User’s Manual

(You’re getting two posts in one day because I had already written 700 words about cookies and if I had kept writing it would have been too much. This will probably be too much anyways.)

This year, I am calling my New Year’s resolutions my user’s manual or guidebook to 2013. This is because I have four pages of goals, specific actions, and motivation to achieve those goals. Yup. 4 pages.

Well, okay, 2 pages front and back.

Well, okay, 2 pages front and back.

Yeah, I’m a little nuts. I think you would have figured that out by now though.

This is how it works. I can’t just write down, “Lose weight,” or “Exercise more,” or “Eat better.” I need to have specific ways to achieve those resolutions. This year, I have five over-arching “resolutions.” They are:

1. Put good things in your body.

2. Make your body work.

3. Be pretty.

4. Work better.

5. Who are you? Be you.

(And by the way, by saying that I want to eat better and exercise more, this is not a cry for compliments. I’m not saying I hate the way I look. I don’t. I actually look better than I did in high school. But I know I could look even better, and this year, I might just do it.)

Under those five big directions- I like direction more than resolution, I guess- I have various actions that will help make 2013 the fabulously spectacular year that I want it to be.

Here’s a sampling:

Under “Put good things in your body:” I’d like to give Meatless Mondays a go. I want to try and lay off the caffeine, and keep drinking herbal tea at night. I’d like to eat less at night, so I’m going to brush my teeth earlier in the night, so I’m less tempted to grab a snack.

Under “Make your body work:” I’m already a pretty consistent exerciser, but in terms of intensity and variety, I’m missing out. So I’m going to make it hard when it gets easy. I’m going to try something that I think I might not like- like running outside in the winter, for example. I would like to do 10 real push-ups by March.

Under “Be pretty:” I’m going to try and dress nicely all the time, even if I’m just working the library all day. This helps me focus, I swear. I want to paint my nails most weeks. I’m going to play with my hair and try new things.

Under “Work better:” So I don’t get caught procrastinating too much, I’d like to brainstorm ideas for papers and projects when I just have a few minutes. I should try going to office hours. I will only go on Facebook once in the morning and once at night. I’m going to keep my to-do list concise and manageable.

Under “Be you:” I’m going to say yes more. I need to live it up more. No, dear parents and relatives, that does not mean I will be going to the bar every night. But I need to try some new things, whether it be a new exercise, different foods, or another extracurricular activity. Now is the time to do all the stuff I keep saying I’m going to do, all the stuff I think I’ll have time for later. Well, it’s later, and the time is now.

When I think or say something negative about someone, I will try to think or say something positive about them as well. I’m going to journal as much as I can. I want to compile an awesome list.

So those are the actions or things to keep in mind. Then I have actual, tangible goals I’d like to achieve, things that I can cross off and say, “Yes! I did that!”  Among those are: run 5 miles; go to Mass more than 4 times a month (aka, more than just on Sundays); take or post a photo a day; remember all of the birthdays in my family; and take a minimum of two days per month without social networking.

The last part of this is the words to live by. These are just buzzwords I’d like to keep in mind when I find myself falling into old habits and patterns. Among them: Efficiency. Brilliance. Grace. Faith. Stillness. Slowness. Chances. Patience. God. Questions. Learn. Work. Try. Challenge. Beauty.

I know it sounds like a lot, and I guess it is, but for me, this is much easier to handle than general resolutions. It makes things more concrete, and I can visualize what the end result will be. And I really like what I’m visualizing.

I haven’t done much baking since Christmas. I’ve been busy with other things, and my body feels better for it. Here’s a little of what the day-to-day has looked like, via Instagram (@gmtnunez, if you’re on that wagon and would like to follow along):

Cold and beautiful morning.

Cold and beautiful morning.

27 turkeys were in my backyard the other morning.

27 turkeys were in my backyard the other morning. No, I don’t live in the middle of nowhere.

The end of the day. I missed this.

The end of the day. I missed this.

I hope many of you have seen Forrest Gump. If not, please do and we’ll be better friends. In the movie, Forrest celebrates New Year’s in NYC with Lt. Dan and his exotic dancer “friends.” When the clock nears midnight, one of the girls says she loves New Year’s because everyone gets to start over. “Everybody gets a second chance.”

I’m feeling a little bit like that this year. I have a lot of new stuff coming up for which I’m absolutely pumped, but on the other hand, I’m also getting some second chances- with Santiago, with my studies, with some people. I want those chances.

And I’m taking them. I hope you take yours, too.

Please comment, tell me about your resolutions, what you think of mine, whatever! I do love hearing from all of you!

Happy New Year! May 2013 be your best year yet.

With love,


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