new year, new goals...

As I get older, I tend to make less specific resolutions in the New Year and instead focus on larger, overarching changes that can be made gradually over time. Drop 10 pounds? Learn a new language? Work out 5 days a week (when I currently don't even work out at all? shameful... I know)? Not going to happen. However, I can focus on larger goals like continuing to eat healthy, get back into yoga, and add strengthening exercises to work out my sad little muscles.

I know that everyone is listing their goals and resolutions for the year, so bear with me - this isn't exciting for you, rather it keeps me in check and I once my goals are made public, I have to hold myself accountable.

1. Figure out my health issues once and for all. This is a MUST, which is why it's my #1 goal. Luckily I've been blessed with relatively good health, but since my senior year in college I've suffered from (occasionally debilitating) digestive issues. I've seen many doctors, specialists, taken countless medications, had medical procedures done, all with inconclusive results. I need an answer that makes me feel like I was my junior year of college and before: energetic, clear-minded, healthy, strong, and not afraid of how food will affect my body. I don't want to take medication for the rest of my life if I don't have to. I want to fix myself from the inside out, focusing on what I'm eating and how it's affecting me. I know it'll be a lifelong journey but I need answers, finally, to help guide me. I've tried to do it myself for almost 7 years.

(And no, this doesn't have to do with losing weight or being "skinny". This is about not feeling sick on an almost daily basis; not feeling dizzy all the time; not being afraid to eat certain - or all! - foods because I don't know how they'll make me feel; not being able to work out because I have no energy / feel sick, etc.)

2. Embrace things as they are. Ooh, this is a big one. It touches on all aspects of my life. I am constantly in a state of thinking ahead, looking forward, racing to the next new thing. I am going out on a limb and saying that I fail at this, routinely. I truly admire those who are able to accept things as they come, and just let things be. I am so ridiculously blessed with my life and I need to stop focusing so much energy on what could change, or what's wrong, and begin focusing my energy on the blessings.

3. Act like Tim and I are still dating. I'm really excited about this one. I was spoiled by Tim when we were dating (not that I'm not now!)... he would randomly send me flowers, care packages, and take me on the most unique, fun dates and adventures. Living with your significant other, whether you're married or not, is wonderful. It can also make you kind of lazy. Date nights evolve into wearing sweatpants, sitting on the couch together sipping wine, watching your favorite show or movie. It's actually amazing and I love it, but it couldn't hurt to spruce up our date nights and get really dressed up once in a while :)

4. Learn a new skill, using my hands. As a graphic designer, I live on the computer. Everything I create is in a virtual world, existing as an electronic file of some sort. I crave things that are tangible... something you can touch, and something that is handcrafted. This year, I am going to learn calligraphy / hand lettering. I am going to take a pottery class. Any other suggestions? I'm all ears...

5. Push myself as a designer, and get out of my comfort zone. I like to think that this is something I accomplished in 2014, but it's still crucially important so it's a goal for 2015 as well. I can always challenge myself. Whether it's trying out a new aesthetic, using fonts that I don't normally gravitate towards (really specific, I know), or trying new color palettes, I am ready to design things that don't scream "Caroline!".

While this doesn't count as one of my main goals, I also want to take BABY steps toward becoming a morning person. There are so many hours of the day that I sleep away and that needs to change. I don't expect myself to become a morning person overnight, but I can start to go to bed earlier, stop Netflixing (that should be a verb), and wake up a tiny bit earlier each month. By January of next year, I hope to wake up at least one hour earlier than I do now and make it a routine.

Those are my big "goals" for 2015! They are general enough to be doable, and they will absolutely help me become a better, more improved me. After all, isn't that what resolutions and goals are for? I'm aiming for Caroline 2.0.

Are you the type to make specific resolutions, or are you like me and make general goals? What are you hoping to accomplish this year?