new year’s resolutions

Some people hate them and other’s love them.

I fall into the latter catagory.

Give me a good pen and empty notebook…a new calendar…a clean slate…a fresh start.  I feel empowered by lists and plans and goals.  And the start of a new calendar year seems like a perfect symbolic time to up your game for the next 365 days.

So, for the sake of accountability, here are my 2018 resolutions…

1.  365 day of Sobriety – as of today I haven’t had a drink for 187 days and it feels right…healthly for my body, my mind, and really, all the areas of my life.  My goal for this year…and all the years after frankly…is to carry on as I have been for the past 6 months.  I’m better without it!!

clarity seattle

2.  Social Media – too much time spent wondering about and worrying about other people’s lives.  Comparing myself to others despite the fact that I am happy and healthy and have a wonderful life.  Its a time waster and there are too many other amazing things in life to do once we look up from our phones!  I’m not going “cold turkey”…there are some aspects of Facebook and Instagram that I enjoy, but my plan is to limit myself to 30 mintues per day.  So far, so good.


3.  Excercise & Nutrition – I mean…what would a resolution list be without this catagory!!  I’ve allowed myself to get complacent about working out.  I’m not overweight…but getting a bit “soft”.  So…30 minutes to an hour or more of something…everyday!  Living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m surrounded by outdoor options all year long, so skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, hiking…these are all my choices.  No excuses that the gym is boring!  Also, daily vitamin…minimal sugar…more calcium and fruits and veg.  Less coffee was going to go on this list…but then my son got a job at Starbucks soooo…


4.  Groceries and Meals – save more money on groceries by planning weekly meals and shopping trips.  Why is this basic task so difficult sometimes??!  I’m off to a better start than usual this year because our local grocery store offers a pickup service.  I create the list online and schedule a time to come pick it up.  This forces me to plan out the week and it also keeps me out of the grocery aisles where I tend to grab extras that aren’t on my list.


5.  No Spend Year – so this one’s a bit complicated because this year has some pretty big expenses attached to it.  Travel and home renovation are on the agenda and there are obviously costs to those.  But outside of these planned activities, my goal is to GREATLY reduce the amount of money that flows forth from our bank account!  I’ve set up some guidelines…only one “coffee” date per month (we get free Starbucks coffee so I can’t complain about drinking coffee at home)…only one meal out per month…and basically, only necessities.  I don’t consider myself a big spender, but suddenly, when I put these parameters around my spending, I notice each time I think of something that we “need”.  Motivated by minimalism blogs and other articles about people making a choice to do with less, I hope not only to save money, but to really recognize the differences between our needs and wants…and find more gratitude for what we already have.  Some of the best things are definitely free.


6.  Photography – I put my photography on the back burner all the time.  I know I spent more time last year looking at the work of others and feeling like I didn’t measure up than I spent  actually trying to get better and learn and grow as a photographer. So in 2018 I am setting aside some time each week…it may be an hour or it may be a day…where I just shoot…and practice and practice and practice and shoot some more.


And I guess that’s it.

Well, actually there are a couple other thoughts…

Reading – last year I read 25 books.  One of them was Hamilton by Ron Chernow and I like to think that counted for about 3 based on its size alone…but 25 it was.  This year my goal is 30.

Travel – with Chile, Argentina and Japan already scheduled, I think I’ve met my resolution.  But if anything else comes up, I’m ready!

Okay…I think that’s enough for one year!




8 thoughts on “new year’s resolutions

  1. Thanks for your recent comment and follow on “Retired, Not Dead” and my piece on the beginnings of my sobriety. What you had to say was so relevant. I, too, have felt the relief of just not having to think about drinking or not. I’ve successfully negotiated all the holiday events and my birthday without terrible difficulty. I find, I’m was most drawn to the escape it provides when my partner began to act out from stress (always true during the holidays). I know I still have a lot of challenges ahead–events and travel which I associate with drinking. As much of a cliche as it may have become, the less I think about those upcoming things and focus on the fact that I have no intention of drinking today helps a lot. I enjoyed your piece on resolutions and we have similar interests. I am jealous of your upcoming travel adventures. My wife is still working part-time and it has been hard to pry her away for an international trip of any length. I think I have her committed to Costa Rica in March, so I’ll take that for now. Our son is in Vermont, so we spend several weeks back East every August. Can’t complain. Books, coffee, travel, minimalism, and now sobriety. I will enjoy catching up on your blog! Thanks again.


    1. Oh thanks so much! Yes…looks like we have similar interests for sure! Got lucky with our adventures this year for sure. It’s not always like that! Re: sobriety…I definitely struggled when I thought about the places and times we are “supposed” to drink. How can I NOT have wine in Chile or Sake in Japan…that pint of beer here or glass of champagne there. I mourned for those things. Maybe still do now and then… I wish that I could be a moderate drinker. But nothing in the past 30+ years of my drinking has ever been moderate! Ha! The very best tool I have ever used during my sobriety is to “play the tape through”…to borrow a phrase from the recovery community. Each time I think about “what it I just have one drink?”, I look ahead and imagine the outcome. Basically…it will always be regret and shame and fear. Don’t want to go back there. Best to you!!!

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  2. I’m not a big New Year’s “resolunionist”, but you got a nice list here. Best wished for following through! Obviously I’m a fan of your photography resolution. Oh, and I really love the photos you selected for this post – great work! The one with the sun behind the snow covered trees is stunning! Last week I booked the flights to Seattle for our summer vacation in the Pacific Northwest in August, even my two big teenagers have decided to come along 🙂 I always wonder when it will be the last time the whole family spends summer vacation together…


    1. Thank you! Your kind comments on my photos always make my day! We went snowshoeing last year on a perfect day in the forest near Chinook Pass. There was not a soul but my kids and I and the sun sparkling on the snow was eye candy! What will you do this time in the PNW? I know you’ve been to Portland and the Columbia River Gorge area. Did you hear of the horrible Eagle Creek Fire this summer? It raged across the Gorge – heartbreaking!! If you need any Seattle recommendations or other areas of interest, feel free to ask! And speaking of the Chinook Pass area I mentioned, there is a hike called Naches Peak Loop that I highly recommend. The views of Rainier are jaw dropping!! There’s so much beauty here as you know! And yes…family time is precious these days. I’m just grateful that our kids still want to spend time with us for now!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, we’re thinking about getting us snow shoes. Doing “hikes” like that seems like a dream! Yes, I was in Portland during the Eagle Creek Fire, it was horrible. Actually, I saw the whole devastation in and above the Gorge from the plane once departing PDX after the fires. Heartbreaking indeed. I was in Portland 17 (!) times last year, can you imagine? As I also had some free weekends I did a few tours to the Oregon coast, Mount Hood and to Bend. I have been to Seattle, but apart from that haven’t seen much of Washington State. But even before the summer vacations I expect to be back in Portland a few times (I’m flying there Monday morning in fact) and plan to also do some weekend tours into Washington prior to bringing the family. Obviously the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Rainier are absolutely on the list. Would you say Rainier is more beautiful from the Yakima side or from the coastal side? I would really appreciate your tips, like the Chinook Pass hike you mentioned that I will check out! Thanks so much for your input! Marcus

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! I’m assuming you work for a company that has ties in Portland. Its a great city and like every place up here…so close to natural beauty. Mt. Rainier is impressive from all angles, but you don’t need to head to the east side for any particular reason. If you take 410 from the Seattle direction, it will bring you right up to Chinook Pass and the Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park. There is sooo much there, but I would recommend that you look into all that you can see and do at the Sunrise Visitor Center and the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Both areas would warrant a day of hiking and admiring if you have the time to spare. You can camp, but there are also wonderful lodges you can stay in…and I wouldn’t wait to long if you are really thinking of staying in one. They probably fill up in the summer months. I recommend that you make sure to see the Grove of the Patriarchs and Box Canyon near Ohanapecosh. You can search all of these and get great information. Those plus the Naches Peak Loop trail are our favorites. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for those awesome tips!! I’m really looking forward to the planning of the summer vacation in the PNW and to my next free weekends here in Portland so I can start visiting sites and towns in Washington State. Marcus


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