Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
Lately, I've been all about the goals. That's not to say that I've actually gotten any nailed down, mind you; it's more that I have been planning on making some. I keep saying, "I really want to make that one of my goals", or "when I finally write down my goals, that's going to be on the top of the list". As you can probably guess, all of that planning hasn't really gotten me anywhere. Then I read this post over on A Beautiful Mess, and I got inspired. 

The purpose of these goals is to be simple and action-oriented - easy things you can do to make positive change and growth occur in your life. I want my goals to translate into long-term habits, and I think the ones I've chosen will do that quite nicely. So without further ado (having you ever noticed that saying that is actually kind of "further ado" in and of itself?), here are my four simple goals to achieve before 2013:

1 :: Start a gratitude journal. This one has been a long time coming. I have very little gratitude in my life, even though every day here on earth is full of reasons to be grateful. It's not that I am completely lacking in gratitude, it's that my gratitude is conditional (which kind of defeats the purpose of gratitude in the first place). For example, I'll be super grateful if I got to spend an action-packed day with my friends, outside, doing things I love (like this day). But on a typical weekday, which usually consists of getting up, going to work, running some errands, and trying to get some photography/blogging done, I am all kinds of ungrateful. I see it as a waste of a day, simply because it wasn't full of epic awesomeness. No more of that, I say. I need to practice gratitude, and a journal is a great place to start. I see great life changes coming from this goal.

**I'm going to include in this goal the goal of writing more in general. It's a daily habit I've been meaning to cultivate, but like so many other things in my life, haven't taken the time to actually do. Now I'm going to. 

2 :: Practice yoga 3 times a week (more if possible). I have gone through several yoga-practicing phases in my life, but they've never lasted, even though the benefits were completely apparent to me. I'd really like to start another phase and turn it into a lifelong habit this time. 

3 :: Grow photographically. I'm in rather a photography rut. At the end of our road trip to Colorado, I broke my 50mm f1.8 (very sad day), which took some of the wind out of my sails for some reason. I'm going to be getting a new one very soon, since it's a lens I really need if I'm going to be doing more portrait photography, but it reminded me of what an expensive hobby/profession photography is, and I just got kinda bummed out. I have a couple of great lenses, but I've been lacking inspiration lately because I want more, more, more. Instead of focusing on the lack, though, I want break out of my rut and start focusing on what I can do with what I have right now (again, working on gratitude). I have lots of photography project ideas, and lots of creative friends, and there are lots of techniques and tricks I still have to learn about the equipment I currently own, so there's no reason not to pursue those things right now. That's the great thing about photography: it's a never-ending learning process. 

4 :: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Okay, okay, so I stole this one from Michael Pollan. A couple of years ago, I was obsessed with eating better and doing so in a way that would support the farming and eating practices I believe in. I have kind of let all of that fall by the wayside, but I really want to get back to those ideals and start learning and striving to be a more conscious consumer of food. I'm going to reread The Omnivore's Dilemma (if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it), and In Defense of Food (a condensed eater's manifesto). I am going to really, truly try to cut down on the amount of processed foods I eat, possibly cut down on the amount of cheese I consume (I am a-frickin-ddict-ed to cheese, and my skin shows it), and vastly increase the amount of fruits and vegetables I consume every day. My body is often the victim of my lack of willpower, and I would like to stop abusing it and start treating it as the valuable piece of property it is. 

So there you have it! 4 simple goals that are totally achievable, will make my life healthier and happier, and that can be continued far beyond the year 2013. If you'd like to make your own list of goals, check out the original post over at A Beautiful Mess, and join in the fun! 

Happy Monday!