January 9, 2018 - 2 comments

My Sort-Of New Years Resolutions

I’m really not a huge New Years Resolution maker. I’ve never really felt like you have to wait until the beginning of each new year to resolve to change something about your life or the way you’re living. Why wait until January if you want to get fit, or eat healthy, or try new things? With the beginning of this new year though, I have been asked what my resolutions for this next year are, so I decided to compile all the things that have been rolling around in my head for the past few months and have been attempting to incorporate into my life. They seem to fall into two categories: what I want to do more of, and what I want to do less of. I’m not trying to go cold turkey on anything, or start up any new hobbies; I’m not really drastically changing my life with these things, I just want to be living in a way where I enjoy more of what is good for me, and pour less of my energy into what isn’t.

M O R E:

For the last few years, cooking is something I’ve really grown to love. First off, I enjoy eating diverse and delicious foods, so making them myself seems to directly follow! I also love being creative and I love being creative with things that I can share with others (e.g. a meal!). And lastly, a good recipe and a pile of raw ingredients is the best thing for a great de-stressing session by myself. Since moving to Stuttgart, David and I have gotten to spend a lot of time cooking together. It really is a great relationship building exercise for the two of us, since we tend to have very different approaches to cooking (him: “recipes are more like suggestions” and “let’s use as few dishes as possible”, me: “recipes ensure that the end result is the same as what was intended by the recipe maker, aka, thats what I want to eat” and “let’s use alllll the dishes”). We are learning how to let the other person take charge, and how to offer our own opinions only when its necessary and not just to prove a point. I also believe that making your own food, and choosing your own produce and grocery products brings us just a little bit closer to the very distant beginnings of the food that ends up on our tables. Food you buy at the grocery store is already so far removed from where it was grown or produced, that we lose the sense on how our food choices impact the world and our bodies, and when you go one step further and buy something like prepared frozen food, then you really have no idea what exactly you’re eating.


This past year, I’ve been really glad to see myself setting aside more time for reading than I have in a while. Possibly it’s because I had more time since I was living back at home with my parents, and not in school (until this fall), so since I had luck in this realm last year, I decided to up the game a little bit and give myself a reading challenge. My goal for this year is to read 25 books. I considered aiming for a 52 book challenge, but knowing myself, I’d rather shoot a little bit lower and come out having passed my goal, than to be unrealistic for myself and not complete my goal. I really only have one rule for myself in this challenge - I can’t count any books that I’ve already read before. I do tend to have that habit - where I’ll reread books when I can’t find anything good to read, or I’m tired, or I’m sick. It’s easy to go back to your “comfort food books” (as I like to call them), instead of filling your mind with new stories and ideas. I’ve also created a Goodreads account on their app and am tracking all the books I do read this year so I don’t forget the books and only keep track of the number. If any of you guys have suggestions for me as well, tell me! I’m always looking for recommendations. For the past few months, I’ve also been getting into the habit of waking up nearly every morning with enough time to spend some time reading my Bible. I’ll usually read one chapter per day, and spend several minutes reading it several times over, and then thinking about what it means and asking God to reveal to me his intention and wisdom behind each passage. I’ve always found consistency in this a hard thing to do, and especially struggled to not make it a chore for myself, but to actually see it for what it is - a time to sit down and take my eyes off of my self-absorbed thoughts and look to and learn from my Creator. I’m still learning how to do this, but just starting is always the best way to turn that something into a habit.


Tomorrow (!!) is my final day of the Deutsch A2 level! That’s four months of class under my belt! We had our once-every-two-months test today, and (fingers crossed) I’m hoping to get a “Sehr Gut” score on it! I am constantly surprising myself with how much I know, and really see this new skill of mine as an investment in my future here in Germany. This new year also brings the (slightly daunting) beginning of job searching here, and I know that my success in a career and future here really depend on the effort I put into my classes now.


S T A Y I N G   A C T I V E
2017 was a very sedentary year for me. I was gifted a FitBit from my mom last Christmas, and boy did that show me how little I was walking or moving each day! Some days (and I cringe saying this), I would get home after work, and look at my daily step count only to find that I had taken less than 3,000 steps that day (that’s only about a mile!). Luckily, since I’ve moved to Stuttgart, I’ve spent a lot of my free time walking around the city and the area that I live, exploring and getting to know my new home. It’s rare when I finish a day with less than 10,000 steps! And even though I do have a gym membership here, I’m not limiting myself to only exercising when I want to go run on a treadmill or something. I’d really like to rotate my fitness activities to incorporate things like biking and walking and even weight training - variety always helps me keep from getting bored!


L E S S:

Yes, I have a slightly guilty look on my face right now… I admit it, I do love to shop. But, I also live in a society that worships possessions and obtaining “things”. Things = status, and it’s far too easy to look at buying things as a way to make yourself feel better if you’re having a bad day or feeling unconfident in yourself (or when you’re feeling envious of people on Instagram). Even when I don’t buy anything, sometimes I’ll walk out of the mall and try and ignore the fact that I just spent two hours essentially wasting away my life.

Netflix… I love you and I hate you… I love you when there are new seasons of The Crown and when I want to kick back and watch a couple episodes of Friends, but hate that I end up mostly just scrolling through the pages and pages of things to watch while never finding anything that interests me. They aren’t kidding when they say “choice is the enemy of happiness”! I would like to, this year, spend most of my evenings doing other things that I enjoy, instead of always opting to turn my brain into mush while glued to the TV (except of course when I’m watching a new episode of The Crown).

This one is pretty broad, and fairly obvious: the way we live our 21st century, 1st world lives usually involves making a whole lot of waste. So, this year, I’d like to resolve to become less of the problem. This includes (but isn’t confined to) the following:

  • always making sure to bring a reusable bag with me when shopping - for food (especially with buying produce) or for clothing, etc.
  • eating less food that comes inside of a package (though, being recyclable does help)
  • taking public transportation when possible
  • using reusable containers for drinks at home and when out (no paper to-go coffee cups or plastic water bottles <— that one will be hard, and I guess it means I should replace the glass water bottle than I broke last month!)
  • using toiletries and feminine hygiene products with as little non-recyclable or non-reusable waste as possible (and avoiding small sample sized containers which create more waste and less usability)
  • Little things: choosing loose leaf over bagged tea, using a tupperware instead of a sandwich bag, not ordering so much online because of all the extra plastic and packaging…

So, these are my “kind of” resolutions. They’re not too drastic, not necessarily life-altering, but I think that continuing to make all of these things a part of my life will be healthy for my future (and everyone’s future!). And, since making resolutions seems to be the thing to do this time of year, I’d love to hear - what are yours?

Published by: abbycham in Uncategorized


January 10, 2018 at 4:19 am

Love reading your blog! It provided me with also considering what I’d like to do more or less of. Will share when I decide.

January 10, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Inspirational thoughts/actions. Thanks for sharing 🙂
For me: More getting to know new friends by inviting them over for a meal. Less aimless wandering on social media.

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