Happy 2013!

I love making New Years Resolutions. Sitting down with my journal every January 1 to plot out what I hope to do to improve my life is a tradition.

Oh sure, I have the perpetual “lose weight” and “save more money” goals, but I also make resolutions pertaining to house projects, my career, this blog, etc. I have a category for each goal (My Health; Writing; Our Home; My Marriage)  and list what I hope to accomplish under each one.

Before I write down my new goals, I look back to see what I did or didn’t accomplish the year before. It’s a great way to feel good about the past year because even if you didn’t lose 50 pounds or write the great American novel, you have something to show for the past 12 months, and that means anything is possible.

2012 was my year of adventure. Here’s what I did:

– Went skydiving in May

– Went zip-lining in May

– Went whitewater rafting in June

– Rode a horse up (and down) a mountain 10,000 feet above sea level

– Hiked The Badlands

– Went rock climbing in South Dakota

– Completed my 15th 5K

– Started a new beat at the newspaper, with a weekly column

– Celebrated 13 years of marriage

– Attended my brother’s movie premiere

– Visited 8 new states

– Hung out at the top of the Empire State Building

– Held hands with Matthew Modine (OK, we shook hands, but then he held on to mine while he told me I have a doppelgänger)

– Interviewed Tony Hawk

– Read 80 books

– Knitted something (That’s on hold until my hand heals)

– Ended up in the ER with a broken hand (sledding, not skydiving)

– Completed several home improvement projects, including a new floor and a new roof (I didn’t do this, but I saved the money to pay others to do it)

– Paid off all credit card debt

It was a great year! It was the skydiving that kicked it off (I bought a GroupOn deal during a boring work meeting in October 2011). I told a colleague I’d make 2012 an adventure and while I would have loved to have been thinner during all of these adventures, I also proved to myself that there’s no need to wait until the scale shows a certain number to enjoy life.

Life is a gift. I think we all need to remember that from time to time.

2013 will be my year of giving. Yes, I hope to save more money and lose weight, but I also want to have a greater appreciation for the world around me. There were unspeakable tragedies in 2012, and we all have felt anger, fear and sadness because of it.

My kids and I decided to complete 52 Acts of Kindness in 2013 — one for each week of the year — as a way to replace those feelings with happiness, caring and hope.

We can make this world a better place to live. All it takes is one person, one change, to start a revolution.