I am a big fan of resolutions – or just random pledges of self-improvement. So far be it from me to let the early days of January pass by without coming up with some New Year’s resolutions. I’ve felt really good about 2012 for weeks now. My horoscope for today sums it all up nicely:

Aries horoscope for Jan 3 2012 by DailyHoroscope
You don’t have to accept the joy, the serenity, and the many opportunities that are waiting for you in this new year, Aries. You could choose, instead, to cling to your old melancholy, your stress, and your sense of being stuck. But you aren’t so addicted to drama and tragedy that you would do such a thing, are you? Of course you’re not. That’s why you need to put a smile on your face, start thinking about all the wonderful possibilities that are out there waiting, and open your heart to a wonderful new beginning.

I have long believed that my happiness is a choice. I can choose to be happy or I can allow myself to be miserable. I do my best to choose happy every day. But I’m certain 2012 is going to make it even easier for me to make that choice. I bought a Sarah Pinto planner that says “this is your lucky year” on the cover. And I believe it!

A big pitfall with resolutions is setting the bar too high. Make the goal too big and it seems unattainable. Make the goal small and within reach, and before you know it, you’ve achieved it!

Jenny’s 2012 Resolutions

  • Clean my make-up brushes! This might gross you out, but I don’t regularly clean my make-up brushes. Considering my struggles with icky eye infections and acne-prone skin, you would think I would have tackled this ages ago, but no. I have purchased two products from Sephora to help. The Daily Brush Cleaner is for every day use and quick color changes. The Purifying Brush Shampoo is for deeper cleaning – I’m planning to use it once a week!  This is a little tiny change, but I think it’s going to have a big impact in the long run.
  • Lose 5 pounds! Sure, I need to lose a heck of a lot more than just five pounds. But when I think about how much weight I “should” lose, I get depressed. But thinking about losing five pounds? That seems totally doable! So I’m going to lose five pounds. And then think about trying to lose five more. Just five pounds a month would add up to 60 pounds by year-end. But even if I only manage to lose five pounds in 2012, that’s a start!
  • Only wear clothes that make me feel good about myself! I have a bad habit of keeping clothing longer than I should. But that’s going to change. In the interest of freeing up some space, and generally just feeling better about my appearance, I went through my closet and donated a bunch of stuff to charity over the holiday break (including my old wedding dress). Anything that no longer fit properly or had bad memories associated with it went in the donation bag. I hope to make this clothing purge a regular part of my routine and go through my wardrobe about once a season. I would rather have fewer clothes that I love wearing than a truckload of stuff that makes me feel frumpy!
  • Be happy! This one is the easiest of all. I’ve spent a fair amount of time wishing things could be the way they used to be. But when I fall into that habit, I only seem to remember the good things (my own home and more disposable income) and conveniently leave out the bad (awful, awful husband and terrible, terrible stress). Over the holidays, for the first time in years, I felt calm and secure in the knowledge that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in my life. Sure, I’m 35-years old and I am living with my parents. But I also think my son and I need that extra emotional (and financial) support right now. I like living with them. I’m paying (affordable) rent, so I’m not just free-loading. My son is in a terrific public school. We both get to spend more time with them. Sometimes the responsible thing is knowing when to accept help, instead of stubbornly trying to go it on your own. We won’t live there forever. And it’s okay if it is taking a bit longer to move back out than I initially planned.

What about you? Did you make any resolutions of your own this year? Share your resolutions (or a link to your blog post about them) in the comments!

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