New Years Resolutions 2013

31 12 2012

I found it really helpful to blog my resolutions last year as it helped me remember them and keep an eye on how I was doing, so if you’ll forgive me, I’ll do the same this year!

  • Only buy FairTrade chocolate – The industry has moved forward a lot in the last few years, there’s a lot more choice in Fairtrade chocolate, lots of major brands have started to switch over, so there’s not much of an excuse to not try it! Of course, it raises a lot of questions as to the technicalities, how this actually will work. Originally I was going to come up with all sorts of rules, but I think it’s going to be kept pretty basic – that always leaves the opportunity for improvement next year!
    For example, chocolate cake is fine, (it’s cocoa, not chocolate!), I wouldn’t refuse a gift just because it wasn’t FairTrade, or not buy a cereal bar because of the little chocolate chips on top. If I was buying for someone else I’d probably stick to FairTrade, and for the sake of argument, I’m not going to treat Rainforest Alliance certified as FairTrade, so that eliminates Galaxy! There is also the argument that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate – I think I might give that one some time, but will probably leave it alone.
    Essentially this year the target is the hard core chocolate purchases. My biggest upset will probably be giving up Chocolate Oranges and Milky Way Magic Stars…. time to write to Terry’s and Nestle! (But I will eat the chocolate orange I have left – no point in wasting it!)
  • Read more – I improved my reading the first half of last year, but slowed down a lot the second half, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in time given to reading, and I’ve just bought a ridiculous amount of books, so no excuses!
  • Limit daily time spent watching TV series on DVD – Last year I cut down my tele watching a lot, but the result of this was that I ended up watching loads of DVD TV series instead, so the aim is to cut that back and put that time into the reading mentioned above!
  • Study well for BSL and aim to pass level 1 – I took this up in September and passed my first assessment in December, so I need to keep this up for the next two terms to pass the course!
  • Exercise – ‘Nuff said. This did not happen last year at all, I need to find something regular, with people who will keep me accountable, and that I enjoy for this to work. Also something that’s not too much effort?! Hmm! The difficulty is that I don’t have many free evenings, and so when I do I much prefer to crash out in them!
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!
  • Oo, and I might try this:

    “Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective.”

Advent 2012 Bonus #6

31 12 2012

A slightly different take on this years John Lewis Advert

Don’t blink, don’t even blink.

The rest of my 2012 reading

30 12 2012

I’ve only read 2 books since May, one took a few days, the other a few months! Guess which way round that was….

James and the Giant PeachRoald Dahl

james and the giant peach

As a child I don’t think I ever read this. I’ve actually found a Roald Dahl Box Set cheaply as I think I only read one of the books as a child, though I did see the film version of a few! Reading it there were whole chunks I’d never heard before, the cloud men was something totally new to me, although the songs of the centipede etc were as familiar as if I’d seen the film yesterday 🙂

Mere ChristianityC.S. Lewis

mere christianity

I bought this book a couple of years ago after hearing several recommendations, and so made a start on it this summer. The preface and foreward took me forever to read, but as soon as I started the actual book I saw why everyone raved about it so much! If you plan on reading this, I’d definitely recommend skipping the preface and foreward! The book is based on the radio broadcasts he made in the war, and is full of written illustrations (sorry, I just spent ages trying to think of a better phrase than that and utterly failed – let me know if you think of the words I meant!!) to help the reader understands his concepts and ideas and really manages to make a lot of sense with them.
There was one point I was reading it and had to double take as he said something quite unexpected, but that aside, it’s a very good book to read through and make you think!

There you go, one day left of 2012 and I’ve managed the 12 books – onto 2013 and lets see if I can beat that! (I’ll limit the Roald Dahl’s or I could read several!)

What books have you read and loved in 2012?

Advent 2012 Bonus #5

30 12 2012

New years resolutions 2012 – review #4

29 12 2012

Before I set my resolutions for next year, I thought it was beyond time to give this years one last look and see how I did!

Fairly average and straightforward resolutions

  • Quit Corrie – Complete. I’ve watched occasional episodes when staying with my parents, but I’ve definitely stopped watching it!
  • Watch less tele – Technically complete. I only put on TV to watch shows I want to watch now, but I’ve kind of made up for this by binging on TV series DVD box sets instead, there’s something for next year!
  • Exercise more and lose a little weight – I did a 5k jog in May, but haven’t done a single thing since… I lost a bit of weight in August, but that was just as I wasn’t well and is now back on, but I’m happy with my weight now, it turned out losing that little scared me a bit because I didn’t want to lose too much, so happy with maintaining weight now, just need to be healthier!
  • Spend more time either on my violin or improve at the piano – This hasn’t gone well at all, but mainly because we moved to a much smaller house so I no longer have my keyboard, and there’s no space to get my violin out really.
  • Get my sewing machine back out and use it – Again, tiny house means this hasn’t been possible
  • Read more, and not just easy reads – I’ve read six books this year, (well, I’m desperately trying to finish the sixth before the end of the year but it’s non fiction and so I’ve been pretty slow with it). Which is good, but I haven’t put much time into it and reckon I could do better next year. Might be good to go for a higher proportion of fiction just to get through a few more books!
  • Less of the irritating chattering – Possibly
  • Reduce time spent on social media – Fail! But I am trying to put less content on and cut down on those who are friends who I wouldn’t talk to, will probably tidy up again in the new year.

A bit more deep, meaningful and more effort involved

  • Learn to love God more
  • Learn to think better of myself – I think I’ve actually made some progress here. No way am I there completely, but there’s been some definite movement in the right direction, a bit more confidence.
  • Have a more positive outlook

I’ll be back in a few days with next years resolutions!

How did you do with your resolutions this year? Have you kept track of them at all?

Advent 2012 Bonus #4

29 12 2012

Christmas traditions explained

Advent 2012 Bonus #3

28 12 2012

New Zealand kids re-enact the nativity 🙂

Advent 2012 Bonus #2

27 12 2012

As Decembers gone through I’ve found a few other good videos, so we’ll enjoy them the next few days 🙂

The cast of Scrubs voice a Charlie Brown Christmas

Happy Birthday Dad!

Advent 2012 – Boxing Day bonus extra!

26 12 2012

I discovered this partway through December thanks to my friend Ben so thought I’d share it as a post-Christmas bonus 🙂

Mr Bean Salvation Army Band Carols

Advent 2012 – Christmas Day

25 12 2012

“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
-Galatians 4:4-5

“May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the perseverance of the magi, the obedience of Joseph and Mary, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.”

Earth Lies Spellbound – Graham Kendrick