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I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday in a very long time, but this week's topic seemed like a good way to summarize all the things I've begun working on in the new year.
1. Stick to my Golden Rule of Book Buying
2. Get no more than 10 new cookbooks (these don't count in #1 because I don't *read* them -- more on this goal later)
3. Diversify my reading selections with the guidance of the (many) challenges I've joined.
4. Read more books for the Classics Club
5. Start reading some of the anthologies and collections on my Classics Club list. I am normally a one book at a time kind of girl, but I have some hefty (and not so hefty) collections of short stories, poetry, fairy tales, etc. that do not necessarily need to be read cover to cover before moving onto another book. So I'd like to start with one and dip in and out until the collection is complete. I think I'm going to start with Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary which I've been wanting to read more of ever since studying an excerpt for Ms. Sweeney's English class. After that, I have plenty of others to choose from!
6. Work on my time management and make time for reading every day. This does not mean I HAVE to read everyday -- if I'm between books and can't decide what to start next or I just don't feel like it, that's fine. What I want to avoid is what happened in 2013 where I would get drawn into a book, but then it could take me weeks to finish it simply because I could not find the time regardless of how much I wanted to read.
7. Go to bed earlier and get more sleep. I'm super lucky to work from home and make my own schedule, but with so much going on last year, I got in the bad habit of starting my work day later and then staying up on the computer until 2AM. So I've been shifting my schedule earlier and my goal is to keep it that way. Related to #6, I've been making time to read before bed which usually helps me fall asleep, and having a routine is really helpful when trying to establish new habits and patterns.
8. Try at least 50 new recipes. If I get back in the habit of cooking and baking more, I should easily surpass this goal. In the past, I've made 4 new recipes in one day (granted that was for a party, but still one new recipe a week is really a piece of cake.)
9. Choose one cookbook from my collection at a time and make several recipes from it. There are so many books I've browsed with my husband (usually right after I've bought them) asking him which things he'd be willing to try, and yet we so often fall back into the trap of tried-and-true. Not this year! Nick can be really picky, but he's gotten more adventurous with food lately, so I'm going to seize that opportunity.
10. No purchasing packaged sweets (cookies, ice cream, etc.). I have a well stocked pantry and enough recipes to last a lifetime so this one should be easy. I used to do this without even thinking about it because I baked and tried new recipes all the time when we lived in our apartment. But a year of house projects left me short on time and snatching packaged goodies off the shelves when grocery shopping. Homemade tastes so much better anyway, so this goal should be lots of fun. The one treat I'll still allow is real-deal 70%+ dark chocolate because I can't make that myself and dark chocolate has like antioxidants and stuff in it, right? As a side note, when I mentioned this resolution to my husband, he said he was all for it, but "Now I'll have to make it my resolution to not gain 100 pounds because of your resolution." The boy does love my baking :)
Here's to a productive and happy 2014! Good luck with your goals, whatever they may be :)