12 Changes in 2012

I first heard about “12 Changes” from a friend. She posted on her blog and twitter about how a bunch of bloggers are setting out to make several small changes throughout 2012 in order to achieve great change in their lives. It’s set up to focus on one small change every month, though I’m sure not everyone will choose to do it that way. I read more about “12 Changes” on Stephany’s blog, and learned that there will also be a web community created to encourage all of the participants.

In order to come up with my list of changes, I first thought about what goals I wanted to achieve in 2012. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Improve my spiritual life – spend more time reading the Bible, in prayer, and journaling
  • Get fit – improve overall strength (especially my core), endurance, and flexibility
  • Eat healthier
  • Sleep more
  • Have clearer skin
  • (Re)connect with friends
  • Simplify – my schedule, my possessions, my wardrobe, and my spending
  • Learn new things – make use of my horribly neglected guitar, ukulele, and violin
  • Engage my creativity more regularly – make music, sew, do graphic design, or take photographs just for fun

Here’s the list of 12 changes I came up with, though it may be subject to change. I divided them across the months, though I would ideally make all of these changes every month for the whole year. Focusing on one per month, though, makes it more likely that I will commit to these changes and follow through. (I hope.) I’m also hoping that the changes I make in the beginning of the year will continue on throughout the year as they become natural habits rather than conscious efforts.

  • January – read the Bible every day
  • February – practice Examen and journal once a week
  • March – be in bed by 11 PM every night
  • April – drink water every day and replace other fluids with water or green tea
  • May – eat fruits and vegetables every day
  • June – exercise for 30 minutes six days per week
  • July – go dairy free (I hear that helps clear the skin)
  • August – get together with a friend once a week
  • September – do something creative or new at least once a week (music, graphic design, photography, sewing, etc.)
  • October – spend only cash on unplanned expenses
  • November – keep one night a week free of plans and responsibilities
  • December – donate or consign clothes/belongings once a week
What goals and changes do you have in mind for 2012?

Dream Journal: The “New Year’s Eve” of Dreams

When I say “New Year’s Eve,” I don’t mean the upcoming holiday. I mean the celebrity-stuffed movie starring, among MANY others, Zac Efron, Lea Michele, Jessica Biel, and Seth Meyers – REALLY?! (with Seth Meyers). My dream was packed with celebrities, though when morning came, I could only remember one or two of them. Here are the bits and pieces that come to mind:

The Hangover
In part of the dream, I was in a house with a bunch of celebrities. Most, if not all, of them were men. They were waking up in this house, and like in The Hangover, they had no idea how they got there. They also weren’t sure why they were all dressed as women. I went around the house to watch them wake up, because it was amusing to see them try to make sense of everything and attempt to figure out what happened. One of the celebrities was possibly Don Cheadle. There were also several older Caucasian men, perhaps British, and a little on the heavier side. One celebrity that I distinctly remember was dressed as a bearded woman in a large flower-print dress. After shaving the woman’s beard, we discovered a smooth-faced Steve Carrell underneath.

The Hostage
I was being held hostage with several other people in a one-room house. The house was built like a greenhouse, except without the glass walls, and with doors on each side. There were multiple men holding us hostage at gun point, one of whom looked like Vince Vaughn, though it seemed like most of the hostages were just innocent bystanders. They only aimed the gun at one person, but they wouldn’t let the rest of us leave. I remember thinking that their demand was so simple. We asked the main hostage to give in to their demands so we could leave, but she refused. At one point, our hostage takers had left the house, taking their guns with them. We conspired to make our escape. “What if one person held watch at the door while we escape? If it’s clear, we all can go free.” Though our hostage takers all left through one door, they may return through any of the four doors. The main hostage filled us in on that information, as if she had been a hostage longer than any of the rest of us. It was if she had experience being their hostage, and we were new additions to the house.

The Dances
There were several parts of the dream that involved dance or dancers. In one scene, I was part of a group performing in the kitchen of a house. It was a much larger house than where we were being kept hostage. It was possibly the same kitchen from The Hangover portion of my dream, but they seemed slightly different. (In The Hangover portion, the fridge was in the corner, and there was an island in the middle of the kitchen. In this scene, the fridge was on the end next to a door, and instead of an island, there was an L-shaped counter.) Both kitchens featured warm wood paneling on both the cabinets and floors. Our performing group was fairly large, and we were all wearing mauve-colored dresses. The leader of our group was a girl named Leah O. In real life, I went to high school with her, though we weren’t friends then and haven’t talked since graduation. I was wearing the same costume as the rest of the group, but I couldn’t remember ever practicing with them or learning the routine. I tried watching Leah during the performance and attempted to keep up and pretend like I knew what I was doing.

In the other dance portion of the dream, I was in a dance studio about to take a class. I don’t remember actually dancing, but I was wearing my pointe shoes and stood by some of my friends from real-life dance class. At one point, I remember fixing my ponytail, and my hair was almost down to the floor. The ends were all dry and frizzy, and I didn’t even realize my hair had gotten so long. When it had been up in a ponytail earlier in the dream, the length didn’t feel or look any longer than it usually is. My friends in class didn’t realize my hair was that long either, because they looked at it in amazement and shock.

SIDENOTE: When I was writing about New Year’s Eve earlier, I thought about how celebrity-stuffed it is… And then I thought about turducken, and how bird-stuffed it is. (Turducken is a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey, FYI.) And then I realized that turducken is the Inception of poultry. And then I LOL’d.

Inception. The turducken of dreams.