My name is H.A. Larson and I am a Woman of a Particular Age. I occasionally write ghostly and horror novellas, as well as some editorials for different publications, from my desk in the Midwest. I'm a hiker, adventurer, and traveler. I'm an ex-pat in-training that likes wine and Renaissance Faires. I'm a music fanatic and I much prefer a book over television.
Alright, folks, new year new me. Right? Right! This year is shaping up to be great (no matter what that nagging little voice in my head tries to tell me) and it's high time I get some goals going. So, what are my goals for 2023?
1. Get my physical health back on track
I fell off the health wagon over the past few years, gaining back a good chunk of the weight I had lost, getting lazy, and indulging in bad habits. Back in early November, I started back up with keto and started seeing some success when I decided to nose-dive into carbs over the Christmas Holiday and ride that wave out through the end of the year. Man, I felt it too. I'm back on keto as of the beginning of the year and can already feel an improvement. Carbs + me = bad.
After gaining back weight and moving in 2021, I tore the meniscus in my right knee and then a few months later in my left knee. This really put my walking/hiking on the back burner and started a long period of time where not being able to walk/hike just became the norm. I tried a few times in 2022 to pick them back up but the excess weight I am carrying only makes the meniscus problem worse.
My goal is to get healthy and return to where I was in 2019.
2. Get my mental health back on track
Honestly, I've never been someone who suffered from anything more than some seasonal or situational sadness or stress, but after the past few years of turmoil, my mental health needs a boost. No, I don't have any long-term issues, but my mental health took a back seat to other things that needed my attention and I carried an immense amount of stress because of it. This led to a lot of bad coping mechanisms - like eating too much, drinking too much, and not leaving my house much.
I decided to take advantage of the employee assistance program that my employer provides and have made an appointment to talk to someone later this month.
3. Have my emergency fund fully vested
I have been working, little by little, to build up six months' worth of an emergency fund. As long as nothing serious pops up, I'll have that goal realized by the end of February. It gives me comfort and a sense of security knowing that I can handle a true emergency.
While I keep my emergency fund in high-yield savings accounts, I do keep a small amount of cash in my local bank. I've decided to beef that up a bit as well. Why? Well, with inflation, things cost more and our paychecks don't go as far.
4. Inventory and build up my stockpile
I have a small stockpile of food that I keep well-stored. I've realized, again because of inflation, that I need to get it to a point where I feel satisfied that my daughter and I could live off just that for a solid month or two should we need to. I've even "shopped" my stockpile over the past handful of months to replenish items in my kitchen without having to go to the store. Hey, I bought them when they were much cheaper than now so I figured I should rebuild and shape the stockpile before prices rise even more....which I have no doubt will happen in the near future. I mean, have you seen the price of food? Do me a favor and don't even look at eggs.
Just as important as having a proper stockpile, I realize that I need to have an accounting of exactly what items I have and how much. Makes sense as I don't need to overbuy certain items while ignoring others.
5. Get out and do more things
Because of the aforementioned hiding in my house, I haven't gotten out and about like I used to. Whether it's hiking, day trips, camping trips, getting out of Dodge for a weekend, etc, I have a severe lack of adventure in my life. A person like me, who struggles with wanderlust and itchy feet, I myself can't believe how little I've done with my life over the past few years. Not that it happened without reason, because it surely did, but I need to move on and get back out into the world. I need new places, new experiences, new food, and all other things new. At least new to me. Whatever it is, I'm going to fit as much in that works within my budget as far as domestic travel goes and make myself just get outside and about more in general - especially on the weekends.
Yes, I have grand plans to go back to Europe (my ultimate dream) but I am currently planning a realistic return for 2024. More to come on that in the future!
I do need to give myself a bit of credit though, I did do many fun things in 2022, just not to the degree that I normally would want to.
6. Dust off the old hobbies
I used to love to read books, write stories, go to concerts, and cook yummy food, among other things. My passion for these things waned with my life's struggles. That needs to change. Hobbies help keep us occupied, help bring meaning to our lives, and enrich us - things my life sorely needs. While I have no plans to go overboard on hobbies, I think I need to read a bit each night before bed (something I did without fail for years and years), hit up a few more concerts, and put together a meal that takes more than 30 seconds to prepare.
There you have it: goals I'm working on for this new year. There's nothing like a new year to bring about changes in one's life - myself included. I'm going to keep you all posted once a month on my progress. I figure it will keep me more accountable if I actually have to update people on my progress.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” —J.P. Morgan