Rock climbing victory (photo credit Bryan Wintersteen)

Photo Credit: Bryan Wintersteen

As much as I resist the idea of New Year’s resolutions, I do think there is value in taking a hard look at what is going well and what could make your life better.

Rather than vowing to stop bad habits, I prefer to focus on what I want more of in my life.

Here’s my 2012 list.

1. Travel

Are you surprised? I hope not. I did start this travel blog after all.

This year I want to take both big and small trips and start checking off items on my travel bucket list. In the works already are:

  • Kansas City – before the holiday lights come down (January)
  • Nashville & Knoxville – there’s a tech conference I want to go to in Nashville, and I hope to tack on a few days to visit my niece Megan who attends college in Knoxville (March)
  • Gulf Shores, AL – we’re hoping to rent a beach house for the whole family for my Mom’s 75th birthday (June or July)
  • New England Road Trip – I’m excited about the B&B road trip I plan to take with my friends Cathy & Julie (September)

2. Exercise

I was working out consistently for the first time in my life until about 6 months ago when my gym closed and my trainer moved to a farther location. I need to start doing something regularly again. Haven’t figured out what yet, but I bought a yoga mat and just added an exercise channel to my new Roku (affiliate link), so maybe I’ll start there.

3. Cooking

I love to cook, and by eating in more and doing carry out less, I end up eating much healthier. I want to get back to cooking most days this year. To help, I’m also planning on signing up for this local produce home delivery service and getting back into the tag games on

4. Explore St. Louis

I really love trying new restaurants and visiting local sites where I’ve never been. I need to do more of it this year. You can follow my progress on via my Yelp reviews and FourSquare tips.

I also want to document my explorations in photographs.

I bought a new camera (affiliate link) a few months ago that takes really great pictures. I need to get out and use it more so that I have something new to post to my Photograph St. Louis Facebook group and my Flickr account every week.

5. Friends

I have some wonderful people in my life that I really care about, but I am terrible about picking up the phone and making plans to get together.

This year, I vow to see my friends more often. The current idea is to schedule get out once a week with someone, and make sure no one goes more than a couple of months between visits.

6. More Music & Movies

I tend to watch a lot of mindless TV. I turn it on while I’m working on the laptop. I just downgraded my Dish Network plan to the $15/month welcome package that has more than enough mindless TV, but I’m hoping I don’t watch it all that often. I went to spend this year shifting to having music playing more often or watching movies on my new Netflix and Roku services that I just set up.

The goal is that by the end of the year when my contract with Dish is up, I will be ready to cancel the service and just go with Netflix and free TV.

7. Writing

I really love writing. I have 4 blogs including this one. The other 3 are all tied to my real estate business. This one is just for fun.

For now.

I hope to have it bring in some money down the road to help fund my expat lifestyle. You’ll see some affiliate links here as a way to get started. If you click on those links and end up buying something, I’ll make a tiny bit of money which will help cover the costs of this website.

But I digress.


It never fails that stuff just gets in the way of me sitting down to write. I want to be more consistent this year so I don’t have such long gaps between articles.

8. Grow my Business

My real estate business has all of the pieces in place for 2012 to be a spectacular year. We’ve got 2 new team members and have shifted who will do what so that we all can focus on what we do best. We’ve set some big goals for this year, but I know that we can hit them.

9. Technology Tools

I bought a Xoom tablet last year, but didn’t really integrate it into my life. Since it was actually bought by my real estate business, and I don’t really need it for the business, I’m giving it to my partner Judy since she can use it for listing appointments and writing contracts.

I realized that the reason I never really used it was because I didn’t have a real keyboard. I’ve been scoping out the latest in Android tablets and am planning to buy the new ASUS Transformer Prime Tablet (affiliate link) along with a Logitech Tablet Keyboard (affiliate link). My goal is to see if I can shift to this more travel friendly tech solution and leave the laptop at home.

10. Romance

Mike and I have been seeing each other for a couple of months now and it’s going really well. I am committed to not taking anything for granted, and making sure he knows how much I appreciate him.

I hope to be celebrating on a 1 year anniversary trip come November.