1. I really like historical fiction – even if the history is made up. George R.R. Martin is amazing.

2. If I eat healthy and count my calories in a food log I lose weight and I feel amazing.
2.a I can eat healthy and lose weight while traveling. This is a truly amazing discovery. Bonus – the food you eat tastes better when you are eating healthy – it has more flavor.
2.b If you look up the restaurant you are going to before you get there and pick out a meal within your calorie count it’s easier than trying to figure it out after you get there.
2.c Applebees has an under 550 calorie menu and Subway has 4-5 combo’s under 500 calories.

3. A treat is something that makes you feel good for days. An indulgence only makes you feel good while it is happening.

4. Watching your daughter dance, after dreaming of it for 20 years, is beautiful.

5. My son’s laugh is my favorite ringtone.

6. Writing a blog is scary. It’s exposing. (It’s less scary when your mom and three other people are the only ones reading it.)

7. I can’t wait to start sewing! I know how to thread my machine or whatever you call it.

8. Knowing that I can have a piece of dark chocolate at the end of every day gives me super-Julie willpower the rest of the day.

9. Being appreciated is so important.

10. It’s nearly impossible to take a picture every day. That sounded so easy.

So that is it for January. Not bad for my 40th year. Still able to learn new things. I so love that life is just a series of experiences that can surprise us and delight us and challenge us. This is the first year that I’ve ever set New Years resolutions and actually stuck with them.

One thing that has helped is I haven’t thought of my new eating as a diet – just a healthier way of eating. It also helps that my mom and two friends are all making these changes together. We are able to ‘friend’ each other on LoseIt.com and check in every day as we log our food and occasional for some, frequent for others – exercise. (hint, I’m occasional and everyone else is frequent) Your welcome to join us! (This is a trick to find out who is reading this blog.)

It’s been nice to make the right kind of changes in my life. One of the drawbacks of finding and starting my family later in life is the horrible knowledge that I am likely to have less time with them than someone who started earlier. That’s a good motivator to be as healthy as I can and make good choices. I want to know at 80 that what I did at 40 made for a strong life.

The sewing is something new – I took up crocheting two years ago. Last year I really focused on my photography. This year I will learn to sew. I even found an online home ec course with projects that will give you a bunch of different skills. So I’m going to start there in February and see how much I can get done. My big goal was to make curtains but then I went on Pinterest and searched sewing and now I may never stop sewing once I figure it out.

So what are you challenging yourself with this year? Any new skills or goals you are pursuing?

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