Our Version of New Year's Resolutions
Since the statistics show that a large percentage of people break their New Year’s Resolutions within the first two weeks, we decided to try and defy the odds by not making ours until 18 days after the start of the New Year. That should help, right? We debated how we wanted to lay out our goals this year and came back to the MORE / LESS method from last year. Rather than emphatically say we will never do something again, our goal will simply be LESS of something we want to eliminate and MORE of what we want to incorporate on our lives! It will show us the direction we want to go in a gentle, guiding way.
So there you have it our 2018 guideline, but if you are interested in the details, we outline each line item below. Don't let us bore you, as it is as much for us as it is for you. If you read it in its entirety, you must really love us. We owe you cookies, leave your address and social security number in the comments below. No seriously, don't leave that info down there unless you are looking for 100 more people trying to be you! Though we think you're really cool, 100 more of you would just be weird! But really, we will send you cookies if you want some. While on the subject of cookies, you may want to get one and a cup of coffee before heading into the nitty gritty of our MORE / LESS for 2018.
As we start to feel older and realize our toes are further away than they used to be, we decided to try our best to reverse that trend. We will bend in order to not break. We hope in 2018 to increase our flexibility and strength. While there have already been some funny moments trying to both get into a certain pose in our tiny home on wheels, laughter is good for the soul too. So while it might not be zen to break out in laughter in the middle of a yoga session, we will make the most of it. Thanks to Santa (aka Mom & Dad Dutt) for the online Yoga subscription. Watch out toes, here we come…
Both Russ and I love to read, but we (mostly me) tend to put it on the back burner. I will read when I get the laundry and dishes done. I will read once I get this budget spreadsheet balanced. I will read after I finish scrolling through my newsfeed. The reality is those things never are completely done, so in return the pages of the book remain unturned. This year it our my goal to read at least one book per month. Easy peasy, but something I know I didn’t accomplish in 2017. Dr. Seuss says it best, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Kind of sums up our goals as full-time RVers!
The Spanish language has always intrigued me, so much so that I took a single conversational Spanish class in college to put me well over the normal class load just because I liked the sound of the language. We have talked about learning Spanish lots of times and Santa (Mom & Dad Dutt again) didn’t disappoint when he delivered Rosetta Stone to our stockings this year. Lucky for us, Spanish is known as one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn. This is just another goal to enrich our lives, whether it be through conversation with those we typically couldn’t converse with, to make ordering at that Mexican restaurant a bit easier, or even to finally know what the lyrics to those Ricky Martin & Shakira songs really mean. Spanish in the United States is different from any other foreign language for a very simple reason: it’s not foreign at all, especially where we will be parked for the next year. While I doubt next year’s New Year’s resolutions will be written in Spanish, I do hope our vocabulary has expanded past hola, adiós, el baño, and Feliz Navidad.
While we have drastically cut our expenses from our previous life in our home in Pennsylvania, we also have drastically cut our income. That means being frugal is important, which is something I have always held near and dear to my heart. But, there are times we unknowingly get a bit out of hand in the spending category. So that budget spreadsheet is going to be visited a little more frequently this year to keep us on track. Last year, we had a category for “things we didn’t budget for” and we hope this year to not let that category have much in it. On the other side of the equation, we hope to maximize our opportunities to earn whether it be through a second blog, an Etsy shop, or other random side gigs. We always having fun with the “brainstorming” part, but we hope to turn those dreams into earning opportunities in 2018.
The Internet, or the “Web”, as it is sometimes referred to, was maybe one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century. And as important and commonplace as the Web has become in our everyday lives, it may also have become one of the greatest time-consumers in people’s lives. And now that the Web is so easily accessible on the phone in everyone’s pocket, the problem has become even more prevalent. So, in recognition of this trend in our lives, we have decided to lean on that creative side of our brain and attempt to produce more things in the written format. The most obvious outlet for our written word will continue to be our blog at SeeSimpleLove.com. We look forward to continuing to document our travel journey for you, our readers, and for us, for posterity. In 2018, this may also take the form of another blog, focusing on one of the many interests that Russ and I share. Brainstorming sessions have begun, finished product to follow. And who knows, they say everyone’s dream is to write a book. We may start writing so much, discover we like it, and end up as published authors.
Going along with the more / less items from above, we are hoping to be able to creatively express ourselves in both writing and earning opportunities. We hope to spend more time doing and creating things, than simply sitting in front of the computer and television screens. That reminds Russ too much of his cubicle life in the corporate world. While I think Russ’ motivation to having this on our resolution list this year is he thinks my creative outlet might turn into a gluten free cupcake for him, I hate to inform you and any others out there that frosting will not be a part of my creative expression. Neither of us are sure where this one will take us, but we will report on where we’ve gone with it next year. Albert Einstein says, “Creativity is intelligence having fun!” We’ll see what we can do…
This was written mainly as a blog goal in hopes to interact more with our audience. We have some ideas of how we plan to do this, but as we reflected about it we realized that it should also be a personal goal. Take time to engage and to listen. The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
So “Charlie” without a doubt feels like home, but he could use some sprucing up. This year we hope to add some finishing touches to the space such as some bigger projects like a mini gallery wall and some artwork to smaller projects like a toilet paper holder and some plants. Along with this, it is time to clean out and clear out. It is astonishing how much we can acquire in such a short amount of time all while living in a small amount of space. Even when I can’t see it, this “stuff” clutters up our headspace! We look forward to the challenge of coming up with inviting and homey, yet pared-back aesthetics that are necessary in our small home.
From foods to cleaning supplies to medicines, we hope to cut the crap. We have transitioned to using essential oils for ailments and cleaning, but hope to incorporate them even more. If you are interested in essential oils, definitely ask me as I would love to help. Along with our list from last year, we hope to eat more naturally gluten-free foods, rather than foods that are altered to be gluten free. Does this mean you won’t find a Reese cup in the fridge or Doritos in our cupboard? Nope! That’s why this MORE / LESS list works for us, just LESS Reeses and Doritos, not NO Reeses and Doritos.
As I’m sure you can all tell, we were not formally educated to be bloggers or workampers. So some of what we do does require us to learn on the fly which can be fun and rewarding, but we are ready to expand our knowledge base. That includes learning more about all those blogging techy-terms of tags and categories and anchors, affiliate marketing and search engine optimization, html and permalinks. Yada Yada Yada. In addition, rather than just shoot and hope for great photos, we have also enrolled in a photography class. We are curious and ready to be in the know!
Based on our 2018 plans, this will be the year of exploring the big state of Texas. We hope to learn about the people, the culture, the traditional foods, and the terrain. After all, this is one of the main reasons we decided to travel - to see all that our country has to offer. This year marks the first time that Charlie has started a New Year in the Central Time Zone. It’s time for Texas explorations, Y’all. So if you have any suggestions, send them our way.
We would love to hear your resolutions for this year too…. share a few or all of them in the comments below.