2011 was a year of being undone. It feels a bit like I’ve been pulled apart in every way possible, as if the universe conspired to tear away the excess, inauthentic, and confused parts of me and strip me down to my bones. As painful as it may have been, I think that it ultimately enables me to reconstruct myself in a happier and healthier way.

The year that began with a physical death continued on with a hundred other deaths of identity, habits, long held beliefs, and general pattern of being. It’s stripped away all of what I thought I was. I don’t really want to look back at it. Maybe it would be useful but the effects have already set in.

I have what is perhaps a naïve hope about 2012. Having already been stripped and pulled apart, I hope that this will be a year of rebuilding and growing. It seems like the logical next step. This year I want to do just that in a healthy way and focus on overall wellness rather than specific goals of weight loss or feats of fitness. Those will come in time but they will come more naturally if I work toward overall wellness first.

With that in mind, here are my twelve goals for 2012.

1. Weight Loss or Weight Maintenance – I don’t mind staying at this weight for a while to get other things in order but I don’t want to gain any back. By “this weight” I really mean the 215-220 range I was in before the holiday bloat set in. I guess I have a little bit of losing to do but I think that will happen naturally over time if I’m taking care of myself.

2. Regular Exercise – These two goals in order sound suspiciously like code for weight loss, don’t they? I’m putting this in there because running makes me feel really good. Whether or not it helps me lose weight is still in debate amongst the pseudo-scientific community. So, I don’t care what I do but this year I want to make sure that I’m working out at least once a week. I’d prefer three times a week but I’ll work my way back up to that.

3. Continue Music Studies – I started working with a private voice teacher a few months ago and it feels like being back home. This year I want to not only continue this but start either piano again or start guitar. I need to learn the piano for a music major but I really want to know how to play the guitar. Music is going to be one of my primary focuses this year.

4. Continue Therapy – I’m not sure how long I’m going to work with a therapist or how long I even need to but I’m going to commit to doing it for the full year. At the end of this year I’ll reassess and decide about whether I’ve gotten what I need out of it or if I should continue.

5. Invest in Friendships and Community – This year I spent a lot of time doing this and I’m in a much better place than I was the year before. I’ve started to build a great community but I would definitely love to expand it a bit more.

6. Be True to Myself, Whatever That Is – As I said before, this year seemed to be the year of stripping me down to my bones, removing so much of the fake and put on parts of who I thought I was. I’m still not totally sure who the authentic Kendra is but I intend to start finding out. If it doesn’t feel authentic and right, I’m not going to keep acting the part.

7. Money – It might be a bit optimistic to make this goal but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway with the knowledge that I’ll be happy with whatever I can do here. I’d like to get out of debt this year, or at least get as close to it as I can. I’m not sure if the student loans can be fully taken care of. Let’s see what I can do with this one, though.

8. Get Healthy Hair Again – As my hair’s gotten longer and as I stopped taking care of myself, I’ve had to brush out more and more terrible rat’s nests. Unfortunately my hair’s gotten kind of thin because of it and the ends are terrible. I really don’t want to have to cut it short again because I love it long but I’ve started taking supplements that I hope will help it.

9. Get My Passport and Go Somewhere – I know, this has been a goal for three years now but I haven’t done it yet. I joked with a friend about meeting in Vienna for my birthday so who knows, maybe I will get it done this year.

10. Go Back to School Part Time – Oh look, here’s another one that I’ve neglected for quite some time. This year I’d really like to start taking classes again and make some progress on finishing my degree in English.

11. Setup My Apartment Like a Home – It’s not terrible but my apartment doesn’t feel like home. It’s not terribly cozy and it doesn’t have that “home” feel. I’ve looked at a lot of furniture and accessories and I’d like to get it set up in a way that feels like home.

12. Blog At Least Twice a Week – I spent most of this year hiding from both myself and my blog. Yet blogging has really helped me get through a lot. I’m going to try to be more present this year.

If I can get even half of this done this year I’ll be ridiculously happy. Even making partial progress on each one of these would be awesome. Like I said before, I’m really optimistic for 2012 and I’m feeling so much better than I felt at this time last year. I hope that this year brings growth, joy, and new adventures for myself and for each one of you. Thank you for sticking with my through such a rough year!

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