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What I’m going to do more of in 2013

What I’m going to do more of in 2013

Oh, how I love new year’s resolutions–and being held accountable for achieving them! As much as I believe that we should be trying to change for the better every day, there’s nothing like a brand-new calendar year to offer that extra kick to achieve our goals.

Christine Amorose at Top of the Rock, New York City

I’m pretty stoked for 2013 (superstitiously, 13 was my lacrosse number in college, and it served me well). I’m feeling peaceful, grounded, stress-free in my life in New York City; I’m excited to continue to explore this city and this country. Other than committing to my fixed life, here’s what I want to achieve in 2013:

Get out of the city at least once a month

I adore New York City, and it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the lifestyle here, particularly the weekend scene. I’d like to commit to getting OUT of the city at least once a month, whether that’s across oceans, across the country or just across the river. I’m particularly looking forward to a yoga and meditation retreat in upstate New York in February: it’s not too far physically, but it will be ages away from the stress and skyscrapers of the city.

Do an unassisted headstand

Up until 2012, I avoided inversion poses all together. I hated the sensation of being upside down and I was scared to kick my legs above my head, even when up against a wall. I’ve slowly started to appreciate the clarity that comes from having your heart above your head, but I still don’t have the core strength or mental stability to kick up without a wall.

Christine Amorose at a cooking cart in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Learn how to cook

I don’t eat out that much, but I also don’t do much of what you could consider “cooking.”  My cooking repetoire consists of: things I like in a frying pan (onions + red pepper + garlic + eggs), things I like in a bowl (cottage cheese + avocado + siracha), things I like straight out of the container (namely eating peanut butter by the spoonful). I can follow a recipe just fine, but beyond that, all I can manage is milk plus cereal. To me, “growing up” means having a liquor cabinet and having a stocked-enough pantry that I can throw together a dinner party on short notice. I also need to learn how to cut things properly. To achieve this goal: one knife skills class (special thanks to my incredible boss at ONA who gave me a gift certificate for a class for Christmas after I mentioned it!), one basic cooking class, one pretty new cookbook (I like pictures and short ingredient lists–recommendations, please?) and cooking for more than one at least once a week. Bonus goal: make some of the recipes I learned in Southeast Asia for friends.

Learn how to use my camera and Adobe Creative Suite

I’ll just come out and say it: I don’t know how to use my camera settings and I don’t know how to use PhotoShop to edit photos. I’m stuck on automatic and iPhoto. Even though I love a lot of my photos, I know there’s potential to do more. My mom always says that if you’re not willing to invest in yourself, no one else will be. So before I move forward with my photography (and so I stop feeling like an imposter working in the photography industry), I’m going to invest in a basic DSLR course and a PhotoShop course.

Christine Amorose celebrating her 24th birthday in Croatia

Go to three new countries

I want to a) go to Canada; b) go to Iceland and c) continue my tradition of celebrating every birthday in my 20s in a brand-new country (most likely one with an excellent beach). Of course, more is always better, but I’ll be quite happy if I can manage at least three while also living and working in New York City and exploring New England.

Take better care of my body

I’ve suffered from tightness in my back and neck since I was a teenager: the result of stress, anxiety and spending too many hours at a computer. I also have a “snapping scapula,” a super-gross grating sensation of the scapula onto the back side of the thoracic area of the spine. Because of the weird pain I suffer in my upper and lower back, I’ve developed some weird tics and I’m pretty much constantly wanting to crack my neck and back. I don’t have health insurance, so I don’t go to a chiropractor or sports therapist nearly as often as I should (as in, not since I left my job in Silicon Valley in 2010). There are definitely stretches and strengthening exercises I could do on my own every day, and I need to commit at least 15 minutes a day to my health. I also need to stop prioritizing travel/socializing/material goods over my health and start going to a doctor/physical therapist/acupuncturist. Being “healed” by the end of 2013 would be the ultimate satisfaction.

Christine Amorose with sangria in Barcelona in 2010

Learn Spanish without forgetting French

Traveling in South America in 2012 just cemented my desire to learn Spanish, beyond just being able to order sangria on the beach in Barcelona. I’d love to spend more time in Central and South America, and I won’t feel comfortable doing that until I’m conversant in Spanish. I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to go about this yet: Rosetta Stone? Community college course? Evening language school? But I do want to feel like a little less like the token gringa by the end of the year. I also don’t want to lose my French language skills; I studied French and German concurrently in high school, and it’s difficult unless you’re speaking and studying both regularly. To maintain my French, I want to go to more movies at the French cinema and get involved in conversation evenings with Alliance Française in New York City.

What are your new year’s resolutions? 

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    Great resolution list! I think I’m going to do a similar post so I will be held accountable to my 2013 resolutions. As for cookbooks I would recommend Saveur The New Comfort Food: Home Cooking from Around the World because the photography is absolutely beautiful and the recipes are always delicious. Also nothing by Ina Garten has ever disappointed.

  • Briel79

    This is a great list! I like how you have things you will do MORE of and not things you want to do less. I’ll be impressed when you manage to do all of those classes and traveling while dealing with living in a city as expensive as NY! I want to prioritize my life to include more travel. First up is Portland at the end of January!

  • Valerie LeComte

    I adore the Smitten Kitchen cookbook! It’s not a cookbook that is geared towards beginners, but nothing is super complicated and all of the recipes have good directions. And more importantly every single thing I have made so far has been incredible! And there’s tons of great food blogs out there to get you started!! If you want a super beginning cookbook I have heard How To Cook Everything: The Basics is the best, but have never used it. I love to travel as well and my travel buddy & I started a new tradition this year in Thailand-take a cooking class in every new country we go to! Great way to learn about a country and up your cooking skills!

  • Love this list! I tried this kind of goal-setting last year, but crashed and burned after a few months. With that said, I did meet my travel goal (2 international trips [France/Belgium & Germany/Switzerland] and 1 domestic trip [Seattle]). Yay!

    I really like your idea about learning to use your camera and Adobe CS. I was just thinking the same thing earlier this week as I stood at Neuschwanstein Castle trying to take photos, knowing that if I knew how to properly use my camera, I’d probably get better results! It is likely not as significant an investment as I think it will be, so it’s probably best just to suck it up and git ‘er done.

  • Great resolutions! I call them New Year’s Intentions, so I don’t beat myself up if I don’t accomplish everything. I’m excited for you to work on your photography. Don’t take this the wrong way, I can tell you have a good eye, but sometimes I wish there was a little more eye candy, and a little less iCandy. 😉 Trust me, I’ve blogged my share of iPhone pics, but will be great to see what happens as you develop your skills!

  • purplekat99

    Just wait until summer, you’ll be out of the city every single weekend! When I did a summer in NYC back in 2004, out of 12 weekends, I think I only spent like 3 of them in the city (and one was my birthday).

  • Shireen

    I’m also trying to get used to doing inversions and a head stand without the wall! let go of your fear– you can do it!!

  • All such wonderful goals! Mine only contain one travel goal this year, for the first time in quite some time, because I don’t know how much I can/will want to do while so pregnant/taking care of a newborn…But I am definitely doing a few new things!

  • WOW! That’s quite a list!!! Buena suerte! You should drop by my school near Union Square. You can get treated by a very skilled Intern for next to nothing. I guarantee acupuncture will help! http://www.pacificcollege.edu/index.php

  • Ella P.

    such a wonderful post Christine.
    I’m not really into making resolutions but I got inspired by this post so I’ll start making mine now. 😀 I love your blog!!

  • A great list of goals, Christine! I’d also love to learn how to cook properly, and to take some language courses (probably Spanish for me, too!).

  • I’m definitely up for taking better care of my body… and learning how to really use my DSLR for once and all! Let me know if you want to practice any spanish 🙂

  • KaleenasKaleidoscope

    That is an ambitious list, but lots of important things! Very similar to my own, especially in taking better care of health. To learn a new language I definitely recommend some kind of community class–I’ve been trying to learn Korean (since I have the ultimate motivation–I’m moving there in February) but it’s so hard, on top of everything else in the day, to force myself to sit down at a computer and try to absorb it on my own. But good luck with everything and cheers to 2013 being an amazing year! 🙂

  • Megan Stroup

    You are so cool. Good luck with all your resolutions!

  • camorose

    Ohhh wonderful! That sounds like a great recommendation–will certainly check it out 🙂

  • camorose

    Haha we’ll see if I can manage all of it–I’ll certainly be keeping busy 🙂

  • camorose

    I’ve done cooking classes in Paris, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam–and actually worked in a cooking school for tourists in Nice! Such a brilliant way to eat well and learn a bit more about a country’s food and culture 🙂

  • camorose

    That’s awesome! I’m really hoping that I’m able to maintain some traveling, even while working full-time. We’ll see how it goes 🙂

  • camorose

    Thanks! I tend to get super lazy about carrying my camera around, but that’s not really an excuse. We’ll see how things go in 2013 🙂

  • camorose

    People do seem to make the exodus out of the city in the summer–it was awful trying to find a job in August! The challenge will be getting out in the winter when all I want to do is snuggle up 🙂

  • camorose

    On the other side of fear is freedom, right? I’m hoping to develop more of a relationship with my yoga teachers so that I can work on it with them–and do a lot more Pilates to build up my core!

  • camorose

    Oh my gosh, having a baby is going to be the most wonderful adventure! So exciting!

  • camorose

    That’s a great idea! I’d really love to try out acupuncture for my back–will be sure to check it out 🙂

  • camorose

    Oh that’s awesome! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with 🙂

  • camorose

    Learning Spanish would certainly come in handy in a lot of travel situations–I’d love to do more travel in South America!

  • camorose

    Definitely! I’m definitely going to see if I can find someone in NYC who wants do a conversation exchange 🙂

  • camorose

    Yeah, I definitely do best when I’m in a structured environment–think a weekly class might be the best way to really motivate me! How exciting about Korea–you’ll have a memorable year! 🙂

  • camorose

    Haha thanks–we’ll see how I do 🙂

  • Your “cooking” is still far more gourmet than mine 😉 Happy 2013!

  • Going to the chiropractor is the BEST decision I’ve ever made. At first, I had to go twice a week, but now I’m down to once a month (with yoga and running and LOTS of stretching to keep everything strong). My insurance only covers a few visits, so I pay out of pocket. Mine is ~$35/visit so, it’s totally affordable. It’s like not going out for a couple drinks and an appetizer for a better back 😉

    Also, learning to use Adobe and your camera will change your life! I’m always learning something new about my gear, even though I’ve been doing this for years! Hit me up if you have any questions/problems!

  • I need to learn how to use my camera too! I could not learn French without forgetting my Spanish so I totally wish you luck!

  • I have to warn you, French was my second language and Spanish my third and if I am in a Spanish speaking country I have trouble remembering French. It doesn’t seem to be until I return back to Canada that I remember French. It may just be me but my brain can only focus on two languages at a time. Oh how I wish I were Dutch.

  • I don’t come here as often as I’d like to and then I spend at least an hour going through your older posts… I was going through some of your older posts to prepare myself for leaving Paris, (in search for some advice!!)..which is in 19 days 🙁 as much as I’m looking forward to going back home..there’s a part of me which will always think that: “Il n’y a que deux endroits au monde où l’on puisse vivre heureux: chez soi et à Paris.” 🙂 however, I’m looking forward to this new year and some new places or rediscovering my home country a little better… endlessly sitting in front of the sea drinking coffee is one of my resolutions! I neeed suuun 😀 pronto! 🙂 Good luck with your resolutions!! I’m sure that a year from now we’ll be reading a ”I achieved even more than I wished for” here :))) ! Happy New year and good luck! xoxo! :))

  • p.s. you’re such an inspiration. THANK YOU. 🙂

  • camorose

    Thanks lady! We’ll see how we go–my LES kitchen is not exactly set up for lots of cooking (and there are SO many restaurants to try right outside!). It’ll be a challenge 🙂

  • camorose

    I know, I just need to find a good/affordable chiro in NYC (especially since I don’t have insurance to cover any of it). Just invested in a good mattress, so hopefully that will help!
    And yes, so looking forward to learning my camera better–hopefully it will pay off in some awesome photos!

  • camorose

    Merci! We’ll see how I do 🙂

  • camorose

    I did both German and French in high school, and I had a hard time keeping grammar rules and vocabulary straight. I’m hoping it’ll be a bit easier (although I bet it won’t be!) with Spanish since there are so many similar vocabulary structures. We’ll see how it goes–and yes, totally wish I had started with both MUCH earlier in life!

  • camorose

    Haha let’s hope so! Thanks so much for your kind words, really glad that you enjoy reading and can find a bit of inspiration in it all 🙂 Enjoy Paris!!!

  • Rebecca and the World

    Great list! I’ve got a few of the same goals for 2013… still getting around to writing the post!

  • :)) best advice, ‘enjoy Paris’ .. that’s what I eventually decided. simply not to think about how I’m leaving in …(won’t even say the number) but enjoy Paris.. 🙂

  • camorose

    Haha isn’t that the truth! So many things I need to write right now but just can’t seem to find the time!

  • I have a few really close friends who taught in Seoul, and I had the chance to visit the country in 2010 for 10 days….absolutely loved it there. It blew away my expectations (to be fair, my expectations were really really low). Enjoy your time over there!

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