Generally speaking, I try to be realistic in my goal-setting. I try not to set the bar too high, because I know that it is better to set goals that can be achieved, rather than intimidate myself out of trying by setting out to accomplish too much. Hence, my New Year's resolutions always tend to be a little boring. Back in 2007, I resolved to floss my teeth every day, and I have managed to maintain that lifestyle change steadily for the past six years. Last year, I resolved to cook more at home, and over 100 new recipes later, I believe I have accomplished that goal and then some!

This year, I'm sticking to a modest set of goals once more:
  1. Bake more cookies - I realize this resolution is a little unorthodox. After all, most people resolve to eat healthier and lose weight around this time of year. Meanwhile, I'm looking to increase my output of caloric treats. Here's my rationale: last year, I baked more cakes and made more ice cream than cookies, and when it came time for my yearly Cookie Bonanza, I found that I hadn't tested nearly enough recipes. This year, I plan on getting back into the groove when it comes to cookie baking, so that I will be able to return to my usual lofty standards when it comes time to bake in December.
  2. Master Grandma Betsy's caramel recipe - Every year at Christmas, Grandma Betsy makes homemade caramels that are absolutely to die for. They are one of my favorite things about Christmas with the Wyatt family, and they are a taste memory that I will forever associate with my grandma. For the past several years, Grandma has threatened that each additional year will be her last making them, as they are labor-intensive and her health is ever-deteriorating. A couple years ago, she gave me the recipe, along with a list of pointers, in hopes that I would take up the mantle. I genuinely want to preserve this tradition for future generations, but I've also been scared. All I've heard my entire life is how challenging this recipe is, and I've never worked up the nerve to give it a try. Last year, I dipped my toe in the waters of candy-making and emerged unscathed, so I think 2013 is going to be the year for me to put on my big girl panties and master this recipe while Grandma is still around to give me further advice if I need it. Culinarily speaking, there's nothing more tragic than a family recipe that is allowed to die off with its maker, and I refuse to let that happen.
  3. Get out more -  Back when I started this blog in 2009, I did so largely to give myself a reason to get out of the house and experience more of what Chicago had to offer. I knew that I couldn't sit on my couch all the time and expect to have anything interesting to write about, so I forced myself to go to more museums, see more sights, and see more theater and movies. Up until we moved in January of last year, I had been pretty good at adhering to that mission, but newly house poor and living far away from downtown has meant that Justin and I have gotten kind of boring in the last year. Though I'll probably never get out and about the way I used to when I was living in the heart of the city and had no house payments, I'd like to try to do better in 2013.
These are resolutions that I firmly believe I can adhere to in the year to come, so stay tuned for updates on my progress...

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