Living simply in the wild

Posts tagged “new years

10 Alternatives to New Years Resolutions

A fresh start. A blank page. A new chapter. The new year brings in so much hope and motivation to make changes within myself. Then just a few weeks later I’m beating myself up because I didn’t stick with all these good intentions and goals that I set for myself.


I think it a bit extreme that right after the time of year we are so thankful and giving is met with such critisizm and judgment…of ourselves. Setting resolutions about every negative thing about us. We look at ourselves with hatred and disdain and then create these resolutions to help fix what is wrong within ourselves.

So I’m not doing it this year. I’m boycotting New Year resolutions for 2015 and beyond. Why? They don’t work and honestly I’d rather look at myself with love then look at all the things I feel need fixing.  Thinking back there has never been a single resolution that I set for myself that I  actually stuck with all year long. So why would I keep setting myself up to fail!


I’m not saying setting goals is a bad thing. In fact, i LOVE goals! I just think January 1st is a silly motivation factor for setting goals.

Get in shape…lose weight…save money…read more…meditate…eat healthy…give up junk food…travel…Why do I have to wait until January 1st to try and do these things?


I no longer believe in New Years Resolutions. I believe in daily resolutions.


10 Alternatives to New Years Resolutions:

1. Do Nothing.

Instead of frantically trying to figure out what to change about yourself this coming year…Do nothing. For just 10 minutes. Be still and certainly don’t set any New Year’s resolutions. In those 10 minutes you will have given yourself more then you will if you set some goal that chances are will fail at.

2. Create Guiding Words

Choose a couple of words to focus on for the entire year. Write them on the mirror, in a journal, on the kitchen sink. Just write them somewhere you look everyday.  Choose words that encourages how you want to feel and be. Words like: Love, passion, faith, courage, confident, sexy, grace, humility, creative, romantic, determined, calm…

3. Bucket List

Create a list of less then 5 things you want to do. This is not things like lose weight, or eat more vegetables. This is things like Help a neighbor with a project, skydive, go on a road trip etc… Make them DO-ABLE!

4. Rememberlutions Jar

Make a jar now that you can fill with memories, accomplishments, and gratitude over the course of the next 12 months. When something wonderful happens that makes you smile or if there is something that happens that you want to remember, write it down and stick it in the jar. It can be things so small as a stranger smiled at you to bigger things like ran your first marathon.

5. Set intentions instead

Goals tend to focus on fixing what is wrong. Intentions focus on ways we want to live.

6. Create a more and less list

This is really teetering on resolutions, so just be careful when doing this one. Write a list of things you want more of: alone time, date nights, hikes, reading. Then write a list of things you want less of: sugar, stress, Facebook.

7. A Gratitude a day

Grab a notebook and everyday simply write down just ONE thing that happened that day that you are grateful for. Please don’t wait until January 1st to start this one. Start it right now. This one simple change will have such an effect on the life your living.

8. Create 1 habit

It takes just 30 days to create a habit. By choosing 1 thing and sticking with is every single day for 30 days will create a habit.

9. Choose self love

Instead of trying to fix what is wrong with ourselves, let’s just choose love instead. Instead of creating goals around what needs to change within us. Create a list of things that are awesome and amazing about ourselves and work towards making these traits shine through.

10. Forgive

If you absolutely HAVE to set a new years resolution, set this one. Forgive ONE person for ONE thing that they’ve done. Even if that one person is yourself. It may not be the simplest resolution, but it could be the most important one you ever set.

Happy New Day To you!






Stopping to Fill our Tanks. A Lesson in not living in the future.

As 2014 is underway there is always a flooding of New Years Resolutions. Things you want to stop. Things you want to achieve, get better at, improve on, etc etc etc the list goes on and on. By February 1st most of us have already fell off the bandwagon and failed at our new years resolutions. Yet year after year we continue to do the same thing and set goals for ourselves we know we will never achieve.

Ranger and I haven’t set any official new years resolutions. Partly because we are still exhausted from this past year. As amazing as it was there was something utterly draining about it all.
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So we sit here coasting into 2014. With open minds and flexibility.

If we learned anything from the past year it is to be flexible and to not live in the future.

Plans fall through all the time…i’m sure we don’t have to tell you that. We had a dream job fall through and a failed Vagabond. Both very planned and both very much fell though.

People are always asking us “What’s Next for you guys?”. With a year full of constant changes of course people assume there is always something next. I ask myself the same thing.

But right now we aren’t focusing on the next. We are focusing on now

  • Hibernating In Chelan for a while longer
  • Getting into a homeschool routine with the Juniors
  • Regrouping as a family and finding what we want in life

And a little of what is next if you must know…

  • Ranger starting back to work at the same park on March 1st
  • Activities to get the Juniors involved in
  • Seeking out work opportunities for the Rangers Wife

We are keeping the lists short and simple. Broad and general. Attainable.

As always, we keep our eyes open for opportunities. In the Ranger field, especially with a family in tow, finding a Full Time & Year round position is ideal. We aren’t there yet. Ranger is working on building experience to qualify for the higher level jobs. That just takes time. Even Rangers who are a few short years from retirement continue to look and seek the next level. It’s just part of it.

Sitting here in 2014 things are calm. Being bogged down in the planning stage of something isn’t something we are consumed with, yet.

We are just here. Waiting. Not looking…but waiting.

Maybe this is the year of reviving. We’ve been so busy seeking, chasing, making our dreams realities the past year maybe we need this year to just fill up our tanks again. Maybe it won’t take all year to fill them, maybe only 6 months, or maybe only 2 months. But i can tell we are on empty, and that’s ok. Sometimes it is nice to just sit and fill up.


If you are one of those big list new years resolution types, good for you! I love people striving for goals. Just make them attainable so you’re not left feeling like you’ve failed less then a month into the new year.

Make goals to follow a dream this year. Pursue a hearts desire. Make peace with something in your life. Forgive. Fill your heart with joy, love yourself more.  Mend a relationship. Rid your life of toxic people. Laugh more. Play more. Inspire yourself. Inspire others.

Setting goals such as Lose 40lbs, drink less soda, spend less time on Facebook, read 12 books, take a trip somewhere, or learn a foreign language. Those goals are great, but will more then likely end up being put on the back burner until New Years Eve 2014 when you realize you need to set the same exact goal. Again.

So as we sit here, filling our tanks. Remember you can do the same. Maybe this year you give up one activity and spend more time at home. Focusing.

Dig deep and your body and soul will tell you what you need to be doing.

Sit and listen. It will be that tugging feeling, that reoccurring thought that you can’t get out of your head. That’s what you should focus on. That is where you need to be.

What is yours telling you? I’m here…and interested. Seriously, hibernating can be boring at times. I like to fill my tank while listening to you.

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Top 13 of 2013

What a crazy wild year 2013 has been.

Ranger became a Ranger and we moved from the midwest to the Pacific Northwest to start this incredible adventure.

So let’s close out this year with the Top 13 of 2013

Here they are, the top 13 posts most read over the past year.

Click the links if you missed one!

13. Nature Calls and it doesn’t care Where You Are.

Ever had a ‘less then ideal’ camping trip? We’ve had our fill!

12. Dreamers Plateau: Are You where You want to be.

When life becomes just life. All excitement is gone and you’re just coasting. What do you do?

11. Confessions from a Black place.

Don’t read this if you shop black friday. Or better yet…DO read it.

10. Is life passing you by without you knowing?

Stopping the Glorification of being busy.

9. Unschool: Do Kids really need school?

Is nature all the school we need?

8.  A little Goofiness. 

An empty park plus a video camera. Can only mean one thing: MUSCI VDIEO!

7. How  To Start a Fire with No Matches.

Watch this video as Ranger shows you how.

6. 12 Tips for Camping in the Backwood

Great tips for camping with no amenities around.

5. Spill The Beans!

Where we announce our 3.5 month trip to Guatemala.

4. DIY Kids Grocery Stand.

Our kids love playing grocery store, so we made them their own.

3. A Letter To a Lazy Mom. You’re not Alone.

A letter for the moms who feel they don’t do enough.

2. Speak Easy

A gentle reminding to choose words carefully.

1. When Dreams Fail

When our Vagabond didn’t work out


Top 13 Instagram Photos


Little Bear Trail inside the State Park


And the light chases out the dark. Sunrise over the Hills.


Rolling in the Deep….Fog that is.


Diablo Lake. Doubt kills more dreams then failure ever did.


Our summer friends


Up on Bear Mountain


Nature isn’t a place to visit. It is home.


See the Beauty in the Everyday things


If I were the moon I’d hang out above the mountains too


Face Piles and piles of trials through smiles


Early morning fishing


Big horn Sheep




Our, Personal, Top 13 Moments of 2013


13. Rattle Snake Removal

Ranger located and trapped a Rattlesnake relocated him away from the campground.

12. Sitting by the Fire inside our home

As the summer faded away, the nights grew colder. We relished in the warmth of our fireplace nightly.

11. 25 mile creek fire

We saw the smoke start to rise from the lake on July 4th and the fire burned directly across the lake for over a week.

10. Our 10 Foot Christmas Tree

We went a cut down our first Christmas Tree. She’s a big one!

9. Moose & Owls Sightings

While driving back to Chelan Rangers wife and the Juniors spotted a rare sighting on the railroad tracks. We got to watch two juvenile Great Horned Owls up in the trees late one night.

8. The Big Wind Storm

It blew down a 135 foot fur tree, blocking the entrance to the park. More trees landed on campers and vehicles crushing them in the middle of the night. See pictures here and here

7. Graduation

Ranger graduating from the Academy ranks on the Top Proudest moments. See pictures from the academy here.

6. Canoeing up lake & sailing a Catamaran around the Lake

Bald eagles, kids over board, fires spotted. No dull moments there. Read about the Catamaran adventure. Canoeing adventure.

5. Forks Trip

We took a spontaneous road trip across the Puget Sound and over to the Olympic Peninsula. The stomping grounds of Werewolves and Vampires, too bad Ranger was blind on the last day of our trip.

4. Mountain Lion inside the Park

A mountain lion was spotted in the park and Ranger had to try to run it out of the park, getting within feet of the cougar.

3. Visits from our family

Our visits were filled with fun moments. Exploring a Bavarian Town, camping at Diablo Lake & climbing to waterfalls, early morning fishing trips and drives up to the Butte.

2. Backing Packing Stehekin

Between running out of water, vertical incline all the way, and bear scat. This is one trip we won’t forget.

1. Accepting First Ranger Job

Going through the  process was no walk in the park. Yup, i planned that pun. Finding out Ranger was hired and we would be experiencing our first season as a Rangers family was the top moment of 2013!




New years resolutions. You know those goals you set on January first and through the weeks you start forgetting about them until the next New years eve and you once again decide to set the same resolutions vowing that THIS year will be different, THIS year will be the year you actually keep your resolutions. To be honest I’ve always dispised the question, “What are your new years resolutions?”. Its like im being asked. “What are you going to set yourself up for failure with this year?”. We all become so wrapped up in making our resolutions that we dont really make any sort of plan to achieve our resolutions. I can think of 100 things I’d like to acomplish this year, thus being Janurary 1st i should make a list and slap the words New Years Resolutions on the top. You know things like:
-Get in shape
-Loose that 5lbs i put on over christmas
-Eat healthier
-Spend more time with family
-Get out of debt

See what i mean about the vague goals?

With all of our changes going on i would be insane to set aditional goals beyond merly surviving the next three months as a single mom, and moving across country alone with two kids and a dog. I feel like i should put “feed the kids each day” as a goal and ill be doing great if i can keep that goal for a few weeks.

Ok so even though i kind of hate the whole idea of new years reslotutions id feel slightly unhuman not making at least one. But heres the deal, im making one that i can keep. One that i won’t fail at, one that i can enjoy and that isn’t going to stress me out. Im not starting my new year off with this cloud of doom and added stress. No one needs added stress on day 1 of a new year, that just sets a bad tone for the next twelve months.

So my offical New Years resolution is to enjoy the journey. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the stress of it all and I admit that lately I’ve been very wrapped up in the stressors of this journey so far. I’m going to enjoy this time I have with my boys. I’m going to enjoy building a strong bond with them and being there for them when they are missing daddy. I’m going to enjoy spending time with my family while we are here and I’m going to enjoy our upcoming road trip. Enjoying things once we move may prove to be the easy part. Ill be with my husband again, ill be surrounded in beauty, and ill be on an adventure. But in the mean time…I am going to enjoy this journey. I am going to enjoy it no matter how difficult it can be right now.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year. You have all year to loose those extra pounds, life is too short to eat healthy all the time, and pick just one debt to pay off.
Happy new year folks. 2013 is going to be as great as you make it! I encourage everyone to take one risk this year. Big or small, just take one risk! You’ll never feel more alive.