Happy New Year! {And Yearly Goals for 2014!}

Happy New Year 2014 from The Speckled Palate!

This past year just flew by, and I’m already having a hard time writing 2014 on things. (You know how you write down the date on checks and bank deposits? I’m the girl who struggles with that simple task until about March, if I’m really with it…)

2013 was a lovely year, and we rang in 2014 quietly, as I completed a half marathon earlier in the day and was a bit tired. We hung out with my mom and some of our good friends, ate takeout from our favorite TexMex place and watched football. The perfect kind of evening, if you ask me, and we were in bed early.

Then the next day, we opened up our home to friends and family, serving Winston’s famous gumbo along with other New Year’s Day sides. It was a blast, and when the day was done, we’d mowed down nearly three-fourths of the giant pot of gumbo and ended up with the same amount of beer that we started the day with, thanks to people bringing their favorites and leaving them with us.

So our 2014 started off with a bang, and I’ve been taking it easy for the last day in an attempt to catch my breath after the whirlwind of holidays, travel and hosting duties.

And now I’m back to kick off the new year right, wanting to share some of my yearly goals with y’all for accountability purposes. My goals this year will include food and other aspirations for 2014, and while some are repeats, I’m honing in on them because I think they’re important.

Here we go…

New Year's Goals for 2014 from The Speckled Palate

1. Focus on eating right. I have some lofty running goals I would love to accomplish in 2014. To be able to complete these, I need to be fueling myself properly with whole foods. While my diet is pretty clean, I want to focus on adding more vegetables and fruits to my daily routine. Now, that’s not saying I won’t enjoy a sweet treat here or there — I mean, I do have this food blog, and I will be sharing all kinds of recipes with y’all throughout these coming months — but, like last year, I want to focus on eating more whole foods and less processed ones.

2. Explore my city and try new things. All kinds of new things: new recipes, new workouts, new restaurants, new events that are happening around town. We live in a wonderful place that has so much to offer and so much going on at all times, and I want to take advantage of this in 2014.

3. Read more. Last year, I challenged myself to read 24 books. I failed, topping out at 16. (This was due mostly to two months where I didn’t pick up a book at all. In hindsight, I can admit that was a bad move.) This year, I’m vowing to read at least 24, and I will make it happen this time around.

4. Try 24 new recipes from the various cookbooks, magazines and blogs… and write about them here. This is a recycled resolution, y’all, but it’s a good one. I make recipes from cookbooks and magazines all the time, but I never share the dishes themselves or what I thought of them, so this year, I’m challenging myself to continue cooking from these sources… but to also take some photos of the final products and make notes so I can share with y’all what I thought.

5. Be present. Enjoy the moments I am in. Cherish the time I spend with friends and family members. And don’t be distracted from living in the moment because I’m too busy documenting them. Step back and take the time to appreciate things as they happen.


… And that’s what I got.

What are your goals for 2014?

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    1. Thanks, Cherkita! I’m proud that I read 16 — more than one a month, which is fabulous — though I’m really excited to get started on this year’s goal. I love that you’re going to be exploring your own city, too! Here’s to a fabulous 2014!

  1. These are perfect goals for 2014 & I think I’d like to do all of them too! I especially like 1 & 2- those are things that I really, really want to do. I live in a GREAT city & need to get to know it better and enjoy it more! Here’s to a fabulous 2014. I know it’s going to be a GREAT year!

    1. Thanks, Jenn! I’m glad you’re digging some of my goals for the year, and I hope we both have good luck striving toward them! And ditto — here’s to a wonderful 2014!

  2. Happy New Year, Erin! I like these goals, and I’m looking forward to trying many new recipes myself. I’m hoping to go back through cookbooks and pinned recipes especially. Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.

    1. Happy New Year to you, Katherine! Here’s to trying tons of new recipes from our favorite cookbooks and pinned recipes. Can’t wait to see what this year has in store for YOU!

  3. I’m totally with you on being present. That’s something I strive for daily, and it can make such a big difference on your overall happiness!

    1. Thanks, Rachel! Being present is so challenging for me sometimes, but it’s such a great thing to remember because it does make a huge difference in your happiness. Here’s to 2014 being wonderful!

  4. I’m very impressed with your goals. Be present is my favorite. I hope you are able to try new recipes too! I just bought a few new cookbooks and can’t wait to go through them!

    1. Thanks, Krystal! I like that you’ve got a favorite goal of mine, and I hope I can try some more new recipes, as well. What new cookbooks did you get your hands on, and have you made anything from them?

  5. Thanks for sharing! 16 books is still a very good accomplishment! Don’t sweat it, you will succeed at your goals…I have faith in you!! 😉

    1. You’re welcome, Shonda! And thank you for the encouragement — I’m still pleased with the 16, though I know I can easily read more. Goodness knows I was a major bookworm as a child, and I aspire to be one as an adult now.

  6. Those are awesome goals! My goals are to start a blog! Which I did on 1.1.2014. To lose 30 lbs, left over baby weight after having two babies in less than two years (although, my youngest is a year and a half). To reconnect with my husband, this is a BIG one for me. As we spend all our time wrapped up in our 1 and 3 year old! I have others, but these are at the top of my list! Good luck with yours and I will be checking to see how you are coming along with them! 😉

    1. Thanks so much, Apryl! Sounds like you’ve got some pretty solid goals for the year, too, and I believe you can do it! Good luck with yours, too, and so excited that you knocked out the whole starting a blog goal on the first of the year! That’s awesome!

    1. Thanks so much, Brittany! That’s BONKERS about somebody having a goal of 300 books in a year. I mean… wow. What are your goals?

  7. Great goals!!! This year I made goals for self, family and business. For my family, my husband and I are planning one date a month. With 3 kids and full-time jobs and our outside endeavors – we often neglect to spend quality couple time. We’re, also, committing to one family outing a month (all for the same reasons as above…LOL). Here’s to a fantastic 2014 as we continue to strive to greatness in all areas of our lives.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! You’ve got some wonderful goals yourself, and though y’all lead busy, busy lives, I love that you’re striving to spend as much quality time with your husband and your family as possible! Here’s to 2014 being wonderful! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love your goals Erin! We have the same goal in mind when it comes to eating right. I also would love to spend more time reading this year. I love reading but only read maybe three books the entire year.Good luck with your goals.

    1. Thanks, Chene! I love that we’re sharing the eating right goal and reading more, too. Good luck with your goals! 2014’s gonna be a good year… I can feel it!

  9. I can apply each these 5 goals of yours to myself. Especially on being present. So easy to let time and precious moments slip by without us even knowing. I was having a short chat with an old friend yesterday and she said that she felt disappointed over her progress last year. The best part, though, of each morning is that we get another day, another chance to make things right again. Let’s strive to be better together!

    1. I completely agree, Jayne, and I love that you can relate to that goal, too. And yes! The beautiful thing is that, even though we might not be pleased with our progress over a certain period of time (whether it’s a day or a year), we have the next day to strive to be better!

  10. Great goals Erin. Mine are similar, start racing again (just signed up for a 1/2 in March), be more consistent with devotions, eat healthier, stop yelling at my kids, lol, and read more books. Oh, and probably things I shouldn’t do, like purchasing rugs and pillows. =)

    1. Thanks, Kathy! I love that your goals are similar! Good luck with the training for your race, being more consistent with your devotions, eating healthier, having more patience/stopping yelling and reading more. 😀

  11. Love your goals, lady! Appreciating your city is a personal favorite of mine – I’m always finding out cool events in Connecticut a couple of days too late. This year I want to be on top of things and, you know, actually attend them 🙂 Other goals of mine: exercise more, drink a green smoothie every day (I’m 3/3), clear out my basement and bike the Pan Mass Challenge in Massachusetts in August. Happy 2014!

    1. Thanks so much, Meg! Here’s to finding cool events in our towns this year, as well as staying on top of the social calendar and actually attending the events. 😀 And your other goals sound wonderful, too! Happy 2014 to you!

  12. I love #3! I am constantly devouring new books with my nook 🙂 Happy 2014!!!!! Thanks for sharing! When you have time, I would love for you to check out my latest cooking challenge on my blog 🙂

  13. Erin, this is so in line with my goals for 2014. I want to try more recipes and ideas from Pinterest to see how I can rig them. I signed up for the 2014 GoodReads challenge for 24 books too-2 books a month. That’s huge for me. I love, love, love to read but I read slow. LOL. And I’ve been wanting to explore new places in my small town outside of New Orleans. Happy New Year! #SGBC

    1. Glad we’re thinking along the same lines, Kimberly! Here’s to a wonderful new year full of all kinds of adventures with food, books and our towns!

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