My 2012 New Year’s Resolutions

This is now old hat, to find out how I did on keeping these goals, check out my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions.


  1. Volunteer: As I was looking back at 2011 I came to the embarrassing realization that I hadn’t done a complete day of volunteer work the entire year.  I always feel like one should be giving back to the community and have decided to make that a priority this upcoming year.  I will be in Haitithis February and then West Africain the spring, I can’t think of better places to fulfill the first of my resolutions. Hummingbird at the feeder in Arizona – Click to Enlarge
  2. Take a Picture a Day: I have wanted to take part in the “365 days of photos” challenge for a long time and this year I will finally try to do it.  This challenge is much more difficult to complete than it sounds like it should be.  Moreover, shooting an “interesting” photo every day is the real goal.  There are days that I just don’t feel like lugging my camera around, or leaving the hotel to take a picture at all, however this resolution should force me to do so; or at least take a photo of the hotel.  I will posting my photo a day to my facebook fan page.
  3. Never Say No to a New Food: I’ve eaten Tarantula, Guinea Pig and many other “unusual” food types in my day.  I have rarely been one to ever turn down a meal or a challenge.  However, this year if I find something I haven’t tried, I will try it no questions asked.  So if you see me on the road feel free to take me up on this challenge.
  4. Work Out More Often: I never get fat, it’s my one and only talent. However, over the past year I’ve lost quite a bit of my muscle mass and I’m a little bit out of shape. I want to stop using travel as an excuse for why I’m not being healthier.  I am creating a “hotel room workout” which I will hopefully employ with some sort of routine.  No more excuses for me, time to get back to work.
  5. Call my Grandparents More Often: I am very independent, perhaps too independent, and sometimes I forget that people that care about me worry sometimes. Seeing my grandparents this Christmas reminded me that I need to better maintain that relationship. The New Year calls for more skype and regular phone calls back home.
  6. Remember/Relearning How to Speak French: I was in French Immersion school in Canada, meaning that nearly all my courses (Math, Science, etc.) were in French rather than English. However, I haven’t really had the chance, or need, to speak the language for 10 years. Now that I’m heading to France, and later West Africa, I need to hit the books and remember the language I once spoke very well.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions???

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. That’s Some Good Resolutions To Work For Brendon .. Plus, I Would Absolutely Go For Number 4 & 6 !!

    Best Regards,

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    • @Dana – Thanks, All the best in the New Year

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  2. Nice list mate!

    I’m thinking about adding French to my language armory (along with Spanish) in 2012. Oh and to make Vagabundo Magazine kick ass also!

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    • @Will – Yes, Vagabundo isn’t a resolution… it’s a requirement! haha. Have a good 2012 mate

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  3. Oh, I need to get on that last one with you. I toy with actually doing something to revive the French that’s buried in the back of my mind, but I never actually take action.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your photos!

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    • @Emily – Every now and then walking around I just try to think in French, it actually helps more than you’d think.

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  4. Great goals for 2012. I’m sure once you get into a French speaking country it’ll be easy to pick up and remember on all that French you learned in school. I was never in French immersion, but took French class from grade 4 to 12, and I don’t remember any French, well expect random words like pamplemousse.

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    • @Alouise – Here’s for hoping. It’s funny how Canadians will never forget the word Pamplemousse.

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  5. Never been much of a one for NY or the resolutions that go with it, but I like reading other people’s lists. Hehhe. The photo a day sounds good, am curious to try it. Do you need to register anywhere?

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    • @Val – This is the first year I’ve done them, but I’m trying to be much more goal oriented this year. Hope you have a nice 2012.

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  6. Great list Brandon! Love the simplicity of your goals for the coming year. Good luck with achieving them! I trust you will be able to accomplish all of these though. As for me, I’m not really a big fan of making new year’s resolutions just because I never got to accomplish any of my previous resolutions. However, I do make a “pledge of attempt” every year where I tell myself or I make a pledge that I have to at least try to do one thing to make myself a better person in the coming year. For 2012, I pledge to act less impulsively and like you, to work out more (because I feel like my flabs are holding a celebration already). Hopefully, I can get to accomplish both or at least, try to come near to accomplishing both.

    Good luck to us! And happy new year to you and your family! 🙂

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    • @Cherszy – Goal making is pointless unless you punish yourself somehow for failing and reward yourself for suceeding. I think self-control/constrain/punishment is so important in our own personal growth. If you can’t reprimand and reward yourself no one really can.

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  7. Great resolutions!

    Especially the take a photo a day and speaking french. 🙂

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    • @Ed – Thanks, here’s for hoping for a great 2012!

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  8. A perfectly good list of new year’s resolutions. I especially like your goal to volunteer more this year and look forward to your posts on the subject!

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    • @Cheryl – Yes, volunteering is high on my priority list… I think I’ve just been moving too much to do any… but then again, that’s probably just an excuse. Happy New Year!

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  9. Nice list, Brendan
    Taking a photo every day could be fun and I will definitely try it while learning Spanish and calling my grandparents:).
    Have a great 2012!

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  10. This is a really good list, Brendan! I need to rediscover languages myself. Used to be fairly confident in Spanish and Italian (there’s a lot of similarities and guesswork betweeen the two languages, so once you know one then you can get by in the other). I think I will have to add that one to my list of resolutions.

    Good luck with yours – I’m sure you’ll do really well!

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    • Thanks Polly, all the best in the New Year!

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  11. Well, it’s that time of the year again! 🙂

    I was just telling my friend I want to volunteer more. I get an awesome feeling of liberation whenever I do it!

    Hoping your 2012 resolutions are all marked as “checked”, or at least close enough to being there! It was such an awesome idea to take one picture a day, it’d be a shame if you gave up that!

    Wishing you a great 2013, Brendan!

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  12. Your last two were on my list too… I’m ashamed to say I can get even better at calling my grandma and as for the French, well… *sigh* 😛

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