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January has come and gone; have you kept your resolutions?

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By Stacey Manning, Managing Editor

Hello, February, welcome to 2011. It seems like the new year just got started and already we’re rolling into a new month.

As January drew to a close, a lot of people were looking back at the resolutions they made last Dec. 31. How successful have you been in keeping your resolutions?

One of my resolutions was to be healthier in 2011 than I was in 2010. One of the ways I committed to do that was kick caffeine, coffee and aspartame to the curb.

How am I doing so far in 2011?

In 2010, I didn’t speak or fully open my eyes until I had a hot cup of java in my hand. I would wake up mornings thinking about one thing—how to get the coffee made and ingested as quickly as I could.

I’m happy to say I quit cold turkey at the beginning of the year, which hasn’t been easy, considering my husband works at a coffee shop and regularly comes home smelling like the tasty brew and is frequently toting a cup of some coffee-related product around in his hand.

The best thing about quitting coffee? The freedom. I no longer wake up thinking about how and when I’ll get a fix. I just get up and get going on my own. Sure, I’m even less than a morning person than I was before (sorry to everyone who encounters me before noon), but ultimately my body is learning to get itself revved up instead of relying on coffee to do it for me.

As for other caffeine? While I haven’t yet been successful in giving it up completely, I have significantly lowered my intake. My daily consumption used to consist of several cups of coffee followed by bottomless cans of diet soda throughout the day.

I’ve tried to limit my soda intake to one or two a week, and I’m trying to stay as far away from diet soda—specifically aspartame and other unnatural sweeteners—as much as I can.

But totally kicking caffeine? I don’t think it’s something in this job I can do.

Pardon me while I stop typing for a moment and take a sip of green tea. I do, you know, have to meet a deadline, after all.

As for my other resolution? I made of list of 25 books I wanted to read—or finish reading—in 2011. The new year got off to a good start. I knocked the first book off my list in the first few weeks. Here’s to 24, no, actually 25, more to go.

Just last week, while perusing things to read on my iPad, I downloaded one of its most popular applications—Youversion.com’s Bible. It comes complete with a plan to read the entire Bible in 90 days.

If I’m going to read 25, well, now 26, books this year, why not make one of them THE book? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve started and stopped countless times. 

Now, I can use technology to help me reach my goal, but let’s just hope I don’t need a cup of coffee to help me stay awake while I do it.