January 1, 2014

ringing in a new year - happy 2014

Happy 2014!

I hope you had a fun (but safe) time celebrating the end of one year and beginning of another with your family, friends or cats. I know technically Jan. 1 is just another date on the calendar, but for me, there's something so rewarding and motivating about looking at the first page of a brand new calendar and imagining what possibilities are waiting ahead.

I also have four new calendars (two monthly desk calendars -- one for my work office and one for my home office -- a daily calendar for keeping track of my blog and guest appearances, not to mention the Warwick Men's Rowing Team Calendar, which was a Christmas gift that will keep giving year-long), which makes that even more exciting.

Even though I seldom manage to keep them 100 percent, I also like making New Year's Resolutions. I'm a goal-oriented gal, and this is like a whole holiday dedicated to setting goals. For me, goals are important.

In life, we're all on a quest to be the best version of ourselves. It's a never-ending journey, and setting goals gives you a map to follow along the way.

In the spirit of the season, here's a list of my resolutions for the new year.
  1. Devote five minutes daily to using my journal. I recently picked up Building the Best You: A Two-Year Discovery Journal, and I'm hoping to follow this journal to help me pause for a few minutes every day to consider where I'm at in my life. If I end up tossing it aside after a few weeks, I won't feel too badly, because I got a deal on it. I also planned to do a Joy Jar last year, and I actually have one to use this year -- so this isn't just nagging reflection!
  2. Be smarter with money. I need to use the cash flow spreadsheet my sister set-up for me to better manage my finances. While I'm not destitute, I could be handling my finances better so I can build-up my savings, pay off debt faster, etc.
  3. Add more physical fitness to my routine. Try for 30 minutes of cardio three times a week. Do 20 minutes of Pilates on the off days.
  4. Dine in more, eat out less. Follow the meal plans I make, which means spending less money eating out and throwing out spoiled food. Plus – healthier living.
  5. Manage time better. Carve out uninterrupted writing time every day. Aim for one to two hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends. I bought Scrivener yesterday for a steal thanks to my National Novel Writing Month winner's coupon. So that should be fun.
  6. Release new titles. Publish two new novels and one or two shorts this year. Complete two novels for 2015 publication. 
  7. Stay in touch. Make a better effort to reach out to old friends by sending more frequent text messages, emails, letters and cards.
  8. Keep my new apartment cleaner. It’ll make living more comfortable for the cats and I, plus I won't be embarrassed to invite people over.
  9. Travel more for pleasure. Find a way to make a long weekend/semi-extended trip once a quarter. Do more day-trips on the weekends during summer.
  10. Live and love my life. Even though I have lots of serious goals in place to be more grown-up and responsible, find more time to enjoy my life and the people in it. That doesn’t mean spending more time at bars, but making legit memories.
These are all fairly large goals, but ones I've spent a lot of time seriously considering. I've also done some work toward accomplishing all of these anyways, so I already have a leg-up on making this part of my life.

Are any of you making resolutions? Do you have any you'd like to share?

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  1. Very admirable goals! Good luck with everything in 2014! Also, I hope you love Scrivener. Drop me a message if you need pointers or help with anything. I think you're going to love it.

    1. I usually overdo it on the goals, and while these seem pretty big, they're more realistic than what I usually set out to do. :)

      And I'll be sure to get in touch with you about Scrivener. I've been playing with it a little, but I'm sure there is much more I can learn from it.

  2. Great resolutions! I usually only mentally make goals for the year, but maybe if I write them out I will have a better shot at achieving them. :) So this year, I would like to eat out less, stay on the dean's list, read for fun more often, visit a friend in WA State (like I've been meaning to do for a decade), and make more friends in town (now that everyone is moving away).

    Good luck on your resolutions this year!

  3. Those are some awesome goals, Laura! Good luck with them :)