I love New Year's Resolutions. I'm a list-making, goal-driven type of person. New Years is a traditional time to reset those goals, although I always pick dates throughout the year to reevaluate and begin new resolutions. I just like the resolution momentum that New Years always brings. If I don't stick to all of my resolutions ( I don't, who does?), I'm okay with focusing on what I did manage to accomplish. I'm a glass half-full type of person.
Let's see how I did with my 2016 resolutions, that I publicly declared on this blog.
1. Finish UCLA Extension Fiction Writing Program - I finished the program last winter, a year ahead of schedule, with more classes completed than needed, and I finished with honors. Yeah, I'm proud of this!
2. Finish the 1st Draft and 1st complete revision of my novel.- Still working on this. The progress is slower than I would have liked.
3. Attend two or more writer's conferences - I attended one, the AWP Conference in Los Angeles. It was amazing. I left feeling inspired and rejuvenated.
4. Start or join a writer's group- I joined an online writing group in early fall.
5. Submit my work to a minimum of fifteen publications/contests- This was a complete fail. I didn't enter a single contest or send my work out anywhere.
6. Create/stick to, a regular writing schedule-find my optimum writing time- I've not yet figured this out.
7. Read a minimum of 60 Books - I read sixty-eight books. I also stepped up my literary journal reading, which is not counted in this goal.
8. Travel to a new state or country - I went to Alaska! And although I had already been to Washington State, this year I visited Seattle for the first time. It's a major city, so I thought it was worth a mention. I also moved to a new state and I am exploring Oregon.
9. Keep a food/exercise journal- exception is the family vacation - I stopped and started this many times. I was still working out with my personal trainer for the first quarter of 2016, but when that stopped, I got derailed. My diet/weight is currently worse that it has ever been, and needs to be fixed.
10. Starting January 4th- cut sugar, alcohol, fried food from diet- except on vacation or very special occasions ( Days ending in Y are not always special), but continue after vacations - See number nine.
11. Scan and Organize 1/4 of family photos.- This has been a resolution for years and it's still not done. My pictures are all stored in boxes in California, so this is not a goal that I can easily make happen in 2017.
12. Organize and maintain paperwork/filing cabinet.- This was organized until we moved. and now it's in bags all over our new apartment. I need to organize our office in Portland.
So I did okay, especially considering all of the upheaval that 2016 rained down on my life. It was an exceptionally chaotic year. I hope 2017 will be more stable, and to that end, here are my resolutions.
1. Finish my manuscript by the end of winter.
2. After receiving my manuscript notes from a UCLA Extension faculty member, use the notes to revise and polish my novel. Send my novel to potential agents.
3. Finally figure out a sensible and effective writing schedule, which includes becoming more involved in my online writing group- submitting more, rather than just critiquing.
4. Submitting short stories and poems to contests/ journals. I'm not going to give myself a quota like last year, but I need to put myself out there.
5. Read a Minimum of 70 books
6. Cut out soda- This was a resolution that I stuck to for many years, but have slipped back into old habits this past year. Not that I drink a lot of soda, but still getting rid of empty, unhealthy calories.
7. When not traveling, use apartment gym a minimum of three days a week. I hate exercising, but need to get back into the routine. I had an amazing exercise routine for nearly two years and I felt, looked fabulous. I need that back.
8. Maintain a food diary and eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies a day. This is for awareness, which will hopefully turn into healthy habits, something that's worked like a charm in the past.
9. Learn to enjoy living in Downtown Portland- get out of the apartment weekly to take advantage of what the city has to offer. Be present and active in our current living situation.
10. Travel to a new state or country ( or major city)
11. Grow Travel Agency, by focusing on training, social media and the Easy as Pie Travel blog. I'm proud of what I've built so far and I've booked vacations for several clients, however, I want to be bigger.
12. Grow the Always Packed for Adventure blog. Truly, this blog and it's readership has exceeded my expectations, but that makes me think that I can do even better. A big Thank You to all of my consistent readers. I love hearing your comments and reading emails. I've met many wonderful people through this blog.
That seems like enough to focus on for 2017. I'm hoping for a calm, peaceful 2017, where I can really focus on creating healthy habits and a routine that helps achieve goals. Also, just because I like to have those specific dates, these are to begin not on January 1st, but when we return from England on January 3rd. I'm filling up on Cadbury chocolate before I start those healthy eating goals!
Happy 2017 Everyone!