I know some people think it’s silly, but I love creating a New Year’s Resolution list. This isn’t to say that I don’t start other goals throughout the year, but there is something about the start of a new year that feels like the perfect time to reflect and initiate change.
As usual, I’m going to start by looking back on my 2018 resolutions.
1. Create a writing schedule with a focus on the revisions for my novel. - A big fail. I did write quite a bit in 2018, but I could not figure out a steady schedule. I could not figure out how to organize this aspect of my life.
2. Finish revising my novel and begin sending it out to agents. - I made a lot of progress on my novel and I am pleased with my progress, but the revision process has been much slower than anticipated.
3. Maintain blogging schedule of every other day. This has been my normal schedule for years, but life got in the way this year and I didn't always stick to it. I felt guilty when I didn't. - Epic fail. This was my most inconsistent blogging year to date. I am so back-logged. I feel like I really let myself down with this goal.
4. Read 75 or more books. - Hanging my head in shame. I only read 34 books. This is the least amount of reading that I’ve done in my adult life.
5. Maintain a food log and eliminate soda. - Fail. Although there is hope with this one. I just got a Fitbit and started tracking my food. This was after getting blood work done in December and realizing that I had to make changes.
6. Work on scanning old-family pictures. Try to get 1/4 of pictures scanned. This has been a resolution from years past that I never managed to accomplish. It's a big project. - Fail, no progress.
7. Work on family genealogy project. - Yes! I have been down the rabbit hole of family history quite a bit this year. It’s exciting and informative. I can trace back to the original colonists and I have family members who formed towns in Massachusetts. I also found out that the real life Hester Prynne ( from Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter) had some sort of relationship with one of my ancestors and it was a scandal!
8. Super secret podcast idea- put into action! I'm very excited about this one. - I’ve worked on a plan and discussed it with a friend who has a Podcast, but I’ve not moved forward on this. I still feel momentum, but I’m not sure how to work it into my schedule.
9. Visit a new country, state or major city.- I traveled so much in 2018, but primarily to places that I’ve already visited. I did see some new cities in England, like Oxford and Windsor. I had many new experiences in the cities that I had previously visited.
10. Attend a writer's conference. I have my eye on the Las Vegas conference in the spring. - No. I’m kicking myself for this one too, although it simply did not work with our schedule or finances for this to happen in 2018.
2018 was a terrible year for resolutions, yet it was a fabulous year for life in general. I spent a lot of time developing relationships with family and friends. I ended one job and started another. Although my goals that I set at the start of the year fell flat, many new goals and opportunities appeared throughout the year. I don’t look at this list as a fail, but as an indication that things have changed.
Here are some of my wishes for 2019:
1. Creating a writing schedule with a focus on my novel = I’m carrying this over. I feel better about accomplishing this, because the last third of 2018 has seen a shift to a more consistent schedule. I’ve been waking up at 7am and I have a regular work schedule. I now need to fit writing time into that schedule. I need the routine to stick.
2. Attend a Writing Conference = I really want to attend AWP in Portland, but that might be a financial stretch. I still have my eye on Vegas.
3. Maintain a blogging schedule= I am shifting this goal to three days a week, rather than every other day. I need to be consistent about the posting days and times though.
4. Read 60 books or more = Achievable. I need to focus on meeting my book review schedule commitments from publishers and stay on track. I also need to whittle down my massive, over-flowing bookshelf.
5. Track food and get to a healthy weight = I need to lose a few pounds, not a lot, but a bit. The primary goal is to fix some issues from a recent blood test. I would like to focus on diet, rather than have these problems require medication. I will likely eliminate soda and cut back on sugar to reach these goals. I never had trouble losing weight when I am mindful.
6. Track steps and be mindful about exercise - I have a Fitbit and have started becoming more aware of my need to move more, especially when I have been glued to my computer all day. I’d also like to take some pilates classes at a local studio or join a gym.
7. Visit a new country, stare or major city
8. Scan in old-family photos and documents- I will be really disappointed if I don’t make progress towards this goal in 2019. It’s long over-due and I’m worried that something might happen to these precious objects.
9. Continue to work on family Genealogy project = I have an idea of how this might also turn into a novel project. I want to keep exploring and have a more concrete idea about connections
10. Work More, Save More, Spend Less = General mindfulness when it comes to finances. I’ve made progress towards this in the last 3-4 months.
11. Invest in my tutoring job = become certified to teach for language tests or create more teaching tools to have on hand.
When I look at all of these goals, the main theme seems to be mindfulness leading to creating good habits. I’m looking to make long-term changes. I also need to find a way to keep these routines, when life becomes less predictable = holidays, family visits, the unexpected, et… Rather than starting January 1st, my New Year’s reset will begin on January 14th, when I have returned home from a holiday trip to Europe.