Wednesday, January 13, 2016

5 Goals For the New Year

Cheers to 2016!
It feels a little late in the game, being the 13th of January, but I do have some New Year's Resolutions I feel ought to be written down and solidified somehow to make them real. Already I've broken, like, all of them, but maybe it's because I haven't set them in stone anywhere yet?

Below are 5 things I'd like to accomplish in 2016, including acknowledgement of the barriers to accomplishing them. Writing down the things that make resolutions hard to keep is a good step towards keeping them, or so my friend across the cubicle wrote on our company's blog (25 Tips for Success: New Year's Resolutions). So here I go - plans and goals for the new year.

1. Spend less, save more. I have big plans for saving money this year. I think I do every year, but this time I mean it! There are things I'd like to accomplish that require saving up for. The benefits of saving money are obvious, but the "costs" are harder to quantify. Truth is, I enjoy spending money. When I'm feeling low, I like to buy clothes or books. My goal this year is to resist that urge. The money may be there to spend, but I want to choose not to spend it. I need to find other therapies besides retail therapy.

2. Read the books I have.  Following #1, I want to try not to buy any more books until I've read all the ones I bought last year and haven't read yet. The Reading Challenge last year was so much fun, but it made me go a little crazy buying books. Now I have whole shelves full of books I bought last year but haven't had the chance to read yet. Before I buy more, I want to read these first. There are plenty to last me! If I can just fight my addiction to buying new books and stay out of bookstores... That's my biggest barrier to that one!

3. Lose the Office 15. Like going away to college for the first time, going back to work meant putting on some unwanted extra weight. Going from an extremely active lifestyle of working out multiple times a week to sitting at a desk eight hours a day has cost me my hard-earned waistline. I have a goal of losing 15-20 lbs by my birthday in April. If I can make that goal, I have a birthday treat waiting for me; I'll try out Stitch Fix. I've heard so many good things about it but don't want spend the money on nice things I'll hopefully under-grow. This kind of ties into #1 again, too.  Rather than spending money often on little things, I'd like to get back to my goal weight and then only spend money on a few very nice things. Barriers to losing weight? Keto is boring, and finding time to work out is next to impossible.

4. Exercise more. Tying into losing weight, I want to get back to the gym. The barriers to this are huge: time and interest.  I have only a limited amount of free time anymore and a very limited interest in my new gym. I realize now how spoiled I was with my old gym. The Community Center had fantastic classes with fantastic instructors that I was super excited about. The gym I've joined in my new town, however, lacks everything I loved about my old rec center. So convincing myself to go to it - knowing none of the classes are fun and the only other thing I'll be interested in doing is the treadmill - is tough. But I want to try. Lesson learned though: Don't join a gym that won't let you visit it several times first.

5. Put another book in print. Last year, of course, I published my first book. This year, I'd like to put another book in print - perhaps poetry or short stories. My biggest barrier to that, however, is imposter syndrome. I'm really just a complete farce of a writer. This is a hard feeling to bypass. After publishing my book, I refused to read it again, afraid I'd lose all courage if I did. Well, I got a Kindle for Christmas and decided to read my book in Kindle format. I've lost all confidence, just as I feared. One day, I'll probably release a second edition of The Last Petal Falling, filling in all the details I realized I should have included and bulking up the story in places that lack and fixing phrases I now wish I'd put differently. But until then, I need to keep writing. Push through my complete lack of faith in myself and my certainty that I'm just a big fraud and put something else out there. I can't let the self-doubt win!

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