Every year I say I’m not going to make resolutions, and every year I make resolutions, and every year I don’t follow through on those resolutions.
But then, I’m good at that kind of thing, in general. Telling myself I won’t do something, doing it, and then not following through….
I constantly want to be a better person or work on a particular skill. It’s just that so often, I get too busy to keep up with the schedule I’ve made for myself. I overplan, I overbook, I overestimate my commitment or enthusiasm. I underestimate my desire to sit on the couch and do nothing.
Last semester, in particular, had me so stressed I couldn’t function outside of family and writing and schoolwork for a full five weeks. I’m just hoping this semester isn’t as bad….
I typed up a list of the things I want to do this year and printed it out. It’s a full page, front and back. Granted, some of items on the list are subparts of the bigger item. Some are things I’ve already started. Some are things that have been on my list for two, three, four years and still haven’t gotten done.
- Organize, edit, and backup all photos. This has been on my list before, but I was limited by the technology available to me. The hard drive I had didn’t work with my current computer, and my old computer was … outdated…. So I had to edit photos on my current computer, transfer them to my old computer, load to the hard drive, then go back to my current computer to do my online backups. I know, it’s probably more than I need to do. Whatever. Point is, I got a new hard drive a couple of months ago, so this is on my list.
- Lose weight. I actually started this back in November, and I’ve lost 10+ pounds so far. I’ve got more to go….
- Finish editing Memory Thieves. I’m proud to say I finished my first complete novel last year. I put it away for a bit, then started editing in December. I’ve got a long way to go, but this needs to get done.
- Complete two more novels. This is a stretch, considering it took my 4-ish years to complete my first novel, and I’ve been trying to complete another novel for 10+ years. But I’m hoping that completing the one will help me (a) understand how to finish, and (b) know that I can finish. Plus, at least one of the two will be a second book in a series, so I already have a lot of the world and characters. That should help, right?
- Start doing my Personal Kitchen Challenges again. I did this a few years ago and really enjoyed it, and would love to get back to it. Just once a month. Surely I can do this once a month, right?
- Take a writing retreat. Even if it’s just on my own. Usually when I do this I go to the beach, but this year I kind of want to do a train trip.
- Get politically active. I wanted to do this last year, I started to do this last year, but the aforementioned overscheduling of myself made me back off from this a lot. But this is a midterm election year, and I want to do something. I’m not sure what yet, whether it’s get involved in a campaign or help register people to vote or volunteer at a voting location, but something.
- Garden. I wanted to do this last year and it never happened.
- 30 day challenges. This is something else I started and never followed through with in the past. This time instead of following a “plan” I’m just doing it on my own. So, for January, I’m doing a pushup challenge. How many pushups can I do at the end of the month? I started at 10 to get a base. I’m at 13 today. One month I’ll see how long I can hold a plank. How many situps can I do? Burpees? November will be NaNoWriMo (in conjunction with one of the novels I want to finish writing this year). Maybe it will be an every other month thing. I don’t know. I just love the idea of building up your stamina with something over the course of a month.
- Do a photography challenge. Just once a week. I want to spend some time working on more technical aspects of photography, not just taking photos. This is something that’s on my list every year, and I never follow through with. It’s the first thing out the window when life gets busy. It will be this year, as well, I’m sure.
I have other things on my list, some organizational things, some personal things, some craft things I want to do, some things I don’t want to share yet. But that’s the bulk of it.
There’s one more thing, something I’m not ready to talk about. I started a month or two ago, and it’s kind of ballooned into a glut of self-reflection and self-discovery. Needed, but time-consuming and somewhat exhausting. But exhilarating at the same time.
I just hope I can keep it up. The semester starts in less than two weeks – that will be the true test!