Sure, it may be cheesy.
It may be cliche.
BUT who can resist a good numbers game as we kick off a new decade?
And so, here I am, finally back into the writing groove and ready to set some goals, because next to godliness and cleanliness–goal-setting should always be a top priority.
Goal 1: Write More
I didn’t list these in any particular order, but I wanted to start with writing, because, let’s face it–that is what this blog is all about. I’ve always loved writing, but when I first started this journey, one of the main things I learned is that writers don’t just write when it is convenient, but they make it a priority. I have not been making it much of a priority lately–there are other things going on and I just kind of push the writing off to the side. I realized recently what a terrible idea that is, because writing is how I process and release. The other day I couldn’t figure out why the past couple of years have felt like such a backslide in personal growth–then it struck me: duh! You aren’t doing what you love, what comes as naturally as breathing, what helps you make sense of the world and express the emotions that you often find so overwhelming that you shut down, you turtle into something nearly unrecognizable as you shut people out. So I need to stop making excuses and make a concentrated effort to write more.
I know, that’s vague, so the next few goals are really kind of subgoals for this one.
Goal 2 (or 1a): Do Your Morning Pages
A few years ago, I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron with a group of writer friends. It really opened up some passionate ideas and projects, so I’m going to rewind and go through this again (I did some posts about it on here too #TheArtist’sWay). I cram a lot into my mornings as it is, but this was always a successful way to start the day–not exactly journaling, but just getting thoughts and ideas on paper. I’ve never been a good journaler, but filling up notebooks with ideas was a useful way to start my mornings back in my writing prime, so I want to get back to that.
Goal 3 (or 1b): Set aside a least 15 minutes per day for writing
Sometimes I complain that I don’t have time for anything, and then I realize I spent time on an electronic device, or staring at the TV that I could have easily spent on something more productive; again that is cliche. I don’t love how much screen time I use–my excuse has always been that I am so tired of thinking by the end of the day I need something mindless to relax. On some level, that’s still true. On another, it is just an excuse for laziness. And that’s not okay. Especially when I have such big goals that have yet to be accomplished.
Goal 4 (or 1c): Finish What You Started
At the moment I have 3 books completely written, but I haven’t taken the time to gut and edit them–or I’ve been putting it off–or I’ve been busy and overwhelmed with other things in life. But now is the time to finish what I have started and stop with all the meh.
Goal 5 (or 1d): Find your Niche
I moved to SC a few years ago and it was absolutely the right move, but I miss the writing community I had when I lived in NC. I’ve tried a couple of different things here, but I haven’t been able to find the right fit yet. So, I’m going to make a concentrated effort to find that community again.
Goal 6 (or 1e): Don’t abandon the blog
Blogging is not my passion, but I think the public sharing of my writing is kind of an important step that I took a few years ago, so I want to keep maintaining it. Sometimes, as you know, I will go months without posting. Not on purpose, but just because, you know, life. Putting it on the priority list, will help me ensure it doesn’t fall by the wayside. I hope.
Goal 7: Read More
I read a lot. Trust me, I do. But this can always be a goal for me, because even when I read a lot, I can always make time to read more–or maybe what I really mean is to read more diverse things. I read a lot of fiction. I need to balance that with a healthy dose of non fiction and books I might not have chosen for myself, but that open up something new for me to learn.
Goal 8 (or 7a): Read at least 75 books (Goodreads)
Last year the goal was 60–so I’m upping the ante…
Goal 9 (or 7b): Of the 75 books at least 25 will be non fiction
That sounds pretty silly, but that’s saying a lot for me, so it’s attainable, but challenging.
Goal 10 (or 7c): Write reviews for at lest 50% of the books I read
Sometimes, I’m re-reading so the 50% accounts for that, and also for the times I read series and have pretty much the same thing to say for each of the books and don’t want to be redundant.
Goal 11: Monitor Emotional Health
I bought a mood journal, and it was a good move. It’s a planner, but it always asks great reflective questions at the end of the week that help me focus on the good and process the bad. I know, at 34 you’d think I’d have this all figured out, but I’m a work in progress. So yeah.
Goal 12: Be Ready for God to Move
God is mighty and powerful. Sometimes though I underestimate just how powerful He is. That is dangerous. So, for my 2020 word, I chose (with a little prompting from the Holy Spirit) a Hebrew word: Hinneni. This roughly translates to Here I am or I am Ready, but the connotations take it further and deeper–it requires an enriching trust, a bond between father and child. This is what I want to build this year on.
Goal 13 (or 9a): Seek after God by spending more time in His Word
I think the Bible is beautiful. In addition to a weekly Bible study and morning quiet times, I want to seek to organize what I learn in new ways, which interestingly enough helps with goals 1 and 7 and even 8.
Goal 14 (or 9b): Don’t just say you are praying–spend more time in focused prayer.
One thing I know about relationships is they don’t grow unless you spend time conversing–and that requires a sacrifice. Those times when I feel like I need to escape into mindlessness are a great place to start.
Goal 15 (or 9c): Let go of the doubt, Embrace the promises
I have a hard time, sometimes, seeing past the tangible and trusting in the intangible. Especially if it isn’t the plan I expected or wanted. Those doubts can choke the life out of me. I need to make a concentrated effort everyday to choose what I will serve: doubt or truth.
Goal 16: Drink more water
I know, health goals are cheesy. And honestly, I make this a goal most weeks–sometimes I stick to it; other times I don’t. But writing it down, that’s what helps make it more of a probability rather than an afterthought.
Goal 17: Move more
I’m constantly moving from about 8am to 3pm. After that I have no desire to move. That’s not very healthy, so I’m adding it to the goal. Yes, I know this is vague, but saying “I’ll exercise at least 30 minutes a day” is pretty unrealistic for me (I’m just being honest), so I’ll keep it vague and see where it goes–then if needed, the goal will be adjusted.
Goal 18: Eat more vegetables
Fruits are easy. Vegetables are hard. Enough said.
Goal 19: Take an “artist date” at least 6 times
This goes back to the book, The Artist’s Way. I used to do these all the time and had such fun, so I’m going to add those back to my goal list.
Goal 20: Seek out real connections, even when (or maybe especially when) it feels uncomfortable.
Social events make me anxious. Partly because I struggle so much with feeling unwanted–making small talk is so hard for me, and that is half of what a social event is all about. After I attempt it, and kind of fail, I feel an irrational sense of contempt from others, even though I know it is really just that annoying voice in my head that wishes I didn’t have any failings–but this is a big one. So the goal, even when I’m uncomfortable or worried about feeling unwanted or ‘weird’ or overlooked or whatever–I will still strive for those connections.