The New Year’s Resolution One

Happy New Year’s!  Since it’s New Year’s, I thought I’d be really creative and post my New Year’s resolutions.  I’m sure you’re not at all tired of reading about them.   This year, I decided to make six broad areas to focus on instead of individual resolutions.

1. Writing

I really want to focus on my writing this year and get to the point where I feel comfortable calling myself a writer instead of an aspiring writer.  My plan to achieve that is to finish the novel I started in November.  I think finishing a novel will definitely help me think of myself as a writer.   I still have not finished the first draft.  That will be finished by February 1st.  I also want to edit it and polish it enough to get it to some beta readers by May 1st.

I also think being published would help me think of myself as a writer.  So, I have a few short stories I want to polish and start submitting this year.  Maybe one will get published.  They certainly aren’t going to get published sitting on my hard drive.  I also want to enter a few writing contests.

I plan on writing 1000 words a day, 365 days this year.  That includes writing 3 blog posts a week (hopefully all in one day.) I think if I sit down every day and write and create a habit not only will my writing improve, but I’ll be treating it more like a job than a hobby.

Finally, I want to improve my writing.  I have signed up for a creative writing workshop for eight weeks starting the end of February.  I took it the end of 2009 and it was a really great class for being both motivating and learning a lot.  The instructor critiques the assignments (gently) which was really helpful.  I also plan on reading about writing.  I came to the realization this year that while the stories have to be imagined, there is a lot that can be learned about the craft of writing.  I don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  There are tips and techniques to be had and I plan on learning some of them.

2. Reading

I love to read.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I don’t do enough of it.  I probably only read ten books total in 2010.  That’s not enough.  It’s not enough to satisfy me and it’s not enough to become a better writer.  I’m setting  a modest goal of two books a month, one fiction and one non-fiction.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get to more fiction.  I already have a stack of books at home waiting for me.  Once I get through those, it’s off to the library.

I am going to keep up with my magazines also.  I have a huge pile sitting on my desk at all times and it drives me crazy.  No more.  They will be read and either thrown or filed in some manner that is not on my desk. (And also not stuffed in a drawer.)

3.  Health

This is the first year that I will not be pregnant, breastfeeding (assuming Penny weans shortly), planning on getting pregnant, or less than a year post-partum.  Time to get back in shape.  I’m already vegan, but I want to progress in that and not only be vegan technically, but also in the spirit of veganism.   To me, being vegan is about eating very healthy, not just avoiding dairy and meat.  So although technically, a soda is vegan, it’s not so much the intent.  I need to give up soda.  It’s my vice.  I don’t drink it every day, but I do go in binges where I drink it daily for a few weeks, then I give it up again.  It usually starts when I’m tired and looking for caffeine.  I need to drink tea instead.  I don’t like coffee and don’t ever drink it.  Tea’s okay.  Not my favorite, but I need to make the switch for my health.    I also want to be more aware of my protein levels and eat more vegetables.  I get lazy sometimes and eat a lot of bagels with peanut butter.  Again, vegan, but I can do better.

Also I want to get back into the habit of working out in the mornings.  I used to get up every morning and workout before the kids got up.  I’m going to do that again.  That means a five thirty wake up call.  I know once I get used to it, I’ll look forward to it.  It will put me in a good mood for the whole day and I’ll feel and look better as well.  So, butt out of bed is the plan.  That also means a little earlier to bed at night.  Ten o’clock, hopefully.

4. Green Living

I try to live green and I want to keep that in focus this year.  I already eat vegan, so that’s a start.  I want to be better about composting.  I’ve been a little lazy about it lately.  I want to grow my own vegetables this year.  I’ve not been good about tending to my garden after I plant it, so I need to work on that.  The big thing I want to focus on this year is packaging.  If Christmas taught me nothing else, it certainly taught me there is far too much packaging on things.  I can’t not buy things, but I can maybe choose products that use cardboard or glass instead of plastic when possible.

5.  Patience

This is a big one for me.  I lose my cool far too often.  I don’t like yelling, I don’t like that I do it, and I really don’t like that my girls are starting to do it.  I know they are modeling after me.  It needs to stop.  I hope the writing, reading, and exercising will help improve my overall mood.  I’m also going to try to learn to take deep breaths and remember to give warnings or tell them what they’re doing wrong instead of just yelling at them.  Even when there’s a lot of screaming going on because they’re tired or hungry.   Patience.

6. Organization

This is the year the house gets organized.  We moved in here five years ago in February.  At the time, I was just entering my third trimester with Samantha.   With getting ready for our first baby and getting some furniture that wasn’t a futon, I feel like I never really got to fix the house up the way I’d like.  Add to that two more babies and all the supplies and toys that goes along with that and I feel like my house looks like it exploded all the time.  It drives me crazy and makes me irritable.  This is where I spend ninety percent of my time and living in chaos really affects my mood.  Not having things organized makes me tense, not a good thing for the patience.  So this year, this house gets organized.

Those are my resolutions for 2011.  They will likely be fodder for some blog posts as well.  I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year’s and happy, healthy, and peaceful 2011.  What are your resolutions this year?

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