Monday, January 6, 2014

Fear and Worrying in 2014

Well, it's time for the post you all have been waiting for—the post in which I reveal my sure-to-be-successful goals for 2014.

Normally I have these goals up sooner, like the first day of the year, but this time around I needed a little more time to finalize them.

Not sure why, though. After all, one of them is the exact same goal I set last year because I failed to accomplish it last year. (No, I'm still not over it.)

I'm guessing the delay can be attributed to the fact that I am terrified about screwing up again. I've mentioned this on a few previous occasions, but screwing up is just something that I do. Regularly. With gusto even. And I'm so worried that no matter what I do this year, I'll still end up with the same result.

Needless to say, I've not been in the best of moods so far this year. Here's hoping I can surprise myself.

So, anyway, without any further rambling on my part, here's what I'm setting out to accomplish in the next 359 days...

Part One: Writing

1. Publish Effigy.

I'm getting seriously sick of having to make this goal year in and year out—and I can only imagine how sick y'all are of having to hear about it. I really have been trying. Given my absolute failure, it probably doesn't seem like it, but I have been trying. And now I will try some more.

2. Complete first draft of Second Nature.

So, if by some miracle I do manage to get Effigy out into the world this year, I'd really like to get its sequel out a year later. I imagine having a completed first draft will be instrumental in making that happen. My brilliant plan to complete said draft in 2013 didn't work out (quelle surpise, oui?) so I'll be looking to redeem myself this year.

Part Two: The Requisite Health Related Goals

1. Walk, run, or bike 700 miles.

Last year I logged 667 miles, and I had really blown off fitness toward the end of the year (And also in February, if we're being honest), so if I put in a little more effort this year I don't think 700 miles will prove to be too outlandish.

2. Eat healthier.

I have horrible eating habits. Like, really horrible. I have a tendency to binge eat muffins or donuts or cookies or cake or brownies or whatever fattening yet totally delicious baked goods happen to be within arm's length. I should probably stop binge eating those things. I haven't gotten off to the best of starts with this particular goal (the draw back of waiting until the 6th to post your goals...you may have already failed some of them), but I hope to make a course correction soon. Soon-ish.

Part Three: Last, But Not Least

1. Read 60 books.

I had the same goal last year and finished well above that total fairly early on the 2013. Goodreads then spent some time trying to get me to up my goal. I didn't then, and I'm not now. My writing goals are listed first for a reason. This is not to suggest that reading isn't vastly important—because it is—but I'm not going to push myself to read 100 books when I'm striving to publish one. If that makes sense.

2. Turn weird little spare closet space into tiny little library.

I have this little room in my house that would probably best be described as a decent sized walk-in closet, and we've never used it for anything. My cats used to hide out in there from time to time, but now it's sitting empty and abandoned. This year I'd like to rip out the flooring, put in something new, fix the lighting situation and line the walls with bookshelves because I have no more space in my house for books, and I like buying books too much to stop because of a minor detail like having no place to put them. I need the library from Beauty and the Beast, but until I can buy a castle in France, I'll make due with this. Of course, I have absolutely no idea how to do such a renovation, but that's what HGTV is for, right? (Disclaimer: I also have no idea if that is what HGTV is for.)

§§§

So that's going to do it for me today...Have you set any goals and/or resolutions for the new year? Have you already given up on them?

Thanks for stopping by. It's always appreciated.

68 comments:

  1. I'll never be tired of hearing you plan to get your book published each year, because it makes me feel better that I'm not alone in that.

    Here's to much written and many miles and many books for the new year!

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  2. I don't think you failed. You always manage to inspire and encourage your fellow bloggers, me included, at the right moment, which makes me feel like all is right with the world again.

    My resolution is to lose weight and be healthier. I eat too many fried foods for a vegetarian and I know how you feel about the sweet things. I have a sweet tooth too. Best of luck with your goals. You will crush them, I just know it.

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    1. Oh fried foods. Yeah...I eat too much of those, too. I've been considering going glutten-free, or at the very least, glutten-lite.

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  3. Good luck!

    I would very much like to see Effigy in the world this year - but I cannot consider you not doing it last year as a failure. I didn't publish anything at all last year - and while it sucks a bit, I figure the year wasn't wasted as I achieved other things instead!

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    1. I'd probably be more relaxed about it if I had, in fact, published other things in other years. Which I haven't.

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  4. The tiny library sounds like a good idea.
    Every day is a new beginning, MJ. Just keep looking at it that way.

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    1. I like the library idea, too. Just hope I can work out how to do it properly.

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  5. I did read 100 books last year and even as much as I love to read, it was a real push at the end to accomplish it. This year, I'm going for 85, which gives me some wiggle room for doing other things, like, oh I don't know, going outside, exercising maybe…. :)

    And LOVE that Calvin and Hobbes clip!

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    1. Going outside? What is this 'going outside' thing of which you speak?

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  6. Good luck with your 2014 goals. I hope this is your year for moving forward with Effigy.

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  7. Finishing the second book might be just the motivation you need.

    As for unhealthy snacks, we just don't buy them. If it's not in the house, I don't eat it.

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    1. A lot of the time, I don't buy them either for the exact same reason. But they're still at my day job, (I have a co-worker who makes treats every shift) and I seldom have any willpower where baked goods are concerned.

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  8. Wow, you have lots of goals! I have zero. And I hear you on the baked goods; they are sooo hard to resist.

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    1. Yeah, they are. I don't really have a lot of hope for that particular goal.

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  9. I, too, have an unfinished first draft in need of completion for the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) year in a row. And the eating healthier thing, too. I managed to drastically reduce my Christmas cookie consumption in December, so I'm hoping this new-fangled baked goods willpower carries over to 2014. But who knows. I'm a glutton for gluten.

    Best of luck with all of your resolutions, especially your writing goals (for my own selfish reasons about getting to read them, of course). And happy new year!

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    1. Drastically reducing Christmas cookie consumption is a fantastic start. I did not do as well with that as I would have liked.

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  10. I wish you much luck in reaching your goals.

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  11. Good luck with all of your goals! As for Effigy, you really should finish it because I am dying to read it! If you need any help with it, please don't hesitate to ask! I would be more than happy to help regardless of this situation, but I do owe you one after all ;)

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    1. You don't owe me anything. I was happy to help—and hope that's what I did.

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  12. Good luck with everything! I'm sure at some point I'll actually write down my own goals, instead of just having them floating around in my head...

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    1. If you don't write them down, you can always say things like, "yeah, my goal was to have a Sherlock marathon today" or whatever, and no one would ever be the wiser.

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  13. 700 miles??!! Your goals seem super ambitious to a couch spud like me - but I bet you could do them! Wish you the best 2014 can bring! :)

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    1. I'm really not stressed out about the 700 miles. I came really close to that last year, so I feel pretty good about my chances. On that goal, anyway.

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  14. It all sounds great to me. I know you have the hutzpa to pull all of this off. Including that little closet library! I just saw this on FB recently!

    http://bedroom.about.com/od/ClosetSolutions/ss/Unique-Bedroom-Closet-Solutions_2.htm

    Good luck!
    HMG

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    1. Oh, I love that little closet book nook. My intended library is bigger than that, but I'd love to build the book nook in another closet. Or, you know, get someone to build it for me.

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  15. I wish I had a spot for a tiny library. How cool!

    Good luck with Effigy. Publishing is so much harder (and takes so much longer) than anyone who hasn't tried thinks.

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    1. I'm finding that to be truer every year.

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  16. I will worry if you stop talking about publishing Effigy. Unless of course, you finally did it. Until then, talk away. You'll get there and it will be worth the trip.

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    1. Right now I'm thinking that if/when I do get there, I'll be too mad about how long it took me and completely forget to celebrate the achievement. Sounds like something I'd do, anyway.

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  17. Aww, now I'm picturing the library from Beauty and the Beast! :) Your idea of a mini library sounds very cool. Good luck with the goals. One step at a time.

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  18. Good luck with your goals.

    As for Effigy: I wonder if maybe you shouldn't just put up "publish Effigy" as your goal. I'm sure there are a multitude of parts to that goal. Perhaps you should list all the parts that make up the overarching "publish Effigy" goal. Then check each one of those off. So, you can see yourself making progress towards the goal rather than thinking because you haven't hit the finish line you're a failure.

    Each step gets you closer. Celebrate those small steps.

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    1. I have the 'publish Effigy' goal broken down into several smaller parts that will be monthly and weekly goals. I just didn't break it all down (and won't) in this post. But publishing is the ultimate goal for the entire year. Just like it was the last two years.

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  19. Good luck with all your goals! I hope you're finally able to publish Effigy like you want. And wow, that "tiny little library" project sounds like so much work. I doubt I'd have the patience for something like that, but I'm totally with you on needing more space for books, so I hope the conversion is a success!

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    1. I hope so, too. On the publishing thing.

      Well, and the library thing. I doubt I'll have the patience for the library project, but I guess we'll see what happens. Or doesn't happen.

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  20. Excellent goals. Good luck! I love your little library project. I need more shelves, but there's no room for them in the house. I need to eat better too. I silently make that resolution to myself every year. Last year I did good for about two months, but then, yeah.

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    1. I usually only last a month or two on the healthier eating goal every year, too. This year I've started poorly, so maybe I can just get better from here?

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  21. I love the idea of re-purposing a closet for a mini-library! I hope you'll post pictures of the finished product!

    You have a great list of goals--best of luck meeting them this year! :)

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    1. I intend to take pictures of the project from start to finish. Whether I will actually do that (or the project itself) remains to be seen...

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  22. Fun post! I enjoyed your HGTV joke especially.

    Good luck with the goals.

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    1. I'm more of a Food Network girl, even if I don't cook/bake.

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  23. I've been meaning to draw up a regular weekly schedule for myself, with the idea that I'll get 'er done. Haven't done that yet. Probs for reasons similar to yours. I'm in a fear zone (not saying you are, just acknowledging the fact). Anyway, good luck with everything; we believe in you, MJ. Also, it's a pleasure reading you, here, on the Twitter - I heart your wit, gurl. God bless.

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    1. Oh, I'm totally in a fear zone. I'm hoping the goal structuring technique will help with that.

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  24. Best of luck! I think its great that you keep having Effigy published as a goal, as long as you don't give up then you're good. The reading goal seems attainable, and so does the 700 miles since you have a routine set up and was so close last year. Woot!

    Can't wait to see the end result of the re-purposed closet. Love the idea ;)

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    1. I love the idea, too. Not sure I'll love the work though.

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  25. I want to see that closet library - that sounds really cool! And way to go with your exercise goal from last year!
    Best wishes on all your endeavors in 2014! You can do it!

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  26. Wow, your exercise goal from last year was great! I love these nit-picky specific goals you've set. They all seem pretty realistic. Good luck with your writing and other goals! One of my goals is to blog more. I stopped doing it when I got pregnant last year, and now that my baby is one I think it's time to jump back in again! Here's to 2014!!

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  27. I have to confess something: I don't make New Years Resolutions. Not because I'm perfect and don't need to change, but because I hate the pressure of them. I DO set goals for myself, but I'm working on being more gentle about the time frame...and being more gentle with myself in general. So in that spirit, don't be hard on yourself for bot being published yet!!! It's so, so hard to do. AND the publishing world can move very slowly. Keep working at it for sure, but be gentle ;)

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    1. I get you on the pressure thing. Usually I only feel pressure in January because they're new, and December because I'm realized I didn't meet all the goals I set eleven months earlier.

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  28. I'm especially excited at the opportunity to read Effigy. It sounds like such fun.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say, Michael. I appreciate that.

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  29. yay calvin & hobbes! and happy new year!
    an epic fantasy novel takes an epic amount of time and care - it'll happen! all your goals sound very reasonable and achieveable. Sounds like a great year ahead of you! and baked goods are my utter downfall. why can't vegetables have the same great taste and consistency as a muffin? do carrot muffins and zucchini bread count? how about pumpkin donuts? mmm, donuts.

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    1. See, if all baked goods were carrot and zucchini and pumpkin based, I wouldn't eat them.

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  30. Good luck with all those goals.

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  31. Library sounds awesome. Writing goals sound ambitious and exciting. Good luck and trust yourself. You can achieve those things that are most important to you :)

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    1. Trust myself? Isn't there anything easier I could do—like learn astrophysics or something?

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  32. Would LOVE to read 60 books this year. I think 2 a month is about my speed unfortunately. :(

    Your running/biking goal is great, and something I need to set for myself. I run and bike, but don't really keep up with how far. (It's a 30 min x 3-5 days weekly cardio-so-I-don't-keelover-early type of thing.) I think a big mileage goal might spice things up!

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    1. Two books a month is more my speed at the end of the year. I have to do the majority of my reading up front before my day job really takes over my life.

      And I like having the mileage goal. I was surprised to see how well I did with it last year. Hope I can keep up this year.

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  33. You have the same book problem I do. When you find that castle in France see if there is one next door because I am looking for one as well.

    As much as I want you to publish so I can read your book, I understand your pain. Even with a book published, it didn't get easier like I thought it would. It is deadlines and editing and things falling apart when you don't need them too. I don't think it is much, but if you EVER need anything, I'd been willing to help in any way possible. And I hope it does work for you this year to get it out. Because then you would have one less thing hanging over your head, demanding your attention. And all authors know how demanding characters can be.

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    1. Yeah, the things falling apart thing has been very tough. I guess this year I'm going have to break out the super glue or something.

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  34. They all sound like very realistic goals. Good luck with trying to achieve them! 60 books doesn't seem that many... I'm aiming for 150, but I'm a super quick reader, and insane!

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  35. I've not met all my 2013 goals yet either MJ. But, life moves on. Sometimes we hit, sometimes we miss. The challenge is to pick up and keep on trying, cuz later we may succeed in the events we scraped by today. Don't be too hard on yourself; you've made progress where it was most needed.

    Don't Worry, Be Happy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU

    Smile :)

    .........dhole

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