January 01, 2016

Welcome to 2016: A New Year's Resolutions

Another year come and gone, folks. That means it's time for some introspection, yes?

Fair warning: Like most such posts, there's a fair amount of navel gazing. Feel free to skip, and I'll be back to our regularly scheduled content with a Sunday Soundbite on Sunday. ;-)

First, A Review

Last year, I wrote a post highlighting a few goals:

I'd like to write something every day.
I'd like to maintain a more balanced reading diet (wink wink).
I'd like to make more time for myself.
I'd like to stick to my cleaning schedule a little bit better...

I also set a goal for the blog:

I'm at a point where I feel more content and settled than I have, perhaps ever, felt. I'd like to see the blog reflect this, and focus less on negative topics.

So how do I think I did? Not terrible, in my opinion.

For my general resolutions, the one that I was weakest on was writing something every day. The second less successful one was probably making more time for myself. In part, that one was railroaded by the fact that we moved further away from my family, our primary source of childcare in the past.

My cleaning schedule was kickass, y'all, especially once I revamped and reworked it entirely for the new house. I don't usually brag about this stuff, but today I am. I shared some of the progress on my homemaking blog--you can check it out here, if you're interested.

I did make time to read a good mix of fiction and nonfiction from various genres and on a variety of topics. I feel like I did seriously well there, although I fell quite short of my goal of reading 100 books this year.

For the blog, I think I did pretty well in focusing on more positive aspects of my experience, or at least, sharing stories in a positive, "let's learn about it" manner.

Looking Forward

One thing that I am looking at doing differently this year is to set goals that are measurable. I'd like to be able to look back next year and see what kind of progress I've made.

I'd also like to move away from setting goals for just the entire year and into setting goals for a specific time periods--I'm thinking that I want to start doing them weekly, daily, monthly, and quarterly. I'm considering charting the progress that I make using my homemaking blog. It seems like that would be a better channel than here.

So I suppose one of my Resolutions, then, would be to change how I set goals.

How can I measure that? I'm thinking I'll create a worksheet that I can fill out for Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly. I can add a spot for Daily goals on my scheduling spreadsheet, and a spot for Weekly goals on my weekly overview spreadsheet (yeah, those are things that I do... *looks somewhat sheepish but not entirely because she is pretty much beyond giving fucks on the subject). That gives me a paper trail that I can save and review from time to time--maybe monthly.

I'd also like to switch up and do personal, parenting, and professional goals.

One of my fatal flaws, I guess, is that I hate taking risks. As a freelance writer, that makes pitching really, really hard. I have networked with a few editors that I heart immensely, but I don't really branch out into other sites nearly as much as I should if I want to grow that career--and I do. I've wanted to be a writer since the time that I was little.

So one of my professinal goals, then, is to create a list of sites to pitch to and to generate four pitches a week. I'd like to increase that number of pitches as I go and hopefully grow a little more confident and used to rejection. So I'm going to call the list of sites to pitch to and four pitches a week a quarterly goal for January to March. Then I'll review and see how I've done and if I'm in a spot where I can increase my number of pitches.

SO...one personal goal: Change how I set my goals.
Two professional goals: Generate a list of sites to pitch to regularly, and pitch to them.

I'd like to revisit the idea of having more time for myself. I think I will shift it though, because what I really need is to form some ties to our new community. So I am challenging myself to (and resolving to...) visit our local Unitarian Universalist congregation. I've been going back and forth on this for months, and I've allowed my social anxiety to win out every time so far. No more!

Before we moved, I had a local Freethought Society that was fantastic. I knew at least once a month I'd be able to get out of the house for a bit and spend time with like-minded adults. I don't really have the ability to make the drive that often anymore, though, so the UU seems like a natural place to start since they're usually pretty welcoming to humanists like me. Hopefully, that'll be a jumping off point to make some friends and have a social circle here in our new hometown.

So, another personal goal, then! Woot!

I've already set a reading goal for this year on Goodreads (I love that app...): 60 books. Last year, I finished at 36 books, so I figured this would be a challenge and hopefully an incentive to continue making time to read things that I enjoy. So I suppose that breaks itself down pretty easily into monthly goals: five books a month for the next twelve months.

Parenting goals are a little more personal, I suppose, but nothing too private to share. Here's the main ones:

  • Get the boys involved in soccer (kind of an offshoot of my personal goal of building ties in our new hometown).
  • Maintain consistency regarding screen time.
  • Get back into the routine of reading together every single night.

Summing It Up

So here's what I've got so far from my brainstorming my generalized resolutions:

Still working out the specifics. It's been a fun process so far, though. If I'm being honest, goal setting is one of my favorite activities. I love setting a goal and then working out a plan for how to get to it.

Now, let's just see how well I can follow through!

I hope all of you have started your New Year well. Any resolutions to share?

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