2016 So Far

I hate to be predictable and start with a resolutions post, but you know I set a bunch, and I might as well update you on them, because that’s a lot of what goes on here, you and I, yes?

So here we go. Some of these are official resolutions, others are things related to resolutions that I’m working on:

  • Planning my work— I’m trying to work a little less by the seat of my pants— have a plan, have interim goals, figure out a timeline. It has definitely reduced friction, to do this— I set my first deadline of the new year for the 15th and beat it by 10 days. There’s a bit of a running-downhill feeling here. I don’t expect it to last, but it’s pretty enjoyable while it’s here. Clarity is just better than not being sure what I should be doing.
  • Health and fitness— I’m working on this, too. I was really good about tracking my calories during the work-week and working out during the week. I even brought tennis shoes to work today, so when I hit the gym on my lunch hour, I don’t have to do it in the shoes I wear to work or my socks (both of which I did last week. Because if you wait to be perfect, you’ll never do anything.) I’m also trying to address my diet cola addiction, for the new year. So far, so good. I’ve taken to drinking water and hot tea first thing in the morning, and water any time I’m actually thirsty. I drink diet cola when I’ve had at least 16 ounces of water and a cup of herbal tea, and I need to have 16 oz of water and herbal tea between every diet cola. I’ve struggled, most days, to even fit two into a day (I was routinely drinking at least 36 oz, and often more.) Yesterday, I had one. And I’m not really missing them.
  • Joy— I’m trying for a little more joy in 2016. I’m going to start dating again, in ways that don’t steal my joy. I’m making music at least weekly, going dancing more, traveling more, entertaining more (I’m thinking dinner parties is going to be my new thing, but honestly it’s likely to be games nights and pool parties, which is also good).
  • Challenge:
    • I want to write a book in 2016. Enough already, with the dithering. Last week, I read about structure, I ordered a book about structure (I tell myself that the reason I haven’t written anything long is that I don’t know how to support a tale like that. So I’m going to figure that part out.) I’ve enlisted an accountability partner, to whom I’m articulating weekly goals and reporting progress (he’s setting goals to me and reporting on progress, also.) I transcribed writing I did on a single project earlier. I’m picking software. I want to be clear— I’m not setting a goal that I’ll publish a book in 2016, but I want to know that I can write one, because I’m not sure my subconscious knows that. I’m not writing a children’s book or a book of verse, short-stories or an essay collection— I’m not sure yet whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, but it’s a single work of at least 50,000 words. And at least half my weekly writing goals will need to be writing that book.
    • I want to finish the works of Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey, that means you) and read Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. I read Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice in college or just after. I read Persuasion on the Alaska cruise. I managed Mansfield Park over the holidays, and I’m just completist enough to insist that Northanger Abbey follow suit at this point. Karamazov has been so repeatedly recommended to me by people whose spirituality I admire that it’s part of my Lenten observance. I’ve talked my youngest brother, with whom I’ve read serious literary books once or twice, into reading it with me so we can talk about it, which will keep me honest.
    • I want to finish my Toastmasters Competent Communicator manual. I’m 3/5ths of the way there— I feel like I can just wrap it up.

And so far, there have been side benefits. In planning my work more, I’m planning my life more. I was wickedly productive last week, and also took time for myself. My more-productive errands led to more productive time at home. Suddenly, I’m starting the year off having resolved some nagging issues.

Are there ways I’m not rocking it? Yes. I was good about tracking food during the week, but it tailed off Friday afternoon and my weekend eating seems to have given back some of the weight I lost with good behavior. But it’s still early. I haven’t written anything that’s contributed to the long work I’m working on. (Though I’m ready to do that today.) There are other goals I haven’t shown progress on. Some of the goals I set I didn’t achieve, or I didn’t achieve them as planned. Rome, they tell me, wasn’t built in a day. So I’m going to give myself some time for everything to get going like gangbusters, knowing that I’m seeing solid progress on several fronts, and that I can’t do everything all at once. I’m told if you aim for the moon and fail, you can still end up among the stars.

How about you? How go your plans and schemes for the new year?

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