Friday, January 7, 2011

Goals for the new year

I've always had a hard time setting tangible goals. I'm a really vague sort of person when it comes to goal setting, probably because that's so much easier than figuring out exactly what I want. So, in an effort to end that particular habit of mine, I entered a contest on the writing website I belong to. For the contest I had to write a letter to myself, stating my goals for the coming year. Part of the requirement is that the goals have to be both believable and feasible. I'm posting the letter here in order to hold myself more accountable. The more public I make my goals, the more likely I am to keep them. I hope.

Dear Me:

You have had quite the year. While not spending a large amount of time online, you've brainstormed, you've helped your husband work on his novels, and you've made some progress on your autobiography. You had a baby, and you're learning how to be a great mom. Good work! There is a lot of work to be done this year, though, so pay attention.

First, you need to lose the baby weight. You have the means to work out, but you definitely slack in that department. I know how much you hate to get sweaty, but it's a fact of life, honey. Suck it up. Doing Pilates will not only help you lose weight and get rid of the tummy, but it will also help your back, which in turn will ease up the pain on your knees. Amy takes long enough naps that you can do a half hour of Pilates and shower before she wakes up. Three times a week, you are going to put down the computer and sweat a little. It's for your own good.

Second, you are going to write your novel. You're already working on this, having joined a group for this specific purpose. You will read every lesson and complete every assignment, not just in the hopes of winning the contest, but so that you can finally finish a novel. By following this plan, you will have your first draft finished on September 15, 2011. You cannot compromise on this. It will take a lot of work, but you are more than capable if you put your mind to it.

Third, you are going to increase your baking skills. You love to bake, and for Christmas you got everything you need to make beautiful cakes. You will not be lazy and settle for cakes that look "okay." It only takes a little extra effort on your part to make them truly gorgeous. You will bake at least one cake every month that you have never made before. And then you will clean up the kitchen. There is no excuse for leaving it a disaster, even if you are sick of being in the kitchen by that point.

Fourth, you will journal/blog more. It may not seem like you have much going on, as you are a stay-at-home mom now, but there is always something to write about. Blogging will help get you into the habit of writing, whether you have the illusive "inspiration" or not. Therefore, you will blog at least once a week. This is also a good opportunity to be more introspective. A blog post does not have to be about your daily or weekly activities. You have feelings and opinions like everyone else. Express them.

Fifth, you will be more engaged with the people around you. You tend to be reserved and withdrawn when you don't know many people or you feel like you don't fit in with a group. That is just ridiculous. You have plenty of things in common with other people. You can carry a conversation well. You are friendly, compassionate, and genuinely interested in others. There is no excuse for your lack of interaction with others. To this end, you will attend the women's group at church on a monthly basis. You will also look for a mother's group in your area so that you can get to know women with young children. Not only will this be beneficial for your daughter in the long run, this can also help you better acclimate to your new role. I know it has been difficult these past few months to go from working full time to being at home instead. By being around other people, you can counteract your feelings of loneliness and isolation. You can also do this by volunteering more. You have plenty of time. There are plenty of opportunities, especially with your local support group for burn survivors. You will contact the head of the support group and express your desire to volunteer, and you will assist her with at least four different activities this year.

These five goals are easily attainable. Stop wasting so much time watching movies and playing on the Internet. By being more active and involved in your life, you will feel better and be a more engaging person. Your daughter needs you. If not for you, then do it for her. You have the potential to really have a dynamite year. So go after it!


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