2018: Year of Better

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2018!

Let’s get something straight: I don’t do “resolutions”. Making public promises with no way to be accountable is a set-up for failure. And making promises to yourself while stressed out over the holidays is doubly so. All that leads to guilt, frustration, sadness, and feelings of inadequacy. And none of that is good for the soul.

Instead, I’m going for “goals”. I have a few this year…

Goal 1: Get healthier. Learn to eat better, fresher, healthier food. Drink (lots) more water, every day. Get more exercise. Sleep more. Take better care of myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Get some medical stuff taken care of. Hopefully drop some weight in the process. Keep track of my progress here.

Goal 2: Make more art. Make a new habit (again) of making daily art. Post photos here at least once a week. Make some gifts, then make extra things and put them up for sale (here or elsewhere). Write up tutorials on the process of making whatever I just made. Get better at marketing.

Goal 3: Feel more empowered in my job. Exchange the “Impostor Syndrome” for self-empowerment. Learn more about what management wants and needs, and use my skills to get us there.

Goal 4: Live a more authentic life. Be myself more, rather than whomever others want me to be. Speak my truth more, instead of remaining silent in the face of that which I oppose. Be kinder, more compassionate, more loving, more giving. Call out unkindness, abuse, and injustice where I see or experience it. Be accountable for my actions, and my inaction.

Goal 5: Support artists and authors I like with small financial contributions (like Patreon), by purchasing their work (books, art, jewelry), and by posting reviews and retweets of their work.

Goal 6: Create a “must win” fitness plan, and write a book about it. Work with fitness and nutrition experts to be sure I’m following correct health and scientific principles.

Goal 7: Finish that quilting pattern book I was working on, even though someone already used my working title in a published book. (I’ll think of something else.)

Goal 8: Finish at least one rough draft of one of my (many) works-in-progress novels. Collaborate with another author, if needed. Then edit that book. Then publish it.

This is not the end of my list, but the beginning of the start. I realize that I will not be able to do everything all at once, and that’s OK. Much of this is stuff I can work on while living life. Some of it will take a little time each day, but I don’t expect any of it to take over my life completely. For example, I expect to work back up to exercising 30-60 minutes a day. I can make art for as little as 5-15 minutes per day (and longer on the weekends). I can write for an hour or two each day (longer on weekends). Getting more sleep means making a commitment to get to bed earlier. That still leaves plenty of time for making art, writing, and exercise.

Reading through this list, this is doable for me. Everything will be “a day at a time”, and there is no due date on any of it, other than “sometime within the next 365 days”. Most of this will be a continuous process of getting better at mindset and building new (better) habits, so definitely no due dates there. And I notice that I have goals to complete at least 3 rough drafts (and maybe finish 2 of them), which should not be difficult given 12 months in which to do so. The hardest part of all of those books will be creating the step-by-step process photos for the quilting patterns. That will be very time consuming, and I’ll need to be sure to get photos for every step.

So, that is my road map for 2018. Take a deep breath, and take that first step. It’s a long road, but it just takes one step at a time to get there. I’ve already done Day One of my fitness plan, and have a great idea for my next art project. I hope you check in here from time to time to see how things are going. May this year bring you mountains of joy and a great sense of purpose. Be blessed.

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