Pearannoyed Press

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A New Beginning!

Happy-new-Year-2014-Wallpapers-Images-3Happy new year, everybody!

Another year is in the books, full of yesterdays and memories. Another year is just beginning, full of fresh possibilities.

I’m not making any resolutions this year. Resolutions, I think, don’t really work, because resolutions tend to be about what we’re going to do different than we have done before. They have a built in comparison to what has gone before. Resolutions, by their nature, keep us looking backwards.

Think about it – how many people do you know who have made a resolution to lose weight or exercise more? Pretty much everyone… and it happens pretty much every year. And what do people say when they make that resolution? “Maybe this year I’ll do better.” Not the most hopeful outlook to start the year thinking about how you’ve failed in the past. Yikes.

This is not to say that I’m not making plans for the new year. I’m just not calling them resolutions. I’m thinking of it more as setting intentions. While some of my plans are related to things I’ve done in the past, I’m not approaching things as if I’m starting over. It’s January 1, but the new beginning is only of the year. In the goals I’m setting for myself, it’s more like moving on or moving forward. I’m looking less at what new I can accomplish, and looking instead at what more I can accomplish.

The difference? In no way am I minimizing what I did in the past. I didn’t lose as many pounds as I had hoped last year. But I did lose weight. I didn’t write as many words as I had planned. But I wrote more than I did the year before, and I had a story published.

I’ve just decided that I have very little interest in focusing on what I didn’t do, and instead I’m going to focus on what I can do. So with that said, here are the intentions I’m setting for 2014.

pen-and-inkWrite (almost) every day

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I have been a “writer” for years. But like a lot of people, I’ve talked about writing, thought about writing, read books and took classes about writing, and haven’t always gotten to the actual writing part of writing.

This year is going to be different. I’ve joined Jeff Goins challenge to write 500 words every day in the month of January. That’s a commitment I want to keep, but I realize it’s probably not realistic to keep that up for the whole year. A 7-day-a-week schedule is bound to burn me out eventually. So the ongoing goal will be to actively write 4-5 days every week throughout the year. I may need to take a few days off here and there if I’m traveling or have other commitments for my time. But in general, it is my primary goal this year to go from being a “writer” to being a Writer. Time to get rid of those quotations marks!

As a sub-goal of daily writing, I intend to publish several short story anthologies in the coming months, and finish writing my first novel. I’m hoping to actually get a full-length work published before the end of the year, but as long as I keep moving in that direction I will not feel like I’ve failed if I don’t make it.

catalog_bookRead 50 books

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to in 2013. I spent more time staring at a TV screen or a computer than I did staring at a page. I’m not anti-TV or anti-internet. But I spent a lot of time on passive media consumption rather than active media consumption. I’m changing that this year. I probably read 15 or 20 books last year (I wasn’t really counting). This year I’m going to try to more than double that. 50 books is roughly a book a week, with a couple of weeks off for when life just gets too hectic. I think it’s a reasonable goal.

I have no particular plan for what books I’m going to read. Most will probably be fiction, but I do want to make an effort to include a good selection of non-fiction and educational/personal development type books in there too.  I’ll keep you posted on how things are going with things like book reviews right here on my blog.

r-HEALTHY-FOOD-large570Keep pursuing better health

I made some good progress in 2013 towards being more fit. I’ve lost about 15 pounds since the end of September and about 25 pounds overall. A huge part of what made that possible is that I have been more intentional about eating real, whole, fresh, healthy foods; I’ve worked at limiting the processed and fast-foods that I consume; and I have made an effort to make exercise a regular part of my routine.

I haven’t been perfect. In fact, I left 2013 on more of a whimper than a bang in that respect. I traveled twice in November which made it hard to keep my schedule. Then I wasn’t feeling well. Then it was the holidays. And this last week I’ve been experiencing some dizziness that I think is probably related to being sick a few weeks back. But no excuses – I could have continued to work out even if was only walking on the treadmill. I chose to let it slide. But I’m not beating myself up over it. I’m just choosing to re-engage with my goals. I gained back maybe a pound or two in the last few weeks, but I’m ready to get back on track and see those numbers going down again as I march into 2014.

So, like my writing goal, I’m setting an intention to work out about 5 days a week in 2014. I’m also going to incorporate even more fresh, whole, organic foods, and limit refined sugar and all the other junk that’s available and all-too-easy to reach for.

So who’s with me?

I want to personally invite you to join me in any or all of these goals, or set some of your own and let me know what you’re planning. If we all do it together, we can support each other and encourage each other. We can help one another get back on track if we lose focus. And if any of us starts to discover that we’re in over our head, we can remind each other that the results are less important than making progress.

Let me know if you’re in by leaving a comment below. I want to be able to keep track of you. :)

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6 Responses to “A New Beginning!”

  1. Erica says:

    I can kind of see your point about resolutions, but to me resolutions are nothing more than goals, and if more people would set realistic resolutions (or goals, or intentions or whatever you want to call them) and actually make a plan for how they want to achieve them, then they probably would achieve them. Just my two cents. I’m with you on Jeff Goins’ challenge, good luck to you!

    • Amy says:

      That’s true. I’m not against people making “resolutions” – but I find sometimes that when I change the words I’m using it helps me change my way of thinking and my outcome. That’s my motivation here. If resolutions work for you, I’m all for it! :)

      Good luck to you too. I’ll be sure to check out your site.

  2. Michele says:

    I am with you though my goals contain much smaller numbers. Reading 12 books in a year would be a huge accomplishment for me. Increasing my intake of healthy fats and fresh foods instead of fried or “convenience” foods would be a realistic possibility. Going for a walk every day (or at least most days) would be a healthy and doable exercise choice for me. Doing something artistic every day is my plan as well.
    I apreciate you being my friend and being supportive. I don’t make resolutions either as the “pressure” becomes too much for me. The “I can’t measure ups” set me up to fail. I don’t RESOLVE to do better but I do think of things I would like to do differently.

  3. Christine Padgett says:

    I haven’t made any resolutions either. I usually don’t. But I do listen to what the Lord is saying to me and He is the one who helps me grow as a person in Him. But this year is different in that “new” began for me sometime last summer when the Lord began to speak to me about “My Last Journey”. At first I was rather alarmed, but I soon realized it was not a message of doom, but rather a title for the next phase of my life, which began when I turned 70 years old November 23rd. Seldom have I anticipated a birthday as I did this one. During this journey I am to Enjoy, Embrace, Engage and also Notice. So far it has to do with maturing (which is about time after 70 years) and how it is manifested in everyday living. There’s a lot more to it, including trying to express myself in drawing and an art form called Zentangle which is proving to be interesting and very easy to do. So although I will not be attempting to read 50 books this year and I am just continuing and improving my diet and exercise habits, I will be discovering just what “My Last Journey” holds and am looking forward in faith because of Christ in me. xxoo

  4. Christine Padgett says:

    This is a P.S. I meant to also say that I am with you in spirit and prayer as you pursue your giftings and healthy living. xxoo

  5. […] Here I am on January 1, 2015, and I’m finally checking in on the goals I declared for myself last year. […]

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