Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year, Happy New Goals! Part 2

Yesterday I blogged about my 2013 goals and how those worked out for me. Today I want to focus on the year ahead and set some goals for 2014.

They say you should spend the first day of the year how you want to spend the entire year. Yesterday I started the day laughing with one of my best friends, then I napped, I spent time with my husband (and even watched my wedding video, which I never watch), I took my dogs out for a long walk and loved on them like crazy, I blogged, I thought about my goals, I spent some time alone listening to good music, I did some writing, I did some reading, and I did some cleaning. The only thing I wished I would have fit in was a workout, but it was either that or the nap and, let's face it, the nap is always going to win. So, yeah, aside from the working out, I spent the day exactly how I'd like to spend the year ahead.

2014 goals

1. Write one entire book and plot another one
Now that I know I can be a more efficient writer, thanks to 2013, I want to try to write one entire book this year. I know I probably won't be able to do more than that right now, so I'd also like to plot out another book. I'm hoping this isn't too ambitious, because I have no idea what this year has in store for me, but right now I think it's pretty do-able.

2. Read 52 books in 2014
So, this book reading goal has been the same for the past few years, but I think it's a good one and I feel no need to change it. One book a week is a good challenge with everything else that's on my plate. It reminds me to make time for reading even when I feel like I'm too busy for it, and that's really what I need sometimes. If I get in more, that's great, but I want to end the year having read at least one book a week.

3. Do what I can
I've been struggling to come up with a 3rd goal, and I'm totally at a loss here. Since 2013 ended up being such a surprise, and because there are so many things in the air this coming year that I have no control over, I'm struggling to come up with a goal I know I can complete. I'm just going to try to do what I can when I can. I think I'm going to make small goals for every few months, because looking at the year as a whole is like looking out into the abyss.

Last year I picked a word to focus on, and I think that was really helpful, so I'm going to do it again. My focus word for 2014 is

This past year really threw a lot at me, and, I'm not going to lie, managing everything was a total struggle for me. Especially toward the end of the year. I just got so overwhelmed by all of my responsibilities - teaching, my MFA, writing PUSH GIRL, revising IRL, and my real life - working out, being a good wife / friend / dog mom, and having a bit of a social life. I had to give some things up (like I'm sure you noticed), but it's difficult for me to abandon things I really love. And I can't afford to give a half-ass effort to any of these things, really. Not the teaching or the writing or the MFA-ing, anyway. So, I sorta collapsed under the weight of it all at the end of the year, and had a little bit of a breakdown.

Just because a calendar page is turning doesn't mean that things are suddenly going to get easier for me. In fact, 2014 brings the release of PUSH GIRL into the world and that's going to bring stress and pressure and other baggage that I can't even really wrap my head around right now. So, in the coming year I'm really going to put a special focus on keeping all of the parts of my life in balance. It's not going to be easy, and it's definitely going to involve saying no to some things or cutting out some things in favor of my sanity.

I put a major focus on positivity this past year, and it really did work for me. Hoping a focus on balance in 2014 will have the same result.

What goals do you have for 2014?


  1. You can doooooo it :-) I chose the same word today (blogged about it). Like you, the end of the year was a bit on the rougher side for me so balance will be important :-)

  2. I like your 2014 word, Jess. Sounds pretty perfect for your goals. I think it's going to be a fabulous year for you... So excited for PUSH GIRL and everything you've got in your future! Cheers!

  3. Balance is an awesome word. I could really use more of it in my life, too. My goal for 2014 is very broad, but it's just basically to do things differently this year. Stop doing some things, start doing others. Here's hoping 2014 is a great year for both of us! :-)

  4. Sounds like balance is the perfect goal for your 2014. You have a lot on your plate, but it's also going to be such an exciting time. Your book comes out! Hopefully the joy of seeing it out in the world will make up for some of the stress. :)

  5. Hugs for a kickin' 2014. Can't wait to read PUSH GIRL. Whoo-hoo.

  6. Good luck with all your goals this year! It's going to be a fantastic year for you, and I can't wait to read PUSH GIRL!

  7. Good goals, and I think balance is a great word for you. I might have to steal your 2013 word for this year!