2016 was absolutely a year. There were a lot of downs and ups so I’m heading into 2017 with… no expectations. Well, no expectations for the year as a whole. I have expectations for myself. That’s right, New Year Resolutions!! YAY!!
There are about 87 things I want to do to better myself next year: read more, exercise, get rid of stuff, memorize scripture, write the stories for friends, take up knitting again, write a novel with my sister, make more crafts, keep my room cleaner, write my novel, talk with distant friends more, paint, minimize my chronic insomnia, pay off a lot of my debt, cook more, visit friends, write poetry more often, maintain my instagram account, publish another ebook, learn how to sew, use less plastic, save for a car, THE LIST GOES ON PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE LIST.
However, to be realistic, I can’t accomplish all of these things in a year. I mean, okay, yeah, actually I probably could if I somehow gained crazy good time management skills. I’m pretty sure that those skills are built over time though so I’m going to narrow it down.
I have no idea when I heard of S.M.A.R.T goals but I’ve really appreciated it. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based (as shown below. Found the image here with a quick Google image search).
I like this way of thinking about goals because it takes the resolutions above “read more” and “get rid of stuff” to the next level. In 2017 I will always be ‘reading’ a book and any book from my shelf that I have not read by the end of the year I will donate or sell. That goal took two very general goals and made them real. I’ll be keeping track of which books I’ve read/used so that by the end of the year I’ll hopefully be able to get rid of the ones I either never read or didn’t like when I reread them.
So I’m going to break down my goals into a couple categories and go from there to make them as SMART as I can.
- Writing goals
- Finish the short stories for my friends. I want to do about 5 and have three started (two are more than halfway done)
- Get a draft of a novel with my oldest sister (she proposed the idea a couple months ago and we’ve started a bit already)
How will I accomplish this? I’m going to set monthly writing goals. I haven’t decided if I want to set word, page, or time goals but I’ll be experimenting in January to see what works.
Why do I want this? Well, because I want to write for a living and if I want to do that I need to be writing all the time. I’ll be keeping up on this blog, of course, but I want to get more fiction work done.
2. Bible goals
- Read Psalms everyday (I’ve done this in previous years)
- Memorize 8 chapters of the book of Romans (I have memorized chapter 1 before and started 2 so I’ve got a start already with this one. It’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a while)
How will I accomplish this? I’ll be writing down a verse from Psalms each day. Sometimes I’ll be reading a chapter a day and sometimes I’ll read the chapters in parts. For Romans, I’m thinking I’ll be asking my best friend to keep me on track each month.
Why do I want this? Because I believe the Bible wholeheartedly. I need to KNOW what I believe. I can honestly say that during the times in my life I was reading the Bible daily and memorizing scripture I was happiest. Not only that but God tells His children to learn His word and I am God’s child so it follows.
3. Stuff/Minimizing goals
- I’m going to use that method of ‘if you don’t use it in a year then get rid of it.’ I’m applying this to my clothes, books, and movies.
- By the end of March I will be going through all my boxed/stored things and figuring out what to throw out/donate
How will I accomplish this? I have a couple of bookshelves and as I read I’ll be moving them from my full shelves to the (currently) empty ones. I’m going to be fairly lenient with some of them because I do have textbooks and informational books that I won’t ever be reading cover to cover. For those ones, I consider using them for reference purposes as being ‘read.’
Why do I want this? I’ve talked about this before but I just feel more and more overwhelmed by how much stuff I have and how consumerist our American society is. If I’m not finding use in my stuff then I don’t want it around. There are things that have sentimental value but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
All of this will be recorded in my brand new, 2017 planner (also I’ll probably mention these things on here as well)! I’ve never been great at using a planner but I’m going to try my hand at it once more and see how it goes. Hopefully, this year will be a good one!
Did you make any new year resolutions? If so, which one do you think is the most important one?