A letter to myself my goals for 2014
2013 wasn't a bad year, not in the grand scheme of things. I bought my own flat and managed to decorate two rooms. I got my own little kitten who, although a menace is completely adorable and I have successfully been in my job over a year and a half now and I still love it (mostly!). There were some downs (as there always tend to be) such as things with my partner being quite rocky at the beginning of the year and feeling emotionally drained at that point, but overall, it wasn't so bad. However, I do feel like I'm almost at a standstill. Now that I'm a little more settled things have fallen into a routine and while I thrive on routine and structure, I can't help feel that there's something missing. 2014 is a new year and a great time to make a new start to achieve all of those things that I've missed out on. I've put myself off for a long time, looking after other people first (particularly my partner) and I think it's time to think about me and put myself first. There is a lot that I want to accomplish in the new year and I'm determined that I'm going to do it
Reading, writing and WdC
Edit my novel
I want to edit my Devil's Playground novel. I wrote this in Nano 2013 and I've completed Nano in the past and not got around to the revision stage. A lot of that is self doubt. I doubt my writing skills and think that anything I've produced is probably tantamount to rubbish so I set it aside and forget about it. This year is going to be different. I really believe in my novel this time around (I've put a lot of work into it including preparation and writing) so I've come up with a plan to make sure I can edit the whole thing by the end of the year. I want to edit three chapters a month (at least) until I finish and then I want to submit it. So towards the end of the year I'll look for a publisher in the right genre and prepare the novel for submission and in January 2015 I will submit.
Contests on WdC
I want to enter contests more on WdC. I think they're a great tool for getting people to write and it's something I want to utilise more. I want to enter one contest a month (at least) and when I write a piece that I'm particularly proud of, I want to pursue submission. I will probably chose those contests that have prompts for entries because they always tend to get my creative juices flowing and give me something to focus on. I'll write something a week before the deadline where possible, giving me time to re-read and revise before I submit it. I also know most of these contest will be for fiction but I might try my hand at writing some new poetry too, whatever keeps me writing keeps me happy.
I want to continue reviewing on WdC. It's something I really enjoy and I want to keep it up. I want to review at least one item every time I log on, sending a good quality review and affiliated with a group that I'm a part of. I also want to ensure that I do at least one "P.E.N.C.I.L." review every week to continue helping authors with their budding novels.
Sometimes I find that with my shifts at work, I tend to log on when I'm there (as I'm alone for much of the night) and on my days off I spend a lot of time catching up/sleeping/being tired so I don't get a chance. I want to try and change that and log on as many days as possible during the week, making sure I keep up to date with everything that's going on
Involvement on WdC
I want to be more involved in WdC. I was promoted to moderator in 2013 and this is something I'm so grateful for, and I want to live up to it. I want to review more, write more and get more involved in the community including fundraising and making sure my friends on the site know how special they are to me. I want to send out raffle tickets regularly and make sure I live up to my roles in the various groups I'm involved in.
I want to make more time to read. Sometimes when life gets busy it seems one of the easy things to cut out, or more accurately, it almost gets forgotten. Life does get busy but I want to read more and read more widely out of the genres I normally read. I want to expand my horizons. I want to read at least five books a month and try to submit product reviews for these too.
Be strong, say no
The first thing I want to do, is to learn how to say no, or rather, to state my own opinion in certain matters rather than agreeing with someone to avoid conflict. I've never managed conflict in my own life well and this is something I want to overcome. I'm finding in particular in the work environment where there is a difference of opinion quite regularly and a lot of tension within the staff team at the minute. As I'm one of the night staff I sometimes feel I'm there as a listening ear as the day staff bear the brunt of the tension and conflict and it's not a happy situation. I want to stand up for what I believe in and do it without fear.
Don't be afraid to be judged by anyone. I want to be myself, always. I want to dress how I want to dress, do what I want to do and enjoy my life without worrying about what other people think. At times in my life, and at times when I'm feeling perhaps a little low or insecure, I tend to worry too much and therefore try to blend in more with what society expects. Why should I? I'm me and that's all that matters.
If I don't get a day job by June this year, I want to book time off the year after in 2015 whenever I can for my trip to New Zealand. It's something that I've been talking about (and saving for) for a long time and I realise that part of the reason I keep putting it off is (not just because of work) that I'm a little afraid of going. Does that sound silly? I don't often go anywhere alone now and travelling across the world to be on my own for a month is a little daunting, but it's something that's deep in my heart and if I don't do it I'll regret it forever. So I will do it. I'm making a promise to myself now because I owe it to myself to follow my dreams and see the places I want to see.
When I come back from New Zealand, if that day job still hasn't materialised, I owe it to myself to look for another job. Yes, I love it where I am, the women I work with and most of the staff, but I don't want to be doing night shift forever and spend most of my night alone. I love being around people and I want human contact, regularly, and be able to support the women I work with properly. Even if it means leaving the organisation, I will look for another job.
Volunteer somewhere new. I still volunteer with the Brownies once a week and will keep that up but I think because my job means I'm on my own for quite a lot of the day (well, night actually), I find myself wanting to reach out and meet new people and try something different. Do it. Whether it be something that's one off or a regular something, don't be afraid of something new. Take up the challenge. In particular I want to look at roles within the Alzheimer's Society and the Special Constabulary. Being a voluntary member of the police team is something I have crossed through my mind dozens of times now over the past year. I think I've been worried about what it will truly entail but I won't know until I try it!
Pick up a new exercise, or at least try it. I've been wanting to try kickboxing for some time now and again, it's one of those things that I've been putting off. Although I'm not a particularly anxious person, sometimes the thought of being thrust into a situation where I have to be a little bit vulnerable, I tend to avoid. I'm not going to be afraid to be vulnerable. I'm going to try kickboxing whether I have to do it alone or not. I'm going to throw myself into it and not give up when my asthma kicks in. I always feel better and happier when I partake in exercise, so I'm doing it!
Make sure I'm eating healthy. While I do this most of the time and eat a lot of fruit and veg, sometimes I get a little lazy. I want to make sure I keep eating well and looking after myself. I find especially that on my days off when I'm not in a routine I don't eat so well. I want to make sure I continue to eat lots of fruit and vegetables on my days off (which I enjoy anyway) and cook proper meals.
Get my tattoo. I've wanted it for over a year now and have the picture I want and though I lack the funds, I'm not going to put it off any longer. For me this tattoo is a symbol of my freedom, my independence and of growing into someone I want to be. I will get it done, the sooner the better.
Use my time wisely
Utilise my time. I've got a really bad habit of thinking I might not have enough time to do something so I don't try and instead I sit and I get bored. Use your time wisely.
As a way to ensure that I meet my goals for this year, I will save this letter in one of the top spots of my portfolio and make sure that I come back to it every month at least and I will incoporate into it a list of what I have achieved and when so I can keep a track of my progress.
The very best of luck to you for this brand new year. I know you can do it
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