Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Well, it's here. 2014. I have so many hopes for this year that it is almost terrifying. 

In years passed, I have made elaborate resolutions-- at least 10 at a time-- and kept none. That's right. None. Most of the time I didn't even make it past January 3rd. I think it was because they were too specific. I never just said I wanted to improve on something, or accomplish it, I am way too obsessive for that. Oh no, I had to go into great detail about how I would achieve each and every one. I did achieve a few over the years, but not many.

I have always prided myself on my flexibility. Of course, that only meant that I could still do the splits. I have never allowed myself to be flexible in pursuit of my dreams or goals. It's always been all or nothing. And that is the problem. Strive as I might, perfection is an illusion. If there is one thing I did learn in 2013, it was that I need to do what I want to be happy. Not in a selfish way, I just need to stop putting myself last. The days leading up to the new year have been less that enjoyable, but one thing kept me going through the drama was the thought that 2014 was going to be great. And I wasn't going to make any resolutions.

Instead of resolutions, this year I have chosen to focus on four areas of my life. I'm not really setting specific goals, just highlighting areas which could use some attention. I started this quest in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I took a look at my life and found that, honestly, I am not happy. I need less stress and more sanity. Less frustration and more family time. I have chosen four areas of my life to focus on-- Family, Fitness, Finance, & Fiction. I do have ideas of what I would like to accomplish, but I'm not making grand claims like 'I will...'. I used the gift card my mom sent me for Christmas to purchase things which will help in each area, sort of as an incentive.

Family: My son has been given a preliminary diagnosis of autism, ADHD, and depression. My daughter is going through the terrible twos a bit early. I struggle to enjoy time with them in light of all of the stress, tantrums, and tears that we regularly face. In 2014, I am hope to find ways to manage the ups and downs and enjoy my kids more. I also hope to find more ways to connect with my hubby. The stress often separates us. I bought a family-themed charm for my Pandora bracelet to remind me to shout less and share more cuddles.

Fitness: I always feel better when I work out, but I seldom make time for working out. This year, I hope to make more time for me. I even signed up for a membership at the local leisure centre to get back into yoga. I met a neighbor on Facebook who is going to go with me. I also hooked up with a group of women from my neighborhood who want to start power walking once a week. And, of course, I still have the treadmill. From my gift card I also bought a new yoga mat and bag.

Finance: I have less than £2000 worth of debt that I really need to settle. I also have no savings and no excess in my paycheck. This year I hope to change that. I hope to pay off my debt, or at least have a target date of when I can, and start some savings for emergencies or retirement. I bought a book about how to get my finances under control.

Fiction: My writing is always the last thing that gets my attention. That much is obvious based on the number of stories I have 'in progress'. This year I will type 'The End' on at least one of them. I know, I said that I wasn't going to say 'I will', but this is the one exception. This year I hope to put my fiction a lot higher on my list of to-dos. Now, I'm not delusional. I know with everything else going on in my world, it will never be number one-- besides, that spot is reserved for my family-- but it certainly deserves to be bumped up a lot higher. In an effort to spark some motivation, I bought a handful of new craft books and joined the 100k in 100 days challenge again.

So that's it. My 2014 divided into four areas of focus. I hope this will prove to be more successful than my years of resolutions. What about you? Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them?

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