2019 Recap + 2020 Goals

🥳 HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🥳

Recap of 2019

We have begun a new decade, and I am ready for a new phase of my life to begin [checks watch] anytime now. 2018 was a year of Personal Growth. 2019 was a year of Trial and Error, where I tried a dozen different diets and exercise routines and scrapped the first draft of my novel in favor of starting over afresh. I’ve learned what I’m capable of as a writer, what I am not willing to do as far as my health is concerned (I’m not going to count calories anymore), and what my goals truly are.

Last year I had set the goal to finish Gray Haze by April. Instead, I started over in April and am still working on the second draft. Now that I know what the story is actually about, I am confident that by this April, I will finish the manuscript and be prepared for editing the rest of the year.

Many of my goals for 2020 are going to be similar to those I made last year, only this time I know how I am going to stick to them. 2020 is going to be a year of Dramatic Change (I hope), so I will be more flexible. I will begin this new year with a marked increase in optimism. I have a beautiful new planner and am ready to go:

2020 Goals:

BLOG: My blog schedule will remain the same. One post every Wednesday (with the exception of monthly recaps, which are posted at the beginning of each month). I will continue posting writing updates every other week.

NEWSLETTER: My newsletter will change quite a bit. I have crafted a template over the holiday break that I will experiment with this year. I hope to gain more subscribers so I have an audience for Gray Haze when it comes out in 2022. Newsletters will be sent on the last Saturday of every month. SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss out. Here is what they will contain:

  1. Responding to Comments [This will be at the top of the newsletter when I start receiving questions/comments from readers.]
  2. Progress Update [Featuring word count updates, screenshots, samples, and thoughts about the process.]
  3. Personal Update [This is where the newsletter will read more like a letter from a friend, and may be very short or long depending on what is transpiring in my life. With the change that is coming, I think this will be interesting. I will also feature book or recipe recommendations here. With links, of course.]
  4. Bookish News [This is where news regarding giveaways, discounts, release dates, etc. will be featured.]
  5. Monthly Challenge [Every month, I will present a challenge for you (and myself) to complete. It could be a reading, fitness, writing, or personal challenge.]
  6. Questions? Comments? [Here, I may ask questions or invite comments, to which I may respond at the top of the next newsletter.]

GRAPHICS: One skill I really want to cultivate this year is graphic design. I want to learn how to create pretty graphics for my blog, newsletter, and Facebook page. I will start looking into it next week.

DIET: From January 6th-February 6th, I am going to follow the Whole30 diet. Just for fun. I probably won’t do it longer than thirty days, simply because I don’t like cutting entire food groups from my diet (particularly peanut butter, cheese and bread). But it should be good for me and my family. I still have about ten pounds to lose. Maybe I can achieve that in a month or two.

I will continue restricting my eating window to eight hours in the day, as I have done since September. After the Whole30 thing, I’ll reintroduce fibrous breads, peanut butter, and cheese. I will consume chocolate again as well. But after two years of paying uncomfortably close attention to my diet, I will not likely gain all the weight that I’ve lost. I think I’ve sufficiently boosted my metabolism anyway (which might explain why I am so hot all the time). I will also continue exercising 1 hour a day until I don’t want to anymore.

SLEEP: I intend to establish a consistent sleep schedule this year, between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. I am one of those people that requires an inordinate amount of sleep to function, so even with nine hours of good sleep, I may need a mid-afternoon nap to last through the evening. Plentiful sleep is vital for my sanity.

MENTAL HEALTH: My mental health is going to be most important when I get married and have kids, and since that is my ultimate goal in life, I want to ensure my mental well-being is as sound as can be before I even meet my future spouse. Therefore, I am going to crack down on every negative thought I have of my appearance. I am going to refuse to hate myself. And I will try to be confident — or at least feign confidence — no matter what. I figured that if anyone is going to like me enough to marry me down the road, I better stop loathing myself with every fiber of my being. I have begun reaching toward this goal by shunning the voice inside my head reminding me I am ugly. I don’t need reminders, so the voice has no place in my head. Besides, I’m not that ugly. Geez.

I have this picture in my mind of making my future companion proud to have me on his arm. I want to be the kind of woman who feels she deserves to be loved and loves freely in return. I want to be the kind of wife that a husband would be proud to have by his side. I want to boost his confidence simply by being with him in public. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

GRAY HAZE: The first book of Secrets of Volenin will be complete by April [shakes fist at self], then the grueling Editing Process will begin.

To summarize, here are my goals for 2020:

  1. Blog once a week / Send newsletter once a month
  2. Learn how to make nice graphics
  3. Lose 10 more pounds and eat healthy/exercise regularly
  4. Follow a consistent sleep schedule
  5. Shun the evil voices in my head and develop the disposition of a classy, upstanding woman for the benefit of my future family
  6. Finish writing Gray Haze and prepare it for beta readers

What are your goals for the new year?

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