It has been an incredible year; one in which I have soared through the highest of highs, but have also been struck by devastating lows. In each circumstance, it has become even more evident how crucial it is to surround yourself with the people you love. They will be there to celebrate the good times, and to help carry you through the bad. Without them, none of it is worth it.
I’ve also been reminded how important it is to do the things I’ve always wanted to do – and do them now. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so make the most of today and do something meaningful.
A Look Back
As I look back at my goals for 2013, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed, specifically by my professional goals. At first glance, I feel as though there were a number of big misses – I didn’t take the writing retreat I had planned on, I didn’t make time for freelance work, and I definitely didn’t keep up with my blog as I had intended. Then again, I did write a book in a month – having participated in my first ever NaNoWriMo – and the experience showed me what it takes to get it done. Because of this, I have high expectations for 2014. I also got a promotion at work. I had my first interview on live TV. And although it was a slow start to the year for Charlotte’s Web of Words, I like to think it ended well – my website got a makeover, and I started blogging regularly again.
As for my financial goals for the year – as feeble as they may have been – I can place a check mark beside them both. And when it comes to personal goals, I think I did okay, but there is definitely room for improvement. Then again, that’s the wonderful thing about blogging your goals for the year. It gives you an extra push to work harder, because you’re held accountable when you publish these things for everyone to see. It also helps when you can easily track, review and assess what can be done differently the next time around. If I was able to check off everything on that list, I wouldn’t feel like I was reaching high enough. It’s impossible to predict exactly what the year will bring, which is why it’s important to leave some blank spots to be filled in as you go along.
A Look Ahead
When I look ahead at 2014, I truly feel as though it is a blank canvas. I don’t have a wedding to plan, a student loan to pay off, or a new job to search for. A lot has changed over the last couple of years. I now have a husband to love and support, and a new puppy to care for. I have a good feeling about what 2014 will bring. Here is some of what I have planned so far:
1. Write a book.
NaNoWriMo was a good start, but I have big ideas in mind for the
second draft rewrite. I have a story to tell that I am so passionate about, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
2. Be the best senior writer I can be.
This is an ongoing goal, which is why I’m carrying it over from last year. I want to continue to thrive in my current position, reaching my individual goals together with the goals of the company I represent.
3. Take a writing course/retreat.
I have one specific day retreat in mind, but might look into a weekend event as well. I also want to get more involved with a small writing group or a course to help along with the novel writing process.
4. Freelance for publications.
I have definitely missed writing for magazines and would like to do more of this on the side.
5. Write regular blog posts for Charlotte’s Web of Words.
I’ve started to develop more of a routine for my personal blog and would like to ensure I continue this through 2014.
6. Attend a professional speaking engagement.
Whether I am in the audience, or perhaps even a guest speaker, I think this will be an important step for my career.
1. Continue contributing to a travel savings account.
I’ve always been sure not to go into debt for travel, and near the end of 2013 I set up an official travel savings account separate from the rest of our savings. This will help me see how far I can really stretch the travel budget in 2014.
2. Boost my retirement savings contribution.
When the time is right, I want to raise the amount I put into my retirement savings each month.
3. Save for house renovations.
We’ll be renovating our basement in January, so this will take a big chunk out of our reno funds. We have a number of other reno projects in mind for the year, so I want to plan ahead for them.
1. Create a cue-card cooking system.
The husband and I want to keep trying out new recipes. And in order to avoid falling back into the same old routine, we’d like to try meal planning system by writing out recipes on cue cards and planning for the week.
2. Attend regular yoga classes.
I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but haven’t fully committed. I have a plan in place to go to weekly classes with a friend starting this week.
3. Play slo-pitch this summer.
I definitely miss being on the ball diamond. We’re working on putting a team together and finding a league to play in this summer.
4. Pack lunches.
I like to treat myself for lunch at the office every now and then, but need to be sticking to packed lunches the majority of the time to save money and eat better.
5. Travel to Paris to visit my brother.
Once again my brother is off on another adventure and I’d like to be able to experience a bit of it with him. H and I are hoping to head to Paris for at least a week this year.
6. Build better storage systems.
As mentioned last year, I hate clutter. I want to work on creating some new storage systems to organize things. I’m hoping this will be a lot easier when our basement is finished.
7. Enhance my photography skills.
I’ve always loved photography, but after my first newborn shoot I am even more interested in finding a way to further this hobby of mine.
8. Give blood regularly.
After a tragic reminder of just how important it is to give blood, I want to start making donations regularly.
What do you have planned for 2014? Share in the comments below!