2013 was a rough year for me. I spent most of it unemployed and living at home. Searching for a job was disappointing and degrading. I felt so helpless and worthless and frustrated, but mostly I just felt stuck. It seemed like all of my friends were living fabulous lives and I was just sitting around waiting for mine to start.
Then I found a job in a city I wanted to live in and it was the biggest relief of my life. Is is my dream job? No. But I can’t even begin to describe how blessed and grateful I’ve felt every day for having it. So many people are unemployed right now or have shitty jobs or have to work multiple ones with terrible hours. Even though I’m not making much money, I can pay my bills and live in a nice apartment. My coworkers are friendly and extremely helpful. I ended 2013 feeling so, so lucky.
A few days ago, I came across this awesome idea: Don’t Break the Chain 2014. You pick an activity (or as many as you want!) and print out a calendar for each one. Every day that you complete the activity, you mark off that day. Eventually, the chain will be so long that you won’t want to break it. Such a simple idea, but for someone who’s a bit OCD, this is literally the perfect thing to get me to stick to a plan. I’ve always written resolutions, but my lists are usually vague and unattainable, which is why I never complete them. After discovering this twist on making resolutions, I felt so invigorated and ready to take on the new year. I want 2014 to be the best and I’m ready to make it happen rather than waiting around. So I thought I’d share with you what my chains will be for 2014.
1. Write/edit my novel. I confessed to failing NaNoWriMo in 2013. While that was disappointing, it forced me to take a more positive outlook on my writing. I’m not a sprinter when it comes to writing. So one of my chains will be to write at least 30 minutes every day. I think that’s a manageable goal, and it’ll give me the chance to make writing a priority in my life. I have so many stories in my head, but they’re never going to get written if I don’t start doing something about it.
2. Exercise. I’m actually gotten relatively good at sticking to a workout routine. I might take a week or two off, but since I’ve started exercising regularly in the past few years, I’ve always been able to pick it back up. I was really bad this holiday season though. Not only did I slack off and do nothing, but I also took on a diet consisting mostly of holiday cookies and candy. No bueno. So now it’s time to get back on track.
3. Take a picture a day. I wanted to make one of my chains a silly one so that I could work on something enjoyable that doesn’t necessarily have any benefit or accomplish anything. I decided to taking a picture a day because I want to appreciate the little things more. Obviously not every picture will be of something exciting, but that’s okay.
So those are the three main goals I’m focusing on this year. I’ve made some other resolutions, but I’ve decided to take things on a month-by-month basis. That way I can reevaluate if I need to. So dear 2014: let’s do this.