New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to 2017! 

The holidays are wrapping up quickly. I ate too much. I was blessed with far too many presents (including some delicious books I can’t wait to delve into). And strep throat jumped on our bandwagon with a vengeance. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us, my family and I are looking ahead and preparing to move to Hawaii in less than two weeks. We have a lot of packing to do, a lot of jitters to ease, and people to hug on that we won’t get to for a good while.

Now that 2017 is here, I decided to make my resolutions for the year public. This is the first year that I’m reimagining how I think about resolutions and goals.  I’m excited and nervous to come back a year from now and see how I did.

Gulp. Let’s do this. 

    First and foremost, my novel MUST be finished this year. I made some significant progress, but it’s time to wrap it up and write it down. Further, I don’t want to just finish my novel, the read goal is to get some query letters out and get Poppy Swings on the radar of some agents and/or publishers. Big goal. Big dream.
    As I’ve said before, reading fiction was a nonexistent hobby for me for the five years I was in graduate school. Walking back into that space has been difficult, but it’s getting easier to engage with a story again. So, this year. I’ll set a modest goal of 12 books (on writing and fiction). That’s one book a month (and considering the fact that I’m having another baby in April, I think it’s an acceptable goal at this point. I don’t want to just read, however. The point of reading as a writer is to learn from the craft and garner technique and ideas to influence my own stories. So, I need to also review and take notes while reading (i.e. keep up my reader’s journal and my Goodreads review account).
    Not exactly reading/writing related, but since I did publish an article in Runner’s World about training for a half after giving birth, it seemed okay to put out there again. My goal in 2016 was to run a half marathon and simply complete it. I did. It wasn’t enjoyable and I had a lot of pain because I didn’t train properly. I just logged miles and didn’t employ running strategies like pacing, tempo runs, hills, etc. There is a Honolulu half marathon in December that I’m shooting for. This time, I’ll train. Not just run. 
    I have been completely suckered into a fitness community called BBG by Australian fitness star Kayla Itsines. I have researched her program a lot and I think it’s a great place for me to start reimagining my fitness life and healthy eating. My journey with my body and relationship with weight and food has been a tumultuous one. I am tired of the yo-yo between extremes. What I love about this program is that it really is encouraging women to be active every day (not necessarily busting ass in the gym day in and day out) and relearning how to view calories, food, and portions. So for me, BBG represents a restructuring of my usual goal to lose weight. I will want to lose my baby weight, sure. But more than that, I want activity and healthy habits to be a source of joyful commitment and not a shackle binding me to a cyclical pattern of self-loathing and shame.
    Something that I have had on my radar for more than a decade (yikes) is to really learn guitar. Sure, I can pick chords and strum a little. But I want to pick up a guitar and play around a campfire – maybe even do some pick tricks. My husband and I had been tossing this idea around for a few years as well. But so much of life has gotten in the way – from new jobs, doctoral degrees, moving, constant traveling, family obligations, and having two kids. But now, we are moving to Hawaii, a move that promises better work/life balance for Eric and more home time for the two of us. So this year is the year of the guitar.

Alright, those are five BIG goals that are going to take some serious time and commitment aside from my daily hours of wife and mother. I chose these five goals on purpose. They aren’t for or about my husband or my children. These goals push me to nurture identities and desires outside my identity of wife/mother. Motherhood cannot be all that I am. Eric’s wife cannot be all that I am. It’s impossible to find fulfillment and contentment within another person. That’s why it’s necessary – especially moving to a new place that guarantees isolation for me – to plan and pursue habits that push my professional, my physical, and my creative well-being.

Let’s do this, 2017.

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