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2014: Fresh Starts and New Plans

January 1, 2014

One thing we can count on about this time every year is an abundance of articles, cartoons, editorials and more about the unlikelihood of keeping New Year’s resolutions, generally a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I resist that way of thinking and look for better ways each year–twice a year actually–to keep mine.  I realize that many on this year’s list resemble all too closely items on last year’s list.  I prefer to consider that tendency evidence of consistency.

My own list begins not only every January but every August as well.  First as a student and then as a teacher, I get to start anew twice, especially living on a semester-by-semester schedule.  Every year, I plan to do better, quit procrastination, put first things first.  This year, this upcoming semester is no exception. I do believe in the wisdom of writing things down.

Just before 2013 began, I read a suggestion to keep a record of accomplishments all year, to be read at the beginning of the next year. I had been given a gift in a nice sized box with a clear lid and velcro closures that suited my purpose. All year long, I fed little slips of paper into my box, mostly minor triumphs, accomplishments, good deeds, happy circumstances.  The stack that resulted feeds my desire to make the most of this new year too, seeing that while I may not have kept every resolution perfectly, I have measurable success, countable moments, days of happiness, love, friendship, music.

This year I’m trying to decide how to schedule some things I want to do in order to keep them manageable.  Here’s the rough draft of my plan:

1. I want to submit at least piece of writing a week.

2. I want to practice music every day.

3. I want to read one chapter or article or essay on writing for motivation every week.

4. I want to write and mail one handwritten letter every week.

5. I want to improve my teaching, with a focus not on what I do, but on what my students learn to do.

6. I plan to start my McArthur’s daily Bible reading in the middle this year.  While I plan to keep up with the Bible studies in which I am engaged with others, I want to finish what I started last year.

7. I plan to get ahead of the holidays before they overwhelm me this year.  If I see a gift that is perfect for someone, I will buy it. If I hear a great gift idea, I will write it on my calendar. I will start early and finish without discouragement and disappointment.

8. I plan to start seriously looking at an MFA program in Creative Writing, following Ann Patchett’s advice in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

9. I’m going to do things for fun, even if I have to do them myself.  I let too many wonderful opportunities pass me by because I can’t enlist anyone else to join me.  No more.

10. I plan to read The Happiness Project this year and write a companion devotional guide.

11. I am going to try new recipes and keep a record of them.  (In fact, I’m going to look for the login for a wiki I started last year!)


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 19, 2014 3:44 am

    Amazing! Its really remarkable article, I have got much
    clear idea concerning from this article.

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