2017 is upon us, and as such it is time to set some goals for the New Year.
Seeing as 2016 was a terrible year for everyone, myself included, I’ve decided to start 2017 with a positive outlook on life. Setting some goals is the first and easiest step. It’s usually the second step where one tends to lag, but I’m determined to complete at least 80% of the goals on my list this year.
So, let’s start with the easier resolutions and work ourselves to the more difficult ones…
In 2016, the amount of books I read for pleasure was a pathetic 57 out of my annual 100 book goal. I couldn’t keep up with everything going on in my life, and as a result my bookish delight took a backseat. The past is in the past, though, and in 2017 I will actively work on getting back to my happy place. This will (hopefully) be achieved after I implement the following changes:
- New weekly feature called, “Classic Thursdays”, where I will review a classic book every week for the whole year. If all goes as planned, and I don’t fall behind schedule, there will be 52 classic books reviewed in 2017, bringing me so much closer to my 100 book goal!
- I’m no longer going to force myself to finish a book if the book isn’t good. In the past, I used to battle through novels, in the hopes that a bad book would somehow redeem itself in the end. Often, this is not the case, and as a result I’ve wasted valuable reading time. In 2017 I will no longer stand for that nonsense. If a book doesn’t catch my attention within 50 pages, I’m out. I won’t even bother reviewing it, I’ll simply put it onto my DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf on Goodreads. So, my dearest authors, beware…
- Work through my TBR list. I have a lot of books (I’m a bit of a hoarder), and there are quite a few on my shelves that I haven’t read yet. Before I’m going to go out and buy any new book (excluding classics and/or some of my must-buy authors’ latest releases), I will work through them.
- Donate books I won’t read again—As a self-proclaimed book hoarder, it’s difficult to always find space on my shelves. I’ve already done one culling in 2016 (selling off 7 massive crates’ worth of books to a second hand store who were in dire need of new merchandise), but every available space in my office still has books stored in strange nooks and crannies. This year, as I’m working through those shelves, I’ll be doing another culling. If the book sucks or it’s a double, and I don’t have a use for it, it’s going into the donation crates. Simple.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t write as much in 2016 as I wanted. I tried, but something just didn’t click. As a result of my waning inspiration, I only submitted a few short stories (I’m still waiting to hear back about some of them), have a handful of useless partial manuscripts on my computer, and am generally just not feeling it as far as writing is concerned. However, 2017 is a fresh page and I’m going to try and get something worthwhile written again.
- I’m not going to force an idea for a Muti Nation sequel. My original concept for the sequel fell flat quarter of the way in (due to real world turmoil in the area the book was supposed to play off) and although I got a semblance of a new idea a month or two later, it’s going to take time to cultivate the story and research the book. So, for now, Muti Nation will remain a standalone novel. I’m sorry, but it’s for the best.
- On the other hand, I’ve started playing with another concept for a new standalone novel, which will be an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions. If, after my wedding in March, things settle down, I’ll be able to focus wholly on this novel. Keep updated with the progress of the unnamed manuscript by checking the footer of the main page of my website (www.charmingincantations.com) often. I’ll update it whenever I get a chance. 😉
- I’ll actively be searching for a literary agent in 2017 (when this new novel is complete), so we’ll see what happens with that.
- Submit more short stories! (It’s kind of self-explanatory)
- Lastly, I’ll be making more short stories available for free on my website. Some of the rights of previously published shorts have reverted back to me, and I think it’ll only be fair if I post them on here for you guys.
I never add one of these “fitness resolutions” because: 1.) I’m perfectly happy with the way I look; 2) I’m not sporty and I’ve never been sporty, that’s my sister’s thing; 3.) I love interesting food. However, I also feel I need the endorphin boost people claim is produced after a bit of exercise. So, why not try to do something? I’m not going to go overboard by suddenly becoming a weight-lifter or go train for a marathon (I’ve been told I run like a girl, so that’s not going to happen anyway), but I do want to become more active and live a healthier life.
- Try out more vegetarian/vegan recipes—I like meat and I need the protein, but I do feel my body craving more fruits and vegetables, and seeing as I’m highly gluten intolerant, I really think I should explore more vegetarian and vegan recipes. If anyone can help me with finding some delicious and interesting SA-based cooking websites that specialises in vegetarian and vegan eating, please let me know in the comments.
- Ugh, I hate this next resolution, but it’s necessary thanks to the ever-increasing sin-taxes… Cut out more coffee. I drink a LOT of coffee, and it’s eating into my monthly budget like nothing else. At least I don’t take sugar with my coffee, but thanks to this record-breaking drought we’re experiencing, even milk prices have increased. Furthermore, seeing as our water is not up to par, we now need to buy bottled water, which also bites into a person’s buck (thankfully, it’s a LOT cheaper to buy bottled water than coffee). Alas, the time has come to say goodbye to the copious amount of coffee I drink and replace it with more water and tea (I don’t take milk with my tea, just a drop of honey). My kidneys will either go into shock or rejoice with this change. We’ll see.
- I don’t live near a gym, which means I’m going to have to make do with my surroundings if I’m going to become a fitter version of myself. This means, getting up an hour earlier to fit in a core and strength workout, and going on long walks in the evenings.
- Continue the Latin-American Ballroom dancing, because it’s so much fun!
These are just some loosely jotted down resolutions, but I want to try and reach most of my goals. The fact is, accomplishing something on this list will motivate me to do another thing and then another, and so on. I don’t know if anyone else struggles to get motivated for their resolutions, but I do, and boy is it difficult to get something done when one feels meh. But 2017 is not going to be a meh year, right? THINK POSITIVE! We’re going to do it. *nods*
Do you have any resolutions for 2017 you’d like to share? If so, leave a comment below, maybe I’ll put it onto my own list. 🙂