It's 2014! I hope you all had an absolutely lovely New Years and are ready for a fresh start. I certainly am. 2013's been okay, but I feel like I've found myself a little stagnant and am ready to move up to a new level in life. I know some people are against making resolutions but I personally love the feeling of goals to accomplish and the opportunity to reevaluate what I think is truly important in life. 2013 for me was a year of self discovery, very much an introspective year in which I re-considered a lot about my life and decided who I want to be and what I want to do with my life. 2014, I hope, is the year that I begin to put these things into practice...
Read 52 Books - I know averaging a book a week is going to be difficult but I really want to get ahead on my reading this year. I explained in this post how since starting University my reading-for-pleasure has taken a nose dive and shared a few books I plan to get through this year.
More 'Creative Time' - All I want to do for a living is to be a writer, preferably of novels and possibly screenplays. Ultimately I want to be able to support myself doing what I love, and I want to start doing that as soon as possible. I watched a great talk by John Cleese on YouTube about creativity and putting yourself in the best possible environment to let it flourish. Part of his talk was about regularly scheduling time for yourself to seclude yourself and just play around with ideas in your mind relating to whatever project you're working on, creativity breeds creativity, I find often once I start thinking of a few ideas the ball gets rolling and after half an hour I have pages of scribbled notes and doodles ready to be turned into something useful, which leads me onto my next point.
Finish A First Draft - One of my worst problems is my tendency to get easily distracted. I'll be merrily working away on a fantasy novel draft and then one day my mind will wander and I'll decide I want to try out writing a sitcom script instead. Que aforementioned novel slung to the side and a whole new notebook being filled up with new ideas. The issue is that this happens all the time, so I have a pile of notebooks and folders on my computer full of a few chapters/scenes/outline points from at least ten different ideas. I love having the ideas, and the excitement of working on a new project but I am far too easily distracted. I have decided I will put all other projects aside (only allowing myself to scribble down any sudden inspiration by hand to be put aside for another day) and work solely on finishing one thing. I've never finished anything longer than a short story, and they were for creative writing deadlines! This will be the year folks!
Keep up with Regular Gym Visits - For the last few months of 2013 I actually signed up for a gym membership and was doing really well, going at least twice a week. It fell by the wayside for the last two weeks of term when I was forgoing sleep to write essays and I'm only enrolled at my local gym at Uni so having come home I haven't been able to pick it back up but I'm still proud of the effort I put in during those months and I definitely want to keep up the good work into the new year.
Develop a Better Sleeping Pattern - 3am to 11pm is not a good habit to be in. Enough said really.
Stick to a Cleaning Schedule - Instead of having to physically and mentally force myself to do any type of cleaning and tidying at all, and only when it direly needs doing, I want to start sticking to a routine, that will hopefully turn into a habit. If regular household maintenance is just part of an everyday routine I can just do it on autopilot, allowing me to focus my brainpower on other things! Also noone calls me messy - Win Win!
Be More Grateful - I take a lot of things for granted and I find that not noticing the little things in life is leading me to become quite negative and I don't want a life of unpleasant thoughts. Therefore I'm going to make the effort to realise what a lucky person I am. To have such amazing opportunities, a loving family, good friends, to live in the area I do, to have access to fresh water, food, shelter... the internet. Just to be alive at all, and to stop feeling upset about things that don't actually matter.
Do More for Others - Similar to the last one. I resolve, this year, to do more to make other people happy, whether it's giving my spare change to a charity collector, offering to lend a hand to someone with a heavy case or just telling my friend when I think they look particularly fine-as-hell one day. I'm very introverted and often don't do nice things, simply because I'm too shy to reach out to others. But I shall be brave, and in doing so hopefully make the world a better place.
Keep on Top of Work - I promised myself I wasn't going to let myself fall behind last term, and to be fair I did okay, I my research reading well in advance and stuck (mostly) to a good work schedule. I was still up at 2am finishing my last essay the day before they were all due in however. I'm hoping this year I can do better and actually have all my work finished the day before they have to be handed in. That would be nice.
Ace my 2nd Year of University - I am aiming for a first. This will be a challenge. I am cursed in that I am pretty clever and perfectly capable, but also appallingly lazy. With my resolve to keep on top of my work however I'm pretty confident I can do well this year. Wish me luck!
Blog more Regularly and be a More Active Part of the Community - With all my above resolutions to take time to be creative, take time to go to the gym, take time to read and of course work hard at University, one thing I am probably going to be short on is time. However I am really really going to make an effort to keep up blogging when I go back to university in a week or so. I miss being part of the community and I feel like whenever I take a break I get left behind a little and have to play catch up again. I can't make any major commitments, but I want to try and average once a week during term time and to take a few hours maybe twice a week to read, comment and find new blogs, just to keep me in the loop, more when I'm on holiday and have free time.
So that's it, those are my resolutions for 2014. I know there are a lot but I honestly feel ready to meet this challenge and am actually quite excited for it! I feel like it'd be fun to keep maybe a monthly log just to see how I'm doing with all of these. Things like cleaning may get a little mundane, but I reckon my artistic struggle for the elusive first draft could make for fun reading.
Anyway I have rambled away at you for long enough, if you made it this far well done you trooper!
Thankyou for reading!