Getting Ready for the New Year

Woah, the new year is almost here! When did that happen? They need to put that on a calendar or something. Wait a second…

Our pastor began his sermon today with an acknowledgement of the year ending and how his e-mail inbox is getting flooded with “Start the year with a new workout/diet/financial planning/whatever” advertisements. If he’s like me, he’s been deleting them every time they pop up, but they do have an effect, at least on me. While I have no desire to buy into some fad program, I do want to take the time to figure out what went right and wrong over 2017, and how I can do better in 2018.

If you’re like me, it’s very easy to get sidetracked, even with a New Year mindset. “This week I really need to get this written or that finished up, but I’ve got a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and my car needs to go in the shop on Thursday, and so-and-so is coming over Friday…” Looking back on my goals for 2017, I can see every single instance of where I let my plan get derailed. And, with rare exception, they were “good” excuses: things that needed to get done, or people I needed to visit or spend time with for whatever reason.

The problem is: there will always be good and valid reasons to not write or work on whatever side project you have going on. You – and I – have to work past that. The writers and entrepreneurs who go from “want-to-be” to “presently-am” are the ones who carve out the necessary time to get done the things they need to get done. Larry Correia, for instance, wrote his first book while he was laid off and between jobs, then once he was working again he wrote late into the night, slept the minimum number of hours he needed to function at his daytime job, then got done what he needed to do. Even after he was making enough that he could quit his day job, he kept at it until he was successful enough to have first Sunday off, then Saturday. That’s where I’d like to be in a few years, but I’m not going to get anywhere unless I carve out the time now and finish what needs doing. And the same applies to you in whatever endeavor you’ve got going.

I recently started following retired Navy SEAL Brandon Webb and his SOFREP TV channel on YouTube, and one of his videos was an hour-long discussion on New Year’s Resolutions and how goal-setting can really improve one’s success rate for the year. It’s long, but worth listening to if you have the time. I’m blessed with a day job that allows me to listen to audiobooks and podcasts and whatever else I want to while I’m working. If you are so blessed, then enjoy:

At the very beginning of the video, he recommends coming up with a list of goals, broken down by personal, professional, and friends/family goals. I won’t go into all my goals, but below are a few:

Personal:

  • Personal fitness – get into an exercise routine that keeps me in shape and doesn’t take up too much of my day.
  • Bible reading – get one of Audible’s versions of the Bible (The KJV) and listen at least an hour per day.
  • Audiobooks – one per week, reviews and posted on site (Semi-professional, but also personal)

Professional:

  • Daytime work – complete XX hours per week.
  • Novel writing – write four books.
  • Short story writing – write four short stories.
  • Blog posts/reviews – five posts per week.

Anyway, just some food for thought as the new year begins! Now, back to making some black-eyed peas. It’s a bit of a tradition where I come from, for good luck or some-such. I eat it because it tastes good, and this particular recipe from Carnal Dish is a bit of work, but well worth it.

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