2016 New Year’s Resolutions

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Here’s a recap of my 2015 resolutions:

  • Money: I vowed to try again to put a little bit of money each paycheck towards savings. This worked better in 2015 than it did in 2014, and at one point I hit my savings goal . . . but we used savings to fund our anniversary trip and didn’t pay it back before the end of the year. Nonetheless, I did manage to put $X in savings every pay day. (So kind of mostly a win.)
  • Weight: I also vowed (again) to try to hit my goal weight. As longtime readers know, I was a stone’s throw from achieving this goal in 2014 when I was blindsided by unanticipated negativity and creepy sexual attention, which derailed me very effectively. Even though I know that I have the wherewithal and skills to attain this goal I have been unable to regain (or, relose, if you will) my previous achievements. My weight chart for 2014, as I said in a previous resolution post, made “a perfect U-shape: a smooth parabola down to ten pounds away from my goal around the 4th of July and then just as smoothly right back up to where I had started by Christmas.” This year it was pretty much a flat line. I still wasn’t able to get it back together. (Fail.)
  • Vegetable garden or bust: In 2014 I injured my shoulder and was unable to use my arm for anything more strenuous than typing and flipping myself off in the mirror, so my plans to move the edible garden to the front yard were put off to 2015 – when I made the positive steps of saving up enough money to buy the fancy contractor-grade landscape fabric I needed and completing 85% of the edging . . . and then all but lost the ability to kneel due to an advancement in the degenerative joint conditions in my knees. (Fail.)
  • Publish Ellipsis. I DID IT I DID IT I ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING BIG AND IMPORTANT AND I DON’T CARE IF IT’S NOT PROFESSIONAL TO FREAK OUT ABOUT IT IT’S A BIG FUCKING DEAL AND A GODDAMN LIFE GOAL AND THIS SUCCESS KEPT ME GOING ALL YEAR! (Ahem.)

You know the resolution pattern. Resolve to do something in year 1, fail, resolve to try again in year 2, probably fail again. Repeat ad nauseum. But there’s no shame in continuing to try. And no, I don’t consider it futile. Futility would be giving up on self-improvement. Previous experience and scientific studies have both shown that specificity and planning help one enormously in achieving resolutions, so though I have a very predictable set of resolutions (again) I have tried to set milestones and goals and dates to meet that should help me get what I want out of 2016.

(I’m so excited about some of these that I’ve already started on them.)

2016 resolutions:

  • Savings. Continue to squirrel away $X or better from each paycheck. Also I have already started adding another, slightly smaller amount from each paycheck to a separate savings account. Account A is big-S Savings. Rainy day savings. Account B is savings for specific, immediately-needed home improvement projects. Also also, we have one of those rare and magical paychecks coming up from which we don’t have to pay mortgage or bills so I am going to take a small portion of that and try my hand at online investing. (Don’t worry – I’m researching my big beautiful butt off.)
  • Weight: I am going to take it slow, but I am setting milestones. I have a little more than 30 pounds to lose and a (little more than a) whole year ahead of me. There’s going to be a whole lot of mantra-chanting, but this is totally doable.
  • Vegetable garden or bust: This won’t be dignified work (since I can’t kneel I will have to bend at the waist or sit like a Victorian lady with my legs off to one side) but it can be done. I may not be able to get the whole thing done, raised beds and all, in time to plant in 2016, but I can by spring of 2017.
  • Writing: I want to have a finished first-draft manuscript of Ghost Story, ready for editing and revision, by summer. I want to publish again no later than the spring of 2017. Writing has been bumped up to the top priority on my rather lengthy daily to do list (I use Todoist). I will have to do a little experimentation to see whether a daily time goal or a daily wordcount works better for me.

As always, I want to know what you resolve to change or accomplish in the new year, and how. Let me know in the comments!

— Amanda

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