Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reflecting on 2014 and looking to the year ahead


Happy New Year, friends!

Between trying to get a million things done work-wise and having the Sickness From Hell, I didn’t get around to posting any 2014 wrap-up posts, so I’ll do it now. I mean, it is just the beginning of the new year, I can still reflect on last year, right? ;-)

2014 was a really strange year for me. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful, it just…was. I felt like I coasted through it. I was an observer more than a doer. I felt stuck a lot of the time - stuck in a rut, stuck in my life, stuck in my relationships, just STUCK. It was horrible, and I didn’t know how to fix it. I feel like I forgot how to really live. My heart and mind and maybe even my soul hibernated through most of 2014, and today I’m waking up. Today I’m making a conscious effort to wake up and live again. I know that midnight on New Year’s Eve isn’t like a magic button that you can just push and have things suddenly be better. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s something you have to work on, and it’s something you have to really want. And I want this. I’m ready. I’m ready to live again.

I think part of my problem in the last couple years is that I had unrealistic expectations for the new year. I remember saying both last year and the year before that the next year was going to be THE BEST YEAR EVER. I was going to DO ALL THE THINGS, and I was failure if I didn’t or couldn’t accomplish those things. It was completely unrealistic, and somewhere along the way, part of me stopped caring and gave up, because what was the point? All that pressure - most of it self-imposed - was no way to live. For 2015, I’m going to be realistic. I’m not going to put that pressure on myself or on the year ahead. I’m going to set realistic goals and work away at them. I’m going to revel in my accomplishments and forgive myself for failures. But more importantly, if I do fail, I’m going to get back up and keep trying. 


 Some of my top goals for 2015

*Publish 3 books
Now, this may seem unrealistic, but it’s really not, because there’s an itty bitty loophole…book #1 is already ready to go. In fact, it comes out next week. Ha! (It's Take Them by Storm, book #3 in the Angel Island companion series, for those of you who don't know.) In a few days, I’ll already be able to check something off my list. I don’t consider it cheating, because I still have to get through promoting the book without feeling like I’m selling my soul, so…book #2 is already 2/3 written, and book #3 is already partially written as well. I’d love to write something completely new from scratch (the majority of book #2 was written in fall of 2013, and #3 was NaNoWriMo 2012, so they’re both older ideas/stories I love and can’t wait to share them with the world). I have a ton of new ideas that are (im)patiently waiting to be written, so I’d love to tackle at least one of those brand new stories this year, but only if it’s realistic in my schedule/for my mental health.

*Make my health a priority
Most years, my goal is too broad - lose X pounds, or ‘Get Healthy’. This year, even though I have a lot of weight to lose, I’m going to ease up on the pressure. I’m going to make healthier eating decisions, I’m going to exercise more, and I’m going to make my mental health a priority, too. I feel like if I can get these things in hand, the weight loss will be a result of new habits instead of something I obsess over. 

*Focus on the things that matter
This one is going to be like a major mental overhaul for me, so I know it’s something I’m going to have to work hard on. I want to be more positive in general, and in doing that, I need to stop focusing on things that don’t matter or that don't deserve to be a priority in my life for whatever reason. This is something I struggled a lot with in 2014. I spent way too much time last year (and previous years) being angry, sad, hurt, disappointed, and a myriad of other negative emotions, and so much of it was caused by stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Some people aren’t who you thought they were. Some people will always disappoint you. Some people are selfish and hurtful and thoughtless. Some people are clueless. Some people claim to be one thing (or many things) and aren’t self-aware enough to realize they’re actually giant hypocrites in their actions and words. Thing is: that’s not my problem, it’s theirs. I want to be a better person, I want my words and my actions to hold up, and that’s on me. Only I can control those things, and by focusing on the negative stuff, it’s made me a negative person. I’ve become cynical and bitter and angry, and I hate that. That’s not who I want to be, and I refuse to be that person anymore. One of the ways I’m going to change that is by focusing on things and people that matter. I’m going to do my best to push negative thoughts from my mind and replace them with good thoughts. I’m going to try positive self-talk until I believe what I’m telling myself.

I have other goals for 2015, but these three are the big ones. The ones I know are going to take the most work, so I guess maybe I’m sharing those so I’ll feel accountable. I know that seems like pressure, but being held accountable actually works pretty well for me.

So, goodbye 2014, and hello shiny new year full of possibilities. I have a lot of great plans for this year that I’m really excited about (I’ll be talking more about that in the coming weeks and months, so watch this space). A year from now, I want to read this post and feel proud of myself. I want to think ‘wow, I did good. I came far. I learned a lot, I grew a lot, I’m a different person. A better person’.

Here’s to 2015!


    
What are some of your goals for 2015? Do you need motivation? Do you need someone to hold you accountable? Someone to hold you hand? Someone to be your cheerleader? What are you looking forward to this year? Let's talk here or on Twitter!
http://sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca/p/about-me.html

5 comments:

  1. "Focus on the things that matter." <-- YES! I really need to do this this year ... I feel like I sometimes get caught up in things that just aren't important. One of my things will be to ask myself if what I think I need to do is important right now ... or if there's something else I should be doing.

    Good luck with all of the books! I know you'll do awesome with your writing this year. :)

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  2. My goals post is going up tomorrow. Like you, I highlight main goals I wanted to achieve in hopes it will hold me accountable. I'm so going to tweet you something I'm going to do as well because it's right up your alley.

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  3. WOOT!

    I feel you on 2014--it kinda did feel like coasting by, going through the motions. There were some good things for me throughout the year, but nothing BIG or exceptionally amazing.

    And YES to being reasonable and realistic in your goals. We always set ourselves up for failure whenever we set these hard to reach goals. No wonder we fail. We have to take baby steps--try out the smaller goals first, then reach out for a bigger one because we're strong enough to do it/follow through on it.

    I don't know why, but I feel really good about this year. I've been at home most of the day, but there's something different...something really good about it. I can feel it in my bones. Even if it's just mostly doing stuff to better myself, I'll take it. :)

    <3 <3 <3 Hugs and kisses and falafels. <3 <3 <3

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  4. Happy New Year, Marie! Here's hoping that 2015 is fantastic for us all. :) I love that lingering magic of the last day of the year. That thought that once again I am presented with 365 days packaged neatly into 52 weeks of unwritten possibilities. Regardless of challenges or difficulties, always remember to welcome and embrace hope. Because once you embrace hope, anything is possible. Take care!

    My goals this year are to get my new vlog up and running (with the arthritis in my fingers I have a heck of a time running a consistent blog, gaming, and writing--I needed to find a way to ease that up.) I also hope to release SEALER'S PROMISE (finally!) and it's prequel novella TO GRANT A DARK GIFT.

    2014 had some highlights--two visits from Jay, a new puppy (MAggie) and a PS4. But it also had three awful losses: my cat Sasha, my dog D'Argo and my grandma two weeks before Christmas.

    I refuse to cling to the sorrows of the year that is past. Look out, 2015: I'm running at you with open arms! :)

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  5. Happy New Year!! Just wanted to let you know that I am hosting the LGBT Challenge again this year, in case you are interested :)

    And good luck with you goals! Hope 2015 will be a great year for you.

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Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥
~Marie

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