Top 10 Tuesday:
Top 10 General and Bookish Goals for 2014
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
While I don’t believe in the hype or obligation associated with resolutions come New Year, I’m in agreement that any time is a good time to look at yourself soberly and think about ways in which you might wish to improve. For me, it’s an important step that should be taken periodically, an introspective self-assessment that can identify ideas that move toward self-improvement and self-fulfillment. With this is mind, here are my top 10 goals for 2014:
1. Re-focus my energies on my children.
Rather than be swept away by the flurry of a hectic schedule, or be distracted by what is believed to be obligatory things, I’d very much like to re-focus my energies on the interests of my children as the number one priority in my life—before the endless chores that need to get done, the desires of other people’s expectations, and/or events that seem more of a political correct decision rather than a social pleasure. I plan on being more mindful of simplifying my schedule and my life to fully incorporate and prioritize my time with my children so that they come first prior to my own or other people’s interests in order that I can be fully present in the lives.
2. Make an attitude adjustment.
While I don’t plan on wearing “rose-coloured glasses” anytime soon, if ever at all, I plan on being more mindful about the kinds of thoughts I’d like to entertain. Should I follow the herd of those who graze at the pool of pessimism and cynicism, or should I rise above and beyond my own circumstances, regardless of how difficult they might be or become, and smile? Positive thinking may be a popular cliché, but I’d much rather be happy than miserable. This year, I’m going to do my best to give it a go.
3. Leave the past in the past.
The chains of the past exist if you keep looking back there for solace or redemption. What’s done is done. The past cannot and will not change. The present, however, gives you license to decide what to do with it. And the future, well…because it hasn’t happened yet, gives you hope. I say, leave the past in the past where it belongs. Wallowing in the shadows of the past will only cripple you from growing and enjoying the present in which you live. I plan on closing that door. And leaving it closed.
4. Be open to widening my social circle.
As a natural introvert, but unafraid to socialize, I can and do make friends easily. I’m not shy. Being an introvert isn’t the same as shyness, as most would misinterpret. I don’t, however, know how to sustain such friendships that allow them to grow into truly meaningful and significant relationships. Perhaps it’s social laziness on my part. Perhaps it’s because I’m a homebody. If you ask me to go out, go to a dinner party, or a gathering, I usually graciously thank you for the invitation—but I rarely go. It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s most likely because such social gatherings and the thought of me in them cause such discomfort and honestly—exhaustion. As an introvert, I’m most comfortable in my own head. But, this year, I’ll be making an extra effort to widen my social schedule and hopefully, my social circle.
5. Build and nurture healthy relationships.
Have you ever heard of that saying, “You are who you hang around with?” Well, if the majority of people you hang around with are negative, cynical, self-absorbed, selfish, etc., their influence on you, whether you care to admit it or not, will eventually rub off. Who you desire to be, should be who you desire to be with. This year, I plan on being more mindful about the people I choose to allow to be in my life and how significant I allow that relationship to become. It’s not only healthy, it’s common sense. Why nurture poor relationships when you can build and nurture healthy ones instead?
6. Read faster and more consistently.
The excuse of not being able to read enough is “not having enough time.” As far as I recall, we’re all allotted the same 24 hours in a day. Since reading is not only a priority in my life, but a solace, I plan on working harder at keeping it my priority and chiseling more time to read—to read faster and more consistently, so that all those books I want to read will actually get read!
7. Buy or request an amount of books I will realistically be able to complete.
There’s also that saying, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” Well, that refers to food. In my case, it also refers to books. I tend to buy or request more books than I can read in a month and then my personal library explodes into a reading catastrophe. This year, I plan on easing up on my book requests and my book purchases. My unread books and my wallet will most likely thank me.
8. Complete reviews on schedule.
I used to be extremely disciplined in completing my book reviews on time. As soon as I finished a book, I’d stay up all night completing a review. It seems slacking only makes the problem worse. Instead of buying myself more time, I have to work a lot harder because I’m under so much more pressure. Read and then review. It’s simple. This year, I plan on working harder at keeping it that simple.
9. Fulfill my 2014 Reading Book Pledge.
Last year I pledged to read a standard 50 books for my Reading Book Pledge. In 2013, I only completed a sad total of 13 titles. This was particularly devastating to me. This year, I plan to be more realistic about my reading goals and have cut my number by half. This year, I plan on reading 25 books in one year and fulfilling my Reading Book Pledge for 2014.
10. Write manuscript.
I’m not just a reader. My first love has always been the craft of writing. This year, I plan on sitting down, and rather than stare helplessly at a blank, white page, I will actually type words onto my computer and create a manuscript. It doesn’t have to be “good,”—it just has to be written. This year, I will write my manuscript fearlessly and with abandon. (And of course, I’ll edit it later.)
What are your top 10 goals for 2014?