2014: “Quit complaining and make things.”

Quit complaining and make things.

Quit complaining and make things.

If I could give 2014 a theme, this would be it.

I really liked my ol’ pal Sam’s idea of making a checklist of accomplishable goals over the year, rather than large, ethereal, doomed-to-fail things like “eat healthier,” “learn to play the piano,” or “become financially independent.” (That last one is an ongoing endeavor, but it’d be crazy to expect it to happen within the year.)

No, instead, I’m going to throw out a short list of things I definitely want to do this year, that I definitely can do.

  • Publish The Dragon – I am currently hard at work on this. I want to have it out as early in the year as possible, but I feel extremely confident that I can get it to the public before the anniversary of The Thief, which is in June. This would also cross off a personal goal: “learn to write a book a year.” So TAKE THAT, SELF-DOUBT! (And when I’m done with that, start on book 3, codenamed Mecha Shiva…)
  • Once a week, post a sketch of a character. It doesn’t have to be inked, or fancy, I just have to post something.
  • Set aside $20 every paycheck for a GET OUT OF TOWN fund – I am always complaining that I don’t have enough money to run off to the beach for a few days or whatever. Well, this is a very do-able way to alleviate  that. Every time I get paid, I’m going to withdraw a twenty. So there.
  • Have lunch with family members once a month – I have extended family members that I really want to spend more time with. So I’m going to take the initiative in scheduling that time.
  • Finish painting my bathroom – something I should have had done for like, two years. I’ll tackle this in the spring, when I can comfortably leave windows open to alleviate the fumes.
  • RACHELxTRENT – otherwise known as “read The Undead Pool.” Yes, I am so excited about this book coming out in February that it goes on the list of goals. (It’s like a birthday gift to me!)
  • Enter The Thief into Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest – the date of entry for this hasn’t been announced yet, but I’d like to enter my book into this contest just to see how well I’d fare. I mean, it can’t hurt, right?
  • Get o-toro at a good sushi place – Fatty tuna. One of the finer things life has to offer to your tastebuds. One of the very few foods I feel is worth its price tag. I haven’t had any in years, and since I turn 30 this year, I feel it’s a good time to have some. I may have to go out of town to do this properly.
  • Learn how to apply mascara – You know. Just in case I need it for something fancy. In general, I hate makeup (waste of time and money), but I don’t think I’ve tried to use mascara since high school (because again, I hate it) but it’s been long enough that I’m willing to give it another shot. Similarly:
  • Learn how to sew a button – You heard me. I am worthless with a needle. Oh, my mother tried to teach me many a time as a young girl. This is definitely a case of the failure being in the student’s court. I don’t see myself becoming a craft enthusiast, but it would be nice to be able to re-attach a button to a coat. (Alright, yes, my coat buttons are about to fall off. That’s why.)
  • Once a month, cook a favorite (or new) thing and tweet the progress/blog the recipe, like I have with pork and apples.  This month’s will be seafood chowder.
  • I also have a list of things I want to cook before the year is over, but the notable one is “make tiramisu from scratch.” That means making my own ladyfingers and everything. I know people who have done this, so I can get tips, which is nice. Tiramisu is one of the few desserts in this world I cannot say no to, but I’ve never made it myself. It’s time to remedy that.

And yeah, there are ethereal things I’d like to do, like get back to walking when it stays light later in the day (i.e. when I get home from work), do more cooking (which the “make these things” list should help), de-clutter my possessions – but I’m not going to beat myself up for not “accomplishing” these things, because they’re not solid benchmarks, and therefore cannot truly be accomplished, no matter how well I do with them.

I’d encourage you to go make a list of highly-accomplishable goals that you can check off as you go through the year.  It’s pretty satisfying.