Happy New Year, Romance Readers’ Café! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. In the post-hustle and bustle, there is a sense of quiet reflection as we head into a new year. We usually think of the highs and lows of the year gone by, the memories, the things we accomplished, the things left undone, and our hopes for the blank slate that is the coming year.
This is when the New Year’s resolutions are proclaimed. For many, it’s the same old resolutions recycled every year: eat healthier, lose weight, get more sleep, kick that bad habit, etc. And with these vague pledges, of which I’m totally guilty, it’s no wonder 92% of people fail to achieve them.
But this year, as I survey the ups and downs of 2018, I’m focusing on things I can measure but also the things that bring joy into my life. And I’m planning to eliminate a few things that do not. For me, 2019 is all about the bookish and writerly objectives and how they affect my life as a whole. On a grand scale, next January, I’d love to look back and see how much more balanced my life became. Trying to find time and energy for a day job, kids and husband, my relationship with the Lord, and passion for writing—Well, let’s just say, balance is something I only dream about right now.
This time though, I’m hoping the ghosts of resolutions failed have taught me a little something about setting not resolutions but goals. Something specific and measurable. (A sentence my accountant husband would love!)
So, here’s my list of goals. (And please don’t judge how small some of these things are! I’m sure you all can do so much more than me, but I know I have to make them achievable so I don’t get overwhelmed!):
- Write for at least 30 minutes every day. No. Matter. What. If it’s more, all the better.
- Make Thursday night, writing night as soon as kiddos are in bed. (It’s dart night for the hubby, so it’s a great night to do this.) This means finishing all my ‘day job’ work by bedtime.
- Read two books every month and read books I’ve always meant to. I already signed up for our library’s adult reading challenge, and I started Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, which I’ve been meaning to read.
- Read Scripture for 15 minutes every day. No. Matter. What. If it’s more, all the better. (Yes, I realize that’s less than writing. But I’m not going to feel guilty and I’ll get to that later. God can fit a lot into my heart in 15 minutes.)
- Exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Is this the recommended amount? No. But is it a step up from where I’m at? Yes. I’ve started to realize that by God’s design, my physical, emotional, and spiritual health are permanently intertwined.
- Get out to do something with my 4-year-old once a week (other than preschool and other activities). It just feels good to have that one-on-one time out of the house, where work, chores, and writing are out of sight, out of mind for a while.
- This is a big one, but I’m prayerfully putting it down: Finish the book I’m working on, my super awesome, heart’s all in it, work-in-progress, by the end of December 2019. If it’s much sooner than that, you guessed it, all the better.
Okay, now for some anti-resolutions, and they’re not as negative as the name suggests. Have you ever done this? It’s the stuff that you want to get rid of or if you want to think of it in a more positive light, it’s making room for the good stuff, the stuff that lights your soul on fire. These, I grant you, are harder to measure, but I think being more mindful of them could be helpful. I’ll probably put these somewhere I can read and remind myself often throughout the year.
- Stop feeling guilty. I feel guilty for taking time to write A Lot. By eliminating guilt, I can replace it with the peace and confidence that when I’m writing, I’m fulfilling God’s plan for my life. And guess what? I’m not going to feel guilty about messing up on the goals above either! Because it’ll happen. Each day is new.
- Stop apologizing. This is a huge one for me in many areas of my life. Apologizing for who I am as a writer, for taking time to write, for who I am as a person, for being an introvert, for not always having the right thing to say or do, the list could go on. Instead of ‘I’m sorry,’ I hope to embrace who I am. Not be shamed by it, but see myself as the creature God created.
- Don’t let fear or procrastination keep me from reaching out to others through social media or in person. I think there are times I’d like to post this or that or talk to someone, but I let fear get in the way or the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ attitude keeps me silent.
I would love, love, LOVE to hear about your plans for 2019! Do you make resolutions? Goals? What things would you like to cut out of your life for 2019 for a more joyful, peaceful year?
A born and bred Midwesterner, Mollie Rushmeyer makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two spunky, beautiful daughters. From a young age, she loved putting words to page and dreamed of becoming an author. As an inspirational contemporary romance and women’s fiction writer, she loves to bring stories of hope to messy, prodigal gals just like her.
She’s an active member of ACFW and is the Vice President of her local chapter. In her “spare” time she lives out her Lois Lane fantasies as a local print journalist, writes encouraging online content for Crosswalk and iBelieve, is an outdoors enthusiast, a passionate champion for the freedom of human trafficking victims, loves to sing and read, and enjoys full-time employment as a monkey-catcher… ahem, mommy.
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