I’ve never bothered with New Year’s Resolutions. I can barely set goals for the day, nevermind the year. But I think it’s time for a change. Not having a job is a dubious kind of freedom that I can expect to enjoy for another two and a half years or so until I move back to South Africa, and it will be shameful if I don’t spend my time on something I can be proud of. The fact that I’ve kept this blog running is proof that I can work on my own without a boss at my back and a paycheck dangling in front of me. Now I need to take things a step further.
1. Get organised
If I can do this, the rest of my resolutions will be way easier to achieve. I bought the stylish but serious black page-a-day Moleskine diary, wrote out detailed reading and writing schedules on its smooth, creamy pages, and then couldn’t be bothered to stick to any of them.
Ok, multiple failures aren’t a good way of starting the year, and yes, I’ve had this goal since high school, so no, there’s not much chance I’ll achieve this, but what the hell, it’s January. The sun is shining and I’m optimistic.
To start: make a schedule and stick to it.
2. Write more, write regularly, write fiction
This is the main reason I need to get resolution no.1 sorted, even if that means nothing more than setting aside an hour or two a day for writing something other than reviews (the schedule has another slot for that). I want to write more varied content for this blog – random musing, articles on book-related topics, and the occasional rant. But, more importantly, I need to start writing fiction. Last year I signed up for a creative writing course, and then proceeded to prove what a talented procrastinator I am. It reached the point where any mention of the course made me deeply uncomfortable. All I’ve produced so far is a 250-word horror story. It won me a R200 book voucher, which was very encouraging, but nothing’s going to get me to keep writing but me.
To start: finish something, anything!
3. Read and review more indie novels
I am ashamed to say that I’ve virtually stopped replying to review requests for indie novels, because I’ve got a backlog that dates back to 2011 but remains virtually untouched. I’ve always given my other review books preference, and while that’s not going to change, it’s time to to give indie novels the attention they deserve. I’m an unabashed book snob, so I do have my reservations about indie fiction, but authors like A.M Harte and Terra Whiteman have proved to me those books are worth my time.
To start: dive into that tbr pile! Seriously, do it now.
4. Read 85 books
Last year I managed to read 82, so this is undoubtedly my most do-able goal.
I’ve already started reading, with two books finished so far.
5. Exercise. Regularly
OK, this is really boring, I know. Almost any person who bothers with New Year’s Resolutions is going to put this on the list. I put it here at the risk of you rolling your eyes at me because it plays at least a small role in all of the above. When I resist the luxury of sleeping late to haul my ass out of bed at 8am and gym for an hour, I tend to be wide awake for the rest of the day, and therefore more likely to stick to my schedule, which will have plans for resolutions 2-4.
Also, elevators in Ethiopia are dodgy because of all the power failures, and I’d prefer not to become a wheezing wreck every time I take the stairs. And yes, I’m vain and I’d like to look better in skinny jeans.
I find that making myself exercise is actually pretty easy once I’ve made a habit of it, so to start: get up early and gym for 3 or 4 days in a row.
All in all, an ambitious but not unreasonable set of resolutions. Now let me go write up tomorrow’s schedule.