Update on my New Years’ Resolution to Read

So this morning it occurred to me, I don’t think I’ve read any books since the beginning of May. So I sat down to think about it. I was doing so well up until our regular routine was interrupted by leaving Montreal for the month of May. I managed to do tons of reading in April. Reading became easier and easier and as I picked books that interested me more and more, I was reading more and more. If you take a look at my Books in 2013 page, you’ll see that I went above and beyond my 2 books a month/a book every 2 weeks goal. I read 5 books in April!

Actually, now that I see the list again, I did read 2 books in May. It just didn’t feel like it because I read one book in one day and another book another day. They weren’t spread over a few weeks. Also they were both short novels, but that still counts as reading!

I need to get reading back on my list of things to do. I’ve been more into fiction lately which is a switch from almost everything I’ve read in the last year and a half.

I’m just a better person when I read. I’m nicer, happier, a better conversationalist. I’m all around better. Yet, sometimes, I still need to coach myself to make reading a priority, and this month that is what has to happen.

That familiar cycle

We’re back to that place I’m sure you recognize so well: Jess admits she still doesn’t have this all figured out and has to reboot her life a bit in order to get it all back in order. Some things are going well: I’m still reading regularly, and that’s developed into a lovely habit I’m enjoying. I really appreciate the freedom I have in the 1 book every 2 weeks system. I can easily complete a book in that time, but it gives me room for evenings off etc. Ok so really one thing is going well.

xmas

The fact that my Christmas decorations are still up is probably a sign that things are a little out of control. I’ve been thinking about the balance between doing what I want to do and reaching my goals and how I have the tendency to let other more important things be moved aside by my goals. Important daily life things like grocery shopping, laundry, and all the other things that are not exactly fun.

I just recently read The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin. I felt like I was reading a book I could have written it was so similar to where I’m at:

“So the real question is why don’t I organize my days to do what I believe is important and what I do, in fact, have the skills and training to do. The answer is that I have a motivation problem. I do what I do not want to do–and I do not what I want to do” (Chapter 1).

For me, it’s more like I’m doing what I really want to do that is important to me personally, but not what I have agreed with my husband that needs to get done and in the long-term and from day-to-day is actually more important. Groceries need to get done. Clothes need to be cleaned. The house needs to be cleaned/tidied or else we’ll both go nuts. But those things don’t feel immediately rewarding. 

Maybe that’s it: I need to devise a system where doing the basics is rewarding me by moving onto the other things I want to accomplish like my reading, my running etc.

(I’m just being an external processor right now.)

So yes, my Christmas decorations are still up and I kind of don’t care! I have laundry still sitting in the dryer and it’s been there for 2 days! These last two weeks have not been the highlight of accomplishment for my year. But I vow to have those decorations down by May… I should be able to manage that, right?

Are you in the same place or are you doing better than I am at keeping up with New Years Resolutions and Regular Life? Are you managing your real priorities well? Share here in the comments. 

New Year’s Resolutions

I drafted this post back in December and had meant to post it then. Work projects built up and then Christmas came. So here we are four days into the New Year. I haven’t actually started working on these yet, but that hasn’t deterred me from working towards them. My goal is to be still doing this when the hoards of new people in the gym have long left.

I have three simple resolutions for myself: Read a book every two weeks; find other exercise to do 3x a week until I can run again; start a craft I can do while I watch TV.

1. Read a book every 2 weeks.

A few years ago I decided to try to read a book a week and that worked for about four weeks. Then I let life get out of hand. This year I know I actually have more time on my hands than I did that year, but I don’t want my life to revolve around reading only (because currently I consume way too much Netflix!), either. I’ve heard the phrase “Readers are leaders” often. I’m not sure how convened I am with being a leader — I just like life (and myself) more when l’m reading (non-fiction). I’m thinking through things more, I have more things to talk about in conversation with people, and life is just more interesting. I have a stack of free books I got on Kindle so I have no shortage of books to read. So this year I’m only going to have the goal of reading a book every two weeks.

2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.

Everyone knows that exercise is an important aspect of living a healthy life. For me, I’m a better employee and person when I’m exercising. Life is just better. I’ve never done a good job of maintaining any exercise through the winter so I imagine this will be the hardest one for me.

3.Start a craft (sewing or cross-stitching)

I’ve had a cross-stitch pattern in my mind for the last few months. I’ve figured out how to take it, put into Photoshop and turn it into a cross-stitch pattern. Now I just need to actually do it. My mom refreshed my memory on how to do it when I was visiting for Christmas so the next steps are to buy the right colour of embroidery thread and get going.

Have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? Are you toying with an idea but aren’t yet ready to commit? Have you already started? Share in the comments here!

This weeks Must Clicks (Oct 29-Nov4)

Articles

50 Iconic writers who were repeatedly rejected.

BBC: Creativity ‘closely entwined with mental illness’

Slavery Still Exists (pictures)

The New Yorker on Vampires

Helpful Links

StayFocused Chrome extension (for those who find themselves on facebook/twitter without realizing it — Thanks Di for the tip!)

Nanowrimo-related

29 Plot templates to know

Tips on Plot, plot layers and subplot

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