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I have used a word for the year since my first year of college ten years ago, and now it’s a thing. I feel a little silly doing a word of the year now that it’s a thing, but it’s always stood me in good stead. When I reflect on what a year actually was, that word almost never matches the initial word of the year, but it’s enough for me to have a focus along with more concrete goals.

So, what’s my word for the year? I haven’t decided yet. There are some really good ones swirling in my head, though. For now, let’s stick with my concrete goals:

  • Continue waking up at 5am to write. With a caveat: Bible study first and drastically limit social media so I actually am writing for most of this time. For reasons.
  • Organize my life, especially at work. I need to go back to being the queen of to-do lists. My boss is a neat freak and is always harping on the state of my desk. I get things done, but with increased responsibilities abounding, I need a system. We won’t even get into the present state of chaos reigning at my apartment. Blah.
  • Reinstitute pertinent 5+1 tenets. Y’all may not have heard about this, but this is a life plan I developed after my first year of college while on summer break. I broke my life down into 6 areas (the +1 indicates the most important area, spiritual): spiritual, attendance, health, accountability/responsibility, academics, beauty. Areas like finance were in the accountability/responsibility bucket. Attendance was being present, physically and mentally, at those things I was obligated to attend–and on time. I’m switching out academics for commitments, so that it includes both my job obligations and personal commitments like critique partners, blog posts, reviews, etc.
  • Show more gratitude and appreciation.
  • Pray daily.
  • Daily Bible study.
  • Submit this year. This has a double meaning for me. The most obvious would be to submit some of my writing to publishers, agents, and contests. The other, more spiritual, meaning is to submit my life more fully to Christ.
  • Self-publish my relationship book. One of the things that hinders me from doing this is the thought of setting up marketing for it. But I can do it.
  • Sleep. The running joke among my friends is that I don’t sleep because I seem to be up early and go to bed late. Well, my punishing schedule is catching up to me a bit. So, I need to develop a nighttime routine that tells my body it’s time for bed that doesn’t involve falling asleep in front of the TV.
  • Put planning into perspective. I am a bit controlling. I like to have schedules and plans and I like for things to go according to those schedules and plans. Deviation from routine can drive me a little crazy, something I’ve been struggling with the past couple of days as I’ve severely disrupted my routine by making a major change. I know I don’t get to control the hows and whens of everything, but getting the controller in me to have a seat is a never ending process. I stopped using some of my helpful planning tools to try and “let go”–to do lists, etc.–and that just made me a disorganized control freak. So working on this is essential.
  • Balance. Balance is always on my list. Because of my ability to focus, I can get very singular in my pursuits, which isn’t good. Case in point: I got a LOT of writing done this past fall, but my apartment is a mess and time spent with Mr. Perfect was severely cut down. I get focused at work and always leave at least a half an hour late. Yesterday I wrote blog posts and in forums and started projects, but only ate one meal–1 (and I was up 5am to 11pm!). So, balance.
  • Blogging. More blog posts, shorter word count, more pictures.

So that’s what I have so far. I’m sure I could’ve fit them all into 5+1, but where’s the fun in that. Tomorrow, in the last “It’s a New Year” post, I will look at how I did on last year’s goals and reveal my word of the year.

What are your new year’s resolutions?