2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Like last year I’m writing this post on the last day of the old year, but scheduling it to go live in the new year.

2015’s been a pretty great year. Of course, some bad stuff happened (some bad stuff always does), but the good things definitely outweighed it and I’m grateful for the past twelve months.

With that in mind: Resolution Time.

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How I Did with My 2015 Resolutions

1. Have at least one adventure a week. Accomplished. A lot of them were small, but I had at least one a week and it was really nice.

2. Intern somewhere this summer (or get a regular summer job). I ended up doing both! I worked at a bookstore for the first half of the summer (while interning remotely), then interned in person in NYC during the second half. It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. (And I’ve continued to work at the bookstore and intern remotely since school started back up.)

3. Volunteer. Accomplished! I’m still not volunteering as much as I’d like to, but I’ve started doing things with some local organizations (like 826Michigan) and I’m really enjoying what little volunteer work I do get to do. (Aaand you should totally check out 826Michigan, by the way. They do really important work and are a bunch of amazing people. Just saying.)

4. Pass all my classes with at least a 3.5. Accomplished! I actually managed to get a 4.0 all three semesters I completed in 2015 (winter, spring, and fall). I still want to try to bump my GPA up a little higher, but it’s much healthier-looking now than it was going into 2015, thank goodness.

5. Work out at least three times a week and keep doing my daily situps. Ehhh. EHHH. I really failed at this one. I started off strong–I even was up to biking thirty miles a day at one point over the summer–but then I got injured and ended up spending two months in a knee brace, and it looks like I’ve had a partially torn muscle in my shoulder for like a year and a half now (although I still haven’t had a chance to go to a doctor about it), and life has gotten so crazy busy that I just haven’t had the ability to keep working out regularly. Here’s to healing and getting back into shape in 2016.

6. Take better care of myself in general. I did pretty terribly with this one. (See Resolution #5.) As well as stopping exercising, I also stopped eating well, like, at all. Like basically all I eat these days is cheese and carbs. I’ve taken to spending entire days curled up in bed with my laptop, only ever leaving my cocoon of blankets to grab junk food or order takeout. My body is ready to murder me. I definitely need to revisit this resolution in 2016.

7. Make new friends. Accomplished! I met some pretty awesome people in 2015. (Hi, guys! Love you.)

8. Get better at running Chapter One Events, LLC. I’m honestly not sure if I accomplished this one. Some days I want to say yes; some days I want to slap myself for the days I want to say yes. I’m still figuring all this stuff out, learning and growing as I go, but I’m starting to think there will never be a time when I feel fully on top of things (and that’s okay).

9. Clean my room. Oops.

10. Read fifty two books. ACCOMPLISHED. I actually read sixty-seven this year! Eighteen were full manuscripts for my internship; nine were books for literature classes; and the other forty were just for fun.

11. Travel a lot. Accomplished! I went to Chicago several times for Ch1Con-related things, up north skiing with my family, spent Independence Day in D.C. with my family, and of course interned for two months in New York City (during which I went on weekend trips to Ocean City, NJ with two of my critique partners and to the Hamptons with Hannah). I’ve also had lots of day trips around Michigan (like that time some friends and I spent Halloween in Hell). It was nice getting to see so much of the country this year.

12. Let what happens happen. I’m still struggling a lot with this one. If 2015 proved anything, it’s that I’m very good at making rash decisions and being stubborn to the point of it being unhealthy. (Like that time I tried to just power through my knee injury for a week before realizing all that was doing was making it worse. And then, I repeat: two months in a knee brace.) Sometimes being rash and stubborn is okay, though. And it’s okay to hold on. Some good stuff is coming out of those decisions.

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2016 Resolutions

1. Get straight As my last semester of undergrad. I’m not sure how possible this one is, because I’m currently registered for eighteen credit hours and next semester is going to be my busiest since college began. But it’s also my last and I want to go out with a bang.

2. Read at least fifty-two books. If 2016 is anything like 2015, this should be more than possible.

3. Have at least one adventure a week. This was a really good goal to have last year.

4. Get outside more. I spent a lot of time outside this summer, but that dropped off as school started back up and I miss the sun.

5. Do a publishing intensive (or intern somewhere). I’ve been looking forward to attending one of the summer publishing institutes since I first learned they existed and I’m so excited that I’m finally about to be at the point in my life when I get to go to one. (You know. If I get in.) If I’m not accepted to a publishing institute, then I want to spend my summer interning somewhere.

6. Get a grownup job. Scariest goal of the year (and also the most necessary).

7. See the world. I have tentative plans for several big trips in 2016 and I really, really hope they all work out.

8. Make new friends. As always, I think this is a great goal with which to go into any year.

9. Develop healthier habits. I feel so disgusting all the time right now and that needs to change. I want to get back into working out and eating well. I want to feel good again.

10. Apply to grad school. I’m still not positive what kind of graduate program I want to do (hence why I’m taking a gap year between undergrad and graduate), but I know that I really want to get a masters. I love learning. There’s no way I’m done after this.

11. Finish writing the first draft of Time Travel Heist Story. I’m so in love with this story. I’ve been having trouble getting much work done on it since NaNoWriMo ended, but I need to find the time.

 12. Remember to breathe. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now. And while I’m pretty happy about all of it, I do also have a tendency of working myself until I’m too stressed to function. I’m going to do my best to be better about this in 2016. (Also to remember that it’s okay to have fun sometimes.)

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So, those are my resolutions. What are your resolutions for 2016?

Happy New Year!

~Julia

 

 

2014 New Year’s Resolutions

I’m a couple weeks late doing this post, but I know, you’re just dying to find out how I did with my 2013 resolutions and what I hope to accomplish this year, right? (Don’t answer that.)

2013 was a really big year for me, especially from a writing perspective (I attended two conferences, met several of my writing idols, finished and revised Cadence, started creative writing classes at college, was published in a couple lit mags, won NaNoWriMo for the sixth time in a row, won the children’s/YA category of the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and more). I also got to travel a lot and meet some of my non-writing idols and make some amazing new friends.

I don’t know how 2014 could ever live up to 2013, but it’s doing a pretty good job of it so far. So here’s to the New Year.

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How I Did with My 2013 Resolutions

1. Do something selfless at least once a week. While it wasn’t always a big act, I did try to always at least do something small for other people in my week, without expecting anything in return, so I’d call this one accomplished.

2. Pass all of my classes (especialmente Españolo), and with a 3.0 or higher. Accomplished with flying colors! Between the last two semesters, I’ve only gotten a grade below some sort of A once, in genetics, which was a B. Kind of ridiculously proud of myself for this, since I’ve been taking so many gen ed classes. And, I mean, I PASSED SPANISH WHOA. I got an A- this last semester of it, and I could happy dance over that sort of grade. 

3. Make new friends (but keep the old—one is silver and the other gold). Accomplished! I’m glad to say I managed to both meet new friends and keep up with the ones I already had going into 2013, although I still didn’t get to see most of them as much as I’d have liked. (Love you guys!)

4. Write a novel. Kind of, sort of halfway accomplished. While I did A TON of writing in 2013, I didn’t manage to complete an entire novel at any point during the year (unless you count This is a Book). I’ve never in my life written an entire novel in one year–even with the novel I only spent four months on the first draft of, the New Year fell in the middle of it–so this remains a goal to accomplish someday. 

5. Participate in FAWM (February Album Writing Month). Yeah no. This didn’t happen. Turns out February I was busy revising instead. 

6. Blog at least twice a week. Not quite, although I think blogging every day in November made up for some of the weeks I missed doing two posts during. (I did, however, post at least ONCE a week the entire year, so yay for that?)

7. Start querying Dreamcatcher. While I didn’t end up querying Dreamcatcher, I did query another novel, so I’m still going to call this one accomplished.

8. Save $365 to give to charity. All I’m going to say here is that I’m a terrible human being.

9. Go to church at least once a month. Same goes for this one. It’s not even that I haven’t WANTED to go to church, it’s that it keeps slipping my mind. (Which really isn’t a proper excuse, but it’s true.)

10. Get a heck of a lot of planning done for Ch1Con 2014. Didn’t get nearly as much done in 2013 as I had hoped, but this is all such a learning experience–primarily, learning how to do Big Life Decision stuff as a team with other people, rather than having control over it on my own–that I’m still proud of myself for how much we did get done. And now it’s a race through the next couple months as my business partner and I try to get everything ready in time for the conference.

11. Learn how to do a Proper British Dialect (#11 is subject to change). #11 didn’t change, although I also didn’t accomplish it. If anything, my abilities to do accents slipped even further. 

12. Get my driver’s license (<–Don’t laugh at me. I’ve never had need for it before, but now I do.) Oh, oops. Forgot to do that one again.

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2014 Resolutions

1. Finish writing a novel. Going into 2013, I was already nearly done with the first draft of Cadence, so it didn’t really make sense to do this resolution. However, this year I’m in the middle of The End Where I Begin, along with having a couple side projects started, so I’m hoping to really focus and get at least one of those done this year.

2. Be able to run a mile. This is one of those don’t-laugh-at-me ones, but I haven’t been able to run a mile probably since middle school. This past summer I got to the point where I could do half a mile at a jog without entirely murdering myself, but I feel like being about to run a mile’s probably a good ability to have. (Plus, I might just reward myself with some cuter running shoes than the ones I’ve been toting around since the eighth grade, if I manage to do this.)

3. Read fifty books. I’m going to count full manuscripts I’m critiquing with this one, because I spend a lot of time reading those, along with school books, but I was really inspired by my friend Hero’s 40 Books Challenge. I didn’t read nearly as many books as I should have last semester (only about seven non-school ones for the entire thing), and it kind of sucked. So my goal is to read fifty books throughout the course of this year. I’m five books in so far, but that number’s going to drop off real quick once school gets into full-swing, so let’s see how this goes.

4. Stop watching as many television shows. When we first got Netflix at the end of the summer, I kind of thought it was just a joke, how addicted everyone said you could get to it. Then I began watching How I Met Your Mother, and Once Upon A Time, and Doctor Who for ten hours a day, and I realized that the Netflix addiction is a very real, and very baaad thing. So I’m now trying to break that, because no matter how intense a cliffhanger is or how much I want to figure out a plot twist, real life is more important. Unfortunately.

5. Learn how to play the ukelele. I’ve been wanting to get a uke for years now, but I hope this is the year I finally just splurge and buy one and learn how to play it.

6. If I don’t study abroad this summer, GET MY FREAKING DRIVER’S LICENSE. My reasoning here is that if I’m not in Europe for the majority of the summer, I really have no excuse not to get my butt behind the wheel and finally just get the parallel parking and highway driving down so I can take the stupid test without failing right off the bat. Driving makes me really nervous–I’m terrified of hurting someone–but it’s also a necessary part of living in the suburbs, which at least for now is where I live. (But if I do study abroad, then I’ll be out of the country for most of the time I’d be using the license anyway, so while it would be nice to get it still, it wouldn’t be as necessary.) (Oh goodness. I’m basically punishing myself extra for if I don’t get accepted to a study abroad program. Whyyy.)

7. Do something selfless each week. I think this was a really good goal to have last year.

8. Make new friends. How ever cliche it is, this one too.

9. Sell stuff on ebay. You more than likely don’t know this, but I have boxes of old clothes I’ve been meaning to sell on ebay for the better part of a year now, just stacked up all sad-like in the corner of my room. When I’m home after this semester’s over, one of my top priorities is going to need to be finally putting it all up for sale so it’ll finally stop staring at me with those sad, sad metaphorical eyes.

10. Do more outdoorsy activities. Even if they’re actually indoors, I’m thinking things like ice skating and going on walks and swimming and visiting parks and all that need to happen more often in my life.

11. Clean my room. This is a monumental task we’re talking here, people.

12. Pass all my classes with at least a 3.0. This is such a given, but it’s also important. While I’d prefer doing better than a 3.0, it’s definitely the minimum I require of myself. This next year is likely going to be my most difficult academically, so fingers crossed I survive it all.

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And there you have it, the 2014 New Year’s Resolutions post that you know you were absolutely dying to read.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are some of yours?

Happy 2014!

~Julia