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2013: The Brave New Year

January 8, 2013

Happy New YearAnyone who knows me at all knows that I love New Year Resolutions. Generally, I make a detailed road map, split into categories, specific goals and their substeps, ranging up to three pages of bullet points and enthusiasm. And most years, I get about a third of those goals met. Which hasn’t bothered me until this last year. I met hardly any of my goals. Especially the writing goals.

2012 was a rough year. I moved three times in a five month period. I’ve had to make new friends and come to terms with old friendships that actually died long ago only no one told me. I got a new job and two new roommates. I wrote less than I ever have in a single year since taking writing seriously. Not all of these things are inherently awful but it was just a long, tiresome year and I found myself snacking and watching various series on Netflix from beginning to end rather than working on anything worthwhile.

This bothered me. A lot. I learned long ago that the road to happiness is hard work. So this year, rather than make a huge list I will never live up to, I am going to make a very few simple goals that I will reevaluate, modify or recharge at the beginning of each month. Right now, I have four goals: read the entire Book of Mormon, write 750 words daily, figure out my sleep problems, and wake up at 6:30 every morning.

As of now, I have yet to ever get up at 6:30 or read The Book of Mormon. I began my sleep quest yesterday. And I have written on six out of eight days so far (which is not bad for me).

As far as the writing is concerned, I have a new favorite website: I can’t remember where I first heard about this website but I liked it because it gives you points and bird-related badges depending on how much you write. Basically, the more days you write consecutively, the more points you get, the more badges you get. If you write for 500 days in a row (I can’t even imagine doing this) you get the Space Bird Badge!

Being the nerd that I am, points and badges remind me of video games and I find it very encouraging, much like Jerry Seinfeld’s Don’t-Break-The-Chain idea. Also, it keeps statistics for you of how long it took you to write, how many minutes of that time you were actually writing, how many words you wrote, etc. It even saves a .txt file of your words (which means yet another place to get your work back from when your computer crashes) and saves what you’ve written every ten seconds or so. Well worth a try as it’s free.

I also have a theme this year. I didn’t intend to have one but quite a few things stuck out to me all at once:

  • I recieved a copy of Pixar’s Brave for Christmas
  • I listened to Josh Groban’s new song, Brave
  • Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s Eve wish “… in the new world to come, let us be brave”
  • “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” A.A. Milne   among other numerous quotes about being brave that seemed to pop up out of nowhere (i.e. Pinterest)

Do you see the theme? Apparently the universe and my heart are telling me I need to be brave this year. Which makes me want to whimper under my bed because if I need to be brave this year, not last year, what on earth is going to happen this year?

Perhaps nothing at all extraordinary will occur. But a girl can hope. Bring it on world.

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