Every year I sit down and review how the past 12 months have gone: what I’ve accomplished and what I wish I had. And then, from that analysis, I set my intentions for the next year.
As I detailed in my 2013 Year in Review post, my word for this year is CORE, and I have a sort of three-pronged approach to that in 2014.
The first bit of returning to my core values is getting back to my “fighting weight.” I’m tired of carrying around this extra 15ish pounds. I fit into most of my old clothes, but they don’t fit how I want them to fit, and I’m ready to feel confident in my appearance again. On a non-aesthetic note, the extra weight isn’t doing my knees any favors, and motherhood has a way of really messing with your skeleton and connective tissues.
The plan is, for the first three months of the year, P90X3. I’m already a week in and love-hating it. I’ve been rotating in the occasional P90X workout (along with Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and the occasional cameo appearances by Shaun T’s Insanity, Minna Lessig, and even old-school Cindy Crawford) for years now, but I’m super enjoying the new 30-minute program so far. My sister and I started on Christmas Day (and my other sister started on her own a few days later), so we’ll all be keeping one another accountable.
After the 3-month cycle is up, we’ll see where I am and what I want to do next. I have workout ADD, so I’m sure I’ll be ready for a break from Tony Horton, as much as I enjoy his goofy antics. Luckily the weather should be improving then, so maybe I’ll get a chance to start pounding the pavement again soon after.
In any case, ramping up the exercise and improving my diet by getting back to basics (eating a whole-foods-based, balanced diet and calorie counting) should get me back into tip-top form this year.
There are a lot of focus areas that fall under the umbrella of life, but here’s the quick version:
- Cook more. It saves money and offers the opportunity to cook healthier meals, plus I enjoy the exercise in creativity. Cooking can be art, too.
- Travel. I need to get out of the country for a while, folks. I’ve got a touch of wanderlust in me, and it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve left the States. I was planning a big trip for my 30th birthday, but then life decided a metaphorical trip was in order instead. But 2014 is the year I make it outside these borders. I always make it a goal to go to three new and/or awesome places, and this year I’m hoping to get a little bit further from home at least a couple of times.
- Orderliness. My modus operandi has always been “organized chaos,” but the “organized” part of that has fallen a little bit by the wayside in the past year. Learning how to live with another human being and then adding a third one to the mix — not to mention one who comes with his own impressive and constantly changing paraphernalia — has thrown whatever habits I might have had into the maelstrom. But I feel more focused when things aren’t so chaotic in the house, so I’m going to make an effort to get better at keeping routines for cleaning and mess-containing.
This is the area of my life that took the biggest hit last year, but toward the end of 2013 I rediscovered my passion for writing and creating. Fitting the creation of art in with the first two prongs is obviously a challenge, but plenty of people do it, and I’ve discovered that I can actually do it pretty well, too, when I put my mind to it. I’ve got big goals and big expectations for 2014, and here they are.
- Read 24 books. I hit this goal in the most technical sense last year, but this year I want to read 24 actual books written for adults (though young adult totally counts). I’m making a habit of reading before bed instead of playing Candy Crush, because Candy Crush is the DEVIL.
- Watch 52 movies. And here I’m talking actual movies. TV is great and has its own viewing benefits beyond entertainment, but the medium I write is film, so I need to be watching more of those. And 52 is a drop in the bucket compared to what I used to watch.
- NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is near and dear to my heart, and this will be my 10th year participating (and presumably winning, since I’m stubborn like that). I’ve already got a candidate for the story this year, but November’s a long ways away, and I’ve got plenty to focus on before it rolls around.
- Write 12 short stories. The #fridayflash community is great for this. If you’re looking to get into the habit of writing on a regular basis, the weekly commitment to writing a short story of 1,000 words or less is a great way to get started. Plus the #fridayflash community is not only talented but also supportive. I plan on participating monthly this year at the least.
- Write (at least) one new screenplay. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written a brand, spankin’ new screenplay, so this is the year. I’ve got one in the works right now, and I’m hoping to write “FADE IN:” by Feb. 1.
- Rewrite two screenplays. I’ve gotten notes back on several screenplays, and I’ve got enough time between my last drafts that I’m ready to go back to them. I’ve got one major rewrite (the one that has plagued me since, oh, 2008?) and one hopefully lesser but still important rewrite to tackle before the year is out.
- Make other art. Last year I did a couple of art projects: one mixed media piece for Halloween and a painted sign for Christmas. They were fun and totally not writing-related, but they exercised parts of my creative brain that sort of whet my appetite for writing efforts. Austin Kleon talks about this in Steal Like an Artist (highly recommended, by the way), and I’m pleased to report it works quite well for me. So I’m planning on keeping up with the arts & crafts this year again. I’m also a quasi-monthly participant in #fmsphotoaday on instagram, which is an excellent way to train your eye to see the details of life.
Setting Intentions for 2014
I think there’s a lot of value in setting your intentions for the year (or month or week or day). If you’re looking for some guidance on how to get started, might I recommend the 2014 Writing Goals series over on the Go Into the Story blog? Whether you’re a screenwriter or not, there’s a lot of good advice. Just insert whatever your passion is when Scott is talking about screenwriting, and his advice will set you on the right path.
I’d love to hear about goals from you all, too, plus it’s good juju to get them out into the ether by posting the publicly.
In any case, here’s hoping that 2014 holds a lot of magic for you and that you find the wherewithal to see it, grasp it and send it back out into the world.