5 For 2017

Okay, for 2017, we're going to do things a little differently. These resolutions are going be governed by a simple principle:

"Are these dreams, or goals?"*

There's a difference- dreams are vague, abstract things you sort of kind of want to maybe do someday, whereas goals have plans, objectives and a clear road map to success. I'm tired of churning out lists of resolutions every year that inevitably, I never fulfill. This year, (as I also say every year, but this time I mean it, damn it!) is going to be different! You'll see! I'll show you!

2016 was, as a British tabloid so gracefully put it, 'one bum's year.' 2017 has to be different. So (drumroll please), without further ado:

1. I am getting that tattoo, damn it.

There's really no reason for me not to do it at this point. Just got to save a few ducats and get her done. I have 365 days to do it, so there's no excuse.

2. I'm declaring this my Year of Books

A long-standing idle dream of mine has been to open a bookstore somewhere. Any where. And then it occurred to me: I'm nowhere near as well read as I used to be. I used to love books. I used to crave them. I used to lose myself in the library and can't resist browsing through a bookstore. Books smell amazing and bookstores are little fountains of joy for the soul- they rejuvenate my soul. I don't really have a hard number of books I want to read, but I have some titles I want to tackle. In no particular order:

The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Before The Fall, Noah Hawley
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Ulysses, James Joyce
Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
Use of Weapons, Iain M. Banks
Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson

3. I want to up my writing/blogging game.

It's time to take this blog up a notch. I ended my first year back on Blogspot with 8K in page views and my goal for 2017 is to hit 20K. I'd like to focus on quality over quantity (though I'm not sure how just yet- still thinking about that one.) I want to finish out a couple of features, shake some up and branch out into podcasting.

On the writing front, I want to keep pushing the short fiction- and, more importantly, I want to start sending pieces out to see about getting or two of them published for real. I've got the start of my next book that I'd like to get in pretty solid draft form by year's end. When it comes to books: I want to know more about marketing independent books by the end of this year than I did at the beginning.

4. I want to be my best self.

This one's a little vague, so let's quantify it a little bit: 1. Instead of little bits of Tai Chi and Kettlebell, I want to do bigger chunks of both twice a week.  2. Find a guided meditation/mindfulness thing that works for me. 3. Stop eating crap. 4. Increase positivity in my life. (I'm considering downgrading my social media presence a bit. Maybe get rid of Facebook on my phone?)

5. The Great Debt Snowball of 2017

This one is sort of for the Missus and I, but we've always been bad at budgeting. We figure shit out by the end of every month and pay all our bills and the like, but going along to get along just doesn't seem like enough anymore. So I started listening to Dave Ramsey and while I don't know if we'll embrace the monastic devotion to debt erasure that a lot of his fans seem to be down with, but we're going to see if we can spend this year snowballing our debt to see where we get. (Also, budgeting, be better at adulting and stuff.)

*Goals have a plan and are written down, dreams are just idle what if, maybe just maybe someday things that might happen.


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