Friday, January 31, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

The best way to accomplish something for me is to set a deadline with concrete goals. Therefore, with my New Year's Resolutions below, I've also specified (A) one or more concrete goals, (B) a schedule, and (C) my motivation (it's easier to stay on track when I remember the big picture).

1. Get eBook published.

A. I'd like to: add a few new sections to my eBook, proofread it, add photos to it, create a cover, publish on the Kindle Store, and then promote it on social media.
B. Schedule - be published on or before 3/15/14.
C. I've always wanted to write a book. After having a baby recently, I decided that there was a need for a bare basics book on newborns that did not try to solve every single problem, but instead gave a beginner's guide to living with a new baby. After I get my feet wet with this book, I will be better able to write (and publish) a novel, or a collection of my poems, using the lessons I learned this time around.

2. Fix backyard patio steps.

A. I'd like to: tear down the old steps and dispose of the old bricks, make a dimensional plan (sketch) for the new steps, buy materials, and build the new steps.
B. Schedule - Accomplish this before my MIL visits on 3/21/14.
C. The existing steps are crumbling and present a clear tripping hazard. I'd feel really bad if someone I loved got hurt on those steps.

3. Help people more.

A. I'd like to: donate more time and/or money to the charities I care about, help friends and family with their projects, offer help preemptively when I see someone who could use a hand, and be kind and courteous to strangers.
B. Schedule - I will spend one weekend a month helping someone for the months of January through April.
C. I'd like to become more selfless and help the people around me. I think that the nicer you are to other people, the sweeter and more joyful and purposeful your own life becomes.

4. Get in shape.

A. I'd like to: be able to do a pull-up, be able to do 50 sit-ups in a row, be able to run the distance of a half marathon again, lose one dress size, be able to lift 12-lb. weights with my arms for three sets of ten reps., and eat one or less unhealthy meals per day (and two or more healthy ones per day).
B. Schedule - Run at least once a week after the weather gets above 40F, and lift weights twice per week, this year.
C. I feel better when I'm watching my weight.

5. Breastfeed my baby.

A. I'd like to breastfeed my baby because it is healthier for him.
B. Schedule - Pump at least four times per day, and preferably six times per day, until at least 6/1/14.
C. I want to reduce the chances that my baby will catch a cold, and breastfeeding is one way to do so.

6. Fix driveway.

A. I'd like to: research various paving and/or refinishing options and their costs, choose one, hire a contractor if needed, demolish the existing driveway if needed, and lay in the new driveway.

B. Schedule - I'd like to have this project completed before 9/30/14.

C. The existing driveway is very prominently cracked, which gives an unfavorable impression to passerbys, and negatively affects our resale value, as well as our neighbors' resale values.

7. Have a Thanksgiving party.

A. I'd like to: set a date for the party, send out invitations, clean our house, plan a menu, gather recipes, test-run any new recipes, cook the food, and be a good hostess.
B. Schedule - Tentatively, send out invitations by 11/2/14, finalize the menu by 11/19/14, clean the house by 11/22/14, and have the party on 11/23/14.
C. I'd like to have our friends gather at our house in a large group at least once a year in order to stay in touch with them.

8. Fix side yards (the yard space on either side of our house).

A. I'd like to: weed, do stump removal, do tree-trimming, reseed the lawn, mend the fence, and water and fertilize the space, as well as bury the sump pump drain, and replace the steps leading to the backyard if possible.
B. Schedule - I'd like to finish this project before 9/1/14.
C. The side yard to the left of the house is overgrown and useless. The side yard to the right is overgrown also, and the steps are unsafe because they are unevenly spaced.

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