Reflections: End of the Year

Before we get to today’s post here are links for previously mentioned book reviews: Shadow Magic and Mistborn. Go check them out (if you pick up a copy via the links in the reviews, you’re helping support me!) and let me know what you think! Also, I just learned one of my poems, “Converse,” was accepted for publication in a new anthology of poetry Through A Distant Lens.

LA in the distance.
LA in the distance.

I know I’ve posted somewhere before about end of year things, but in all honesty, I’m too lazy to look it up. Coming up to the new year, many people (myself included) reflect on the past year. Reflection is one way that we learn about our past and how to make our future a better place. Below are a few things that I’ve included that I wrote down throughout the year (which I need to be more on top of next year, curses!) that were good or positive things that happened to me this past year. While the whole was not the best, I would rather remember the positive than the negatives.

  • I started an online magazine (www.eastjasminereview.com).
  • I had interest in a nonfiction book on meditation and writer’s block.
  • I got into an MFA program (though I couldn’t afford to attend).
  • I attended the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival.
  • I met wonderful people in the Teen Wolf fandom.
  • Three attractive men told me I was beautiful in one day.
  • Karina Dale made me lots of love art.
  • Karina Dale (‘nuf said).
  • Mia Vogel wrote me a lovely letter.
  • I started publishing an online graphic novel (www.dbandmatty.com).
  • I saved up enough money to replace my current computer.
  • I had several poems accepted for publication.

We also have this thing called New Year’s Resolution(s). These, I’m not a big fan of. I’ll tell you why. First, these resolutions are set to begin on the first 1/1. Second, they are often nebulous goals or goals that cannot be broken down or require outside force (I’m working on some of my own to bring them within my power). Last, these resolutions are often forgotten or left by the wayside.

But, I think goals and resolutions are a good thing. But why wait until the new year to start? Last month, I came up with some goals that I wanted to achieve. I’ve included a list below. One of them, yoga, I wanted to start going 2-3 times per week. Instead of waiting until the new year began, I started going the next week. I’ve done three weeks of yoga now, and while it’s still not an easy task, I’m incorporating it into my weekly routine. Not all things are here to stay, but this is something that I’ve really missed in my life and I’ve decided that it was important enough to bring back. I used to do yoga at home (but now I know I won’t). Though not all my goals are something within my power, they are goals that I can work toward.

Writing Goals:

  1. Submit to 10 agents in the months of January and February.
  2. Discuss a book deal regarding my novella.
  3. Publish my meditation book.
  4. Submit to TinHouse and American Short Fiction.

Dietary Goals

  1. Eat more veggies. At least one serving per day.
  2. Eat better carbs, reduce refined sugar consumption.

Fitness Goals

  1. Work up to running 2x a week.
  2. Work up to yoga 3x a week.

Mental/Spiritual Goals

  1. Work up to meditating 3-5 times per week.
  2. Shift attitude and mindset to a healthier, more positive outlook.
  3. Walk in nature once a week for 30-60 mins.
  4. Recite positive affirmations

Financial Goals

  1.  Alter lifestyle to reduce unnecessary spending (walk/bike more)
  2. Find more part-time work or full-time work (found some already!).
  3. Cultivate more writer clients.
  4.  Sell books/stories.

With goals, the important point is to analyze them and bring about a step-by-step process on how to achieve them. Writing goals down is super important. It’s a way to look and remember what one should be working on or toward. Breaking down goals and setting mini-goals is almost more important than anything else. For example, I have the goal of incorporating more vegetables in my diet. While this is a vague goal, I can break it down to something like: eat a head of broccoli once per week. Once I have that down as a habit, I can increase the intake of vegetables to include, perhaps, snow peas. Or come up with a rotating vegetable menu. Change is difficult, but the small steps of daily life is within our power. It takes time, and slip ups always happen, but once these become habit, then our daily lives have changed, for the better.

What are some of your goals, and how will you go about achieving them?

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6 thoughts on “Reflections: End of the Year

  1. God love ya, Andrew, for being so with-it as to write such a detailed post. When most people are still running ragged from Christmas and preparing for the Next Big Thing (NYE), you’re blithely and in such an organized manner, being positive and looking to the future with THOUGHT and STRUCTURE, two things that seem to have fallen away from me like an untethered astronaut from MIR.

    Andrew, this was the worst, most fractured, irritating and challenging year of my life so far, and I can’t wait for it to be GONZO. The one bright and shining positive for me? My book was published in February!!!! Thank You, God, for that, because all hell broke loose shortly after.

    Goals for 2014:

    Sugar/flour abstinence

    Finish book #2 and self-publish (half written now and cover art 75% selected– it’s always all about the visuals for me).

    Get a new, new bike– one I REALLY love– to replace the one with which I was in love for nearly two years, but it got stolen September 30, not that I’m keeping that in my mind, or feeling bitter and abused by the universe for any reason.

    Fall in mutual love with someone spectacular.

    Move into Mondo Condo for real– not live in boxes for months to come.

    Expand my universe of writers, make more friends in the writing world.

    Travel.

    Make a barrel of money, for a change.

    Phew. Thank you for forcing me to make a list, Andrew.

    All the best to you with your goals. Hope we see each other more in the coming year.

    Looking forward to 2014 being a kick-ass year from the planet Zenon.

    Love you, Marta

    • Marta! Those are great goals to have! Thank you for saying I’m with-it (I rarely ever feel that way. Usually like I’m tumbling forward and if I don’t keep my feet going I’ll fall flat x_x). Here’s to seeing everything wonderful happen for you in the new year. Shrug off all that negative energy left over and breathe in the new and positive! *hugs*

  2. OMG you ridic. I love your face off. Let’s get crazy in 2014! So much awesome. Conferences, PSA’s that sass people’s faces off! ALL THE QUEER ACTIVISM.

    We are awesome.

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