We’re seven days into the new year, and I’ve been sitting idle on the obligatory “New Year’s Resolution” post that most bloggers have posted days—if not weeks—ago.
This year I spent the holidays in the Florida Keys with my parents. Since I worked so many hours during those last few months of 2013, I used that week and a half break in Florida to truly shut down and recharge. Aside from completing my scuba open water certification (more on that puke-ridden catastrophe later), I just enjoyed the warm weather and laid-back family time. I woke up every morning to the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean right outside my bedroom window. I enjoyed leisurely breakfasts while staring out at dolphins instead of an office computer. I took my time getting ready to do absolutely nothing. I laid on the beach, laid on the couch, and laid back in the passenger seat while island hopping with my mom. And with the sun still setting around 530PM, I found it hard to stay up past 9pm every single night.
It was the most relaxing vacation I’ve had in years, and I loved it.
Now it’s the first full week back to the cold (but thankfully not as cold as my hometown where the wind chill hit -41 today) reality of New York, and trying to figure out life. And now that it’s 2014, rather than have a single resolution I’ve got so many plans and goals that I’m struggling to figure out where to begin. Seriously, it’s like being too ambitious is a disability. When my to-do list gets too overwhelming, I end up watching shitty movies and New Girl reruns and saying to hell with everything else.
So why not procrastinate even more by writing a blog post about them? Maybe this way if I put this list out there I’ll feel obligated to finish it all before 2015.
I apologize for the selfishness (kind of, sort of, not really). This isn’t even a list of resolutions you can make for yourself. Hell I’m not even going to call this a list of resolutions, because it’s simply nothing more than a bunch of “I wants.” (Don’t I sound like a bratty little kid in a toy store?)
MY TEN WANTS FOR 2014 AND BEYOND (in no particular order)
- I want to stop writing solely for my blog and start pitching articles to editors. Hopefully I can land some pieces I’m proud of in some legitimate publications.
- In order to do that, I want to complete my MatadorU travel writing course so that I know how to properly pitch a story. Only nine more chapters to go, so that should only take a couple of months.
- I want to network more and be more engaged with other writers and people who love to travel.
- I want to improve my photography—from snapping photos, to editing, posting, and storing them on my hard drive efficiently.
- I want to finish reading the stack of books I have piled next to my bed.
- I want to maximize my credit card rewards and flyer miles and travel to a lot of far away places. I have 27 vacation days this year, I want to make them count.
- I want to make sure that my five use-em-or-lose-em rollover vacation days don’t go to waste at the end of March.
- I want to begin the transition from full-time office worker to location-independent freelance writer.
- I want to start writing my first novel, so that by the time I’m finally good at it I might actually still be young-ish.
- I want to figure out my next step and move out of New York, but I have no idea where to go. There are so many long and short term plans I’m considering that I can’t decide which are actually feasible. I always thought by now some new opportunity would have pulled me kicking and screaming out of New York. But instead I’m faced with determining my own fate and getting the hell out before this city turns me into a cynical asshole.
I’ve got about twenty more “wants,” but enough about me already. I can only hope that 2014 is a year of growth and change for me. Even making a dent in this list isn’t going to be easy or quick. But hopefully with a little bit of planning, I’ll knock most of these things out to make way for an even better 2015.
Do you have any “wants” for 2014? New Years is the perfect time to be a little selfish, and if I had to make a suggestion, I’d say make sure you do something fulfilling just for you. Take a class, learn a new skill, become certified in something. Maybe there’s even somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, so why not go, even if you have to go alone?
Whatever it is, write it down, set a plan, and do it.
Good luck, and happy 2014!