You followed me on my Quest for Happiness. It had roadblocks and stumblings, wrong turns and backtracking, yet also was filled with learning, success and forward progress. It’s a quest that doesn’t end, but instead, continues in new forms.
This year, it’s time to continue on that quest. It’ll feel familiar, yet also different. It’ll be challenging, but also rewarding. I’ll always quest and strive to create happiness, but for 2018, I thought we could take on a new name, a new focus, that expands on all of the foundations my first quest built, while matching the shape of what I hope to achieve this year.
This year, I embark on the Quest for Discovery.
The layout is the same. Every Sunday, I’ll post goals to help mark the map of how to get from Point A to Point Z. It helps me stay accountable and provides a paper trail to show where I started and where I’ll end, highlighting all the failures and successes that got me there.
Without further ado, here are the long-term goals I’m hoping to accomplish, with a few highlights to describe my vision of how I think I’ll get there.
Writing: Write two new books and edit two books. Enter the query trenches.
- On good writing days, I average roughly 1,500 words. So, if I wanted to write (almost) every day and get a first draft of (roughly) 80,000 words, it was take (practically) two months to write. So, add in some missed days, some unproductive sessions and time to outline and panic, and I think it’d take roughly three months to write a new novel. Same for editing (though I can prolly edit in a month, depending on the weight of the edits). 12 months in a year, so four projects to focus on. I like this idea. It feels breathable, yet challenging.
- Editing wise, I’d like to tackle the NA trilogy I wrote. I have at least one major change I want to make to book one (I lied, I can already think of two) and though it’s been on the shelf for a while and has a lot of issues, I still think this series has hope. So I’d like to get through the first book, definitely, and start working on the second book, if I can.
- Writing wise, I want to write book two in Artemis’s series. I think I’ll spend the first two weeks of January trying to get the book outlined (out of the double narrative within it, there is one mapped out and one still needing to be fleshed out) and then start writing on January 15th. Then, have a draft done by March 31st. I also really want to reattempt writing the first book I shelved last year, during the fall.
- To achieve this, I’m going to use an amazing app called WriteTrack to help plot when I should be writing and goal word counts. I first tried this with the sci-fi project last year and even though I shelved that project, I really loved that app. It was helpful to schedule days I knew I wouldn’t write (like Saturdays) or change the weight on the days I was writing, so my goal word count changed. And the progress bar is always wonderful. My goal is to work on writing related things Sunday through Thursday every week.
Reading: Ready every day, finishing up some old series and keeping up with new ones.
- I’d like to start reading during the lull moments of the day. Random 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, because it really adds up. Also, reading during my lunch would be awesome, as well as the hour before I go to bed.
- Carry a book with me everywhere.
- In early January, I’ll prolly take an afternoon to look through all of my books that I own and highlight some series I really want to finish this year, as well as some single books I’m really feeling. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a blog post highlighting them and then write a couple updates throughout the year of how I’m doing.
- But, ideally, the goal is to finish a book every two weeks (but, for Goodreads, I’ll round up to 40 books for the year), if not more, and then write a review for each book I read.
Fitness: Continue living a healthy lifestyle and shaping a body I love and am proud of.
- Main goal is to lose these last 10 pounds and reach my goal weight of 160 lbs.
- I’d really like to tone up some areas that are still a little flabby (lower back, hips, thighs, ass, arms) and focus not only on cardio, through running, but also add in some strength training. I’m not sure how that’ll look yet.
- Ideally, I’ll run four times a week–either Monday through Thursday or Monday through Friday, with Wednesday being a rest day. After running, I plan to stretch and incorporate whatever strength training I’ll add in. I’ll prolly stick with running 30 minutes per day or roughly 2 miles.
- ^^ With this, though, winter is always really hard, with crappy temperatures, bad trail conditions and a different work schedule. So I’ll probably wait to try and implement this until January 15th, when I’m back on my normal work schedule, and then play it day by day until spring comes.
- Food wise, just want to continue using the principles of Naturally Slim to keep myself eating a healthy amount of food, without sacrificing the carbs I love so much. Would really like to increase my water intake and protein consumption, though.
Financial: Learn how to have a healthy relationship with money and build my savings.
- First off, in the first week of January, I’m going to reevaluate my budget, based on my spending last year and also incorporate putting money into savings every month. My savings account will not only serve as a backup nest, but also as my (hopefully) travel fund. The goal is to put in $100 per month into savings, starting in January.
- I want to figure out a way to become less stressed in regards to money. I don’t want to break out into nervous sweats whenever I spend any or constantly feel like I’m behind. Though I know there are some challenges ahead, especially when I go on my own healthcare plan after this year, I am also doing okay and I need to recognize that.
Spiritual: Reconnect with God and grow personally to live more like Jesus.
- This goal I’m actually the most nervous to have, because my spiritual relationship with God is one I don’t mind talking about, but it’s also personal, so writing about it weekly will be a different experience with me. But I’m not as close with God as I feel I used to be and I want to remedy that, through incorporating more prayer and perhaps a devotional or online weekly service.
Carpe Diem: Find a reason to smile every day and something to get excited about weekly.
- This goal, I’m substituting my Relaxation Goal for, and expanding upon it a little bit. I enjoyed tracking how I wanted to relax each week, because it reminded me how important that was to purposefully plan to relax and make time for myself (or family and friends) every week. I want to expand upon it and make it more general; not just relaxation, but general happiness and enjoying every day.
- I’m also hoping, through focusing on this, that I can lessen some things I struggle with, like my anxiety and depression, as well as overthinking everything, getting overly stressed out, confidence issues, self-doubt, jealousy, plus loads of other things I wouldn’t mind improving/erasing/managing.
My Quest for Discovery is focused on a lot of things, as you can see. It’s mostly focused on discovering how I can be the best version of myself and what that woman looks like (as well as putting in the effort becoming her); as well as what stories I can discover and how I can dedicate my life to writing them. I have no idea how this quest will go, but at the moment, I’m feeling excited and invigorated, because instead of feeling like I’m setting up impossible resolutions doomed to fail by February, I know I can do this. I’m proved it before. I can prove it again.
Welcome, friends, to 2018 and my Quest for Discovery. I can’t wait to see what you discover about yourselves, too.