Pursue

Technically I’ve already written about yearly goals. But this isn’t just about the resolutions and goals I have for this year. It’s about the resolutions and goals I have for my entire life and what I’m doing now to work towards them. It’s about pursuing my dreams and thriving in every moment along the way, hence my word for the year: Pursue.

I tend to over-plan and set too high of expectations for myself, especially in my creative efforts. Considering how I’ve done the last several years in achieving the goals I’ve set, I don’t have a chance of coming close this year.

But I’m doing things differently.

Not only am I setting goals, but I’m also planning everything out in detail—scheduling my writing, editing, posting, and sharing; creating rewards for my accomplishments and punishments for my failures; and finding people to hold me accountable, inspire me, tell me off, and rant with.

If you aren’t already aware, I have five major writing goals for the year:

  1. Post at least one blog a week.
  2. Finish the rough draft of my first novel by the end of June.
  3. Write, edit, and post at least one video a week.
  4. Write at least one poem a week.
  5. Write at least four short stories this year.

I know there will be times I exceed these goals, and I also know there will be times that I fail gloriously. But the point is to keep creating, no matter my mood or lack of belief in myself because these are my dreams. And I will not let myself give up the things I love because of my own self-doubt.

I’m also working towards doing yoga and other forms of exercise more regularly, eating healthier, saving up money (which is difficult when I might not have a job after next week), and taking time to relax. Doing all of this and trying to achieve my creative goals may be awful on occasion, and I’ll definitely want to give up sometimes. But I won’t. I won’t be happy if I do. Goodness, I’ve already fallen a bit behind. Even so, I will not stop trying to accomplish these dreams. I will work to catch up when possible, and I will continue turning to people who can keep me accountable.

I did the cliche thing and started most of my goals at the start of the year, even though doing so is rather arbitrary, because it feels easier and somehow more inspiring. Also, it’s just loads easier to track my progress when I start a goal at the beginning of a year instead of the middle of a random month.

Anyways. Whatever goals you set for yourself at the beginning of 2017, I truly hope that you are able to meet them. In this third week of the year, when motivation and inspiration start to fade and you start thinking about giving up on those goals, know that they and your dreams are attainable. Don’t give up on yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your goals or terrified of what others’ opinion may be, think of how you’ll feel if you give up and then think of how you’ll feel if you push through and achieve those dreams. Because very few things feel as good as meeting goals that you once felt were impossible. And, love, you can do it.

What are some of your goals for the year? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: The Boston Girl

Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl is a wonderful coming of age story about a Jewish girl growing up in Boston at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s told from the perspective of Addie Baum when she is old and telling her life-long tale of adventure, woe, determination, and love.

I was excited to read this, but I honestly didn’t have very high expectations, largely because I didn’t think I would be able to relate to the characters or situations as well as I could with other books. I also haven’t been much in the mood to read lately, so I didn’t want to force myself through another book. Reading the first five pages, I thought I was right and might end up trudging through the story, but once I got used to the writing style and to Addie’s voice, I found it to be easy and enjoyable to read. It’s rather fast paced the entire time, and Addie’s unique thought process and experiences as well as her form of story-telling made it fun and exciting to read.

I actually fell in love with this book and its characters, far more than I could’ve imagined. Addie’s determination to experience the world in a different way and to be educated reminded me of myself more than I would’ve dared possible. As I saw her pursue her education and becoming independent, I saw my own failures and successes. I cried with her, I laughed with her, I feared with her, and I cared with her. The amount of simple and blatant emotion that Diamant was able to pack into Addie’s interview with her granddaughter was overwhelmingly well done; and the creative wording, imagery, and simplicity of Addie’s life and way of talking about her life are beautiful and occasionally comical.

I sincerely didn’t want to put this book down or for it to end. From its terribly sad scenes to possibly the best meet cute in history, I was reliving Addie Baum’s life with her, celebrating new jobs, mourning the loss of loved ones, learning about child laborers, and pondering what it means to be oneself.

One of my favourite (many) favourite lines: “I thought I’d never fall asleep, but I was gone the minute I closed my eyes. I guess falling in love makes you tired. Or maybe it was all that walking.”

Rating: 5/5