The 2014 Directive: January

Happy 2014!! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. What did you do to celebrate?

I stayed in for the night. I wanted some quiet time after my busy week last week so I spent the night watching movies with my niece and nephew, eating homemade pizza, creating an inspiration board for the novel I’ll start this month and slathering my face with mud for a little pamper session. Little One attempted to investigate the mud mask over and over and over again. It was the most animated she was towards the end of the night when I was trying to get a last picture of 2013, but I wasn’t able to snap one as I worked to fend her off, so the pictures that I do have are all of her snoozing. It was a wonderful night!

I guess this is the point at which I should share my New Year Resolutions… except that I don’t really do those. I used to set resolutions, but for the last few years I have switched to ideas of things that I would like to accomplish. These ideas aren’t set in stone, though, as long as I’m productive. I have to admit that in 2013 I wasn’t as productive as I had intended to be. I was hit with a lot of writing insecurities that I worked through and spent the year exploring the ideas that I have for stories. But I think that in the end, what I went through in 2013 creatively was good. I have a strong sense of where I’d like to go with my writing and what I’d like to do. And now, after struggling with writing-related insecurities throughout most of the year, I have more confidence as a writer. I’ve been reading one of the novels that I have written and I’m actually enjoying it. I have never enjoyed reading my own work so that means a lot to me.

When I think of 2014 one word comes to mind: create. I expect this to be an incredibly productive year for me with writing and art and I’m looking forward to it!

Which brings me to how I’ll be making goals and plans for myself throughout the month. I’ll continue with Weekly Wishes, but I’ll be adding The 2014 Directive into the mix. The 2014 Directive is a monthly link-up hosted by doxie-loving Jessica at Kate and Trudy. Participants make monthly goals that can be measured and are attainable. She even has a Participant Planner to help set directives! I’m really excited to participate and have been so anxious to write this post since I first heard about it.

I don’t think that it’ll come as a surprise that I have actually set two directives for myself. I was trying to choose between them, but I want to start the year off strong with both of them, as I do think that helps set the direction for the rest of the year.

1. Workout 4x a week. I count Monday through Sunday as the week (instead of Sunday through Saturday) because that’s how it’s laid out in my planner and one workout will consist of 40 – 60 minutes of exercise. I will track what the workout is, the amount of time and the calorie burn (using a HRM watch) in my planner. I fell out of my workout schedule in December and would like to jump right back into it in January and make it a priority in my life again. Through my experience with the 30 Day Shred I know that it takes me about a month to make a habit, so I know that after a month of making workouts a priority it should be something that comes naturally to me again.

2. Write 30,000 words in January. Like I said, I expect 2014 to be a productive year creatively and I want to start the year off strong by writing 30,000 words of the novel that I’ll be working on this month. 30,000 words breaks down to 7,500 words a week and I’ll need to be sure that I’m hitting my weekly goal in order to make this manageable. I’ll be able to track my word count progress through the word count tracker on Scrivener, but I’ll also create a word count tracker to put on my bedroom door that I’ll fill in as I reach 5,000 word marks. This way, my progress will be one of the first things that I see every day and will keep it fresh in my mind. I should have that up by the end of the weekend.

Those are my January directives. If you’d like to participate you can link up with Jessica and see what everyone else is planning for the month.

I told Jessica on Instagram that I’d give the recipe of the smoothie in the picture above, so here it is.

1 c almond milk
Part of an English cucumber
1 banana
1 orange
Big handful spinach
Big handful arugula and spinach mix

And this will make about two big servings. I take one serving in a 16 ounce mason jar to work every day.

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