2013: Looking ahead

Jan 04

I don’t make resolutions.

I’ve always found many New Year’s resolutions are made in a drunken stupor or something along those lines. Maybe it’s something one has planned to set as a resolution, but they all seem to be the same thing, anyway.

Over the years, I’ve tried to do things like resolutions. More time at the gym. Eat better. Do this. Do that. Turns out it’s just like most people — it never happens.

Each year, I try and make goals, however.

In my eyes, the difference is with goals, you have something to aim for. With resolutions, it’s a lifestyle change almost.

I also try and keep most of my goals somewhat realistic. I won’t say I will drop 100 pounds in 2013. Would I love to drop a whole heap of weight? Sure. But knowing how much I lost in 2012 (about 20 pounds) and how my pants no longer fit (which is a good thing), I try and keep goals a little more on the realistic side.

For example, I would never say I am going to try and go to the gym 4-5 times per week as I know, come April or May, I’d just stop or really slow down.

So, without further delay, I give to you my top-five goals for 2013. Hopefully, they’ll all be met.

1. A job

Yes, this is goal No. 1 in every way shape or form. Come this February, it will be two years I’ve been without a job. And if I’ve reached the end of my unemployment benefits, I’m going to be tapping into the final funds as I refer to them — retirement, small savings etc. It’s what I have to do to survive. Talk about living close to the chest — it will be what I have to do.

I continue to send applications out at a pretty quick pace. Some require some in-depth stuff, others are filling out an online form and attaching a resume. Either way, I need a job. I realize many Americans — and people throughout the world — are in the same situation. So hopefully I can find something soon.

 2. Complete the HooHaa 52

Photo challenges are a lot of fun. However, last year was not good for me completing these challenges. I failed at both the second go of the HooHaa 52 and my second attempt at a 365 (well, 366 last year) project.

This year, I’m being a little different — I am only doing the HooHaa 52. In that group, there’s a new theme each week. I think I can handle that. Even if I take on other challenges — blogging, reading etc., a one photo-per-week challenge should not be too difficult.

I look forward to looking back on this challenge to see a year in photos.

3. Read more (25 or more books)

In 2012, I got away from reading books. That’s too bad, too, as I really enjoy it. Especially with the Kindle and how easy it is. Sometimes, I just don’t want to sit down and read. Other times, I am just too lazy to do so.

So, I’ve jumped into a reading challenge (as some of you may have noticed in yesterday’s post) and I’m going to push myself to read at least 25 books this year. Reality is, I should be able to average about a book every week or week and a half, so I’d like to think I could get 40 in. That being said, 25 is a realistic goal. I’ve also joined a few sites where books are given to bloggers to review. I like that as it will not only help me fulfill my reading goal, but it will also allow me to have things to write about on the blog. I like writing book reviews, so having 25-40 days worth of posts based on that wouldn’t upset me one bit.

4. Transform my blog

This goal has more than one part, hence why I’ll go with the generic “transform” in the goal title.

Over the next year, I’d like to transform the blog to have a little bit of what I’ve wanted for a long time. So, to do this, I need to do the following:

  • Have a full re-design of the blog with a custom theme (I know who I want to do it, once I can afford it)
  • Blog at least 10 in-depth pieces
  • Continue Snapshot Saturday and Soundless Sunday
  • Have at least one Foto Friday per month
  • Find some other fun things to gain readers/networking (food things, games, fun stuff)
  • Try and post at least 25 times per month, at a minimum

This won’t all be easy. But, this blog is near and dear to me. I’ve been blogging some version of A ‘lil HooHaa since June 2005 and I want to see it continue for as long as I can.

4A. Visit more blogs

I put this as a 4A because it’s kind of part of transforming my blog.

If I want to get more readers and network with other bloggers, I need to make it so I visit and read more. Comment more. See what others are doing. There are some fantastic bloggers out there and I’d like to read them more. Therefore, I need to make some time to read more of them. In time, once I fulfill Goal 1, I hope to get myself some sort of a tablet — such as an iPad. Once I do that,  I think surfing for other blogs will be easier as I’ll be more apt to do it when lounging.

Still, before that happens, I need to do some things to get myself into the habit. I think I need to clear my Google Reader and start from scratch, using that as my homepage and trying to keep tabs on blogs a lot more.

5. Be happy

I know, I know, this seems like a cop-out goal. I assure you, it’s not.

The past two years have been two of the hardest I’ve ever had. During the time of being unemployed, I’ve watched a lot of things happen. Friends have become overly successful, have families and such. Other people in my industry keep going up. All the while, I apply for jobs and continually get looked over.

It sucks.

I’m happy as hell for friends and family doing well, but it’s also hard because I feel 20 steps behind. I look at the future, too, wondering what it will hold. The majority of the people I know or hang out with have never been through this. And I appreciate all the kind words and deeds they have given, but it’s still hard.

I haven’t been happy. I try and put on a good face. I can enjoy certain things. But in the overall scheme, I’m not happy. So I need to find personal happiness. I know what I need to do that, and it starts with Goal 1. That starts the healing process, per say. As that happens, other things start to turn around and, in time, I hope the happiness will follow and I’ll be able to really start enjoying life once again.

In the end, these goals are ones I think I can conquer in 2013. I hope, anyway. Though No. 1 is the most important at this time, the one I truly want to accomplish is No. 5. If that happens, everything else will hopefully fall into place.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog@gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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