Things to do in the New Year

check boxVary my reading

I read a lot, but I think I’ve fallen into a reading rut. I tend to read blogs, books, and articles that are instructive rather than entertaining. My current wish list of books includes:

I think I need to add some novels or mysteries or historical fiction to this list. Something. (For someone whose tagline is “helping you share your story,” I don’t read a lot of “stories”!) Any recommendations? Please post them in the comments below!

check boxReturn to vegetables

I know, last January I publicized my commitment to a lower-carb lifestyle. For much of the year, I maintained that commitment, but October, November, and December saw me heed the siren song of sugar far too often. The good news is, I don’t really like sugar as much as I used to! The bad news is, it takes far less of the stuff to have adverse effects on me. So I’m eager to get back to a diet that includes more natural nutrients. Like green soup. I’ve been having fun experimenting with recipes in the big book of 500 Low-Carb Recipes I received as a Christmas gift. (And if you have other recipe ideas, please share them in the comments!) But those experiments have reminded me that a lifestyle of healthy eating will force me to…

check boxInvest time intentionally

Frankly, eating healthy requires more time than eating pre-made, conveniently packaged, widely available junk food. And “writing healthy” requires more time than writing junk. And running a healthy business requires an awareness of what activities I’m investing time in and what returns I’m seeing on those investments. This year I want to increase my awareness so I can be more intentional about my investments. I’ve put some repeating events in my calendar that will remind me to devote specific hours to writing, to reading, to exercise, to grocery shopping and menu planning. My hope is that by not spending every waking hour in front of a computer screen, I’ll actually accomplish more with the time I do spend here—whether I’m working on my own projects or other people’s.

Now, the question is…

Can I make these commitments stick?

Any tips?

Melanie Jongsma

7 thoughts on “Things to do in the New Year”

  1. To make a commitment stick, you have to have some means to hold yourself accountable. How will you measure your progress? What will it look like when you are successful or how will you know when you “get there?” Will you create weekly check-ins? (Kind of like the weekly weigh-ins I did with Weight Watchers and continue now on my own.) Or will there be a buddy who gives you the Dr. Phil question periodically – “How’s that working for ya?” But with that question goes a look like a mother would give..:o) Be blessed in your efforts.

    • Those are great encouragements, Ardella, thank you! In fact, partly as a result of your comment, someone sent me an email asking to be Accountability Buddies in 2013. So I think that will be a big help. Plus, you know, the three things listed above are all things I do enjoy doing, so that will help too.

  2. Yes, take a break from all the instructional blogs, etc. I’ve been reading a fun YA series (Divergent). I would also recommend memoirs (love Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies) or a great classic like The Good Earth.

    • Amanda, I can’t take a break from ALL the instructional blogs—that would mean unsubscribing from Word Ninja! That’s no way to start a new year! But Anne Lamott is a good suggestion. And maybe I’ll read The Good Earth instead of Dale Carnegie’s classic—after all, I’m already blessed with an abundance of friends; do I really need to win more? That doesn’t seem right!

  3. Less because of the New Year than the vicissitudes of advancing youth (I am 57) , I am resolved to consolidate my considerbke holdings and say “enough!” This means: ridding myself of unused and unneeded goods, paring down my personal projects to a manageable menu of two or three at most, focusing on caring for my 89 yr old mother. Oh, too, continuing to exert my charms on the lovely Melanie.

    • William, I wish you well in all your endeavors, no matter what the outcome! As for your consolidation resolution, you might be interested in blogs and other writings from people who have reached the same level of vicissitude as yourself and have started various “programs” (for want of a better word) for paring down their lives. “365 Days of Giveaways” is one I’ve heard of; “Throw Away 1 Thing A Day” is another. And there’s a book called “Throw Out 50 Things,” which I’m not going to read because it’s not a story. :)

  4. I also just read this verse from Matthew 26:41, which is good advice for a new year (or any time): “Keep alert and pray— otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing, the body is weak.” (NLT)

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