The Road Ahead

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Here we are ~ January, 2017.

This isn’t just any other new year for me either. In a few short weeks I hit the big 5-0 (when did that happen??).

The sudden realization that I’m entering the second half of my life puts an odd urgency to things that wasn’t there before. I want to get things done, things I’ve been putting off. I also want to quit spending time on things that no longer work for me. So, here we go!

My 2017 Plan:

  1. Physical fitness: weight training 4x/week and yoga 1-2x/week.  The people in my family live long. My maternal grandmother just hit 100, her mother was just a few weeks shy of that mark. My paternal grandfather is about 95. If I end up running that long, I want to be sure I’m healthy physically and mentally, so I can enjoy those years to the best of my ability. Two years ago, I put a concerted effort into rediscovering my former athletic self and ended up surpassing my expectations. I love being this fit and I want to keep it up.
  2. Mental Fitness: Take 6 months off from the grind of publishing to flex my creative muscle. I published my first book back in 2011. Beginning in late 2013, I began a regular publishing schedule of about 3 books a year with my 14th book coming out in June 2017. All of my books thus far have been in the same genre. For the past year I’ve been chomping at the bit to try something completely different (cue Monty Python…), to write something way outside of my wheelhouse. To challenge myself and keep that creative spark alive, even if the idea of putting a halt to my publishing schedule and the income that comes with it scares the crap out of me.
  3. Stop working 7 days a week. Aside from writing, I have a typical 9-5 day job. That means, in order to keep up with my publishing schedule, I write from 630 am – 815 am, Monday to Friday, 8 am – noon on Sat & Sun. It’s exhausting and leaves little time for other things I want to pursue. For 2017, I’m cutting back to 5-6 days a week. I’ve lowered my weekly page count target from 35 pages to 25 pages. I should be able to do that in 5 days. That means more time for things I love, and more time with the people I love. Which leads me to my #4…
  4. Spend time doing things you love: knit more and (re)learn how to sew. For the past little while I have wanted to improve my knitting skills and (re)learn how to sew. For instance, I have never knit a sweater. Ever. Knitting for over 40 years, never a sweater. I want to change that. Also, I haven’t touched a sewing machine since junior high Home Ec classes. Those classes did not go well, but I’m determined to redeem myself! I also want to work on a charity knitting project and replenish my Etsy shop while also learning new skills with the needles.
  5. Travel: Book that biking tour of Slovenia, Austria & Italy. My husband and I love to travel. It’s one of our most favourite things and we usually try to do a big trip every two years. In our 9 years together we’ve hit Paris, Prague, Rome and NYC. This year, we have decided to do a 10 day biking tour through Slovenia, Austria and Italy. With the plan to pare down on our expenses, stop frivolous spending and save more, I’m hoping we can increase our trips from every 2 years, to every year.
  6. Embrace the idea of minimalism. Own less. Spend less. Enjoy life more. Embrace the idea that happiness is not found in things, but in experiences. If it doesn’t bring value to my life, I do not need it. Pocket the cash and put it toward something better: paying the mortgage off early, investing in RRSPs, travel, building an emergency fund.

And there you have it. So cheers to 2017!

What about you? What are your plans/goals for 2017?

K.

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