January 7   New Years Resolutions

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I have many blog posts to make and I’m sure they will tumble out over the next week or so. I’ve only got a couple of days left in Paris and my thoughts have been turning to the serious business of 2013. There is much to do. There is much I would like to do. And there is much I learned from 2012 that I would like to implement in 2013. The most important of which is happiness. 2012 was one of the best years of my life. So much good happened to me in it and I want to clutch onto every last strand of it and bring it with me.

So here are my resolutions and/or goals for 2013. And how I think I am going to ensure I achieve them.

1. The most important one: learn to focus on the positive and not the negative.

Something that was really highlighted for me in 2012 was that I will always mull over the negative – the one bad review against 23 good ones and an award win, the two people who don’t like me, the three people who can’t make an event etc etc. And there were some really really ridiculous moments last year that worked to slap me awake to my thought processes. One of those was the overwhelming attendance at the TPP Hour at Natcon. I remember standing on a chair about to speak and looking round the room and seeing so many familiar and smiling faces. I had a very similar moment when I was standing in front of everyone at our wedding ceremony, I was terrified in the moment and then looked up and around, to so many familiar and smiling faces.

This year, I want to consciously focus on the positive of situations, friends and events. I want to spend the year reprogramming the way I default react to things. I’m going to let the evidence speak for itself and I’m going to learn to stop nitpicking successes into failures.

2. Lose 5 to 8 kg.

This one is here and written this way because it’s part of something from last year. I could rewrite it as “become fit” or “become healthy” or whatever and elsewhere, these goals are broken down and itemised that way. But when I come back at the end of the year, how do you tick that off? Last year I lost 14kg. I did that. And I did it through the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program. I’m signed up for it again and will probably (finances allowing) do it for the whole of 2013 as well. In this program I am learning so much about menu planning, balanced eating, healthy eating, exercising (though this one I did not do that great), goal setting, consistency and a little bit of cooking. In the coming year, I want to learn how to carry on a healthy lifestyle beyond the program so that in 2014, I can do it on my own.

According to the BMI chart, I actually need to lose something like 14kg again to be in the “healthy weight” bracket. I dunno about that so I’m setting myself a more conservative number and then I’m going to reassess. In any case, I want to aim for a goal weight and then maintain it in 2013 and beyond.

3. Develop daily routines (for morning and for night)

I’m unbelievably crap at doing something daily (see points made above). I’m crap at taking medication every day, or following a skin care routine or exercising or whatever. (and yet, by the way, I am excellent at falling into bad for you daily routines, like the 4 years I ate a huge bowl of cookies and cream icecream plus milo right before bed, or the caffeine habit I just kicked, again). But apparently, being “successful” involves being consistent and having routines and training yourself to expect things. Importantly, for example, to beat insomnia, a shut down ritual in the lead up to bed is recommended – like you do with kids – and doesn’t include tv or the laptop etc. And “apparently” you can find more inner peace and balance if you don’t wake up and immediately check email, twitter and chug down your first coffee. I dunno. I kinda like doing all those things but I’m also coming over a pretty full on and stressful five years stint and I’m thinking a bit more zen, chamomile tea, yoga and contemplation does kinda sounds … well … nice. Plus, stress stifles creativity. So.

I’m yet to actually map out what these routines will be or involve and also how I will get into the habit but hey … 51 weeks of the year still left, I’ll get there.

4. Commence PhD

This one is its own one cause it involves resigning, which is going to be sad and a bit upsetting, even though my boss knows it’s coming etc. It also flows into number 5 and if I was a better list writer, I bet I could have collated these to optimise …. blah blah blah

5. Be regimented / in a routine in studying from home

Did I mention that I get to do my PhD from home yet? I spent a lot of 2012 thinking that all I wanted to do was just stay at home and work on TPP and now I get to do that. But. Here are the two buts:

1. TPP has never been a regimented, time blocked activity. I mastered the art of that story – you know the one about filling the jar with rocks and then gravel and then sand and then water – I filled in every and any free moment with TPP, if I had a moment, I’d be doing something for TPP in it. That’s a really really really hard habit to break. I told myself NO TPP on my honeymoon and well, I *mostly* managed that? But you see the problem. It’s going to be really hard to sit down and start and then end at the end of the day. I can already find myself saying, yes well but 7.5 hours a day? That’s not really enough time to get it all done. I want to make sure that I fill the time that I will find myself having with all the things that I gave up over the last few years – some of my hobbies got neglected, hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, seeing my family etc etc.

2. This is not my first ride round the carousel. I already was accepted into a postgrad program and lived that dream. I already know how hard it is, how much work there is and how much it crushes your soul. And I know how to not finish. Been there and done that one. I also know that the very successful students in the other program I was in were so because they treated it like a day job. They showed up at nine, worked til their half hour lunch break, and then worked again til five. When they went home. And they did this every single day. They were not distracted by Buffy or tim tam morning teas or crushes or fanfic or lj etc. Thus, this resolution.

And when this one kicks in, I’m going to be adding exercising to my morning routine, as in the whole eat the frog first thing (do the worst thing on your to do list for the day first and it’s all uphill from there).

6. Get back into running

This one should be taken care of/executing numbers 2, 3 and 5 above.

7. Publish at least most of the remaining Twelve Planets volumes.

I really had aimed to wrap this up in 2013. And I am still working on that happening – if I can Make It So, I will! But life gets in the way and some things can’t be helped. And personally, I prefer a great book over meeting a deadline. But Asymmetry will be out very soon and volume 9 is not far off after that.

8. Publish two novels and an anthology.

What it says on the label. More on than anthology soon.

9. Apply for every arts grant I am eligible for.

This one is such a bane in my side but this year, I am determined! It’s been a very long (two years so far) process to sort out paperwork, and company structures and we still have to get audited etc, so lots still to do. But, what it says.

10. Through Splintered Walls art project.

This one has been in the works ever since we discovered the printing error. Kaaron, Narrelle and I were standing in the dealers room at Natcon pouring over the books, the covers looked so gorgeous and there was this heartbreaking error that we couldn’t fix or take back or in any way save that print run. I had confirmed it was not an error on our part so I knew the printer would fix it (and then did, within 3 days) and we did our best to retrieve every copy we could for replacement. But as we stood there looking at these books, as an environmentalist, I just couldn’t bring myself to pulp them; for all that paper to have been wasted. And Narrelle said – turn it into an art project! And there we were, the three of us in 0 to 3 secs, taken from heartbroken, crushed and depressed to excited, inspired and buzzing! We worked on the idea, bounced ideas off each other and eventually approached Lee at the City of Rockingham, which is where I live and which has a pretty cool culture and arts program (and coordinator!), and he also had some cool ideas. And the first workshop to learn paper arts kicks off in February. The project is away! And I can’t wait to see what it produces.

11. Grow TPP by 20%.

This is pretty much the annual goal for TPP. But as I’m writing this, I’ve realised that not only is that a sales goal, I think it might also be a great wider goal. Over the last few years, TPP has grown in people working behind the scenes as well as in the writers and artists we work with and the projects we take on. I think I’m going to look at this one as more inclusive than just sales. I quite like that!

12. Win Last Short Story 2013.

Okay so now I might just have let my fellow competitors know my intents. But there they are!

13. Read 20 books for fun.

Yeah. Take that! Apparently I am to have more time this year! Woot!

And I’m gonna throw in here signing up for the AWW 2013 challenge but I’ll figure out those details later.

14. Blog every day.

Yes. Apparently it’s a thing. I think I’ll also include in this – do social media better. And something about the podcasts. (You know I’m never gonna come back and refine this one, right? See this is how it happens, or doesn’t …)

15. Tidy/settle into the house

It’s a work in progress but I’d like to find it mostly liveable and comfy by the end of the year. It’s going to involve culling books and craft projects left by the wayside and clothes I no longer wear and all that crap I pack and schlepp from house to house when I move.

16. Start greening the backyard.

It’s basically a barren wasteland of weeds. Sometimes you can see the puppy sitting and observing it as though he is waiting for the tumbleweed to roll on by. I took my dad’s advice last year and started small, on something that I could enjoy and maintain aka the small patio out the back door. I’ve managed to mostly keep alive my mini lemon, lime and apple trees though I fear they might not have survived the heat wave we missed over Christmas and still ongoing. Other than that, I don’t even think I managed to clear and tidy the 2 m by 2 m patio we have there. The whole thing needs reticulation which a) is expensive and b) not environmentally friendly. And so I am back at this standoff. I’d like to think that if I was going to be home all day every day, I might remember to hand water a plant or two. And I’d really really like to start a veggie patch. Plus plants/gardens around the home lower the temperature of your house …

17. Cook more.

(or at all)

18. Reduce my yarn stash.

This one I have already made instantly harder. I might have had a weak moment and sympathy for a soon to be crash strapped future me. And I fell and signed up for 1, just 1, sock club for 2013.

I’m sure I can work this out. For the last week, I’ve been wracking my brains trying to figure out a complex rule for how I can make this one work. I’ll get there. Just give me a couple more days.

18i Create my own sock club of the month

This one is stolen from the Yarn Harlot who did this one year – she went into her stash of yarn and patterns and made up kits and threw them in a cupboard and took one out each month to complete. I want to do that. I need to take stock of the stash and then be honest about what I like and what I think someone else might like should a knitted item in that colourway be gifted to them. And then … get started. Direction. That’s all I need. And a plan.

18ii Knit a jumper

I loved the one I finished for myself last year. My very first adult sized garment. I got over the expense of the whole 8 skeins or whatever in the same colour and thoroughly enjoyed the working on a big project. So I want to do another one. And I also have my eye on something like the beige cardigan/wrap that Brenda wears on The Closer (with the cables?)

However. I have a shiny new husband. And that means … no more boyfriend curse!!! I can knit C a jumper!!! A manly one. I’m going to look into that.

18iii Challenge myself, knittingwise

This comes back to the knitting before you die book I bought last year that kind of pointed out to me, I’d fallen into a knitting rut. And also, if I’ve never tried a bunch of things, I can’t really consider my skill levels to be advanced. I’ve been consciously challenging myself since and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve just knit two things that were new or used new yarns on my holiday and I realised, when I thought about it, that all the yarn I’d bought in the second half of 2012 was for a specific project AND got used. Which had me thinking and creating number 18 on this list because I think maybe, my stash is holding me back (plus serious lack of time) … it’s a thought in progress. More on that, end of 2013.

19. Reduce my fabric stash.

For this one, I have started a couple of new projects that I think might use some of my stash for. I’m also going to do inventory of my works in progress and maybe work on starting some of the projects I stashed away. There is so much that is exciting and interesting in that cupboard, if I braved opening it, and made some kind of spreadsheet or something. Also if I had more time. And that one I think I have (can you tell I recently worked out why I thought I’d lost all my crafting mojo? and got excited to find out I really just had almost no free downtime!)

20. Learn to use a sewing machine.

I have a very old Singer that was gifted to me. And I think it works – it was serviced etc. And if I could use a sewing machine, then I could not have to quilt my quilts by hand. I don’t think I really enjoy hand quilting and I think it gets in the way of finishing projects. I’d like to have a bunch of finished quilts at the end of the year and not just a bunch of finished quilt tops. I’m thinking of dragging my mum along to a course, we’ve talked about it before and I think this is the year we should do this.

21. Reduce To Be Read Pile.

Stashes. They are no good for you. This is one of the lessons of 2012 I have learned. And I am still trying to coax myself to not be such a squirrel with the storing of nuts for the winter. They just stare at you and make you feel bad!

This can be done in any way I like – culling, skim reading, returning to lender, sending straight to deep shelving cause I’m not really gonna read it, or reading it. Might be for fun and fulfill number 13. Might be for the PhD. We shall see.

22. Spend more time with those I love.

I want to entertain more. I want to visit people more. I want to be more present.

23. Get properly in the GTD program.

C says it can take 3 to 6 months to be properly with the program. I kinda didn’t get fully set up in 2012 cause … life … But GTD saved me in the second half of the year. My wedding planning would have been far more stressful without it and no way I could have still worked full time, done TPP and a bunch of other commitments without a meldown. (There was no meltdown). So I’m going to get back to finishing reading this book and implementing because, it’s awesome. By end of 2013, I want to live a zero inbox both electronically and paperwork and in my house.






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  • By Tansy Rayner Roberts on 7 January 2013 at 5:02 am

    My friend’s mother-in-law has this great computer program where you photograph/scan your fabrics so your stash is IN THE COMPUTER and then you can plan out your quilting projects, patterns etc. and click and drag the fabric pattern into the patterns to see what the final quilt looks like.


    I think you’re right that stash is bad for us. My reading plan for the year is to work hard to read most of the books I buy this year – and conversely to only buy books I think I will read straight away, not just the ones I WANT to read.

    Maybe you need some sort of reward system like – you’re not allowed to buy any fabric/yarn in a month unless you have done that month’s sock? The nice thing about that is that the REWARD might be getting to buy something pretty, but the NOT-REWARD for failing is to not increase your stash further. So a win-win situation.

    xxx Can’t believe you’re almost done in Paris already. It felt like you were going away for a million years. Hope it has been unforgettable.

  • By AlisaK on 7 January 2013 at 5:11 am

    I’ll definitely look into a computer program – sounds cool, though I always feel weird about mixing technology with craft (dunno why).

    Why I married the right man – when I said that I wanted to reduce my stash but that I was sad cause that meant I couldn’t buy anything else this year at all, his reply was – well, that’s one way to reduce the stash, the other is to not increase it (by using what you buy …).

    It really was a great feeling to realise I had actually completed the projects for all the yarn I bought this year (second half of anyway), and I’m definitely wondering what that might feel like if you did it with books too. The pressure of having to read more and faster is removed when you only buy what you think you will read and in the time you have available.

    I might try keeping a someday/maybe wish list rather than buying what I think I WANT to read (which is often really really different to what I end up reading).

    I suspect for me, the huge reduction in my income is going to take care of the stash building all on its own. I’m trying to turn that into a positive by “shopping” in my own stash instead. See how I go by the end of the year …

    I know! It does feel though that we have been in Paris for forever, which is really nice, considering the wedding felt like a surreal blur of blur. Home hideously soon.


  • By Ju on 13 January 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Maybe I have in part been waiting to do my theme wrap up post from 2012 till I read this (and yes I saved up your posts to read so it was almost like having coffee with you). I might just keep this tab open and use it to fuel that wrap up I’ve been sneaking up on, and my 2013 theme post which to write it requires that I do the thing I’ll be focusing on/enquiring about.

    *so much love*

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