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Before the year 2020, I had never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions, or maybe I would make them, but like many, I never managed to keep them. In 2020 that changed. I made three resolutions that year: one, to walk my dog every day for 30 minutes; two, to read for 30 minutes a day; and three to do Yoga with Adriene videos on YouTube for ten minutes a day on weekday mornings.

I also started posting my progress toward my goals on Facebook every day as well as a weekly review every Sunday. That year turned into one we would all never forget due to a certain global pandemic, and so, by accident, I had a day-by-day account of that year which I later turned into a book – another New Year’s Resolution.

Something about posting my progress on Facebook helped me accomplish some of my goals, and I’ve made new resolutions and posted about them every year since. I heard a quote by Zig Ziglar. “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” I’ve found, too, that if you aim at something, you might not hit it, or maybe you will, but you’ll always learn new things along the way.

Here are some goals I’ve reached in the last four years of making resolutions.

  1. I’ve read over 20 books every year.
  2. My dog Malibu gets a walk every single day (almost) no matter what.
  3. I lost 10 pounds – and gained it back.
  4. I’ve done Yoga with Adriene videos on weekday mornings for four years.
  5. I wrote a book.
  6. I worked on getting published.
  7. A photographer friend did a photoshoot with me for my author website.
  8. I made an author website and gained some subscribers.
  9. I made author Instagram and Facebook pages and gained some followers.
  10. I started a blog called What I Learned and published it on my website.
  11. I decluttered my house.
  12. I have learned how to cook and bake things I never thought I could by not wasting the cookbooks on my shelf, but instead, making the recipes.
  13. I became a docent at a local mansion in our town in the summer.
  14. I convinced my husband to become a docent at the mansion too, and he loves it.
  15. We’ve gotten my daughter through four 3.5 years of college so far without debt on two teacher salaries.
  16. I learned to knit.
  17. I’ve sent out many queries to literary agents to try to find representation for my books and have received many rejections, but some of them are very nice and come with great advice about my work.
  18. I’ve prepared a children’s book manuscript called Ginger, and I’m ready to start sending out queries.
  19. I’ve caught up on four photo albums that I wanted to get done.
  20. I’ve cut down on gossiping.
  21. Every year some people tell me that my posts have motivated them. So that’s kind of a big deal too.

There have been other successes, but my point is, I probably would never have done most of these things if I had continued to aim at nothing. I would have watched a lot more TV and probably done some more puzzles, but having something to aim for has given me direction and more intentionality with my time.

I write this, not to brag about anything, but more as a reflection at the end of the first month of 2024. Some days I wonder why I put so much into these resolutions I have, and some weeks it feels like I have accomplished nothing. But looking back, there has been progress, and that motivates me to keep trying and to always keep aiming for something.