Happy New Year!

Novel Treks is now two months away from official launch! I wish I could have started earlier, but, again, big changes are happening. At this point 90% of things are finalized and I officially move to Colorado on Valentine’s Day! Once I’m settled in I’ll really be able to hunker down and ensure I am prepared to give you all something that will actually be interesting and worthwhile.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I know I am looking forward to some big changes (#1. Move west!). I used to get caught up in the whole “resolution” business, and, like 98% of everyone else, I gave up on my resolution within a week or two. This year, I’ve decided to only make goals (listed at the bottom of this post). I’ve broken them into various categories and have made them ongoing as well as one-time goals. I am excited to get started! I also purchased Keri Smith’s Imaginary World of ______ which essentially prompts you in creating your own fictional world and boosting creative juices. I’ve never attempted something like this before, but I think I am going to enjoy it. Like everything else in my life right now, I just need to stick to it. I feel I have been jumping around from one thing to another over the past three months without accomplishing anything. Maybe it is because of the move and I don’t want to get “attached” or too deep into things while I have so many other thoughts filling my mind. But no more excuses! It’s time to focus and truly start making the difference I keep telling myself I want to make.

In December a few co-workers and I volunteered at a school here in Chicago for an organization called RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). We read to students (pre-K through 2nd grade) and helped them pick out a book to take home. For many of the students it is the first book in their home. It was a fantastic morning that I wish could have gone on forever. I worked with the pre-K (ages 3-5) and they were such darlings! The excitement in their eyes when they were choosing books (and then showing them off to me) simply made my heart smile. The experience has lead me to already begin the search for places to volunteer in Colorado. I will be a reading tutor with Reading Partners at a local elementary school and I hope to volunteer in the classroom for CPCD (Community Partnership for Child Development). I truly believe that these organizations along with new scenery and adventures will result in a wondrous 2015 and I can’t wait to share these experiences with you!

Without further ado, my 2015 goals:

1. Lifestyle

  • Save for new car down payment
  • Volunteer a minimum of 6 hours per week
  • Meatless Mondays
  • Use Duolingo to practice Spanish every week
  • Significantly reduce, if not eliminate, soda consumption
  • Attend at least one photography workshop/class

2. Travel/Outdoors

  • Learn to ski and/or snowboard
  • Visit the Grand Tetons
  • Visit the Great Sand Dunes
  • See (and photograph) the Milky Way
  • Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
  • Hike at least one 14er
  • See the Grand Canyon

3. Reading/Writing

  • Read Les Miserables — I don’t care if it takes all 365 days. Finish it.
  • “Win” NaNoWriMo (50,000 words)
  • Maintain Novel Treks blog and gain at least 150 followers
  • Read at least 24 books (6 of which must be classics)
  • Maintain book club and add at least 2 new members

4. Food/Entertainment

  • See a concert at Red Rocks
  • Try at least one new, local establishment (bar or restaurant) each month
  • Visit at least 4 Colorado breweries
  • Attend Great American Beer Festival

What are your goals for 2015?