New Year, New Goals

Hello. It’s 2014 now. I can’t believe it, but it’s really here. 2013 was a great year, but as my wife reminded me, it had its tough times. That’s OK, because I remember the good times and the many blessings we had in 2013. I expect 2014 will be better.

With the new year comes new goals. I am not one to set New Year’s Resolutions, because I don’t believe they work. Plus, why should we wait for the turn of the calendar year to make real changes? But nevertheless, I have made a few goals that I want to meet this year. Let’s walk through them one by one, shall we?

  1. Write for at least 30 minutes each day. This is in keeping with the daily writing habit that I began last year. I want to keep it up, but change it slightly. I think last year, I said I would write for an hour every day. But I’ve decided to reduce that to 30 minutes every workday. It’s more manageable, and I still think it will be a huge amount of writing.
  2. Get out and enjoy nature more. One of the main reasons my wife and I wanted to be able to stay in Knoxville was because of the beautiful scenery around here. We’re within view of the Great Smokey Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains, and on a clear day, it’s just breathtaking. I want to appreciate it more and get out in it more. But we’ll have to wait until it warms up a bit; it’s 20 here degrees today.
  3. Eat more consistently. I am not saying eat healthier or get more exercise, because I am not interested in either of those. What I want to work on it eating more consistently. What do I mean? I mean eating Primal at least 80% of the time. That leaves me some wiggle room to eat some ice cream, or some french fries, or some cake (gluten free, of course) every now and then. What I want to stop is eating that stuff almost every day. I can’t make any progress on my health if I’m eating crap too often.
  4. Make considerable headway on our HELOC. I hope to be able to pay off at least $15,000 on the HELOC, but $20,000 would be even better. The sooner we can pay off this house, the sooner we can buy a new one in Fountain City. That is our hope. Fountain City is a nice little community north of Knoxville filled with 1920s – 50s homes. The bus line that I need and the one my wife needs both cross there, so it’s a perfect location.
  5. Get an article submitted to a journal for publishing. This is my one professional goal that is spilling over into this blog. I have other professional goals, but this one is the most important to me. My goal is to be a prolific writer, and this 30-minute per day writing habit is going to help me reach it. But I want to have one article at least submitted, preferably published by December 31, 2014. I am certain that it is possible. I am already working on 3 projects that could end up as published articles. One is the agricultural data project, one is the data management workshop assessments with Virginia Tech, and the other is the project I hope to be able to build on at the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, which is assessing the research data management situation at UT and getting those skills integrated better.

So there you go. Five new goals for a new year. I do not have to be 100% consistent on the writing or the eating clean, but I do have to make at least an 80% effort. The 80/20 rule applies here, as it does in most areas of life, in my opinion. Shooting for 100% effort is setting yourself up for failure right off the bat, because very few people can keep doing something every day for a whole year.

At this point, my daily writing goal will not have many scholarly things to write about, but that will change as time goes on. Until then, it will contain useful ramblings (is there a such thing?) and other musings and reflections. When I look back at the end of 2014, I hope to see these five goals completed (at least 80% of the time), and myself well on my way to being a highly published author in the field of library and information science. Here’s to a great 2014!

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