2022 Recap & 2023 Goals

I think most people probably hate New Year's Resolutions because it feels like we're setting ourselves up for failure... Me? I love that shit, but I make sure to pick goals that are reasonable and I don't beat myself up for it if I can't reach those goals. They're fun exercises to me, not races I need to win. 

And for as long as I can remember, I've written a journal entry reflecting on the past year's goals and announcing the upcoming year's goals. Are you ready for it? Here we go. 

Let's recap on 2022's Resolutions...

1) Start selling signed paperbacks. Yes, I accomplished this one and with surprising results! I'm actually going to have to include the income from this on my taxes, which, to me, means it was a success. (Thank you to all of the amazing readers who have my signed books on their shelves! It's still crazy to me that you actually want my signed books.)

2) Write a free novella as an incentive to subscribe to my newsletter. Nope. Did not succeed with this one. I'd still like to have a free novella someday, but now is not the time.

3) This next one is two-fold: Publish 8-10 new books this year, but also focus less on quantity, and focus more on quality. Did I publish 8-10 new books in 2022? No. Did I focus less on quantity and more on quality? Hell fucking yes. I published 4 new novels, 1 free novella, 1 cheap 99 cent novella, and one repackaged novel... So 7ish things, not all of which were new or full length. Am I mad at myself? No. Because I am fucking proud of the work I put out there. <3

4) Take social media seriously. Yes, but I can still do more. I'll add to this in the 2023 portion of this post.

5) Don't dye my hair for a whole year. Yep. I got the lovely grays to prove it! But I feel good that I am becoming more comfortable with aging. I want my daughter to be comfortable with it too. It's a small step, but it's still a step. 

6) Eat healthier for my heart. Yes and no. 2023 is year two with the Huel diet, but I'm also back to drinking half and half. :P

Onto 2023 goals... 

1) Walk every weekday for one hour in the fresh air. Looking back, I've had OCD since childhood. One of my obsessions was fitness, and my compulsion was to run or use the elliptical for thirty minutes every day. Every single fucking day. And if I couldn't run or use the elliptical, then I would walk and do twice the required time. If I missed a day or knew that I had to go on vacation where I wouldn't be able to exercise, then I would make up for it... by exercising for up to 6 hours in a day. 

That, my friends, is a compulsion, and it's not healthy. It interfered with my daily life; I just didn't realize it at the time. Now, I've gotten better over the years, thanks to a chill AF husband, therapy, and just...you know, general growth. But I still have this idea in my brain where it's-not-exercise-unless-I'm-sweating and I'm-only-worthy-if-I'm-skinny-AF. Which, nope, neither of which is true. I know that. But my brain still holds onto it like it's the only truth that proves my worth.

Walking helps me find clarity. I can think out my day, ponder on the socratic questioning my therapist puts out there for my thought homework, and I can plan out my books. On top of that, with walking in the fresh air, I'll get that sunshine and vitamin D, etc, which helps with depression and general "wellness."

So... This is both to help with my OCD tendencies and my mental health. If I miss a walk, no big deal. I just don't want to feel like I'm forcing myself to exercise just so I can "feel skinny" and therefore "feel worthy." I want to find joy in exercise again, and I've always loved walking more than running or the elliptical. I want to feel mentally healthy and comfortable with myself, even if I'm not as tiny as I was back in my early twenties. I want to feel mental clarity.

2) Write exactly what I want to write. Last year, I definitely focused on quality, but there are two books (which I shall keep secret) that were incredibly difficult to write because my heart wasn't in them. No matter how hard I tried, the story that wanted to be written wasn't the story I wanted to tell. So it was like forcing myself to sell out just to finish a series, and I hated it.

So this year? If I don't vibe with a story, then I'm going to scrap it and move on. And if I want to write horror erotica, then I'm going to write horror erotica, HEAs be damned. (Don't worry, guys. I'll add a trigger warning if there's no HEA!)

3) Write in my gratitude journal every day. Again, simple, but I've got some added rules. I tried keeping a gratitude journal in 2022, thanks to my brilliant friends, Ashley & Lesli. But I think I made it too complicated for myself... I had to write three things and I had to put reasons. I'd love to get to that point in the future, but for now, I'm just going to write "I am grateful for..." with the date. One thing. Very simple. No reason required. The idea is just to get into the habit of gratitude journaling (and gratitude in general), rather than making it extra meaningful. The meaning will come eventually, but first, I want to build the habit. 

4) Attempt a mini-goal each month. I've got some things I'd like to try, but rather than set them all up for January through December, I'd rather do little projects each month. Most are pretty easy, but whatever. Let's get it out there...

January: No Facebook advertisements... Facebook Ads are my biggest cost, and I think they work, but are they worth the cost? This month, I will focus more on social media, including posting twice a day on TikTok and waking up early to make sure I keep social media a priority. Guys, do you know how fucking frightening it was to turn off my ads this morning? My Crawl ad I've had running for over a year! D: Wish me luck. (Side Note: I can keep the AMS ads up. They only cost me a few bucks each month.)

February: Wear new clothes every day. This just sounds fun. Plus, I have a lot of clothes... I want to get some use out of them. And if I can't stand the thought of wearing that bright pink long sleeved shirt to the grocery store? Then maybe I need to get rid of it. 

March: Do the minimalist closet challenge. See "Project 333 Challenge." It's like the opposite of February's goal. It's supposed to be three months, but for right now, I'm only committing to two. If March goes well, then I'll keep going for months 2 and 3.

April: Take an author writing class on branding and marketing. This side of the business is difficult, but fascinating, and I could always use another class. If I'm paying for a class, then I need to set at least one hour of my day on the writing class, even if that cuts into my daily writing time. 

May: Substitute most desserts for tea or coffee. Most, not all. All would be setting myself up for failure, but most? I can probably do that. Dessert is part of the daily ritual for Mr. Rush and I... And we both know that this is not a great habit, so I'd like to make dessert a treat, and not a daily ritual.

June: Adjust my writing schedule for school breaks. Baby Emma will be on school break, out of preschool and waiting for kindergarten. If she's in summer school, then no change is required, right? But readers tend to have other things to focus on during the summer... like their own kids and grandkids. So, I want to adjust accordingly by focusing on boxsets and/or rebranding covers, low pressure stuff like that.

July: Dictate a first draft of a novel. This is a lofty goal! I admit that. But I'd like to try it. Rumor has it that dictating a first draft is actually much, much quicker than typing by hand. And if I'm walking daily by July, then I'll be able to dictate the first draft while I walk, even if Emma isn't in summer school. (Mr. Rush can watch her for an hour while I walk/write!)

August: Get the recommended hours of sleep. I tend to wake up super early and go to sleep late. I nap occasionally, but I'd rather just get it all done at night. So... I want to try and get the recommended 7 hours of sleep every night for one month. 

September: Take a master class. I love learning. I'd like to take a class on psychology... Do they have master classes in psychology? Again, this will cut into my writing time or into my TV/reading time in the evening, but learning is worth it!

October: Read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I timed this one for the Halloween season. I've seen the movie twice and almost picked up a paperback of it in 2022... But alas, I did not. I'd like to finally read it and see the differences between the movie and the book. 

November: Read more and watch TV/movies less. Again, simple, but not. I love my TV/movie cuddles with Mr. Rush. It's so fun to snuggle and discuss the plots with him. I'm probably going to have to suggest buddy reading with him so that we actually read and don't binge stream a thriller TV series. :P We've buddy read before, so I think it'll be okay. Just gotta remember to do it! :)

December: Wash my face every night. Again, really simple, but something I tend to put off, especially in December. I'm not worried about my skin, but I do want to practice making self care a priority, even if that's just washing my face.

Am I overdoing my 2023 goals? Maybe. But again, I'm not going to beat myself up for it if I don't succeed. This is just for fun.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic 2023!