Welcome 2015!

Given that we're already three weeks into the new year and I'm just now getting around to writing my "Happy New Year" post, any resolutions about not procrastinating have already gone out the window. (Thankfully, I didn't actually make any procrastination resolutions or goals, although I probably should have!)

So, it's time to check in on last year's goals, see how I did, and write down my goals for 2015.

One goal that I didn't actually write about last year was something work-related that I was going to try as an experiment. We get a lot of requests for help at events and I was going to try to do more of them myself (in addition to the regular ones that I already do every year) instead of just soliciting volunteers. Well, I did, and it really wore me out. Early in my career I did most outreach events myself for a variety of reasons, but as I've gotten older and the climate has gotten a little friendlier for getting volunteers, I've backed off the number I do either by myself or with other volunteers. Well, by the end of the year, I was totally burned out, so this year I'll go back to doing fewer myself and mostly just stick with the usual events I've been doing. (And it will be easier to do since we had a number of extra events in 2014 that we won't have in 2015.)

Now on to the goals I did write about. The first one I mentioned was to read/watch/listen to all of Shakespeare's plays for the 450th anniversary of his birth. I only made it through one third of the plays and all of the Sonnets (partly thanks to the extra work I was doing, mentioned above), but I've decided to keep going on this one. It actually works out well that 2016 will be the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, so I'll do another third of the plays this year and finish them up next year (along with the other poems besides the sonnets).

Next up was a weight goal, which I didn't meet. I didn't really come close to the number or deadline I was aiming for, but I still ended up weighing less at the end of the year than I did at the start, so ultimately I'm happy with that. I also didn't really make much of a dent in reducing my credit card debt, largely in part to the extra income I get from Google ads on my Tudor history site was all over the place, which makes it really hard to budget. Plus I owed a bunch in taxes, had car repairs, my rent went up by a lot, etc. So that was pretty much just a wash, unfortunately.

For the craft projects, I did surprisingly well given the extra work I was doing. I did manage to meet the goal of framing or finishing 6 projects (I think I actually doubled that!), but I only managed to complete the stitching on 4 projects. I guess we can tell which one actually takes a lot more time! You can see what I did last year over on my needlework blog.

And finally, the book-related goals: I did make my Goodreads 30 book challenge, but I totally bombed the Tudor history book review goal. I started a few, but I didn't finish any of the reviews for books I had already read or finish reading any other books.

Now on to the goals of 2015!

* As mentioned above, I'm going to do another third of Shakespeare's plays this year, and finish them off in 2016.

* I've set my Goodreads book challenge at 35 this year, 5 over last year's goal.

* Continue to lose weight and hit [number redacted] by vacation.

* Actually take a vacation (the last real, honest-to-god, get-on-an-airplane vacation I took was in 2006).

* Watch at least one "new to me" movie every week. I have a whole slew of older movies I've never gotten around to that I need to catch up on.

* Finish 10 video games. I have a huge number of games that have piling up in my Steam library thanks to Humble Bundle sales and it's time to actually play some of them!

* Finish the stitching on 5 projects and frame/finish 5 stitched projects.

* Write 6 book reviews for my Tudor history site (and reviews that cover more than one book still only count as one).

* Finish the year with less revolving debt than I started with.

* Do six 30 day challenges. Right now I'm doing a no-alcohol January - which I often do anyway to give my liver a break after the holidays. :) (By the way, the idea of doing 30 day challenges came from Matt Cutts of Google. I think they are a great idea!) I'll keep track of which ones I end up setting for myself and report back at the start of 2016. I *may* try NaNoWriMo this year as one of them. I've been wanting to do it for years, but it always seems to sneak up on me and I'm not prepared with any good ideas (or the research to do something with a few things I've already dabbled with), but if I can keep it in mind more this year - maybe set a 30 day research challenge? - I might be able to do it.

* Keep going on some near-daily tasks I'm already doing. I use a nifty little app called WonderfulDay that you can set up for keeping track of daily, weekly, etc. tasks. Right now I'm doing daily arm and core exercises and reading a comic book (in an attempt to keep working on the backlog of hundreds of free or cheap comics I've picked up in various promotions over the years). I give myself Wednesday off the exercises since that's the day I often work late at the telescope and is usually already my most active day of the week.

Most of these should be pretty easy to do if I can just keep nagging myself about them. I think some of the future 30 days challenges I've been contemplating might be harder, but we'll see!

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