Every January, people all across the globe make promises to themselves to improve their lives in some way – lose 20 pounds, eat healthier, be happier, accomplish some sort of goal. While not usually associated with religion, historically speaking, new years resolutions do have some connection to ancient religious traditions. Babylonians made promises to their gods to return objects they borrowed and pay their debts. Romans made promises to the god Janus, which is where the month of January gets its name. Since then, the tradition of new years resolutions has become more of a western, secular practice.
Some of the most popular new years resolutions are health related – physical health as well as mental health. Lose weight, eat healthy, start exercising, reduce stress, be happier. Some goals revolve more around improving careers or education. Get a better job, get a raise, earn better grades, spend more time studying. Even other goals are socially oriented. Make more friends, spend more time with family, get married/engaged, go out more.
My goals are none of those things. Well, yes, I have general goals to be healthier and to learn new things, but my new years resolutions for 2014 are focused on this blog, actually. My resolutions are to blog three times a week, set achievable and realistic goals for the blog (i.e. have a post reach 50 views, gain 100 followers), and my biggest goal of this year is to reach 5,000 total views on this blog. I’m currently sitting at 500 views and change and I feel like if I stick to posting regularly, I can absolutely get to 5,000 views in twelve months.
I do have one other goal for the new year that is not related to this blog. I want to write and self-publish a collection of short stories. When I was in high school, I’d write just about every day. Now that I’m through with college (three times) and working in the real world, I find I have to force myself to write pretty much anything – blog posts included.
Making these promises to myself to write three posts a week as well as write enough short stories to create a collection is a way for me to make sure I’m practicing writing. Even if it’s just a post about my new years resolutions, trying to make three posts a week on the blog is helping me create a habit of writing. The blog posts will translate into writing short stories, which by the end of the year, I should have a decent selection to choose from. And from what I understand, self-publishing a book is fairly easy (as opposed to shopping my work from publisher to publisher).
So I’d like to end with a thank you to all those people who’ve read my blog thus far. I hope you continue to read about my life in the coming year, and I hope I’m at least slightly entertaining. And to those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, thank you as well. I hope you stick with me, too. And if you’re reading this months or even years after this post has gone live, thank you for sticking with me. I have (hopefully) come a long way, and I will (hopefully) continue to grow as a writer and a person because of this blog.