Challenging the new year

Inspired by Ramone, I am working toward starting my new year out on the right foot. Though I am currently spending a lot of time analog finishing up projects from this year, I am also looking to the future.


Most people call them “resolutions” but I prefer to challenge myself. There’s less guilt and I am more apt to rise to a challenge than go on a goal diet. I’ve met most of my 2007 challenges head on and have even exceeded a few but, like all of us, there were a few that slipped through due to time, life, and other changing obligations. It’s chaos theory. So the ones I was not able to complete are simply re-evaluated and moved forward; no guilt, no regret, no remorse attached. In short, do the best you can, stay on track as best you can in an ever-evolving life, and let yourself off the hook but keep trying. Everyone fails and we are all in a constant state of flux. Goals you set now may not be valid in six months, in even two weeks from now. Change and the forward momentum of life are an unavoidable constant so don’t bog yourself down with blame, regret, or guilt. Just reevaluate, renew and reset.


We all have lists. Some insanely long, full of baby steps toward larger goals. Some narrowed down to less than 10, all major life changes. What are some of the things on your mind for the new year? What goals do you have for yourself? What are you going to challenge yourself with over the next 12 months? Whether it is trying a new medium, improving your existing skills, or doing things that benefit the rest of your life, take a few minutes to post your list here. I think you will be surprised how many of us share common goals. Feel free to share your whole list if you want! Just remember, do your best but let yourself off the hook if you fall short and keep moving forward. We are ALL our own worst critics so don’t blindside yourself with guilt and slow down your progress!


I don’t think there is room enough here for all the challenges I have set for myself for 2008 so :::takes a deep breath::: in no certain order…

1. Complete my 2006 NaNo novel and get through at least one editing session.

2. Publish three (3) collaborative art books on Lulu; one being for charity.

3. Launch my rubber stamp line in the first quarter of 2008.

4. Make a trip to North Carolina and go mining with my family.

5. Make a trip to Seattle for a reciprocal visit to see a friend.

6. Lose 80 pounds of toxic Lymphatic fluid thus improving my overall health.

7. Improve my schedule for production work for my greeting card line(s).

8. Remember everyone’s birthdays and mail out cards early.

9. Raise $1,000 for EACH charity that Art for Cures benefits this year.

10. Go back to school and work on my BFA in Visual Communications (Digital Design).

11. Complete at least three illustrations for my ex husband’s novel as he works on the 2nd one.

12. Launch my Word Whimsy site and its forums area.

13. Complete the illustrations for two children’s books that I have written.

14. Complete the stories for two (other) children’s books that I have already storyboarded.

15. Launch the full version of Odonatia along with the daily blog from the island.

16. Blog from my main site at least once a week. (you’re here hehe)

17. Complete my main site’s metamorphosis and overhaul my online portfolio.

18. Become as proficient with CSS as I am with HTML; I can write an entire site on paper.

19. Save up and take up violin again; buy my own with all the goodies.

20. Save up and buy a nice digital camera.

21. Save up and upgrade my desktop computer.

22. Become more fluent in Latin.

23. Create and post art tutorial videos online; save up and buy a digital camcorder.

24. Create handmade mini books of haiku and sell them on Etsy.

25. Knit a 2nd set of hand warmers; I gifted the first pair. :)

26. Obtain a 2nd contract to work with the local museum; just got my first last week. :::happy dance:::

27. Read all of the Harry Potter books.

28. Come out with at least one more issue of my zine, The Kraft Paper Muse, that was meant to be quarterly; shooting for publishing two issues this year in March and September.

29. Teach an artist’s workshop.

30. Reorganize my studio.

31. Organize my house without having to use a bulldozer and a flamethrower.

32. Explore 100% of at least one of the Guild Wars expansions.

33. Stop eating refined sugar…oh boy, this is going to be the toughest one. (see no. 6)

34. Stop drinking soda, coffee and no more than one decaf chai a week. (see no. 6)

35. Drink 64 ounces of water per day. (see no. 6)

36. Get back to the point where I can ride my stationary bike every morning. (see no. 6) This will mean wearing the compression bandages 24/7 like I am supposed to. :::depressive sigh:::

37. Get rid of all of my VCR tapes and cassette tapes; make lists of what I want from iTunes and on DVD then donate them all or sell them at the pawn shop and put the money in Ysa’s account.

38. Sort, condense and toss ALL of the boxes in my house so that there are none to transport the next time we move; possibly in November of 2008 if we don’t resign our lease.

39. Become fluent in Spanish, again. I took 8 years college-equivalent, aced it all, and don’t remember a darn thing. I can practice with friends and especially at home because everyone else here wants to learn too.

40. Get my daughter and I more involved with the local homeschooler co-op.

41. Start sewing again on a regular basis and make at least one crafty, sewy thing a month.

42. Make and use Morsbags [ pod: Art for Cures ] for grocery shopping and other things I would normally use plastic bags for. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Stop by, sign up, and support Mother Earth. I will be making some and selling them for postage cost only in the Art for Cures Etsy shop at some point.

43. Write something daily; haiku, poetry, journal entry, blog entry, something. Email doesn’t count. Ideally, write 500 words a day on my 2006 NaNo novel but I’ll take this one baby step at a time.

44. Be artful daily; doodle, sketch, art journal, photograph something, sew, knit, anything creative and handmade no matter how small it may be.

45. Participate in ScriptFrenzy 2008 and win. I made some notes on an idea I had for last year’s ScriptFrenzy but didn’t have the time to follow through on it. I would like to this year.

46. Participate in NaNoWriMo 2008 and win. The first year I played, 2006, was a blast. I wrote 37,000+ words on a novel I’d been wanting to write for a long time. I didn’t win by their standards, but did by mine, and it was good to get the story out. I have written more since then and am well up over 80k now. I did a little experiment this past NaNo and wrote another 10k+ but my life was too busy to follow through on it. I am scheduling the month of November off this coming year if I am at a point to do so. With any luck, I will be on a book tour having finished my first one. :)

47. Sell one design on Threadless and put the money to good use; half for my daughter’s savings account and half for something I could use in my studio like a binding machine, letterpress or graphics tablet.

48. Become more self-sufficient despite health issues.

49. Accomplish at least half of the things on this list (50/100) and do not stress out if I don’t finish all of them, just celebrate the ones I did and move on.

50. Add another 50 things I would like to accomplish to this list and make it a full 100…

51. Meet with my writer’s group locally at least once a month.

52. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Everything.

Reduce by using Morsbags (see no. 42) instead of plastic bags at the grocery store.

Reuse coffee grounds in the garden.

Recycle by making old clothes into new things like bags or comfy pillow cases. Take small plastic grocery bags back to the grocery store to their recycling collection bin.

Whatever can’t be made into something else or reused will be donated to the local Humane Society thrift store.


…know there are a TON of other little goals I have, some are baby steps for the larger ones, but I will leave it at this for now. I will post more if I think of them.

Brightest blessings to everyone for a fabulous new year to come. May you all have great successes, may your hands keep moving toward your goals, may your muses work overtime and your pens keep up, and may your internal editors shut up when you need them to the most! Wishing you all the happiest and most bountiful of new years!

Ria :)
aka Renmeleon

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