Hello everyone! As per usual, I spend the last part of December and first weeks of January to think about what I want to achieve in the new year and last week I finalized my goals for 2023 and in this blog I’m going to share each and every one of them with you. Bren said it’s quite an ambitious list. I agree, but I have good hopes for 2023 and expect this year to be an awesome one, full of new developments, learning new skills and finally writing a new book! As per usual, I have written down ten goals for this year and expect to be able to meet them all. The Green Dream Shop and blog is one of our main focuses this year, with Bren and me taking our dream to a new stage. But that’s enough waffling, let’s dive into my annual goals for 2023!
01. Plotting and writing the first Kevar novel, byDecember 2023
The idea for my Kevar novels existed ever since I finished writing The Shaedon Resurgence trilogy. It’s going to be a series of five books in total, where I base the protagonists on our own cats. Each book will focus on one of them and their history, but the story in the present will be the common thread that connects them all. The Kevar are bipedal, feline humanoids originally featured in my trilogy. This story is a prequel of sorts, which takes place hundreds of years before the trilogy, before the Kevar were capable of space travel. This series will focus on a small band of outcasts who will change the course of history for the Kevar forever. Under the guidance of Elder Calico they must attempt to stop a conflict from escalating into a full scale war and discover a new world that will usher in a new, spiritual beginning for the Kevar.
I’ve been working on and off on the first novel for quite some time now. The first novel focuses on the character that is based on our beloved cat Bobbie, who we sadly lost last year. Her character is named Bo Damos and the story starts with her waking up in the snow, next to two brutally murdered Kevar, without any knowledge of who she is, or why she’s there. I’ve written a few chapters so far and plotted ahead for quite a few more. This year I want to finish the manuscript and make a start with the translation to Dutch, as my intention is to get this book published in two languages! But first things first, I will require a finished manuscript and that will be my main focus this year!
02. Weigh 70 kilos and get in better shape, by June 2023
Last year I took exercising to a regular level again and got into much better shape than I was in previous years. Having said that, there is definitely still room for improvement. You’ll probably recognize this: During the weekdays you’re perfectly capable of being strict with yourself, but every weekend you allow yourself to snack a bit more than usual. Well, I definitely have to be more strict overall if I want to reach that 70 kilos boundary. I’ll be at the gym at least five times a week with my new schedule, but I definitely have to be more strict with myself. If I keep that up, I should be on target in the first half of this year!
03. Write at least one blog per week for TheGreenDream.blog, by December 2023
Writing one blog a week isn’t much, but it’s more of a minimum that I want to publish one every week. I will take this goal as an “on average” basis, so that means writing at least 52 blogs this year. I can’t say now that I’ll be capable of writing a blog every week, because there might be some weeks where this is just not possible. Writing 52 blogs should be easy peasy, right? 😉
04. Post at least three posts on The Green Dream Blog Instagram page every week, by December 2023
Bren and I really want to increase the activities of The Green Dream and the blog is an integral part of our business plan. This also means we’ll have to increase our presence on Instagram with the blog page. That’s why I want to increase my activity there as well and post at least three items on Instagram every week. I’m still working out a strategy for our posts there, but since I’m writing blogs I can share them there too, but I intend to write miniblogs about various subjects too and then there’s plenty of subjects that keep Bren and me busy we can post things about. Besides all that, there’s plenty of “behind the scenes” stuff we can share as well, so I’m confident three posts is easy to achieve.
05. Read 40 books, by December 2023
Last year was an absolute low when it came to reading books. This year I intend to correct that error and read more. I really love reading and the more I read, the better and faster I read, so it’s something I need to “train” in order to make sure I keep enjoying it. My intention is to stop anything related to screens after 22:00 during weekdays and start closing my day by reading a book and journaling before heading off to bed. I can really tell the difference in the quality of my sleep when I stop using screens after 22:00.
Forty books isn’t that much, especially if you combine reading with listening to audiobooks. The latter is something I do during my workout in the gym in the early morning and during the daily commute back home. It’s probably one of the best things to do during a boring commute anyway. Driving and learning something new, is a perfect combination in my opinion.
06. Reinstate my morning routine with meditation, exercise and journaling, by December 2023
Years ago, my sister introduced me to the Miracle Morning method to start your day. According to the author it would lead to enormous success and highly successful and rich people practised it too. I found the book to be rather lacking and all of its content could be condensed to two pages of useful information. The rest of the book seemed to be all about testimonials and the author’s success story, which got old really fast. He made it seem like his method was the best thing after the invention of sliced bread. I did, however, try this method for some time and found some benefits from it.
As time passed, however, I decided to adapt the method to one that suited my personal needs much better. I do believe that a steady morning routine is important and it’s much better to take some time for yourself in the morning, rather than rushing off to work and heading back home feeling drained and low on energy. I’m relatively happy with my morning routine, but meditation is a thing that’s been lacking and that is something I really want to give a new go again. That and journaling, or at least creating a little To-Do list to give my days more structure would be another good thing to start doing again. The benefits of meditation are just too great not to keep up a steady routine and that’s what I really want to work on again this year.
07. Find a new creative outlet that can also be of use for The Green Dream Shop, by March 2023
Last year I wanted to take up drawing again and I found out that I really enjoy modelling with clay! Bren is always being creative and this rubs off on me. I’ve also done a testrun with pyrography and I really liked that too. What it all boils down to is that I’d love to find a new creative outlet, preferably one that will also benefit our shop. I suspect that this might end up being a mix of several things, but I’d love to focus on one in particular and develop my skills there. For instance, I loved painting miniatures when I was younger. If I can incorporate painting of clay models as well, that would be pretty sweet. Anyways, after the first quarter of this year is finished, I want to know what new creative skill I’m going to focus on. One that really makes my heart tick!
08. Deepen my knowledge of Pagan festivals and write blogs about them, by December 2023
I’ve been together with Bren for over four years and two of those years I’ve celebrated the Pagan festivals with her. Being an open-minded person I was curious what exactly Bren celebrated during these days and I wanted to learn and experience them for myself. I really love the mindful aspects of these festivals and doing certain rituals with clear intentions, as well as living in accordance with nature. It fits my Stoic mindset perfectly. It’s a recurring theme as well with many of the great philosophers too, that we should live in accordance and harmony with nature. While they often meant the Human condition with this, I like to broaden that a little.
This year I want to delve deep in these festivals and the rituals involved. Imbolc is the first one coming up at the beginning of February, so I have some time left to study and write some blogs about it. What I really enjoy is researching the history behind these festivals and it amazes me how much of them were stolen/kidnapped by Christianity! Which just goes to show how religion can take a strange course.
09. Learning how to do bookkeeping for The Green Dream Shop, by December 2023
Numbers and Bren are not a great match. It’s a good thing I’m a Database Engineer during the day and numbers and statistics are kind of my thing, then! I offered Bren to take care of the company’s bookkeeping. We will be making use of professional help for the taxes and more complex stuff, but keeping records of everything is something I can do quite well and I love organising data, so this is something I can do to help. I have to delve a bit deeper, though, so I can eventually take care of most of the numbers for our company, so it’s my intention to have a firm grasp of everything that involves our costs, revenue and profits.
10. Handfasting with Bren and taking care of all the details (date, locations, etc), by December 2023
With all the business setting up the shop and many other things that have happened in our lives, Bren and I have had very little time to think about our wedding and plan it. A lot of locations that we’d love are extremely expensive, and in all honesty, we’d rather take some time to make sure that everything is just perfect for this most special of days. Luckily a friend of ours has offered to help with the planning and this is very welcome. We’re not 100% sure if the actual handfasting will take place this year, but at least we’ll have a clear plan this year!
What do you folks think?
Personally, I think my goals for this year make a great list! Most of them are all about creative endeavours, if I look back at the list. Basically this is a list of everything I stand for, or want to become better at. I still have a lot to learn, but strive to be a better version of myself on a daily basis. I hope that at the end of the year I can look back at this list feeling a sense of accomplishment. I love looking back and seeing where I came from and where I am then.
I’m curious what you guys think! Am I being too ambitious, or do you think this is a solid list? What are your goals for this year? Please let me know in the comments!