New Year’s goals

It’s been pointed out to me that I’m weird for differentiating between goals and resolutions, but here we are. I like goals to be specific and achievable things, and resolutions often seem to be general enough that they’re hard to measure (eg. “Be nicer to my family” or “Exercise more”).

My 2013 goal was to read one fiction book each month, something Goodreads tells me I achieved rather nicely. That modest success has inspired me to be a bit more ambitious in 2014, especially now that college is no longer taking up so much of my time. So, here’s what I’m holding myself to in 2014.

1) Clear my print magazine backlog.
Ever since I studied abroad in the fall of 2011, I’ve had a backlog of my copies of Mother Jones, High Country News, The Sun, Bitch and Orion stretching back between 6 and 18 months and taking up almost a quarter of my bookshelf. By the end of 2014, I will be no more than one issue behind on each magazine. This goal is being made partially because those magazines present more of an obstacle than they should to moving, and I’d like to not cart them with me to my next home, wherever that may be.

2) Listen to one good music album in its entirety each month.
My musical taste is all over the place and often very passive: I hear things on the radio or from friends’ music collections, say “Hey, that song is good” and go acquire it. It’s rare for me to seek out new music or listen to complete albums, whether they’re new releases or classic works. But Beyonce’s surprise album has reminded me that some music is really worth listening to as part of a complete album, and that I’d do well to broaden my tastes intentionally every so often. So, each month, I will find a well-regarded or critically acclaimed album that’s new to me, acquire the whole thing and listen to it consciously and deliberately.

3) Build a website.
I want to put my HTML and CSS to good use doing an actual project that’s for me, not for work or some fictitious company invented by Treehouse. My only rules are that said website require HTML and CSS and that I do all the coding myself—no using complete CSS frameworks, though I may borrow and copy.

4) Put together a working professional website
This could be the same project as the one above, but by the end of the year, I want a real professional website that I had a significant role in designing and building myself. Something with a blog on a subdomain (probably my journalism Tumblr), links to articles and a space for me to upload my own projects, like the I made this year.

5) Participate in 365 in Focus, a group photoblog project.
A friend of mine invited me to participate in a 365, where you take one photo everyday for a year. We’re doing it group-accountability style, with 120 or so of us contributing to a group Tumblr. By this time next year, I will have 365 photos that I like up on the group blog. Some will be shots showing life in Walla Walla, some will be just about my life and a few will actually be good photos.

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