Well, All Souls Day has come and gone and that means one thing; the holidays are here and in turn, so is the New Year. The New Year always seems to bring some sort of introspection into us and I am no different, no matter how hard I try.

So now, I am going to write out my goals for the next few years with some smaller goals thrown in for good measure.

The Big Two

First, the big two loves of my life, writing and languages.

For languages, my goal is to be conversational fluent in French by March 2017 and conversational Swedish by February 2017.

For the French, I’m on an intensive training regimen that’s about 70-minutes a day for 18-weeks, or 4-months. I’ve done two weeks so far an I’m liking the schedule so I’m pretty confident that I can do it. Also, if I followed it to the T (I won’t) I should be done by the first week of March but I am giving myself an extra three weeks of wiggle room for when I miss days.

The French is ambitious but the Swedish is lazy since I am only looking to be conversational, or being able to say the basics. I am giving myself two-and-a-half months to do a one month program. The reason it is not as ambitious as the French is, Swedish is more of “extra credit” and playtime for me. If I have an extra hour in my day and, more importantly, the willpower reserve, I’ll give the Swedish Pimsleur a go. So even though I hope to do it everyday, I’m giving myself enough space to just do it about three times a week but at the same time, not allowing myself to fall off. I still have a set goal.

By then, Swedish will go to my main language of study replacing my French since I should be conversationally fluent by then. I can then do the same relaxed approach to my next language, probably German, Italian, or Russian, still not sure, all the while doing a little French everyday to keep the language alive. My Portuguese has taken a step back because I haven’t flexed that muscle and to be honest, I’m not interested in reactivating it. If Glossika comes out with a European Portuguese then that changes everything, I would love to learn that with my Brazilian Portuguese already as a primer.

Now to the big one of the big two, my writing. My goal is to write four books in 2017. This too goes in the ambitious column since it took me several years to write my first novel but it took only one year to write my second novel. That’s quite the jump, one book in three years to one book in one year so I think that I can get more prolific and aggressive with my writing. Plus, if split the goals up mathematically, you’ll see that it is doable.

If I write 5,000 new words a week that’s 260,000 words in a year. Divide that up by 60,000 words (the average size of a novel) and you get about 4 1/3 books written in a year.

Now this goal I know I am going to come up short on but it does give me a solid and consistent base to go at, 5,000 words a week, 20,000 words a month. When I fall off my goal (which I will, all the time) I can at least have my most basic goal: write 1,000 words per weekday. Small steps over time compound. Trust me. This lazy guy wrote three books. If I can do that then I can knock out 1,000 new words a day with two days off a week. Easy, but hard.

Other Goals

These are just two small goals when considered in the grander picture that is life. There are six types of health according to the Prenzi model and the two that I have touched on are two of just one side of the hexagon, Mental Health.

Unfortunately, in our western society, when someone says health, we automatically think about the physical side of things which, more times than not, is the least important of what we need to get healthy with.

Environmental Health

I need to save up $10,000 again. I was without work for six months and spent one of those months in Europe. Needless to say I burned through my savings and need to build that back up if I want to pay off my house.

Physical Health

I can’t stand for more than 10-minutes, that’s how crippled I am. I would like to just be able to walk without pain for a half hour.

Emotional Health

This one is probably the biggest problem I have, with my severe anxiety attacks still being the biggest problem I have. I have come a long way and have become a brand new man but that’s still not good enough. I still have panic attacks nearly every day and I need to face my fear head on and tackle this.

Mental Health

Even though I have touched on two of these already with my language learning and writing books, there are still a ton more things that I want to do. After writing The Devil’s Blessing I want to add historian to my unofficial titles and I still want to become an expert on my idol, William Shakespeare.

Social Health

“A functioning introvert” is what a girl I was seeing used to say about people like me who need to work on their social muscle, and I’m no different. I need to enrich the relationships between my friends, family, and dating life.

Spiritual Health

Last, but defiantly not least, is my Spiritual Health. I am rarely in a state of a grace and need to work on that. This is without a doubt the most important part of any of our lives and is why, more times than not, the one we (including myself) take the least care of.

Just Don’t Do It

I owe my recent successes to two things that I stopped doing in the past few years. I stopped drinking alcohol and I stopped watching TV.

My focus, time, and energy have compounded due to the fact that I no longer get messed up and that I no longer watch television. And yes, Netflix is TV you big dumb-dumb.

As someone who you used to binge watch shows and binge drink Miller Lites, letting go of those two vices has been two of the most liberating things I have ever done. Funny enough, the biggest of the two is probably the fact that I don’t watch TV anymore. I read more and search out more in-person entertainment like plays, opera, symphonies, and ballet. When you no longer have all the work done for you, entertainment wise like the boob tube, it really makes your intellect mushroom and, bigger for me, really makes your imagination grow leaps and bounds. It now has gone to the point that I look at booze and TV in the same sick disgust that your neighborhood food and beer snob looks at at a plate of McDonald’s with a side of Budweiser.

Well, that’s enough of this. I got plenty to do on this Sunday. I have words to write and languages to learn. It’s not work, mind you, but mental travel from the comfort of my home.

See you later, alligator.

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