Small Things in 2013

Sneak preview of my book

I'd like to say that I wrote a novel last month. But the truth is that I still have at least 10,000 words to go. The best laid plans of mice and men . . . .

Then again, even if I don't finish this book, or even if I limp across the finish line with "completed" book that never gets published, I'm better off for having attempted this goal. I'm a better person for having to focus on this task, for processing thoughts and for disciplining myself to do this. As author Max Lucado told Michael Hyatt, "You wanna' write? Then put your butt in that chair and sit there a long, long time."

I will put my butt in that chair this month and finish this book. Just so you know, it's a fictional story about a couple of young men (one black, one white) growing up in Allendale, SC. It's a story of hope and redemption, as their separate lives become intertwined. I'm calling it "A Companion of Fools."

There. Now that you know that much, I feel the pressure to complete it.

I'm not going to have any other "1 small thing" goal this month. I'm going to use that time to:
  • finish this book,
  • rest from 11 months of goals (see below),
  • plan my goals for 2014. 

Here's a quick review of what I did (or tried to do) each month in 2013, and how it affected me in the long-term:
  1. No sugar.  Made me more aware of my calorie intake, and how many foods have added sugar.
  2. Photo-a-day.  Kick-started my Instagram (@JoeyEspinosa) usage habit.
  3. 5000 pushups.  Finished with 5200. Was the first of several exercise-related goals.
  4. Lego-a-day.  My kids' favorite.
  5. Exercise every day in May.  My second exercise-related goal, which helped show me that I need to be taking better care of my body.
  6. 10 mindful minutes.  Complete failure. Let's keep moving . . . .
  7. Running a "marathon."  For someone who hates running, this was big. I still hate running, but I still am averaging 6-8 miles per week.
  8. Expand my taste palate. Better than my "no sugar" goal. But I'm fine with eating the same thing things as a routine.
  9. Washing dishes every day.  I've kept up this goal, just not every day. I will do more now that football is over.
  10. Positive reflections.  A good exercise for me to remind myself of.
  11. Writing a novel.  See above.

And for the record, we were 99% successful to keep our family goal of using no pennies. (I cheated some, but my wife cheated more.) We kept them in a tin container, and then rolled them up with our kids. We got a whopping $7. Our kids want to use that windfall (combined with $5 they won at Bingo the other night) to buy a gift for someone.

How did your goals for 2013 come along? Are you thinking of anything for 2014? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

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