Am I in Over My Head? Ambitions of 2014

As today is the last day of 2013, it’s time I joined the trend of new years resolutions. I prefer to call this a list of goals for 2014. Success will not be measured by whether these are achieved, but by how much effort I use. Even if I don’t meet all of these goals, making any significant progress is success in my eyes.

Achieving 2014 Ambitions

To be a better friend

I have a problem. More often that not, when I decide to do something, I don’t consider who else might want to participate with me. I’m used to planning D into every aspect of my life but haven’t ever considered anyone else. This was never a problem for me in the past. There are many reasons why this may be, but that’s not the point. The point is, I’ve hurt a friends feelings this year. We would discuss that we’d like to do, but I never felt like we assigned a date and time to anything. As such, the discussion did not register in my mind. I would go on to do those things we discussed without that friend. I need to learn that people to value my presence and want to do these things with me. They want to have fun, be my friend and enjoy these activities with me. In the new year, I aim to tell my friends of my plans. If I have to text them every time I decide to do something, then that’s what I’ll do. I need to build a habit of inviting my friends to hang out with me because I value their companionship as well.

To talk less and listen more

This is related to the above goal, but I want to expand it to all other aspects of my life. I aim to work on saying just what is needed to be said and nothing more. If people want more information out of me, they’ll ask. If I still have words I need to say, I’ll blog them. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog after all. By talking less and listening more, I hope to become a better friend and a better employee.

To be worth more than $-20,000

In an earlier post, I discovered that, in addition to the money I already put in my savings account and on student loans, I will need an additional $1,200 to reach this goal. That amount can be reduced a bit due to a bonus I received from work this month. I’ll still need to find some extra cash in 2014, but that helped out a lot. I see no reason I can’t achieve this goal by this time next year.

To wake early enough to get to the coffee shop by 5 am and write until I leave for work

This goal is an umbrella over a few smaller goals I have for 2014. I still aim to write at least 1000 words a week and to have the first draft of a book completed by then end of the year. Given the time Starbucks (the only café within walking distance of my apartment) opens and the time I typically leave for work, this goal will give me a good three hours of writing every day. I don’t expect I will do this during the weekend because I am always busy. My January is already nearly full of plans. During the week, however, there is nothing stopping me from getting my caffeine high going. Nothing is more inspiring than caffeine (not even wine).

To have $1500 in savings

My plan for 2015 is to take a vacation to Machu Picchu. I’ve looked up the prices of flights and the various activities I plan to engage in during this trip. I’ve decided I want to have $5000 for the trip, which provides me a couple thousand dollars of give for emergencies (which means I actually intend to spend $3000). In addition, I’d like to have $5000 saved up for emergencies, such as loss of job, and another $5000 saved up in case I need a new car. I expect my car might make it to 2015, but it’s old. Who knows how much more time it has. When I return from Machu Picchu, I want to have enough in my savings that I can handle unexpected emergencies.

To go Paleo through February

We’ve already established the insanity of this goal. The fact is, I loved how I felt on the Paleo diet. I can tell, after all the junk food of the holidays, that my body is running a little slower. I want to kick the sugar I’ve become accustomed to over these past few months. So, Paleo it is. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling and the money I’m spending. I’m hoping to buy good, organic meats from local farms. Here’s a sneak peek. Right now, I’m looking at ordering two dozen eggs, one pound of ground sirloin and 10 one pound packages of ground turkey for 83 dollars. Ideally, this will all last me more than a month, but we’ll just have to see. I’d rather spend extra on food now than spend even more on health conditions in the future.

Screenshot of my 2013 Reading Challenge on GoodReads

To read 36 books

This year, I set a goal to read 50 books and failed in that goal. Instead, I read 42 books, many of which were manga. In 2012, I did meet my goal of reading 25 books. I wanted to set a goal between those two numbers for 2014. Thirty-six, or three books per month, seemed like a good place to aim. In addition, I’m still sticking to my weekly goal of reading 100 pages (not counting manga).

To add something to my portfolio every week

This goal has suffered over the holidays, as I expected. Nonetheless it remains an active and important goal for 2014. Just because I’m happy with the job I have does not mean I shouldn’t be ready in case I need to start looking again.

To clean my entire apartment every week

This goal still makes me laugh. Since I set it, I think I’ve accomplished it once. Other weeks I’ve cleaned parts of my apartment, but never the whole thing. That still seems ridiculous to me. How hard is it to clean (it’s really really hard!)? This goal is more about the process. I want to work at it until cleaning my apartment every week becomes normal. It won’t happen over night, but by them time next year, hopefully it will have become a habit.

Yes, I still plan to schedule video games into my daily life. I’m busy and games are just as much of a hobby as reading is. I want them in my life. I’ve started to play Assassin’s Creed II and find the game fascinating. The game was made by a multicultural team of varying religious  beliefs. It’s a historical fiction story which, at the moment, takes place in Florence, Italy. There’s a button I can press to learn about certain buildings and people I encounter in the game. It’s like someone made a game just for me. There are more games coming in the future and I can’t wait to explore them all.

A secret goal

I have one other goal for 2014, but I can’t disclose any information about it, yet. Let’s just say you will know when the goal is achieved.


There you have it, my plans for 2014. I hope I’m not getting in over my head.

Photo Copyright: vencavolrab78 / 123RF Stock Photo


14 thoughts on “Am I in Over My Head? Ambitions of 2014”

  1. I can tell u right now why I keep coming back to your blog; I feel like I’m reading the female version of me;

    —) up at five in the morning to not only write….but to do it at a coffee house!
    —) to be a better listener
    —) sets goals of how many books u want to read each year
    —) sets the goal of going to Peru

    If my friends read your blog….with the exception of your love of video games and manga, they would think that Chapter TK is really a blog being run by me as like a catfish thing or something….it’s eery lol

    Anyways, I totally love your ambition…..and wow, $5000 as a goal for your trip to Peru is totally impressive. I so suck on traveling when it comes to money; I’m like the biggest cheapskate in the history of travelers….for my trip to CR next month I’m bringing with (be prepared to be underwhelmed) $450 for 10 days…..that has to cover food, hotel, and (shhhhhhhh alcohol)…..

    Happy New Year, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts

  2. Keep in mind that most of these goals (especially the being up at 5am) are not things I am doing yet. But I will… tomorrow, when I’ve had enough sleep ^_^

    I’m overestimating for Peru, just to be safe. My budget is based on $1500 round trip flights, $1000 for the “tour package” I’ve been looking at. $500 for hotel rooms (I’ll only need two because the packages I was looking at include food and logging). Add in random expenses, like food or survivors, and I imagine the total trip to cost between $3000 – $3500. The rest of the money is for emergencies during the trip.

    I can’t imagine how you can spend 10 days in another country on less than $500. How did you figure that out? Maybe I need to start Googling the cheapest places to visit….

    I’m happy you’ve enjoyed my blog. I’ll try to keep the manga and video game talk to a minimum ^_^

    1. TK, well here is what I do;

      1) I budget only $10 per day for food (10 day trip =$100)
      ———five trips to central America I only eat where the locals eat. I NEVER eat at tourist restaurants. I would rather hang out and truly experience the culture so the average meal that locals eat in South America and Central America is between $2 and $5 …breakfast is usually eggs, rice, plantains, beans, etc…..also, I’ve eaten at some of the “dumpiest” local restaurants and had the greatest of experiences….the people have always been so welcoming; IMO they respect it when foreigners eat at their places rather than expensive tourist traps

      2) I only budget btw $10 – $20 per day for accommodations. I almost always travel with friends and acquaintances and if we stay at a hostile the avg per person is $8-$10 and if we get a hotel we will haggle with the manager and the average cost of one room with two queen size beds is $15 per person….some of the hostels we’ve stayed at we’re as nice as three star hotels; one even had a pool, waterfall, and swim up wet bar with live music and drinks going late into the night

      Thus, food and accommodations keeps my costs under $300 for 10 days…….even places like New York city have super nice hostels for $10 a night……..

      Also, I’ve been looking at Peru tickets out of Chicago for five years now and I regularly see tickets for around $850…….and I always buy tickets well in advance and plan my trips based on lowest airfare costs

      1. I’ll have to keep all that in mind for the future. This is the first trip I am planning on my own, so I’d rather do what’s easy even if it cost a little more. And who knows, maybe I am vastly overpricing the places I will eat and sleep. If I see a local place, I’d be far more likely to go there as it is. I’d be a happy camper to discover all my assumed prices are far more than what they will actually be. It will certainly make travel easier.

        1. Yea, even my first BIG trip that I took on my own to Europe years ago….the last week I was running low on money and I was amazed at how much less I spent when I needed to 🙂

  3. Dangit. I just wrote out a long and very witty, insightful comment (you can be assured). And then WordPress swiftly kicked me in the face. So, abbreviated version: I wish I could wake up at 5AM and write/do other productive things. I admire you the guts to even make such a goal and I hope you do it.
    Secondly: I have a super secret theory on what your super secret goal is 😉 But maybe not.

    1. I hate it when that happens! There is a magic button on my laptop that transports me to a previous page. When I go forward to the page I was on, my beautiful comment is lost. I don’t even know what button I’m hitting, but it happens. As only those comments which are simply too wonderful to handle succumb to this form of death, I can only assume your original comment was superb.

      Since I didn’t go to bed until 2am this morning, 5am did not happen. We’ll have to see what tomorrow brings. Here’s hoping the coffee will do it’s magic. I think, at worst, I’ll just hang around blog land. At best, the caffeine will provide me with creativity to pursue my book.

      Secondly: I’d ask for a guess on my super secret goal, but if you guess right, I would tell you you were wrong (unless you guess in a non-public message of some sort. Just saying… if you really want to know…)

  4. the key to waking up at 5am is: GO TO SLEEP EARLY THE NIGHT BEFORE and expect your entire schedule to change (eating and pooping!).
    this is from experience! my bedtime is 930pm – as in i’m pretty much asleep most nights at this time. i wake naturally around 445am every morning to workout at 5am. if you go to bed at 12am, getting up at 5am will feel like death!

    1. We’ll see about tomorrow. There’s a winter weather advisory so who knows what time I’ll get home tonight. I’m still going to shoot for 5 am coffee tomorrow, though.

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