The year ahead 1060

It’s important to plan the year ahead.  While I’m not the kind of girl who has every day planned out to a tee (it would drive me crazy), that’s not to say I don’t believe in the value of long term planning ….

What I’ve come to realize is as the years pass, they also happen to speed up.  They’re moving faster.  There’s so much I didn’t document over the years.  In some ways it might’ve been better that I didn’t.  But these days, I want to capture these moments, the beauty and the love I encounter.  I feel a sense of urgency to document things in a way I haven’t in the past years.

Maybe it’s because I’m headed for my 39th year in 2014 – and then on to countdown to 40! I’m less concerned about how people perceive me.  And well, Sir Anthony Hopkins said it best, “My philosophy is its none of my business what people say of me and think of me.  I am what I am and I do what I do.  I expect nothing and accept everything.  And it makes life so much easier.”

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  But as I mentioned above, time starts to move faster. Before you know it, five years have passed and you haven’t done anything you wanted to do. That stops.  We waste so much time without direction.  I need rules and order or my creative self just floats.  As a result, I work better with promises to myself and goals.

Goal 1: Face my fears 

This may seem like common sense.  However, all of us have things we’re afraid to do or tackle. This is a year I’m planning to tackle some key fears.  For me this involves a few things – but one the top of my list is money and how I manage it and handle it.  Why is money always such a touchy subject?  Well, when I get a handle on it, I’m going to blog about it.  There’s much to be said for budgeting, the way we work, the way we choose to manage our money and even what we spend money on.

Goal 2: Be on time 

Listen, I used to run late to everything.  I don’t anymore.  But now, being on time means trying to be early when it’s at all possible.  I’ve seen a couple of posts about it from @myleik of curlbox and a post from Sincerely Daja where she speaks about how she’s on time everywhere she goes even though she doesn’t have a car.  Man, that got me together.  I need to be on time. I need to make sure I’m there early.  Woody Allen says “80% of success is showing up” – that being the case, for me it means I need to show up early.

Goal 3: Set up a schedule

To set up a schedule for the blog and work to maintain it.  With work, life, other commitments, I tend not to write here as often as I should.  Also, while having a personal blog is cathartic and all, sometimes it’s difficult to discuss what’s happening in my life.  Mostly because well, I haven’t wrapped my mind around it yet.  I don’t like blogging in real time, so I long ago imposed a statute of limitations on telling certain stories.  I digress.  Blog calendar.

Goal 4: Publish my first book

I decided a while back I would turn some of the best content from the blog into a book. Believe it or not, I’ve heard a few times “don’t do that,” but as I asked around and asked respected authors – the collective response was, why wouldn’t you use that material? My gut tells me to use this here good material and dammit I’m going to do it! Editing has been tough but I think it’s that more discipline is required.

Goal 5: Take and publish photos, show my view of the world

A friend of mine once told me my pictures were amazing.  I took him at his word because he said it to my face and he had no reason to lie.  He then told me that because I’m creative, writing isn’t the only way to tell my story, or anyone else’s.  He told me to “write with my camera.”  I bought myself an amazing Canon DSLR T3i so I will be bombarding the site with photos and my perspective of the world.  You will deal.

Goal 6: Stop doing things that don’t excite me | Cease the distractions | Get this work 

I am a great supporter.  I tend not to say no very often.  But when I do, it’s really a hard NO.  I need to say no – more often.  I need to work on my own projects more in 2014.  I realize I was jumping at other projects in order to distract myself from being responsible for my own.  That’s wise right?  Deflection at its finest.  ”I didn’t get ______ done because I was sooooooo busy| tied up |stressed out working on ________.”  As I say to myself to literally shut up and sit down and get this work done.

Note: I rearranged my house a few days ago to accommodate and encourage me to sit my arse down and get this writing done. Inviting x pretty spaces = completed writing assignments. I didn’t buy anything new but candles. I just rearranged what I have.

Goal 7: Attend a literary workshop

I’ve said this over the last few years. Believe it or not, I got into one late 2012  (to attend for 2013) and couldn’t work all of the logistics out (logistics in this case = money).  This year?  I’m back with a vengeance and applying again and hopefully attending with bells on and in cute clothes.  The blog is incredibly important to me.  All of my writing and the ability to share it is important.  In addition to the blog, I write short fiction and need to make sure eventually the short fiction turns into a stellar collection for you to read.

Goal 8: Fill out the entire Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook by Susannah Conway and fill up my vision board.

In my last post, reflecting on a few lessons I learned in 2013 I talked about how I was afraid to fill out 2013′s workbook in 2012.  I’m not for it this year – refer back to No. 1 in this post. It’s a great way to review the year and then to plan the next year.  If you want a great way to reflect and to plan – work through this.… get a glass bottle of wine and pray before you do.  With that, I need to work on making sure my vision board is full this year.  Last year, I bought it and put a few things on there – this year? IT NEEDS TO BE FULL AND SPECIFIC!

Goal 9: Quit my part-time job and make my writing my official gig. 

This isn’t that big of a deal.  But it is.  I have been working some form of a part-time job for as long as I can remember.  There was a time I didn’t.  Then somehow, in 2007 I got sucked back into the vortex that is part-time work.  My father told me not to rely on that money.  Somehow, I got used to it.  But you know, I’ve worked every Saturday (less about five) over the last few years.  I wanted my Saturdays back.  I wanted to write on those days.  I wanted consecutive days off.  So last week, I quit.  While I can’t recommend this for everyone, I know I needed to be able to focus.  I wanted to keep the promise to myself that I wouldn’t carry the job into 2014. So I did.  I can’t say I won’t miss the money, but it will force me to work harder and make sure my creative efforts are a success.

These are just a few of the goals I’ve set for the year.  I have many more and as I knock them off the list, I’ll share more about them here. As always, if you have comments or questions, you can email me at!  Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for updates!

What are your goals for 2014?  Have you created a vision board? Is it just me or do you find the time is passing quicker?

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21 thoughts on “From Rae With Love: 2014 The Year Ahead

  1. brenda

    Love this post, Rae! I created a vision board last year and actually accomplished a few of my goals so I am happy about that. I definitely want to focus more on my writing and blog for 2014–I tend to fall in and out of a rhythm because of life related reasons. Good luck on your goals and I look forward to seeing your accomplish every last one!!


    1. Rae Post author

      Brenda thank you for the well wishes – they are so much appreciated! Hoping the same for you Sis! I have been doing the same, but the call to get things done is heavier. I’m not going to stray anymore.


  2. MsWalton

    Awesome post Rae! I can relate to a lot of your goals, especially making wriring your full-time job. I promised myself I would work towards escaping feom the cubicle life for good. Can’t wait to see the photos you post.


    1. Rae Post author

      Thank you so much!!! I still have my full time job that I love, I just need to make sure nothing else gets in the way of the writing. No distractions! LOL! But I won’t turn down a NYT Bestselling or Amazon superstar option!


  3. trinityizreal

    I love this post!!! I’m inspired to be about my own in 2014 because of this post! I can’t wait for you to publish your book(s) and your photos/videos!!! Let me suggest Tiffany Aliche’s “The One Week Budget” to you for helping out with your money management. While I can’t give a personal success story because of it – due to my not having any money – I do have the book and I’m willing to make the recommendation:

    You can also check out her website:

    Your goal #6!!!! I really have to make some decisions and change my mind about some things in my life for the new year. I’ve never done a vision board, maybe I should. I think my overall goal for the rest of my life is to be productive and enjoy it! I do want to learn how to cook, too. (I could survive on my own but you know, I could definitely improve and venture out!)


    1. Rae Post author

      Hey De’Nita!!! Thank you! I have heard about Tiffany. I think I have this book – I need to go through my Kindle archives. She is amazing. Hoping to see her on the Stepsisters show at some point soon! Girl this goal #6 has been getting people together! LOL! I think you should do a vision board. I need to actually run out and get some mags and start cutting and pasting. Your goal of being productive and enjoying your life – also! I mean that’s what it’s about as far as I’m concerned. And as far as learning to cook – it’s not hard – just figure out what you like to eat and then look up the recipes. Start small. Good sandwiches, salads. Move up to more complicated things later.


    1. Rae Post author

      LOL! That’s a great idea! #6 has been the item everyone is responding to and that I least expected a response!!! I may have to work on that!


  4. MsCareyLee (@MsCareyLee)

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook by Susannah Conway, I just downloaded mine and I am definitely going to dedicate some time for reflection and goal-setting – I’ve been so busy trying to juggle life :(


  5. Nina Badzin

    Rae, these are excellent goals and honestly they’re all ones that speak to me too. Like you, I’m into making goals. I think it’s good to have direction. Even if we can’t keep every goal, at least the exercise of discussing them and writing them down keeps us focused.

    In the last few months I started waking up at 5:15am three mornings a week to get more writing done. It has CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m not exaggerating. I had never considered myself a morning person. I’m still not, but I get up anyway. It makes anything else I get done in a day just icing on the cake. My 2014 resolution is to just keep that going.

    I’ll be curious to hear what you decide about using some of the blog material as a book. I’ve been writing a column for Brain, Child Magazine and in the back of mind I’ve been wondering what I could do with that material one day.


    1. Rae Post author

      Hi Nina!!! Thank you for stopping by!!! You know what? That 5:15am idea sounds amazing! I may have to incorporate it into my process. I’m about to do a post on the tone of the year and what’s in store as well.

      Re: the blog material as a book – it’s been hard to choose the posts and then it’s really trying to make sure they are cohesive. I was on the train some weeks back and wrote the prologue to the book. I had a moment of inspiration which then changed what I chose from the blog and how I needed to edit the posts. I had been sitting and trying to decide which posts. But deciding the direction and the purpose was the most difficult part.

      I had asked James Altucher on one of his AMA Thursdays on Twitter what he thought about it and his words were “chose, edit heavily and write new content” and so that’s what I’ve been doing. It didn’t make sense to have access to 100k words and not be able to use them in some form or fashion.


    1. Rae Post author

      Hey now!!! OMG thank you so much!!!! I’m working on really doing some great photos and things for the next year. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and it’s inspiring. So much work to be done so we better get to it. LEGGO fuhreal!!!!!!


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