New Goals for a New Year: KISS


Happy New Year everyone!

So I’m going against my personality this year. I’m setting some goals. I know. Shocking, right? I figure that if I write them down here then I can’t deny them later in the year (or next week). 

So…in no particular order…
1) Blog every weekday. I’m a little concerned about this one because I’m still new to the whole blogging thing, but I’ve had a few friends inspire me and since I don’t journal, this will have to do. Why only weekdays you ask? More accurately, it will be every school day and that’s due to goal #2 (see below). As part of goal #1 though, I’ve decided to break my blogs into sub-topics: writing, reading, composing, mothering, laughing, learning, designing, philosophizing, etc. I also hope to have 1,000 followers by the end of the year. A lofty goal, right? Thankfully this includes facebook and twitter. Maybe even Christmas cards. If you want to be really kind, you can start my 2012 off right and either follow this blog (see links on left), or like my facebook page, or follow me on twitter. Or do all three. :) Does that sound too desperate? Maybe. I should probably stick with lofty. That sounds better. I’ll keep you updated on this goal here.

(What’s a -ing verb for goals? I’m kinda into this -ing verb thing and ‘goaling’ just doesn’t sound quite right.)

Be forewarned, though. There will be no blogs posted here on cleaning, cooking, or laundering. This isn’t one of those blogs and I’m not one of those people. This blog is here to cheer me up (and possibly you) and those three things will just bring us all down. Right? Right.
Okay. On to number two.  
2) Try to be a nicer person. Now I picture my wonderful hubby saying, “How do you quantify that?” He’s an engineer and engineers need to quantify everything. Well hon…um…I don’t. I just want to try to be more kind, patient, forgiving and thoughtful. This includes mothering, neighboring, wiving, driving and all other areas where I tend to fall short. It also means that I must put people before hobbies. Yes, this will be a stretch goal. 
3) I have a few Book of Mormon goals here that I’ll lump together: read every day, read the whole thing, and spread the wealth.
4) Get another book published. As easy as it may sound considering I’ve already had one done, it’s not. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. 
And beyond that, there’s a whole boatload of stuff I know I should be working on, but I’ll just keep it simple for now. Keep It Simple. I guess that is goal #5.

5) K.I.S.S. My hubby’s thinking, “YES!”, but I mean the acronym more than the action. It’s time to simplify. Slow down. Enjoy life. Stop to smell the roses and dance in the rain and all that good stuff. Hopefully you will too. And maybe this *KISS goal could include kissing my hubby from time to time. Of course, that circles back to goal #2, which means I’m doing great!

Here’s to *KISSing in 2012. :)  

Anyone else out there new to this whole goal setting thing? What are some of yours? Will you KISS this New Year? :)
*KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. I didn’t come up with the acronym, and in case you find it insulting (no, I do not think you’re stupid) you can change it to Keep It Simple Smartie. But that would be stupid. :) 

Self-education is a Little Over-rated. But it’s Cheap.

Can I just say, Google has been my best friend for some time now. We’ve had our ups and downs, and yes, there are days I want to throw Google out the window, but most days we get along just peachy.
I’m a huge fan of self-education. I always have been. You know how it goes. You’re walking down the street and you see an accordion in the nearest store window. You think to yourself, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the accordion.” Or, “Hey, I wonder who invented the accordion.” Or, “Hey, I wonder how far I can throw an accordion.” Then you get on your favorite device and Google it.
(I must digress a moment since you might be wondering what’s up with all the accordion references. My husband plays the accordion. In fact, he competed in several national accordion competitions growing up and even won DUKE one year. Does that make me a duchess? With that said, his accordion has been the brunt of more than a few jokes. And if you’re wondering how far you can throw an accordion, the answer is: Not far enough. Oh, and if you’re looking for the funniest accordion video in the world, it’s here… Okay. I’m done. Sorry hun.)
Anyway, my philosophy is that between the library and Google, I can learn just about anything. We live in the information age, right? RIGHT!!! It’s so amazing what you can learn from people around the world. And because it’s on the internet it’s open and available for all to see, hear, and read. The best—and worst—of humanity is right at our fingertips 24/7.
So for a person like me that 1) struggles to stick with just one hobby, and 2) couldn’t stand school while she was in it, the Library + Google = The Perfect Answer. Or as Matt Damon said in Good Will Hunting, You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the Public Library.”
On the internet I’ve learned how to snowboard, I’ve taken a trip to the Forbidden City in China, I’ve translated my thoughts into Spanish, and I’ve watched my kids learn how to play their favorite top 40 songs on the piano. It’s awesome. Especially when it comes to writing. I’ll be working on a scene like I was this morning and think to myself, “I have no idea what I’m talking about.” This thought comes quite often, actually. Then I’ll jump on Google and educate myself. There are thousands, if not millions, of blogs and free websites from people who are willing to share their knowledge with me and the rest of the world. It’s mega awesome!
(There’s always a “However” isn’t there?)
There’s something to be said for a formal education. Did I really just say that? Friends and family, please don’t drop dead. But after years of trying to self-educate myself, I’ve learned that there are simply some things you can’t learn online. I’m sure my editor would agree.

For example, sure I’ve watched a couple people show me the basics of snowboarding on youtube, but 1) How do I know that they know what they’re talking about? and 2) How much have I actually learned without taking a single step on the snow? And on the flip-side, in the few areas where I actually do have some legitimate education, I see all sorts of incorrect information out there, which is what happened to me today. Even on reputable websites.

Not to mention, you can find opposing answers to pretty much any question. (How cool are accordions? Not cool enough to have the answer on Google. Okay. I really am done.) 

So writers, readers, and anxious learners…beware. Self-education is awesome, fun, exciting, and sadly, still a lot of hard work. But it is also over-rated. One thing is certain, though: it’s cheap. Which is why I will keep doing it.