Y’all I’m not sure what’s happened to me. I don’t know if it was the near thirty day stretch of drinking seeing friends or a continuation of the goals I kind of started last year, but I landed in 2018 ready to kick ass and take names.

It’s been a long time since I’ve started a year fresh and prepared to tackle challenges. Some of that I blame on Tim’s death, but that’s not all of it. I’ve never been a New Year’s person. “New Year, New Me” makes me roll my eyes. Typically I start off in January saying something along the lines of, Screw your goals! I’m the same old cantankerous person with a bad attitude that I’ve always been! I don’t scream Bah humbug at Christmas — I do it at New Year’s.

But this year, I’m ready. No, I still don’t prescribe to a “New Me” philosophy. I am the same me I was before, but I am a “me” that has set some really big goals for myself this year. Since part of those goals are letting my readers back into my life a little bit, let me share them with you.

Blog & Be More Active in Equestrian Blogging Community

I won’t shock anyone by saying that I put this blog and its readers at a little bit of arm’s length last year. It happened for several reasons. Logistically, I was busy as all get out in 2017. It was easy to put this blog on the backburner, and even though I’m going to be just as busy (busier really) this year, I’m going to try and be more present here at She Moved to Texas.

But it’s more than just time. For so long I shared tons about myself on this space, and although I enjoyed doing so I did feel like readers crept in on my life more than I was prepared for. That sounds negative, but in writing memoir we spend a lot of time thinking about “the character of the narrator”. Meaning, in my book I’m not 100% Lauren but instead a version of Lauren that I’m writing about. On my blog, I feel like I’m about 95% Lauren and after so many years of literally letting it all out there… I needed to create some distance for a bit.

I’m not setting numerical goals for posting or traffic, although I have figures in mind, but I miss this space and I miss the people around the community. Expect to see more of me this year.

Start Showing Again With Simon

Remember when I said how graduate school would be a time to have Simon as a pet instead of a show horse? Yeah, that was funny. I am dying to show again, and am going to make that a priority this year. It might just be the little shows my barn holds, but damnit we’re going to jump over sticks in pursuit of ribbons again. During my cross-country holiday excursion, Simon spent a month in boot camp with my new trainers. I came back to find him 1000% improved, and will be keeping him in partial training as long as my finances allow me to do so. I don’t have to tell anyone that this is a pretty huge financial drain on a grad student, but training/showing makes me happy and my horse told me he needs a routine and professional guidance. So that’s what we’re going to do.

Consume More Media

Maybe it’s the increased amount of “free” time (I use that term very loosely…) that I have now, or maybe it’s being surrounded by the liberal arts… but I have a pretty insatiable appetite for books and film right now. I can’t get enough of story.

This year I want to read 50 books and watch 50 movies. I got myself one of those moviepass‘ that everyone is talking about, and want to hit one a week. Part of me thinks this will be helpful for my creativity, and part of me just thinks that forcing a few hours in a cool theater without worrying about horse or book or work will do me some good mentally.

Lose 50 Lbs

Speaking of appetite, I’m ready to change mine. This is not the first time weight loss has been mentioned on this blog, and it probably won’t be the last. While I haven’t rapidly gained weight, I’ve steadily increased since Tim died but have had little mental energy to change this. For a long time, my focus was entirely on mental health and I did whatever needed to get out of bed and make it outside every day.

Now, things are better and I’m ready to get back to my fighting weight. I don’t know how this will go or not go. If I’m being honest, I don’t actually believe that I can lose a significant amount of weight. But grad school sets me up for success better than I ever have been. I’m naturally way more active by walking and biking around, and have a flexible schedule to cook and meal prep. Currently I’m going through a “Month of Deprivation” (more on this later), but we will see how my plan shifts throughout the year.

Complete 1st Draft of My Memoir

This is an “academic” 2018 goal versus a calendar year one. Although I currently have a lot of pages, they look like ping pong balls bouncing around a room in no particular order. By the end of my academic year here at UCR, which is roughly mid-June 2018, I plan to have something that I can accurately call a first draft. Lord help me.

Do Not Let Others Push Me Into Crazy Town

Here’s the deal – I get to crazy town super well on my own. Half the time I live there! It’s very easy for me, especially in new places or situations, to fixate on something a person said or did in relation to me. I will continually think about said person, worry about how they don’t like me or whatever the situation is, and then fall into a negative thought spiral that can completely take over my day. Right now, I don’t have an open ‘negative thought spiral’ days on my calendar.

It sounds like one of the steps (and maybe it is for anxious people), but I need to adopt more of a ‘Help me to accept the things I cannot change’ mentality when it comes to people. This is a vague goal, but I need to learn to let things go and accept that some people are just going to be who they are.

I’d be lying if I said these were my only goals this year. There are lots of ones lurking under the surface when it comes to writing and publishing, but these are my over arching goals for 2018. Looking forward to keeping everyone in the loop more this year when it comes to the blog as well as joining you on your own stories and dreams.

26 COMMENTS

  1. I love the consume more media goal. I’ve had an insatiable need for books lately, though I’m afraid to put a number on my reading goals. I hope you’ll do a list of the books and movies you read/watched at the end of the year. I have always enjoyed hearing about what others read and watched – especially the movies because I so rarely watch any and don’t even know what comes out these days.

  2. Some great goals. I hope you share some of the books and movies you get into. I always struggle to find the kind of books I want to read and even amazon continues to suggest weird stuff in relation to what I have purchased in the past. Don’t get me started on my inability to choose a book on the free library books online side of things, I’m just horrible at it!

    As far as the weight loss, I too never thought I could lose a significant amount of weight. I started out with a goal of roughly 20 lbs and getting back to a size 12 (what I was coming out of college) and somehow ended up losing 60 lbs and getting down to a size 6/8. It was a super weird phenomenon! When you really set your mind to something it’s crazy what you can achieve. Honestly the weight loss success gave me the confidence to make the horses at home thing happen.

    I’m so with you on the get back in the show ring goal. Here’s hoping Maestro is on board like I know Simon will be for you!

    • That’s amazing that you both beat your weight loss goal and it gave you enough confidence to bring your horses home. Hoping I have half that kind of success story this time next year!

      As for showing, Maestro is totally on board. Y’all look great in the videos I’ve seen, and you’ll be cruising around the ring in no time I’m sure.

  3. My mantra last year was “People work in mysterious ways” which is a nice way of me thinking that people are crazy and sometimes shitty but there is nothing I can do about it. I think you’ve got some great goals here (and I bet UCR has a free gym you can use as a student! Free gyms are amazing.)

  4. Excited to read more of you and I’m so glad you’re feeling pumped for the year.

    Goodreads, in case you don’t already use it, has helped me a lot with reading goals. I surpassed mine in 2017 and upped it for 2018! It makes it so easy to find great books and I love seeing what friends are into.

  5. These are great goals and I really look forward to reading whatever you decide to share in this space! I echo Kristin! I lost 90 pounds between my 2 babies! Nutrition, accountability/support & a positive attitude is everything! I hope you find a plan that works for you and I’m always here to help too!

  6. My husband and I have a big goal of getting out of debt and then taking a family vacation this year, and we’re talking about having another baby. I also intend to lose some weight, but how much will depend if/when we get pregnant. Right now we have a 10 month old boy. I am using the T-Tapp 15 minute workout Plus on weekdays and just stretching on weekends. I only gained about 15 pounds with Yance and I don’t think I can get back down to 105 (I was 18 and three months into my marriage when I got pregnant), so I’m going to just try losing 10 pounds.

    As far as books go, I intend to revise the one I published last November (it’s still very raw) and put it on Kindle next month!

    Also I’ll be reaching 100 posts this year on my blog, which started in June 2016. I have a colt to break in this year, and we’re going to sell his sire (11yo reg. AQHA cutting bred that I “backed” personally in 2016). For me, my passion is more in rodeo and endurance riding, even though I have only done mutton-bustin’ once (and won!) and two Intro rides. Hopefully, Dingus will be an all-round horse. The plan is to do barrels, pole bending, cow work, roping, hunting, trail riding, war-between-the-states reenacting, and pretty much everything else with him. He will be two this July and is as smart as his sire. And his sire is the epitome of a brilliant horse, even though he never got a chance to put his talents to use as a work horse.

  7. I’m excited to read more about you and Simon! I miss the nerd horse stories.
    Sounds like you’re ready to make 2018 your year, and I think you can absolutely do just that. Welcome back!

  8. Looking forward to hearing about how you and Simon Rock It in the show ring! You’ve totally got this! I have always said that when we want something badly enough, we find a way to make it happen.

    People? They’re mostly good with a healthy dose of the batshit crazies. That’s a given. Sadly I think the horse world has more than our fair share of the second one. Lol

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