Am I Up to the Challenge?

Jan 1, 2014 | Featured Posts by Holly Jahangiri, Resolutions

2013 in Review

Ugh. I’m not up to doing a serious retrospective. Overall, it was a good, upbeat sort of year:

  • I got to participate in the HP Social Support Summit in Orlando, where I met some fun – and really smart – people;
  • I finally got a long-held wish (trust me, you don’t want the details);
  • My daughter graduated from UNT;
  • We got some new appliances and changed the landscaping in the back yard (after losing our 60′ pine tree, oven, and TV to lightning!);
  • I got a brand new Honda Accord – and it’s red! (Never mind that I only got it because my old car and I got creamed by a GMC Sierra while driving home after a funeral service…);
  • I enjoyed a fun, laid-back family reunion in Rehoboth Beach, DE – a state I’d never visited before;
  • I learned to crochet;
  • My daughter’s team won the Dallas Derby Devils Roller Derby championship – and I got to be there to watch the bout;
  • I returned to the group I left two years ago, at work, and have the most awesome boss;
  • I have enjoyed the holidays with my family in Louisiana and Dallas;
  • I’m rested and ready to get back to work!

The downbeats aren’t worth dwelling on; suffice it to say that I hope no one I love or care about dies this year. And that writing this with a scratchy throat and a stuffy nose is sort of a Herculean effort, but whining annoys me so I won’t.

Challenges for 2014

Last year was more about crawling out of a rut than it was about achieving any specific goals. Put that way, it was a pretty successful year. Oh, I had some “aspirational” goals – maybe one I should have focused on and taken more seriously, and one or two that I followed through on without consciously trying:

  • Lose 80 lbs. by 10/4/2013
  • Finish A New Leaf for Lyle
  • Successfully complete Project 365
  • Explore art
  • Simplify, declutter, organize, and focus on what matters

Mostly, my personal goals for this year are the same. Might as well keep plugging away till I get it right.

  • Lose 82 lbs. by 10/16/2014. (I quit smoking in 2006; I survived cancer in  2011 – it’s time to stop celebrating these things with cake.)
  • Drastically reduce and maybe eliminate gluten and added sugars from my diet, for more energy and focus – immediately.
  • Teach a certain someone to drive by 3/31/2014.
  • Finish A New Leaf for Lyle. (This one’s currently in the hands of the illustrator.)
  • Edit and re-release an improved version of Innocents & Demons.
  • Reboot the blog, telling each day’s stories through photos and words. (My lack of posts since October isn’t just writer’s block – it grew into aversion and avoidance, until I started hearing things like, “Blogging is dead” and thought, “Ooh, nice, that’s my cue!” I like to play my Alexa rank like a yo-yo, simply because it amuses me to kill a blog and bring it back to life. Hello.)
  • Explore art. (I think that creating a mosaic, painting, doing altered art/decoupage, and learning to crochet count – but I’m not done, by any means. I’ll share mine, if you’ll share yours!)
    me-learning-painting  me-pottery  2013_05_25_15_25_55_ProShot  Holly Jahangiri  me-learning-draw  purple-snood
  • Simplify, declutter, organize, and focus on what matters (I figure cleaning out the bedroom closet, dresser, and end table drawers to find the Fitbit I thought I’d lost, so I didn’t have to spent $99 replacing it counts towards several goals – decluttering, fitness, weight loss – and that led to rebooting my relationship with… And hey, the car’s still clean, all the laundry’s done, and my closet’s got twice the space it had last night.)
  • Learn PHP
  • Learn Farsi (well, a little more of it than I know now)

For Inspiration

This quotation always serves to help strengthen my commitment:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

— W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

And what I wrote, last year, about the Clean Slate Mentality still holds true – maybe moreso – today.

How About You?

Care to join me on any of these goals, or add a few of your own? Notice I’m not calling them “resolutions”… I know better.

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Marian Allen

    As always, you are totally awesomesauce. Overachiever. And you forgot to mention appearing in at least four more short stories. 😉
    Marian Allen recently posted…First Needle of the New YearMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I’m going for a whole anthology – or a novel! 🙂

      But I only list as “goals” or “resolutions” things I mostly have control over. Not things that rely on my awesome powers of persuasion and general cuteness. 😉
      Holly Jahangiri recently posted…100 GOOD Things About MeMy Profile

  2. Jeevan Jacob John

    Good to see that you are back, Holly 😀

    2013 was the best year of my life (I think it’s because I didn’t take any classes for the second half of the year…I spent 8 months – including summer – improving myself, building new habits and learning new things).

    For 2014? Well, my goals list is very long (I am a bit ambitious for this year…especially because of the success I had last year).

    I do share a few of your goals, like learning PHP and exploring art. I tried figure drawing (Frank Reilly method) last year and it was an awesome experience.

    I am going to be very busy (getting back to college), but I will try and squeeze these habits/routines in my free time 😀

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Holly 🙂 Good luck with your goals 😀
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…Welcome To Daring Blogger!My Profile


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