On Challenges for the New Year

Staying home with 4 kids means that I never really feel like I finish anything. The dishes may be done for now, but more will magically reappear…sometimes within seconds of completion. Even if the homework is technically done, there is always more reading to do, guitar to practice or flashcards to study. I’m pretty sure that is why I have become drawn to signing up to participate in challenges. They bring structure and specific goals, and I get to feel the blessed joy of actually checking something off the list!

Here are the 3 challenges that I have signed up for in the New Year so far:

The Newbery Challenge

I am starting to think I am crazy to think I can actually do this. Read all of the Newbery Award winners, starting from this first gem, The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon. It received the first Newbery in 1922, which means, yes, in addition to this one there are 88 others to go. The good news is that I have already read a handful of them, including one of my favorites, Holes by Louis Sachar. The bad news is that it is January 10th and I am only on page 48 of this less than delightful history of the world that registers over 500 pages. Gulp.

 12×12 in 2012

My writing life has actually been very full lately, so I was hesitant to sign up for this one. But I realized that most of what I am doing right now is revision, and I have a bit of a hankering to write some new stuff. The goal with this challenge is to write one new picture book manuscript each month, so that at the end of 2012 you would have 12 new stories to work with. It is hosted by writer Julie Hedlund and you can read more about it on her blog, Write Up My Life.

The Blossom Trail 10K Run

 What would the New Year be without a running challenge? I’m going to ratchet up the pressure just a bit and stray from my normal 5K. I’m signing up for The Blossom Trail 10K Run, which will take place the first weekend in March. This is a really fun race, where the kids all get to participate in a run–shirts, numbers and all. This is a picture of Grace killing it in the under 5 race last year.

So what about you? In what way are you challenging yourself in 2012?

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