Welcome, 2012! Goals for a new year

The new year isn’t even a month old, and I feel as though I’ve already achieved plenty!  There are so many things to look forward to this year, and many more goals I hope to achieve. Some of them are personal or secret, but a lot of them apply to this blog – or my writing – so I’d like to share them with you!  (I read once that telling others about your goals makes you more likely to achieve them… but I’ll get to that again later.)

First of all, I want to complete a working manuscript of a novel this year.  Not a NaNoWriMo project – though NaNoWriMo is so much fun! – but the level of manuscript I’d work on publication with.  To me, they’re very different things!

I’d also like to do more volunteer work.  Currently, I volunteer as a public relations writer for my high school.  I’d like to expand my volunteering to make a bigger impact on the world – maybe by volunteering with the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library or by helping gather donations for Reach Out and Read Toledo.  Literacy is something I feel really strongly about, so I hope I can make a difference in literacy and education.

Since I plan to graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree, I have a couple post-graduation goals I hope to achieve: either get hired at a full-time job, get accepted to graduate school for Publishing, or both.  I have several passions, so it can be very difficult for me to choose, but those two goals will remain the same no matter what!

I would like to attend a professional writing conference this year, as well.  I think this is one of the only goals I’ve already secured: I have plans to attend the AWP Annual Conference in Chicago this March!  I’ll be going with members of the UT Writer’s Guild, so this will be an adventure to remember – you may get to read a guest post or two about the trip written by my traveling companions.

And, last of those goals I’m posting today, I want to learn something big and new this year.  I’m leaning towards Japanese – I speak a little Japanese, thanks to two years of college language classes – because one of my friends and I have decided we’ll be multilingual.  (She’s got a head start – she’s already fluent in three languages.)  If I choose Japanese to be my Big New Thing, I will focus on speaking rather than writing, since my speaking skills are awful compared to my written Japanese.  However, I’m also leaning towards either Spanish (which I pronounce fairly well) or Tagalog, which my father speaks.

POLL: Should I pick Japanese, Spanish, or Tagalog as my Big New Thing of 2012?

These are the goals I want to achieve, and I’m hoping you can remind me!  Now it’s your turn: what are your goals for 2012?  Do you have a Big New Thing you want to learn?  Is there any way I can help you learn it?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!