Every December, at the beginning of my planner for the new year, I write a list of goals instead of the usual resolutions. Some are big. Some are small, but lead to the bigger ones. All are attainable. I make a line in front of them to check off once they’re completed. Checking them off is a visual reminder of what I’ve accomplished. Last year, only six of fifteen were left unchecked. Not bad! Definitely room for improvement, though. I hope to do better this year.

I try to make my goals based on the the following subjects: home (improvement or otherwise – like “plant a garden” or “clean out closets”), personal (“exercise x number of days” or “try something new”), family (“take a trip to ____”), and writing (“finish manuscript” or “submit x number of queries”). Again, all attainable. That’s the key.

One of my goals for this year was to make paczki (POONSH-key) for Fat Tuesday. My mom’s side of the family is Polish (and Catholic), and we’re from Detroit, so paczki are a well loved tradition.

What’s paczki? They (because “paczki” is plural…the singular is “paczek” (POONSH-ek) are what I like to call “donuts on steroids.” They’re huge. They’re fried. They’re filled. They’re awesome.

Living up to my Polish roots was a bit daunting. I’ve never even made donuts, much less paczki. But a goal’s a goal, right? And if you aren’t brave, you won’t get anywhere in life. So…I collected what I needed, and got down to work. It took all day, but I did it! I made paczki! Don’t be afraid to try something new this year. Make goals, then bust them wide open!

Apple cinnamon filled paczki, dusted in cinnamon sugar. Wrong sized cutter, but I worked with what I had!

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