New Year's Eve is coming up, which means I need to make a whole bunch of promises to myself that I'll never keep, right?

At the beginning of the year I told you guys that I typically hated New Years resolutions because self improvement should start when you realize it's needed, and not on January 1st. This blogging journey also sort of started as a New Year's resolution, and it's one I've been able to keep. The reason I kept it isn't because I have amazing self control, but because I used "giveaways for missing a post" as a means of keeping myself accountable. It gave me a clear objective, and consequences for failing my goal.

I'd like to do something similar for 2014. I'm not going to do something every day, because this goal was pretty stressful to maintain on a day-to-day basis. Nor do I want to do something over-the-top, because I don't like setting unachievable goals. Instead I thought I'd use my favorite series, My Top 10, to help me set up some goals for next year. So here are My Top 10 goals I plan to accomplish next year.

10. Participate in a tournament
Let's start off with the one I least want to do. I don't care for tournaments because they tend to bring out the worst in people. There is a prize on the line, and people will either try to cheat their way to victory, or just lose all sense of decency. Now I imagine the majority of people are pretty chill during tournaments, but there's always that one bad egg that can tank the whole experience. I've spent many years avoiding that level of competition, and as a result I think I've demonized the experience more than I should. I want to participate in a tournament not because I want to win, but because I want to revisit the entire tournament scene and accept that it can be a fun environment.

9. Make a video battle report
I've wanted to do this since the beginning of the year, but blogging every day had me avoiding some of the heavier projects that would take me several days to complete. This year I want to go for quality over quantity, and that means I am ready to start adding videos to my collection of gaming content. WarGamerGirl and MiniWarGaming are my inspirations, and I don't know if I could make anything less than the quality of commentary that they give. The video and audio may suffer, but I definitely don't want to "phone in" my reports.

8. Attend a gaming convention 
My wife is awesome, and has wanted me to attend one of these for several years. Despite it being a group of geeks, it's still a large group, and so I've been hesitant to commit myself to going. 2014 is going to be a year of new experiences, and what better thing could I add to experiences than to attend a gaming convention? Cost is always an issue, but I just discovered that Iowa has a convention called Demicon near me. And did I mention my wife is awesome? Because the convention is on her birthday, and she has given me the green light to attend it if that's the convention I want to attend this year.  

7. Get enough non-nature terrain to cover a board
I like having terrain at my place for the occasional game. But if there's one thing I'm tired of seeing after watching an endless amount of battle reports, it's nature. Hills, trees, rocks... they're easy to make, they're universal to almost any game system, and as a result they're everywhere. I'd really like to make a theme of terrain at my place, with a lot of variety. I'm feeling a steampunk/wild west theme, with a few pieces that are heavily steampunk, somethat are heavily cowboy-ish, and some that are a light mixture of both. The theme would work with anything but the most fantasy of games, and it would give me a chance to have some fun and make some unique pieces. Otherwise I'll go with an industrial vibe, which would let me have fun with my foam cutter and make a bunch of ruined bricks, barricades, and whatever else I can think up.

6. Play a non-solo game once a week
When I was brainstorming with my wife, she suggested I play a tabletop game every week. While I'd love to do that, I just can't safely commit myself to something that requires me to transport an army to another location and spend a few hours there. After some talking, we modified it to playing any multiplayer game once a week. Whether it's a long, face-to-face game like Warmachine, a competitive shooter like Titanfall, or just an online chess game, I want to stay connected to other gamers. This will probably be the hardest to keep up, but like attending a tournament I think it will help me better appreciate spending time with other gamers.

5. Enter a painting contest
I don't foresee winning anything but a local tournament, but darn it I need to cowboy up and enter one already. My first one won't be anything crazy - I'll paint up a model and enter it. Done. Once I get addicted to painting contests, because they'll force me to push myself beyond my limits, I know I'll start getting more creative and skilled with my personal and commission painting. And if I happen to win a contest in the meantime, that's just gravy.

4. Paint 4 starter boxes for each game I'm interested in
I have painted up a new Khador starter, I have a Cyriss and Circle box started, and I have a Menoth and Trolls starter assembled and ready for paint. For Malifaux I'll have my Guild's Judgment box, plus I already have most of a Hamelin starter painted from a contest I was going to enter earlier this year. If I make these my focus during my painting free time, I can get this one done very quickly. Which will be good because I want to...

3. Apply as an official volunteer community coordinator
No surprise here, right? I'd love to be a Press Ganger or Henchman and help bring a community together for a game I love. The only thing holding me up right now is getting support from a local gaming store. I think my local shop already has a representative for Warmachine, but Malifaux is barely present. Either way, I know my LGS is pretty open on Saturdays, and since that's my only free day to play games I'm pretty sure it will be a piece of cake to finally make this goal happen.

2. Learn 3 new painting/modelling techniques
This one will probably go hand-in-hand with entering contests. I hate being at rest with my skills, and nothing makes me happier than pushing myself to learn new things. One technique I'm going to perfect is blending. I have the raw ability, but it needs a lot of refinement. I want to learn at least 1 modelling technique, whether it's basic conversion work or creating an amazing base. Working with oil paints (instead of acrylics) has been on my mind for awhile, so I may have my three techniques figured out already!

1. Blog at least once a month
The real plan is once a week. I said once a month simply because I can see myself bottoming out in January. Although I've loved this experience, it will be nice not to wake up every day and have my first thought be "I need to figure out today's topic." At the same time, 365 posts has made blogging a part of who I am. As I said with my video battle reports, I want to move away from hammering out post after post, and instead focus on making some quality stuff for you guys. Videos will probably become more prevalent, longer posts will be more common, and I may even proofread my stuff! I like to think that reading some of my posts has become a regular part of the week for many of you, and knowing that my writing is of interest to a handful of people is what's kept me going for much of this journey.

Bonus goal!
I'm definitely doing another charity this year. Knowing that my painting could be used for a good cause was, without a doubt, the greatest experience I've had in gaming.

So there it is. I'm still debating on whether I'll have a "punishment" for missing my goals. I mean really, other than blogging there's no way to know whether I've passed or failed until December 31st. I want to figure out something to keep me accountable because I know if I don't, it will be too easy to just shrug my shoulders and say "oh well" if I don't do everything. I'd be grateful for any ideas on making sure I keep myself working towards accomplishing this list!

And what about you guys? What does 2014 hold in store for you as a gamer?

See you tomorrow!

Remember to follow me on Facebook! I'm doing a blog post every single day for 2013, and Facebook is a great way to stay up-to-date as well as take part in my monthly giveaways. This is my last month of guaranteed giveaways, so don't miss out on a free copy of Super Dungeon Explore, a painting project, and more! Click here for details!