The Near Side: I Resolve to Blog More

If you’re a regular Near Side reader, you’ll be seeing a lot more of this guy over the next 30 days.

Last year, my New Year’s resolutions were to perfect a bagel recipe and learn how to make latte foam art. I don’t know where that came from. I must have been in an upscale café somewhere when someone asked me what my resolution was. Also, I don’t want to say I’m the only person in America whose 2014 resolutions would lead to increased consumption of refined carbs and caffeine, but I’d guess it puts me in a pretty exclusive club. In any case, I never followed through with either one.

I didn’t really make resolutions this year, either, and maybe it’s because of my lack of follow-through in previous years. Most of the time, I suspect I’ve forgotten what my resolutions were by mid-March, and even if I don’t forget, a year is a long time and priorities change. I probably forgot all about my cozy café-inspired goals once spring weather arrived and latte weather faded away. The same could be said for more traditional resolutions. Going to the gym five days a week seems like a worthy goal in December, but by April, it seems stupid to hole up in a sweaty-people-filled building when you could be spending the increasing daylight at the barn.

So forget resolutions. But I still think working toward goals is important, so instead I’m going to attempt 30-day challenges. This is an idea that gained popularity thanks to a very short TED talk by Matt Cutts. As the head of webspam at Google, Cutts is well-known to those of us who maintain websites for a living. But his TED talk has nothing to do with his day job—he’s just a guy who found a way to try new things. Take a look.

I’ve followed this model every now and then. Once I gave up Facebook for 30 days (it wasn’t hard, though I did revert back to daily mindless browsing once the month was up.) I’ve also done the photo-a-day challenge successfully. So to kick off 2014, I am embarking on a 30-day blogging challenge. For every day of January, I will post a new, horse-related blog here in The Near Side.

What do I hope to accomplish with this? I don’t know, but I enjoy blogging and it often ends up getting pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. This will force me to make time for it. Will the blog posts be high-quality? Probably not. In fact, given the doldrums of my equestrian life these days, I’m already worrying about running out of material, but we’ll see what happens.

So, what should I blog about? And what are your New Year’s resolutions? And if you don’t do resolutions, how do you feel about 30-day challenges? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Leslie Potter is Sr. Associate Web Editor for Follow her on Twitter: @LeslieInLex.

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Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, KY.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


  1. Wow, what a great idea. I can’t say I will try something big and adventurous, but a small easy to stick with challenge will be fun, after all, like he said the next 30 days are going to pass whether we like it or not…Thanks

  2. I love the idea. I think I would be interested in it after I spend sometime reading and seeing what blogging is all about. I don’t do resolutions. I fear failure though I still attempt many things and fail at them. lol I just don’t commit to a timeline so much. What I am interested in and would love to read in your blog is about how someone that has overcome a major set back or obstacles in their horse activities such as health, financial struggles, death in the family, or a divorce, and how I can get back into the “grove”. My two horses have been on a pasture vacation for a few years now and I would love to get back into showing western pleasure or halter, but the motivation hasn’t driven my need to rewrite my priorities. I want to do this, but I’m stuck and feel overwhelm or guilt-ridden by my everyday life obligations. So I think that a 30 day goal is doable and it’s a positive way to attempt anything. This article has peaked my interest in blogging because I love to write, and to try a 30 day goal sounds pretty exciting!

  3. There are a lot of free blogging sites you can use if you want to join in. WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are the most popular. If you start a blog, post a link so we can follow along! 🙂


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