I Resolve Not to Resolve


Much is made of whether or not one should make New Year’s resolutions. The prevailing fad these days seems to favor not making any, probably for good reason: They’re almost universally instantly forgotten.

But how to keep your focus? If I don’t make any resolutions, I feel like I’m drifting aimlessly from one year to the next, not really accomplishing much. It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day routine. Most days I feel like I’m swimming in the ocean, caught by a sneaker-wave and repeatedly pulled under, being dragged further and further out to sea, no matter how hard I flail and kick. Who doesn’t have a ‘to-do’ list that’s longer than their expected life-span? Just getting through the basic daily grind of rising and preparing for and commuting to the job, only to reverse it all at the end of the day, and repeat it again the next four days of the week is almost more than I can manage at times. The futility of it feels paralyzing. It’s that whole ‘There has to be more to life than this.’

I think the only way for me to transcend the paralysis is to focus on things that actually matter to me. I need to list out what I want to have happen this year, and formulate plans to make it so (thank you, Jean-Luc Picard). I won’t call them ‘resolutions’, I will call them my goals for the year.

1. Finish revising Revenants Abroad, get it beta-read, and start querying.

2. Write and submit at least one short story to markets every quarter, and keep at it. Period.

There. That’s it. I think that’s enough with a full-time day job and house to look after. No ‘exercise more’ or ‘lose 20 pounds.’ If my greatest accomplishment at the end of my life is that I stuck to a diet or only weighed a certain amount, I would call my life a failure and a waste. Lots of books to read, but that’s perpetual.

The only thing meaningful enough to alter my life for (apart from my family) is my writing. This means less time on the internet. I’m a Twitter addict but I need to restrict my time there. It’s too easy to lose hours distracted by links and conversations. So back to the NaNoWriMo mindset of head down, blinders on, and type.

So let me leave you with this. Please click the photo below, courtesy of Jacquie Lawson. Let’s make those goals happen. Happy New Year, one and all!

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20 thoughts on “I Resolve Not to Resolve

  1. Beautifully articulated, DD – no bullsh!t. I figure life will unfold as it should if I I resolve on any given day, to give the best I’ve got to whatever task/goal/challenge is in front of me. If I find myself shoving stuff out of the way so that it’s not in front of me, well, then I resolve to stay focussed if said challenge is a priority. Otherwise, whaddayawant from me, Destiny?

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  2. Thanks, MJ. Life is cluttered enough without adding more things to the list, and then later feeling guilt over an inability to get through new tasks we assign ourselves on top of everything else. Focus, focus, focus! 🙂 That’s our mantra for the year.

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  3. D.D –

    Sounds like you have a plan that works for you. Just by the fact that you have a plan places you in the driver’s seat. And keeping it simple makes it much more manageable.

    Happy New Year!

    Best,
    Kevin

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  4. This is so beautifully written. Your ocean metaphor especially. I think your blog is a wonderful ongoing accomplishment. I loved when you said ‘books are perpetual.’

    This one’s a keeper Madam.

    S

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  5. Here’s to a beckoningly bright beginning for us all, and a hearty thanks for all your support. You have inspired me, DD! Sending energy and warm intentions to the muses ~ may they spend a little time with all of us in 2012.

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