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!