I have elaborate lists of things I want to achieve in eight areas of my life. These lists show the steps, in order, that it will take to complete the project, or some aspect of a larger project, with reasonable deadlines.
Of course life (God, fate) sometimes has other ideas for us, and our best-laid plans go awry, and we need to try other strategies. But at least by thinking about resolutions, and setting deadlines for achieving them, we will come closer to hitting our mark than if we had not defined any marks at all.
And the secret to accomplishing what we set out to accomplish is simple. We keep it in front of us each and every day. We plan the work, and work the plan. Without deviation. Unless what we're doing isn't working. Then we reformulate.
Here are a few of my resolutions:
- I plan to be slender again, like I was three years ago. I plan to loose 30 pounds by October 1.
- Regarding the manuscript I finished in November, I plan to make more revisions based on input from my 12 beta reader/critique partners (that I will get on January 9), and then to write up a strong query, and then to begin querying agents.
- Regarding writing a new book: Oh, my. I am on fire! When I finished the "old book," I felt so drained, I wasn't sure I wanted to keep writing. For two weeks, I gave up the idea entirely. I didn't know if I could think up a new idea, or if I could top what I had accomplished in the old book. (The old book demonstrated a significant leap in quality, which I had not achieved in any prior manuscript. It was a great victory for me.) Now, I am happy to say that I can hardly restrain myself from setting out on a new writing path. I am working up an idea, and hope to have a draft written on or before October 1.
- Writer's Platform: Here, my goals are less well-defined. I could turn blog writing into a full time job. So could you, right? There's plenty to say, however I cannot allow blogging to overtake my limited time for writing. Maybe I "should" set up a posting schedule. Maybe I "should" begin to write on the 1001 ideas I could be writing about ... But the smarter resolution for me is to restrain myself ... To protect my writing time, and to achieve my writing goals.
- That being said, I am considering joining Rach's 4th crusade in February, and the A-Z challenge in April. Those two things may well be my blogging biggies for 2012.
- Other Creativity, i.e. Scrapbooking: No formal goals here, either. I "should" build time into my schedule for this type of R&R, but I don't want to legislate that I'll do it two hours each week. I'll scrapbook on an "as needed" basis. "As needed" meaning when I seriously need a break from all of my other activities.
- Miscellaneous: Hubbie and I are planning a trip to Kauai, Hawaii around the end of January. Two years ago, on the spur of the moment, we took a trip to Maui and Hawaii, our first time ever on the islands. Me being a planner, I freaked out about the spur-of the-moment planning. Our friends were going; they invited us, and we had two weeks to get ready for it. I discovered I really could plan a trip in only two weeks ... even if I was working full time and babysitting two grandchildren while our daughter was in the hospital with a seven-week premature baby. Even if I was a second-round judge for the CYBILS, YA division, and I needed to read books, and the judges needed to make decisions. Even if I was involved in the Kidlitosphere's Comment Challenge, which happens every January. You need plan only two things for a trip to Hawaii: buy airline tickets and make a hotel/condo reservation. Oh, and to make sure you make a reservation to take a one-hour flight around the island in a Waco, open cockpit biplane. (Hubbie's #1 priority.)
Happy New Year to you! What are some of your resolutions?