I do not like New Year’s resolutions. At least, I don’t like those vague wishes to be a better version of yourself. They don’t work. They don’t stick. We are who we are, and if we truly want to change, we have to have a PLAN. We can’t just say “this year I’ll finally put down the baker’s-dozen box of donuts I shove into my face every morning and lose some weight!” and hope it’ll magically happen. You have to devise steps that you can take that build UP to that goal. “In January I will begin to reduce the amount of sugar I eat, in February I will give up soda, in March I will try home workouts, in April I will join a gym and start doing targeted exercises.”
My version of the “I’m gonna finally lose some weight!” goal (since I’ve given up on losing weight until I can afford an apartment with more walking room than “front door to bed” [I live in a studio apartment on the ground floor and we started getting fat the moment we moved in]) is the “I’m going to be more creatively productive!” and “I’m going to spend less time on the internet!”
There’s no measuring that shit. It’s impossible. I fail every fucking year.
SO, here we go with my list of quantifiable, measurable goals:
IN 2017 I WILL:
- Read 30-50 books (my “best” year, according to my book log, clocked in at 25 books. 50 is a probably-won’t-make-it stretch goal, since I want to enjoy what I’m reading and not just rush to make a number…but I still need to read more than I have been)
- Finish 3 Shitty First Drafts (this is going to be tough but I have never wanted to complete a goal as badly as I want to complete this one) and take at least two of those drafts to a Beta-Reader-Ready draft by December.
- Draw 12 things (that’s one drawing a month. Even I can do that, with my crippling art anxiety)
- Play 5 video games (I always WANT to play games but never do because it feels like I’m wasting time………..and yet I then sit my ass on Facebook for like 2+ fucking hours a day. Let’s fill our wasted time with something more enjoyable than mindless scrolling, shall we?)
- Watch 12 movies (again, that’s once a month to make a little me-time to sit down and watch all the stuff my husband refuses to watch)
- Binge watch at least one show by myself (see above parenthetical notation. My husband is picky. I want to watch Rome. He doesn’t. I will watch Rome this year)
Those are my goals! I plan to be so busy that I won’t be ABLE to spend a ton of time dicking around online. I’m thinking I can limit my internet use to one hour right when I wake up. Then I will put down my mobile device and start my day. Once I’m “going,” any internet-usage will be done on my laptop (which is more cumbersome so I have to really NEED it) and will hopefully be mostly research.
I also plan to set goals for each day in my planner (at least each WEEKEND day, since the work week is a different beast, given that I am a peon for The Man and only write on weekends anyway). If I complete those goals early, I can then do whatever I feel like, though I want to try to do productive things with that free time instead of just more social media. Like reading!
One more thing: this blog will no longer be updated weekly. I feel like I have done what I set out to do, which was to answer the writing questions I was most frequently asked by friends-who-found-out-I-write. All I ever wanted was to put everything in one place so that I could just give them a link instead of explaining my process 50,000 different times. And I did that. Go, me! I do LIKE blogging, more than I thought I would, so when I have time I will still update with book reviews or writing tips I’ve learned. But with the insane writing schedule I’m drafting for myself for 2017, I won’t have time to do this every Sunday. It has been a pleasure, writers!
Now go make yourself some measurable goals for the new year!