i don't do resolutions, and i believe this is my first year of making goals other than those that are for writing, but there are some things i want to take care of next year, and goals seem the best way to approach it.
why goals instead of resolutions? well, to me, a resolution is a promise. you're not saying, "i'm going to aim for this", you're saying, "i will do this." a promise is not something i make lightly, and i try to make promises i know i can keep because i'm giving my word and my word is important to me. it needs to be trustworthy. resolutions also tend to be inflexible. we don't adjust them based on circumstances or on how well we are or are not doing in reaching them. goals are easily adjusted. it's a fine line, but a very definite line in my view. thus goals, not resolutions, for me.
goals have worked fairly well for my writing. i don't always make them (this past year was dismal, but then i also ended up with a lot of health problems that interfered with my ability to even function much less write), but they do keep me motivated. since they have worked well for me, and i do have other things i want to reach for this upcoming year, expanding them beyond my writing seems like a logical way to aim for the other things i want in my life. i've been thinking about them for about a week or so now, carefully considering what is reachable and what steps i can take to actually make them. now i just need to figure out how to make them a part of my daily awareness like my writing is. with my writing, it's easy. the goals are more...conducive to breaking down into weekly goals that i can check off as i reach them. some of these non-writing goals can be taken care of the same way, others not so much. at this point, i'm thinking of using a post-it note and just moving it in my planner each week. my planner is an important part of my day. i write down my weekly goals, my plans for each day, and cross things off as i finish. it helps keep me on track.
so the goals for next year:
· get back to splitting the utility payments during the month
· start taking care of the little things around the house (laundry baskets, for ex.)
now these goals are dependent on saxy keeping his job, and i know that. if the company he's with closes up shop before he finds a new job, we won't be able to get caught up enough to start trying to put these in action. even if he keeps the job, getting back on track (like we were starting to before he lost his last job) will probably end up with some weeks where we're on a very tight budget in order to make the payments to places we've caught up with while dealing with disconnects. it'll be worth it in the end, but it will take awhile.
as for the second item, we have a number of little things we need to take care of: getting enough silverware and plates to make it through a day now that we have extra mouths in the house, our laundry baskets are these pathetic things that are pretty trashed, and so on. at least these things i can do in bits and pieces as we have a little "extra" money here and there. no big ticket items on this list (washer/dryer, mattresses, etc) because we can't afford those at this point, but the little things that cost $10 or less, those i think i can make progress on. i hope (see the above paragraph).
· exercise 5+ days/week
· reduce salt intake
· less ps2
· do something to make myself feel good every day
i'm not working on weight related goals here, but health related goals. the exercise goal will probably be the toughest since i seem to have trouble keeping that up. i'm starting small (2 days/week) and am going to work my way up. the salt intake is also a tough one that i tend to go back and forth on, but i think it affects my migraines and i know it affects my blood pressure. the ps2 goal is so i have more time to do more productive things -- my writing, reading, and stuff like that. as for the last one, i figure it'll be easier to keep the other three if i feel good about myself. something as simple as putting on nice earrings can change my perspective on myself and my day, especially since most days i just end up in front of the comp in my pj's. it's time to give both myself and my day more importance. i'll just have to come up with some creative ways to feel good about myself without resorting to food. ;)
· finish/submit a.c.
· 375k word count total
· phoenix to v4/5
· r.k. project to rough draft
· n.p.b. 1rst draft
· finish/sub s.p.
seems like a lot, but it's not really. this year i only made it to 288k, but last year i made it to about 440k. this year just had all the crap that interfered. a.c. is almost done -- i'm on chapter 30 of my v4/5 revisions. hopefully one more on my own to fix obvious problems and one more after beta readers, and it will be ready to go. finishing a.c. is the priority -- i need a novel done if just to prove i can finish one (it's just my tendency to over challenge myself that had me choose one of the hardest books i plan to write as the one to finish; hopefully everything else will seem easy after this monster). n.p.b and s.p. are my alternate projects for the year -- projects i can work on when my main projects are driving me crazy. besides, s.p. is very short and could probably be sold this year if i quit delaying on it.
i am also considering doing some work in nonfiction since nonfic actually pays better than fiction at my level (i made my first "pro" sale this year, but it was in nonfic rather than fiction), but since i haven't decided for sure, it's not on the goal list. i may dabble a little and then expand for 2010 if i do well.
regardless, i'm sure the key to this goal is keeping friday through sunday for my writing unless there's a really pressing deadline -- and i mean really pressing. and i need to work on revisions when down watching tv, not just veg out the way i have been of late. i used to take the little spaces in my day to work on writing, but i've stopped doing that since i stopped subbing. it's time to pick that up again. have my notebook or current chapter always with me, use my ability to multitask when i can, and so on. this is not to say i don't deserve some down time, just that i need to use my time more wisely. i promise not to take my work with me when the family goes out to eat. ;)
· 1 book/month
this is an annual goal related to my year of reading clique (which i need to check through sometime soon). my reading has gotten slower over the years, and my schedule makes it difficult to read a book every week or two the way i used to, so a book a month, pretty darn good. i actually managed a bit more this year, but several of them were manuscripts i was editing. i'd like to make this already published books, but that may not be possible either. besides, as an editor, the books i work on get read 3 or 4 times. i think i can take one of those as reading a book that month. ;) i also have a little other help set up since i'll be joining in the patricia mckillip challenge this year. my choices actually take care of half the books i need for the year: cygnet book 2 (need to reread book 1), riddle master book 3 (need to reread books 1 and 2), and harrowing the dragon. also on my list: the queen's bastard (currently in progress), with the light vol. 3, and several other books already stacked by my night stand (my to be read pile really is insane). i used to read before going to bed, but that has given way to the ps2...thus the goal to reduce my ps2 time and retake that time with reading and revisions.
it looks like a lot (especially with those explanations in the middle!), but i think i can reach these. i'll reevaluate in june, maybe earlier if the threatened job loss happens (at that point, those goals will have to be let go and survival will be the priority; but let's hope the job loss doesn't happen). i'm really hoping for a better year, especially healthwise. if anything will derail me, that would be it. but, barring that, i think these will do for 2009.
word of the moment: fraught
causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension, uneasy; laden, well supplied or provided; full of or accompanied by something specified