Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

Satisfying Resolutions

Posted: January 29, 2017 in writing
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New Year’s Resolutions are difficult. Every year we hear about people making them and then breaking them. There’s a good reason for that. Changing your life is hard. It’s so easy to fall into the slump of comfort, of the familiar, of returning to old habits.

I wouldn’t call what I’m doing now as “killing it”, but its better than nothing. In the past 29 days I’ve written 2,490 words. This is a little shy of the 100 word a day goal I have set myself this month. Not bad considering I didn’t write 100 words every day. In fact, if I sat down 3 days a week that would have been fantastic, but I didn’t even come close to changing my daily habits.

What has changed is my level of focus. I’ve prioritized writing. Making smaller “to-do” lists has been beneficial as well. I’ve been trying my hardest this year to put three priorities on my list a day. This stops me from succumbing to overwhelm, as in the past I’ve made lists of everything that needs to get done and picking off the list as I went (not to mention adding). By keeping it at three it limits the scope of my focus.

I don’t feel like I have to do everything. It’s made sitting down to write very freeing. By having only three things on my list a day it allows me to feel empowered to write. If it makes my list I feel free to come home and write first.

The low word count requirement takes over the pressure I feel when I sit behind a keyboard. If writing is on the to-do list but I find myself exhausted or mentally taxed from work it’s only 100 words. Every time I sit down I surpass the goal, allowing me to feel satisfied that I’m succeeding.

I’ve made a lot of progress this month. I’m looking forward to making even more next month.

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Look Back to Move Ahead

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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A year has come and gone. Isn’t it amazing how time flies by?

I made the mistake of looking back on my resolutions from last January and realized I have not kept even one of them. Not really.

Resolution #1: Post More Often

Yeah, that didn’t happen at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t have things I wanted to talk about, but that posting never moved into a priority spot. Sometimes I would sit back and think of dozens of topics I wanted to expound upon. I would say to myself, “Yes! I totally want to explore that topic!” However, when the time came to sit down and say, “Yes! I’m going to write that right now!” I always waffled, finding my time devoured by other things and deciding that while I didn’t have the time today I would find the time tomorrow.

Resolution #2: Finish My Grim Reaper Story

This wasn’t so much a failure as a derailing. I had every intention of going balls-to-the-wall on this story. I had it plotted out and was ready to take the leap. The problem was I wrote a flippant short story midway through January that captured my imagination and have been working on that all year. A short story of maybe a thousand words has expanded to over 20,000 words and counting. It was such a simple concept back then: How does a hero in epic fantasy get a job if they are utterly unsuited for it? Can they lie and cheat their way into getting something and grow into the job?

It was a cute story. Funny. Reminiscent of the DnD sessions my friends and I play. I thought I’d be done with it after typing it up.

I wasn’t. There’s still humor, but it’s also become more complex, and dark. More than that, it’s changed from a snapshot story to something that is far more massive. I’ve rewrote the beginning more times than I care to admit at the moment, and after a year of work I have something that I’m almost happy with, that’s almost ready to be given to another set of eyes. And that is a success.

Resolution #3: Self-Advocacy for Dietary Restrictions

It’s a work in progress. Sometimes I believe I’ll forever be on a sliding scale towards that goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

Have any of you fared better?

There’s something about the new year that makes people want to better themselves. Perhaps it is because, like a fresh snowfall, the new year gives us the impression that we have a blank slate. A calendar full of blank pages waiting to be filled by change and improvement. A whole year to do with as we will. What could be a more tempting tabula rasa?

My home town was actually graced with a fresh snowfall for the new year. New Year’s celebrations behind me I awoke to find the world blanketed with snow. Pristine and unmarred. Unfortunately, I had places to go so I cleaned off my car and headed off along the snowy roads leaving dark tracks behind me. As I turned onto a road more traveled, evidence of the everyday world was more clear. The white snow had turned into a dingy gray slush. I turned again onto a main road where there was only the thinnest of slush from all the cars, and as I took the on-ramp to the freeway there was almost no difference to the road at all, the snow mashed away by the tires.

The new year isn’t just the fresh snow, it’s built on the prior year. As we travel onward through the months we wear away that beautiful fresh start and realize that this year isn’t a completely fresh start; it’s connected to the year that came before just as the snow can become little more than water on pavement. In looking ahead to my plans and goals for the new year ahead of me I realize they’re based on the experiences I’ve had the year before.

I’m going to jump on the bandwagon here and formally declare my “resolutions”. I’ve heard on several occasions that publicly sharing goals makes a person feel more responsible for accomplishing them, thereby creating conditions for success. I like hedging my bets so here we go.

For the Blog: I want to post more often. Blogging is a wonderful way to release all the thoughts in my head in a constructive way. My hope is that those who stumble upon this blog not only find it entertaining but find posts that resonate with them. When people respond to my posts it’s a way to dialogue with people I would never ordinarily have the opportunity to talk with, people with similar interests and struggles. My goal for the new year is to post once a week. Knowing my schedule, posts will probably come on Sundays, but I don’t want to box myself in by stating “every Sunday I will post to the blog”. It allows for some flexibility on my part so I don’t feel as guilty if Sunday comes around and I’m too busy and postpone until Wednesday.

For my Writing: To finish the first draft of Reaper. On a more strict note, I’ve set up a due date of June 1st to have that done. I’ve found that goals keep me honest when it comes to writing, gives me a sense of urgency instead of ” well, when I have time I’ll get around to that and hopefully it’ll get done before the next new year”. June gives me five months to rough draft my little heart out and if I succeed it gives me three months of summer vacation to play around with editing it before I head back to work in the fall. The goal is to have one round of edits done by the end of the summer and to hand out a copy or two for perusal by beta readers by September. The first draft goal is doable. The editing goal will take a bit of staying power, but I think it’s possible if I accomplish the first goal of being done with the rough draft by June.

For my Health: Of course I’ve got the standard “eat better” and “exercise more” but that isn’t my main goal. My main goal is to become more invested in ordering food at restaurants. To explain myself, I’m gluten intolerant. No wheat, no barley, no rye and all of it’s subsidiaries. Since finding out that gluten is what’s been causing a select group of bodily issues over a year ago I cut it from my diet and have seen positive results. The problem is that I don’t like to be confrontational, so when I go to restaurants I often find myself making educated guesses about ingredients instead of flat out asking and being certain. This year I want to take responsibility for my own health. I have a right to ask. It’s not being pushy, or rude, or confrontational. It is asking an honest to God question, the answer to which will impact my own health. My goal is to start politely inquiring about the availability of allergen menus or ingredients used for sauces. And to stop playing guessing games when people bring food to work. This goal will by far be harder to stick with than the first two. Old habits die hard. But if I succeed I’ll be a much happier person in the long run.

If you’ve made resolutions for the new year I wish you the best of luck and support in achieving them as the year goes on. Just think, in twelve short months all this will be is a distant set of tracks in the rear view mirror.

Happy New Year!

For my LIfe.