I don’t make New Years resolutions.
If I set the goal too high, I fear I won’t make it. If I set it too low, I fear that I’ll only attempt to achieve the bare minimum, and never really know if I could have done more.
Why set myself up for failure? Why set myself up for mediocrity?
I don’t like comparing myself to others, because either I’ll fall short or feel superior. I don’t like people comparing themselves to me because they usually have no idea what being in my shoes is like. Some may be a better “me” than me, and others may drop dead after a day.
I write fast, but I’m not the fastest writer. I’m a decent storyteller, but I’m not the best storyteller out there. I’m diligent, but there are writers more focused than I. All I can plan to be is the best me.
So I don’t make resolutions.
I make plans.
I know I have to write at least one more book this year, because I’m contracted for one more book. I want to write another book, so I hope to be contracted for it – but if I’m not, I’ll write it anyway because I’d be looking for the contract and need to have a book to go out (or at least a proposal.) So I plan to write two books this year, and part of a third.
I want to write three short stories—one I’m contracted to write, and two I’m submitting blind. I plan on completing at least two of these, and hope to write the third.
Family is the most important thing, therefore, I plan to attend at least 90% of my kids sporting events. That means not making outside plans in the Fall unless it’s crucial, because four of my five kids are involved in Fall sports. I plan to have a large, family dinner every Sunday. Plan, because I’m not the only person involved in the event and sometimes, other people’s plans interfere with my own.
I plan to be patient, considerate, and tolerant in my daily life. Plan not resolve, because some people just tick me off and then I lose patience and tolerance all at once.
I plan to read one book a week (before I was a professional writer, I read 4-5 books a week.) This is difficult, because when I’m deep in the zone, I can’t read anyone else’s books. That means that between books, I go on reading binges, a book or more a day for a week or three.
I quit my trainer in August because of conferences and deadlines and general stress. I gained 12 points. I will go back to my trainer starting the second week of January. I’m not going to resolve to lose weight because I know me, and I know I’ll disappoint myself; but I will exercise a minimum of three days a week. Exercise will get me in shape, and if I lose weight that’s incidental to my plan to get back in shape.
All these are plans I would have made simply because I’m done with one book, and starting the next. They happen to coincide with the New Year. But they’re not resolutions. They’re plans, and plans can change.
What do you plan to do this year? Other than, of course, buying LOVE ME TO DEATH if you haven’t already–it’s on sale now. 🙂