A New Year Sans Resolutions

That's me, with a camera, in a rear view mirror. Reflecting. Getting literal here, folks.

I’m not making any resolutions today. Nope. Not going to do it again. You can’t make me.

I will tell you why (because, as usual, you asked, right?)

  • Resolutions aren’t reliable. They really aren’t. At least for me, anyway. I can count on them to stay with me through the first week of the year, but after that they kind of lose their glimmer and vanish. What is that all about, anyway? Shouldn’t they be sticking it out for the entire year with me? Jerks.
  • Resolutions are just capitalizing on your “fresh start” mentality. Think about it. Resolutions show up in nice business suits with  shiny watches on and make lots of grand promises about new beginnings and a clean slate. Then they leave before the work is done! Con artists! I want my money back!
  • Resolutions are just goals that usually don’t stick. Just make goals instead. Don’t resolve to write that  book in 2011. That isn’t going to help you get anywhere. Instead, make a goal to write a certain number of words per day or have a draft done by June, revised by December. Goals are better than sweeping, generalized resolutions. You can actually accomplish goals if you make them specific and concrete. In all honestly, goals won’t work either if you don’t make them specific. I think that’s the problem with resolutions, among other things. They typically are so general and vague that they’re extremely difficult to stick with.

So those are a few of my issues with resolutions, and reasons why I’m not bothering with them this year. I usually make a list of the things I WILL DO, but the list falls apart because it’s empty of goals. Make promises to yourself. Don’t make resolutions. Promise yourself that you will make 2011 an amazing year, that you will grab hold of it and take full advantage of every opportunity you come across.

These are my goals/promises for 2011:

  • Increase my earnings by a certain amount each month by picking up more clients, being paid more to write, becoming a social media consultant for businesses/individuals
  • Write 500-1000 words a day towards a completed manuscript (this goal allows for days off where other obligations take me away from my computer. This flexibility ensures that I won’t fall into the NaNoWriMo-type trap where one missed day leads to another which leads to failure)
  • Send one short story out a month to at least 6 journals at a time
  • Pitch article/essay ideas weekly to various publications
  • Spend one day every week fleshing out blog ideas for my blog and for the blogs I write for, and in the process improve my own blog and increase traffic
  • Have a ton of adventures. I can’t make it more specific than that. I just want to have adventures, leave the house, see new places, meet new people, and feel renewed often.

Overall, I want to allow these goals to be flexible and open to change. In the past, resolutions have left me disappointed because they feel rigid. “Lose weight” or “be a nicer person” are great resolutions, but the second you eat some pie or say something unkind, you feel like you’ve failed. With specificity and flexibility, goals can be accomplished. If I miss a week sending out story pitches, I won’t give everything up. I will acknowledge that every goal needs room to breathe, and after all I’m only human.

Glass Water
Seriously. Isn't this peaceful? Find your calm today.

So, my wish for you is a happy, healthy, prosperous and adventure-filled 2011. I hope you end 2010 like this, with peace and tranquility:

And start 2011 like this, with a bang:

Boom!
Ok, as of 1/1/2011 you can EXPLODE! Seriously-- you better be bursting with zest for the new year. Or else.

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