Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A New Years Resolution I can keep


Do you know how long the average New Year’s resolution typically lasts? 4 weeks. Chances are if you made a New Year’s resolution, it would be broken by the end of January. A few tenacious ones may even make it to mid February. Gyms see their greatest new enrollment at the beginning of the year. By March it is only the old faithful who remain. Writers dust of their muses and pledge to write an ambitious number of words a day. Or they resolve to have an even more ambitious number of published work that year, make deadlines without extension, you name it. By mid February those pledges and resolutions fall way short. Eventually they dissipate until the next January 1st.

That is why I made one resolution more than 20 years ago. I resolved not to make any New Years’ resolutions. So far I have done well. I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in over twenty years. Well that changed this year. This year I have decided to make one resolution: to take more risks.

You see, I’m not a risk taker. Even though I’m not the most organized person, I tend to travel the beaten well lit path. I have a plan A, B all the way down to plan Z. I put myself in hypothetical situations constantly and think of how I would react. If I decide to do something, I research it to death. A simple purchase has me going on Amazon.com and reading the customer reviews; going to Bizrate and Shopzilla to compare prices; walking into or calling the stores to check the prices in effort to determine whether the taxes (in store purchase) or the shipping (online purchase) would make the item cheaper.

But where has all this careful evaluation taken me? Not as far as I would like to go. So for 2013 I resolve to take more risks in my writing; try new genres, new publishing routes. I resolve to abandon some of the self-imposed restrictions and try new things. I resolve to leave my comfort zone and meet people I would not otherwise meet. I resolve to learn at least one new thing, see one new place, talk to at least one new person and set and accomplish at least one new goal.

Am I terrified? Yes. I’d be crazy if I wasn’t. Will that resolution dissipate by the end of January? Possibly. But if it does, I’ll renew it in February. And if I never accomplish the one new goal that I set? Big deal, I’ll set set another goal and try to accomplish that.

That’s my resolution for 2013. One I’m confident I can keep. What’s yours?

10 comments:

Julie Luek said...

I'm not a risk-taker by nature either, but yes, this year, I will take a few. Most of the risks I fear aren't life-endangering, just emotionally scary. But most of the goals I want for my life involve that kind of step. Best to you in 2013.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What a GREAT resolution sir. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone...

Jewel Amethyst said...

Julie, I am begining to realize that too. Most of life's risks aren't life endangering but emotionally scary. Good luck to you in the coming year. Hope you succeed at the risk taking.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Optimistic Existentialist, can I quote that?

KeVin K. said...

A good piece of advice I received this year was to not make a resolution but to choose a quality and focus on that. You sound like you're on the same track. You have no specific activity in mind, but whatever you encounter you're going to take greater risks.
That's a quality I don't need to work on, my life is full of moments most thinking adults avoid. I've decided to focus on discipline as the quality I want to develop this year.
(Valerie asked if this will include putting my clothes in the hamper; I've told her not to expect miracles.)

Jewel Amethyst said...

Lol, KeVin. I think putting your clothes in the hamper is a miracle you can make happen. If only I can get my husband to do the same!

G. B. Miller said...

My resolution for this year has been fulfilled for the last two, which is to get at least one story published this year. Doesn't matter if its a short story or novel, so long as I get something published.

Charles Gramlich said...

Taking risks terrifies me, but it's the only way in this volatile market to succeed, I think. Gives you a chance anyway.

Liane Spicer said...

I also stopped making resolutions years ago, but I do set goals continuously, though. Long term goals, short term goals, daily goals, you name 'em.

As for the risk-taking, I'm probably in KeVin's territory here. Maybe I can stand to take fewer. :|

Best of luck with breaking that mould!

Lynn Emery said...

I started setting goals like Liane. You're brave to step out and take more chances! Do it :)