The first week of 2015 revealed many, many posts on Face Book and various groups declaring long lists of resolutions. Some even admitted they hadn’t kept the previous year’s. I’m always amazed at people setting goals so high they can’t possibly keep them. So why not try to be practical and not expect quite so much of yourselves?
Let’s face it, we all know deep down what we are capable of, so asking so much more of ourselves seems futile. Why not have a heart to heart with the inner you, the centered you, whatever you want to call that self who dwells in the core of you?
Here it is the end of January. Have you done anything this month toward the resolutions or goals you set when we left 2014 behind? If not I advise you first, to sit down with your list and take a really good look at it. Pick what you want to accomplish in your career more than anything else this year.
This will be number one. Be it write a book, learn a new craft, become an expert in your field. So tomorrow, first thing, sit down to that blank page and type Chapter One and start writing. Or go online and get instructions for that afghan you wanted to make. Or arrange for classes that will help you become that expert. No excuses, no ands, ifs, or buts. Arrange to change your career, advance in it, or retire and take up something new.
Second, pick one item on your list that relates to your personality, attitude or interactions with people. Throw the rest away and concentrate on that one resolution. If it’s be more kind, thoughtful and gracious to both friends and strangers or call someone with whom you’ve had problems recently and make up. That’s a good start and this is something you can do all year. Make new friends, treasure the old ones.
Third, choose a single crazy wish, call it from your bucket list if you want, and make sure you arrange to accomplish that desire. Make reservations, set a date, invite a friend or relative, hubby if you have one, to go with you.
Now, don’t you feel better having set in motion three major resolutions? What happens to the others? Throw them away, you weren’t going to keep them anyway.
A few years ago my career in writing took a plunge when the New York publishers went from thirty or more to six. Heads rolled, editors were fired, writers dropped. We fell hard and tail between my legs I whimpered for a while, then said to heck with this, and began writing for the regional, nonfiction market.
While doing that I wrote fiction, one novel after another. My goal? Get back into writing and being published in fiction. Finishing one nonfiction book, I went to work marketing it and wrote another western historical romance. After a few years of working toward my goal while selling nonfiction to small publishers, I managed to meet the acquisitions editor of a fast growing ebook publisher. By the time she’d bought my historical romance, the house was also releasing books in print. I now have four books with them, one with another small publisher, another with yet another small publisher and a four book contract with an up and coming new house. Those books I wrote over the past few years have all but one found a home, and it will soon. Because that’s on my list.
I’m telling you this for a reason. Tenacity and a love for writing allowed me to set goals I was able to keep. Each year I would turn out two or more novels, determined to meet that goal to continue to be a published author in the fiction field. I could have also added a lot of impossible resolutions for myself. But when I couldn’t keep them I would have felt like a failure.
So I don’t believe in long lists, whether at the beginning of the year or anytime we feel down and need a boost. Try three and don’t quit till you accomplish them. You’ll feel so good, so fulfilled, so content. It’s not too late to revise that resolution list. Slash it deep until all that’s left are the three items you most want to complete in 2015.
Let me know what three things you’ve picked for this year. It will be fun to watch you achieve your goals.