Some people make resolutions for the New Year: I make lists. Each January, I used to make long lists of what I wanted to accomplish that year. I set up goals for my health (read for this: lose weight), finances, employment, spirituality, and, of course, for my writing. When I married, I expanded the chart of goals to include my wife's goals as well (not sure how she felt about that, but I'm a little OCD). We bought a house, so I added a new category for work around the house (painting, fixing stuff, etc.).
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans”
- John Lennon
Every December, I reviewed the list to see how I'd done. Gentle Reader, I'm sure you're intelligent enough to guess that I was lucky to get half of my goals anywhere near accomplishment in twelve months. My goals were set up for blue skies, not the changeable climate of real life. Why not aim for the best?
A couple of years ago, I decided to do something simpler: a short list of things I thought were really important. Since then, December hasn't been nearly as brutal.
My goals for 2010:
Lose weight. Finish rewrite. Get an agent. Please note that I dropped 'Get out of debt' from the list after taking out a loan to replace our central air. A house is a money pit. We're just lucky we don't have children to raise.
Goals accomplished? Well, I didn't lose weight, but I maintained the weight I've lost (although the jury is still out until after I escape my mother's clutches). I did finish the rewrite. I didn't get that agent, but I got a publisher, which was better!
Goals for 2011... Hrm. Lose weight (perennial goal). Promote book. I was working on a separate book with a new character when I got the good news. Do I try to finish it, or restart work on the sequel for All This and Family, Too?
Lots to plan for... I may only accomplish the first two goals. Or... maybe only the second goal. I'll be satisfied if it comes off well.
I hope everyone has a great New Year. Try not to get too hung up on resolutions or lists.