I set some goals for the year, and since this sort of thing often does not go as well as we hoped, I tried to set some very concrete steps for the goals. I tried to model the tasks on the notion how one trains a pet: if a dog shows a penchant for chewing up shoes, it isn’t enough to scold the dog and try to keep the shoes out of reach; you must give the dog an acceptable chew toy. In other words, replace a bad habit with a better one.
Since being accountable to someone seems to keep me motivated, I also planned to post updates throughout the year. The beginning of a new month seems like a good time to do that:
Goal: Reduce the outrage.
Step: Listen to the Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me podcast once a week, limit the amount of time I read news during work breaks.
Progress: I have been limiting the amount of time I spend reading the during breaks and listening to the Wait! Wait podcast each week. I’m still getting riled up about certain kinds of news, but I also feel as if I’m laughing at the antics of the wingnuts slightly more often than I was.
Goal: Write more regularly.
Step: Spend the reclaimed break time writing. Find other ways to motivate myself to write rather than twiddle the keys.
Progress: I have been writing during part of my lunch break at work, though I’ve been writing blog posts more often than fiction. I’ll keep working on this.
Goal: See friends for fun more, as opposed to all of my social interactions being driven by various projects.
Step: I didn’t have a good concrete step for that. Which may be just as well, given that for most of the month of January, my husband and I have been sick or trying to get over being sick, et cetera.
Progress: We haven’t been able to resume our weekly get together and chat night. I didn’t have to cancel Writers’ Night nor miss out on the AFK Tavern meet-up with out-of-town friends, so I wasn’t a total hermit.
My friend, Anthony, has been trying to get folks together for a regular “drink and draw” on a Sunday afternoon at AFK Tavern, and I’ve put the next one on our calendar. Which may help with the next goal.
Goal: Paint, draw, and make music.
Step: I didn’t have a good way to make myself do that instead of other things.
Progress: If I can manage to attend the Drink ‘n’ Draw meet ups, I should get some sketching done there, as well as seeing friends just for fun. I still need to come up with some more steps to push this one along.