Resolutions, and how I did with the 2014 goals
When I set my goals for the year, I said I’d do monthly check-ins, and I managed it every month except November, which was swallowed up by NaNoWriMo, so that’s not too bad. Click the link to see how I did:
Inspired by a friend’s suggestion, I tried to identify a better habit to replace each bad habit.
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. I added a step of listening to the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcasts (aka the H.P. Podcraft) whenever I felt I was spending too much time obsessing over events in the news. And there have been a lot of those.
How did I do: I managed to keep this up all year long. I didn’t always follow the specific plan of making sure I listened to each week’s episode of Wait! Wait!… because some weeks other podcasts or audiobooks took up all my listening time. I believe I will always be a news junkie, so it will be impossible for me not to get worked up over various injustices in the world, but I do think I’ve made a new habit here that will serve me well going forward.
Goal: Write more regularly.
Step: Spend the reclaimed break time writing. Find other ways to motivate myself to write rather than twiddle the keys.
How did I do: I did pretty well on this one all year. I got at least some writing or editing in on just about every lunch break at work. That seemed to increase the number of evenings that I got some writing done at home. Participating again in NaNoWriMo, plus doing both Camp NaNo’s helped a lot.
Goal: See friends for fun more, as opposed to all of my social interactions being driven by various projects.
Step: I tried to just plan a few things.
How did I do: I don’t feel that this went well. This is also the one goal that I didn’t set a concrete step or habit to try to accomplish, which I think figures heavily into why I didn’t succeed. It’s not that we’e been hermits, but I still feel that I don’t do as good a job as I ought to keep in touch with my friends/loved ones.
Goal: Paint, draw, and make music.
Go to the Drink ‘n’ Draw gathers. Set aside some time to sketch each week.
How did I do: This one started out without a specific task, then got one added before January ended. Unfortunately, that task was dependent on someone else hosting an event that eventually was crowded out by events. I did a very little bit of sketching. I spent a lot of time working on a map of my fantasy world. I started, but did not finish, two comic strips. I tried to finish composing a song.
But that’s about as much drawing and music making as I usually accomplish in a year. And I never actually did any painting. So I think this one also has to go in the Not Accomplished column.
December Tasks:Late in the year I started listing specific tasks for the coming month, and that did seem to help keep me focused. For December those were::
- Post that story on my writing site. Done!
- Finish decorating the house. Done!
- Complete a Christmas Ghost Story before the Holiday Party. Done! With two days to spare!
- Host the Holiday Party. Done!
- Write up the promised feedback to Mom on her NaNoWriMo project. Not done. Mom and I did talk about it, including what kind of comments she thought would be helpful. Which wasn’t the way I was going, so I’m glad I’m behind on this one.
- Prioritize and finish the edits on Book 1. Not done, however see the next item.
- Get some revision done on Book 2. Done! Not only do some revising, but I spent a lot of time cross-checking it with Book 1, and then did a lot more revising than I had originally planned for this month on Book 2.
- Write at least a couple scenes for Book 3. Done!
Sum-up: I did really well on two of the goals. I learned some important things from my failure at the second two goals.
There were some meta-goals worth mentioning, as well. I and several friends challenged each other to post monthly check-ins on our goals in addition to encouraging each other. I skipped only one month. And even then, I was still conscious of all the goals. One of the reasons for doing the monthly check-ins is because most people fail at New Year’s Resolutions at least in part because they just stop thinking about them.
Because of several conversations with friends in January, I wound up setting myself a secondary goal/task of trying to read through all of Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, in the internal chronological order, with plans to follow up by reading some of the related books. I got bogged down in the third book (admittedly, one that I have previously struggled with), and so didn’t get through the five novels. Yet.
That provides a nice segue into my goals or resolutions for 2015:
- Write more, rant less. I don’t want to backslide in the two areas I did well in, so I will keep a goal related to both. My tasks are: listen to non-political podcasts or audiobooks every week; spend at least one lunch break a week reading one of my ebooks instead of the news; continue to spend at least half of my lunch break writing; give myself a monthly quota of blog posts about things I love; set specific monthly writing goals in each check-in.
- Take care of myself. Not that I don’t usually do this, but I have let some old bad habits come back (or let some good habits slip, depending on how you look at it). My tasks are: get back in the habit of waking up on weekends at nearly the same time was work days; get back in the habit to making weekly meal plans together; get back in the habit of setting up my pill-minder every week.
- Enjoy time with friends. Last year I was trying to find ways to hang out with friends that didn’t involve one of my projects. I need to accept that the kind of nerdy geek that I and most of my friends are will almost always find projects to do together. My tasks are to make an effort at get-togethers to ask leading questions.
- Paint, draw, and make music. I haven’t figured out a better task for this one, yet, but I’m going to carry it over in hopes that someone will suggest something or I’ll find something I can start doing.