It’s the first day of your arbitrary time demarcation—embrace it

“Life is short. So do the things that make you happy. Be with those that make you happy. Look for the good in every day—even if some days you have to look a little harder!”
“Life is short. So do the things that make you happy. Be with those that make you happy. Look for the good in every day—even if some days you have to look a little harder!”
There is a lot of baggage on the notion of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t want to rehash all the arguments. And I really don’t want to get into a pedantic semantics argument about the arbitrariness of the calendar and so forth. Trust me, I know. But I also know from personal experience that when I set goals and also set up some sort of mechanism for reporting on them, I actually make major progress toward them. So, I’m going to set some goals for the year. I’m publishing them on my personal blog and on my Patreon. I am currently planning to post monthly updates about my progress on my Patreon, rather than at the blog. But I also may do some sort of cross-post.

Some years ago a friend suggested the analogy of how one trains a dog: you can’t get rid of a bad behavior without replacing it with something else that fulfills the same need for the pup. In other words, replace a habit you don’t like with a new one that you do. This has helped me make a number of changes in my own behavior over the years since.

For various reasons, when I started setting my annual goals using this method, I kept setting four goals. And other than 2017, when two of those goals were related to external forces (specifically, our involuntary relocation from our home of 20+ years and a surgery my husband required) I have never managed to make progress on all four. So this year, I’m going to cut the goals back to three, and see if that works a little bit better.

My goals for 2019:

  • Don’t get mad, keep focused. It has always been the case that I find it easy to rant and get outraged about injustices and the like in the world. And this outrage burns up a lot of energy. That’s why for several years I’ve had a goal related to reducing or controlling my outrage. The last two years we’ve all had a lot of anxiety and outrage fatigue. I think I’ve done a reasonably good job of paying enough attention to try to protect myself and my family, while not getting overwhelmed. So I’m going to get try this year to keep (and in some areas increase) my focus on things I can control. My tasks are: write about about things I love, including more book reviews and the like on my blog; continuing listening to music and audiobooks more than news podcasts and the like; carve out some time to paint of make music each month.
  • Take care of business. There are a number of things that I’ve procrastinated on. It’s been easy to let my insane work schedule derail plans. I’ve made a list of 10 tasks that I just need to finish. The plan is to knock off a minimum of one a month. Some of the tasks have confidentiality issues, so I’m going to remain vague on this..
  • Revise and finish. I’ve been in an unending iterative loop of proofing/editing one novel for an embarrassingly long time. I tried to balance that by looking at calls for submissions and writing to those. That has not worked out. I don’t seem to ever meet the expectations of those calls. And the time spent writing those stories should have gone to finishing the books I have and just self-publishing them So, that’s what I’m doing this year. My task is: set specific monthly writing/editing goals each month.

Wish me luck!

And I hope everyone (well, everyone except the alleged president of the United States and any of his enablers) has a joyous and blessed 2019.

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