Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Year's Suggestions

New Year's Resolutions--Can't live with 'em, can't tear 'em up and leave 'em at the side of the road.

I'm in a quandary about New Year's goals--I don't call them resolutions any more. Sounds too grim. For the last few years, I've taken some time each New Year's Eve day to look over the goals I set the previous year, analyze my success, then write a new set of goals. When I've achieved the items, I'm thrilled. When I've failed, abject misery and self-flagellation commences.

After a year filled with with family trauma, where several goals went right out the window, I'm afraid I'll be just too blue looking at all I failed to achieve. That's no way to start a fresh year.

That new mainstream project I was supposed to finish? Didn't touch it. The suspense that should have been sold by now? Out for critique. That regular meditation, daily fresh writing I swore I'd do? Didn't happen.

So I have some choices to make. Don't even look at last year's list? Start fresh? Or, make the new list so easy I can't fail? Things like: eat three meals, check e-mail, meet contract deadlines. That's lame. But I don't want to face a new year feeling like I blew the previous one. Already, I grasp at each passing week, trying to squeeze out a little extra time as it flies by.

The other problem is that even though I post the list in my line of sight at the computer, I RARELY read the damn thing. You can't achieve goals you don't keep top of mind, right? So that's not good either.

So, I'm thinking of changing my approach. I'll make a list of New Year's Suggestions: For example: "Consider spending an extra writing hour a day working on new projects. If you feel like it. If it's comfortable. If not, no sweat. Who cares? No biggie...."

Feels lame, like I expect to fail, right? Except I'm using reverse psychology. "You know you'll never do this, you lazy fool." Them's fightin' words. I can feel the fire stoking. You're damn straight I can do that. With one hand tied behind my back and my eyes closed!

Hmm, already it seems to be working.

Give it a try. Give yourself some New Year's Suggestions. I'd love to hear your plans or how you approach the Old Year/New Year conundrum. Maybe you treat it as the Buddhists do: "All is unfolding as it should."




  1. I like the word "suggestion" rather than resolution. Resolution feels rigid, unbending. And I do enough self-flaggelation as it is without adding to it with a list of "resolutions" that might set me up for failure.

    Failure...now there's a word that strikes fear into every writer's heart. What does failure mean to writers? Well, I can only speak for myself. Failure means not hitting the mark with the editor I'm trying to sell to. Failure means not writing 5, 10, 20, 50 pages every day. Okay, I just threw in the 20 and 50 for fun. (snort) If I wrote 50 pages in any given day, my little brain would probably implode.

    Failure as of late for me means not selling to a print publisher--yet. At the beginning of each year I tell myself--this will be my year. I will sell to print. So when the holidays roll around again we'll really have something to celebrate. Then, you guessed it. The holidays roll through and I still haven't sold to print. Okay, so everybody get out the tiny violins and start playing a sad, whiny little song for poor Cher. another snort

    For 2009 I have the following goals: Finish the single title I'm working on, work on the new paranormal idea I have, write the darn BLAZE that actually works!!

    Other than that, I hope to write at least one sentence every day.

  2. Familiar problems with resolutions, suggestions or Goals Dawn. I have a thought which starts with your very word Goals. It is in the plural. A shopping list of wants and needs is seldom completed or indeed even started. What one thing would you like to achieve in 2009 which would give you huge satisfaction beyond anything else? Identify that and you are far more likely to achieve it. Tell others too – have them witness it - my goal for 2009 is........ In my book Grow your own carrot you will find lots of other great goal getting tips too. Tell you what I will send you a copy for free if you promise to read at least the first chapter.
    Chris Kaday
    Goal Guru

  3. Cher: You break my heart with all that self-flagellation. Believe me, I know exactly what you mean. Hang in there, girl. You're talented, you'll make it!

  4. Dear Chris:
    Thanks for your valuable post. You make an important point about avoiding lists and focusing on one goal. You don't need to send me your book--postage from the UK can't be cheap--but I'll check it out on Amazon myself. Always open to new approaches to achievement.