Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Setting Goals and Making Wishes

I love the beginnings of things. The beginning of the school year (even though I’m no longer in school and now experience it as a parent) with all new books, schedules, and the potential to get straight A’s. The beginning of the summer, with unlimited potential for vacations, reading time, and visits to the pool. And, of course, the beginning of a new year, a year where no mistakes have been made yet, no days have been wasted by laziness, and where there is the potential for all of my life-changing, magical dreams to come true.

I also love planning and making resolutions. Most years, my resolutions are more along the lines of grandiose wishes than actual attainable goals. And the problem with wishes is that a) sometimes they don’t come true and b) they make TERRIBLE resolutions because many times the things we want most are not totally within our own control (like say, getting a book published or winning the lottery!)

So this year I spent some time thinking about GOALS. When I was in high school we all had to memorize the way to determine if a goal was “SMART” or not, meaning it needed to be:

Results Oriented 
Time Bound

Now, do all of my goals fit this exactly? No. But using this helped me to figure out some goals that make me excited about what *I* can do this year to help improve myself.

In 2012 I plan to:
  1. Enjoy my time… With my husband, with my kids, with the rest of my family, with my friends, writing, reading books, cooking food, taking walks, watching TV and doing nothing. I spend a LOT of time stressed about time, schedules, and to-do lists. This year I really want to work on being better about living in the moment and enjoying all of the wonderful experiences (big and small) I am lucky enough to have.
  2. Write… Something. Anything. If I have to spend weeks draining my brain of every last SHINY NEW that’s stockpiled in there before I can write a full first draft I will do that, but this year I want to really focus on making writing a daily habit. To this end, I’m starting with 30 minutes a day of no-internet, no-tv, no-distractions, don’t-bother-me-unless-the-house-is-burning-down writing time. Once I’ve done this for 30 days IN A ROW, I’m going to try to up it to 45 minutes and continue building from there.
  3. Walk… Somewhere. Anywhere. Aside from trouncing my sisters at JUST DANCE 3 every now and again (ha!) I don’t exercise anywhere near as often as I should and to that end I’ve decided to start with walking. It may seem like a small step, but it’s better than nothing and it’s something I can do inside until the weather decides to cooperate by being warm. Bonus: It’s excellent for brainstorming and plotting! Nothing gets ideas flowing like a good, brisk pace-back-and-forth in the basement. 
  4. Be a real-life person more… And an internet person a little less. I spend a LOT of time on the internet, on Twitter, on Tumblr, etc. And I’m not upset about that, it’s how I’ve met some of the best friends I have in real life now. But this year I would like to focus on deepening my relationships with my online friends in the real world. Spending time talking on the phone, on Skype (yes, I realize this is still internet based, but you know what I mean), visiting and having people visit, going to lunches/dinners/happy hours, organizing a writers retreat and all around having real-life adventures. I started doing this last year and it led to some of the best weekends I’ve ever had with friends, so I’m looking forward to even more epic get-togethers.
So those are my 2012 goals and as of this first week of the year things are looking pretty successful already. And for the record, just because I’ve decided to differentiate my GOALS from my GRANDIOSE WISHES, doesn’t mean I’ve given up wishing on every star, watching for 11:11 twice a day, and hijacking every unattended birthday candle around. But that’s a post for another day…

What are your goals this year? Link us to your resolution post or leave them in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. I love your goals, Patricia and I hope to get an invite to one of those writing retreats. :-)