January 1st. In my college and post-college days, January 1st often meant drinking lots of water to reactivate a sandpaper tongue. As I got older, and hopefully a bit wiser, January 1st was sometimes a day to reflect on the year past and consider hopes and dreams for the unfolding year. Not everyone makes New Year Resolutions, but unfortunately, for the many who do, if they forget to make a plan and to check in and tweak the plan as necessary, the Resolutions are likely to remain unfulfilled. Resolve to plan.
In 2012, for writing goals, I resolved to update my progress and goals monthly here on the fifth of each month. This exercise, Facing Facts on the Fifth, was helpful for me in keeping me on track in many areas of my writing. As I pondered whether I would continue that practice this year or not, I decided I would, but, there would be one significant change. I would no longer post about what I was doing with my novels. I decided I need to keep that part of my writing life to myself, for now. So, it was interesting for me to read a great post today by Lisa Rivero on the importance for many people of keeping goals to themselves. For me, I’m okay with, and need, some accountability, but even before reading Lisa’s post, I had come to the conclusion that my work on my novel needed more privacy.
For personal goals this year, I’m going to increase my exercise minutes. I usually average about two hours a week walking with a neighbor. For some time, I’ve known that there are three things I need to add to my exercise: 1) more time, 2) stretching and 3) pool time. So, while tracking works for me in some areas, I was trying to figure out how I could use tracking exercise minutes to motivate me to increase them….and, I finally came up with a solution. Each month, based on the number of minutes I moved that month, I will make a donation to Hunger Task Force — 1 hour = $10.00. So, if I slack off, my donation will drop and I will feel guilty. Guilt can be a great motivator, yes? We shall see.
If you’ve made some resolutions, I hope you’ve also thought about what steps you’ll need to take to fulfill them, and if you’ve made them but are keeping them to yourself, good for you! Here’s hoping 2013 will see us all stringing our words into our stories and poems and novels, over and over again.