New Years Resolutions

Making goals is one of my favourite activities. I’m not terribly good at it though, and Maggie Stiefvater has helped me see why.

Every one of my 2009 resolutions fit into her definition of ‘bad resolutions’:

"Bad resolutions?

– mostly out of your control
– nebulous
– open-ended
– too ambitious
too far ahead of the game (not the same as too ambitious)"

What’s more, after drawing up a pretty notecard filled with my nebulous, open-ended, ambitious resolutions, I pinned it to my cork board and proceeded to completely forget about them. I never actually intended to cross them off as none of them were particularly achievable.

The one resolution I am even close to achieving I actually made in August – to finish the first draft of a novel by my 21st birthday in May. I am 40,000 words in and on track to finish it in January/Feb. The reason I am doing so well? I complied with Maggie’s two rules of good resolutions, that they are:

"- largely in your control
– quantifiable"

So this year I have resolved to make better resolutions. And here they are, so far:

1. Read 80 books. I’ve started a ‘Note’ on facebook to keep track of them as I go. Now this one is open to change as I haven’t read that many books in one year since primary school, but resolutions are for self-improvement and this is one area I really, really want to do better in. If I want writing to be my livelihood one day, it certainly makes sense for me to make studying the writing of others a priority.

2. Have a polished manuscript ready for submission to agents by the end of the year. This one is also largely achievable because, as outlined above, I’m already on track. I plan to have finished a second draft by May, ready to be critiqued by my reader-friends and anyone I can else I can convince to read it.

3. Go to the gym 80 times. This is just under twice a week. I find this one particularly daunting. I’ve definitely worked out over twice a week for extended periods of time before, but for some reason the ‘gym’ part of the equation scares me a bit. I know it will be heaps of fun once I get up the guts to try the place out properly – there’s a pool! and treadmills! and yoga classes!  – so hopefully this resolution pushes me through the fear.

4. Save up enough dough for a house deposit. You may notice I didn’t make this one "buy a house", although that is definitely on the cards. This is because we are not sure yet whether Michael will be able to work once we get to the US in 2011 and if he can’t we will need all the money we can possibly scrounge up to survive for the year.

5. Do 80 bible studies from my "Search the Scriptures" book. The book is intended for completion in a year, but I know that if I set a goal of doing a bible study every single day I will most definitely disappoint myself. 80 seems to be the watchword for this year’s resolutions.

6. Turn 21. Ha! It’s good to have one in there that I know I will complete no matter what.

I think that’s enough for now. If I think of any others before New Years I’ll definitely add them to the list.

Love and Best Wishes for your holiday season! It’s going to be a great year!

New Years Resolutions

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