‘Tis the season…for making resolutions and setting goals!
Once upon a time, I made new resolutions every new year and each one went the standard way of New Year’s resolutions: they quickly faded from memory. But over the last several years, I’ve become much better. Most of my tracking and public accountability is over at Anxiety Ink, but I’m dedicating more of my focus here this year.
Taking a moment to brag, I’m pretty damn good at setting and keeping my goals these days. The secret? Setting reasonable, incremental, definite goalposts that focus solely on the elements I control. This means that I don’t set a goal for the number of shows I act in; instead, I set a goal for the number of auditions I attend.
One New Year’s resolution, for example, is to buy fewer books and spend more time at the library, so my goal is twelve library visits for the year. Averaging one visit a month isn’t much of a stretch but it’s more than I’ve done since my Seattle days.
Ever notice how not making a goal–even one you know is a pie-in-the-sky stretch–can discourage you? Yeah, me too.
New Year’s resolution: get this writing career rolling on the path towards some kind of income. The goalposts to get there: polish my query letter and synopsis, solicit critique/feedback on the query letter and synopsis from beta readers, query at least three agents; investigate short story markets, revise and polish likely short stories, and complete at least three short story submissions.
Three may not seem like much, but I have serious issues when it comes to getting my work out there (though probably not for the reason you think, which is a whole other post).
Other goals include offering writing workshops, finishing the rough draft of at least one novel, starting a YouTube channel; home improvement projects, crafts and baking and playdates with my daughter, and sewing lessons with my grandmother. But perhaps the most important resolution I’m making this year is simply to create. Every day.
I’m calling this the #make365 project because I am a millennial and a product of my generation. Also, public accountability works.
Creating is already more than a habit for me; it’s a way of life. But it’s ridiculously easy to devalue your own accomplishments. Art–creative work–in general is pretty devalued in this society, in case you haven’t noticed, and it can be hard to escape that mindset. I also have a bad habit of only counting story writing and finished projects when I thinks of my creative accomplishments. So this project is more about recognizing and celebrating creativity, however that manifests each day.
Writing a single word (not counting things like texts or emails unless they’re explicitly writing-/creative-related? Coloring a single cell in a coloring book? Making cookies or trying a new recipe for dinner? All count.
This is about being kind to myself and making more art.