Time to come clean: last year’s resolutions.

punctuality new years goal.

I had to dig this jar out of a drift of papers in my office.

I don’t think I can put this off any longer. I’m going to have to face up.

Last year (and the year before) I posted my New Years resolutions online and checked in with them monthly to hold myself accountable. This worked pretty well in 2012, so last year I got ambitious and included many goals.

Weeeell, things didn’t go as planned and I stopped checking in last May, and without monthly accountability, my goals of deteriorated from there, and in fact, I stopped publishing on this blog so much because – though many things were going on in my life – I didn’t feel comfortable sharing many of them online.

But, because part of the deal was holding myself accountable, I need to close the book on 2013 by reporting my progress and lack of progress with last year’s goals. So here we go.

My novel: This year I’m resolving to spend the first hour of every weekday working on my novel until it’s done, no matter what other projects come along.
Ouch. Okay, this one is mixed. The first hour of every weekday didn’t exactly happen for me, however, I did rewrite more than half of my novel in 2013 and I am still working on it, even though it feels like it will never be done.

Marketing: My goal is to spend an hour of each weekday working on marketing projects, including the upkeep of this blog, my social networks, reading up on marketing and emails to bookstores and libraries and reviewers.
I marketed throughout the summer for my second book, and then when school started in September, fell off pretty badly.

Making a marketing plan for my new book: See my above status.

Publishing: My goal is to publish three things that aren’t my upcoming book this year.
I sent out some essays and wrote for Geek Eccentric, but as far as stories? FAIL.

Reading: My goal is to read 33 books in 2013, including one by Jane Austin and one by Charles Dickens.
I read 26 books in 2013. One was Pride and Prejudice by Austin. I did start Bleak House, by Dickens, in December, but finished it in 2014, so I don’t know if that counts.

Conferences: Attend at least one new conference or retreat.
I went to AWP. So this resolution was a fail.

Grants: Apply for at least three fellowships or grants.
I applied for an NEA grant, and the State of Connecticut’s arts endowment program. As the great philosopher Meatloaf once sang, two out of three ain’t bad.

Weight: I feel most comfortable when I weigh within a certain five-pound range, and I am always two pounds away from that five pound range. For 2013, I would like to get within that range and stay there.
This is why I felt weird about posting these resolutions after June. (Read: this was my excuse for not following through with the whole posting progress thing.) I became pregnant in June, so this resolution went out the window.

Punctuality: I’ve been a late for everything since childhood. In an effort to put a stop to this, I’ve decided to put a dollar into a mason jar whenever I’m late for anything, and donate it to charity in a year.
I was better than usual with punctuality, despite the fact that I lost the mason jar half way through the year under a drift of papers and had to uncover it during a massive cleaning of my office. That said, I was better about being punctual this year, maybe because I spent five months of 2013 agonizing about being on time. As of now, I’ve got $12 bucks in the jar, which is an awkwardly small amount to donate, so I am trying to figure out what to do with that.

My big-picture goal: I’ve planned to look into all political issues I can, and make up my mind about how I really feel about them.
This goal was too sweeping to be effective.

As you can see, this list didn’t work very well for me last year. So for 2014 I think I will concentrate on one goal, which is a big one and which will also be a challenge when our son arrives in March. My goal this year is simple: write.

7 thoughts on “Time to come clean: last year’s resolutions.

  1. So glad you posted and such a coincidence – I just taped a big note on my refrigerator yesterday to maintain my own focus which asks “What are You writing Today?”

    My blog, The LEO Chronicles, which you helped me get started 15 months ago, has really taken shape. Thanks for your help and wishing you all the best!

    • Hi Lisa! I’m so glad your blog has taken off. I love your accounts of Africa. I will stop by today and check out the photos. Hope you’re well!

  2. I think you did amazingly well considering the size of your goals. Over the years I’ve had to tone mine down – it was too discouraging to keep failing. Now one of my goals is to write 10 mins a day and log it. Most days I do more. Some days much more. And I report back weekly to another writer – it seems to be working. Though I have to say that having a baby does rather cancel all goals except to try and get enough sleep, as I recall. Very best of luck to you!

    • Thank you! I’m sort of worried about the whole living-with-a-baby and trying to write at the same time, but he won’t be a baby forever, so I’m sure I will figure something out eventually. I love your goal of logging the time you’ve spent writing. Right now, I’m using a specific word count, but I might take a page from your book and see what happens if my goal is to write for a certain amount of time rather than a certain number of words.

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