Tag: Resolutions

Resolutions, writing, and all of that sort of thing..

I woke up this morning. Correction, I was woken up this morning by my child. Ate waffles, drank coffee, played, then went to the park while my wife hit up Costco for necessary stuff. Costco is one of those places that gives me hives so I like staying home with the kid and letting my wife handle that madness. Now it’s afternoon, wife and kid are napping, Costco imitation LaCroix is in the fridge, coffee is made, so I figured I would knock out a bit of blogging and maybe some reading.

Even with the hectic holiday schedule sucking my life away I’ve made it a point to write a bit every day. Mostly in my pen and paper journal, but even put down some words towards my 2020 project. My daily journaling and idea writing has become important to me and I enjoy going back through old notebooks and re-discovering thoughts and ideas.

One of the obvious topics around this time of year is resolutions. What will I do this year. I’m big on planning and aiming for goals. I like to set one big goal and break it down into smaller ones in order to track progress. David Steward has a great series of videos on goal setting and accomplishment, his playlist called Keys to Prolific Creation is worth any creative persons time.

So, my main goal for 2020 is to complete my pivot away from short story writing into full-length novels and publish my first independent novel. A challenge due to the fact that I will be somewhere in the South Pacific working, for the majority of the year.

In other news, the recent topic of discussion has been the re-focus on blogs. Jon mentions it here and I’ve seen others bring this up. I’m an advocate of this idea and will do my part towards switching the focus away from Twitter, a platform that is horrible for discourse and community. I’m going to aim for a minimum of two posts a week and aim to refocus my commenting here instead of elsewhere.

I think multi-blog discussions like The Pre-Tolkien Challenge I ran in 2018 is a great way to build up blogging communities with discussion that goes much deeper than anything you can generate on Twitter. Personally I discovered a lot of great fiction due to that challenge. Let’s do some more in 2020.

Goals and Resolutions 2018

In four days it will be 2018, a whole new year of adventure and excitement. With the dawning of the new year, many of us will take the time to reflect on the past and plan for the future by making traditional New Year’s Resolutions. According to some random internet poll, that I found on Wikipedia, 50% of Americans make resolutions. Unfortunately, 88% of people fail, with men having a 22% success rate and women only 10%.

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I use an unruled moleskin for everything, story ideas, lists, random lines, sketches. Freeform Journaling is an indispensable part of my life. 

 

I like goals so I make resolutions every year. Not only do I make them, I make sure that I put my plans down in writing and make a digital copy that I keep on my phone that I use to motivate and keep myself on track. I believe in the power of goal setting and the concrete permanence of physically writing them down allows me to conceptualize and solidify the ideas.

Last year I made three resolutions. Unfortunately, all three were rather vague and didn’t specify concrete milestones or achievements. Looking back I genuinely succeeded on one goal, but the other two are somewhat up for debate. So this year I decided to take a systematic approach and use a rule of three style setup. Three general resolutions or visions with three specific milestones each.

Using sets of threes imbues the process with a mythological magic, three is a powerful number. Three witches, three wise men, three sisters, three little pigs, three Christmas ghosts, three Musketeers (ok ok four technically), three Brothers Karamazov(spoiler… ) on and on. Three is magical.

So this year I picked three areas of life that I wanted to focus on, improve, and advance in. Physical health, writing, and family life. For each one, I wrote a one to two paragraph vision on what I want to achieve this coming year. These paragraphs I scribbled on the left side of my journal. Then, on the right side of the page, for each of the three, I chose three concrete and attainable goals pertaining to the overall theme.

  1. Resolution: One or two paragraphs.
    • Goal 1
    • Goal 2
    • Goal 3
  2. Resolution: One or two paragraphs.
    • Goal 1
    • Goal 2
    • Goal 3
  3. Resolution: One or two paragraphs.
    • Goal 1
    • Goal 2
    • Goal 3

For example, my first Resolution is as follows:

PHYSICAL HEALTH & FITNESS: 2018 will be a year where I will seriously focus on health and fitness. With the implicit goal of drastically improving my strength, endurance, and overall well being. I will completely eliminate horrible vices such as smoking and binge drinking, two behaviors that I significantly decreased in 2017 but still indulged occasionally to my detriment. My goal for 2018 is to become the strongest I’ve ever been for my own benefit, made more important by my upcoming fatherhood.

GOALS:

  • Quit Smoking completely.
  • Meet strength goals using my ongoing Linear Progression program.*
  • Eat 80% Primal/Paleo avoiding sugar and junk.

*I will outline actual numbers in a future post.

So I have three Resolutions following the above format, each has a written blurb followed by three concrete goals. I made sure that each one of the bullets is reasonable and achievable within the next twelve months. This is all written in my journal where I keep story ideas, interesting lines, sketches, and all sorts of crazy stuff. I also took a picture of the outline that I saved on my Evernote app so I can look it over anytime on my phone.

I think that short-term goal setting, specifically when put down on paper, is a fantastic way to focus one’s mind and cut through the mental and emotional clutter that plagues so many of us, especially us writers. I highly recommend using a system like the one above or even just free writing ideas down in your journal or on your blog.

Happy New Year and may all your upcoming goals be achieved!