The end of December often invokes a mix of retrospection and looking forward.
How did the past year meet my expectations? What would I like to accomplish in the coming year? Do I need to make a fresh start? If so, what practical steps can I take to accomplish that?
In other words, it’s time for the dreaded New Years Resolutions.
As previously mentioned, I’m a SOTP writer. Not surprisingly, I go through life in much the same manner as I plot my novels. That is, I have goals in mind and clear principles by which I live while working toward those ends; but I’ve never been one to map out one-year, five-year and ten-year plans. The best I can comfortably manage is to decide while taking my morning shower what to make for dinner that evening.
My excuse is, I like to remain flexible enough to deal with unexpected obstacles and opportunities as they come. Instead of getting in the way of my plans, those surprises become a part of the plan that I’m continually drawing up on the fly.
However, to avoid meandering though life in aimless circles, we must have a specific destination in mind. Furthermore, we need to know the way to get there, even if we plan to do some sightseeing along the way. For people who prefer a little more certainty than my style of winging it provides, long-range plans and short-term New Years Resolutions are a good place to start.
Here’s an article that lays out the nuts and bolts of one method, which represents the farthest swing of the pendulum from my unstructured approach.
For those who don’t arrange their spices in alphabetical order, Mike Ehret shares a smart way for a writer to make plans and resolutions in a recent Novel Journey post entitled “Goal Setting For the Organizationally Challenged.”
While reading Mike’s post, I was surprised to discover that I actually follow the acronymic outline he suggests. I just don’t write anything down. Because, of course, if I don’t record it, no one can accuse me of not meeting my goals.
Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? Please share your thoughts!