Tomorrow is the last day of the year and by this time everyone around me and on TV is talking about resolutions. Everyone decides to quit doing something or start doing something else. Then, by February, all bets are off and everyone has gone back to “normal.” Resolutions are only good with follow through, motivation, accountability, and reward. Anyone can say they want to lose ten pounds. I can say that and probably could afford to lose more than that, but saying it and doing it are two different beasts of burden all together. One is a cute little kitty that looks appealing and fluffy. The other is a vicious lion with blood streaking through its fur and zebra skin still dangling from its teeth as it growls and swipes at the sky with its red tinged claws out.
Here’s the thing: I love chocolate zebras too much to commit to such as ridiculous concept as focusing on weight loss. I want to be healthy, not obsessed with scales. I want to clean my house more regularly, but I’m not sacrificing time with my child to sweep floors every day. I don’t want a resolution that you say today and forget tomorrow and neither should you. I want a goal. A goal is measurable and just out of reach but attainable. A resolution is like wishing on a star and then being disappointed when the payoff is just as thin and see-through as the wish itself.
My goal, therefore, in 2011 is to write more. Duh, right? But by that I mean a specific amount of words per day (500) or stories per month (4) as well as time spent revising “that novel I’ve been working on” (Stewie Griffin’s voice would be appropriate here) every Wednesday for two to three hours minimum and on weekend mornings.
I write how-to articles all day long and by the evening when “fiction time” is waiting for me to show up I’m exhausted. My challenge is the juggling of time and the reward will be having a larger body of work to weed through for submissions.
So take this time to give yourself a final holiday gift: a written down goal with set points to hit each day or week. Screw the resolution and set a goal. With a goal in place where you know the challenge and you know the reward, you’re going to be more likely to succeed than with a flimsy resolution that won’t even hold up through the middle of January. So, what’s your 2011 Goal?