Why I’m Not Making New Year’s Resolutions This Year

This is the time of year when people start thinking about and making New Year’s Resolutions. Three months later, most of them are broken, and the hope and excitement of New Year’s is traded in for discouragement and a sense of failure.

I’m not making New Year’s resolutions this year. Instead, I’m using this opportunity to set some goals for 2014.

Goal #1

Journal – 5 days a week

My journal will be a private place to write down thoughts, feelings, and struggles. It will be a place to record what I’m learning, and reading. It will not be published anywhere online and it won’t be intended for viewing by other than myself.

Goal #2

Read my Bible – 5 days a week

In a compromise to reality and to make this obtainable, I’m setting it at 5 times a week. I know it should be daily, but I also know I’m going to miss a day sometimes. I’ve come to dislike the whole ‘read the Bible in a year’ resolution you see this time of year. My friend, Paul, really helped me with that a couple of years ago. I would get so discouraged once I got behind that I would end up stopping all together.

As Paul so often does, he made an allusion to a popular movie, in this case, the 1990s classic “The Hunt for Red October”.  In the scene, the Russians are hunting for the Red October.MMDHUFO EC001

Captain Davenport: They’re pinging away with their active sonar like they’re looking for something, but nobody’s listening.

Jack Ryan: What do you mean?

Captain Davenport: Well, they’re moving at almost forty knots. At that speed, they could run right over my daughter’s stereo and not hear it.

Paul said I was doing the same thing trying to get through the Bible in a year.  I was moving so fast that I could fly right by what God was trying to tell me and completely miss it. He suggested I start with just a chapter, but that I stop as soon as I found something that spoke to me. If I didn’t find something in one chapter, go for two. Some nights I will read multiple chapters. Some nights, it will take just a verse or two.

It was completely freeing.

He also suggested that I start with the Gospel of John and go through the rest of the New Testament, and then circle around to the Old Testament.

This goes hand in hand with journaling. Part of what I will journal will be what I read that night and what I learned or how I was impacted by it.

Goal #3

Beta Readers for WIP

I want to have my current work-in-progress novel read by at least two beta readers. Part of this goal has already been accomplished as I have two people who have graciously agreed to be Beta Readers. The harder part is getting them a mostly finished product to read.

I don’t want to hand over my WIP until I know I’ve fixed the obvious problems I can see. I’ll need the beta readers to see the problems I didn’t catch.

Goal # 4

Write 5 days a week

I’m not going to count journaling as writing. This has got to be either some fiction work, or blogging. Accomplishing this goal will go a long way to accomplishing Goal #3.

Goal #5

Blog at least once per week

I know this doesn’t seem like an incredibly ambitious goal, however; I’ve gone long stretches over the past year without a post. Consistent posting is the #1 thing I can do to improve grow my audience for the blog.

Goal #6

Write at least two short stories for competitions

I’m saddened that Water Worlds will be the final Saucy Chronicles. Those stories were fun to work on and I learned so many lessons from the indebt critiques that Saucy Ink did. I do well when I have someone else holding me accountable. A competition deadline makes sense. Also, I’ll get some feedback on how I’m doing.

Goal #7

One-der-land

This will mark the fourth year in a row I have set my sights on One-der-land. One-der-land is an expression I picked up from my Mom to mean that your weight starts with the number 1. Basically, it means I’m trying to get under 200 pounds. I’ve promised myself a steak dinner if I get there (although that may not be the best reward).

Goal #8

Read 10 Books

Last year I read 6 books. Choose Omnibus (three books, but counting as one), Kingdom Come, Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Deceived, and Eli. It would be 8 books if I counted each Choose volume as one book. Only two of those (Kingdom Come, Eli) were really in the genre that I write most often. The others were outside of my genre. I need to read more, both in my genre and out of it.

 

Those are 8 goals I have for 2014. What about you? What goals have you set?