It’s a new year, which means people everywhere are making promises to change they will not actually keep. I always try to avoid making resolutions and instead make goals. It seems the same to some, but to me it is very different. A resolution is something you are going to change about yourself; a goal is something you want to accomplish. When I feel as though I need to change something about myself, I change, I don’t wait until the beginning of the new year. However, goals help to keep you focused; it’s nothing something I want to change, it’s just something I want to achieve. As I said, it’s a small distinction.
Last year, I made five goals for myself, not all of which I accomplished. As I make new goals for myself, I also reflect on those from the year before. So, first the breakdown.
Goal 1, start a blog. Okay. Done. Obviously. I didn’t grow the blog quickly, or post consistently, but I got started. I think I am still finding my voice here, but I made the first step, and that was getting started.
Goal 2, finish the three stories I began. Okay. Not done. Two I didn’t finish, and the third I did, but it was barely begun at the beginning of the year. Somehow this goal got a little twisted in my mind and turned from finishing projects I had begun and turned into writing three novels. Either way I didn’t do it. I did however finish two novels, learn a way to outline my story ideas that works for me, and managed to finish a story in one month for NaNoWriMo. I definitely made progress in learning what works for me when it comes to writing.
Goal 3, work on my healthy habits. All right, it was a rough year, but I never stopped trying.
Goal 4, publish a novel. Also, not done. I went into the year with so much hope and optimism. Bluntly put, I knew nothing about how to publish a novel. I didn’t know how hard it was, or how long the process could take. I had no idea about any of it. On top of that, I feel as though I may have had an overinflated idea of how good my novel was. A year of perspective, and putting it kindly, it was not ready. I was not ready. There are still things I like about the first one, but overall, I think it was more of a mess than it should have been before I started the query process. Some of the writing was great, but the story was not. Instead of trying for publishing, I think I should be ripping it apart and using it for spare parts.
Goal 5, create something on a regular basis. I wanted so much to just keep making things, and I think I managed that. Not everything was great, or perfect, but I never stopped trying to create something new. So, I guess for this one, go me!
It’s hard to say I actually accomplished my goals here. I guess three out of five isn’t bad. I learned a lot, and I know I really improved my writing this year, even if other things did’t go as well. Maybe this is a sign I need to pick my goals better, and think a little more this year. There is nothing wrong with setting your goals or resolutions on January 1st, but there is not reason you can’t make them a little later either. So no, I am not posting my goals today. Instead, I am giving myself at least another week. I want to be ready, and know I am choosing something I want for myself. In any case, with goals today, tomorrow or three weeks from now, I am going to make something out of 2015. Maybe that is the only goal I need.