The beginning of the new year is, traditionally, the time to make goals and resolutions for the year ahead. I’m not a particular fan of resolutions, but I have decided to set a few goals for myself this year. What is the difference between a goal and a resolution? Probably everyone has their own idea of this, but to me, a resolution feels like an ultimatum, something that’s going to go into effect immediately and that you can’t stray from. A goal, on the other hand, feels more like a point to work towards. It’s where you want to be by this time next year (or by the end of some other time period). It often has a plan – a map, you might say – of the journey that you will be taking to get there. It is something that you work on throughout the year, rather than, like a resolution, something you’re going to try to change immediately and maintain without fail all year long.
That said, here are my three main categories of goals for 2013:
- Write (and revise my writing) more. I completed the first draft of my first novel, The Way North, in the summer of 2012. This year, I want to revise it, find some readers for it, and begin querying publishers and agents about it. I also want to write more short stories, revise more of my old poems (as well as write new poems), and see some of those published. I would also like to start drafting my second novel, since I am beginning to have a few ideas for it. Related to this idea of writing more is to read less. I typically read a lot of books in a year (like over 150, although I have no idea how that even happens, since I usually only read in the evenings and I don’t feel that I read particularly fast), and I am also subscribed to quite a few blogs. I want to read fewer books, re-read more of my old books, and spend less time reading blogs – all of which will hopefully translate into more time spent writing.
- Build relationships with people. I want to write more regularly for this blog, and interact more with my readers. I’m also going to move to a self-hosted blog at some point, and put more energy into marketing myself and my writing. Although I’ve always been reluctant to join any social networks, I think that I may give Facebook a try this year, as a way to both build better relationships and have another platform from which to market my writing. I also want to make some new friends in my “real life” as well.
- Be more creative. I want to practice drawing and sketching more often, take more photos, and try making prints of my photos. Other activities I’d like to try include calligraphy, knitting, and quilting. I bought a calligraphy set a few years ago at a garage sale but I’ve only used it once so far.
Of course, simply setting goals is not enough. If you actually want to have a chance of achieving them, you need a plan. I break up my goals into quarterly and monthly goals, and then into weekly tasks. This keeps things more realistic and doable, and keeps me focused on what I can do now rather than on the scary big picture.
I do feel very optimistic about 2013. Although I am a bit overwhelmed at times by the amount of work that is ahead of me, I feel that 2013 is going to be the year when I begin to turn my dreams and plans into realities.
Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2013?