2013: Shaping the Year Ahead

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?

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3 Responses to 2013: Shaping the Year Ahead

  1. monpig says:

    Learn, create and concentrate on relationships to all life, Make more of a difference in this world. Smile whilst maintaining a healthy body and mind, similar to yourself.

  2. Mona (summertime dreams from blogger) says:

    I haven’t formed any concrete resolutions or anything like that. I don’t recall ever doing that much. My constant is just to live true to me. Hopefully a little less anxiety will go hand in hand as I get better at that :)
    I have thought about buying a sewing machine and learning how to use it. But it seems so overwhelming. It imagine it would open so many doors to me for thrifted goods that just need alterations though. For now it is more of a goal that feels a little tantalizingly out of reach. And you mention quilting, my what a challenge! It would be amazing to have a home made quilt, never mind make them. However, I think I should probably learn to hem first!
    One of the things I would definitely like to do this year is actually to read more. I would love to read your novel if you’re looking for readers amongst your blog audience.
    I’d also be happy to be your facebook friend if you decide to join that community as well. If you use facebook “well” and don’t add all the silly games and apps that are offered there, and keep your profile fairly private to strangers, I think it’s a great social tool. I wouldn’t be as close as I am now to my family and overseas friends if it wasn’t for facebook. I am very grateful for it.

    • Heather says:

      Learning how to quilt probably isn’t going to happen for me this year. I’ve hardly ever even sewed or used a sewing machine and, as you say, those things should probably come first! And I think knitting is actually more interesting to me right now as well, so I’ll probably get into that first.

      The idea of Facebook is still making me a bit nervous, but I am going to at least give it a try. I’m also looking into creating a “fan page” that would be separate from my personal “profile page.”

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