It has been interesting to see people talking online about New Year resolutions (pro and con) and the approach they intend to take to the New Year. It is a good time to reassess and start fresh, and there is no right or wrong way to do so, just what works (or what you hope will work this year, by golly) for you.
I'm not a resolution kind of girl, myself, but for the last few years I have set a list of goals. Two lists, really; one professional, with my goals for my writing career, and one personal, with my goals for pretty much everything else. (You know, that's the one that says, "Exercise more." Every damn year.)
The goals approach has actually worked pretty well for me, and I've ended up most years with a lot of the items I'd aimed at crossed off the list. (All except that damned "Exercise more." Damn it.) Write another nonfiction book and a novel. Check. Get an agent. Check. Spend less time online and more time writing. Check. Exercise more. Oh, shut up.
But there has been a drawback to this approach--one that actually made me stop and decide to do something different this year. It's not that setting goals wasn't successful; it was. It's that I found myself being SO goal oriented, some important stuff didn't get the attention it should have. Stuff like, you know, PEOPLE. And, um, exercise more. (DAMN IT.)
Also, I was just working too much. Working at what I loved, which is great, but also, just working. I went to four conferences. Gave a bunch of online writing classes (each of them lasting for about 2 1/2 weeks). Wrote another book for Llewellyn. Wrote another novel. Started a bunch of novels that didn't work and beat my head against the wall a lot. (That should count as exercise, right?) Epubbed my first novel. Wrote articles, edited manuscripts for some writing pals and my main critique partner, blogged, networked, and so on. And that's without counting in the day job, and making jewelry on the side.
What I didn't do much of was spend time with family and friends, or relax, or, you know EXERCISE MORE. (Sigh.)
So what does that mean for this year? I'll still have goals. Pretty much the same goals as the last few years: get a fiction book contract, continue to build my writing career, find true love...exer--oh, never mind. But I'm not making a list. I know what the goals are, and I'll keep working at them.
But this year, I'm starting with some Intentions instead. My main intentions for the year are simple: joy and peace. (Well, simple to aim at. We'll see how well I do at attaining them.) But generally, I'm going to try to PUSH less, and GO WITH THE FLOW more. And maybe trust that the universe will bring me what I need/want/aspire to without me having to shout at it quite so loudly. Also, I'm going to exercise more.
Oh, stop laughing.
What are your Intentions for 2012?