One Sixth

Here we are at the cusp of March. One-sixth of the year is up and how goes your New Year’s Resolutions? I dislike the word resolution when it comes to goals.

Every New Year before the ball drops people write down a list of things they want to change about their life. Articles spew around the internet and people flap their lips about resolutions yet nothing changes.

Let’s go down the etymology rabbit hole with the word, resolution.

Resolution:

  • early 15c., “a breaking into parts,” from Latin resolutionem (nom. resolutio)
  • “process of reducing things into simpler forms”
  • Originally sense of “solving” (as of mathematical problems) first recorded 1540s,
  • that of “holding firmly” (in resolute) 1530s, and
  • that of “decision or expression of a meeting” is from c.1600.

(Thank you, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=resolution).

Today, when people say they are making resolutions they seem to be anything but resolute.

Here’s what normally happens:

“They” say, “I really want to lose weight. So I’ll eat healther.”

After, if they’re lucky, two weeks, they are back to their old junk food slinging ways. Why because they didn’t break it down into pieces, know what eating healthier really looks like, and there is no real reason why they should change their trothlike ways.

Here’s what one of the things on my January 1 list looks like.

Send completed manuscript out to at least 50 literary agents. Most people would have written: I want a literary agent. Or worst yet they could have said, “I want my book to be published”.

One I have control over, the first, and the other I have not say in, the second. This distinction between what I can and can’t do is paramount. Because I keep this in mind I’m more likely to keep up with my goals for longer.

That takes care of the how to write it up but what about the other stuff on how to actually make a resolution into reality.

I love goals. They motivate me. They push me. Why? Because I check in with them on at least a weekly basis. If my goal is to write two full length novels at approximately 65,000 words I know I need to write 10,833 words a month or more to reach that goal. So at the beginning of each week my goal is to write 2,708 words a week or better. Why do I keep adding the “or better” after each goal? Because I know that there will be weeks and months where I don’t make the original “perfect” target number. On those times, I acknowledge that I didn’t make it and revise my plan. Which is fine. I’m still on the path of achieving my dream. I’m just taste testing and adjusting the amount of salt to go in the magic I-will-finish-it sauce of success.

But that’s part of my ability to keep true to at least a few of my resolutions (at least so far this year) is that I revisit and revise my timeline. And I allow it to be alright that I don’t get that magic number every time I have a check up. I made the rules and I can take a day off if I want to but I try to make it the exception and not the rule otherwise I’ll never complete anything.

So how are you doing this year on your yearly goals? It’s never to late to dust them off and begin again. You still have over 83% of the year left to work on them.

If you are keeping your resolutions, what’s your secret ingredient? How do you keep focused? Any sage advice for the rest of us.

To achieving my dreams,

Me~lissa

Mechanical Troubles

Another week gone by and I’ve failed to make my word count goal I had set for myself. Well, I have two options degrade myself for my slothful performance or I could take stock of where I am and adjust my goal. Only one is helpful but it is harder to do the latter.

So how can I cope with my falling short of my goal?

  • Know that I will fail some days. It’s natural so be kind to myself.
  • Know I can’t fall behind because it’s my plan. Cut myself a break.
  • Know why I didn’t make the old goal. Was the original goal too difficult? Am I striving for perfection? Once I assess make the next goal reflect my findings.

Even if I didn’t make my small goal I am still on my path to achieve it. View it as a filling up of my world allowing me to come back to the task refreshed. Then hit it. Carve the time out of my schedule to do the work. If it’s important enough for me to be angry for missing it rededicate myself to it. It’s my dream if I don’t make time for it, who will?

Love,

The Struggling Writer

Made of Rubber

Day-to-day life can wear one down. We have to-do lists pages long. Cars break, loved ones disappoint us, and yet we find the ability to put one foot in front of the other. Where do we get this bounce back muscle? Can we improve our “get over it” instinct?

One of the best ways to help me keep going when the lights feel dim and I’m stumbling, is gratitude. Even when I’m at the bottom, I can normally muster up one thing that I can feel good about. Granted, while wallowing in my mud bath I may get angry at that notion that there’s something to be grateful for but I just repeat it over and over again. In that sliver of time, the light shines on me and I feel a little bit better.

So it is important to find that little bounce in your step, that can remind you that this too shall pass. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, or dare to find a little smile hiding around you waiting to be found.

Score I totally found silly string,

Melissa