Tuesday, January 01, 2013

What Do You Mean New Year's Resolutions?

Everywhere, people are saying what they are going to do in 2013. And in almost every case, the promises are so diluted in generalities you could read the NY Times through them.

"Finish the novel."
"Enter contests."
"Submit to magazines."
"Write a screenplay."
"Find an agent."

First, those resolutions are doomed to fail. No teeth in them. No dates, no benchmarks, no hows or whens.
Second, why do we wait until New Year's Eve to decide to improve ourselves?

The time to make improvements is now. 

If today happens to be New Year's Day, then fine. If today happens to be February 3 or March 14, or November 22, that's fine, too. Your vows to change don't have to fall on the first of the year, the first of the month, or the first of the week. Now is now.

Yes, vow to change. To write, to submit, to alter our current paths, we  have to change. We must alter:

1) how we schedule our time
2) how we prioritize our day
3) how we envision our writing
4) how we define success
5) how we intend to become diligent

Face it, a resolution means something is amiss and we're off course. 

But in most of the resolutions I see, people are saying they are going to ADD to their agenda. Problem is, I don't know too many people who claim to have extra time on their hands. That means sacrifice. What will you give up to make room for this new resolution? Even if you are writing, and want to change how you currently write, what will be sacrificed in the process?

When you diet, you don't just change what goes in your mouth. You change when you eat, how much you eat, in addition to what you eat. That means altering your grocery shopping and cooking habits, maybe even those habits of your household residents. It more than just a promise to change what you eat. Planning goes into sitting down to that meal. As a result, most diets fail.

Make a New Year's resolution if you want to, but accept the fact that you can change anytime, and that a lot more goes into the promise than saying you'll do it.

There has to be a lifestyle change, and the bigger question is how devoted you are to confront all the changes to do it.

Happy New Year to all my great friends, readers and writers. . . and here's to great words in 2013, whether you read or write them.


widdershins said...

I was thinking the same thing. No-one makes creative lists anymore ... *sigh*

quietspirit said...

You have several good points in this entry. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Hope Clark said...

Widdershins - I think people are afraid to "put themselves out there" for fear of being ostracized. Shame.

Quiet Spirit - So happy you enjoyed the post. Happy New Year to you and yours, too!

Zakgirl said...

I agree, goals (resolutions?) need to be understandable, attainable, & measurable.

I will submit 1 magazine article to XYZ magazine per month.

And they must be routine.

That's all I wanted to say and thank you Hope, great post!

Hi Widdershins and Quiet Spirit. Catch you in chats.