I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Nope. I don’t. Certainly it’s healthy to pick a common moment in our social time line to jointly leap into some agreement with ourselves, but few if any “resolutions” ever quite make it to January 15th. If you can’t keep your resolution going past Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s official birthday, you probably hadn’t been all that resolved in the first place. No need to feel shame over it – you’re in good company. And, you’re definitely in my company. I have since rethought the notion of the “resolution.”
So, what really is going on? Are we falling prey to all the post Holiday commercials and demands that tell us to lose weight (especially ironic since the pre Holiday commercials and demands told us to buy their products, and eat like it’s the end of the world?) I suppose that since I am not model thin, I find the weight loss conformity commands starting Jan 1 to be the most egregious. Who says I don’t like the way I look – and who says I’m not healthy??? Ah, but I digress …
There just seems to be the cultural need to tag team each other on impossible tasks. It’s like a big party where few know each other or have time to care if you make your ends, regardless of the means. Aren’t there better things to team up for? Ending poverty, stopping animal cruelty, better editing my next book …
So, how about this instead. No more “resolutions.” The word has too much baggage. How about some goal setting for 2012 – real goals (and of course, here are mine):
1. Finish Volume Two. I’ve got the whole spring if I need it and hey, if it is a little late to the press because I need more time to make it right, then it is late. The world will not end before 12/21/12 – one million Mayans cannot be wrong.
2. Do a fantastic, personal best job of marketing Volumes One and Two. Okay – that goal may have to be completed by 12/21. Hard to sell, even for the likes of Stephen King or JK Rowling, to a scorched Earth. Sometimes you do actually need an end date on your goal.
3. Go to every Steampunk, Alternate History, and Writer’s conference money will permit. Shake hands. Remember names. Encourage fellow or budding authors. Be a darned good member of the community.
4. Do more than just donate to the SEVA Foundation. They’re one of my favorite charities. Check them out. SEVA is based in Berkeley and does something phenomenal: they save eyesight. All over the world, they go and help people see. Each time I swear at my missing reading glasses and curse my diminished eyesight, I am forced to consider the fact that not everyone can see. And in some cases, it’s easily fixed – if only you have a surgeon and a clean clinic – and SEVA provides those. Check them out, please.
5. Travel. Not just to conferences but to places on that proverbial Bucket List. I’m not getting younger! No one is. So why wait?
6. Cherish the present moment. Goal setting is cool, and healthy. But living in the here and now: priceless!
7. Never let someone you know walk away, hang up, or sign off without telling them something good. Tell them you think they’re terrific. Hooray for what they did today. Go so far as to tell them you love them or that you’re thinking of them. I lost family and friends this year – and there were too many missed opportunities to be that loved one who made something better for each person. That’s a lofty goal – I may not do this one perfectly – but I know it’s too important not to give a best effort.
That’s it. Goal setting shouldn’t book your calendar through 2014. Go with what you know is positive, important, and vital. Live. Thrive. And prosper!! Happy New Year to all.