I would say that I have learned that making New Year’s resolutions is a fool’s game, except I do make them, every year. This year I want to set objectives, not make resolutions, in the hope that somehow, some way, I’ll actually do some of them. Or work on them, at least. Therefore, in no particular order, thirteen objectives for the New Year:
- Spend less time on Facebook. I love all you people, really I do, but checking my notifications and refreshing my newsfeed chews up time like a T-Rex chews up lawyers.
- When I am on Facebook, post updates about my life rather than link to articles elsewhere on the Web. When I do link to articles, write explanations about why I find whatever it is amusing, or interesting, or exasperating. Make Facebook a conversation, not a link-storm.
- Be quicker to walk away from, or avoid completely, contentious discussions online. Related to that, recognize when I am in the mood to go trolling for a fight, and turn off the computer and go watch Doctor Who.
- Write. Write. Write. Every day. Write here, write on my alleged novel, it doesn’t matter. Just write.
- Related to that, read. Read a wide variety of works, nonfiction, fiction, satire, drama, you have it… You need to read good writing to be a good writer. (Currently on deck: the three John Scalzi books I got for Christmas, a nonfiction about the history of California’s wine industry, and the next-to-last Terry Pratchett book. And rereading some of the vast number of nonfiction books I have, starting with The Great Influenza by John M. Barry. And taking a deep breath and actually completing Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink, which may be one of the best written and most horrific books I’ve ever started.)
- Work on the novel. Take it seriously, which includes starting by doing the background research I should have done before I started.
- Do NaNoWriMo again this year. I found it surprisingly fun and less stressful than I expected. I have this idea…
- Call my siblings more.
- Work on being more organized, and not simply give up on this before I really give it a try. That includes being more organized around the house, and making schedules, and to do lists.
- Get rid of extraneous stuff. Refrain from purchasing more extraneous stuff. (Music is by definition not extraneous stuff. Books are not extraneous stuff, except my bookshelves are stuffed to the proverbial gills. I should get rid of one book for each one I acquire.)
- Tell my kids I love them as much as possible.
- Try to recognize my good qualities. (I nearly wrote “What good qualities?” but that would have been giving in to defeat before I ever started.) Related to that, work on the qualities I wish I had: be more generous, for example. Or smile at strangers more. Be quicker and less reluctant to make friends. (How this is related to my failure to recognize my good qualities is obvious to those who know me.)
And, most importantly to me, number 13:
Attempt to reconnect to people who I care about but from whom I have seemingly drifted away. The last two years have been hard, and I have learned that the future is uncertain, and that people matter. There are a lot of people that I have lost sight of that I want back in my life.
So, that’s my baker’s dozen. Some are more important to me than others (the last six more so than the first seven, for example) but if I am able to make good progress on these goals I think I will be happier and, just as importantly to me, make others happier as well.
I wish all of you the best of luck in following whatever resolutions or goals you have set for yourselves this year, and in any case, I wish you
A Happy and Peaceful New Year.