We-ell, ya know… we all want to have a plan.

But now I am going to admit something that might make you think I’m the Scrooge of New Year’s:  I find reading other people’s New Year’s Resolutions boring.  Why?  Because they have no bearing on my life whatsoever.  They’re kind of interesting in a voyeuristic sense and/or if they give you ideas, but really, after reading post after post of them, my eyeballs are hanging out of my sockets by springs and there’s a pile of drool collecting on my desk.

There.  I said it.

HOWEVER, while I don’t love reading others’ resolutions, I realize that many people do.  I also believe in the power of not just setting goals, but writing them down, sharing them, and creating a plan to hold oneself accountable.  So it is in this spirit that I embrace my inner hypocrite and present you with my resolutions for two areas of my life (I wouldn’t think of subjecting you to the ones about my finances, my house and my family).  Those areas are…. drumroll…. Writing and Health and Wellness.  Posting them here is my way of holding myself accountable because at some point, I’ll feel obligated to come back and tell you all how I measured up.  So here goes:

Writing

1. Land an agent. I know, I know! I can hear you all screaming about S.M.A.R.T. goals, claiming this one isn’t Specific, Measurable, Achievable (at least independently), Realistic or Time-based.  Yeah, I worked in the corporate world too.  Yet, I would feel remiss if I didn’t put this on the list because this is the biggest next step toward reaching my future publication goals.  SO – I have created sub-goals that are SMART.  If I achieve those but still don’t get an agent, I’ll mark it as success.  I just want to make sure I’ve done everything within my control to work toward this goal.

  • Get primary WiP (call it WiP #1) submission-ready (again!) by end of January
  • Have a list of 8 agents to query for that WiP ready by end of January
  • Begin querying WiP #1 to those 8 agents beginning of February
  • Get WiP #2 submission-ready by end of March
  • Have a list of 8 additional agents to the ones queried for Wip #1 ready by end of March
  • Begin querying WiP #2 beginning of April (assuming no response/progress on WiP #1)
  • Write a first draft of BRAND NEW SUPER SHINY IDEA by end of February
  • Have BRAND NEW SUPER SHINY IDEA submission-ready by end of June

That’s as far as I can reasonably plan, I think, so I commit to setting new goals in June to keep this on track.

2. Write every weekday. Here writing is defined exclusively as new writing or revising a WiP.

  • Schedule a minimum of one hour of uninterrupted writing time each weekday.

3. Writing-related work every weekday. Writing-related work can be reading, research, writing pitches or query letters, blogging, social media, etc.

  • Must complete a minimum of one hour of writing-related work each day.  Does not need to be consecutive or uninterrupted.

4. Study craft and market for Travel Writing and Personal Essays. After picture books, these are other areas of writing that have great appeal to me, especially because they can also support research for the children’s writing (international research, anyone?).  So this year I just want to make inroads into understanding the markets for this type of writing and to begin working and studying the craft and how it differs from what I am doing now.

  • One hour of writing-related work per week must be dedicated to either travel or personal essay writing

Health/Wellness

So it turns out I have a big birthday coming up.  Although I always have health/wellness related resolutions and goals, they are more important than ever this year.

1. Be in great shape by 40th birthday. Again, I realize this violates all of the tenets of SMART goals, so again I broke it down.

  • Lose 15 pounds by:
  • Counting daily calories consumed beginning Jan. 10th. This is really a bummer because I hate doing this, but I know it’s the only way to be honest with myself about how much I am actually eating/drinking.
  • Exercise 5-7 days each week unless sick
  • 2 of the 5 sessions must be strength/yoga/pilates
  • 1 of the 2 strength sessions must be a full-body strength workout
  • Wine on weekends only unless special occasion.  This is also a bummer. I love my red wine at the end of the day.  Honestly, sometimes I’d like it as an IV drip.  But truth be told, it not only accumulates on my waistline, but it *gasp* impacts my productivity the next day if I’ve indulged in a couple of drinks the night before.  So in the spirit of keeping all the resolutions intact, I will limit wine to weekends outside of special weekday occasions.  Special occasions include things like: book club, dinners with friends, date nights, etc.  Special occasions do not include “because I deserve it” after a long day or because the kids are pushing every single button I have.

2. Run at least one race of 10K or greater distance

3. Learn to ski moguls with confidence. I can ski them, but not well.  This is the year I change that.

4. Craniosacral therapy once a month

5. Yoga at least once a month

6. Five-minute morning meditation first thing – before kids get up

So there you have it.  I know it’s an ambitious list, but at the start of a squeaky-clean year, I feel ready to tackle it!

What about you? Do you like reading other people’s resolutions? Do you think resolutions actually work?

Categories: Goals, Health/Fitness, Picture Books, Queries, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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