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New Year, New Goals, New Friends?

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Are they new year’s resolutions if you start them again in July? Asking for a friend.

This year I wanted to focus on goals that are production-specific, rather than end-result specific. If you’ve ever had a desk job you’ve probably hear someone drone on for 3 hours during a presentation about SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, and I fell asleep after that. On the one hand, you get out of work for a few hours, but on the other, the topic is so boring it puts half the attendees to sleep. Worth it? Maybe if you need a nap.

I’m not here to talk about SMART goals. They’re good, but I need something a little more refined. I don’t have a fancy acronym for what I do, it’s just something I’ve come to understand about how I work: the end goal doesn’t motivate me. Thinking about all the books I will have written takes all the wind out of my sails. Because why aren’t they written now?

No, instead, the goals I make for myself, and you’re welcome to blame the ADHD on this, are limited to daily or, at most, weekly milestones. And the weekly ones are at risk of falling apart, TBH, unless I have accountability! The worst enemy of any goal I set is not being unwilling to do the work, it’s the fact that by the time I get to Wednesday I’ve forgotten all about it. Where are my no-object-permanence people at? High-five. We’re besties now.

So what are the goals for this year? I’m so glad you asked:

Write 1k words/workday – that’s Monday-Friday unless a federal holiday sends Mr V home early! In 2022 I wrote 50k words. In 2023 I wrote 100k. If I can do 1k/day this year I’ll be OVER 200k words. Can you imagine? That’s at least 3 novels. My best words year was way back in 2014, before my health took a nose-dive. I wrote a serial story on my blog with a chapter posted every week. I want to do that again.

Walk 10k steps/day – right now I average about 4k and that’s just not enough! I recently bought a stepper, though, and it’s helping me bump those rookie numbers up on days when the high is 27F and it’s just too cold to leave the house for anything other than a tea-emergency.

Complete an art piece 1/week – long time fans will recognize this challenge. Back in 2019 I challenged myself to write a short story 1/week. And I did it! That’s how I started publishing every single month. And since then, I’ve been writing and getting short stories published in all kinds of magazines. This year I want to do the same thing with art, and I’ll be sharing those results here on the blog. You all get to be my accountability group <3

About that. I work on goals best when I can tell someone about them, even if that someone is screaming into the void of the Internet. As long as the void spits back a gold star now and then, I’m happy.

So let’s be each-other’s void.

(This metaphor got out of hand immediately. Don’t try and fix it, just back away slowly and hopefully it won’t bite.)

Tell me what your goals are! Post down below with projects you’ve been thinking about, targets you want to hit, stars you want to fall amongst. Make ‘em SMART if that works for you (Achievable! Realistic! Time-Based! See, that meeting wasn’t a waste, I remember things), or tell me what little steps you want to take every day/week to look back on later.

Then, every Monday, I’ll tell you all about my goals the past week. Did I hit 1k words, 10k steps, and finish a new piece of art? You’ll have to find out on Monday because, uh, today is Thursday and the answer is not yet! And in the comments, you can tell me all about your progress. Are you going for those runs so you can do a 10k? Are you knitting and purling? Are you baking new things? Planting new flowers? Teaching the dog new tricks? (PLEASE tell me all about the new dog tricks) I want to hear all about it.

But more importantly, I want to hear about the setbacks. What kept you from your goal that week? Because I’m sure we can figure out ways to overcome together. Bonus points for restarting after a major event, like a new baby! Life is super disruptive and we’ve got to make room for our goals or they’ll get run right over.

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