An annual tradition here at F_D1, let’s kick-off the year with a full disclosure of goals. Rather than set vague “resolutions” and lame half-promises to yourself, why not think of the new year as an opportunity for a little personal growth? A couple of little benchmarks to set your aggressive little sights on throughout the year? Here are mine:
- Write ≥3 hours each week. Something of a re-hash of last year’s writing goal. I can do this. I need to do this. If I’m going to have goal #2 (vide infra) mean anything at all, it’s going to be through diligence, perseverance, and practice-practice-practive…
- Submit at least 2 short stories for publication. If I’ve had a writing goal every year, and if I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was five years old, then why did I go all of last year without sending out a single thing? I had a flurry of submissions in 2008 but then went all “radio silence” last year. I’ve got some good stuff, I just need to get it out in front of people. (While we’re at it: the first one went out last night.)
- Revise at least one of my novels-in-progress. In case you haven’t been paying attention, I have several novels in progress and “completed” drafts of at least three2. All of them are worthy stories that, with the right amount of polish, are publishable. The goal here is to turn goal #2 (vide supra) into “submit at least one novel for publication” next year3.
- Read ≥36 books. This is totally a repeat of one of my 2009 goals. I set the bar at 36 last year and came in at 25. Why go for 36 again? Because I read 49 books in 2008. No reason not to. And to up the ante a little bit, two sub-goals: (1) I plan to finally finish Godel, Escher, Bach; and (2) I intend to read these twelve:
- Foucault’s Pendulum (carry-over from last year)
- Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang: A Novel
- The Blind Assassin
- The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
- The Pragmatic Programmer
- The Tao Of Physics, and then for contrast
- Feynman’s Six Easy Pieces
- Illegal Beings: Human Clones and the Law
- The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
- Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
- Blood Meridian, and the other McCarthy that has been recommended to me ten million times
- All the Pretty Horses
- Exercise: get my money’s worth at Bolton Valley. It’s my eighth winter in Vermont and I finally got around to getting a season pass4. This year I got a pass to Bolton Valley. I worked it out that I need to go at least five times to get my money’s worth.
- Exercise: walk or run ≥1 mile ≥2 times/week. I got myself a treadmill for my birthday a couple years ago. I don’t think I used it at all in ’095. And since I moved and can’t walk to work anymore, I’m thinking that I should try to get in one or two runs a week6. Perhaps I’ll even join the “barefoot runners” cult.
- Exercise: climb at least once each week. Third year running. Much more than this probably isn’t terribly realistic. Not for me. Not until The Boy is a little older.
- Restrict my “personal expenses” to $70/week. To be honest, this will actually be the fourth year that I’ve done this but the first year I’ll own up to it. What constitutes “personal expenses”? That’s money I spend directly on me: coffee, lunch, my portion of the dinner bill, drinks, etc. It’s a fun challenge. And very revealing.
I almost feel like I ought to come up with two more to make it a nice round, metric ten. And maybe I’ll add some later on in the year. But these are as good a place as any to start.
Here’s to a happy and successful 2010!
- Well, since 2007. [↩]
- The three I have in mind are this thing (which I’ve been working on since roughly 2001), and my 2006 and 2009 NaNoWriMos. [↩]
- That said: I’ll give myself a little wiggle room on this goal if it means that I get yet another first draft written. (But what good are three first drafts and a second-or-is-it-third draft?) [↩]
- And seven of eight of those winters I even worked for a company that offers discounts on season passes as a benefit. (Still work there.) [↩]
- Although… Well, at least Amy did. [↩]
- I know the goal says “≥2 times/week” but… that’s what makes it a goal? [↩]
About Rob FrieselSoftware engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →
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