I finished my 2014 list of goals and exchanged them with a writing friend. We have been doing this for several years. This year, though, making my list (and reading hers) left me exhausted and depressed.
Not the “happy new year” feeling I was going for!
What was wrong? Both lists included so many good ideas! There were things to eliminate (wasting time online, blood sugar crashes from junk food) and things to add (a marketing course, write another e-book).
It sounded like a year long “to-do” list.
Turning Resolutions Upside Down
Then I read a devotional by Elizabeth Crews which included the following:
Almost without exception, all the usual resolutions we make on New Year’s Day are macho, austere, and instantly depressing. Most of our resolutions only succeed in casting a grey pall over the brand New Year. Midnight strikes and we vow to lose twenty pounds, or rise an hour earlier every day in order to master some new work-skill. We promise ourselves we will give up chocolate, or TV, or fats, or carbs—and then suddenly we realize that a whole year of doing without stretches out ahead of us.
But what if we looked at the New Year as a sea of possibilities? What if we resolved to relax more, or sleep more, or play more? What if, instead of resolving to shed ten pounds, we look to add five new friends? In other words, what if we resolved to be more of what we can be, instead of resolving just to be less of what we already are?
How can we apply this positive, even fun, principle to a writer’s new year’s resolutions?
Fueled By Possibilities
I took another look at my 2014 goals. There wasn’t one single fun thing on the single-spaced, two-page list.
Even though I preach all the time about building in renewal time, I rarely do it. I keep thinking I will, when “life slows down.” I realized this week that I have been saying this literally for decades. Several decades, actually.
If not now, when?
A 2014 Resolution Do-Over
I am going through my goals list again. I am adding goals geared toward renewal. I have quite a number of speaking engagements this year. I need to build in several trips–even just day trips–that are pure renewal.
I have a long list of writing and business books I want to read, and a speed reading course I plan to take so I can get through them. But I need to add a list of fiction books (including favorites to slowly re-read) as part of my renewal time.
While the calendar is still fairly blank, I need to pencil in renewal time: an extra day after speaking at a conference for rest, lunch with friends I’ve lost touch with, a special movie, and other things that I find renewing. Your list will be different, but if you don’t make one NOW–and add it to your calendar–the time will get away from you.
Do It Now!
If you don’t fill in some of the blank squares on your 2014 calendar yourself, others will fill them all in for you. Guaranteed.
So take some time and make sure the things on your goals list will help you have a HAPPY new year, and not just a productive one. The nice thing about that is, happy writers ARE more productive writers.
A win-win situation. So this year, have yourself a truly happy new year.