As one year ends and another begins, many people decide to make new year’s resolutions and set goals to aspire to over the next 365-366 days. It serves to give meaning to or create change in the next year of one’s life. For many it may be taking up an exercise routine, losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthy, etc. Also for many, these resolutions are forgotten not long after with the hangover of New Year’s Day.
To make your resolutions more permanent, write them down. Display them if possible. Every week make a point of review them. This will serve to help instill the resolutions into the positive changes in your life as you envisioned them becoming.
A couple of years ago, I had reached 200 lbs. My knees hurt. I was out of shape. My clothes were no longer fitting me. On New Year’s Day of that year, I made it a goal to eat less, to eat healthy meals. I did not write it down. I made a mental note and did not let myself forget it. Over the course of that year, I watched what I ate. I avoided second and third helpings at meals. I cut out the majority of the fast food and snacks that I had been eating. Without exercise, since my knees would have suffered from it, I managed to lose 40 lbs. I returned to the weight I was in college and my knee pain left. I am able to run again without knee pain or swelling. I am able to play on a hard wood floor with kids without complaining about my knees hurting. I did it by simply not allowing myself to lose sight of my goal.
The goal I set was not to lose 40 lbs. It was simply to lose weight. A goal, a resolution does not have to be specific. Specifics can work against you. They tend to penalize you when you veer of course. Often times, making things specific makes it easier to give up a goal or resolution when you do not adhere to the specifics. Stay with your vision of change, not the specifics. Although you may need them, your vision is your real goal.
Having said this, here are my goals and resolutions for the new year:
- Finish writing the screenplay I began a little over a year ago.
I have been stuck in the Act II blues. Recently, I worked it out. My plot was forced, thus the scenes and characters actions and dialog became forced. The story suffered. I knew where it began to breakdown and decided to simplify the storyline at that point. Once the screenplay is finished, I intend to shop it. If it sells, great. If it does not, I have accomplished my goal of finishing it.
- Write my next screenplay which already has several scenes sketched and the plot’s spine put in place. My goal is to finish writing this screenplay as well in 2008.
- Resume writing my novel. I have always wanted to be a novelist.
- Read daily. Fiction mostly.
- Write daily. A lot of this list depends on it.
- Resume running regularly.
- Repair some bridges and tear down some walls in my life.
- Commit to returning to school to obtain a masters in English and a teaching certificate and/or striving to write for a living. I can do both. I have always felt a need to teach in the public school system. Working as a teacher would afford me more time for writing as well as promoting positive change in the lives of others.
That’s it. Much of it is simply structuring and organizing my time to balance these with being a husband and father.
The key is to keep it simple.