Monday, December 31, 2012
For the past 8 years, I have visualized my goals in a letter that I write to myself each New Year's Day. I recap the year and then set very specific goals - not resolutions - but actual goals I hope to achieve for the coming year. This is how I adopted Lyla the 50 pound log of doom. I had written "Find a dog, not too big, that works with our family." Somehow this translated to dog who stretches so long that the front part of her can be on the floor and walking while her ass and back legs are still reclining on the couch. Sometimes things turn out differently than I'd planned.
But I've been doing this faithfully and tucking the paper away and actually checking it every couple of months to see how I'm doing. Occasionally, I read it with surprise: Oh shit, I will say to myself -- totally forgot about that 'less caffeine' thing. Mostly it keeps me focused. Makes me understand that while some parts of success are luck and timing a great deal is from dogged persistence and tenacity and being fully present in the moment. Okay -- also listening to your agent and revising twenty times and then twenty more.
Mostly it means I keep myself accountable. It is my life and my career and I am fully aware that the cosmic anvil can fall on my head at any moment. The goal list is not a set of manacles -- it is what I strive for and dream of -- it makes me stretch and grow and attempt the things I am afraid of. I am aware of how many times I hear people say, "I can't now. My time is not my own. Maybe after... or Maybe when..." Do you hear this a lot too? Now I think -- Yes you can. You're just choosing not to.
I choose to try. I will fall. I will fail. I will succeed. I will watch too many Housewives episodes and worry about Bethenny and Jason's divorce and what Chantel from Gallery Girls is doing now. I will let the Roecker sisters convince me that I have time to watch Season 1 of Girls and find myself addicted. I will waste two hours watching a horrible version of Anna Karenina. I will drink too much coffee and too many glasses of wine. I will lose my way and be scared. (not from the coffee and wine). I will find my way and push onward and hope my internal compass isn't too cracked.
In 2013 I will have a new book on the shelf (THE SWEET DEAD LIFE) and a story in a new anthology (WHO DONE IT). But those things are already coming. Who knows what my new set of goals will bring?
I'll let you know.
What are YOUR goals for 2013?