Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Clean Slate

Happy New Year! It's time to start anew with a clean slate and fill it with resolutions and/or goals. I thought we'd begin with a wonderful, timely quote by Emily Dickinson: "Dwell in possibility." Let's do just that.

Since my resolutions are always some variation of exercise more often and be more productive, I'd rather focus on goals. I've divided my goals into two groups: "Me" Goals and Writerly Goals. Here goes.

"Me" Goals
  • Try yoga.
  • Learn a new language (either Spanish which is more practical or French which is more beautiful).
  • Go on weekly dates with hubby.
  • Go dancing once or twice a month.
  • Go to the movie theater by myself. I've never done this (my daughter loves going alone), and since my husband hates the movie theater, I must embrace this goal and stop feeling like a loser who doesn't have friends.
  • Get up earlier. When I worked outside the house, I was up by 6:30 and out the door by 7:30. Let's just say I've gotten too lax in this department.
  • Write more, read more and Facebook less. Now, I won't banish FB. Not at all. I love FB and bought the IPO so I want everyone to embrace FB. I just need more balance in this area.
  • Take more walks.
  • Learn to kayak.
  • Ride my bike already!
  • File (don't pile!) This is a tough one.
  • Try a new recipe every week. I've done this over the years but usually fizzle out. But I have discovered many new recipes by tackling this goal.
  • Play more board games and cards. In other words, adopt my parents' fun social life.
Writerly Goals
One of my writers' groups, Sleuths' Ink, asks its members to fill out two goal cards every December. One card is to keep and the other is read by the president the following year. Embarrassment equals motivation here and usually works pretty well among our members. Here are my writerly goals:
  • Edit my novel, Thursdays At Coconuts, one final time and submit it to agents by June 1, 2013.
  • Edit and polish two already drafted picture books (submit one by March 1, 2013, and the other during the summer). 
  • Flush out my picture book series with my daughter.
  • Keep my blog current.
  • Create a website.
  • Attend new writers' conferences.
  • Continue to submit six-word memoirs.
  • Continue work on my non-fiction book of haiku.
  • Continue adding recipes to my cookbook.
  • Market What Do You Want To Be? and add a new element to increase new interest and add readers.
  • Do a better job of marketing The Missing Key.
  • Figure out how to get my picture books on Kindle and Nook! (At least hire someone to do this.)
  • Hold a book signing in Florida.
  • Meet Florida writers.
Okay, that's plenty to keep me out of trouble this year. How about you? What are your resolutions or goals? And for a fun comparison of resolutions versus goals, plus some good laughs, hop over to my friend, Jan Morrill's blog at http://janmorrill.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/resolute/ Let's dwell in possibility.


  1. Your list is long and distinguished! "File - Don't Pile" should be one of mine, but that's a guaranteed fail for me, LOL. Hmmm. Are you going to flush out your new series with your daughter or 'flesh' it out? You could be doing either if I picture you and your girl in hunting gear creeping around the brush, flushing out ideas :)

    1. Lol. You caught me, Madison. Note: I wrote this very late last night, although if the series gets blocked I just might want to flush it!

      It's funny that almost every writer who commented here could relate to my file, don't pile goal. Guess I'm not alone.

  2. Wow, can I hear "over-achiever?" :) I agree with Madison, the File-Don't Pile caught my eye too. I'm glancing at the huge pile to my left as I type. I only made a list of six. Three that depend on me, and three that depend on God. :) (Those are what I call the "dream big" goals)

    You go girl! I always love reviewing how I did each Jan 1st, hence the short list. *giggle*

    1. I think we're all overachievers, Linda. I know you are as well! We're just wired that way.

      Glad you can relate to my file-don't-pile goal. I don't feel so alone as I stare (glare) at them.

      I love your out-of-the-box goal to land a speaking gig in the U.K. Now, THAT'S a goal!

    2. Oh goody! I'm not alone. I've been accused of being an over-achiever. Now I know I'm in good company.

  3. Beth, yours is a lifestyle list! I love your reference to our parent's lifestyle of cards and board games. We played music and sang in my childhood home. My parents bought 40's era sheetmusic for me to play piano and they could dance. "Stardust" was their favorite. The 40's generation were so elegant: suits and hats, dresses and gloves. My mother resembled Jennifer Jones. Sadly, I didn't inherit her soft and round genes, rather my father's James Stewart long and lankly ones. Thank you for triggering my memories. Happy New Year. www.blueandgraycrosscurrent.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. You're right--many of my "me" goals are lifestyle enhancements. :)

      We love to play Dominoes, Scrabble, and a few card games. Our problem is finding other couples who enjoy games. My parents play Rook at least twice a week and Dominoes another night weekly. I worry too much about the house being perfect for company as well as the menu while Mom is able to shove it aside and not worry. I'd like to adopt her attitude about that but...we'll see.

      Glad I triggered some memories. Thanks for commenting. I'll check out your blog.

    2. Luckily for us, my new son-in-law likes to play cards. So my sis, daughter and son-in-law make four of us to play cards at least once a week. We've started playing Hearts last night. Fun game, but I lost big time.

  4. Some great goals! I like that you put down things YOU can accomplish, rather than the ones that are out of our control (be published by such-and-such). I'm giving a workshop in February about goal setting. A suggestion - put a time to complete each goal and you may see more success.

    By the way, I love going to the movies on my own! That's one of my motivational rewards. "Write so many pages - make so many calls - go to a movie." I enjoy afternoon matinees when the theater is less crowded and I can sit for a few minutes to savor the story I just saw. No conversation, just total immersion.

    All the best with your goals!! I'm off to clear some piles on my desk - the holidays took over!!

    1. Hi, Terry. Great to hear from you.

      I did list a couple of dates (forced myself to do that) because I think it will help. I work better with deadlines and added stress, even if it's self-imposed. :)

      Okay, just for you and my daughter, I'm going to be a big girl and go to the movies by myself. Who knows? I might love it.

      My piles are out of control. Scary, actually, there's no telling what's in some of them. Maybe the next great novel!!!

      Happy New Year--and I could use some peach lotion from Mary Kay as well as a cleanser. :)

  5. Yay, Beth! I'm going to "borrow" a few of yours, like "file, don't pile." That's easy to remember, like every time I look at one of my many piles, so perhaps I'll be more successful with that one. Can't wait to check back later to see how you're doing!

    1. Borrow away, Jan. I certainly "borrow" enough of your good ideas, which is a great compliment.

      It seems everyone can relate to the file-don't-pile goal. Makes me feel slightly better but that doesn't get rid of the piles!

      I think I'll print my goals out as a reminder. Thanks for commenting and Happy New Year!

  6. Wow. I thought I had a fairly long list of goals, but you blew me away. Like everyone else, I'm going to have to borrow "file, don't pile" for my own list.

  7. Thanks, Sharon. I'm an overachiever but it doesn't mean I'll meet every goal. But I'll try! Seems like we're all dealing with the file, don't pile scenario.

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  10. Great lists, Beth. Definitely go to the movies. I do it frequently because either Bob is gone when they are playing or they're ones he wouldn't be interested in. Why should I lose out? Tell yourself you enjoy the time alone to enjoy something you like. Have fun!

  11. Oh wow. YOu've got a lot of goals. I think I'll try the same thing today. I love making goals, not resolutions. I always keep my Sleuths' Ink goal card near my computer and look to see how I'm doing throughout the year. Fizzled last year, but there's hope.

    I also have some personal goals as well. You've made me want to get busy and make a list. Great post, Beth.

  12. Thanks, Shirley. Glad I inspired you. I do have a lot of goals and might have gotten carried away. Lol

    Good luck with your list (s)!