Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's On Your List?

Yes, it's that time again. People start talking about their New Year's Resolutions.
I'm not a fan of resolutions, and I'll tell you why.
I NEVER keep them!
My agent, Rachelle Gardner, had an interesting take on resolutions this week. Go read it if you haven't already.
I like the idea of making a list of emotion-based objectives rather than a list that screams at me to accomplish a hundred and one things by year's end, most of which are highly improbable.

So how do I approach the coming year? Well, I like to start by reflecting on everything that's happened this past year. This really helps put things into perspective. It outlines my successes and my failures, allows me to examine my shortcomings and gives me incentive to try to do better in the future.
I have learned not to be too terribly hard on myself.
I'm human. I'm gonna screw-up at some point, it's just a given.
However, if I were to list some areas in my life that I'd like to improve, it might look something like this:
Communication - I'm a writer, but I'm a horrible face-to-face communicator. I avoid confrontation at all costs, and most of the time find it very difficult to verbally stand up for myself. I'm not saying I want to have a slap-down-drag-out fight with anyone, I'd just like to be a little more assertive.

Organization - I am a very disorganized person. It's not surprising that I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. I just don't think my brain is wired to grasp the mysterious ways of plotting ahead, outlining or whatever you all do over on the dark side. And I'm learning to be okay with that. I would like to improve on how I organize my time, what I spend it doing, how much time I lose when I should be writing, etc... I really want to get a handle on this and I'm determined to make 2011 the year I do. It's going to take a schedule, discipline and a lot of coffee. But I'm willing to try. I'm scheduling a lot of blog interviews and reviews beginning in March and onward, and it's vital that I know who I've committed to do what with. It's going to be a challenge for me, but I'm facing it.

A Positive Outlook - This is a big one for me. So often I see the glass half empty when it's really half full. Friends are generally pretty good at giving me a slap upside the head when I get into this funk, but I'd rather not have to deal with the concussions.
This year I'm going to try to view life in a positive light. After all, I was pretty miserable a lot of the time last year and God showed me up big time. I didn't think I was getting that publishing contract, then BAM. So you never know when you'll be blessed. I'm not saying I'm going to EXPECT blessing to be showered upon me day in and day out, but you know, come to think of it, every day that I wake up is a blessing, isn't it? I have my health, a beautiful home and people who love me - I am blessed. This is the mantra I would like to adopt this year.

A Little Less Like Maxine - This is really stretching it, I know, and it ties into the whole positive outlook thing, but I'd really like to be less of a witch. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, right? That sarcasm that's really not sarcasm - the cutting remarks that sound funny at the time but you'd simply die if the person you were talking about heard them. Sigh. Sometimes I'm just not a nice person. I'd like to maybe change that, if possible. But let's face it, sometimes a good sarcastic comment just feels good. I'm not making any promises.

That is the beginning of my list. I have other things I want to strive for next year, but I'm not going to share them here. I think I'm going to have enough trouble keeping up with these few items.
So we'll see.
Now it's your turn. Are you making resolutions?
What's on YOUR list?


Keli Gwyn said...

Cathy, I liked Rachelle's post, too. As one who has made impressive lists of New Year's Resolutions I've failed to keep, I changed my approach last year and made two: to complete the rewrite of my story for Rachelle and to have fun at each step on my journey. Accomplishing both felt far better than looking at a lengthy list of things I didn't accomplish.

While I like your list, I think you're being kinda hard on yourself. You're a much nicer person than you give yourself credit for. =)

I wish you all the best in 2011.

Catherine West said...

Aw, thanks Keli! Yes, I know, I'm not all that bad. :0) Thankfully I can create characters to be as sarcastic as they want because that's who they are - and most of them turn out okay in the end too!

Heather said...

Making a list is a great alternative. I like this idea! I'm a big resolution person though. I did fairly well on making mine last year and I hope to do even better on the one's I've set for next year! I posted about it today on Heather's Odyssey.

Richard Mabry said...

Cath, My primary new year's resolution is to procrastinate more. I intended to resolve that last year, but kept putting it off.
Best wishes for a wonderful 2011.

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I love lists. No I'm serious, if I thought I could write an MS with a list as the hero, I would do it, starring me as the heroine!

I have some biggies this year!

Be a better mother, wife and person.
Complete three more MSs.
Get some contracts (more a hope than something I have control over)
Make it to at least one conference
Make more friends!

Have a happy new year! Hugs!

I love your roving glove, by the way, it's doing it's thing right next to the comment box and distracting me to no end!

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

For the love, that's supposed to say "globe" no glove lol

Catherine West said...

Great, Heather, I'll check it out!
Richard, you're hilarious, you should write comedy when you get bored of the medical stuff!!
Bonnie - Good luck with your list. We will have to check in on each other!

Georgiana said...

You and I have a lot in common! I'm not great face to face--although really we had fun together FTF! My hubby says one of "our" resolutions should be to socialize at church. That's where it hits me the worst and I'd prefer to hide. During meet and greet you'd have to look for me in the bathroom.