It seems like I make some of the same resolutions every year, but I find that focusing on two or three simple goals really does help me plug away at them, in small chunks at least, if not in their entirety. My goals last year were to be a more patient mother, to exercise more often, and to focus on writing my novel.
I can’t say I’d win any mother-of-the-year awards, but my kids are happy, healthy, and have a strong sense of self. I do struggle with my patience though at the end of a long day, especially when my husband is off in some other country and I’m on my own. That’s one area where I definitely want to improve as a parent. Honestly though, I never feel like I’m reaching my goals as a mother because I want to be flawless. I don’t necessarily feel this way about other goals, but I do about motherhood, perhaps because I feel like my kids deserve better. They deserve not just good parents, but fantastic parents who can help them be happy, healthy, self-actualized people. The standard for which I strive is absolute perfection, so of course, I am always falling short and feeling like a failure in this area of my life, in particular.
As for exercising, I kicked ass on this goal for the first half of the year. I was at the gym several times a week for the first seven months or so. Then, we went on vacation and got in a car accident. Just as I was about ready to get back to a regular work out schedule, I sprained my ankle. Does physical therapy count as working out? I do some pretty significant weight lifting. In retrospect, it’s easy to see that this resolution slipped way down the list of priorities towards the end of the year.
I’m happy to report that I achieved and exceeded my writing goal! I finished the first rough draft of my novel — 74,000 words. It feels like a major accomplishment because this is the first full length novel that I’ve ever attempted to write.
Now once again, I find myself deciding what my goals for the year should be and have chosen to recommit towards working on the following:
- Be a better parent. Work on my patience.
- Get back into an exercise routine. Maybe do more yoga.
- Finish the edit, critique, and rewrite process of my novel, and begin submitting to agents. (Caveat: There’s a chance that this may get side-tracked by another writing project. I’m in the process of working on a book proposal for another nonfiction book. If I get that book deal, it may end up taking a higher priority than the novel. In either case though, the basic goal is to write a book.)
Hmmm, sound familiar? Well, I’m a firm believer that naming my goals and committing to them publicly helps me to focus on them. So, that’s where I am for the start of 2010.
How about you? Are you making any New Year’s resolutions this year?