Sunday, June 22, 2014
Every year, it seems you can't find a parking space and you have to hunt down an available treadmill at the gym...but only after January 1st. By February, you have your pick of the litter as far as the machines are concerned, because people didn't lose 20 pounds in January and they gave up. There's something very sad about that.
As writers, I think a lot of us rummage through our workspace, realize our New Year's goals/resolutions are in there (and now the paper's all wrinkled and the ink is faded) and either chuck them or leave them there, saying, "Ah, well, maybe next year."
Listen, why not this year?
The good thing about a year is that it's 12 months/365 days long. Like Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til it's over." With the last week of June upon us, why not review your original goals or revise them?
Think of this as your "Half-Year Resolutions." Guess what? You still have 5 months to make it happen, whether we're talking about health/fitness goals or writing goals or whatever accomplishment you wanted to undertake.
Six months is also a long time. Maybe your situation has changed. Maybe you've moved and there's not a gym for miles around, so you have to improvise. Maybe you didn't get that book contract; maybe you're about to embark on the journey of indie publishing. Maybe your well for contemporary romance fiction is dry and you've always wanted to try your hand at an historical mainstream novel.
Get those original goals out--plus some white-out! If you have them in electronic form, it'll be that much simpler to change. Or if you tossed your goals/resolutions out in frustration, that's fine. Write some new ones and keep all of this in mind:
1. Be realistic. You have 5 months left to the year. You won't be writing 5 novels, especially if you're a busy stay-at-home mom or a grandmother who works full-time. Better to write one well written book that readers will love than 5 hastily written ones. By the same token, you might take longer to lose those 35 pounds. Be gentle with yourself and resolve to taking baby steps and being happy with the weight you do drop.
2. Keep in mind that you don't HAVE to be constricted by a time frame. You may not reach your writing goal or fitness goal by December 31, and that's all right. The important thing is that you begin, and that you work steadily, each day, towards that goal.
3. Think quality, not quantity, in whatever you do. You can lose 20 pounds on a fad diet and gain it back by Christmas, or you can resolve to treating yourself well and eating healthfully. You can take Zumba, yoga, kick boxing and feel like exercise is another full-time job, or you can start walking every day and enjoy that time so much that you will feel like you're missing something if you don't get that walk in by 7 PM each night.
4. Don't be hard on yourself. Approach your Half-Year Resolutions with enthusiasm and faith in yourself and your work. Today is a new day.
5. Your Half-Year Resolutions can be a secret. Nobody but you has to know about your resolutions and/or goals. But you can share and inspire others when you accomplish them!
Got all that? So you're off to a good start! May God bless you in all your endeavors.