As arbitrary as the start of a new year is, I enjoy goal setting and, really, I just love making lists. So, I’ve done many kinds of resolution and goal setting over the years — I’ve kept it (fairly) simple, and I’ve made massive lists of ALL the things. Each of these has met with mixed results, although I’ve found in general that a simple set of concrete goals usually works best.
This year, my goal making boils down to one thing:
Finish THE NOVEL
In some scope or another, THE NOVEL is always present in my mind. It haunts me that I have never even completed a full draft that can be properly shared. So, it was quite a shock a few months ago when I realized that the brief break I took in working on THE NOVEL had turned into almost five years.
I kept telling myself that I would get to it — I need to finish this thing here, so I can get back to THE NOVEL. I’ll start work on THE NOVEL next month. No, the next after that. — and then time passes, because that’s what time does. In some form or another, I’ve been putting Finish THE NOVEL on my annual goals for the past five or six years.
I’m tired of this pattern. So, this year, I have one goal — Finish THE NOVEL. That’s it.
I’ve set out a plan for doing the work and have even switched around my day job schedule a a bit to provide more dedicated time to writing. It means that I’ll probably have to say no to some of the kinds of collaborative work I’ve been doing in the past year.
It also means that some of my shorter projects will be back-burnered. Even though there are other things I’d like to get done in 2019 — Finish any or all of the short stories and poetry projects I have “in progress,” Blog at least once per week at part of the Poetry Blogging Network, Attend a reading or open mic at least once a month, Return to a regular running routine, etc. — all of these things by necessity will need to be secondary to may main task for the year — working on THE NOVEL.
This is an achievable goal. All it requires is the focus and effort to make it happen.
The Year of Finishing THE NOVEL is officially underway.
What are your goals for 2019?
A Footnote on Bullet Journaling: Last year I tried out Bullet Journaling as a means to help me stay organized and focused. I always meant to provide a follow up on how that went, but never got around to it. I dove fully into it at the start of the year and found it extremely helpful toward my productivity. It let me calendars and lists that suited me (I may have mentioned that I love lists).
However, about mid year, the benefits of the Bullet Journal (creating your own calendar) became the struggle. Around that time, I started to feel too overwhelmed with keeping up with the weekly or even monthly layouts, so I slowly stopped doing them at all.
So, I would say that I found Bullet Journaling to be a bit of a mixed bag. It was useful when I had the focus to use it, less useful when I was too overwhelmed to keep it going.
That said, I’m putting starting off the year with a Bullet Journal again — this time will an even simpler design. Hopefully that will help me keep the journal going, and in turn, help provide me with the focused tasks to meet my goal of finishing THE NOVEL.